Book Reviews – Midnight Musings

Congratulations! I have published my book! Time to celebrate, right? Not yet. In fact, I have to sell as many copies of my book as I can after putting it out for the public to make a decent profit out of writing. But relying solely on my sales pitch by reaching out to people who are likely to buy and read my book, and convincing them that it’s got something other books in the same genre don’t have isn’t enough. Some readers want more concrete proof that my book is worth buying and I am not just pulling their leg, which is why book reviews play an important role in getting my book known.

Reviews

The wind

Undecided

Rolls a cigarette of air

What a vivid haiku in Midnight Musings!  It lingers in my mind as the others will do for you, too.

Cynthia Adina Kirkwood, Novelist, Portugal

I wasn’t familiar with the Haiku format before reading Romila’s “Alphabet Haiku”. What is fascinating about it is that it appeals to the TLDR generation with a limited attention span as well as the old schoolers who love condensed content with a swirl. I can relate to the randomness of Romila’s lines. That is how most of us are, when it comes to thoughts and emotions – wading our way through randomness. I particularly like the poems Envy & Knowledge – the former is brutally honest and the latter is painfully liberating. These 26 poems inspire life in you, because they are made in and out of life!

Ardra Balachandran, Freelance Media Professional, Kochi, India

In your hands you have an exquisite book full of magical musings and artistic soliloquy. Romila speaks with a fondness and passion for prose that leaps off the page. Take these words into your heart and let your love of reading grow.

Simon Barry, CEO, SimonBarry.tv, Blockchain specialist and Business coach, London

A good poem is like a masterpiece of the highest exquisiteness of emotions and language in its divine form. It is a real face of imagination and sometimes spurs of the moment flow of powerful feelings. Very few authors experiment such poetry to a grander creative platform. Romila is one of the authors to have raised her bars sky-high in the shape of Haiku poetry. Haiku is a traditional way of Japanese poetry in its much humbler form and is a beautiful way of expressing your real inner thoughts about someone. I came across Romila during her book review of my debut book. A wholly admirable and compelling individual and a true lover of literature, writing is undoubtedly her gift. The same is true for her Haiku poetry book ‘Midnight Musings.’ It defines her amazing madness and infinite charm for life. Secretly held emotions ‘Envy and Greed’ portrays like a gentle breeze. Soul, Nature and a much simpler theme of just ‘Tea’ amaze you for its aesthetics.

The Haiku poem on Mom is worth a mention-

Moms forever loved
Always there for everyone
Send your thanks her way

The book is loaded with energy and sure to be enjoyed by even fictional and non-fiction lovers. It is for everyone who sees life in its real sense. The author’s writing is purely relatable, characterized by the exciting choice of few strong and idiomatic expressions. A must read.

Bhanu Arora, Author of ‘10 Essentials to the Blueprint of Happiness’, Punjab, India

This was the first time that I read any e-book, feels like lost my virginity, and first time is always special and worth remembering, it’s memorable, prior to this haiku was an alien concept for me and now it’s dear.

Your book is

A for worth an Applause
B for Best Book
C for Can be read multiple times
D for Drench (anyone would love to get drenched by the showers of your wordings)
E for Excellent
F for fantastic fantasies
G for easy to Grasp
H for Highly appreciable
I for Impressive
J for Jhakkaas
K for Kit Kat (have a break and read it)
L for Loved it
M for Muuaaaaahh
N for Naughty
O for ORIGINAL
P for Passionate
Q for Quench for reading more of this
R for Rocking
S for Sexy
T for Toast (cheers)
U for Unforgettable
W for Wow
X for eXtremely beautiful
Y for Your “Y not”
Z for Zing

Sajid Patel, Mumbai Matters, Mumbai, India 

#MidnightMusings is a feast for mind. She is a poetess with a crystal clear wisdom about realities of life. Each poem is a stand alone work of awesome writing. C for Cigarette and O for Over are my personal favorite Haikus. Congratulations for another fab work.

Sudeep Bose, Lucknow, India

I read your eBook after my meeting was over and seriously it took all my tiredness of the day. I heard the name Haiku for the first time and for me new things are always attractive. I searched in Google and then read the book. I am not the master or no one to judge your writing but Romila your book for me this is outclass. The usage of words, rhythmic sense, categorization of words, lines all are fantabulous. Love your writings and keep me posted about your more books.

 Meetha Karela, Mumbai, India

I never heard of haiku before. I just LOVED IT. I mean in 3 lines (Max of 9-10words), how can anyone tell a story with an aha moment. Every topic was zoomed in 3 lines with details. This is an exceptional work of poetry – the book has 26 muse nuggets, eat it for sure you will feel good. #MidnightMusings

 Mayank Singh, Software Developer, Delhi, India

I have only heard the word “Haiku” but never found out what it is and what it actually meant by.  Before I started reading, I looked at the contents section where I noticed the poetess Romila has used each word from alphabets A-Z. She composed Haiku on every alphabet expressing the reality by her thoughts, words, and imagination in just 3 lines which I never thought of. Her writing calibre is amazing and I really liked it. It just made me thought that how can someone choose 26 words in alphabetical order and express reality of life in just 3 lines so beautifully that you understand everything and start thinking and imagining about it. There are various topics and areas that she has covered from friendship, love, life, nature, blood relations to name a few. Believe me it looks very easy and beautiful to read but as I have tried my hand in short stories, I think lesser the words, it is very difficult to convey the message and the way she has written Haiku poems and expressed the life moments, I can definitely say that she has worked really very hard behind the scenes to make this book happen. To sum up her efforts I would like to say – The easier and natural she makes it (her poetry) seem, the more moil has been done and put up by her at the back to make her work look beautiful.

Piyush Wadhwani, Businessman, Indore, India

So let me try and put up my feelings after reading this work twice since morning, I was new to the concept of haiku, but poetess Romila gives us a brief introduction about the theme of the book. It looks really simple yet the emotions behind each and every word of every alphabet is what makes it a good read, I might still be unaware of the nuances of the technical aspects of the work, but as a reader I was engaged and emotionally invested in each line.

There are lot of wonderful lines in the book that stayed with me

“Games played idle, Ecstasy within this fall, Morphing of the dead”,
“Caress of ages, Gentle touch inside my mind, Rain falls nearby home”
and many more.

If there is anything extremely important that we can learn from the author, it’s her sincerity, honestly and discipline towards her work, and all these aspects reflects in each word of the book.

Give it a read, it’s simple yet very elegant.

Mandeep Kapoor, Blogger, Ahmedabad, India

#MidnightMusings is a collection of haikus by the poetess Romila. It is a manifestation of the platform she finds her voices the strongest in, Twitter. While there are other social media poets, like Lang Leav and Rupi Kaur who rely on a strong visual element to frame their poetry, Romila uses the brevity she is familiar with to generate a deeply personal and rich set of poems. Truly, no mean feat. She uses constraint to her advantage, launching this collection with 26 haikus for each letter in the English alphabet. It is an interesting reflection of how technology enables her artistic process, rapidly logging and prototyping poetry across platforms and then curetting it into a work of harmony amongst its diverse parts.

 Pravind Paul Mohanadas, Creative Strategist, Singapore 

#MidnightMusings is a very nice read. #Haiku written with such beauty and grace. You would feel like you are consuming an expensive scotch. It made me think and connect with the story. Thank you for a wonderful reading experience.

Ambuj Singh, CEO, TheStories.In, New Delhi

First time I read Haiku and it was very nice to read it. #MidnightMusings is a treat for readers. Short, crisp and a great collection to have. Glad to have it among my cherished possessions. Great work Romila.

 Shamik Byarbartta, Project Manager, Bengaluru, India

Firstly, it’s an honor to receive e-book from you. Never knew about haiku poems earlier. Thanks, you gave an idea beforehand. Undoubtedly beautifully written. A clear Master Stroke. Hats off to you poetess! This time I noticed through your poems you enjoyed while you were writing.  In short, what you write, you write with passion and that’s the reason it’s your writing that’s speaks for you. Before writing on any new topic, you do a good ground work. You toil day and night to give your best. You run after excellence not the achievement. Writing is your natural talent and skill. You don’t forget to sharpen it each passing day. That’s what makes you one of the best writers. I have not met you personally, but I can see your magic through your awesome writing. Thank you once again for considering me as the reader of your beautiful writing journey. Keep going. Best Wishes.

 Amod Mangudkar, Mumbai, India

A story is a story is a story. A story could be book-size, a page size or just a couple of words. But what I loved most about Haiku form of poems is that they leave so much to the comprehension of a reader. Every reader has her own baggage which when amalgamates with the poet’s choice of words gives birth to an exquisite inspiration. Romila’s three lines of thought provoking words forced me to rake my mind and find a connection to her interpretation of simple happenings around me. I have to specially mention Romila’s Haikus on Envy, Over and Vagina. Does my choice of words pique your interest? If yes? Then delay no further and get hold of the copy of her Midnight Musings.

 Anupriya Gupta, Blogs at MommyTincture, Kolkata

Firstly when you gave me opportunity to read your eBook, I thought it’s a novel. I had no idea about Haiku before. But in all seriousness, this book introduced me to the world of Haiku poetry and I actually loved and enjoyed it. All 26 haikus are magnificent but I liked the ‘Different ‘the most. As a beginning haiku reader this is very helpful for me because it enables me to get a sense of possibilities for Haiku that exists. Thanks, for sharing the book you have worked so hard. I really loved reading your poems. I admired it. More power to you.

Aarti Gupta, MBA student, Dehradun, India

I have earlier read and enjoyed the book The Three Flowers by Romila on Haiku and this one is equally good. These short Haiku are reflective, deep and emotional. The young author has written these with passion and an intensity that makes a reader think and ruminate. The challenge for ensuring that these poems make an impact is met. Mom, Over and Vagina are sublime and thoughtful. Simple truths often overlooked easily expressed in these. Different and Envy shed light on human nature and show us the truth. Beautiful short poems that are perfect for reading when short on time. The message of the poems ensures they will linger long after they are read.

Inderpreet Uppal, Author-Editor-Blogger, Udhampur, India

Well, I read #MidnightMusings this week and I guess you should also go for it. If you wanna explore literature, then this is a beautiful book. Haikus are carved really well, every word, every line is filled with deep thoughts and beaut meanings. Must read.

Neha Siddhwani, Blogger-Writer, Ujjain, India

Haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables, often focusing on images from nature, emphasizing simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression. Who better than Romila could have written it !! An amazing collection – a must read !!

Chandan, Hyderabad 

Impressed by the collection of Haiku, MidnightMusings! Her Haiku are refreshing & delightful like flowers, with new point of view, eg. “Pregnancy is Fun”. Some like “Hot” are simple; others like “Mom” are deep! Must read for poetry lovers!

Rangeela Desi, Tokyo 

Reviews on Blogs

1. Nazish KondkariMidnight Musings 

2. Shamik ByabarttaMidnight Musings 

3. Seema MisraMidnight Musings 

4. Vasantha – Midnight Musings 

5. Sona GroverMidnight Musings

6. Kadambari SinghMidnight Musings 

7. Ishani NathMidnight Musings 

8. Amrita MisraMidnight Musings

9. Saba Irfan LadhaMidnight Musings 

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In Conversation with Mayukh Ray

Mayukh Ray is a versatile actor and well grounded producer in the media and film industry. He moved to Mumbai in 2013 with a film degree from the MET Film School in London. After an acting diploma at The Jeff Goldberg Studio in Mumbai where he trained in method acting, he began auditioning for different roles and bagged several parts in films and commercials. His first production stint was with Arkassh Media Works. Soon after, he founded his own production house called Little Duck Productions and has continued to thrive in the industry since. Mayukh has recently won Best Actor award at The Dada Sahib Phalke Film Festival for his acclaimed short film Mohammad and Urvashi. The film has also won him Best Actor at other renowned film festivals in Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai. You can find Mayukh on IMDB and Instagram.

Novemberschild: What attracted you to turn an actor?

Mayukh:  Well, I had a great Job in my favourite city, my own house, had lovely friends and an amazing lifestyle. And one day I decided, to hell with this I am going to pack my bags and move to India to pursue a career in the field of arts. In all honesty, I had grown up watching my Grandfather and My Mother on stage. And they were amazing performers. I was always fascinated by their work. So I guess, it was a bit of genes, a bit of curiosity and a bit of the adventurer in me, that made me pursue this field.

Novemberschild: How do you like to encourage ideas in others?

Mayukh:  I tell them to Listen! You will find, a lot of people like to talk a lot these days. Which if fine, but I’d like to encourage people by telling them to truly listen more and when you filter out the bullshit, great ideas are formed in your mind.

Novemberschild: Who is your favorite actor, and why?

Mayukh:  Right Now, at this moment- Jeff Goldberg. Recently I saw a play called David Coleman Headley. It was the greatest one man show I had ever seen. Otherwise, I like Leonardo DiCaprio. He is versatile and extremely dedicated to his art. I love that.

Novemberschild: Tell me about what you’re working on now.

Mayukh:  In terms of acting, I just finished shooting for Vivek’s next film- Tashkent Files. Apart from that, I also run my own Production Company. So I am busy with that as well. But this year I intend to act a lot more given the opportunity obviously.

Novemberschild: Describe your acting style.

Mayukh: I’d like to think I am a Director’s Actor. Because I listen and take instructions really well. But if I was to pick a style, it would be method acting. I like to research and develop the character and almost become that person.

Novemberschild: When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?

Mayukh: 3 words- Never give In. That was the motto of my boarding school. Set backs are a part of life. We were taught never to give up. No matter how hard things get, you always pick yourself up, dust yourself off and roll with the punches.

Novemberschild: What sort of acting roles will you be seeking in the future?

Mayukh: I don’t have set vision for that. I just work hard and feel good about what I am doing.

Novemberschild: In which area would you like to improve as an actor?

Mayukh: In every area. I don’t think I will ever stop or even want to stop learning and improving my craft. Look if I am honest with myself, I know that I am not as naturally talented as some of the other people I see around. Far from it! But I make up for it other areas like the hunger and desire to reach a certain level. And I play to my strengths. I have that fire under my belly to work my socks off until I achieve my goals. And I am proud of that.

 

Novemberschild: How did you prepare for the role in Mohammad and Urvashi?

Mayukh:  As I said earlier, I like to do a lot of research before getting into any character. And Vivek was very clear in his head about the character. He gave me all the necessary information and I worked on it for weeks. What Mohammad would look like, how he felt, his posture, his physique. Every little detail about the character was worked upon. 

Novemberschild: How does it feel when you dig up a little and put a mask on your actual character or personality?

Mayukh: Honestly, I don’t know. Because I usually don’t remember anything once I am done playing the character. People have asked me this before, that how I felt whilst playing Mohammad? And I would tell them, I would tell them exactly that cos genuinely I wouldn’t remember. 

Novemberschild: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to do what you do?

Mayukh:  Always learn another skill. It could be anything like Directing, Writing or playing an instrument. Don’t just be fixated on one skill.

Novemberschild: What do you look for in a Director?

Mayukh:  2 things – Clarity of thought and vision and belief.

 
Let’s wrap the interview with some rapid questions to Mayukh

1. Are you a morning or a night person?

Morning.

2. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

I never put anything in my mouth, unless I am 100% sure its not going to taste “strange”.

3. Describe yourself in 3 words.

Funny, Charming and Dedicated.

4. Where is the worst place you could get stuck?

Right at the top, on a roller coaster ride.

5. How many books have you read so far this year?

3

6. What celebrity annoys you the most?

The ones who don’t have any talent.

7. What is the most delightful word you can think of?

Smile.

8. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?

The smile.

9. What product would you refuse to promote?

Cigarettes

10. What is the song you hear most often?

Turn the Page- Metallica

11. If you could change one thing about your looks what would it be?

Nothing. I am happy with the way I look.

12. What is your dream car?

A car that can fly, when you are stuck in Bombay Traffic.

13. What do you think of when I say, “Fruit?”

Mango.

14. What is success?

Joy in doing what one does.

15. Leader or follower?

Follow, then Lead.

16. Politics?

Shambles

17. Your 20s?

Extraordinary!

18. Apple?

Doctor.

19. Sex?

Male

20. What challenges you?

Life. Living everyday to the fullest is one heck of a challenge these days.

 

I am sure after reading my conversation with Mayukh, you really want to watch the Movie “Mohammad and Urvashi” . Making things easy for you, the movie is right here below – Watch, enjoy and don’t forget to share it with everyone and write your comments on the movie especially on Mohammed – Mayukh Ray.

 

 

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