Booknomics

Publishing, Print on Demand, Self-publishing in India from Pothi.com Team

February 14, 2020
by Neelima
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The Young Author Program Anthology is out at the Pothi.com Store!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Glad to announce that Ice Creams and Time Machines, the Young Author Program Anthology, is out at the Pothi.com Store today. It’s been in the works for a while.

Last year, I conducted a couple of writing workshops for children in the age bracket of 8-15. The classes were conducted at multiple venues. The children learned the art of weaving plots, creating characters and writing dialogues. The workshop ended in the creation of a piece of fiction with a well-etched character and an interesting plot line.

Each and every story in the anthology is a labor of love. And it was not just the writing…while some of the workshops were extremely cerebral, some of them were plain and simple fun! Hope to conduct more writing workshops with Pothi.com this year.

You can purchase a copy of the anthology here. Pothi.com and the contributors will donate any proceeds generated from the sales of this book to support a library building campaign via the Donate a Book platform.

Young Author Program Anthology

February 13, 2020
by Neelima
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That’s the Word for It: Apricity

Apricity is a word that the Pothi.com team stumbled upon on Twitter. It’s a rare word, having appeared in 1623 when Henry Cockeram recorded or invented it it for his dictionary. The word never really took off.

Here are some instances of this word used in literature:

Apricity (n.) the warmth of the sun in winter.

A strange a lovely word. The OED does not give any citation for its use except for Henry Cockeram’s 1623 “English Dictionarie”. Not to be confused with “apricate” (to bask in the sun), although both come from the Latin “apricus”, meaning exposed to the sun.”
― Ammon Shea, Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages

“Apricity. That’s what it’s called. A word Reuben taught me: the warmth of the sun in winter.”
― Gillian McAllister, Anything You Do Say

January 31, 2020
by Neelima
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India Public Domain 2020: Ten Indian authors whose works entered the public domain in 2020

Every year on 1st of January, copyright of a number of creative works expires and they enter the public domain in India and in other countries of the world. We have been compiling a list of Indian authors whose work enters the public domain over the years. You can find the lists from earlier years here: 2012,20132014, 201520162017, 2018, 2019.

The criteria for this year is that the author died in the calendar year 1959 and the work was published before his death. In case the work was published after the author’s death, it will only come out of copyright after 60 years from the date of publication. Once the work enters the public domain, it means that most of the works are now free to be republished, translated, and converted to different formats.

We have collected the data from various sources including Wikipedia and other online sources, some of which we will be linking here. Please intimate us if you come across any errors and let us know if you are aware of any other authors from India who died in 1959.

Govind Sakharam Sardesai (1865–1959)

Govind Sakharam Sardesai was popularly known as Riyasatkar Sardesai and was a Padma Bhushan winner. He was born in a middle-class family and after receiving a college education, he worked as a personal secretary to Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III and tutor to the princes.  He was a historian from Maharashtra and under the Maharaja’s patronage, he wrote a number of books including the eight-volume Marathi series Riyasats which told the thousand-year history of India, three volumes of Musalmani Riyasat and two volumes of British Riyasat. Another book he authored was a three-volume series called New History of the Marathas. Sardesai’s scholarship is remarkable. He was responsible for editing 35,000 documents in Marathi, English, Gujarati and Persian and he then published 45 volumes of Peshwa daftar.

 

Haricharan Bandopadhayaya (1867–1959)

Haricharan Bandopadhayaya was a scholar and lexicographer best known for his 5-volume Bangiya Sabdakosh (Bengali dictionary). Rabindranath Tagore personally got him to Shantiniketan and it was at his request that Bandopadhyaya began to compile the dictionary, a task that took forty years to complete! He also wrote books such as Sanskrit PraveshPali PraveshByakaran KoumadiHints on Sanskrit Translation and CompositionKobir KathaRabindranather Katha, etc. He was the recipient of several awards such as the Sarojini Basu Gold Medal, Sisir Kumar Memorial Prize from the University of Calcutta and Desikottama from Visva Bharati.

Abdur Razzaq Malihabadi (1875–1959)

Abdur Razzaq Malihabadi was a journalist and was primarily known as the autobiographer of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. He was born in Malihabad in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. He studied in UP and did his doctorate in Saudi Arabia. He worked at All India Radio heading Arabic Department in New Delhi. He was close to the Saudi monarchy. He wrote against the British Raj. His books Zikar-e-Azad and Azad Ki Kahani Khud Azad Ki Zubani were posthumously published.

R. Rangaraju (1875–1959)

R. Rangaraju was a bestselling Tamil novelist from Madras Presidency, British India. He is considered as one of the pioneers of Tamil fiction writing. He was born in Paalayamkottai. He started writing detective novels in 1908. His novels had social reformist themes like the emancipation of women and thievery in mutts. His novels had many reprints and sold as much as 70,0000 copies Some of books are Rajambal, Chandrakantha, Mohanasundaram, Anandakrishnan, Rajendran, Varadharaja, Vijayaragavan and Jeyarangan.

Dil Shahjahanpuri (1875–1959)

Dil Shahjahanpuri was the pen name of Zameer Hasan Khan, the famous Urdu ghazal writer. He was born in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh and was the disciple of the Urdu poet, Amir Meenai. Two collections of his ghazals have been published: Naghma e Dil and Tarana e Dil.

Barindra Kumar Ghosh (1880–1959)

Barindra Kumar Ghosh or  Barin Ghosh as he was better known was an Indian revolutionary and journalist. He was Sri Aurobindo’s younger brother and one of the founding members of Jugantar, a revolutionary outfit in Bengal. He studied in Deoghar and received military training in Baroda. Barin Ghosh was sentenced to death in the Alipore Bomb Case but the sentence was reduced to life imprisonment, and he was deported to the Cellular Jail in Andaman. Once he was released, he took to journalism and formed an ashram in Kolkata. Aurobindo had led him toward the revolutionary movement and the same brother now had turned into a spiritual icon. He started an English weekly, The Dawn of India and was the editor of the Bengali daily Dainik Basumati.

Some of his books include Dvipantarer Banshi, Pather Ingit, Amar Atmakatha, Agnijug, Rishi Rajnarayan, The Tale of My Exile and Sri Aurobindo.

Narayana Panickar (1889–1959)

Narayana Panickar was an Indian essayist, playwright, translator, lexicographer, novelist and historian of Malayalam. He was born in Alappuzha district in Kerala. He studied at Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam and worked as a teacher.

He has written over 100 books but is best known for Kerala Bhasha Sahithya Charthram, a six-volume comprehensive history of Malayalam literature up to 1954 and Navayuga Bhasha Nighantu, a lexicon. He also wrote novels and translated Tamil and Bengali classics. He was a Sahitya Akademi winner in 1955.

Muhammad Ilyas (Elias) Burney (1890–1959)

Professor Elias Burney was the first head of the Department of Economics at Osmania University in Hyderabad, India. He published about 40 books in Urdu, Persian, Arabic and English.

His most famous work is Qadiani Muzhab, a book on the Ahmadiyya religion. One of his books called Urdu Hindi Rasmulkhat (Scripts) was a comparative study of Urdu and Hindi scripts. Another interesting book in English is My Life and Experiences.

Dhiraj Bhattacharya (1905–1959)

Primarily known as an actor and theater personality in Bengali and Hindi, Dhiraj Bhattacharya also wrote books including a two-part autobiography and a few short books like Jakhan Police Chilam, Jakhan Nayak Chilam, Mahua Milan, Sajano Bagan and Mon Nie Khela.

Pattukkottai Kalyanasundaram (1930–1959)

Pattukottai Kalyanasundaranar was an Indian poet and a popular Tamil lyricist best remembered for his lyrics for M. G. Ramachandran’s movies.

January 21, 2020
by Neelima
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Looking Back at 2019: A Year in Books

For Indians growing up in the 1990s, the year 2020 holds a special significance. APJ Abdul Kalam set 2020 as the target for India to graduate to a developed country. He inspired a whole generation to aim for that goal.

2020 is here and even though we are not quite where he envisioned us yet, it is also true that we have come a long way. While it is a must to keep our eyes on the goal, it is also important to take stock of our progress. In that spirit, we look back on what 2019 was like at Pothi.com.

Over 2000 New Titles Across 20 Languages

In 2019, 2000 new print titles were published on Pothi.com across 20 different languages. Alongside, 800 new ebook titles also made their way to our store. There was poetry; there was fiction; there was spirituality, history, science and technology, graphical arts and a whole lot more. Let’s get a taste of the rich buffet of books on offer.

Dhwani Rao’s book called How to Become an Emcee gives an insider’s perspective of how to get into the public speaking world. Rohith Potti and Pooja Bhula talk about what drives successful entrepreneurs today in their book Intelligent Fanatics of India. Continuing their mission of educating more and more kids about the importance of solid waste management, the Trashonomics book is now available in Oriya and Bengali as well. How AI can be implemented in companies is explored in the book Practical Artificial Intelligence: An Enterprise Playbook by Alan-Peiz Sharpe and Kashyap Kompella.

Besides non-fiction, we also have some literariness. Take City 5, the first in a series of anthologies of contemporary short fiction and poetry from South Asia, both in English and the vernacular (translated into English). Among the poetry books, check out the  100 Splendid Voices- Celebrating Womanhood by Charu Sharma and Jennis Joy Jacob and Sufi Coffee by Mashook Rahman.  For the art-inclined, Shirish Deshpande lays out the rules of sketching in The Omnibus of Pen Sketching.

 

December 20, 2019
by Neelima
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Interview: Anna Banasiak

We spoke to the poet Anna Banasiak.

Anna Banasiak is a poet and occupational therapist. She is the winner of many poetry competitions. Her poems have been published in New York, London, Australia, Canada, India, Africa, Japan, China, Cuba and Israel.

 

Why do you write poetry? 

I write poetry to express the beauty of the world, to paint with words happiness and suffering, to communicate with the world and others and to better understand human nature. As I wrote in my poem Poetry

thoughtfully/slowly/I grow up to myself/I distort time with words/stopped in the land of my childhood.

Every poem is a different amazing adventure, and an everlasting process full of magic and emotions. I’m inspired by people, their histories, worlds, nature, and works of art.

lull me lull / kołysz mnie kołysz (eBook)You write in English and Polish. Tell us about the translation process of the book Lull me Lull.

It’s been a fascinating process. This book is very personal so it was not difficult to express emotions in a different language. I collaborated with Italian editor Fabrizio Frosini.

Tell us about the Duet series where you have collaborated with multiple authors from different parts of the world. What tips do you have for author collaborations?

I belong to the Japan Universal Poets Association. It’s full of wonderful and talented writers and it’s a great honor to work with them. English-Japanese duet series are edited by poet and translator Mariko Sumikura. The editions are beautiful and unique. It’s very important to read and listen carefully and constantly work on your style and poetic imagination.

Your favorite poet/poetry book?

From my childhood, it was Wisława Szymborska, Czesław Miłosz, Halina Poświatowska, Sylvia Plath, Pablo Neruda, William Collins, Edward Hirsch and Nelly Sachs. My favorite poetry book is Nothing Twice: Selected poems.

Tell us about self-publishing journey. What has your experience with Pothi.com been like?

It was a pleasure to work with Pothi.com, I recommend this wonderful platform to every author. They are very helpful.

Tell us about your latest eBook and what other poetry books you have in the works.

My latest poetry book Daddy is dedicated to Father, it’s a kind of moving tribute to every father, full of love and good memories and a fantasy book called Tales from the Land of Wasps about the Kingdom of Imagination and taming our fears. I have many writing plans.

I have many writing plans-Cuba Libro, a poetry book about love, The Wizard Comb, poems for children, etc.

Thanks for sharing your writing story with us Anna!

December 4, 2019
by Neelima
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That’s the Word for It: Etiolate

The word etiolate comes from the French word for straw and refers to the practice of depriving plants of sunlight causing them to grow pale. The word can be used figuratively as well. Here it has been used to describe birdsong: “The song-thrush has a varied and rather etiolated though liquidescent call: listening to it is like following a small stream descending unevenly over pebbles and making twists and turns echoed in sound.”

Some more examples of the pallid word from literature:

“…I suddenly discerned at my feet, crouching among the rocks for protection against the heat, the marine goddesses for whom Elstir had lain in wait and whom he had surprised there, beneath the dark glaze as lovely as Leonardo would have painted, the marvelous Shadows, sheltering furtively, nimble and silent, ready at the first glimmer of light to slip behind the stone, to hide in a cranny, and prompt, once the menacing ray had passed, to return to the rock or the seaweed over whose torpid slumbers they seemed to be keeping vigil, beneath the sun that crumbled the cliffs and the etiolated ocean, motionless lightfoot guardians darkening the water’s surface with their viscous bodies and the attentive gaze of their deep blue eyes.”
― Marcel Proust, In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower

“The past has no wholeness, it has been etiolated by revised explanations of it, trampled over by hindsight – all their lives.”
― Nadine Gordimer

December 3, 2019
by Neelima
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Interview: Bridget White-Kumar

We spoke to Bridget White-Kumar about her food writing journey.

Bridget White-Kumar is a cookbook author and independent food consultant and trainer in Colonial Anglo-Indian Cuisine at Bangalore. She has authored eight recipe books on Anglo-Indian Cuisine and has put in a lot of effort to revive the old forgotten dishes of the Colonial British Raj Era. One of her books Anglo_indian Cusine – A Legacy of Flavours from the Past was selected as ‘Winner from India’ under the Best Culinary History Book by Gourmand International Spain, Gourmand World Cook Books Awards, 2012. She also conducts cooking training workshops for staff at large hospitality houses like J W Marriot, The Oberoi Mumbai, the Taj Connemara Chennai, etc,

Her repertoire covers a wide selection of colonial dishes sand she explains the history and evolution of Anglo-Indian Cuisine and how each dish got its special moniker. She is always ready to share information and talk about recipes and food. You can email her at bridgetkumar@yahoo.com and check out her websites- www.bridget-white-kumar.com and www.anglo-indianfood.com.

ANGLO-INDIAN CUISINE - A LEGACY OF FLAVOURS FROM THE PASTYour book Anglo-Indian Cuisine- A Legacy of Flavours from the Past won the best culinary history book prize by Gourmand International Spain, Gourmand World Cook Books Award in the India category. Tell us about that experience.

I was both surprised and delighted when my book won the Best Culinary History Book from India Award in the year 2012. This award is like the Oscars for Cook Book Writers and books from all over the world enter the competition. It was indeed an honor to win it under the Best Culinary History Book category based on my account of the history and evolution of Colonial Anglo-Indian Cuisine. The awards were presented at a gala function in the Louvre in Paris in February 2013.

Your area of interest lies primarily with Anglo-Indian cuisine-how did you go about collecting recipes for this specific cuisine?

I am from the Anglo-Indian Community and grew up with this cuisine. I was always interested in cooking and I had a lot of handwritten recipes and old printed recipe books that my mother and aunts gave me. These old recipes were just written offhand with no specific quantities for the ingredients, etc. Moreover, many of the old dishes that were cooked by the older generation were becoming extinct as the younger generation was not interested in cooking them. It, therefore, became my passion to record these recipes and preserve them for posterity. I have been bringing out my self-published recipe books since the year 2014.

Tell us about the colonial influences on Anglo-Indian cuisine.

Anglo-Indian cuisine evolved over many hundred years as a result of reinventing and reinterpreting the quintessentially western cuisine by assimilating and amalgamating ingredients and cooking techniques from all over the Indian subcontinent. Thus, a completely new contemporary cuisine that was truly ‘Anglo’ and ‘Indian’ in nature came into existence. This cuisine was neither too bland nor too spicy, but had a distinctive flavor of its own. It became a direct reflection of the multicultural and hybrid heritage of the new colonial population.

Every European invasion left behind their legacy in Anglo-Indian Cuisine. It can be rightly said that Anglo-Indian Cuisine was the first example of Fusion Food in India. Many of the dishes have a unique history behind their existence. There is a certain glamour about Anglo-Indian cuisine with its quaint names like Railway Lamb or Mutton Curry, The Dak Bungalow Curry, Grandma’s Country Captain Chicken, Colonel Standhurst’s Beef Curry, Veal Country Captain, Bengal Lancer’s Shrimp Curry, Pork Bhooni, Chicken/Meat Jalfrezie, Devil Pork Curry, etc. All these dishes were a direct throwback to the conditions prevailing at the time of the Raj!

Describe your book Vegetarian Delicacies. 

The book Vegetarian Delicacies is an Anglicised Vegetarian Recipe Books. I have included different recipes for Vegetarian Starters, Soups, Curries, Salads and Bakes. There are no mainstream veg recipes that are normally found in Indian cookbooks.

How do you keep track of your recipes – do you keep tweaking them or do you follow a standard method?

I believe in maintaining the authenticity of every recipe and hence I never tweak or make changes just to suit others palates. My recipes are those that have stood the test of time and endured over generations.

What advice do you have for writers who want to write and sell cookbooks?

Writing a recipe book isn’t easy. A lot of hard work goes into it since one has to get the recipe right after many, many trials and errors. Once a recipe is written, it will be the guide to be followed by many. Only when one has mastered the dish, can a foolproof recipe be written.

You’ve also written a book called Kolar Gold Fields- Down  Memory Lane. What inspired you to write a memoir?

The Kolar Gold Fields of today is very, very different from the KGF of my childhood. I wanted to preserve for posterity a period of history when I was growing up in KGF as a young Anglo-Indian child. That period was the golden period of history where we had the influences of the best of old Colonial India and the new emerging and evolving India.

Describe your experience with self-publishing.

I have self-published eight cookbooks and a book of memoirs on KGF. Self-publishing isn’t easy as it involves a lot of work and investment. However, it’s very rewarding as it gives one the freedom to write and be creative and there’s no fear of an editor cutting out anything from the manuscript. It’s very rewarding to see one’s efforts in print.

Your favorite dish?

COLONIAL PEPPER LAMB CHOPS

Here’s the recipe:

A Colonial Classic – Succulent tender Lamb Chops, marinated in a pepper – garlic sauce

Serves 6
Preparation Time approx 1 hour

Ingredients:

1kg either lamb or Mutton Chops
1teaspoon chopped ginger
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 large onions sliced fine
2 or 3 green chilies sliced lengthwise
3 tablespoons oil
3 or 4 teaspoons fresh ground pepper or pepper powder
Salt to taste

Marinate the Chops with the pepper powder, vinegar and salt for about 30 minutes. Heat oil in a large pan and sauté the onions and green chilies for a few minutes. Add the chopped ginger and garlic and fry for about 3 minutes. Now add the marinated chops and mix well. Add sufficient water and cook till the Chops are tender and soft and the gravy dries up. Garnish with onion rings.

Thank you Bridget! We wish you all the best with your culinary adventure….

November 27, 2019
by Neelima
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That’s the Word for It: Non-refoulement

Non-refoulement is a legal term. While political asylum applies to those who can prove fear of persecution based on a certain category of persons, non-refoulement refers to a principle of international law that prevents expulsion or deportation of people, including refugees into war zones and places that pose a risk to life and freedom. It was the plight of the refugees during the Holocaust that caused the making of this legal concept.

If you are interested in this very relevant word, you may want to check this link.