Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya

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Dec 20, 2016

SPOTLIGHT: ‘Mock, Stalk & Quarrel - A collection of satirical tales edited by Indrani Ganguly

Spotlight is my small effort to support upcoming authors in their effort to reach their readers. And yes, it is FREE, however to be featured in this section, you need to go through a selection process, please click here for details.
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"The human mind has long been likened to a garden. Wise men tell us to cultivate good thoughts and weed out the bad ones. Indeed. It is the highest of practices. High it may be. But easy, it is certainly not." - Indrani Ganguly

I have had focused on giving space to individual authors, so I was out of my depth when Piyusha approached me to put “Mock, Stalk & Quarrel” - An anthology brought by Readomania, in the ‘Spotlight’. I was not sure how this would work out, but then Piyusha came out with a lovely solution. Who will be better than the Editor, Indrani Ganguly who put together this anthology to answer my questions about the book? 

So here it goes, as I interacted with Indrani Ji. I leave you all to judge about this post but I found the process quite interesting and stimulating.

The Mock, Stalk and Quarrel Gang (I am sorry if I have missed any one as
I had only this picture of the whole gang)

To begin, let me start with the purpose of the book, which I believe every creative manifestation to have, in order to sustain through the test of the times. And as Indrani beautifully puts it as its reason for existence – to make constructive criticism on socio-political matters using wit and irony. She says that each narrative in this anthology is a silent scream, a way to remind the reader of the stark realities of our times, of the hollowness, the empty promises and the increasing nepotism, corruption, and banal priorities of the modern life. From domestic violence, to red-tapism, from reservation to religious fundamentalism, from scams to god men, our authors have captured it all, creating stories that prick the conscience and challenge the powerful, gently ridicule absurdities and follies of fellow humans, not to enrage the reader but to bring on a wry smile.

Indrani says, the two main reasons for writing should be to express oneself and inform as well as persuade the readers. The writing must be powerful enough to make the reader think. It should stir the deepest cockles of their heart; bring out memories through lexical sights and smells. It should make them a changed individual after reading. Your words should stay with them long after they’ve finished the book. That is the power a writer wields but only a few can accomplish. And as I went through some of the stories, it stays true to its ideology.

And with that kind of a writer, the pressure from people one loves and respects to stop writing, for whatever reason, is disturbing which affects the writer at deeper level. In answering my question, whether she will stop from writing, she confirms my deep-rooted belief that a real and passionate writer writes for the change within, which the process brings.
Delhi Launch of the Book

“I think the worst thing you can do to a writer/artist is to chain his/her creativity literally or figuratively.” - Indrani Ganguly

And she goes on to add that even if she to considers the possibility for a moment, she would probably stop loving and start abhorring that person immediately. One cannot put a leash on a creative person and expect him/her to continue loving them. 


BRIEF NOTE ABOUT THE EDITOR
Indrani Ganguly is a manuscript editor with over 15 years of experience in all genres of editing, shifting gears from news, academic, Science-Technology-Medicine, lifestyle and law, though fiction remains her first love. She has done her graduation from St Xavier’s College (University of Calcutta) majoring in English Literature and her post-graduation in Journalism from Indian Institute of Mass Communication, specializing in Print Journalism. She started her career in the news room of leading national daily Hindustan Times where she was in-charge of the International desk. She has edited high academic books for many well-known publishers like Oxford University Press, Palgrave Macmillan, Collins India, Lexis-Nexis, John Wiley to name a few. She was also the consulting editor of lifestyle magazine ThnkMkt and has contributed many articles for the same. She also had a brief stint in teaching language and composition to undergraduate students. She has been the Resident Editor of Readomania since February 2015 and has edited many of their bestselling titles like The Madras Affair, The Curse of Nalanda, Cabbing All The Way, Confessions on an Island, In The Light of Darkness. She was also the editorial mentor for Defiant Dreams – Tales of Everyday Divas. She has just wrapped up Archana Sarat’s psychological thriller, Birds of Prey and is extremely excited about being the editor of renowned actor/thinker Jayant Kripalani’s next. Mock, Stalk & Quarrel, a collection of satirical tales, is her first solo anthology.

In the very little leisure time that she gets, Indrani loves to read thrillers, modern interpretations of mythological tales and books based on culinary history and evolution. She is passionate about punning and uses her wit to get out of sticky situations. A die-hard alternative rock and Celtic music aficionado, Indrani lives in Kolkata with her nine-year-old daughter Aahana, who is her biggest fan and fiercest critic.

HER INSPIRATIONS
As an Editor, it is the love for the English language – meaningful and accurate words constructed into lucid sentences that drive home not only a story but emotions. I am a bit of a Grammar Nazi; I even edit my social media posts! My eyes would inevitable find errors in whatever I am reading and believe me this is not good when you’re reading for leisure! But then I take my job very seriously.

HER CHALLENGES
I had some sort of belief that people will not be attracted to a book that talks about feelings. Perhaps it was there because the same people who made fun of my writing were also making fun of emotions. "Too much drama... why talk about feelings? Just LIVE! DO! Why do you need to talk about it?"

As always, the biggest challenges have to do with self-confidence (or self-doubt).

QUOTES

“Practicing just “feeling good” by contemplating pure good feelings will not only make you stronger but it will spill over into everything else.”

"Have you ever tried to write down all the positive feelings that you feel on a regular basis? How long do you think the list is?"

“Just because something is good for you, doesn’t mean that you will do it.”

THE BOOK
Satire is the crème de la crème of all literary writing and in the hands of an exponent, its sharp edge has bled victims through ages. It is said to be the weapon of the powerless against the powerful. It gives voice to the suppressed who have been muted by the authoritative.

Dostoyevsky said, “Sarcasm: the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.”

Mock, Stalk & Quarrel, a collection of satirical tales, emanated from a nationwide contest conducted by Readomania to identify powerful voices that could wage an ideological war against issues that matter. Twenty-nine voices, indulgent, tolerant, amusing and witty, were chosen to create this collection.

Satire is meant to use wit to sweeten constructive social criticism. This was the guiding light for Readomania, to compile an impactful set of stories that can make a difference. Each narrative in this anthology is a silent scream, a way to remind the reader of the stark realities of our times, of the hollowness, the empty promises and the increasing nepotism, corruption, and banal priorities of the modern life. From domestic violence, to red-tapism, from reservation to religious fundamentalism, from scams to godmen, our authors have captured it all, creating stories that prick the conscience and challenge the powerful, gently ridicule absurdities and follies of fellow humans, not to enrage the reader but to bring on a wry smile. Eventually, they take lexical pot-shots at the well-heeled establishment that does not think twice before taking people for granted.

In each tale the author has attempted to sketch darkness, not with black, instead with a palette of colours to bring out light and shadow.  There is a bride who fights against her dowry-greedy father-in-law, a student who wages a virtual war against corruption and reservation, goddesses chatting on GodsApp about the paradox of men worshipping them yet ill treating women, the loneliness of a teenager whose parents give him all but their love, the campaign of a dark-skinned woman against the supremacy of fair skin, the fight against the government’s diktats on what to wear and what to eat and so on. These tales are sprinkled with liberal doses of humour and wit that will make the readers laugh, cry, rage and think.

In a world that leaves very little room between one person’s morality and another’s bigotry, with widely divergent views on everything, no single type of satire can fit all.
Mock, Stalk and Quarrel endeavours to bring to you as many of the variety as it can and hopes to live up to William Stryon’s belief, ‘Wickedly funny to read and morally bracing as only good satire can be’. I am sure this anthology will provoke you to think and question all that is considered acceptable in the world today.

Piyusha
 - Editor Indrani Ganguly

In the end let me say thanks to Piyusha that I was able to write this post.... I am grateful to you.






– Shashi 
CEO & Partner ICUBE Projects
Speaker | Author of “Songs of the Mist” | Haiku Poet
Writes India’s #1 Spiritual Blog “Shadow Dancing With Mind


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ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya


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