Bestsellers – The Belated Bachelor Party

The Yayati stage arena was seen jam-packed this evening at 3.30 PM as the love story juggernaut, Ravinder Singh and Milan Vohra, better known as India’s first Mills & Boon author, took the stage. The session moderated by Milan, was kickstarted with an introduction to Ravinder’s latest bestselling novel, The Belated Bachelor Party, which has sold over 3.5 million copies!


The discussion primarily revolved around how The Belated Bachelor Party stands out from his long list of run-of-the-mill love stories, culminating in heart-breaking endings. Ravinder called it “a reunion book” which he claimed is poles apart from his kind of writing. This book is more of a comic relief to his readers who complained that there are no happy endings to his books. It also brought back his three friends who had moved to 3 different corners of the globe. It was all about bringing in a change in the flavor to cater to the changing tastes of the audience.


Ravinder assured to have incorporated his direct or indirect experiences in his book and that’s a recurrent theme in his writings. He basically familiarized the audience to his book by narrating a short blurb from it which revolves around four friends living in 4 different places and how they held onto the bond of friendship even after living apart from one another for years at a stretch. It all starts with a conference call amongst the four of them that triggered the entire idea of a bachelor party that they never had before getting married. And he chose to add the ‘belated’ part to it because he is of the belief that “belated can fix so many things”.


Further, the story behind the narrative style of the book was unraveled to the audience. Ravinder asserted that the idea of making ‘friendship’ his mouthpiece in his book occurred to him from his reading of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak where ‘death’ narrates the story. There also exists the elbow-space to be self-critical when written in third person is what Ravinder believes. His talk on his book was further seasoned by his light-hearted humor and ended with a few cliff-hangers for those who haven’t read his book as yet.


On being questioned by Milan about his concept of “wealth, women, and wine can make everything happen”, he goes back to connect it to “jar, jameen aur joru” (wealth, land and wife), about what weaken the knees.


Ravinder concluded his session by voicing out his firm will to leverage the power of books to talk about the things that matter to him. While signing off, he created fine ripples of applause and cheer amongst the audience by announcing the existence of a bunch of men who are sensitive and can talk about issues without women being involved in whatever way possible.




About the Author: Upasana Mahanta is an MA in English with Communication Studies student from CHRIST (Deemed To Be University) – Bengaluru, who firmly believes that there is nothing more exhilarating and liberating as poetry. She finds solace in writing poems and travel blogs and has amongst her laurels a 1st Prize in the English category of the All India Poetess Conference, Meghalaya Chapter’s Seventh Poetry Competition cum North East Poetry Festival. She currently writes for TheSeer.


Typeset, Ready, Go!

The afternoon session commenced at the Tughlaq stage with Ravinder Singh, an Indian author and a software engineer. Ravinder is a best-selling writer in romantic genre from the state Odisha, with eight successful novels to his name and a publishing house named ‘Black Ink’, which promotes aspiring writers.


He headed the panel discussion that included Teesta Guha Sarkar, a senior commissioning editor at ‘Pan MacMillan India’.  The other two panellists were Himanjali Sarkar, currently an editor with ‘Bloomsbury India’ and Udayan Mitra, a publisher at ‘Penguin group of India’.



Ravinder was excited to be on the other side of the table, asking questions rather than answering. He started the discourse with the statement, “Art of publishing is like a black box”. For the readers, it is all about the end product, the book or the novel, but there is a lot happening behind the curtains. The discussion was engaging with two contemporary Bengali people on either ends of the panel contradicting on various aspects of writing. Himanjali claimed that while currently in India the number of readers are at peak, but judging by extreme population, there is still a room for enhancement. Udayan enlightened the listeners about the print run scenario in India which has grown over the years from 1,000 to 3,000. 


Teesta advocated the fact that works of literature may be of high merit to some publishers and of none to some others. The panelists discussed and dwelled upon the aspect of good writing and what actually defines a good write-up. There were a lot of viewpoints about the importance of language and literature in publishing. There were also talks, arguments, and suggestive measures for debut author and aspiring literati. 


The author function was well elaborated and guidelines were provided to experiment with different genres and fusing various aspects of literature. An extensive argument was established in favour of Indian authors who have been attempting different genres. Some genres have been totally untouched like the horror and the gothic fiction. The panel also discussed the rise and fall of e-reading. Himanjali touched upon the physical literature aspect. Ravinder spoke about the dynamics of audio-visual format of literature which is now enjoying a fair share of appreciation from the Indian audience. 


Towards the end, the panelists also portrayed their significant worry towards the peculiar aspect of readers who tend to love western crime stories but are disinterested in reading Indian versions of crime coverage. They closed by drawing parallels to visual media in India which adores crime stories like “Mirzapur” and “Sacred Games”. They defined the guidelines for a good novel for debutants and had a hearty discussion on the questions put forward by the audience. 




About the Author: Abhinav Kumar is an MA in English with Communication Studies student from CHRIST ( Deemed To Be University), Bengaluru who believes in “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world”. He is interested in sports journalism and travelogue writing. He currently writes for TheSeer.