Category: Blog

Trend setting pen names of Indian authors


Ask any professor or linguist to name a few women writers, and they might just end up taking the names of Indian writers with female pen-names.

Pen names have had a certain place of their own in the world of writing. Pen names or ‘nom de plumes’ are something which every writer comes across at some time in their careers. As Guy de Maupassant once said,“In order to escape the Eiffel Tower, you have to go inside it.” Similarly, to understand the connection of writers and the age-old practice of using pen names, you need to read on.

Globally, many a writer chose a pen name to suit the genre they wrote.  However, that is not quite the case amongst our Indian writers. The history of Indian authors using pen-names dates back to the pre-independence period. The suppression of Indians was not only for the physical violence and social status but also to the suppression of self-identity in their thoughts and prose as well.

Prominent Indian writers chose to use their names in certain ways that their identity was not revealed and they could express their thoughts freely. But, unlike their European counterparts, Indian authors chose names of the feminine gender for their writings. There are quite a few writers who chose these names for different personal reasons. Some chose to honour their idol, some chose to respect femininity while others simply chose to use a pen-name in order to  find the best way for their work to be known to the world.

The most celebrated Indian author to use a pen name is Rabindranath Tagore. His best known pen-name was BhanuSimha. However, many believe he published different works of literature under different nom de plumes. While he was just teenager, he published his works with the name of his sister-in-law. They were mistaken for her writings and ever since the works were known to the world under her name. Born in 1861, Rabindranath was one-of-a-kind author who chose to continue with his sister-in-law’s name in honour of her courage during the freedom fighting era. Following in his footsteps, there are many Bengali writers who wrote under female pen names in order to honour their lady idol. Saratchandra Chatterjee, Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay are some who wrote with the names Anita Devi and Kamalkanta respectively.

Apart from this particular trend, Rabindranath was also known for using different pen names (all of them were feminine); the trend which was probably followed by different authors from the writing community all over the world. The best known example could be Dean Koontz or his better known name – Stephen King who writes under more than 10 different pen names.

Another lot of writers who used pen-names are the writers who wrote in the Marathi language. V.V. Shirvadkar, Govind Karandikar, C.T.Khanolkar are some famous names who used women names when publishing their works.

V.V. Shirvadkar, wrote under the name Kusumagraj that cannot be fully construed as female name, yet certainly has a feminine leaning. The idea of writing under this name was to have a different identity that could liberate his identity in the world of writing whilst allowing his mellow side to show through his work.

Vinda however, has a more personal reason to take this particular pseudonym. In the initial stage, Govind Karandikar a.k.a Vinda was keen on publishing his poems. However, every time his work was rejected and returned back to him with no justification. His wife once commented snidely that he should to put himself out in the literary world as a woman poet. Mischievous, Vinda thought he’d  give it a try. Much to his amazement, his poem was published.  He then went on to write different novels under the same nom de plume. Once whilst on the dais as Chief Guest for a function, another fellow guest asked him if he had met the author, Mrs. Vinda Karandikar. Amused, he played along with the guest’s curiosity and didn’t reveal himself until his name was called for felicitation.

As opposed to these, there is another Marathi writer, Vyankatesh Madgulkar, went by the pen name Colonel Bahadur. Many know Vyankatesh Madgulkar for his realistic writings on village life and social issues corresponding to it, but, Colonel Bahadur famously worked in English mostly translations and interpretations. Although Vyankatesh Madgulkar is an well-known entity for writing the harsh truths and struggles of a commoner, Colonel Bahadur is known for interpreting different ecological writings in fresh perspective.

They say, the language changes its course every 20 kms. Well, for literature not only distance but the changing times matter as well. That was the then era and now is this era of liberation, thought-provoking and bold phenomenon of writing. The struggle of writing and publication will never die. The challenges will change, but, the bottom line fundamentals will prevail. Therefore, the reason to use and choose pen names might change, but pen-names for writers will never die. Today, there are writers that self-publish themselves, choose anagrams as their pen names or simply enter into a world of fantasy through their writings.

जगणं शिकवणारी चाणक्यांची “जीवनसूत्रे”

आर्य चाणक्यांचे तत्त्वज्ञान सर्वपरिचित आहे. जगभर चाणक्यनीतीकडे कुतूहलाने आणि आदराने पाहिले जाते. दोन हजार वर्षांचा काळ लोटला असला तरी चाणक्यांनी सांगितलेली ‘जीवनसूत्रे’ ही आजही व्यक्तिमत्त्व विकास, आचरण, व्यवहारिक कौशल्य, आदर्श राजसत्ता, प्रशासन, आधुनिक व्यवस्थापन कसं असावं यासाठी उपयुक्त ठरत आहेत. आज परिस्थिती बदलली आहे. तंत्रज्ञानाच्या सुधारणांमुळे जगण्याची शैली, गरजा बदलल्या आहेत. चाणक्याच्या काळानंतर अनेक गोष्टी बदलल्या आहे, प्रशासन बदललं आहे. चाणक्यांच्या सूत्रातील तपशील जरी बदलला असला, तरी ‘तत्त्व’ म्हणून ते आजही कसे उपयुक्त आहेत हे “चाणक्यांची जीवनसूत्रे” या पुस्तकातून जाणवेल. लेखक सुधाकर घोडेकर यांनी या पुस्तकात अतिशय सोप्या भाषेत, रोजच्या जगण्यातील उदाहरणांसह ही सूत्रे सांगितली आहेत.

आजच्या स्पर्धेच्या युगात प्रत्येकजण जगण्यासाठी, आपलं अस्तित्व टिकवून ठेवण्यासाठी प्रयत्न करतो आहे. कुणाला आदर्श पालक, गुणवंत विद्यार्थी, यशस्वी उद्योजक व्हायचंय, तर कुणाला आदर्श अधिकारी किंवा प्रशासक. प्रत्येकासमोरील आव्हानं वेगळी आहेत. उज्ज्वल भविष्यासाठी चांगली नोकरी मिळवणे, ती टिकवणे, आरोग्य जपणे, आर्थिक स्थैर्य असे अनेक प्रश्न तरूणांच्या चिंतेचे विषय बनले आहेत. यावर चाणक्यांनी उपयुक्त उपदेश दिले आहेत. सध्याच्या काळातील धकाधकी, स्पर्धा, वाटणारी असुरक्षितता, भीती, तंत्रज्ञानामुळे दिवसागणिक बदलणारी जगण्याची समीकरणं यांचा विचार करून उपयुक्त वाटणारी नेमकी सूत्रं या पुस्तकात मांडली आहेत.

फार थोडं साहित्य असं असतं की, ते काळाच्या कसोटीवर पूर्ण उतरून हजारो वर्ष मानवजातीला उपयुक्त ठरत राहतं. आर्य चाणक्यांची जीवनविषयक सूत्रे जवळपास अडीच हजार वर्षं लोकांना मार्गदर्शक ठरली आहेत. खरंतर चाणक्याचे जीवनविषयक तत्त्व, मूल्य सांगणारे अनेक साहित्य आज उपलब्ध आहे. त्यामुळे “चाणक्यांची जीवनसूत्रे” या पुस्तकात मांडलेले सूत्र म्हणजे नवीन काय आहे असा प्रश्नही अनेकांनी पडेल.

जी-जी मूल्यं सगळ्यांनाच माहीत आहेत त्यावर नवीन काय सांगणार असंही वाटेल. आळस टाळा, वेळेचा सदुपयोग करा, भरपूर कष्ट करा, संयमित राहा, स्वच्छता सांभाळा, अडचणींसाठी सिद्ध राहा असे उपदेश आपण लहानपणापासून ऐकत आलो आहोत. आर्य चाणक्यांची सूत्रे सुभाषित म्हणून आपण वाचलेली असतात. या सुभाषितांमधील अर्थ आपल्याला कळतो पण ते आपण आचरणात आणत नाही. याचं कारण म्हणजे त्यांचा अर्थ व त्याचं गांभीर्य आजच्या संदर्भात किती योग्य आणि आवश्यक आहे, याचा फारसा विचार आपण करत नाही. हे गांभीर्य आणि त्यांचं महत्त्व विविध उदाहरणांद्वारे पटवून देण्याचं काम हे पुस्तक करेल.

अशा प्रकारे प्रस्तुत पुस्तकात माणसाचं जगणं नीतिमान करणारी, त्याच्यातली कार्यप्रवणता वाढविणारी, जगण्यातलं एक वेगळं परिमाण बहाल करणारी काही सूत्रे दिली असून, आजच्या संदर्भात त्याची उपयुक्तता किती मोठी आहे, याचं परिणामकारक विवेचन केलेलं आहे. हे प्रत्येक सूत्र तुमच्या व्यक्तिमत्त्वाला एक नवा दृष्टिकोन देईल एवढं नक्की.

What do you look for in a Publisher?

As a writer, you spend months, even years, sewing together your ideas, researching and infusing life into your writing. After this considerable, work imagine the horror of entrusting your baby to someone who doesn’t understand its worth! So, rather than being in a tearing hurry to get your work published, focus on picking the right publisher. But mushrooming publishing houses can make your choice difficult and leave you perplexed. If you are one of those writers, read on…


Make sure the publishing house allows you a free hand and lets you tell your story without losing your voice. It would be utopian to expect that you would be treated as a partner and given a place at the table – right from the inception of the book to everything that takes place in between, till your work eventually sees the light of the day. A little negotiation is part of the game but you might want to check the flexibility index of the publishing house and stay away from the ones who have their ideas carved in stone. Sometimes new publications are more receptive to ideas than the established ones.

Quick Turnaround Time:

Ensure that your manuscript doesn’t languish in the deep dungeons of doom after submission. Pick the publishing house that is keen to get your words into a bound book and has the shortest turnaround time.

A Good Editor:

One of the reasons why established publishing houses have an edge over the new ones is that they, along with the brand name, can boast of an experienced team of editors. A good editor goes a long way in honing your ideas, teasing out the best in your writing and yet keeping your unique voice and essence of your writing alive. Choose yours wisely!

Marketing Reach:

Publishing a book and not marketing it to the right segment of readers is akin to booking yourself an expensive holiday and eventually not going for it! Effective marketing strategy is essential in determining the reception and success of a book. So, pitch in your ideas to the ones which has a vibrant marketing team.


आनंदी पालकत्वाचा मार्ग

पालकत्व हा प्रत्येक पालकाचा आपल्या मुलांच्या दृष्टीने असणारा अत्यंत जिव्हाळ्याचा विषय. आपल्या मुलांवर चांगले संस्कार व्हावे, आपल्या मूलाची वाढ योग्य प्रकारे व्हावी, समाजात त्याची वर्तणूक चांगली हवी, आपलं मूल हुशार व्हावं, डोक्याला कुठलाही ताण न देता, कुठलाही त्रास न होता आपल्या मुलाचं संगोपण व्यवस्थित व्हावं, आपलं मूल आणि आपण स्वतः आनंदी असावं असा विचार करणा-या पालकांपैकी तुम्ही एक आहात? डॉ. किंजल गोयल लिखित “आनंदी बालक आनंदी पालक” हे पुस्तक अशा सर्व पालकांसाठीच आहे.

लेखिका स्वतः मानसोपचार तज्ज्ञ असल्यामुळे पालक आणि मुले अशा दोघांच्या दृष्टिकोनातून विचार करून त्यांनी सर्व समस्यांचे उपाय, प्रश्नांची थेट उत्तर या पुस्तकात अगदी सोप्या व प्रत्येकाला ती पटतील अशा भाषेत मांडली आहेत.

लहानपणापासून ते कुमारवयीन मुलांपर्यंत, पौगंडावस्थेपासून ते मुलं मोठी होईपर्यंत त्यांना योग्य पद्धतीने वाढवणं हा एक जिकरीचा पण तितकाच उत्सुकतेचा विषय आहे. पालकत्वाच्या प्रवासात पालकांना अनेक आव्हानांना, अडथळ्यांना सामोरं जावं लागतं. मूल चिडचिडं, रागीट होणं, मुलांनी खोटं बोलणं, मुलांनी चुकीचा मार्ग अवलंबन, वयानुसार मुलांमध्ये होणारे शारिरीक-मानसिक बदल, त्यातून त्यांची होणारी जडणघडण, मुलांनी पालकांचं न ऐकणं, उलट बोलणं यामुळे पालक आणि मुलांमधला दुरावा वाढत जातो. मुलांच्या वर्तनापुढे पालक हतबल, चिंताग्रस्त होतात. मुलांना वाढवताना पालकांनाही अनेकदा कठोर व्हावं लागतं. त्याचा परिणाम ब-याचदा नकारात्मक झाल्याची उदाहरणं आपण पाहतोच. पालकत्वाचा मार्ग अत्यंत सुकर, विनाअडथळा असावा असं प्रत्येक पालकाला वाटत असतं. परंतु हे होण्यासाठी ज्या पद्धतीचा संवाद पालक आणि मुलांमध्ये व्हायला हवा तो होत नाही. पालक म्हणून झालेल्या चूकांबद्दल अपराधभावना अनेक पालकांच्या मनात असते. पालकत्वात येणा-या समस्यांवर सकारात्मक उपाय शोधण्याची तंत्रे यात वाचायला मिळतील.

समस्या निर्माण झाल्यावर त्या सोडवण्यापेक्षा त्या निर्माणच होऊ नयेत म्हणून काय पावलं उचलावीत त्याबद्दल यात सांगितलं आहे. परंतु सर्वच समस्या सहज सुटणा-या असतात असं नाही. योग्य प्रकारे सर्व काळजी घेतली आणि पुस्तकाप्रमाणे सर्व गोष्टी केल्या तरी समस्या राहत असतील तर शांत राहा! हे होणारच आहे. प्रत्येक समस्या आधीपासून थोपवता येणं हे कोणत्याही पालकासाठी अशक्य आहे. जे टाळता येण्यासारखं आहे ते टाळायचं आणि त्यातूनही ज्या समस्या सामो-या येतील, त्यातून सकारात्मक पद्धतीने मार्ग काढायचा हे खरं कौशल्य आहे. हे कौशल्य शिकण्यासाठी या पुस्तकाची तुम्हाला नक्कीच मदत होईल.

आपण मुलांकडून जशा अपेक्षा ठेवतो, त्याचप्रमाणे स्वतः मध्ये बदल करून घेण्यास, स्वतः कडे नसलेल्या गोष्टी माहिती करून घेण्यासाठी प्रयत्न करायला हवा. फक्त मुलांकडून अपेक्षा ठेवण्यापेक्षा त्याला घडविण्यासाठी आवश्यक असलेले कौशल्य आपल्या अंगी बाळगण्यासाठी प्रयत्न करणारे पालक आपल्या मुलांना योग्य दिशेने घेऊन जाऊ शकतात हे या पुस्तकातून शिकायला मिळेल.

मूल वाढवताना अनेकदा असे प्रसंग येतात की घरात ताणतणाव निर्माण होतो, अंगावर पडणा-या नवीन जबाबदा-यांमुळे नवरा-बायकोमधील कलह वाढतो, आपल्या कित्येक गोष्टी सोडून द्याव्या लागतात, नवीन गोष्टी शिकून घ्याव्या लागतात, तडजोड करावी लागते, आपला प्राधान्यक्रम बदलावा लागतो. काय योग्य नि काय अयोग्य हे प्रसंगानुरूप आपण शिकत जातो. पालकत्वाची जबाबदारी पार पाडताना आई किंवा बाबांचा कमी-अधिक सहभाग असून चालत नाही तर दोघांचाही समान सहभाग असावा हा विचार लेखिकेने मांडला आहे व तो किती योग्य आहे हे तुम्हाला नक्की पटेल.

जबाबदारीच्या ओझ्याखाली पालक इतके दबून जातात की आपल्या आवडी-निवडी जपणं, स्वतःसाठी वेळ काढणं, जगण्यातला आनंद घेणं विसरून जातात. मुलांचं हित कशात आहे याला तुम्ही जितकं महत्त्व देता तितकंच महत्त्व तुमची वैयक्तिक प्रगती, सुख कशात आहे यालाही द्यायला हवं. तुम्ही आनंदी असाल तरच आनंदी पालकत्व घडणं शक्य होईल. केवळ आनंदी मूल वाढवणं हा या पुस्तकाचा उद्देश नाही तर पालक आनंदी असणं हा ही एक उद्देश आहे.

किंजल गोयल यांनी स्व अनुभवातून शिकलेल्या गोष्टी तसेच जगभरातल्या पालकांशी केलेली चर्चा, त्यांचे अनुभव, लोकांची मतं, त्यातून मिळत गेलेली उत्तरं यांची भर घालून या पुस्तकाला प्रॅक्टिकल बनवण्याचा प्रयत्न केला आहे. पुस्तकाचा विषय अशा पद्धतीने हाताळला आहे की कोणताही पान वाचायला घेतलं तरी ते उपयुक्त ठरणारं आहे. पुस्तक क्रमवार वाचण्याची गरज नाही. त्यामुळे मुलांना वाढवताना ज्या समस्येला तुम्ही तोंड देत आहेत त्याचं उत्तर तितक्यात सहज शोधणं तुम्हाला यामुळे शक्य होणार आहे.

जगभरातल्या पालकांच्या समस्या, उपाय आणि पालकत्वाचा दृष्टिकोन यांचं एकत्रीकरण, मुलांना वाढवत असताना पालकांच्या आयुष्यात झालेले सकारात्मक बदल या पुस्तकात दिलेले आहेत.. केवळ मुलांच्याच नव्हे तर पालकांच्या वाढीविषयीचं हे पुस्तक जरूर वाचा.


Write your way to a publishing contract!

These days most of us aspire to be writers. From a rebellious teenager to a mature person, everyone wants to write – and wants to write to be published. Recognition is what we expect…FAST!

Adding to this ambition is the ease with which we get tips and ideas, all courtesy an amazing piece of all-encompassing technology called the internet. The latter wasn’t there two decades back, (or at least not the way we see it today) and yet great writers existed even then though their numbers was small.

With technology or without it, writers remain. Yes, publishing technology and the net have made things easier. The net has done one more thing. It has made readers wary of everything which gets sold in the name of literature.

What does one do to get into the habit of writing- the kind which folks want to read.

Trial & error and experience gained therefrom has given us certain insights into the minds of most writers. They include:

  1. Setting of goals & deadlines: Everyone including the likes of Salman Rushdie and William Dalrymple have tight deadlinese., goals for their work. This essentially means breaking your work over a number of days and meeting your deadline each day. If you do not do this, chances are that you will write a tome bigger than that of Illiad and Odyssey put together, with a zero audience! All in all, a massive waste of time (which could otherwise translate into money). On the flip side, even if there is nothing in particular that you have in mind, write consistently. Over time, your writing will find a pattern and its course.
  2. Setting judicious goals: The authors mentioned above are known for their vision and thoughts. The same may not hold true for a newcomer initially. For someone new to the field, a more doable goal of a set number of pages every day or number of chapters in so many days would help. Sticking by your commitment will see you write consistently, which over time will give you a decent stockpile of written stuff!
  3. Consistencye., write you MUST, come what may. Some folks won’t write as it is rainy and dreary outside or too hot or too cold. There is no end to such excuses if you want to write consistently. Drop the excuse, however strong they may seem. Pull up your socks and get down to writing.
  4. Do away with distractions & be in a place that motivates you to write: With every passing day, comes a new aid, a new technology which promises to save time and efforts. What it does not tell you is that these technologies also distract. What otherwise gets done in an hour may take over 6 since you can’t seem to be able to get over your addictions of the web and all that it offers like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, emails….and so on. GET OVER IT. PERIOD. When you get down to writing, SHUT THEM OUT. If you can’t, be ready to be shut out! And remember, even the place where you sit down to write can add to your distractions. Remember your school days and your favourite corner? Remember how it somehow got you into the mood? The same applies to writing. Select a corner of your house/ office which is well lit and ventilated. Get yourself a comfortable table and chair. The rest hopefully, should fall in place!

The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea

North Korea, is a country which has been politically inaccessible under its continuing sequence of dictators. It has been in the news recently for President Donald’s Trumps threatening tweet to North Korea’s Leader Kim Jong Un – ‘you wont be around much longer!’

Yet from this country where civilians live in fear of their lives, under a harsh regime, has come a translation by Man Booker International winner Deborah Smith – The Accusation: Tales: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea.

The book written by Bandi (a pseudonym now doubt) in 2014 was smuggled out of North Korea to South Korea where it was published. It received international attention this year when Ms. Deborah Smith translated the seven stories that showcase the unreal totalitarian rule that citizens of North Korea are forced to live under. This is a book that shows us what happens to individuals living under such a regime, yet there is hope.