10 Reasons to visit a Bookstore this Month!


Hello and Welcome back book lovers. Sorry we haven’t updated in a while..

But we promise to give you some exciting reads from now on…


So if you are an online junkie or too busy or just plain lazy to go and visit a bookstore.. we give you some amazing reasons that will make you want to get up from comfy seats and get going..


  1. Sipping a hot cup of coffee and reading a book is the perfect way to enjoy the monsoon season.. and what better place than a bookstore.


  1. So if you are an online junkie or just lazy it’s a perfect exercise without too much effort.. a stroll in a store is all you need to lose some excess calories.



  1. Smell of old and new books in a store will make you feel like heaven..



  1. You can read books all day long in a bookstore in cosy corners without getting disturbed and without buying the book.


  1. Buying books at the store equals to making new friends equals to new crushes on fictional characters.

big bang


  1. You can meet new like minded people at a bookstore or you might even meet the love of your life there..you never know 😉


  1. Reading and browsing books makes you look intelligent and sexy.


  1. You will never discover new books by sitting at home.



  1. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by loads of books and it only happens at a bookstore!


   10. And lastly personalized suggestion for books is an experience you won’t get anywhere.


So do visit soon a bookstore near you..its the  month for discounts and its loyal readers like you who keep us in business 😉


Happy Reading!

Crossword Bookstores.



(images sources via gify.com and tumblr.com)




Sneak Peek of ‘Private Down Under’

Hello & Welcome back Book Lovers, it’s been a while.  private-down-under

We apologize for not updating on the blog regularly.

But we promise to update it from now on 🙂

When the police can’t help you and the press will destroy you, when you need maximum force and maximum discretion, there’s only one place to go—Private, the detective agency that will get the job done, even if they have to break a few rules to do it.

Today we give you a sneak peek into the latest book in the ‘Private Series’  by James Patterson.

Jack Morgan, no 1 Private Detective  is back in the new book with a newly opened agency in Australia and new unsolved crimes that await him in Private Down Under

Read the preview to know more about the book

Also do drop in your comments below if you are excited to read the book.


I’d seen pictures of Justine Smith, Jack Morgan’s No. 2 at Private LA, but she was far more beautiful in the flesh.

I stood at Sydney Airport International Arrivals and watched her waft out of customs with a trolley looking like she was ready for a model shoot – no clue she’d just been on a 14-hour flight.  She was here to launch the latest branch of the Private franchise created by Jack Morgan in LA – a top-notch investigative agency for top-notch people.

I held back, let her family greet her first.  There was her sister, Great, and husband, my new buddy, Brett Thorogood, the Deputy Commissioner of the New South Wales Police, their kids, Nikki, eight and Serge, ten.  Then I stepped forward, shock her hand.

I’d parked my Ferrari 458 Spider in the pick-up zone.  The Thorogoods headed off after we’d all synchronized watches for the launch party tonight and we were off, pulling out of the airport and onto the sun-drenched freeway.

None of us could have known what a fuck of a week we were about to have.

Chapter 1

He can see nothing.

He can hear nothing.

He runs, gasping, hits a hard object – face first.  His nose shatters, sending a cascade of agony through his head and down his spine.  Falls back, slams to the floor.  His head cracking on the concrete.  More pain.

He can see nothing.

He can hear nothing.

The sack hood over his head stinks of sweat and blood.  He tries to loosen the ties, but it’s no good.

He vomits, it hits the fabric, splashes on his face.

He thinks he’ll choke and part of him doesn’t care, wants it.  But the survival genes kick in and he panics, pulls up, the spew running down his shirt.  He reaches out and touches the wall. Moves left as fast as he can.  He feels the vibration of feet, people running toward him.

A burst of terrible agony in his back.  Two thumps propel him to the wall.  He smells fresh blood.  He smells tire rubber.  Another crunch, his thigh exploding.  But he keeps to the wall, sweat running down his ruined face, blood drops from his nose, his leg, his back.  He feels wet all over.  He’s a leaking sieve, his life draining away.  The pain in his legs screams.  The hood fabric sucks into his mouth.

He has to keep going. “MOVE OR DIE…MOVE OR DIE,” a voice bellows in his head.  Shrapnel clips his ear.  He screeches, feels his guts heave.  Another bullet thunders past his head, but he doesn’t hear it, just feels the air tremble.  Dust and concrete chips hit him in the face.  His legs start to buckle, but he refuses to give in.


He feels a door, pushes, stumbles through, trips, hits the concrete floor again.  Blood splashes across the floor, up the walls.  He pulls up once more.

He’s on a roller coaster, at the park with Grandma.  He’s four years old.  Then he’s floating in space.  No reference points.

He can see nothing.

He can hear nothing.

He sense the air tremble again.

He touches wood.  Another door.  It moves forward.  He’s falling…and dies before he hits the ground.

Chapter 2

I heard the crash from the other side of the room and for a second I thought one of the hired caterers had screwed up.  But then a woman screamed and I was dashing across reception.

I caught a glimpse of my right-hand woman, Mary Clarke, spin on her heel.  She’s a big, muscly girl but has the reaction time of Usain Bolt off the blocks.

I saw the blood first.  A smear, then a dark pool spreading out across the marble.  The man lay spread-eagled on the floor, face down, torn apart, gaping holes in his back, his right leg shattered, twisted obscenely under him.  A hood over his head.

I crouched down as Justine Smith ran up.

Pulling a tissue from my pocket, I wrapped it around my fingers, turned the body over and tried to remove the hood, but it was tied fast.  I glanced up to see Deputy Commissioner Thorogood.

“Jesus!” he said as he lowered beside me.

“Multiple gunshot wounds.  Twice in the back, leg.” I said and tilted the body so Thorogood could see the ragged circles in the guy’s linen jacket.

Darlene, Private’s tech guru, squatted down close to the body.  She’s usually in a lab coat over jeans, but tonight she was wearing a red cocktail dress that accentuated her incredible curves.  She pulled on latex gloves, removed a sharp implement from her clutch purse.  Leaning forward, she cut the ties of the hood and eased up the fabric.

“Holy Christ!” Thorogood exclaimed.


Chapter 3

His eyes had been gouged out.  There were two red craters in their place.  The skin was jagged, blood oozing.  A gray bundle of nerves snaked from the left socket and stuck to the skin of the man’s cheek.

It was hard to tell for sure, but he looked like a young kid, maybe late teens, twenty tops.  The rest of his face was smeared, his nose smashed to hell.

I heard Johnny Ishmah, the youngest of my team, behind me.  I turned to him. “Johnny get everyone out.” Then I saw Mary.  “Come with me.”

The Deputy Commissioner straightened and pulled out his cell as he walked away.

I heard him say “Inspector…”  His boys would be here in minutes.

“Well, not your average gatecrasher,” I heard Darlene mumble as Mary and I headed for the door.

“Blood trail.” I flicked a glance at the floor just beyond the door

“Passage leads ahead to the garage”, Mary responded

There was a slew of blood across the concrete, up the walls.  Picking our way round the puddles I leaned on the second door and we were out onto “Garage Level 1”.  Plenty of blood still, oval droplets on the rough concrete.  The sort of splashes someone makes when they are running and bleeding at the same time.

The poor kid had stopped here, blood had pooled into a patch about two feet wide that was ripplng away toward a drain in the floor.  The trail led off to the left.  Three cars stood there, a Merc, a Prius and my black Spider.  Tire marks close to the bend, more blood.

I bent down and picked up a shell casing, holding it in the tissue still in my hand.

“.357 Sig,” Mary said.  She was ex-Military Police, knew a thing or two.


“Must be cameras everywhere.” She glanced around

“Small garage.  There’s a guard at the gate.  He has a security camera system.” I turned and led the way back.  The road narrowed , a barrier twenty yards ahead.  Next to that, a booth.

I could see immediately the place was hit.  Glass everywhere, the guard slumped unconscious, a row of monitors and inch from his head.  The cable to the hard drive dangling.  Standard system…record the garage for twelve-hour rotations on a terbyte hard drive.  Wipe it, start again.

“Took the hard drive,” Mary said nodding at the lead.

I crouched down beside the guard and lifted his head gently.  He stirred, pulled back and went for his gun.  That had gone too.

“Whoa buddy!” Mary exclaimed, palms up.

The guy recognised me. “Mr Gisto.’ He ran a hand over his forehead.  “Holy shit…”

“Easy, pal.” I placed a hand on his shoulder.  “Remember anything?”

He sighed.  “Couple of guys in black hoodies.  It all happened so bloody quick…”

“Alright,” I said, turning to Mary.  There was a sudden movement beyond the booth window. A cop in a power stance, finger poised to the trigger.

A second later Deputy Commissioner Thorogood appeared in the doorway, touched the offier’s arm.  “Put it down, constable.”

It was then I saw the third guy, standing next to Thorogood.  Middle build, five-ten, hard, lived-in face.  I recognised him immediately and felt a jolt of painful memories.  Covered it well.  I knew he instantly recognized me, but he pretended he hadn’t. The devious son of a bitch.


About the author:

JAMES PATTERSON is one of the best-known and biggest-selling writers of all time. He is the author of some of the most popular series of the past decade the Alex Cross, Womens Murder Club and Detective Michael Bennett novels and he has written many other number one bestsellers including romance novels and stand-alone thrillers. James is very supportive of the National Literacy Trust, an independent, UK-based charity that changes lives through literacy. In 2010, he was voted Author of the Year at the Childrens Choice Book Awards in New York.

Publisher: Random House India

Price: Rs 399

The book is available on http://www.crossword.in and at a Crossword store near you.

Signing off for now

Until next time Geeks.

Happy Reading!

Crossword Bookstores:

Meet The Other Mr Bhagat..

Hello & Welcome Back Book Lovers!    hy (2)

Hope you enjoying all the buzz in the literary circuit.

I guess all of you know Chetan Bhagat, have read his books, watched him on tv, waited for his witty comments on Twitter and he definitely somebody who you cant ignore.

Well did you know he had a younger brother who was away in Australia all these years and is back now and ready to release his debut Novel.

Meet Ketan Bhagat who has just recently released his first book“Complete/Convenient”.

Ketan says he became a writer by accident unlike his older brother. He had a story haunting him for years and he decided he just wanted to write it. He loves his life, his work, His wife and his son. A total Punjabi boy, he his a complete foodie and a music lover.

He currently works for an MNC as the Regional Sales head and the story of his book  is loosely based on the years he spent in Australia.

Don’t worry Ketan’s writing is nothing like Chetan’s way of writing. When you read Ketan’s new book your going to realize how differently both the brothers articulate their stories.

One things for sure, Ketan’s book is not your typical Romcom but much more.

So before we give you out too much from the book, it’s better you get your own copy now!

Also we give you a sneak peek of Ketan Bhagat’s life..

Below is the detailed interview with him..

1.       Once your book is out in the market  alot of comparisons will made with Chetan, what are your views on this?

I will put forward few facts and you can decide if it is even worth comparing us:

·         He was a school topper, I barely passed. In fact I was often caught cheating in school exams.

·         He went to IIT and I went to a diploma college. Again, I was sometimes caught cheating in college (sorry, I was just too lazy to study).

·         He went to IIM Ahemdabad while I washed utensils and mopped floors as part of my training program at The Oberoi hotel.

·         He won a gold medal in IIM Ahemdabad while I was almost thrown out of my MBA course mid-way as my graduation marks were less than the bare minimum cut-off of 50%

·         As per TIME magazine, he is one of the 100 most influential people in the world. As for my influence, even my two year old son doesn’t listen to me.

·         Chetan has churned out 5 best seller fictions. Each of them has or will be made into a Bollywood movie. I have just written my first novel.

If you compare Chetan to Ketan, no matter how much you ridicule me, the mere comparison is a compliment to me.

2.       The book is closely based on your personal experiences, do we see a lot of Ketan in the character Kabir?

Supposing God gave you a chance to recreate yourself. What would you do? You would keep all the good things about yourself and erase all the bad things. Won’t you? Kabir is that version of me. He is a lot like me – works as an IT professional, loves to socialize, family man, raised in Delhi etc. but he is also a lot of things that I am not. For example, Kabir is very good looking, he is successful in his career, he is a guy whom people admire etc.

3.Chetan has made writing into a full time career, do you have any plans as such?

Not at this stage. I want to write stories without any compulsion whatsoever. So its best if I have a regular life outside writing. Also, I want to write about experiences that people go through in regular life. It would help if I myself am leading a regular life.

Having said this, life has taught me to refrain from using two words: NEVER and FOREVER.

4. Any plans of a second book..

I do have a story that has been haunting me. So maybe I would write again if COMPLETE/CONVENIENT does well. If people don’t want me as a writer, I won’t force myself on readers.

5.Who do you think your contemporaries are?

I don’t know. Mainly because I have nothing in common with anyone. If I consider the likes of Chetan Bhagat, Amish Tripathi, Ravi Subaramanian and Ashwin Sanghvi then I think I am being ridiculous. I have not even an iota of their success. Also, my topic is different from what they usually write about.

I am certainly not a Jeet Thayil or Salman Rushdie either. Again, I don’t have those kind of brains and talent.

I also find it hard to associate to the hundreds of ‘best seller’ writers I am nowadays meeting. I can’t write chic-lit.

I think my problem is that I became a writer because a story haunted me. Not for any other reason. So I have never really thought much about myself as a writer.

6.We are in an age of a publishing boom and there has been a plethora of books in the Indian market, how do you think your book will distinguish itself from others?

This is a common thing in any industry that is going through a boom phase. Remember the time when every week many movies were getting released. Or the IPL phase where everyone wanted to own a team. Or the phase when new television channels were getting launched every now and then. Same thing is happening in publishing.

Quality, of course, is getting compromised. Even I have come across books that haven’t been edited or spell-checked. In the past few months, I have been approached by ‘book reviewers’ who are 17 years of age.  Some have already written ‘national best sellers’!

The situation will soon reach a peak where readers collectively will shun most of the crap that is being dished out and compel publishers to focus on Quality. That is always the next phase after the ‘overcrowding’ phase. Till then, I guess, we all have to bear with this.

7.Your favourite childhood movement with Chetan.. How close are both of you?

Oh there are many. He was a very interesting prankster. Few favourites:

When Chetan used to wear our mother’s bright red nighty, put on a scary phantom mask and then hide behind trees on the bus stop. The moment school children would get down at the deserted heated streets around 2 pm, Chetan ‘the ghost’ would pop out. Seriously, I still smile at the memory of screaming horrified kids running all over the street with a ‘ghost’ chasing them.

Chetan cutting Water Melon instead of cakes at his birthday parties

Chetan sticking a poster behind a girls back in school. The poster read – hands off guys, I belong to Chetan!

Chetan inviting fat kids and organizing contests around climbing 3 storey buildings. My god, for that stupid ice cream or cold drink, I have seen young obese toddlers sweating out for hours at my brother’s instructions 

We were never very close as siblings though. Chetan likes to live in his own world and our family has a strong culture of letting people be.  In any case we are very different people. Seldom see the same thing the same way.

8.A day in your life..

Starts with a yoga class conducted by my wife Pia. Tough physical postures amidst Pia’s bullying coterie. Seriously, a yoga class for a man is like a goat surrounded by tigers.

Then a cup of ginger tea to protect my weak stomach. Reminder of my waning body.

Then bathroom mirror announcing how much more hair I have lost and how many more inches I have gained.

In between, Rian (my 2.5 year old son) breaks something and I get scolded by my wife for not scolding him. I also get scolded for Rian being a prankster. Not sure how but my wife somehow manages to link me with everything that Rian does wrong.

Then an hour or so to work. Honking, braking, twitching, bribing, abusing… listening to Bollywood music and interviews. In between checking mails and Facebook on phone.

Somehow reach office and live through my mid-manager position. From outside I am a high flying manager at a leading MNC who drives relationships with key customers. Inside, I am a powerless, helpless man who has to strictly follow company’s laid down processes (no brain involved in that), listen tirelessly to customer’s and bosses’ complaints (lot of ass involved in that) and accept less experienced people joining at higher salaries.

No cabin, no secretary, not even someone to file my expense claims ! The only thing nice about office life is my super boss’s secretary who often smiles at me. I think she likes me. Though many times I can see that she is laughing at me.

Late evening, when I reach home, usually my wife is upset for two reasons. One, the maid is showing an attitude (only she has the power to do that to my wife). Two, some pycho has raped someone, usually in Delhi. Rest of the evening is spent carrying a shameful expression on my gender’s behalf. One ear listens to useless men debating endlessly on news channels and other ear absorbs how my maid is similar to my mother in her behavior. Thankfully, nothing reaches to my brain or heart. Do they even exist? I wonder.

By the time I hit the bed, forget libido…I have forgotten I am alive.

9.One Thing you love and hate about your brother..

I love the gutsy genius in him. He has had a tough childhood as our father was exceptionally strict with him. Plus he had weight issues. Yet, my brother rose and continues to rise. Seriously, we should clone his brain.

While I don’t hate anything about my brother, there are many areas where he can improve as a person. But why point them out here. That’s a conversation I should have with him.

10.Your favorite book by Chetan

2 States: the story of my marriage

11.Authors like Chetan, Amish and Ravinder’s success has been because of an aggressive marketing campaign by them…do you agree that success of an author lies in marketing their book well?

Yes and No. Yes because marketing is extremely important to generate curiosity which is compelling enough for people to give their 30 seconds of thought to it. No because even the world’s best marketing can’t save a bad product. In fact, I feel good marketing can expedite the death of a bad product.

I consider Marketing like salt in food. No dish can be served without it. Yet, it is not the dish in itself.

12.Favourite film..

In English: Pursuit of Happiness

In Hindi: Company

13.Favourite Holiday destination..

Earth. Seriously, life is a holiday. I have never felt the need to take a holiday. My wife is mighty frustrated with this trait of mine.

14.Your experience as an NRI

Great. Fantastic. Highly recommended.

When you step out of India, you realize two things: 1) India has actually got the potential to be the number 1 country in the world and 2) India is actually one of the most screwed up countries in the world.

Publisher: Srishti Publishers

Price: Rs 195

Available at a Crossword Store Near you and also online http://goo.gl/vPEmo

Signing off for now

Until next time Geeks.

And don’t forget to drop in your comments.

For details and queries write to crosswordconnect@gmail.com

Happy Reading!

Crossword Bookstores

‘The Carrie Bradshaw of Indian Writing’

Hello & Welcome Back Book lovers.  202

Hope you having a joyous season.

We always try and get you candid with author’s who write on different genres, their private and serene lifestyles, their quirky habits and what makes them an author. Hope we are doing a good job of it and living up to the expectations of our readers.

Today on the Hot Seat we have a Fabulously Gorgeous, Boldly Articulate & a Page Turning vivacious author.

All those who love chick flick novels that make you laugh, cry, confused and leave you with illusions of Mr Right and love, you need to read Madhuri Banerjee’s Books. Her take on love, life, sex and men will take you on roller-coaster ride of emotions. If you loved the ladies and the stories of Sex and The City you will love her books.

Madhuri’s frank  and impudent writing has made her first book “Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas” a runaway bestseller. Her 2nd Book “Mistakes Like Love and Sex” was released last month and is already on its way to become a bestselling book. The 2nd book is a sequel.

A complete movie buff at heart, Madhuri also has a background of Film and TV having worked with Zoom and various Production Houses. She holds an English Honours degree of Lady Shri Ram College Delhi. She spends most of her leisure time reading, travelling around the world and having a good time with her friends.

Here is an extract of her interview.

1.Your books have such catchy titles that grab quick attention. Do you come up with the names for your books & Do they help in grabbing a Reader’s attention while buying?

Yes I do come up with the names for my books. They do help in catching some attention. But they also limit the readership. Conservative people won’t pick up the book even if it’s about simple relationships and love stories. So it’s a catch 22.

2. Is your character Kaveri anything like you? Did you discover your journey of life while writing this book?

Kaveri is a lot like me but not completely. I am extremely head strong, focussed and determined. Kaveri goes with the flow. She may be super intelligent and well travelled but she fumbles when it comes to love. The only similarity between her and me is that we’re both very loyal to our friends and we adore our parents.

3.Tell us how has Kaveri evolved in the 2nd book..Has she become even more bolder and wiser in the 2nd book?

Kaveri definitely has more sex in the second novel!. She makes new friends and sheds inhibitions about love and life. But she still makes mistakes. She’s sensible enough to acknowledge them and owns up to them. That shows growth of character in her. But she still goes with her heart on most things. She’s still the same girl who’s looking for someone to love her. In Losing My Virginity And Other Dumb Ideas she believes she needs a man to complete her. In Mistakes Like Love And Sex she looks for someone to complement her.

4. Are you a reclusive writer or you prefer going out and drawing inspirations from your experiences?

I go out, meet new people, catch up with old friends, and listen to their stories. So I might be inspired by their body language,their opinions on things and incorporate a bit of that in a character in my book. However, as for scenes, situations, plots, character growth and climax, that’s just my imagination going wild! 

5.You books are very Spicy, Animated, Comically funny at times…Any plans of making a film on it?

Inshallah! I do hope to make my books into films. Every author would love to see his idea on celluloid. If a filmmaker can do justice to it then I would be very happy to see my book as a film.

6. Your favourite Chick Flick Novels?

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak.

7. Your ideal Man is..

an amalgamation of Arjun, Aaron, Ray, Siddharth and Ayaan. J

8. Your awkward moments..

Oh so many! Every day! I kept calling someone Arjun and he kept reminding me that was not his name but for me he fitted into that character in Losing My Virginity And Other Dumb Ideas.

9. Favourite City & Food –

Delhi for the food.

10. Do you believe in love stories –

Of course. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to write them!

11. Your Opinion on The Indian writing & Indian Publishing. –

Many people are being published nowadays. The market has opened up to people wanting to read about something familiar and find identifiable characters in books. Indian writing has really come of age and many publishing houses are opening their doors to Indian writers rather than courting the West. It’s a wonderful time to be an author.

Price: Rs 199

Publisher: Penguin Books India

Signing Off For Now..

Until Next Time Geeks

Happy Reading!

Crossword Bookstores

To give your feedback and complaints please write to crosswordconnect@gmail.com

India’s Dan Brown!!

Hello & Welcome Back Book lovers.


We bring to you the latest happening in the world of books.


Mysteries..Secrets..Lies…Revelations..Twisted Plots..Unexpected Relations…Decoding..Uncoding The Past, Present & Future..  


If this intrigues you ‘Ashwin Sanghi’ is definitely the author to watch out for.


A established and successful businessman by day and thrilling author by Night..Mr Sanghi is an all rounder. His books are a complete page tuner and keep you glued till the very end.


He has penned 2 thriller novels which won wide acclaims and awards. ‘The Rozabal Line’ was his first novel followed by ‘Chanakya Chant’ which won the Crossword Book Award Popular 2010. Ashwin  is one of the Bestselling Indian Authors of Today and he writes primarily on theological & historical thrillers. Currently he is pursuing a PHD in Creative Writing.


His New Book ‘The Krishna Key’ releases Today at a Crossword Bookstore near you.


Here is an extract from his interview..


1. You are called the Dan Brown of India… your sentiments on this tag. Have you also read his books?


I am rather flattered by the Dan Brown comparison… at last count he had sold over eighty million books! And yes, I have read all of Dan Brown’s books. However, I believe that the comparison is misplaced. While it is true that my novels are what could be called ‘historical conspiracies’, there are many authors who write in that genre besides Dan Brown… Steve Berry, Raymond Khoury and Alex Rutherford, to name just a few.


2. You’re the recipient of the Crossword Book Award-Popular 2010 and Chanakya’s Chant still continues to dominate the bestseller charts. Did you expect this reward and recognition?


I secretly wished that it would be a grand success but did not realistically expect it to happen. In a country where most youngsters prefer reading about campus romance, I did not believe that historical fiction with a contemporary political twist would be appreciated. Subsequent sales volumes proved me wrong though. The Crossword Popular Choice Award 2010 and UTV’s decision to make a movie on the book were the proverbial icing on the cake.


3. Your new book ‘The Krishna Key’ is soon going to be in all bookstores. Your readers’ expectations are definitely going to be high from this book. Are you nervous and excited about the same?


I am both nervous and excited. Nervous—because I do not want to disappoint my readers. Excited—because I love the plot of ‘The Krishna Key’. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my readers will love it too!


4. Could tell us an interesting character or paragraph from your new book?


Here’s a paragraph that should give you a taste of what lies within:

Resigned to an only partial victory and having surveyed his handiwork, he took out a Swann-Morton scalpel that had been custom-engraved with the initials ‘R.M.’ from his belt bag, bent down over Varshney’s comatose body and with surgical precision thrust the scalpel into the sole of Varshney’s left foot, leaving it embedded in the flesh. It gashed through an artery. Blood spurted out while Varshney—still unconscious—began his long and agonising march towards death. The killer next took out an paintbrush from his belt pack. He gently dipped it into the puddle of blood that had formed around Varshney’s left foot and began to write, with the air of a calligrapher, on the wall above Varshney’s head: Mleccha-nivaha-nidhane kalayasi karavalam, dhumaketum iva kim api karalam,

kesava dhrita-kalki-sarira jaya jagadisa hare.


5. Do you plan on sticking to the historical thriller genre?


No. I simply want to spin yet another good old-fashioned yarn. I want to narrate stories in which the twists and turns keep you glued to the novel till three in the morning. The premise of the story should be delicious—bordering on outrageous perhaps—but history, theology or mythology is not a prerequisite. My next novel will have a touch of history because the story is built around an event that happened soon after Indian independence but it will be minimal.


6. According to you who are your contemporaries in Indian literature today?


Amish Tripathi, Mukul Deva, Vikram Chandra, Amitav Ghosh, Devdutt Pattanaik are among my favourites because they either write in the realm of history-mythology or write stories in the thriller genre. The list is growing rapidly though. Recent books by Manreet Sodhi Someshwar and Krishna Udayasankar seem to indicate that the interest in history and mythology is gaining momentum as we speak.



7. Working on a full time job and writing how do you manage both?


I write early mornings on weekdays and then put in a regular eight-hour day at the office. I use my Saturdays to gain writing momentum and leave Sundays entirely for family time. During the year I take four weeks off to write so that I may complete whatever happens to be my current project. Strong coffee in the morning and a peg of whiskey in the evening keep me going. Work keeps Lakshmi smiling and my writing keeps Saraswati in good humour… what more could I possibly ask for?


The Krishna Key


Publisher: Westland





Signing off for Now..


Until Next Time Geeks



Happy Reading!


Crossword Bookstores


‘Ravana’ The Unsung Hero

Hello & Welcome Back Geeks to your dose of Bookipedia.  

We know all the story of The Great Rama and his epic victory on Lanka. The Tale of how the Prince of Ayodhya conquered the greatest evil Ravana is a legendary one. Ramayana has been narrated to us throughout ages and Rama the avatar of Vishnu is worshipped by all Indians.

But there’s a twist in the Tale…..

What if Ravana was not the Villian?

What if Ravana turned against the gods to save a dying race?

What if Ravana was just a hero as Rama for Ayodha for the people of Asura?

Well these questions will certainly make you curious..

There is a new Book Our Bestseller Charts Titled Asura: Tale of The Vanquished. It is the story of Ravana and his people which has never been told by anyone.

We got candid with the author Anand Neelakantan who hails from a small village near Cochin and spends his free times cartooning and on oil paintings. He has grown on these stories and since the last 6 years had nightmares of Ravana pleading to tell his side of the story to the world.

He says very modestly that he works at an MNC just to put food on his dining table but he definitely  enjoys writing to the fullest.

Here are the excerpts of his Interview.

1.       Do you feel after your story of Ravan can he be looked in a different light by the people who have always out casted him as a villain in the Ramayana?

Though Ravana was considered as evil incarnate, there always was some admiration lurching behind the hatred. Ravana was never an ordinary Villain. Accomplished Scholar, great musician, pious Bhaktha of Shiva- India has celebrated this most infamous villain in various ways over the last three thousand years or more. The heroism of the hero is proportional to the greatness of the villain. Ramayana works in the classic formula of an ordinary man challenging the might of a great emperor and winning against all odds. The God and Devil angle might have developed later.

What I have attempted is to reverse the gaze. Here an ordinary person is fighting his war against all odds, against the god incarnate and his mighty army. More than this war with others, he has to fight a war within himself, with his conscience, with his values and with his dreams.  I have also tried to view Ramayana, through the eyes of an ordinary and poor Asura- Bhadra, who adds another perspective to the story. Usually, epics are the stories of great men and their deeds. In the cacophony of heroism, divinity, demons, right, wrong, white, dark etc, the voice of the common man remains silent in any epic. But if we listen carefully, a faint voice can be heard. My Bhadra is the magnification of that feeble voice of such insignificant men.

I have tried to give more importance to humanity than divinity. My attempt is to view the events in this great epic rationally. Putting simply, Asura is the child of the thought-‘Why it could not have happened like this?’. A mark of a great literature is its power to change perceptions and thinking. Every author thinks that his piece of literature is a good one. I am no exception to it. However, it is in the hands of time to prove me right or wrong.

2.       How important was for you to tell this story?      

It was that important for making me toil six long years in writing it. It was that important for me to challenge every belief I have grown up with. It was that important for me to spend sleepless nights thinking like the Asura emperor or the poor Bhadra. Asura, I believe is as ancient as humanity and at the same time, it is as modern as possible. Writing is a painful process. But it is a pain that I enjoy. I write only when my thoughts become so painful that, unless I put it into words I will get choked.

3.       What are some of the unique characteristics of Ravana Outlined by you in the book?

Ravana is neither the demon as portrayed in the traditional Ramayanas nor is he the great hero who could do no wrong, as some Dravidian movements had tried to portray him a few decades back. In Asura, Ravana is man who lifts himself from abject poverty to become spectacularly successful through his determination, hard work and his strong sense of destiny. He starts of an idealistic youth, but gets lost in the labyrinth of power, and desperately tries to reclaim his ideals when it is too late. He is shown as an ordinary man who succeeds extraordinarily, but who gets corrupted by power. Despite this he manages to retain some shred of humanity till the last. On his positive sites, he is determined, intelligent, learned, brave, idealistic and passionate about life. On his negative side, he is a megalomaniac, arrogant, proud, and sometimes very naïve. History abounds with such characters like Napoleon, Alexander,  Raja Chola etc.

4.  What are some of the interesting comments you have got from your readers?

As it can be seen in various websites and reviews, mostly the comments have been positive. People have commented that the story has the power to change perception. I was also delighted to hear a few of the critical comments that said that though I have forgotten what Ramayana actually means and the story is based on my wrong understanding of the great epic, my narration skills are excellent and the book is a great read. One reader had written to me saying though he does not agree with even a single sentence in the book, he wanted to congratulate me for the good narrative and the logical arguments challenging the traditional Ramayana.

I was apprehensive that a bulky book of 500 pages, that deals with Ramayana, a story that has been told innumerable times will not find much favour with the young crowd who enjoy the light reads that gets mass produced these days. However, the response have been so overwhelming that the book is in third reprint now with more than 15000 copies sold so far in seven weeks.

5.      A para or a verse that you would like to quote from your book?

It is not the Gods or God men that my country lacks. It only lacks real men.

6.       Your views on your book being on Our Crossword Bestseller charts?

It is a special feeling which is difficult to express in words. I will try to tell you why this is so special.  Crossword has always been in the front of encouraging good writing in India. The Crossword award is proof enough for that. The customers, who frequent crossword and I am one among them, are very discerning and choosy. Mostly the purchase decisions from the bookshops are made after lot of thoughts. It is rarely an impulse purchase over the click of a mouse. You have to really love books to drive in the pounding monsoon, visit the shop, and stand in the queue and crowd. You have to be passionate about the smell of the books. If someone who spends time in sampling the blurb and a few pages of the book, and then again spend more time to compare them with other books in the shelf and then finally decide to purchase it, she should have liked what she could sample. So every purchase from crossword is special, in a way that could never be said about other modes of purchase.

It is such discerning customers of crossword have made my book Asura a best seller. I feel it is as special as any literary award and a great encouragement for debut writer like me. I would not mind spending many more sleepless nights for such success.

7.       Do you plan on sticking to the Mythological genre?

My publisher, Leadstart publishing Ltd is publishing my second book by this time, next year. It is on the next great epic and needless to say, I will be trying to view it from the other side. I do not have any plans to stick on to one particular genre, though I am passionate about mythology. I would love to write a satirical version on Indian Politics after my second book and another one spanning five generation, a semi-autobiographical one, that will portray my city of Cochin. Cochin is a city having a colourful history of many centuries and it will be fun writing about it in a wide panoramic background of my main story. Finally, when I am confident enough, I will pen down a children’s book. I believe, writing a quality children’s novel is the most difficult of all writings. Whenever I tend to forget this theory, my daughter and son are there to remind me this quite forcefully. Most nights, when I sit down to tell stories to them, I find them to be more difficult to please than my strict editor or even the most critical reader-s.

Publisher :Leadstart publishing

Price: Rs 250


Signing off for Now..


Until Next Time


Happy Reading!


Crossword Bookstores


When The Tables Were Turned…

So Dear Book Lovers.. We have been putting a lot of authors lately in our Hot seat and been quizzing them on different things. (We aren’t seeing any comments from the geek s sad face)

But today we had this fantastic opportunity to talk to a Journalist slash Editor turned author Mr Naresh Fernandes.

Well we got to play Journalist this time with him & Interviewing somebody who does this for a living day in and day out left us stumbled, confusing and restless..

I think the Crossword blog team here had tough time deciding what to ask him.

Before we showcase what he had to say..

A little More about Naresh..

He comes across as a Wanderer to us.. Always searching for something interesting and new..Loves Mumbai to the core. He always has the most interesting stories to tell about the City. A complete Mumbaite to the core. He Might have a puzzled look at times but he is a true gem of a person. He is super grounded.

Apart from being an editor of a leading magazine he has also written a Book Title ‘Taj Mahal Foxtrot’ – Is A Story told through the lives of a menagerie of geniuses, strivers and eccentrics, both Indian and American, who helped jazz find a home in the sweaty subcontinent.

Well Here’s what Naresh had to say..


Given a Chance for which magazine would like to be an editor for one day?

In my wildest imagination, the New Yorker.

Love for Jazz music when and where did it all start?

I’ve been listening to jazz since I was about 15. I love its improvised quality, how musicians play the same tune differently each time they perform it.

As journalist do you tend to criticize stories written by your peers?

All the time, unfortunately. But to compensate for that, I also make it a point to call people or send them notes when I see something I really like.

Favourite Mumbai street Food?

Kombdi-vade at Raju Malavni Corner, near Sena Bhavan.

Current read…

Adam Hochschild’s To End All Wars, an excellent book about pacificists who resisted the First World War.

Favourite time in the city?

 Strolling through the older neighborhoods, especially Dongri.

Anything on the pipeline for your next book…

It’s a short book for Aleph on the death of the idea of Bombay.

Take on the Current Literature scenario in India? 

I wish there was much more narrative non-fiction being written. There are stories unfolding all around us. I wish more people would tell them.

Signing off for now..

Untill Next Time..

Happy Reading

Crossword Bookstores