Thank you Chandra


If Shashi Tharoor had Indian books like The Summer of Cool and The Good News Reporter to read when he was growing up, they would have featured in his book “Bookless in Baghdad”, Chapter 1, Growing Up with Books in India.

Congratulations on filling a very important void! If I had to compile a list of most influential Indians, you would be among the top! Not only did you write for children, you wrote a completely desi book, which like most Indian urban things and people, reflects the global nature of today’s kids with their Indian cultural sensibilities.

There is no ‘Indian children’s book’ that I could relate to while growing up. Thanks for changing all that. My older daughter thoroughly enjoyed the book and so did my younger one and I just could not put the two books down. I read them one after another. The thrill of reading an Indian English book was magical. Then I went into ‘withdrawal’ and couldn’t bring myself to read anything else!

Last but not the least, the desi consideration aside, you wrote two very good books for children. I am thrilled about the fact that these have Indian characters, themes, plots and ‘Indian English’. But they are good books first because they are simply good stories. The plots are good and the story keeps moving so that you want to keep turning the page.

I am also glad to see the larger trend of desi literature emerging, which you are a part of:
The commercial success of books also helps encourage new authors that India needs. About time India!

I would change two things about the book. One, I would edit it ever so slightly to make the book have a broader appeal to include an even younger age group. Two, I would approach Penguin to get a better bound book. Our copy of TGNR already has pages that are coming loose at one end.

Suchitra, I hope Devi Saraswati blesses your pen so you can keep more books coming. We would be thrilled to hear back from you!

Keep writing!


Thank you Chandra for the above kind words. Its one of the reasons i chose this genre-the fact that there is no indigenous indian literature for the young mind. Nothing that told us about our own lives, the way we celebrate it.

Your  words seem to make all the  effort and sleepless months that go into writing a book worth it :-))

I invariably write through the night-when my daughter is asleep and i can be freed from the disturbance of mundane domesticity. My urge to write is so strong and uncontrollable that i just do it but i sometimes wonder…

Writing in India is an unrewarding job, in terms of money and recognition. I mean my maid earns more! An item girl shaking her touche on stage in a back of the beyond small town earns many many times more.

While i can afford to laugh it off  because my livelihood or lifestyle does not depend on it I often wonder how other writers sustain themselves.

I hope this changes soon…because there is an ocean of talent and a wealth of stories we can tap into-totally uniquely Indian. They need to be encouraged and suitably rewarded

Then maybe the new writers (unlike most of the current crop) wont feel the need to peddle our poverty and our feudal past to the west- because thats where the big bucks and the fame comes from.

11 thoughts on “Thank you Chandra”

  1. namaste
    i have recently read your book and i completely agree with chandra that there aren’t too many indian books we can relate to while we were growing up. i am glad this generation is lucky to have authors like you. our children can relate to these stories, the indianess of everything from car cleaner to weird neighbours 😉

    i also had a small request:
    i am a teacher in a school in Mumbai at Dadar. we have recently initiated a Literature Club for children studying in Secondary section. i was wondering if you’ll be able to come to our school to inaugurate the LITERATI club.It’ll make a lot of impact on our children. as you must have noticed nowadays children don’t pick up a book that easily as oppose to remotes. our intention is to change that,we want to create bookworms… hoping you’ll revert. waiting in anticipation

    thank you
    Preetee Sanghavi

  2. I enjoyed reading the summer of cool thoroughly. A real page turner. I am looking forward to reading the next one in the series

  3. your book is written beautifully and engages the
    reader compulsively to finish it in one sitting.
    It is different from its ilk and will appeal to
    all Indians and India lovers.
    We are eagerly awaiting your next.

  4. I agree with chandra. What I thoroughly enjoyed about the summer of cool is the desiness. Its not often one finds books that
    Use such simplel language so well. Its like how we talk. I laughed and cried and could imagine
    Ammama’s moustache flying with her snores.
    Chitrangana is too agorable. Keep going girl. You rock

  5. My Day and My feelings are hurt
    My Soul is wounded

    While my friends i never met in my city have left this world
    because they were not protected
    As if the earlier shock from my City Mumbai and all those people from this world were killed duinrg those days, the wounds are still open

    How can i have stop my tears and eyes
    While the precious life is not protected
    What are we doing ?

    Who are we waiting to protect us ?
    How many more such until we all stand up ?

    My County is attacked
    My Cities are attacked
    My Friends are attacked
    My people are attacked
    My Life is attacked

    Flood of thoughts and feelings …
    had to stop now with a hope for everyone to not just talk about it
    But do something to STOP IT.

    : (( : (( : ((

    Second attack in Maharashtra
    This is a challenge to humanity

    I wonder where are those who call for MS !

    Mr Thackeray where are you ?
    What have you done for Maharashtra and people ?

    Where are those who call for Living
    Where are those who call for Humanity
    Where are those who call for Life
    Where are those who call for people
    Where are those who call for everyone
    Where are those who call for ….

  6. I have a epic horror film script for you as the lead character of a witch.
    Would you allow me to send it to you. but let me explain first that I have no producer for the film right now. you will have to find producer for that.


  7. Suchitra,

    Thrilled to hear back from you!

    I am glad about Chetan Bhagat’s controversy after the release of 3 Idiots. I am glad about the ‘noise’ related to an author, a book…… It is a step towards raising the monetary bar for a book/author in India!

    You may have been aware of the article link in my original post where you are mentioned – I think this is a watershed moment of sorts for Indian literature – desi literature that is not just targeted to a Western audience or a Booker prize (of course, if that also happens, it is welcome). Hopefully, more money comes the author’s way so that writing becomes a sustainable career for more people in India.

    So I repeat that you are an Indian of the Year, too bad my award does not come with glamour and media blitz 🙂 You are not only promoting reading among the young, but also introducing a new kind of ‘young desi literature’. I would recommend working on a US edition of your book. Getting foreign edition books on while based in the US becomes too expensive and your book will not receive exposure in the overseas market. The Indian diasporic population is large enough to offer a market for you, at least among those who care to read!

    Look at Diary of a Wimpy Kid – you can see it in theaters this month! Jeff Kinney couldn’t be doing too badly after that fast life-cycle from book to a movie deal. The US media (books and movies) has a sizeable, financially robust share for kid material. Several things are coming up in India too – animated classics, animated movies, etc. (I need to catch Pangaa Gang with my kids.)

    I am so glad Devi Lakshmi has blessed you in other ways so that you can use Devi Saraswati’s blessings by writing! May your keyboard be blessed creating the next two Swapnalok books!

  8. your book is written beautifully and engages the
    reader compulsively to finish it in one sitting.
    It is different from its ilk and will appeal to
    all Indians and India lovers.
    We are eagerly awaiting your next.

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