Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Mumbai - A City That Never Stops

Mumbai, whenever and wherever this word is mentioned, a different feeling of awe, pride and fighting spirit comes to me. Mumbai or Bombay whatever you may call it, is titled with so many names. The city which leaves you dumbstruck and at awe whenever you look at it.

People have called it Mayanagri which means city of illusions, city of dreams, a city that never stops, A city that never sleeps.  Mumbai has this amazing fighting spirit which makes it unstoppable, be it a terrorist attack, natural calamity or anything else. 

Mumbaikars, or the residents of Mumbai as they like to call themselves, have this awesome fighting back spirit which I think no other city has. Leaving the political facts behind, the people here are awesome. You won't find anyone blabbering or discriminating anyone on basis of caste,creed, economic status, though exceptions are everywhere. The spirit of a Mumbaikar  is commendable.

Even when you just go out at mid-night you won't find yourself alone, just ask for help and you'll have at least a bunch of people at your aid even at that time of night. The most awesome force, Mumbai Police, a force which works 24/7 throughout the city. You won't really feel unsafe or lonely here.

I still remember, I was with my riding group and we were on night ride touring whole Mumbai on cycle. I  thought the streets will be empty, just a little traffic on roads. But bleh, I was happy to say I was wrong. There were like hundreds of cars just zooming past our cycles and Mumbai police patrol vans who were on duty throughout the whole route while we were riding. We had taken a short water-break near airport where one of the patrol vans stopped and asked if we needed any help.

People being so supportive, they don't care about anything when the city is in trouble and people are in need of help. Talking about recent floods and high alerts, People opened houses to strangers, places of worship, school, colleges were opened up for people to stay and safe places till water levels decrease.

Even in these floods, people were leaving with their Ganesha idols for immersions. At times I'm awed by this fearless crowd, that has learnt to fight so much that now nothing stops them. Its said that If you can survive in Mumbai, you can survive anywhere in the world. Due to its vast economic and cultural diversity its often called as 'Mini India'. With more than a million people living here on this island city, you are bound to get up and learn to tackle the obstacles at very tender age.

The unity and the fighting spirit of this city can never be compared with any place in this world. I know we have our own issues but we have learnt to fight them ourselves, rather than relying on someone else to come and solve those for us. If you're a Mumbaikar you'd smiling right now mentally agreeing to each and every point I mentioned in this article.
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Monday, 28 August 2017

How to Support Your Favourite Author 101

I've been receiving messages saying, I'm your fan, I really enjoy reading your books, When you're publishing you next book and so on. Then when I ask them if they had bought a copy of my book, the conversation slowly goes awkward and then turns into How many copies did I sell? Well, for the first instance thanks a lot for supporting and taking interest in my book sales, much appreciated.

I know many of us first search for pirated books of our favourite authors online and if we don't find any we just ask our friends if they had them. I know there'll be several ones who wouldn't be able to afford books by themselves, but Piracy  isn't a way out to it.

So here I am bringing you a list of tips that you can do to support your favourite authors and encourage them to write more. Everyone needs motivation don't they? Just they're published doesn't mean they're super duper millionaires right now.

  1. Try to buy books legally and don't support piracy. I know many of you'll say why to pay for something that's already available on Internet for free. This is something that you won't understand until and unless you yourself publish your work and put yourself out to people.
  2. I know paperbacks can be costly and some publishers over charge for copies. You can opt for Ebooks which are I think almost 1/4th of the original paperback's cost. Even Ebook is a published book. Some people count it as nothing. Talking about Ebooks, do you remember those save paper campaigns? I don't think I need to write an article on advantages of an EBook.
  3. Please don't opt for piracy as far as possible, get 2/3 reader friends, contribute and buy a copy that you can share amongst yourselves.
  4. Even if you any how fail to buy a legit copy and go for pirated copies, at least promote the book over socials, give it some reviews on Goodreads, support the author while you can.
  5. If the author is your friend, mom, dad, brother, sister, anyone close, Please don't ask for free copies. I know this sounds weird but who'll support if you won't? When you buy copies it increases the sales graph and book sales rank rises. There's absolutely no issue in giving free copies but when author buys the copy himself it doesn't account in any sales.
  6. Free copies distribution to people is a mere gimmick for authors and an earning trick for publishers so in that way they earn something even if the author doesn't do good in market. By this way of authors buying their own books, publishers are getting their cut but poor author ends up paying for his own stuff.
  7. Never ask an Author how much did he sell, it's like asking someone how much he/she earns.
  8. Getting published doesn't mean we are millionaires itself. It takes time, people need to buy, read, support, appreciate.
  9. If you want to read, and are given a free copy, please review it and spread it over socials and help author with promotions. It doesn't take much time to just post what you're reading over socials.
  10. Last but not the least, please don't support piracy and opt for any library service like Kindle Unlimited, which can be accessed over kindle app on mobiles. When there's a will, there's a way. EBooks are real books as well, just its not on paper, doesn't mean you can treat it like anything.
So these were a few points which I as a newbie author wanted to tell out to my readers. Personally, I always upload my first drafts on Wattpad.com Where people can read and comment on initial drafts. I know it won't be as good as edited and published materials but that's how you can read my books for free and without promoting piracy. Along with that you can comment on it and lemme know what you like and what you don't.
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Sunday, 20 August 2017

My Experiences after being published

I know many of you were awaiting this post since a very long time. Well for those who aren't yet aware, last week I published my first Novel via Amazon and is now available as Paperback and Ebook.

Many of the readers approached me with FAQs regarding getting published. I might make a post with FAQs of publishing later, but this post is solely for the experiences I had after getting published. So here I begin with a quote which was rather used as a mantra  at my school.
Winners don't do different things, They do things differently.
 After getting published, new doors opened up for me. It felt like I was in an another world even after most of the things being same. I am not talking about fame or fans here, which is another concept but rather I am talking about the self-respect that you achieve. The proud feeling your parents get, the feeling that their kid did achieved something on their own. The smile that yous see on their faces when they see your achievements. It's just a bliss.

New people started connecting to me, for various reasons. The friend circle broadened but I kinda felt separated from my group of friends who were underdogs. They began avoiding me, and I don't know yet why.

When people write about after-publishing effects online, they always pen down the usual, fame, money, media things. I am not gonna talk about that. It feels as if everyone starts expecting more and more from you. Some unwanted expectations are being tied to your tails. But we are still the same, aren't we?

Before my book, when friends used to meet we used to blabber and rant about college life. But now all they ask is 'hows my book doing? What are the sales?' My social media messages are now more of the standard template I use for promoting my book rather than those mindless bickering we used to have as teens.

People who enjoyed reading your books start asking you when is your next book getting published. I know its a good thing but rather it builds up more pressure, pressure of expectations.

But apart from old friends getting far away, I found some new friends who were supporting me even without knowing me yet. Like imagine someone sharing your posts just like that and you wonder who's this. No, I am not talking about social media marketers (sorry but they're annoying).

All that goes in my mind right now is how to get my book to more people, being the one-man-army, I have to do the marketing as well. Along with that I am also planning for my second book, which will be an Adventurous blend of Sci-fi & Fantasy. You can read its first drafts for free on Wattpad.com
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Thursday, 17 August 2017

Let's Talk about Feminism and Gender Equality

Well there are always a lot of debates happening on the topics on Feminism and Gender Equality. I wont be reinventing the wheel again repeating the same cycle but would love to grab your attention to  few things that you might or might not have noticed ever before.

The things I might be talking about will have its major reference to things happening in my country India. But there are also some general things that are happening the very same way all over the world.

Before I begin this lemme clear myself very loud.

I honestly believe in Gender equality and have common sense, but can't tolerate non-sense.
People always talk about atrocities happening on women. I know there are things happening but it always isn't a female who's victim and male who's a criminal. Agreed there exist perverts and psychos everywhere. But just declaring a guy as criminal because of his gender is Sexism in my terms.

To all Females, You talk about gender equality, equal pay, equal rights. Okay, accepted even I support those. Every human should have their rights irrespective of their caste,creed,genders etc. But what happens to your equality agendas when you get reservations not only from governments but also benefits for just being a female from the society? Why double standards?

You want equality but along with that you also want benefits for being a lady. Governments give free accessories to girls in schools, fees are waived off, if travelling then their travel costs are been waived off and paid by governments. Even in Engineering Colleges there's 19% reservation in name of "Woman's Quota" why? girls don't have enough IQ to get into engineering colleges? Trains, Buses, basically every state transport system has women's special coaches/seats reserved. Even some private services have women-only cabs in service. Banks also have special rates for females who want to apply for loans.

These were just a few points in my notice about Government and Organisational stuff which are written or maybe implemented legally.  But what about moral stuff that we face in society daily? In times of disaster its said "women and children" first, why? If a boy and and girl are walking on road and girl screams, creates a scene and slaps a guy, people will automatically beat that guy up even before knowing the what happened and forget about knowing the relation between them.

If a guy needs help in middle of road and asks for it, hardly anyone will notice but if a girl needs help then the matter is totally different. Out of all this the thing I hate the most is playing the victim card. If you're a girl and just wanna steer clear out of any issue, play the victim card and no one will even question you second time.

Our college has hostel facility for students who can't travel daily to and fro to college. Now lemme describe both the hostels which cost the same for a year, maybe a bit more for boys and then look at the facilities.

Boys hostel is just a huge hall with beds lined up in rows and No personal rooms whereas girls hostel is a 3-storey building which has rooms shared by 2-3 girls each. Boys hostel doesn't even have WiFi connection which you know is very important for technical students these days. Whereas girls hostel has WiFi facility.

I haven't even accounted other moral aspects where there's sexism on office levels, society levels, because its a whole different topic. Have you ever thought about it before shouting on socials on these topics?

What do you think lemme know in the comments below.
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