Author Sonia Bahl has always spoken about her cherished collaboration with the editor of both her novels: Pooja Dadwal, Deputy Managing Editor—Fingerprint! Publishing. We asked both of them to take us behind the scenes and unravel some of the workings of how A Year of Wednesdays came into being.
This is what Pooja Dadwal had to say.
Someone impossibly wise once said that knowing that now is all there is, and living every now for the rest of all your nows, is all there is to it. And if you do this now right, the rest will follow suit.
The story of A Year of Wednesdays began on one such now. But not between the characters. Not yet. The first now happened hundreds of Wednesdays ago, between the writer and her editor.
The editor who had collaborated with the writer on her first book. The writer who had never thought of writing a second one. And yet she did. The first book introduced the two, the second solidified their collaboration. But there was that in-between—there always is, isn’t it?— in which the editor, one fine February afternoon, finally coaxed the writer to send her anything, even a paragraph, of what she was writing next. No, not one of her screenplays, she said. (The author writes for the screen too. Or mostly for that.)
The writer wasn’t, not on paper anyway—but aren’t we all writing stories in our minds and hearts always. And so the writer humored her—with an opening line sent in the space of a few minutes. Which the editor gulped down in a moment and asked for second helpings. Legend has it that the writer humored her editor again. And again. And again.
Lines, paragraphs, chapters, shared initially over WhatsApp, soon gave way to mail. The length increased, the story continued, but both never mentioned publishing. Not that it was a foregone conclusion—it wasn’t. Even though both now belonged to the same universe of books, publishing the story as a novel had never formed part of their conversation.
The story which had started as a message in February came to its conclusion in November. Only, it couldn’t. For that’s the other glorious thing about being in the now. After living in every now you manage to gather so many of them that they shine brighter than a thousand suns. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Specially so in the case of A Year of Wednesdays. It is the most superlative testament of the writer’s genius. And her heart.
And so the editor, who understood the literary weight of what lay in her hands, asked the writer if she’d consider bringing this out as a book. The writer, Sonia Bahl, agreed, eventually. And so started the formal literary journey of Seat 7A and Seat 7B, two strangers who meet on a flight from New Delhi to New York and end up talking through most of it. Actually all of fifteen hours and thirty minutes of it. Touchdown, and they go their separate ways . . . only, something stays. Something that refuses to leave. There are some knots which cannot be untied. Some bonds which cannot be explained away. All you can do is honour these. A Year of Wednesdays explores this very rarefied bond between people.
Heart aching and achingly familiar, the story gently manages to fuse itself not only into your thoughts but also into the very spaces between your thoughts. And in the bargain leaves you with an incredible wealth of emotions. Of being human. Of being alive. Indelible marks on ephemeral us. 🙂
We asked author Sonia Bahl how the stunningly simple and Zen-like cover came into being.
“If the process of writing is a dream, the book cover represents the awakening.”
- Jhumpa Lahiri, The Clothing of Books
The cover for A Year of Wednesdays was a protracted, meandering, getting-lost-more-than-found journey. Here I must acknowledge the design team at Fingerprint! Publishing for working with me to find my way home. We started at point A, skipped point B, forked into dramatic detours, screeched into dark alleys, changed direction, and finally reached a destination we had definitely not anticipated when the journey began.
The book held so many themes. A moment in time when two unlikely people, from polar opposite worlds and world-views, are hermetically sealed in a common world for fifteen hours. A long haul flight. A forced interaction due to a bizarre, near-absurd reason. It’s an amalgam of crackling moments of stiletto-sharp bantering and a brazenly honest sharing of what matters and why. Mostly, an uncanny, inexplicable connect that is entirely borderless. Age, time, place, religion, childhood, financial status, marital status, likes and dislikes don’t matter when you are sealed together for fifteen hours, never to meet again. The big one, which you don’t realize until it is much too late: the person will stay with you forever . . . maybe even change you incontrovertibly. Unconsciously paying homage to the Japanese notion of ichi-go ichi-e. Every encounter comes just once in a lifetime. No one encounter can ever come back. But it could last forever.
The cover art’s journey was almost as multi-diverse in thought as the journey of the two protagonists. It began with images of the sky. We worked relentlessly to communicate why it means much more than just the literal meaning of a plane in the sky. No matter which way we visualized it, it lacked in the richness, the fullness of the story. There were obvious, sometimes unimaginative, attempts to play with seats on a plane. Or a plane window juxtaposed with an unexpected view. Everything ended up being uni-dimensional, showing exactly what we were saying. Unable to create the perfect equation where one plus one will add up to the ah-ha of three. Seat 7B’s favourite number. Still, it felt imperative to acknowledge the sky. How could we not? There was such an undeniable role played by stars in their lives (without revealing too much). So we kept clocking up miles, kept moving down the star-studded flight path. The arresting beauty of a night sky, a stylised star map, a view of the changing skies across a long haul flight . . . all visually staggering. Some covers looked clichéd, others looked like they were textbook pictures for celestial lovers. We acknowledged it was time to opt for a dramatically different change in direction to get out of the loop we’d gotten stuck in.
Where was our true north? It’s A Year of Wednesdays. What can organically and emblematically embody the moving of time: one whole year? A year can contain multitudes. The passage of time, transformation, the cyclical nature of life, the ups and downs, the routine, the unexpected curve balls in the routines, birthdays, celebrations, important dates, daily minutiae, love, loss, redemption. And the inevitability of things.
Nature. It says it every day, every month, every year. Naturally, eloquently, immutably. An artist’s impression of a leaf changing through the year became the understated, poignant symbol of all that we wanted to say. A subtle grey background, gave us the minimalist, Japanese aesthetic. A quiet nod to ichi-go ichi-e. The gold signature by the author, a suggestion from the editor, was used instead of typical font, to make the intimate story even more intimate.
We had landed. Home. To use Jhumpa Lahiri’s words, again: “The right cover is like a beautiful coat, elegant and warm, wrapping my words as they travel through the world, on their way to keep an appointment with my readers.”
Top 10 Books Of The Month | May [Editor’s Choice]
Books can change the way you think or feel, process information, and reflect your interest. It is rightly said that books have healing powers and are great companions for anyone. Whether you are a book lover or just beginning to read, we have included some latest launches for you this month to make this list your ultimate one! If you are as excited as the sun to find the books that you want to add to your TBR for this month, tighten your belt and pick the title that intrigues you the most.
1. I Wanna Grow Up Once Again by Dr. Sumit Goel
The book tries to connect us to certain deeper parts of us with thought-provoking issues like:
Why we don’t do what we want to do?
Why do we hold on? Why do we not let go?
We all make efforts, but how do we handle setbacks and burnouts?
How to change our perceptions and break our patterns?
It is an inward journey into how we have lived our life till now and how we choose to live from now!
WHAT HAPPENS IN US IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT HAPPENS TO US!
2. On a Voyage with the Greats by Satyendra Singh
It’s an onboard experience with the three most amazing personalities of India in their life-changing journeys. Travel to Chicago on a tumultuous and life-changing journey with Vivekananda, to Pretoria on a humiliating and never-ending journey with Gandhi, and a perilous sub-water journey to Tokyo with Netaji Subhas.
I crossed the North Pacific with Vivekananda, I saw him watching that match factory in Japan with wide eyes admiring their progress. I followed him also on that Canadian Pacific train through the picturesque mountains of Southwest Canada. I saw some vandals on the roads of Chicago, hooting and Read More..
3. The College Conventions by Deepak Rosha
This is a book about a college to which Rohan Deep Singh has been admitted. Apart from the fun and indiscipline, there has been a recent tragedy. Rohan makes friends and enemies. He even falls in love for the first time. He is surprised to learn of the college conventions that keep the chaos in check. It would seem that Rohan is content to go along with the flow. But Rohan has a secret agenda that no one must know.
The College convention is a book whose story revolves around the college life of a boy named Rohan Deep Singh, with mystery in the backdrop. It has the main theme of two suicide cases with the layering of various other events that were held in Read More..
4. The True Self by Lokesh Babu
The True Self is a timeless journey of philosophical teachings from across history and all over the world. Told through the lens of Lokesh’s own life, from his troubled teenage years in India and the heartbreaking death of his mother to the joy of fatherhood and his resilience in the face of illness, his recent time in India during the COVID pandemic, caring for his father till his last breath, he became a witness to many things. This book offers a starting point for those asking the big questions in life: Who am I? Why am I here? And what is my True Self? His is a journey we can all relate to, and the peace he has found is one we can all attain.
A spiritual guide told in an honest, intimate style The Read More..
5. Effective R.U.L.E. by Satish Shitut
Live life to the fullest-effectively.
It is all about doing small things to get freedom from suffering and attain an abundant mental state.
The book is all about a process based on four fundamental principles of Respect, Understanding, Love, and Evolve (RULE) to write your own constitution and govern your life.
The book deals with the various aspects of life in a structured way from childhood to parenting, past-present to future, various circumstances, influences with the free tools at your disposal to enjoy the daily routine, constantly motivating Read More..
6. Dirty Little Secrets by Nandita Chakraborty
The ebook “Dirty Little Secrets” written with the aid of Nandita Chakraborty is a memoir that could be a no-holds-barred account of a younger woman’s travails with lifestyles, her adventures, and misadventures en path to discovering and embracing her identification. There are various topics explored in the ebook that revolves around love, life, family, belonging, and understanding. Even as the protagonist of the story takes you on an adventure peppered with wishes and angst alike, the Read More..
7. RISE by Rajeev Nanda
When your peers and competitors are as qualified and as competent as you are, then how do you create a differentiator for yourself in the workplace? Some would go get an MBA or another higher degree, do additional certification courses, join professional institutes, and similar other activities; but rarely does one think of focusing on the soft skills that help create an insurmountable differentiator.
This book is a primer on the most essential soft skills that you can, or rather should learn to help you in your career progression and professional growth. As more and more of the jobs get standardized, automated, or disrupted with Read More..
8. From the Womb of Darkness by Ashwin Karthik SN
An ardent follower of the law, Senior Inspector Achintya went to check the crime scene roaring like an injured lion. While the whole world was awake knowing the fact that, a billionaire Shivam’s wife was brutally killed ignoring the fact that she is pregnant, the Killer didn’t mind continuing killings leaving hints and poems here and there.
Annoyed and upset about societal behavior, Controversy’s favorite Child “Rudra” a renowned psychiatrist entered to help find the killer. Achintya being an intelligent police officer couldn’t trust a blind Psychiatrist Rudra.
Contrary to this fact, Nandi, a fun-loving but fine Read More..
9. It has always been you! by Ruchi Chandra Verma
Vedant fell in love with her when he was a mere teenager, and she was just a child. He was always protective, and caring, and yet his introverted nature kept him maintaining distance from her, so much so that one day it was too late to confess his feelings for her. She was married to a stranger.
Rashi lived a lonely life away from all her loved ones in an abusive marriage, she could only dream of being rescued but who would, when no one loved her? Her body belonged to one, yet her heart and soul belonged to someone else. Read More..
10. Play On by Sruti Dasgupta
The author herself is a sports person, through this book the author wants to have a discussion and reach out to as many youngsters, parents, and coaches responsible for the development of an athlete to inspire and be inspired to think about it as a Full-Time career & look beyond academics.
She wants to want to bring out the ways that each of us (although on vastly different levels) is dedicated to sports. Having had the chance and exposure to Sports since a very early age, understanding its benefits in its entirety & having seen various youngsters not having the same, saddens her & hence this attempt to open as many minds as possible. This is an Read More..
|I Wanna Grow Up Once Again||Rs.320 (Paperback)|
|On a Voyage with the Greats||Rs.299 (Paperback)|
|The College Conventions||Rs.250 (Paperback)|
|The True Self||Rs.226 (Paperback)|
|Effective R.U.L.E.||Rs.315 (Paperback)|
|Dirty Little Secrets||Rs.359 (Paperback)|
|From the Womb of Darkness||Rs.279 (Paperback)|
|It has always been you!||Rs.135 (Kindle)|
|Play on||Rs.199 (Paperback)|
Top 10 Self Help Books Of The Month | April [Editor’s Choice]
Just because you haven’t yet started following the way to reach your goal this year doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your goal in long term, try to make small incremental changes throughout the year when there is less pressure to do so.
This is where self-help books shine. Self-help books can help guide you as you seek to make changes to your day-to-day life while giving you the freedom to make those changes at your own pace.
If you are ready to start making changes, here are the Top 10 self-help books that you need to read this month!
1. 55 Questions To Ask Yourself by Manoj Chenthamarakshan
Do you know that questioning yourself is one of the powerful ways to unlock some hidden things about yourself that you never knew? By asking the right questions, you will unravel interesting versions of yourself.
In this book, I have specially crafted coaching questions used by life coaches to unveil the answers from you.
I would recommend you to use a partner to question each other to get better results. It is all fine to go it alone, but you will make far more progress if you involve another person in the process. This is because we tend to answer in-depth when someone Read More..
2. How to See a Breakout, before it really happens by Dr.Sudhir Dixit
This book will tell you
•How to anticipate descending channel breakouts before they happen and position yourself beforehand
•How to trade descending channel breakout with high probability patterns
•How to increase your margin of safety in trading breakouts
•How to interpret Volume & Price Action
3. Abundance by Dr. Deepak Chopra
Many of us live in a mindset of lack and limitation, focusing on the things we don’t have. Too often we allow our egos to drive our thoughts and actions, preventing us from reaching something greater: a true sense of inner peace, acceptance, and fulfillment.
In Abundance, international bestselling author Deepak Chopra offers a simple seven-step plan to help you reset your focus, become the agent of your own life and strive for life’s unbounded possibilities.
Demonstrating how to work past self-generated feelings of limitation and providing meditations to help you Read More..
4. Limitless by Radhika Gupta
What do you do when you are rejected for your dream job and can’t deal with one more person telling you to be strong? What stops you from asking for that big role at work when you know you have a shot at getting it?
For most of us, the world of work isn’t easy to navigate and life’s challenges rarely have simple answers.
In Limitless, Radhika Gupta, one of the youngest CEOs in India’s financial services sector and creator of the viral YouTube video ‘The Girl with a Broken Neck’, offers straight-talking advice on how you can multiply your chances of achieving success. It begins, she says, by investing in the most valuable asset you Read More..
5. MYTH The Mental Blocks by Sangeeta Verma
This book explains the success tools and methods of self-development in a manner that is simple, understandable, and applicable in real life. Discover the warrior within you by taking simple steps ahead in your life journey. As the narrative unfolds, learn the art of mastering your mind, understanding others effectively, and defining your vision clearly. This book is intended to inspire you to aim for higher goals, which you may have put off for another day. Get ready to be coached with simple Read More..
6. Butterfly on the Old Banyan Tree by Padmaja Penmetsa
Butterfly on The Old Banyan Tree reminds us of the simple joys of everyday life that are normally lost in the chaos of human desire to become something. The concise, simple, yet exotic narrative urges the readers to delve into themselves and carry out an introspection of who they really are and who they wish to be.
In the midst of our imperfections, we are perfect is the theme of Neveah’s exotic and intriguing journey of her life wherein, Neveah transforms into a colorful and beautiful Butterfly. The novelette is flavored with the undertones of life’s philosophy. Its storyline forces the reader to enter the realms of nostalgia in her or his own life. This short and simple story could easily be the Read More..
7. Euphoric Living by Shyla Melwani
Based on compelling modern science, this eye-opening, action workbook is a great revelation. It may stun you with remarkable wisdom that you never contemplated before. I hope it doesn’t bring about change, but profound transformation, and inspires you to take care of your own well-being, the well-being of the people around you, and the well-being of our extraordinary planet. I am certain that you will find clarity in your mind, a better understanding of humanity, and a new love to save Read More..
8. Nameless, in the here and now by Apoorva K
Deep suffering hides a precious gem, that is freedom. It may not be evident when one is suffering. Let you be taken over by life. When you resist nothing, grace happens. With earnest inquiry, ages of suffering can end in a moment.
Nameless, in the here and now challenges and helps you question beliefs to the core, break unconscious conditioning and wake up to the reality of what is.
The author experienced a breakthrough when she went deep into suffering in her late twenties, which left her with the true self beyond all conditioning. This book contains pointers Read More..
9. A Woke Guide to Life by Vidhi Bubna
In an age where people are increasingly anxious about making decisions in life, A Woke Guide to Life will empower you to live a better life fueled with a mindset geared for emotional success. While people around you might constantly be trying to change you, this book will help you make greater peace with yourself, the way you are. Ask yourself – Do I feel woke enough? Is there scope for me to be more empowered? And you will hear your heart saying – Yes, there’s always scope for more.
A Woke Guide to Life offers life-changing advice about everything relevant to you – self-care, relationships, goals, politics, social media, and everything you care about deeply. This Read More..
10. #BOSSLADY by Smita Shetty
#Bosslady brims with the author’s experiences and learnings from both her professional and personal life. A book that’s written straight from the heart, it aims to empower women to dream big.
The motto of this book is to inspire women to aspire for more and take the next big leap. It is also for men to go the extra mile to support women in their aspirations.
If you are a woman, this book is your friend, companion, and reference guide, whenever you are at life’s crossroads. Read More..
|55 Questions To Ask Yourself||Rs.249 (Paperback)|
|How to See a Breakout, before it really happens||Rs.99 (Kindle)|
|MYTH The Mental Blocks||Rs.175 (Kindle)|
|Butterfly On The Old Banyan Tree||Rs.99 (Kindle)|
|Euphoric Living||Rs.599 (Paperback)|
|Nameless, in the here and now||Rs.119 (Paperback)|
|A Woke Guide to Life||Rs.269 (Kindle)|
Top 10 Fiction Books Of The Month | April [Editor’s Choice]
Fiction books help us escape no matter where we’re curled up reading: a cozy armchair, the beach, or even on the train or bus during a busy morning commute. Even if you have a soft spot for classic novels, there’s a special joy that comes from anticipating a new release from your favorite author—or even a debut author whose book blurb piqued your interest.
Whether you’re in the mood for a gritty suspense novel, a lighthearted rom-com, or thoughtful literary fiction, Here are the Top 10 Fiction Books for you this month. 🙂
1. Sense of a Quiet by Deepak Kripal
Milind and Diya, a doctor couple who settled in Haridwar are struggling with career and relationship issues. Rohan, their common friend from medical college, visits Haridwar to stay with his best friend Milind for a few days. Diya doesn’t like Rohan; she sees him as an impractical and impulsive person who lacks motive in life.
Facing an impending divorce, Rohan wants to rejig his life, to work out the missing pieces and figure out what he really wants from life. In Haridwar, Rohan makes new acquaintances and friends – a rickshaw-wala, a maid, and a rude elderly retired army man. Meanwhile, Milind gets trapped in a corruption Read More..
2. Midnight Freeway by Vivaan Shah
Yogesh Moolchandani, a disreputable builder, is dead. All the signs say suicide but there was nothing wrong with his life. He had just cracked a deal and things were looking hale and hearty for him. He had recently even purchased an imported Volkswagen Jetta. CCTV footage from the night of his death shows him crashing into a toll booth at a speed of 180 km per hour on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. The dealer he had purchased his car from had received five missed calls from him just five minutes prior to the time of the alleged crash.
On the same night, in another part of town, Pranav Paleja, a criminal lawyer who works at the law chamber Read More..
3. Zero Day by S. Hussain Zaidi
Shahwaz Ali Mirza, head of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad, receives an anonymous email claiming it to be a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. He quickly puts together a crack team that includes his protege, IG Cybercrime Vikrant Singh, and gets to work trawling the dark web for more information on this mystery attack. However, a move to bring forward the hacker backfires, leading to a second, deadlier attack on Mumbai’s lifeline, the railway system. It is their first brush with cyberterrorism: a zero-day vulnerability in Read More..
4. Carved by Fire by Akshaya Saraf
When a phoenix faces death, its multi-colored wings are transformed into a pyre and consumed by fire. From the flames, it rises, is reborn, and rejuvenated. In the same way, when we allow ourselves to be carved by the fire of difficult seasons we have to live through, we are made new.
In a culture where most women are raised to live discreet lives, Akshaya raises her voice maturely and authentically in a way that all readers throughout the globe will relate to. Within the pages of her hilarious and honest experiences, she hopes to inspire any reader enduring challenging seasons, that there is no such thing as a point of no return.
5. Orenda by Shalaka Kulkarni
There are earrings on soft boards and Marlboros on the college canteen floor. It has Ghungroos on a Christmas wreath and embroidery hoops stuck in rusty buses. It echoes the walls of a boho apartment and art classes in kaleidoscopic brothels.
This is a gallery of the supernatural, divine, extraordinary and inherent – the power within us and all living beings – of Delivery Executive Manju, Architect Gargi, Professor Miller, Vagabond Bilva, Security Guard Amar Chacha, and umpteen. Read More..
6. Sira Ragata by Meera Vyas
The world has never been kind to people possessing power beyond human belief. And it was neither forgiving nor accepting to the witches in 1692, when thousands of women met the cruel fate of being handed to an incident referred to as the Salem Witch Trials.
To save themselves from this fate, true witches hid their powers and their bloodlines. And so had Amaraya and George to save themselves and their two beautiful daughters, Raylina and Ablina. But little did Amaraya know that it’s not possible to change destiny. Losing her husband, George, to the hands of Read More..
7. Dreams of Reality by Gitanjali Warrier
Leena accidentally downloads an app and her world changes. She begins to see an old world from her childhood pop up around her along with a long-lost love. She is lost between the virtual and real-world and the lines start to get blur. The book navigates through her journey and those around her in this sci-fi thriller.
The author of this book spent a decade navigating the roads of communication and marketing in different organizations like Wipro, Zoho, Unacademy, and others. She eventually realized it was time to step out and start her own business and she launched her fashion brand Senshi. Her lifelong dream remained to be an author and she scraped time out to write her first book.
8. A Mixture as Never Before by Pesi J Padshah
A Mixture as Never Before is an eclectic mix of profundity and pure nonsense, which aims to amuse and entertain, while putting across much of what the author believes to be true, though his declarations are often more tongue-in-cheek than direct.
Of the five different sections into which the book is divided, all except Random Writings, give the reader a rough idea of what to expect in each section. Random Writings does not conform to any set pattern and some of its contents may, strictly speaking, belong to another section. For instance, the stories, Grandpa’s Secret Love, The Spirit of Christmas, Tiger Wiger, The Lady in a Green Sari, and Handsome is as Handsome Does, could have Read More..
9. Kaikayi by Mahendra Arya
I am Kaikayi. The same Kaikayi who sent her stepson Ram to an exile of 14 years in deadly forests, infested with the dangers of devils and rakshasas. My daughter-in-law Seeta had to face the harsh consequences of this forced exile. My stepson Lakshman almost lost his life in the battle fighting the strong army of Raavan, the King of Lanka. Not just that, I insisted on the coronation of my son Bharat instead of the most deserving Ram.
And to get all this done, I tricked my husband Maharaj Dashrath by using his two blind commitments to me. He lost his life out of grief. This is all that is mentioned about me in Ramayan.
Thus, I was a wicked and selfish woman in the story Read More..
10. White Darkness by Ramesh Menon
White Darkness takes you on an exciting journey as you hurtle through the icy mountains of the Himalayas, the turbulent northeast, the languid south, a Gujrati restaurant in New Jersey, and a strife-torn island in our neighborhood.
The stories evoke a myriad of moods and emotions. War, peace, life, and love are all entwined in tales of passion where the author delves into the complexities of the human mind. While obfuscation engages the grey cells of the reader, intrigue makes you flip the pages hurriedly. Overall a breath-taking experience that makes you pine for more!
|Sense of a Quiet||Rs.200 (Paperback)|
|Midnight Freeway||Rs.233 (Paperback)|
|Zero Day||Rs.249 (Paperback)|
|Carved by Fire||Rs.250 (Paperback)|
|Sira Ragata||Rs.399 (Paperback)|
|Dreams of Reality||Rs.350 (Paperback)|
|A Mixture as Never Before||Rs.199 (Paperback)|
|White Darkness||Rs.180 (Paperback)|
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