The best seller formula

To see one’s book among the bestsellers is always a writer’s dream. I too have dreamed of seeing my book in vertical and spiral stacks in the book stalls and people staring at the stacks with unveiled admiration. Once I set out to the world of publishing, I realised that to get past the slush pile is never an easy job. However perfect you think your book would be, there are some formulas that you need to apply, which will make your book acceptable to the publishers, let alone hit the jackpot.
On reading some of the bestsellers, have you ever thought that you could write a better story? Did you ever wonder how a particular book be accepted by the publishers and turned out to be a bestseller? I too had, which made me study the bestsellers. Having a bestseller is not merely about good language, or literary prowess. It is about holding the public eyes. A bestselling author should not be a mere writer but he/she should be a marketing person, psychologist and moreover a good observer. He should know THE BEST SELLER FORMULA. Let’s see the ingredients.

If we observe the bestseller lists, we can easily see that three genres are the most popular. Romance, Thriller and Historical Fiction. Romance and Thriller are mutually inclusive genres. A romance book will have a cliff-hanger in the end while a thriller will have two protagonists who are united in the most unexpected circumstances but still manages to like each other. Historical fiction is a whole new storm which is more or less a misnomer. Mythological fiction would be the right term to name them for the characters are the innumerable Hindu gods and the famous, infamous or invisible persons in the Indian mythology.

‘Goody Two shoes’ protagonist

The protagonists, both male and female should be as perfect and clean as humanly possible. What if he/she takes a little bit weed or a shot or two of drinks or even get sloshed out in parties! They are the best partner each other could get. If it’s a thriller, especially an investigative one, the protagonists should have a dark past, preferably with each other.


How would an Indian author hold the audience without some Hindi swearing words and Hindi sentences, which of course would be translated? Using Hinglish has been cited as mandatory that the readers who doesn’t know Hindi would stop caring what the dialogues meant but still manages to read since it is a bestseller and if they don’t know the story, their friends would think that they are losers.

Making out sequences

Even if the situation doesn’t demand, even if the story doesn’t demand, there should invariably be a making out sequence with graphic details. It is a prerequisite especially on the penultimate chapter before revealing the suspense, so that the readers have to read and boost their adrenalin level which is already high.

Hefty bank balance

If you are a debut author, don’t even think of seeing your book in the bestseller stack unless you have money to burn for the readers these days no longer care about the quality of the book but they are more into telling their friends about whichever book they read. If you need someone to tell their friends about your book, you need to make sure that they see your book wherever they turn. Seeing your book in the spiral or vertical stacks has nothing to do with the sales of your book. You can attain it by simply paying the bookstore chains for the display which in turn would create an illusion of a bestseller which in turn makes your book one.

Apart from these if there are a few sequences where in the protagonists ogle at the women, break the traffic law, pass a few sexist comments, and give unreal surprises, hitting the bestseller list is a cakewalk for you. It would be perfect if you are an IIT, IIM pass out with a senior managerial job and 5-6 digit salary and you ditched the job and went into full time writing thereby denying a chance to a student who genuinely wanted the seat.

There could a lot of criticisms, and complaints about this post but still I chose to write this on behalf of thousands of writers who possess great talent, exemplary language and stories of substance but still did not get a chance to get past the slush pile just because their stories did not have the USP. There are hundreds of writers who have refused the chance to get published by top publishers just because they refused to squeeze in those commercial elements in their writing. Now a days it is a practice of asking the writer to mention their marketing tactics while submitting a proposal which proves that to become a writer you don’t need to have knowledge in literature but you should have extensive knowledge in marketing. I hope the scenario will change and those writers who are true to their hearts and those who write sincere stories would be recognised and provided the deserved acceptance because PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN SWORD.


Feminist or female chauvinist- Who are you?

Feminism is a term which has been abused for quite some time. With women’s day on your doorstep, it is quite a relevant topic that you should mull over. Anyone and everyone is a feminist these days with a strong anti-male indulgence. Respecting women has been used as a term that one should learn and practice daily so that it is used in every discussions, social media posts, and anything that concerns a woman. It is as if a man is not supposed to react even if a woman abuses on his face because she is a woman and he has to respect her. It is an era when women is termed to be empowered and being on the top of the world and it is the same era when women is forcefully be respected just because she is a woman. Is this feminism? Even if we check the dictionary meaning of feminism, it is written as political, social and economic equality to men.


Photo Courtesy : Sharon Shyam Photography

Nonetheless a group of women with a persona of a feminist is trying to make it a point the women is glorified to a position where ‘Respect women’ is a punishment for the ages long discrimination that she has been subjected to. Should a women be respected if she doesn’t intend to reciprocate it, much less acknowledge it.

No term has been as skewed as the term ‘feminist’. In a family, if a wife obeys her husband, is it exploitation of a gender. It would be, if the same is not reciprocated from the husband’s end and it is only the wife who is on the obedient side. While the authentic and genuine feminists were trying to put forth the point, it was taken forward by a group of pseudo feminists or female chauvinists, and interpreted in such a way that the harmony in a relationship is affected beyond bounds. If you are a feminist, it doesn’t mean that you should stop dressing up, or wear unisex clothes or take all chances to portray men as a bunch of chauvinists and utter all sort of nonsense that the women have started fearing the public before saying that ” I am a feminist”, because then people would assume that they are anti-male. What message would they pass on to the next generation. Will they start viewing men in a different light?


Photo Courtesy : Sharon Shyam Photography

We need 50% reservation in everything, specially reserved seats in public transport and all sort of amenities but still want to be counted in as equals! How convenient is that? While I used public transport, I have noticed that there are many teenagers and even young women who are reluctant to give up their seats to a pregnant woman or a mother with kids or elderly women. So what specials reservations do they deserve? Has it become so convenient that women can make use of their ‘being women ‘ status and flagrantly ignore a group of women who are indeed the weaker sections.

Section 498A in Indian Penal code is the historic change in the legal scenario which helped many women in escaping from the gruesome domestic violence they have been subjected to, so does section 376. But some weeds in the garden chose to use these sections to their benefit which forced the masses especially the bureaucrats who look into the matter to think twice before taking any actions. These women have not merely used these Indian Penal Code sections against  men but by faking such complaints they are using the same against women who actually needed support.

This women’s day, there will be a lot of resolutions taken by women- To make sure that no women is abused, verbally, physically, psychologically and sexually; To stop exploitation of the helpless women; To stand for the women’s rights and whatsoever reason. Amidst all these let’s also pledge to prevent those women who misuse these privileges from doing so; Let’s make women aware of the difference between feminism and female chauvinism; Let’s tell them that to be empowered women need not fight against men but move along with them. Women empowerment is not merely learning martial arts but by understanding the self worth and stop claiming respect. You need to give respect to take respect.





Vitamin E – Our skin deep buddy

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Last week we saw the three basic steps of skin care. We saw the importance of using Sulphate and Paraben free products. Next we will see what are the components that are key in the skin care regime. While we can vouch on several vitamins and nutrients, Vitamin E and Vitamin C holds the top position. Today we will discuss my experience and a few points about vitamin E. For me, # Evion capsule is synonymous to vitamin E since I haven’t used any other vitamin E capsules yet.


My first experience with Vitamin E and specifically #Evion is post engagement. I was cramming my head as to what I should do to get the glowing complexion on my wedding day. It was my friend’s sister who suggested using Vitamin E.  What she suggested me was to cut open the capsule, mix it with olive oil and apply it all over the body before shower. Another was a hair care regime where in we can mix olive oil or coconut oil with vitamin E and apply to your hair before shower.

I tried it out for three months and trust me,on my wedding day, my skin was glowing! and my hair looked flawless. Post wedding, somehow this habit was inhibited and my relation with Vitamin E seemed brief, for the time being.

As you all know through my pregnancy posts, I got pregnant soon after marriage and was confined to bed. I was very troubled with the muscle cramps and since I was on strict bed rest, it was not possible for me to move my legs very fast or stand up. Those who might have gone through this turmoil can relate to this situation. That’s when I consulted my Gynecologist who in turn prescribed #Evion tablets per day. I was surprised and asked the doctor if #Evion or Vitamin E is for smooth skin. That’s when she took my class with a smiling face. It is a shameful fact that even after studying Biotechnology, I was unaware of this fact. What I learned from her and my education can be summarized below.

Apart from skin care, there are a lot of benefits of Vitamin E that we are unaware of. It balances cholesterol, fights free radicals, balances hormones, helps PMS syndrome, and helps build muscle cells. The fat soluble vitamin can be obtained from food items like sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, wheat germs, mango, avocado, tomato, kiwi, and spinach. It doesn’t mean that to make your skin look better, we should start gobbling these vegetables. We can incorporate these vegetables in your dishes, salads or even while you are having corn flakes. I used to make sure that these vegetables are included in my diet even when I was following strict weight loss diet. Even then, I try to include #Evion tablet on a thrice a week basis. Since it is a fat soluble vitamin I have my reservations on using it everyday but I take it thrice a week for sure because the food items might not provide the vitamin in the requisite amount.

I have been using Vitamin E containing skin care products like face wash, toner, moisturizer etc and if I cannot get it I mix vitamin E with my moisturizer just like how I did with olive oil.

Apart from this a unique tip that I am making use of is to add Vitamin E to the hair oil that I make at home. Here is the unique recipe that I have been using on my kid’s hair and that which provided my 6 year old daughter with flawless hair.

PS: I am planning to use this oil for myself as well.

Hair oil recipe:

Coconut oil: 250 ml

Pepper corn: 20-30

Basil Leaves: a hand ful

Aloe Vera gel : 1 Tea spoon( I use fresh aloe vera gel directly taken from the plant)

#Evion Capsule: 1 No. (cut open and the liquid is poured inside)

Heat the oil and put Pepper, basil leaves, aloe vera gel and vitamin E. The consistency of the basil leaves is the pointer to know if the oil is ready to use. Once the oil is ready the basil leaves would be crispy and becomes a powder on slight touch.

So that’s it for today. I hope you liked this post. So what are you waiting for? Go and grab your #Evion capsules from the nearest chemist and start following the skin care regime. Feel the difference and bask in glory.

To know more visit

Meanwhile if you haven’t read my previous post, please click here.

Three golden rules of skin care


Bed rest and pre-term delivery

Hello mommies out there,

Don’t sulk and frown at me. I know I left everyone half way with the pregnancy posts. Some of the expecting mothers among you might have had their babies by now. But I was trapped with the three hellions. What I understood in the past one year is that if you have a child, it’s beautiful, endearing;if you have two kids then you are handful; if you have three kids you are in chaos. If you have four kids and more, may god bless you.

So, I had left the line of posts with the cervical encirclage. We saw the two main types of encirclages. Since I had my encirclage for the first baby in my seventh month, the uterus was already expanded and the stitch was towards the end. Hence it was more painful when compared to the rest of the cases. I was on complete bedrest for good two months.There can be difference of opinion regarding the bedrest. Pregnancy is a time when we get unsolicited advice, with a lot of tips. For my bedrest as well, I got too many advices. Why are you taking rest, that too with the foot end of the bed raised! So and so doctor wouldn’t have advised bedrest, for a healthy baby a mother should walk and work, you shouldn’t have travelled so much lest this wouldn’t have happened, this and that and there and then and what not.

My dear to be mommies, the first thing you should do on getting pregnant is to shut your brain to baseless advices. Just smile and nod and forget! I had to undergo encirclage because I had incompetent cervix not because i travelled in my car. I had to remain on bedrest because I have a unicorn uterus which is too weak to carry a baby. Now, how can I convince this to the aunties and chachis and bhabhis. So, i just smiled and nodded and forgot!

However, I spent two months on bed. After 33 weeks I started having pain in the pubic area like I had during the 27th week. The NST test didn’t show any contraction and hence doctor asked me to wait. I waited for one more week and after 34 weeks the pain was unbearable and doctor decided to remove the stitch lest it would break and asked me to come for a check up after four days. On the fourth day, we went for the check up. We reached the hospital at 5 o’clock in the evening. On doing the finger test, doctor said “I think I can feel baby’s head” and asked me to go to the labour room and started induction. My father went to take necessary clothes and my mother called my husband who was only a few kilometres away from the hospital. It was 6 o clock by then. Induction started and immediately I said “I have the pushing tendency.” Doctor asked me to wait for an hour Or two since child birth takes time. But I was unable to wait and kept on compelling the doctor to do something. Finally the doctor gave up and checked my cervix and I still remember her horrified face. She started screaming “OMG!Crowning has started. Shift her to the labour table.” The sisters literally swung me near the labour table and asked me to shift. With the baby’s head stuck in my vagina, I still don’t remember how I made myself shift from the bed to the table. Doctor asked me to push. One strong push and a filthy thing flew to doctors hands. I was angry that after so much why didn’t  my baby come first. In the ba`ckground I can hear the doctor yelling about suction. And suddenly I heard a shrieking sound from the filthy thing which happened to be my baby daughter and my delivery was done in twenty minutes. Offff I have goosebumps now.


The nurses, after cleaning her, wrapped her in a white towel and brought her to me. That was the most beautiful sight I have seen in my life. A little face with tiny dots in the place of eyes and a line instead of mouth and a prominent nose like a Pinocchio, just like their dad, to my dismay. This reminded me of the funny quote ” I carried you for nine months, I was in labour for fifteen hours, I couldn’t sleep properly for six months, and you came of looking like your dad.” In my case I can’t even tell that since none of my kids stayed inside my uterus for nine months and my daughter came out in twenty minutes. Nevertheless I have an edge over my sons since they put me in labour for 15 and 72 hours respectively.

I didn’t notice that doctor had applied local anaesthesia on my vaginal area and stitching the bruise that this little angel has caused. I slipped into a dreamy trance and slept.

Next post is the most debated Normal delivery Vs Cesarean. If you haven’t read my previous posts, please find the links below:

Incompetent Cervix and encirclage

The test time- TVS and Obstetric scan

Cherishing that tiny heart beat

Understanding the purple lines



Three golden rules of skin care

Beauty and skin care is now a days a cake walk for women, all thanks to the cascading blogs and YouTube videos on beauty, makeup and skin care. We all know a lot about beauty and skincare but do we all know the basic steps into skincare. Every woman know that to get rid of the age lines we must use anti-ageing cream, to get rid of dark circles, we must use under-eye cream and so on and so forth. Notwithstanding the surge of information, there are still a lot of women or rather girls who are unaware of the three basic steps of skin care. Skincare does not just end up in washing your face and smearing the skin with creams. So, what are the three basic steps that have been repeated over and over again?


Cleansing does not necessarily be wiping off the epidermis with cleansing milk. Personally I don’t prefer using cleansing milk unless it is comprised of natural ingredients. A good mild face wash would do the purpose. The face wash should preferably be sulphate free. One Sulphate free face wash which I came across is Forest Essentials face wash but it is expensive and would not be an affordable one for everyone. As you can seen in the picture below, it is Rs.1075/- for a 200ml bottle.IMG-20180104-WA0017 Unfortunately I could not find any other Sulphate free face wash till now. Even the ones that come with the herbal label contains sulphate. If any of you could find one, do tell me in the comment section and I would update it with your name. While washing your face it is important to mildly massage your face in outward motion. It is important to use your finger tips and keep the pressure light lest it will provide adverse results.

Toning –

Toning is a deceptive step in daily skin care that most of us choose to skip. I tend to skip this step even now. Toning is an important step that should not be skipped since it helps in removing the remnants of oil and dirt that the cleanser has left behind. It is key to select a toner that does not contain alcohol. It balances the pH of your skin and helps to insulate the open pores. Rose water is a good toner. We can make it at home. A DIY of the same would be posted in the coming days.

Toner should neither be used like a cleanser nor like a moisturiser. It is important to know that a toner should not be rubbed into your skin. Take a cotton pad and dampen it with a toner and apply it to your face in a dabbing motion.



This step should be done right after face wash. Gently press your face with a towel to make sure that the face is free of water but still remains damp.


Moisturising is one step that majority of the women follow like a religious ritual. Most women complain about the moisturiser keeping your face sticky and oily. This is primarily because we skip the toning step. Another important step to keep in your mind is to use very little moisturiser.


Finding the right moisturiser for your face is important. The purpose of a moisturiser is to keep your skin hydrated and nourished. It is always preferable to avoid using the whitening creams available in the market. You skin might look glowing and fair on using such creams but on the long run these creams will damage your skin for good and cause irreversible damage to your skin.

So gear up from today onward, follow the three golden rules and see the difference.


Fashion, Makeup and Healthcare- New Beginning for the New Year

Hello my Scrutiny Mates. I have been on a brie hiatus from Scrutiny and have been focusing more on Outset, which again was going slow. This new year, my new resolution is to regularly update my both blogs notwithstanding the craziness all around with my four kids. The pregnancy and motherhood line will be updated soon. Along with that, I have been receiving endless requests to include  a line of posts about Makeup, Healthcare, Skincare, Weight loss etc etc. While I am not a certified trainer or doctor, I would be able to make use of my Biotechnology knowledge. Apart from that I would be doing my research on whatever posts I present before you. I hope I would be able to regular with my posts and expect to receive your support through like and comments. There would be product reviews in Outset and I would be sharing the same here as well.

So, How are you all planning to begin your new year? What are your new year resolutions? Wish you all a fabulous year ahead. Keep reading my blogs and keep supporting me.

What’s in store for our girls on this international girls day

The question is of course rhetorical. I do not want to hear reservation or empowerment for an answer. Because by now all these utopian ideas have proved to be a farce. All that we can offer our girls is martial art class, psychological awareness, a pepper spray and a lot of prejudice. Even after numerous social media awareness programs, talk shows and debates, we are still stuck in the body shaming, slut shaming and male chauvinistic era. Do you think all these happen only in social media ? Do you intend to say that it is the men who slut shame women? Then I have to ask you which universe do you live in. Open your eyes and look around. You can see numerous women, ladies,aunties, oldies and teenagers who pass on the sleaziest comments against women.

Recently I attended a family friend’s function. When I entered their home, the first reaction of the host to my husband was “Why don’t you make her wear some clothes”. I looked at myself. I was wearing a kurta and leggings . Apparently I was wondering if I forgot to wear my leggings . No, it was there. A lose leggings  that didn’t even go with the definition of the “leggings” we see these days. The kurta was a high neck one. So cleavage is not visible. So what did I miss? Aah yes, sleeve. I was wearing a sleeveless kurta and was shamelessly flaunting my arms. Flaunting your back, bust, abs, belly button and even pubic hair is allowed as long as you are wearing a saree but your legs and arms should never be exposed to the public. What are you saying!! It is against our cultural heritage.

I still don’t understand why she asked my husband why he didn’t make me wear some clothes instead of asking me why I didn’t wear something. Is he the one who put on clothes for me? Or is it because they think that I make my husband do my jobs? No, the answer is clear. The insinuation was that why my husband “allowed” me to wear a sleeveless dress. I must take permission from him before wearing this and he should not “give” permission to wear sleeveless.

This is one of the harmless instances that I mentioned but what with the more serious, shameless, brutal and culture less thoughts revolving in the likes of the lady whom I mentioned before. God forbid if someone rapes a girl or woman who was wearing sleeveless or short dress they would say that she deserved it or even she asked for it. So why do we get surprised when men give rape threat to a woman. If his mother thinks that a woman should be raped for wearing modern dress or western dress for that matter, what would you expect her son to do with a woman. Respect? Nay!!

We should teach our girls to stand up for themselves, we should teach our boys to respect women, but before that we adults should behave. A man need not respect a woman with such sleazy mentality. A man should only respect a woman who gives due respect to him without being submissive and dominating. Before teaching a boy or man to respect a woman, let women start respecting each other irrespective of their dress, financial status, cast, creed or nationality.

Another comment that pinched my self-worth was ” it would have been understandable if she was from a rich family ” . So tell me, what is the connection between money and a woman’s individuality or self respect. If you are a billionaire, you can wear anything,do anything and say anything? What do we teach our girls if we ourselves do know how to behave?

“Why does he do all this gossiping?  Is he a woman?” I would say asking this question is a crime. The same insinuate that women keep on gossiping and being woman is a degradation for a man.

This international girls day, let’s not give them anything. Let’s work towards developing ourselves and our mentality. Let’s stand for each other and then teach our girls to stand for themselves.