I love reading books. Most of my fondest childhood memories are sitting in a comfortable corner reading a captivating book. Books are filled with so much treasure; they have the ability to transport you to distant lands that can only be imagined. Reading books has expanded the capacity of my imagination in tremendous ways and it has increased my knowledge. I benefit from books in many ways, my mind becomes remarkably enriched, I learn about new things, reading books is very entertaining and the pleasure I derive from reading is absolutely out of this world. Reading inspires imagination and fuels creativity. I have been able to connect with other cultures by reading books. In the words of Henry Ward Beecher “Nowhere is human nature as weak as in the bookstore”, I can relate to this statement as an avid reader. A bibliophile. Books are my passion.
Getting completely lost in the world of books, being absorbed into another world is an experience I look forward to. I enjoy the solitude, the quiet time I spend reading books. There are many benefits of reading, it is a relaxing activity, and it is also pleasant and luxurious. It launches you into a world controlled by imagination- a magical world. Books provide an easy escape from the troubles of this world, leaving behind the mundane life. Books are therapeutic, they have the ability to heal our wounds and rejuvenate our lives back to a vibrant state. Books give joy, a boost to our soul, support character development and impact our lives in very distinctive ways. Books are a reliable companion; they are the greatest treasures on earth.
I can easily mention “Jane Eyre” as one of my favourite books. It was written by Charlotte Bronte. I also love “The Post Office” a play by Rabindranath Tagore. I read this book when I was 11 years old and the memories of Amal- the child still lingers in my mind to this very day. It is a very poignant write.

Compiling a list of my ten best books was quite challenging because I love so many books. It’s difficult to choose just ten amongst such rich treasures, so here is a list of my ten best books of all time.

1. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: I loved this book because it met all the qualities of an amazing thriller. The suspense and intrigue were absolutely fascinating. This murder mystery written by Agatha Christie tops my list for many reasons. The thrilling story will keep you guessing who the real murderer is until the very end of the book and the truth will almost knock you off your chair.
Roger Ackroyd, a widower, was betrothed to Mrs Ferrars, a wealthy widow. In a twist, she commits suicide and Roger Ackroyd is murdered in his study. Enter- Hercule Poirot, our star detective. He was called upon to solve the murder case of Roger Ackroyd. The following events lead to a startling twist at the end. The British Crime Writers Association nominated this book as the best crime novel ever.

  1. The Post Office (Play): This is an enthralling book written by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. The book is spectacular for its poignancy. It tells the story of an innocent child who starts out life plagued with an illness and as time goes on, harsh realities of living set in. The experience of the child as described in this book will move the reader to tears.
    Amal, the main character is a young boy who suffers from an incurable disease. Confined to his room, Amal looks out to the world through his windows, wishing to experience the world out there.
    This popularity of this play made it necessary for it to be performed in French, Spanish and other languages. It was a huge success in Germany with over 100 shows. The audience related the theme of liberation from captivity which was connected to the horrors people had to live through in the concentration camps during the World War II.
  2.  Three Men in A Boat: This book is one of my favourites, it made me laugh so much, I am sure readers will enjoy reading through every page of this book that has been packed with humour. It was written by Jerome K. Jerome, a real comedy in which an expert writing technique was used to create humour in the various situations described in the book.
    The book is a funny narrative of a trip made by Jerome K. Jerome and two of his friends across the Thames on a short vacation, there is a dog in this story that just makes the experience even more hilarious.
    This work was recognised by the BBC, it aired the story on the radio very often.

    4.Jane Eyre: A spectacular novel written by Charlotte Bronte. This book is one of my all-time favourites. Timeless classic. I acknowledge the literary genius of the three Bronte sisters. The story is about Jane- a simple girl who has an unwavering ambition to make it in a world dominated by men. Jane Eyre was one of the earliest feminist novels. These lines from the book prove it beyond doubt “It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action, and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.”

She braves this world armed with her education determined to be recognised. I love Jane for her fierce independence and standing on her principles. To quote Jane Eyre: “I am a free human being with an independent will.”

The love story is delicately woven with romance, intrigue, and empathy. The captivating conversation between Jane and Rochester will be entertaining and enlightening. It is easily a wonderful literary masterpiece.

  1.  Gone With the Wind: The writer of this book Margaret Mitchell is known for this compelling classic. Her writing technique has the ability to draw you into the story- a rare ability. You will love the depiction of the main characters Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara the daughter of a cotton plantation farmland owner, as you read through the pages of this American Civil war story.
    This book is a best seller with over 30 million copies sold globally. Its unique title was adopted from a poem written by Ernest Christopher Dowson, the storyline pulls you through the lives of slaves who worked on the vast cotton farms in the South.
  2. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: This is another all-time classics; I loved this book as a child. This compelling story has been made into movies many times. It is a masterpiece written by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson).
    It begins with the adventures of Alice who mistakenly ventures into the wonderland- home to strange characters. It is an entertaining book with interesting conversations, humour and poems. Poems laden with satire like the “You are old Father William” became more popular because of this book. It is an excellent read. Many parody poems in this book are wonderful humorous pieces of work, which even became more popular than the original.
  3.  The Short Stories of O’Henry: O’Henry delivers his best in every story, the master of twist endings. This is a collection of stories expertly written to thrill the readers beyond their anticipations. Popular choices will include the spectacular stories like “The Gift of The Magi” and “The Last Leaf”. In the short story category, O’Henry stands out paving the way for any aspiring writers who are encouraged by the annual O’Henry awards for excellent short stories.
    As expected, the movie industry has selected many of the short stories written by O’Henry to be made into great movies. One of these is a gem of a classic titled “The Cop and the Anthem” starred Marilyn Monroe.
  4. The complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle: Truly the master of crime and mystery. I still have vivid memories of the stories in my mind; this is not surprising because of the captivating methods used in writing these stories. Sherlock Holmes is the proficient detective, always analysing the crime scenes with so much detail that hold you spellbound.
    The notable recognitions for these stories have made Sherlock Holmes very popular. The Guinness world records organisation recognises Sherlock Holmes as the most commonly depicted movie character ever. The extent to which Sherlock Holmes has been used in movies, radio, stage performances and other media over the years will almost make you believe that he actually exists in real life.
  5. The Complete poems of Emily Dickinson: Emily Dickinson’s poems are intense. They are painted with feelings that are beautiful, painful and sorrowful. I recommend these poems to readers who get a thrill from poems that express a variety of emotions including love, death, new birth and nature. These poems can bring some sadness into your heart when you read into the text, there is also narratives based on ethics and morals in these pieces.
    Readers will have enough of these materials to satisfy their needs because as many as 1800 poems written by Emily Dickinson which has been posthumously published.
  6. Right Ho, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse: If you love humour, this is the book for you. Laughing while reading a good book is an experience I wish everyone can experience. This story is about an overconfident Jeeves, a valet with “skills” that he insists must be used to take charge of his master’s life. He asserts his position as the protector and saviour of Bertie Wooster and his friends, vowing to shield them from compulsory social functions that can kill a person with boredom, the nosy relatives, and also using his experience to get help Bertie make a good impression with the women. These hilarious stories have been adapted into films and television. Packed with humour, a usual feature of Wodehouse books, you will feel very happy reading this book to the very last page.

There you have it, my top ten best books of all time. Don’t hesitate to start reading them and feel free to add your suggestions.


A Poem & School Days Memories

Yesterday, Lathika my best friend from school days, who is now in London, called up. We had a great time conversing, taking a trip down memory lane as we lost track of time. It was as if the years rolled back and the miles melted away and there we were sitting beside each other reminiscing the sweet memories of our school days. Our school was an Elysium. I remember the beautiful red Gul Mohar and purple Jacaranda adorning our school campus. We had great teachers. Our school moulded our lives, our destinies. 

Here’s my poem, “Newton’s Law” reminiscent of school days.


Newton’s Law

I was inattentive in Science class one day

When the teacher at random looked my way

I didn’t look up, I wouldn’t dare

There’s no escaping that intense glare.


Asked me to explain to the class

Newton’s Law of Gravity and mass

My mind was a blank, heart beats louder

For an answer, I started to flounder.


I stood before the class trembling with fear

“Gravity,” I said…and then oh dear!!!

I fell off the stage onto the floor

How the class with laughter did roar.


The children tittered in great amusement

They didn’t know my sad predicament

The teacher said, “You’ve demonstrated gravity”

“Although you did it with much levity”.


At length, I returned to my seat

With much applause did they greet

Now I look back upon this and ponder

I decide to listen and not let my mind wander.

Copyright@Nandita Das

Women Empowerment


Women empowerment is a subject close to my heart.

There is a drastic increase in crime against women. Newspapers and TV channels are full of occurrences of violence against women like dowry death, rape, domestic violence, moral policing, assault cases and sexual harassment Our political leaders fail to ensure a safe India for women. India is now considered the fourth most dangerous country for women. This is the harsh reality of India. What has made India so unsafe for women? Why can’t women be made to feel more secure in our country? It’s because women are not considered a priority.  The dismal record of surging crimes against women attests to this.

 In most homes in India, equal rights and benefits for women are simply a myth.


Here’s my short story (flash fiction-“Silence Is Not Always Golden” by Nandita Das.



Neena talked twenty to the dozen. She was the Mistress of repartee, wordplay, and witty rejoinders.

So, on this June afternoon, it was rather surprising to see a quiet Neena.

No Neena-esque witticisms. All was quiet on the Neena-front. Her parents wondered what could have caused this spell of silence? When nothing could compel her to speak, her friends wondered if she had lost her faculties of speech.

Towards evening, in came Dev, her best friend. All heaved a sigh of relief. Surely, Neena would speak now. With Neena and Dev around, you couldn’t get in a word edgeways. Their conversation flowed. No full stops. No commas. Like a waterfall, you never knew where it began or ended.

But Dev’s appearance did little to alter the glum silence. The family began to despair when Dev spoke up. “Well, it’s almost seven now. Neena’s reticence is admirable. She wins the bet. Silence until  7pm. I better give her the Rs.400”, saying which he drew the money from his wallet.

“Neena burst out, “It’s 500, and not a rupee less.”

“Well, technically, you lose the bet, Neena. It’s still 4 minutes to 7, and I did deliberately say 400. But you win, anyway. Here’s your 500. Well done!”

“Oh! I shall never again keep silent. Even if I am paid to.” Neena countered.

“It’s sheer torture. Just think. Women in our country are silenced. Not allowed to speak up against the injustice of gender discrimination they face every day. They are silenced into conforming to society’s dictates.  Silenced in the name of culture and traditions. They are forced into silence when they face oppression in our patriarchal society. If they speak up, they are considered rebels and worse. They are violently silenced. Silence is not always golden.”

(For more on the subject of Women Empowerment please order your copy of  “Girl On A Mission: A Long Walk To Equality” which is on pre-release now on Amazon.com. Releasing on 2nd July 2016.)





“Learn to let go. That is the key to happiness” : Buddha

Here is my poem.

Let Go

Are sad thoughts stealing your joy?

While others with your feelings toy? 

Is your mind filled with fear?

While you weep silent tears?

 Is there no hope in sight?

Seeming a dark endless night? 

Have others been unfaithful to you?

While you have always remained true? 

Played with your emotions and your feelings?

Or been petty with you in their dealings? 

Did others hurt you beyond endurance?

Or have they slighted you in ignorance? 

Are you disconsolate and also forlorn?

Then surely it’s time for you to move on 

Is discontented restlessness in you brewing?

Happiness, joy, peace and serenity stealing?

 Let go, only then there is peace and healing

Life will have meaning and a true new beginning.

The key to happiness is indeed in learning to let go.

“It isn’t what you have or what you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about” : Dale Carnegie

This is so true. Consider this.You can sit by the lakeside and admire the blue lake, the beautiful reflection of the moon, the sweet scent of blossoms and the beauty that uplifts the soul. or you could think melancholy thoughts, feel a sense of sadness and loss, lament your misfortune, plunge into sad thoughts and feel dark cloud of foreboding looming,a sense of gloom and depression.

Same place. Different thoughts. It’s what our mind dwells on.It’s how we condition our mind to think. In the Diary of Anne Frank, we find she was happy even under terrible circumstances.

Happiness is in our minds. It is our attitude to life and to our circumstances. We can brighten up our day by doing the smallest and simple things in life. A smile brings joy to the giver and the receiver.

Check out my inspiring and helpful book on how to be happy, filled with inspiring quotes and anecdotes. Live a happier life.

How To Be Happy, Healthy & Successful In Life







These are a few poets I love and greatly adoreJust a short list, there are so many moreWordsworth writes praising beautiful natureYou can’t find many of Shakespeare’s stature. Tennyson’s thoughts are poetry in motionMilton’s poetry captures our emotions.Sylvia Plath”s confessions are truly heartfeltDickinson’s poignant writes make our heart melt. Ogden Nash is full of pun and humourEzra Pound’s insanity is no rumourShelley’s lyrics have a gentle flowTagore’s song offerings make hearts glow. Pope is popular for epigrams and verse

Life is short. Time is fleeting. Stop Procrastinating.

My poems on fleeting Time:

Fleeting Time

Time hurries

Time hastens

Time flies on wings

Time races

Time rushes

Time merrily sings. 

Time darts

Time dashes

Time dear memories hold

Time freezes

Time breezes

Time’s more precious than gold. 

Time captures

Time captivates

Time cherished moments unfold

Time whizzesTime zips

Time tells stories untold. 

We try to clasp it and grasp it

With all our powers

Elusive time slips away

By seconds, by minutes, by hours.

Flow of Time

Like green leaves that turn yellow and wither away

Like buds that blossom and fade away

Like white clouds that turn sullen gray

Like lengthening shadows darken the day.

The whirligig of time brings forth

Mysteries hidden in time’s womb

The only certain destiny death

That stone cold tomb.

Like a flickering flame blown out by the wind

Life’s breath is soon extinguished.

So we too shall pass away

And while on this journey, we may

In this deepening gloom, shine a bright ray

Love, help, encourage, pray

A new beginning every day.


Life is short. Time is fleeting. There is so much to do. So many desires and wishes unfulfilled. So many to-do lists. So many bucket lists. I have my own list but I will leave that for the next post. Making up a list is easy. But to make it happen, the first thing to do is to stop procrastinating. And start doing.

Well, here are a few quotes I found, on procrastination,  which may spur you on.

“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted…Do it now.”: Paulo Coelho

“Procrastination is my sin

It brings me naught but sorrow

I know that I should stop it

In fact, I will—-tomorrow! “: Gloria Pitzer

(This one resonates with me)


And the definition for “Tomorrow”?

“Tomorrow: A mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation and achievement is stored”.

“Procrastination is the thief of time”.

“Remember, time lost can never be regained”.

“A year from now you may wish you had started today”: Karen Lamb

So start today. Now.

Life is short and time is fleeting. Stop procrastinating.





“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words”: Robert Frost

“I would define in brief, the Poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of Beauty”: Edgar Allen Poe.

Poetry is timeless. Poetry is art. Poetry transforms lives. Poetry enriches. Poetry brings joy. Poetry brings healing, peace, hope and love.

Earliest poetry began with Indian Sanskrit epics. Did you know that the longest epic poem ever written was the Mahabharata? It has more than 220000 verses (100000 shlokas or couplets).

Poetry evokes memories and emotions. Poetry paints images on the canvas of our mind.

Here’s my poem on Poetry


Thoughts, images, impressions, musings

Churning, whirling, spinning, swirling

In the inner sanctum of the mind

Dwelling, screening, sheltering, nurturing

Thoughts, images, impressions, musings

Yearning for expression

Passions, emotions, sentiments, feelings

Aching, pining, craving, seeking

Thoughts, images, impressions, musings

On the canvas of the mind

 Sprouting, budding, blooming, blossoming

Bursting in a riot of expressions.

Some poems live on in memory. They burn an image in our heart. Or evoke deep emotions.

Here is my poem on some of my favorite poets:


These are a few poets I love and greatly adore

Just a short list, there are so many more

Wordsworth writes praising beautiful nature

You can’t find many of Shakespeare’s stature.

Tennyson’s thoughts are poetry in motion

Milton’s poetry captures our emotions.

Sylvia Plath”s confessions are truly heartfelt

Dickinson’s poignant writes make our heart melt.

 Ogden Nash is full of pun and humour

Ezra Pound’s insanity is no rumour

Shelley’s lyrics have a gentle flow

Tagore’s song offerings make hearts glow.

 Pope is popular for epigrams and verse

Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” is nonsense words.

Maya Angelou, a “Phenomenal Woman”

Many of Poe’s poems were inspired by women.

William Blake’s intensely spiritual writes

In Keats poetry every heart delights

Dante’s moral philosophy is a bit daunting

I must stop here, the list keeps mounting.

One of my favorite poets is Henry Derozio. His poem, “To India, my native land” is one of my favorite poems. Every word in this poem takes me to that bygone world of those glorious days.

My country! In thy days of glory past
A beauteous halo circled round thy brow
and worshipped as a deity thou wast—
Where is thy glory, where the reverence now?
Thy eagle pinion is chained down at last,
And grovelling in the lowly dust art thou,
Thy minstrel hath no wreath to weave for thee
Save the sad story of thy misery!
Well—let me dive into the depths of time
And bring from out the ages, that have rolled
A few small fragments of these wrecks sublime
Which human eye may never more behold
And let the guerdon of my labour be,
My fallen country! One kind wish for thee!

                       Henry Louis Vivian Derozio

Inspired by his beautiful poem, here is my own poem on my motherland India.

INDIA, my motherland.

Where the sun sets the sky aflame painting it vermilion gold

Where golden green grass glows in soft sunlight, oh behold

Where the stars like golden lamps light up the sky

Where at the beautiful horizon earth meets with the sky

Where the first golden sunrays softly kiss the earth

Where the earth awakens from slumber in joyful mirth

Where bejeweled rays of moon cast its golden glow

Where cascading waters into clear, sparkling streams flow

Where gleaming sunlight through treetops cast magical spell

Where in the land of dreams my sweet thoughts dwell

Where wisps of soft white clouds gently sail past

Where softly floating they merge into dreams at last

Where from the seashore to the distance rolls golden sand

This India, my blessed, beautiful motherland.

Who is your favorite poet? What’s your favorite poem?

Poetry Contests 2016

A visitor to a certain college paused to admire the new Hemingway Hall that had been built on campus.

“It’s a pleasure to see a building named for Ernest Hemingway,” he said.

“Actually,” said his guide, “it’s named for Joshua Hemingway. No relation.”

The visitor was astonished. “Was Joshua Hemingway a writer, also?”

“Yes, indeed,” said his guide. “He wrote a check.” 🙂


A few poetry contest links for readers. Just copy and paste the link  into your browser. Take the plunge.


Deadline: 1st April 2016: Funny Poems: (No entry fee)



31st March 2016: Foley’s Poetry Award



Deadline: 10th March 2016: Poems about Nantucket



Deadline: 18th March 2016: Scottish landscape poetry



Deadline: 15th march 2016: flash fiction



Deadline: 1st April 2016: Poetry and short fiction on the theme of Dreams




Deadline: 1st April: Christian poetry theme of The Great Beyond



Deadline: 30th March 2016: Fairytales inspired poems on the theme of Rain



Poetry on the theme of Shakespeare: http://shenandoah.submittable.com/submit




Deadline: 31st March 2016: Poetry and fiction on the theme of Conflict



Deadline July 1st, 2016: Nano fiction: June 1st, 2016 to July 1st, 2016: story in 16 words

Deadline: 7th July 2016 Ledbury poetry competitions 2016




Deadline: 7th March 2016: Wenlock Poetry



Nano Prize 2016:



Deadline: 30th June 2016 Poetry Space