Ebook or print book? Why not both?

Call me old. Or old-fashioned. I grew up reading print books of various sizes with amazing stories that transported me to imaginary lands. I love print books for their smell, feel and heft.

Ebooks entered my life recently. I own a Kindle, which I use to order books launched in faraway countries. In order to receive the physical copy, there is extra cost and time involved, so I choose the ebook. Kindle also works better during travel. Better to be pragmatic than a purist when it comes to loving books.

At Story Artisan Press, we began our journey with ebooks but today we are happy to announce that our two new books, Train Friends and Desi Modern Love are also available as print books on Amazon.com.

Today I received the first paperback copy of Desi Modern Love. It is small, slim and oh, so cute! A few hours after admiring it, I came across this article that confirmed my suspicion that there are more people like me, who prefer to hold a book than scan a page on a screen: Physical books still outsell e-books — and here’s why.

Checkout our print books on Amazon, you can get Desi Modern Love here and Train Friends, here.

Sneak Peek of Train Friends

Here is a special sneak excerpt from the newly released essay collection Train Friends – Bombay Roots, Parallel Track, Shared Journeys. Specially for Mumbaikars!!

The Hussainsagar express train dropped me off at Dadar station at about six in the morning. I carried my light bag to the local train platform, determined to prove to my parents that I didn’t need to be escorted home. I was, after all, a Mumbaikar and everyone knows that Mumbai trains are a safe option, even at that early hour. 

A group of college students were the only evidence of life on an otherwise deserted platform. They talked and poked each other in the ribs, laughing aloud at their inside jokes. I was transported back to my Agarwal class days, wondering if my group had been equally boisterous. My reverie was interrupted by a hoarse voice.

“Aunty, Bandra kaun se side aayega?” Which side will Bandra come?

The question was a common one, one that I had often asked others. But had this boy really called me Aunty? Me? Aunty!!

In typical Mumbai style, the response rose in my throat involuntarily.

Aunty hogi teri maa.” Your mother is an aunty.

After a sixteen-hour journey, with a night spent tossing around on a train berth, in my crumpled salwar kameez and messy hair, I knew I wasn’t looking my best. But Aunty??

Grab your copy here.

Not the Brown Girl with the Red Dot

Photo credit: Shailaja Chilappagari

More than two decades ago, I was the only girl on my college campus in the US who wore a prominent bindi on her forehead, a choice that earned me the nickname of “the girl with the red dot”. Writing an essay about this experience helped me delve into defining my identity by trying to understand my reasons for choosing to stand out this way, so far away from home. I revisited this topic again in light of the current focus on identity which seems to be defined primarily by our skin colour: Not the Brown Girl with the Red Dot.

Writing about Writing

My first guest post. Also my first post on the craft of writing. In this piece I offer practical tips on writing a powerful personal essay using tools used by fiction writers. Author Damyanti Biswas whose debut novel You Beneath Your Skin is available for pre-order on Amazon.in was kind enough to feature me on her blog.

Read my take at: How to Write a Powerful Personal Essay Using the Craft of Fiction

Are you a fiction or non-fiction reader/writer? How do you approach the your writing tasks? 


Is it telepathy or serendipity when your thoughts (and actions) match those of someone far away? To our great surprise, we discovered that Khabar magazine, published in Atlanta, USA had the same idea as us – to feature a story about the endlessly fascinating Mumbai local trains on their cover.

At Story Artisan Press, we had been working behind the scenes for the last few months to launch our new book Train FriendsBombay Roots, Parallel Track, Shared Journeys. Check out this essay collection for insightful reflections on growing up (in Mumbai, of course), going away and finding the meaning of home: here.