Good Publishing Houses - India

Are you a writer who is passionate about your work? Do you want to publish your manuscript for the whole world to read and enjoy. Then this article might be helpful for you.

Traditional publishing houses go through these processes for a fiction or a non-fiction type of book

They first ask you to send a mail about the details of your book. The details normally include,
1. Synopsis of your story
2. Chapter outline
3. Plot of the story (about 100 words) just like the ones you find in the back of a book)
4. Three sample chapters
Publishers who entertain e-mail samples are:

- Penguin India
- Roli Books
- Random House
- Shrishti Publications
- Fingerprint Publications

Some publishers normally ask for the same content as a hard copy. They do not entertain e-mail submissions.

- Rupa Publishers
-Westland Publishers
-Harper Collins India

Most of them are based at New Delhi. For children's books, poetry and short story works these companies may have a different format. 

These are only some of the publishing houses. There are other less known publishers who are willing to take on new authors. If they are interested in your manuscript, they might ask you to send  the complete manuscript. These companies take anywhere between a month and six months to respond to new submissions. Patience is the key virtue here. Most companies do not relpy in case of rejecting your work. 

In that case, you can still get your work published. It is called 'Self-publishing' which means getting your work published by yourself.


Wise & Unwise

Golden Days of Childhood

Those moments that made my childhood special..

1. Playing on the streets screaming at the top of the voice

2. Delicacies by grandma on special occasions

3. 'Mile sur mera' song based on national integration on the only channel available on TV - DD

4. Going for long walks with daddy

5. Playing 'Mario' video game like it was the best game in the whole world

6. Pranks with cousins during summer vacations at our native place - climbing trees, picking fruits, playing downstream, making new friends, having fun in meadows with cows and birds, wearing traditional outfits, being a part of grand festivals and family get-togethers..

7. Sweet mango juice after a hot day at the park.

8. Bed-time stories with Mommy

9. Bursting crackers starting from two months before Diwali

10.Bombay Mittai ( Gum chocolate sold by a man with a clapping puppet)

11. Summer time specialties - Mango pickles, Rice Vadams ( for which we were the official crow hunters)

12. Elephants with mahouts strolling the streets occasionally.

Elegant Baduga Wedding

Badugas are natives of the majestic hills of the Nilgiris. Their weddings symbolize their down-to-earth qualities of being simple yet elegant and meaningful. They are taught to enjoy all that life has to offer in simple terms. The main aspects of their wedding is that there is no dowry in any form. Why is this a major highlight? It is because in the Indian culture, the dowry can make or break a marriage. Families have been greatly disturbed by this social evil. But no.. Badugas are happy with what they have. There is no posh or elaborate ceremonies. There are only simple act of coming together to celebrate love and commitment.

For a baduga, a wedding is a family affair. And by family,I mean the entire village where the bride and groom are associated. The entire villages come together to celebrate the noble union. They do not marry within the same village because it clashes with their basic principle of brotherhood. Villagers from the same village are considered as brothers and do not entertain any thoughts of marriage. 
There are three ceremonies in a baduga wedding -
-The engagement
-The pre-wedding ceremony
-The wedding 

The engagement ceremony is where all the relatives of the bride and groom get together and officially announce the betrothal. The wedding date is fixed on the engagement day. The pre-wedding ceremony is essentially a ceremony of the bride's family. The most striking feature of the wedding is the dance and the food. Traditional foods are prepared and enjoyed with gusto. Dance is a very integral part of the baduga culture. Starting from kids to aged elders, it is uniformly enjoyed and considered a matter of pride. Elders from the groom's family come to the bride's house on the pre-wedding day to accompany the bride to the temple or mandap(where the wedding is to be held the next day.) A holy chain called 'ungaramani' is presented to the bride as a welcome symbol by her new family. On the wedding day, the entire family of the bride accompanied by select few of the groom's relatives travel to the venue amidst singing and dancing. Occasional chants of 'Haw Haw' grace the ceremony. It is the holy chant of badugas which is sung during happy and sad occasions. The mangal sutra is tied making the whole process a witness to the glorious life awaiting the blessed couple. The bride is asked to perform simple duties like carrying water and eating along with her new family to further strengthen the ties. the wedding comes to an end with an elaborate lunch. Altogether the wedding is a fulfilling step towards getting acquainted with new relations and a better and happy life.

Girly Talks

A Real Chance at Childhood

Children's day is celebrated on November 14 in the honor of Jawaharlal Nehru, our first prime minister. He was a great admirer of children and strongly believed in them. And we carry on the tradition though today it is only for name sake.Why is it a meaningless tradition today?

It is because, children are mini-adults today. They are not technically children anymore. Why?

For one,children are strongly opinionated and love to talk strongly about things even which they haven't got the slightest clue. They are the unacknowledged technical geeks in the family who are engineers by passion and scientists by necessity or so they claim. They are not interested in silly walking and talking animated objects (called cartoons) over which the previous generation literally drooled over. Their childhood is already skewed because in most cases, they are the only child in the family. They never actually have the choice or chance of understanding the fun of coming together. Outdoor games are literally not existent along with interesting board games like snake and ladders and ludo. Children are taught to talk in English but they haven't got the slightest clue why trying to own a neighbor's toy is wrong.

Neighbors and cousins are as foreign to them as algebra. Computers rule their life. They know what an unknown person is doing on Facebook but they haven't got the slightest clue what their own siblings are up to.

All that said, these are not complaints against children. These are observations of how children blindly follow their parents. So if you want your child to have a memorable childhood, stop being glued to the computer and spend time with your child. Get out of those four walls and explore the world around you. Chase butterflies, skim rocks in the river, have great nature outings, maintain a scrap book or play hide and seek. If you want your children to turn out to be great, be a great parent from whom your child automatically learns by example. A child's mind is like a clean sponge which absorbs everything early. There is no analysis of whether it is right or wrong. That is how they should be. Today my son split some kum-kum on the floor and had smeared his face and hands with it. At first sight, my reaction was 'Why can't you sit quiet?' But hell, he is just a year old. If I'm expecting him to sit quiet, he will defy the definition of a toddler, won't he?

So my final word. Just let them be. Teach them things the traditional way so that they learn to slow down and enjoy their childhood. There is no rush to engage them in things which are meant for adults. If he does not know how to operate a touch screen phone or have an account on Facebook, the world does not end. Being a child with lot of smiles and happiness is a blessing every child deserves. It is the moral responsibility of every parent to ensure that their child gets a real chance at childhood.

Alive

The Ballad Of Father GIlligan - W.B.Yeats

One of my favorite poems revoking unquestioning faith in God.

The old priest Peter Gilligan
Was weary night and day
For half his flock were in their beds
Or under green sods lay.

Once, while he nodded in a chair
At the moth-hour of the eve
Another poor man sent for him,
And he began to grieve.

'I have no rest, nor joy, nor peace,
For people die and die;
And after cried he, 'God forgive!
My body spake not I!'

He knelt, and leaning on the chair
He prayed and fell asleep;
And the moth-hour went from the fields,
And stars began to peep.

They slowly into millions grew,
And leaves shook in the wind
And God covered the world with shade
And whispered to mankind.

Upon the time of sparrow chirp
When the moths came once more,
The old priest Peter Gilligan
Stood upright on the floor.

'Mavrone, mavrone! The man has died
While I slept in the chair.'
He roused his horse out of its sleep
And rode with little care.

He rode now as he never rode,
By rocky lane and fen;
The sick man's wife opened the door,
'Father! you come again!'

'And is the poor man dead?' he cried
'He died an hour ago.'
The old priest Peter Gilligan
In grief swayed to and fro.

'When you were gone, he turned and died,
As merry as a bird.'
The old priest Peter Gilligan
He knelt him at that word.

'He Who hath made the night of stars
For souls who tire and bleed,
Sent one of this great angels down,
To help me in my need.

'He Who is wrapped in purple robes,
With planets in His care
Had pity on the least of things
Asleep upon a chair.'

Working Mothers, Tussi Great Ho!

Work life balance is a tricky concept. Because the balance part normally is not applicable to the ladies. We are brought up in a patriarchal society where even from a young age we put the needs of our family or others in general before our own. On hindsight, this looks like a huge mistake because, the entire concept of individuality goes for a toss then. The women of the family are good if they care about the rest while if she does something for herself once in a while, she is considered selfish. To add insult to injury, she is taught to feel guilty about spending time her own way.  For a working woman the challenges are greater and if that working women is a mother, the challenges become twisted, since women are looked upon to embrace the responsibilities of motherhood while men just pop their head into the window of their children's life,as fathers here and there.

If a man is never present for his children, he is extremely busy earning for his family. If a woman does the same, she is inconsiderate. If a man is successful, everybody likes him. If a woman is successful, her personal life is scrutinized inch by inch for flaws. It is possible for a man to be a good father by just buying expensive gifts for his children, while a woman spending most of the time with them is never enough. Women have to struggle to get things accomplished while the same things are taken for granted by men.

We are in an era where the gender bias no longer makes any practical sense since survival as a family is the key here. Women rule the boardrooms as well the kitchen and they do not care about the acknowledgement part anymore. They are not scared to air their opinions or being judged harshly. When they started working, they shed their shyness. Now they are armed to take over the world. We do not expect men to appreciate us and congratulate us on our achievements. No sir! that will be expecting way too much. What we expect is to let things be as they are. There is no need to blow little things out of proportion. So what if she arrives late and is unable to make dinner. She slogs to support the man financially. So what if she wants you to take over the grocery department once in a while. She always cooks for the two of you no matter how irritated she is. So what if she needs you to don the father hat more often. She juggles a lot more than you are even capable of imagining. So what if she cries once in a while. That is the only way she can handle her unreciprocated emotions. Her hands are always full but her heart has a space always specially reserved for you.

If you are that special guy who knows the value of your woman, this article is not meant for you. For all the others, please rethink how your life would have been if not for that woman.

Go Ahead

ABOU BEN ADHEM - James Henry Leigh Hunt

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight of his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:-
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said,
'What writest thou?' - The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered 'The names of those who love the Lord.'
'And is mine one?' said Abou. 'Nay, not so,'
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still; and said 'I pray thee then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow-men.'

The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names who love of God had blessed,
And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

This is the first poem I enjoyed at school!

Only For You My Baby!

It is becoming increasingly difficult to spend time with children in a nuclear family set up. And that too, if your child is a baby or toddler demanding constant attention, then it becomes more of a work than a joy. Juggling all the routine activities and taking care of a baby are equally monumental tasks but not impossible. With a little organisation of your activities you can always have the best of the both worlds. Here are some of the tips to spend and equally enjoy that extra time with your baby.


- Try to cook lunch along with breakfast. This ensures that you have at least two hours free in the afternoon. Mornings are always the time when the work gets done so fast because we are fresh during the start of the day.

- Take a nap. When the baby takes a nap, quit doing work and lie down sometime with him. You can take a short nap to feel relaxed. If you are not a napper, you can simply do some recreational activities which you know will relax you. When the baby rests, you too have to rest. It rejuvenates your tired bones.

- Have meals on time. It is very difficult when you  have to run around the baby all day. His needs always come first . As a result , you might end up throwing your own things out of schedule. A hungry stomach fuels your irritation all the more.

- Play with your baby. You don't have to watch all the TV serials from morning to night. Choose two or three programs that you regularly want to see. The rest of the time, devote to your baby. When you do this regularly, the baby gets to know your schedule. He will wait eagerly for his playtime instead of trying to get your attention all the time.

- Get out of the house for a stroll. Being in a confined hyper active space for a whole day is not a good sign at all. You will end up being depressed and inevitably you will blame the baby for it. So go out and enjoy that cool wind in your hair.

Your kids will remain babies only once in their lifetime. Make the most of it :)

The Big Fat Indian Wedding

Do marriages work because people really make the effort to make it work or merely because people learn to live it just the way a toddler learns to learn ABC. Why is marriage called an institution anyways?
Is it because you always keep learning to manage things no matter how experienced you become.
Eitherways if all the great love stories and legends that claim true love are to be believed, then marriage should really be a good thing isn’t it? A wonderful relationship where you have somebody whom you can share your fears without being laughed at, share your joys without the fear of jealousy, share your worries without the fear of competition and most important of all when you fall down you always know that there is somebody to catch you.
The idea slowly sunk in, until one fine day I felt truly excited about the whole process.
I decided to get married. That is not so bad.. is it??
And so the traditional process of match making started.  Little did I know the complexities of the whole thing.
Height , weight, colour, education, salary, Family background, location, in laws.... the list was endless..

After going through all these initial criteria.. then came the meeting stage.. And this is when I knew I had a true inner voice.
“ Do you know to cook?”  Are you looking for a cook?
“How much do you earn?”  Are you planning to give me a promotion?
“Are you planning to quit your job after marriage?” Moron. What has my job got to do with marriage?
“Will you wear only sarees after marriage?” Only if you wear dhotis after marriage
The kind of questions that came up.. some were funny.. some amusing.. some direct. But some downright no no.. Its a wonder people even manage to get married after these kind of conversations.

Then the discussion stage..
The guy is not in a decent job.. 
He is too dark.. 
His family is not good enough...


All my dreams about getting married were slowly ebbing away.. I cannot get married to somebody for the sake of getting married , Can I?

Six months later..

I'm happily married to a wonderful guy now. I always wondered how people manage to get married after all this drama. But it does happen someday , when everything just feels right , special and suitable for you that you can no longer turn down a proposal. And that is how one gets married. I guess I learnt it practically!

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