Introduction to Storytelling by Pixar

Introduction to Storytelling by Pixar

I am a fan of Pixar’s storytelling style. I don’t know if you have ever read their famous 22 rules of storytelling? If you have not, you must. Some of the tips are really super useful to newbies like me who are fascinated enough by the magic to want to be a magician. But for now one has to be grateful that I am getting to read the magician’s book of spells before he returns. I make a quick note of rule number 2 in the Book of Spells.

Half Pants Full Pants

Half Pants Full Pants

If you have read Malgudi Days, you will love reading Half Pants Full Pants. It will make you think of your childhood. In retrospect, those wonder years were truly magical. This book captures the magic of wearing half pants and the exasperation of dealing with adults who wear full pants. He says, “The book is set against a backdrop of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Apart from the excesses of childhood madness and adventures that we indulged in, the book captures nuances of social mores, traditions and mindsets of South Indian Brahmins in a small town.”

Abhinav Bindra & Kolkata Lit Meet 2016

Abhinav Bindra & Kolkata Lit Meet 2016

The one who left the strongest impression on me was Abhinav Bindra who was there to talk about autobiography A Shot at History. Abhinav comes through as “unflappable” almost to the point of being cold and unemotional, but in a very positive way. He seemed to go through this adulation with a somewhat detached view. Look at it like this, he won the gold in the 10 m Air Rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and became the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games. It has been eight years since then. Could it be that we don’t win enough medals because we celebrate our victories for too long. It is true that the 6 ounces of gold that Abhinav’s medal had lifted the entire nation’s self-worth. Maybe we should celebrate the moment of victory without lingering on it and then shift our focus towards the next Olympics.

Women writers – is that a fair categorization

Women writers - is that a fair categorization

Does the reader really care about the gender of the author when they read a book? Does knowing the gender of the author precondition the reader? When a book review mentions that it is a book written by a woman author, does it become easier or tougher to sell the book? It is true that I have read more books written by men. In Bengali, the writers I grew up […]

Why is company culture hard to emulate

Why is company culture hard to emulate

Apple and Samsung trade charges of intellectual property infringement. But you have never heard of anyone stealing the culture of another company. Culture is a proprietary secret that is hard to hide because every employee knows what it is. Yet, even after you know everything about a company’s culture, it is impossible to replicate.

Book Review: Duryodhana

Book Review: Duryodhana

Have you read the Mahabharata? Which version of the Mahabharata did you read? Therein lies the genesis of this book Duryodhana by V Raghunathan. Who do you think is the hero of the tale? Is it Arjuna? Is it Krishna? Is it the five Pandavas and Draupadi? Was it Karna? Could it be Duryodhana? After all if history is written by the victors, how would you know that the version you have grown up knowing is the correct version?

Book Review: On The Wings of Music

Book Review: On The Wings of Music

We were meeting after a long time. I remember Shantanu Moitra who used to be the guitarist in school and now a successful composer in Bollywood. We were all waiting to hear Shantanu tell us stories. He is now on a mission to save Indian folk music. The stories about his early attempts at composition and more. “Remember the rock show you pulled off. We actually sold tickets – and […]

Upgrade the Detective

Upgrade the Detective

The petrol pump was located in Devanahalli just outside the city of Bangalore. It was a convenient spot for people to tank up as they would head out towards the airport. The eight police constables were in not in uniform today. They sat on rickety steel chairs, sipping tea in silence. The young lady who was sitting with the cops seemed uninterested in the tea. She suddenly nudged her colleague, […]

Meena Kumari – The Classic Biography

It is hard to write a biography these days. After all there is so much available on the internet. When the subject is an actress of yesteryears, one wonders who would be interested in reading the biography. Vinod Mehta wrote a biography of Meena Kumari shortly after her death in 1972. This one is the revised and updated version done after forty years. What made him so obsessed with the […]

I Have Written My Novel – What Next?

I Have Written My Novel - What Next?

The shelf marked Indian Fiction has been a comparatively recent happening. The list of Indian authors is growing. One could argue that the authors who write in English have had a little more visibility. Translations to English are getting popular. It is fair to say that the great Indian middle class has taken to writing and getting published in a big way. That’s a terrific thing to happen. The world […]

The Most Diffcult Thing for Writers

The Most Diffcult Thing for Writers

Time and inspiration never coincide. That is the single largest reason why so many novels lie unfinished. Writers need time to write. They also need the creative juices flowing. These two have to happen at the same time. Those who write fiction face the greatest degree of difficulty. Poets have it relatively easy. In fact they are the only kind of writers who are not affected by this problem. I […]

Anything Normal Is Not A Story

Anything Normal Is Not A Story

The story finds mind space amidst the clutter of data and information like the toddler who finds a space to play even in a crowded train. Everyone likes a good story. No one likes information and chunks of data thrown at them. People want that information to be conveyed in a manner that will linger on long after. You heard the story of the hare and the tortoise years back, […]