My Interview in The Soapbox

Interview with ANIRBAN NANDA


Anirban is a final year student of Electrical Engineering at Haldia Institute of Technology. He lives in Haldia, West Bengal. He has always wanted to write. Reading books is his favorite pass time. His anthologies “A Phase Unknown Women-A Tribute Season 2” , “Dream-Castle” and “The Paid Eminence” are due release in April, 2015. He has also published some of his works at and in “Indian Authors Association”. Though he is a student of technical intricacy, he loves to read novels more than engineering textbooks. His favorite authors include George Orwell, Harper Lee and Khuswant Singh. You can get in contact with him via. email (, Facebook or his blog Alphabet Speaks (

~When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was at class twelve, I started taking part in different essay writing competition and all kind of writing competition. Participating in those events helped me to grow aspiration to write stories, poems etc. When I read deep impact fiction by Indian author in my mother tongue like Rabindranath, Saratchandra, I realized the power of writing and from then I have decided to become a writer.

~Tell us about your story, ‘Heat Of Knife.’ How did you get the idea for it?

This story is about a girl, named Durga who struggled and survived the
bleak world of slum-life. When I first saw the call for submission in this anthology, I was in the midst of preparing for GATE exam. I felt like writing something on women empowerment but could not find a story. Then while travelling to the centre for the exam I witnessed life in slums from bus and right then I got the idea of my story.

~Tell us about the character of Durga. How did you develop the character?

In our mythology, Durga is a symbol of rage and protection the true image of women. Parvati is another name for Durga who is the mother of Durga in my story. I visualized the current situation of women in our society in not like the Durga or Parvati in mythology. To name the character Durga is ironical. I tried to imagine the possible situations in the slum and tried to develop a character as fit as possible for our society.

~How long does it take you to write a story?

It depends on whether I am trying to write a simple story or an artistic one. I took nearly six hours to write this story and another 2-3 hours for correction.

~What is your work schedule like, when you’re writing?

I like to write after midnight, but it always not have to be the case. I read many short stories to experiment with my writing style ─there is a drastic change in my writing style from this story to the most recent one─ and I normally write one story in 2 weeks.

~What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I always like to write about dark sides of our society; never loved much romance in writing stories. It is not that I hate romance, I do write romance but they are different ─not sweet flowery love tales.

~Where do you get your information or ideas for your stories?

I get ideas from our society; real life events of people around us.

~When did you write your first story and how old were you?

I wrote my first story in my first year B.Tech, at age of 17; it was a science fiction.

~What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

When I am not not writing, I read novels, watch movies or do my final year project.

~What does your family think of your writing?

My parents are very supportive for my aspiration to become a writer. They think I write well and have the potential to become a good writer. I am very fortunate to born in such family.

~What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your stories?

When I realize naked truths about our society and behaviour and express it in my friend circle, they make joke of it. But when I write the same in a short story or a poem, everyone appreciates it.

~How many stories have you written? Which is your favorite?

I have written total nine stories, of which I love “The Act of Smiling” the most which will release in the anthology named “The Paid Eminence”.

~Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Just keep writing regularly, you will improve for sure. It is true for everyone who wants to become a writer.

~Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I got mixed reviews when I published my first story in Facebook. Those reviews helped me a lot to write better stories now.

~What do you think makes a good story?

A good story must be racy and thought provoking at the same time. The narration should not be  like a news report, it must be interesting.

~As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

When I was a child I wanted to become a bay-blade fighter shown in cartoon network. J It was very famous in those days and in my locality every afternoon there was a fight between the spinning lattoos or bay-blades.

~How was experience with Sanmati Publishers?

It is vey pleasant and beautiful. They are supportive and very helpful.

~What would be your message for our readers?

Just be yourself, follow your heart and keep smiling.

Thank you Anirban for your precious time. Wish you Good luck!

~Interviewed by Enakshi Johri & Kumar Vikrant


She Was a Saint



[CONTEXT OF THE POEM: Few days back in India, a group of young people raped a nun in a church. This is one of the rape incidents which shamed us all. Most ridiculous fact is; convicts ate chocolate a cake calmly after the offence!]

She was a saint.

As pure as sunrays,

As gracious as flowers,

Few snipped off the petals.


For she was a saint,

As innocent as child,

As shy as a bride,

And today she cried.


As she was a saint;

As disciplined as army,

As calm as still-water,

Lost her honor by a cutter.


Though she was a saint,

She still was entered;

Faced her sinister fate,

And they ate cake and chocolate!


Few ‘liked’ the news,

Some updated a status,

Fewer tried to mourn,

But still, she was a saint.


She never had a home,

For she had a church of stone─

And now she owns a room different;

It is a hospital-for-rent.


She never covered he face;

With always covered bodice.

Now she had a face hidden,

In a state bed-ridden,

With tattered heart and chest,

And hence, she was a saint.


May be once a day will come,

When we find a people some;

Full of respect and light,

To make us bright,

To help her fight,

And remove the night,

For the soul to chant─

“I am a saint.”

©Anirban Nanda

Book Review: Story of Tublu by Jahid Akhtar

“Story of Tublu” written by “Jahid Akhtar” is a wonderful debut for any writer. The tag-line of the story says ‘an amazing journey called life’ ─an apt tagline indeed! It is literally a journey of life; filled with every human emotion possible ─love, pain, loss, friendship, hate, jealousy and more. The story shows the transformation of adolescence to maturity which is done quite brilliantly for both Maina and Tublu ─our central characters. The jokes of Ganesh and mischief of Pranjal is so funny that it will make you laugh like a mad. Hostel life is described nicely and it will compel you to take a walk down your memory lane.

The infatuation and later turned love of Tublu is presented skillfully and small lovely encounter of Raja and Swati is sweet. The story is constantly moving, running faster than a Lamborghini 🙂 ! If you miss one paragraph, that will cost you a significant amount of story. The story has paced so smoothly that it is easy to complete it in one sitting.

Characters in ‘Story of Tublu’ are huge in number and each one is described as required. Major characters like Mr. Sharma, Tublu, Maina and Bipin are described nicely. Along with the main characters, I particularly love the characters of Pranjal and Swati as they’ve left a mark in their short appearances. Mrs Sharma’s superstition and communism seem misdirected ─she accepted quite easily the marriage of a Hindu with Christian, but was outrageous for the same of Hindu and Muslim; which is quite expected from our everyday experience. This book never tries to be artistic masterpiece but win your heart; hence, don’t expect J.M. Coetzee or Salman Rushdie from here. The story is a gripping read and fascinating tale for every person to enjoy.


Rating: 3 out of 5

Plus Point: Fascinating and gripping story till the end which can be finished in one sitting. If you want a fast and good story in a simple language; grab this one.

Minus Point: The novel is full of incidents. For this, some critically emotional situations could have been narrated more elaborately.

Amazon Link:

Happy Reading!

Smartly Short Tales Collection-#2

Smart-tales #4


She dangled, drawing out
hand for coins
Five year old was she,
Writing ABCD with smile;
without going to school.

Smart-tales #5

#end of college days 😦

Whiskey in one hand and cigarette in other
He looked at the campus from window,
while tears fell on his guitar.
now he marked the calender.

Smart-tales #6


She kept a seat for him beside,
He hesitated and another took the place;
She left her kerchief with a number,
and he also got a “place”.

-Anirban Nanda

(This types of tales are called micro-tales or tiny-tales where as few as possible words are use to express a emotion.)