Bringing to your notice – get yourself published

Recently, 2 interesting Lit things happened – The first is around someone easing the headache of getting something publish.. and the second is around someone I know getting something published..

1. I came across this forward about www.Pothi.com – India’s first publish your own book (self-publish) site. They allow you to get your book printed, provide you with a URL where you can sell it, and they will deliver it to the buyers, etc, etc. Read some of the features on the site.

a. Positives – Many!

i. Experimentally, you can publish books.

ii. You can advertise them yourself to your friends, family, orkutters, facebookers, etc. If the book picks up, you set the profitability margin… Or, purely, at the starting point, you can have a zero profit effort. Sell it at cost. Make a name for yourself. Sell the next one at some profit.

iii. Get a book published for that special someone. Etc etc.

iv. The cost of publishing a book is not prohibitive

b. Negatives – every TDH will want to publish a book in his/her name. The site will never build a credibility simply given the amount of junk it would publish. And more often than not, if someone makes it big here, they will be signed up by another publisher in the next pass.

2. An ex-colleague of mine published his book recently. And I guess it does take a lot of effort to do so. So congrats and all the best to him. I reproduce a couple of preliminary reviews and purchase information, etc. below. Please go ahead and encourage a budding author on the block. 3 reasons why you may want to buy the book –

a. Even though it IS written by an IIM-grad (and so the chance of worthless meandering are high), it’s not about B-schools! So, its not the usual rut!

b. It’s a collection of short stories. You don’t need to worry about the unfinished content if you don’t like it half way through.

c. It’s not expensive. If you are surfing the internet and reading this blog, usually, 100 odd bucks for a good read should not be a bad value proposition.

Anyways, just thought I would share these with you… Hopefully, both these ventures will get some of your attention..

Here is a bit more advertising for my friend’s book… (Before you ask the next question – Yes! I already have a copy.. and I will post my thoughts the moment I am done reading it)

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Hello readers !

I am sure you all love to read novels/short stoties in leisure. A friend of mine has come up with a collection of short stories written by him called ‘To catch a smile’. You can find reviews here –

http://www.free-press-release.com/news/200805/1211903159.html
http://www.indiaprwire.com/businessnews/20080603/30551.htm

and also check its website www.tocatchasmile.com and his blog www.dreamlimited.blogspot.com

If you like it, you can order a copy from following websites at a price of Rs. 100,

http://www.indiaplaza.in/books/all/9788190585811/all/To-Catch-A-Smile.htm

http://www.hindushopping.com/books/pd.aspx?sku=9788190585811

The content I am posting here is from the review links provided above !

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IIM ALUMNI GIVES US A REASON “TO CATCH A SMILE”

The recent book by an IIM Ahmedabad alumnus – “To Catch a smile” is making waves in the literary circles. Vivek is an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and is currently works at KPMG, the international advisory firm

These are not mere stories created for drama and impact. These are experiences narrated with retrospective introspection. These are thoughts which capture the inner turmoil and dilemmas. They make you laugh, make you smile but more importantly, they make you think. Anyone who has lived life can easily relate to them. Because these are not mere set of events, these are people reacting to events with their preconceived notions; these are moments where life comes up triumphantly. These are moments which can define lives for some. These are discreet words spilling some sweet secrets of your life. These are stories which seemed to have been pulled from a chapter of your life.

It seemed at first that the book would be like many a campus novels floating in the market. The trend that was started by Chetan Bhagat’s Five Point Someone and Tushar Raheja’s Anything For You Ma’am has given rise to potential authors who want to translate their campus experiences. I gave a quick look at the author’s profile. A knowing smile floated on my face as I saw the pedigree. IIMA graduate, working for an international consulting firm. Hah, another one cashing the recent wave, I thought. What must he be talking about, I wondered – his days at IIMA? His struggle through the years to get there or what he faced once he was in there trying to give us a cooked up narrative of what will get eyeballs? I would probably have sealed its fate right there but something caught my eye. It was not a novel; it was a short story collection instead. May be I can flip through a couple, I thought.

And I am glad I did. What struck me first was that it was not about IIM, it was about the person behind, which is what a story should be, I believe. As I kept finishing stories, more things occurred to me. After long, here was a collection of stories which was modern in real sense. It did not bank upon common notions about today’s life and how it should be; it actually brought them forth the way you and I would have witnessed. It does not tell me that today we face lot of dilemmas and temptations, that a lot of us lead a confused life where multiple choices are facing us every moment. Each story lives these feelings but it never says them aloud. The tension, the confusion in the stories is very palpable and so are the elements of curiosity and vulnerability. Never once it appears to have been written keeping an audience in mind other than writer himself.

He is very experimental with his style and narration. One moment it is abstract, the next moment it is subtle. If it is philosophical at one time, the next moment it is fun and exudes exuberance. It can be entertaining you with real life portrayal that you can relate to and at the same time it can transport you to a world where you feel engrossed in deep thoughts about life. I hate to use these words but I felt as if I could see writer’s soul in a few of them. I liked what I saw. It had a bit of mine in it.

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Officially D!

Finally, I put to official use the name that was given to me by the people I loved working with (read, Inductis colleagues) – D

The
Diamond Consulting Case Competition on campuses is called DConstruct. I
think they think its D for Diamond. (wink wink). Its D for D!! 🙂 D for the Devil inside me that sneaked in the name 😉

Couple of links I could find about DConstruct – Here and here

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Pics from Amod’s Marriage

Amod got married to Aparna on 5th. Here are some pics from there marriage. 1, 2, 3 and 4

img0179a.jpgWhat I love about knowing Choudhary as a friend, is that you get to see first-hand his constipated expressions whenever he is expected to smile! 🙂

 

Changing redundancies…

We live in a world where redundancies are far too many and far too quick.

Last night, I was at the Mumbai airport, ready to catch a flight to New York, and I was reminded of my first trip to US back in 2004. Back then, I had taken a flight from Delhi. I did not have an iPOD then, I did have a cellphone which I used fairly sparingly. I  had borrowed a Discman from Moron with a few MP3 CDs adding to the weight of my bag.

Back then, people used to reach the airport 3 hours before the flight departure and there used to be chaos reigning everywhere. Now, even 2 hours gives you a 30-45 minute wait at the airport.

Anyway, back then, I had no idea how to kill my time, because Dad had ensured that I don’t have to go through the usual immigration queues. I was on the other side in about 15 minutes flat, and I was left with about 2 hours to kill.

Back then, I spent 2 hours just looking at people around me. I tried reading a book. I was a voracious reader back then. But my idea of enjoying a book is not sitting in a large hall where every minute someone is making an announcement about some flight leaving, and some boarding happening, and someone having lost his mobile phone. Back then, there weren’t too many people listening to pods or talking to girlfriends. In fact, those who hogged that solitary free phone (for local calls) talking to their girlfriends or their entire clan (yeah, the time required for both might actually be the same) invited hateful glances from those waiting in the queue. Back then, there were a lot of people like me. Looking around at faces. Eager to strike a conversation. Back then, there were laptops, but wi-fi was not the in-thing. Back then, Air India had television screens dropping from the plane ceiling showing movies that Indians and foreigners took turns at not being able to understand. People with nice CD players were given envious looks. People carried 2-3 books. And a whole lot of people looked bored. Dead bored.

Last night, I just noticed that things were different. People had cellphone, IPods, PSPs, and laptops with wi-fi connections keeping them busy. But these are gadgets that kept them busy while they were at the airport. Once you are inside the flight, the interactive TV takes over. There are 20-odd movies and several TV serials and music videos to choose from. Suddenly, the pod becomes redundant. The laptop is not needed unless you have some work that needs attention. Discman is history. Every seat has its own console. You can play some games too. These days, there are less people looking bored. Even on flights that keep you meaninglessly engaged for 16 hours at a go.  There are television screens with beaming newsreaders, several coffee and snack joints. There is free internet from Airtel for wifi enabled laptops. There aer sophisticated blackberries that people use to check their emails. There are English speaking Indians at the airport, a greater queue at the duty free, and a different kind of chaos. 80% of the young travelers have some variant of an iPod.

However, everything has a short-lived utility. Even relationships.

Friends Series (2) : Those Nothing Guys!

Another Phoebe-ism
Oh, oh, but y’know, you always see these really beautiful women with these really nothing guys, you could be one of those guys.

1. The practical theory of relativity – Those guys are really “nothing guys”. They just look like “nothing guys” because they are with these awe”some” women!
and usually, if you like the girl, you are better off believing that she made a wrong choice!
2. An analogy I use – “Just because their is a goalkeeper on the goalpost, that does not mean you stop shooting at the goal” and “Just because you are a goalkeeper, that does not mean you cannot score goals”
3. Another MBA quip – Everyone who graduates out of the IIMs in this country, wants to replace the CEO of his company. Their hopes are high, but hopes from them… low! (Unhe badi umeed hoti hai, lekin unse.. badi kam!)
4. Norman Vincent Peale – with due apologies to all his lovers.. all those who have seen small town book shops at the bus-stations lined up with titles like “Dont say yes when you want to say no”, “You can be a winner” and blah and bah.. This Phoebe-ism is definitely inspired by that. I mean, come on! There are these losers going out with these babes! But they are not complete losers like Chandler 😉 They have cars, money, or girlfriends who think with something that’s kinda below the knees.
5. A phrase I love – Night is always darkest before the dawn.

and

Nothing is something, and the not the lack of everything!

Friends Series (1) : I didnt have anything on that topic

I just realized that in my friend circle (especially the IIMB one), a lot of us have this habit of cracking one liners from friend. And I thought I should pay homage to Friends through this episodic writing on some of the most amazing one-liners I’ve seen people pick.

Phoebe has a knack of cracking phenomenally universally applicable statements like this one –

I didn’t have anything on that topic, so I went another way. (Context: Season 1 – Ep. 6 -The One With the Butt…. Chandler narrating the story of his date with the Italian girl Aurora who is married to Rick and has another boyfriend Ethan and the “friends” are discussing about the uncomfortable feeling around going out with someone who is going out with someone else. Joey cracks the landmark – When I’m with a woman, I need to know that I’m going out with more people than she is )

What does that remind me of?

1. ACP – Arbit Class Participation – a phenomenon that every MBA has definitely been through, and especially in courses where faculty members/professors have additional weightage for participating in class discussions. People come up with such garbage CP as “In the multidimensional and prospective interest of the economy, its important for organizations to add value to the pet allowance of the third strata of economically imprudent and strategically deprived dogs sleeping in the garbage cans of south mumbai.” (Background questions could have been something as simple as “Do you think Maneka Gandhi and her animal activism is the way to go?”
This ACP reminds me 2 more things – First, A2Z CP where people had explanations of A to Z of CP, e.g. BCP – before class participation, CCP- creative class participation, DCP – Desperate class participation and so on.
And the second was bullCP – where backbenchers would float 5 random keywords which had to combined in a single participation – whoever does that successfully, gets to float the next set of keywords. Example – Intoxicating, Aliens, Titan, Paradigm Shift, Professor – There are organizations known to have made paradigm shifts in their strategy without realizing any benefit because a bad strategy could make a customer feel like an alien, say something like customers perceiving Titan not as a brand of watches but as a company that is disposing intoxicating wastes in space simply because they agreed to a professor’s suggestion of coming up with a brand called Titan WaistLine. Beat that!

2. Wheel of Fortune – and hence, Shilpa. I have associated WoF with a random turn of wheel leading to a random topic on which someone asks questions, etc. Shilpa has a knack for that – On a table where strong discussions on credit cards is happening, she can end up asking a question like – who killed Lala Lajpat Rai.

3. The way people live their life – like defeated warriors. I could not change the tide of things, so I decided to do something else. I tried a couple of times, but realized that I cant change this. So I decided to do something else.

4. The need to be counted- A lot of people have this problem. I have that. I feel a little left out when I dont have anything to say on a topic. Either I try to paraphrase. Or, I go back to the drawing board and learn something new. But most of the people have an urge to be counted.

There are so many things that you can read in this …

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