Unfinished Novel

“Nothing could be more pleasant than to live in solitude, enjoy the spectacle of nature and dip into some book now and then.”

The above quote from the book ‘Dead Souls’ is quite relatable. I guess this feeling is mutual among us who adore and adopt books. This book was another marvelous accident, picked as part of the weird reading goal of mine – the goal of reading one book per country around the globe.


Country : Russia

Author : Nikolay Vasilievich Gogol

Pages :  424

Genre : Politics/ Satire

First published : 1842

Translated by : Robert A Maguire

Publishing House : Penguin Classics

About Gogol

Nickolay Vasilievich Gogol is the founder of Russian Realism. Gogol is adapted pen name which means ‘Golden-eye Duck’. He was born at 31st March 1809 in a town of Velliki Sorochinici, Ukraine, which was a part of the great Russian Empire at that time. It is observed that the inspiration for this novel, The Dead Souls, came from his friend Pushkin; originally imagined as trilogy, modeled upon Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’.

The first part represents the hell; the second part after decades of works was destroyed by Gogol himself. It is also learnt that he became a religious fanatic and burnt the second part of the novel influenced by a priest. Nine days later Gogol died (self-imposed starvation), but luckily some pieces of the manuscripts he had been working on survived. This makes the novel an unfinished work.

Dead Souls – A Poem

       Yes, that is what this novel has as a subtitle. This book is the representation of Russian life as a mosaic of strangely intersecting inanities. Gogol mocked, ridiculed and exposed the flaws and foibles of the landowners, mostly rich, stupid and idle, the corrupt bureaucrats who connive with them, the pretty royalties and the hypocrisy of high society and placed them in comic scenes, one after another.

The Plot

       The plot of this book is simple, but the narration and detailing make this work an extravagant reading material. Gogol criticizes the owners of the large estates, their life style and habits. In this novel he attempts to display the bureaucracy and feudal organizations in Russia at his time. The lead character Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov is described as anti-hero similar to a real-life person, unscrupulous and immoral of nature. He tries to buy dead souls as the collateral to obtain a large loan. In pursuit of this mission he travels across provinces, along with his assistant named Selifan (I liked the name a lot) and meets Manilov (The Kind Manner), Plewkshin (Mr. Spitoon), Sobakievich (Mr. Dog), Nozdayor (Mr. Nostril) and Kovobachka (Mrs. Box). Each meeting with the above-mentioned landlords is super engaging and ultra humorous.

Why buying Dead Souls?

       This is exactly where Gogol tightens the rope of sarcasm. It is exposing and a satirical examination of 1800s Russian nobility and society. In post-Napoleonic Russia, land owners owned serfs who worked on lands. A man’s wealth was not only measured by the amount of land he possessed, but also by the number of souls he owned. Chichiko, our proclaimed hero decides to become rich by buying those dead souls. In Russia during those days the census was taken only once in a year of these serfs. Chichikov tries to exploit this by owning souls cheaper and then claims those dead souls as his own. Therefore, it could happen that some of the dead people were still considered to be alive. Chichikov asks the land owners to sell him those dead souls, as they would in return become free of paying the fees for all their dead serfs. The actual intention of Chichikov was to set up an estate in the region where the government was selling cheap land. He needed those dead souls so that he could register them to get a bank loan.

About Translator

       This work is translated by Robert A. Maguire, who was the Boris Bakhmeteff Professor Emeritus of Russian studies at Columbia University. His area of specialization, on which he has written widely were the Soviet period and the early nineteenth century. He also received several awards for published works and services to his field of study.

       I’m so glad that I could read this book as a part of my reading goal. Even though the work is an unfinished one, this book truly takes us back in time and allows us to experience those glorious vintage stuff and life style of 1840s. As an admirer of history and historical fiction, this takes me through its narration into a time zone which otherwise would have remained like the mystery of black hole.

       There is lot of ink left in my pen but I am saving them for another occasion. Happy reading.


Publishing Director


The Animal That Became A God

Unfortunately, the Sapiens’ regime on earth has so far produced a little that we can be proud of. We have mastered our surroundings, increased food production, built cities, established empires and created far-flung trade networks. But did we decrease the amount of suffering in this world?

Is there anything more dangerous than dissatisfied and irresponsible gods who don’t know what they want?


What am I talking about?

Book: Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind

Author: Yuval Noah Harari

Country: Israel

Language: Hebrew

No. of pages: 498

Year: 2014

Published by: Vintage Books (London)

Reading history and related stuffs (I am not good at remembering dates though) bestow upon me immense pleasure. This book which is based on the evolution of humans to the present state was something that was revealing, shocking and breath-taking at times. Even though we are far ahead of our forebearers, the genus Homo in Africa, we still have no hint where we are heading towards. It seems to be an aimless and hopeless wandering. More of like a pie, the share may differ but the size of the pie remains unvarying. If at all one day the share becomes equal, then comes the extinction, everything which had a beginning has an end too.

Trust me, this one will be one of the most captivatinginvestments you could possibly make, of your time. It’s always favourable and a congenial occurrence to go after the roots to see how the dirt yield such a fragrance of pride to our present state of affairs.

About the Author

This guy specializes in world history. His research focuses on broad questions such as:

What is the relationship between history and biology?

Is there justice in history?

Did people become happier as history unfolded?

He has a PhD in History from the University of Oxford and now lectures at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Some interesting facts from the book 

You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven. But why is it important? Well, after all, fiction can be dangerously misleading or distracting. People who go to the forest looking for fairies and unicorns would seem to have less chances of survival than people who go looking for mushrooms and deer. And if you spend hours praying to non-existent guardian spirits, aren’t you wasting precious time, time better spent foraging, fighting and fornicating?

Voltaire said about God that ‘There is no god, but don’t tell that to my servant, lest he murders me at night.’

A single priest often does the work of a hundred soldiers, far more cheaply and effectively. 

The Agricultural Revolution was history’s biggest fraud. Who was responsible? Neither Kings, nor priests, nor merchants. The culprits were a handful of plant species, including wheat, rice and potatoes. These plants domesticated Homo sapiens, rather than vice versa.

Haunting and unsettling specifics

The natives of Tasmania, having survived for 10,000 years in splendid isolation were completely wiped out, to the last man, woman and child, within a century of Cook’s (Captain James Cook, an experienced sea-man as well as an accomplished geographer and ethnographer) arrival. European settlers first drove them off the richest parts of the island, and then, coveting even the remaining wilderness, hunted them down and killed them systematically. The few survivors were hounded into an evangelical concentration camp, where well-meaning but not particularly open-minded missionaries tried to indoctrinate them in the ways of the modern world. The Tasmanians were instructed in reading and writing, Christianity and various productive skills such a sewing clothes and farming. But they refused to learn. They became more melancholic, stopped having children, lost all interest in life, and finally chose the only escape route from the modern world of science and progress – death.

Even afterlife, science and progress pursued them. The corpses of the last Tasmanians were seized in the name of science by anthropologists and curators. They were dissected, weighed and measured, and analysed in learned articles. The skulls and skeletons were then put on display in museums and anthropological collections. Only in 1976 did the Tasmanian Museum give up for burial of the skeleton of Truganini, the last native Tasmanian, who had died a hundred years earlier. The English Royal College of Surgeons held on to the samples of her skin and hair until 2002.

My takeaway from the book

No to meat (Chicken, Mutton, Beef, Pork), that’s what my take away from this book. The incident which I read was unsettling and is the very reason to avoid meat. I also remember this was even in practice at my native. During my childhood days I had witnessed it without any emotional baggage.

The dairy/meat industry has its own ways of forcing animals to do its will. Cows, goats and sheep produce milk only after giving birth to calves, kids and lambs, and only as long as the youngsters are suckling. To continue a supply of animal milk, a farmer needs to have calves, kids and lambs for suckling, but must prevent them from monopolizing the milk. One common method throughout history was to simply slaughter the calves and kids shortly after birth, milk the mother for all she was worth, and then get her pregnant again.

Another method is to keep the calves and kids near their mothers but prevent them by various stratagems from suckling too much milk. The simplest way to do that is to allow the kid or calf to start suckling, but drive it away once the milk start flowing. This method usually encounters resistance from both kid and mother. Some sheep tribes used to kill the offspring, eat its flesh, and then stuff the skin. The stuffed offspring was then presented to the mother so that its presence would encourage her milk production.

A new word I learned from this book – IGNORAMUS.

The great discovery that launched the Scientific Revolution was the discovery that humans do not know the answers to their most important questions. Pre-modern tradition of knowledge such as Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Confucianism asserted that everything that is important to know about the world was already known.

I hope you read this book and get to know more about yourselves.

Happy Reading!


Publishing Director

Authors Conversation Series – Birud Ghosalkar

Here is a sneak into our authors conversation series, Birud Ghosalkar’s The Boy With A Paint Brush is a sweet emphatic journey of a little boy into the world of creativity. Here, Birud tells her own journey into the first of children literature and what inspired her to write this book.

Book: The Boy with a Paintbrush

Release Date: 22 April 2022

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Elevator pitch for the book: One starry night when stars were bright Neel had a Dream! Join little Neel in his dreams and discover in this heartfelt story about Neel’s doubt and how his parents help him overcome it through art.

Buy The Boy with a Paintbrush Book Online at Low Prices in India | The Boy with a Paintbrush Reviews & Ratings – Amazon.in


  • We can clearly see the love and warmth flowing out of each and every page of this beautifully illustrated book? Could you tell us what’s the inspiration behind the story?

The inspiration is my 5-year-old son who as a kid keeps talking about his dreams. When I heard his stories, I thought of writing this book (A boy with a Paintbrush) and sharing with the audience the possibility of achieving higher sense of joy through painting/art.

  • Does being a mother interest you in writing children’s literature?

Yes, that is one of the reasons for me to write in this area. I have read lot of books for my son from different authors having diverse backgrounds such as Julia Donaldson, Chetan Vohra, Eric Carle, Oliver Jeffers, Sudha Murthy, Ruskin Bond. One common thing which I have observed is that the authors want to share their feelings and creativity with the audiences. I share similar aspirations and hence want to share my work with others.  

  • What’s your writing process? Every writer follows a certain routine, discipline, some sit over the manuscript for a while and let it cool off so if they may come up with more insight.

I first conceptualize the idea of the story; in this case it was the child struggling to express the feelings/emotions and eventually parents helping the child. I do not have a set pattern to write and finalize the manuscript. As & when ideas comes to me I continue writing the story. During the writing process I keep sharing my work with my friends and family member for their feedback which helps me understand readers point of view.

  • The story subtly moves towards parents helping their child believe in his dreams. Which I must concur is one of the best moments of the story where we can all see such a forthright example of parenting. What’s your perspective on parenting in this age and times?

My perspective is to not just being a ‘parent’ but be a guide for the child. Let the child explore things on their own, allow them to succeed and more importantly fail and then learn. Now a days parents keeps saying that kids are always around gadgets but the time in which we are living currently is driven by technology so let them enjoy that and use it for their benefits. It is easier said than done, I struggle myself to keep up with these principles on a regular basis, but I keep trying.

  • Writing a story whether for adults or children is a deep intuitive process, it’s almost like pupating. Would you like to share your journey with us?

I couldn’t agree more. It is a journey where you transform an idea into a living story which people can feel and experience. This was my first experience of publishing a book and I had to figure out everything right from finding illustrator up to publishing house. It was challenging but at the same time very experiential. I learned a lot through the process. I was clear with the illustrator (Tasneem) with whom I wanted to work so that was the first phase. We did some iterations on the content and illustrations based on feedback received and finally worked with the publishers to complete the process.

  • The book has such vibrant illustrations. Did you give some input into the illustration process?

Yes, I was actively working with Tasneem who has done a great job with illustrations. I remember we did 2-3 iterations on illustrations based on the flow of story and looking at the final product.

  • Lastly, would you like to share your views on writing and give a message to young readers and writers.

I like to write because I want to share my ideas, perspective and experiences with the readers with a hope that they enjoy my work. It gives me greater feelings of happiness. My message to young readers is to continue the reading journey because that helps to gather different perspectives, acknowledge differences and have an open mind. Try and connect with the author and share your feedback which will help the writer to improvise. For young writers, I would say that writing is one of the most creative and challenging work around us. Your writing can inspire, entertain and educate the readers. There would be some days when you feel not to write, it’s completely fine to do so. You should use such time for other activities which will rejuvenate you like music, travelling, reading books. So, continue on your journey.

New Year Message from Our Editor-in-Chief

Welcome to 2023! It’s the time for new resolutions, plans and visions for a bright and a lovely future. Going in accordance with the Roman Calendar, marking January as our vision board, I would like to look back at what all we have achieved together at Paperbacks and what we are envisioning going forward, this year looks promising on the publishing front. In the past few years the publishing industry had seen some of the darker moments and setbacks but the 2022 graph shows a slow and steady rise again. 

Paperbacks is all geared up with lots of surprises for its reader and writers slated to be released in the next few months. We have authors interviews, book reviews, and newsletters lined up. 

I would like to take a moment here and appreciate all our writers, readers, reviewers and followers to vest their faith in Paperbacks. I’m grateful for your contributions and interests. You have made 2022 a brilliant year for us and we look forward to the similar support in 2023. 

The new year is not only about beginning a fresh year but also a time for making commitments, keeping promises and a way forward to achieve milestones. We, the paperbacks editorial team, work hard to curate and bring forth the best of the literary world to our readers. 

We wish you a happy and prosperous new year.

Sincerely yours


How To Write When Going Through A Writer’s Block

As a writer there are several things that demand your attention even if you are a full time writer, or a part time, if you are a diarist or you simply like journaling your life. Specification, attention to details is demanding nonetheless and most often than not life and mood comes in the way of putting pen to paper, or shall we go with the more modern phenomenon of typing words on screen. Whatever be the case, writing is not just as simple as sitting down to write and scribble or type. And yet, I will say that it is exactly just as simple as that. I have this one and only solution to overcome the writer’s block that you might be going through and at first it might sound irrational and useless but that is what I have found works best for me and for most writers I have interacted with.

So what is exactly writers block? For most of us, it is simply a lack of will to write. This lack of will could have been generated because something went wrong in school or work, or you have been in a fight or you lack the energy, you are tired, you are simply in the wrong mood as compared to the genre that you are currently writing. The list and the reasons go on. You can add as many as you like but it all turns towards the one end of not being able to write- wordlessness.

Now, how does one overcome this block? Surely, it cannot be as easy as to sit down, breathe and write. But what if I told you it is? I promise this is not a self-help post, which will inspire you this second and will turn on you just as soon as you shut down the page. This is a diligent practice that needs patience and reflection. So when you are unable to write because you are angry, or tired or lack the peace of mind, all you have to do is feel your honest feelings and write.

Write the feelings that you feel and see the words unroll.

I am not saying the block is merely a façade, nor am I saying that once you start sorting your feeling out you will be able to sail through your manuscript. What I am saying is when you come face to face with the block and with your own feelings; you overwork your mind and stop analyzing things. Giving up comes easy than perseverance. So when one starts sorting their own feelings, and tries writing them down, it puts words on paper, clearing one’s mind of them. If you are angry write down what you are angry, what is the reason behind it, and the same goes for any other emotion. Write down every aspect of what you are feeling. It doesn’t have to be analytical or a philosophical journaling of Beauvoir, it can be as simple and as childish and as honest as you want to make it. Write down you had tea in the morning and you fought with your boss over unnecessary matter. Write how you feel about the character on the book that you are reading. Write an idea on a plot of the book that you didn’t like and what would you do to them had you been the writer. Write a letter to someone close. Write the making of an easy recipe. Write your hate. Write your love. Write your raw emotions. And once that is out, you can try continuing the process for a few days. Slowly, you might initiate working towards what you want to actually write and even if it does not happen soon, you have already broken the block, by writing down your day-to-day feelings. It is not that simple and yet it is just as simple.

Write Raw. Write Honest.

Writers block is not really a myth but it also does not hold the kind of power that we allow it to hold over us.

Happy Writing.

Moushmi is the Author of POSIES and 03:21 AM: An Ode to Rust & Restlessness, Resignation of an Angel is Moushmi’s third poetry collection. Her works have been published at various online literary magazines and she has also been a contributing writer for anthology collections namely, ‘Mirage’ and ‘The Lockdown Stories’

For updates about her life and works visit her at http://www.aestheticmiradh.com

The Journey of A Reader

CHAPTER 1 : A soulful rewind into my childhood days.

This is going to be a soulful rewind into my childhood days. Whenever I think about those early days, it is foggy all around and the device I use, which helps me to evaporate the mist is none other than books. Yes, they are the connecting boats to the shores, the shores of my childhood then to the womanhood, which I had abandoned long ago, and we all do abandon not by choice but by force, the force of nature. It has been three decades, but when I kindle those memories with the books, the visuals are more vivid than any other device could have possibly projected into my mind screen. Join me in this personal expedition, into those days when face mask were used only in operation theatres, and lock-downs were imposed only for 48 hrs, which was then termed as ‘Bharath Bandh’by the trade unions. Am sure this will ignite your memories of your childhood days, as I narrate my encounter with books, why am I so sure? Because one way or another we all are connected if not identified with books, that is the power of words, the magic it could unleash upon each one of its reader and seduce us to be its concubine!

The Indian state of Bihar, the place where one of the master story tellers, the English novelist George Orwell was born in the month of June dated 25th and the year was 1903. Striking two things popped up my memory, the way memories jumps out is unpredictable. One thing I connect to George Orwell is his birth date, 25th June, mine is 25th July. The other thing is the place, Bihar is where I could trace the evidence of my affairs with reading and books were set in motion. At the age of 6, I was introduced to reading and books through Hindi language.

I still have the faint memories of going to school early morning, free times at the school ground swing, tasting the smashed potato (jeera aloo) with chapati shared by my friend -classmate. The only book I could recollect from my kindergarten class would be my Hindi Book. It was a copper sulfate blue book cover approximately with a B6 size with colored illustrations for objects representing each alphabet, tiny sentences and numbers. I am truly thankful to my mom. She believes in preserving things, as a result the book found a safe haven in our house enabling me to visit that book once in a while, which fuels the pure joy of nostalgic moments.

Reading is not only about books alone, it could be anything, for instance a magazine. Yesterday when I saw the famous Malayalam weekly magazine, Manorama, which was a vital part of a typical Kerala household. Discussions happened around the stories that get published in this magazine in serial format; it had a huge fan base. Nowadays it got replaced by television dramas. The magazine triggered some memories as well. During our stay in Bihar, this would be the only magazine I get to see at our home. I remember how the access was restricted to those fictional novels which were published periodically, but then it didn’t affect me much as I haven’t learnt to read the Malayalam language. Seeing Manorama triggered the memory about Dad, who brings backs some of these magazine, like some priced possessions, from his native visits. I wonder we all would have seen this kind of magazine which is now in extinction, as result of the developments in the visual mediums? Reading is still alive, maybe the medium we consume the content got shifted.

When I completed the full circle around the sun, our family got shifted back to our native village in Kerala. I was admitted into a nearby primary school. Then my collection of books where very small, which included the Hindi Text book and an English rhyme with illustrations.

The Manorama weekly made their visits to our home along with my Dad during his vacation trips. When he returned back from his vacation, he left behind some of those finished weeklies. I adopted them, because by this time I have learned to read Malayalam, they were special, because otherwise there were no other books apart from the school text books. These weeklies became my friends, in a household, where the other possible books available were The Bible and Hymn books.

Till my fourth standard, I don’t remember reading any book in particular by myself other than the bible stories from Sunday school (catechism) or the Hindu mythology narrated by my grandfather. Later I gained the freedom of reading, without the mom’s assistance for stories, I got permission to access children’s comic weeklies such as Balarama, Balabhoomi and Poompaatta during the Onam, Christmas and summer vacations. These were the regional Malayalam versions for the famous Twinkle published in English. This is how the reading routine went until fifth standard.

During my sixth standard to the Tenth form, the school where I studied didn’t have a library hall of its own. The only relief was the weekly library period. Here too things were tricky, during the library period a bundle of books were brought in by the teacher assigned for the task, the issue was, we were given the books of their choice, not ours!

The reading is supposed to be inculcated and enriched from a very early ages, may be from upper primary level, sadly, during that timeline I was slogging with the ‘Library period’ and was forced to read books not by my preferences. The faintest memory of what I read from the school library was just a book. What was that book? Hang in there; you will get to know that in the next chapter of this series called ‘The Journey Of A Reader’. Until then I wish, you all discover new writings and authors, remember no one reads a book in a same way, and keep exploring. Happy Reading!

Three Books I Recommend to Educate Yourself on Feminism

Women’s Day Special

Every year come 8th March we celebrate International Women’s Day. Every year we celebrate womanhood and her power and how she is equal if not superior but we do it for one day. The next day we go back to the all common, all natural means of our unidentified, if not conscious systems of patriarchy. The mother wakes up two hours early to manage the house before going to work, the dad comes home to find his cup of warm tea ready for him, that girl over there keeps worrying about the size of her skirt that suddenly went short and what her teachers are going to say, the boys will obviously and willingly be obliged to look at her legs while she is already conscious and fidgety, the thirty-five year single woman will be looked down upon, and the man of the same age will be recommended for being too serious in his work, the pink infants will be given dolls and the blue ones cars, the list goes on. We know the drill. Not every house and every human is same, but there is this underlying upbringing that still needs correcting, irrespective of gender, caste, sex, nationality.

Obviously, I don’t have a solution that might work overnight. But I do have a few books that I strongly recommend for everyone to read (again, irrespective of every caste, creed, gender or nationality). If only you just read it, understood it and implemented it!

Book 1

Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language

By Amanda Montell

I won’t bore you with the blurb. If you are still reading this I have a feeling you won’t be lazy enough to look it up and actually read a bit about the book. Modern English is what evolved over time, just like humans. And the gist of it is, the language itself sometimes become casually sexistand not all-inclusive which is basically the problem. This book is the solution.

I cannot sum it up for you here, and neither will I try. But at the same time I will mention how essential it is to actually understand the problematic use of words like slut and bitch and pussy and dick because while in the past it didn’t mean what it means today, it does leave an insignificant impact in our mind. What happened? Over time, the language changed just like they stopped using ain’t and nought and thee and thou. But technically it is right to use all those words too. How? READ THE BOOK! The book isn’t just about how slangs work today, it includes the usage of pronouns and the LGBTQIA+ and how standards for men and women differ.

If you think about it, they are just small things but then why should they remain. Why? Why should someone who doesn’t identify as men go through different standards? Why should men tell that periods are or aren’t such a big problem? Why are they mansplaining? How can one assume sex is a key factor for only one gender? Why should language itself be masculine? How can someone get to dehumanize someone else? Who gave them the right to interrupt me while I am speaking? Who gave them the right to be sexist?

So while actions are problematic, language is too. And while words and grammar may change over time, something that is not acceptable today, maybe in the future. Being conscious of how it affects our society is the only way to it. With this book the writer deconstruct language.

Book 2

Dear Ijeawele, Or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

By ChimamandaNgoziAdichie

Okay, I’ll admit I still have problems with pronouncing the name sometimes and yes I am not ashamed of it. But I never had problems understanding the book I am talking about. When I first read it a couple of years back I wanted to take a pencil and mark every single line in the book, that’s how significant I found it. Yes, she speaks about very basic things and the simplest of things that hint at patriarchy and yes she brings out how to overcome them. But what really helped me in marking this as too important a book to ever forget was that it talked about how to bring up a child into this world as someone who does not fall into the standards of patriarchy, who is a feminist irrespective of the gender. Telling the world what to do with a child and how to bring them up in not a gender-biased way was the best thing, I felt like that is an answer right there, make that a curriculum in every school and every child will have some sense in them before they know right from wrong. With this book you are not just changing yourself, you are changing the generations to come. What exactly more could I ask for?

Everyone should read it, even if you are not planning on children now, even if you don’t ever plan to raise another human being, you should read this, that’s that. I love it more than any other book because it changes you and it changes the future generations, it changes the root of how and what we think on so many issues, it changes the general norm, thus making an effort on changing something that we have miserably failed at doing for so many ages.Read it now. Set aside any book that you are reading currently (okay, I know that sounds harsh) just take a break then, but read it, please!

Book 3

Vagina: A Re-education

By Lynn Enright

If you cringed at the sound of the book then you should definitely read this one. If you have a vagina then you should be reading this. If you don’t have one you still need to be reading this, period!

The book is part memoir and part practical guide to the vagina, breaking myths and empowering women by finally explaining to them the truths of their own body. It is simply sad that today, in 2022 we still have no proper sex education in most schools. And the ones that do have are small session of uncomfortable, rushed, and partial truth, if not a misinformed class. And even then the stress is always on male genitalia, male pleasure. Women are either misinformed about their own anatomy or either scared to death about sex. If you ask a person to mention the parts of a man’s genitals, they are likely to go into heavy details, naming every part almost accurately, but if you do so with a woman’s organs, there is likely to be confusion and embarrassment, on everyone, irrespective of their gender. Why?

Studies show that talking about sex and educating teenagers about it, reduce the urgency and the teen pregnancy rate at the same time. It obviously reduces the threat to sex, threat to life and even educates the generation. Then why exactly is it so hushed? Obviously, it does not say much on our part that we need books to educate ourselves on women anatomy instead of open discussions with teachers and doctors and parents but this could be a start. Read! With this I come to the end. However it is just a start on how we can empower generations to come by being open to discussions, giving them the truth and not residing in our home old traditions. I say it again, it does not say much on our part that we need books to acknowledge feminism in general, but that people are speaking up and are willing to read says something, I guess. If you have read this far, don’t stop now, read the books and spread the word.

Note: Moushmi is also a published author, who got 3 books to her credit. They are 1. POSIES 2. 03:21 AM: An Ode to Rust & Restlessness 3. Resignation of an Angel, Available on Amazon.

Becoming A Kindle Addict

From Paperbacks To Kindle – A Journey.

I know many won’t digest the idea of kindle and ebooks, their excuses would be the feel of touching a real book, the smell of it, etc etc. I am sorry mate you are pathetic if you are still stuck to those illusions. Well hold the bricks before you throw them at me, listen to my reasoning or rather the journey and decide. As of now keep that brick down, it won’t be a comforting experience to hold weight and grudge while I takes you through my journey, the journey that made me a Kindle Addict. 

 When I started off I was also like many of the so called readers. I adored the used books, their color, and their time travel. It was my dad who introduced me to reading English books and about the device called Kindle Ebook reader. When I was uprooted from my native ( Malayalam Media School ) to the city I call Las Vegas of South Asia, Chennai, I was thrown into a whirlwind where I had no clue, because I had Malayalam as my second language while rest of the subjects were in English, and the language was truly foreign to me. It was my Dad who insisted that it could be drubbed by hard work; he was a man of positivity and hopes. He gave me 50 rupees, to buy the used books so that I could read and become acquainted with the language, at that point I was little aware that he was handing over a key to endless possibilities and probabilities. That’s how I embark upon the journey into the English literature.   

After considerable amount of reading and with time, I became close to a book vendor. He had a small set up of used books that included mostly dog eared academic books, at the roadside. His knowledge about the authors was spellbinding; I looked at him with a child like excitement. The bond was so good that I used to assist him by selling books when he had his lunch. That bonding helped me to take a book from his collections and I replaced it for the previous purchase I made.  Like barter, after that point books were exchanged for books, no money involved. And it was my favourite outing on my bicycle which was scheduled once a week.  

Life started to blossom into springs even during the autumns, why not? when your best friends are books, casting tons of magic with words.

As days went on after graduations I got placed into the banking sector. To my surprise reading was still pushing me harder to fight back and knock off the challenges life threw at me consistently. If it were not for books, I don’t know I would have lost the battle long ago and probably wouldn’t be writing about these in this article. 

I remember it vividly, the day, when Dad came back from one of his official trips; he was trying to explain about a device for reading. He discovered this device during his train journey. I had no clue, I suggested that it must be an iPad, which has multiple uses, and obviously I’m not going to sacrifice my kidney to get that unaffordable device from apple. Dad being my Dad was not convinced, we carried forward that topic to discuss it over the chai and pakodas made by mom, and it was raining. 

Following Sunday dad was shouting Eureka Eureka almost I doubted that he got possessed by Archimedes, the ancient Greek Mathematician, but the difference was, it was in Malayalam, which went like, Eda! Eda! Ithanu Njan Paranja Sadanam!! Which loosely translates into, this is the device that I indicated on that day! He was surely excited. I looked into the Sunday times; into the newspaper he was holding towards me as a proof that solved a murder mystery. 

That was the advertisement for Amazon Kindle Devices, the very basic variant cost about 5999/-

It was love at first sight; I was completely drawn into its magic. The next strategic move was Window shopping! The sales executive was so excited, he explained everything about the device, which made me feel like owning this is everything. 

 Now I know the target, the next move was crucial, saving ‘the money’ to own one. I informed dad that I am planning to buy one of the devices he introduced. He said nothing but smiled. Mom was furious, she thought I am getting an unwanted member that doesn’t fit into our lower middle class households, and she insisted investment in gold is the wisest, the usual malayalayee’s mentality. We weren’t surprised; me and Dad exchanged the looks and said nothing, never squabble with a woman, especially Mom!  

After two months of waiting, I owned the basic variant, it really meant the world to me, and my reading experience was enhanced to a new horizon. The reading pace increased drastically, I carried it to wherever I went. The best part is you find it surprisingly captivating that you can almost have an ebook of any time period of which the paperbacks aren’t available for. You can shop at the comfort of your living room, sipping a cup of tea, Tada! The book is delivered to your device in less than 60 seconds. There are so many advantages, one will discover only after owning and experiencing it. Am not against paperbacks, but Ebooks are economical and the diversified searching takes you to surrender yourself to books and authors you have never heard about. 

Two years back I upgraded my Kindle to PaperWhite and still it has not lost its charm. I do buy used books but the ratio is like 2:8 to kindle. It is going to be seven years, I lost my Dad, and sometimes I find him, if not then keep trying, to find him in each bit of words I devour, I dedicate this article to the Man, the Super Human, who introduced me to many good habits, one of them to the world of English literature and Kindle.