Friday, September 28, 2007

Writers Who Were Copywriters

Once upon a time I was a copywriter. Now I am only a writer. But as they say, once a cop always a cop, the same goes for copywriters too- once a copywriter always a copywriter. I haven’t been able to completely exorcise the copywriter within and spend most of the time reading ads in newspapers and magazines. Though I had been a copywriter for only two years it has left its mark on me.

Anything about copywriters and copywriters catches my eye and I eagerly read what is written about this strange breed of writers. I was leafing through the latest issue of Tehelka (now in magazine format) in Odyssey the other day and an article on Indra Sinha, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, mentioned that he had been a copywriter. I bought the magazine to read it at leisure. By the way Tehelka carries a lot of stuff about books, writers and such literary topics written in an interesting way.

So, I was pleasantly surprised to read that Indra Sinha was a renowned copywriter in London and had produced hard hitting copy. The article said that he had written a novel earlier but the title was not mentioned. However if Indra Sinha wins the Man Booker Prize this year then he will be joining another ex-copywriter who had not only won the Booker but also the Booker of Bookers- Salman Rushdie.


Sometime back, being a copywriter, I began to take notice of writers who had earlier been copywriters and soon my list of such writers began to grow to include some truly astounding writers like Joseph Heller and my favorite writer- Elmore Leonard. I am giving the bare list here but in later posts I will add more about such writers and the agencies, campaigns and such stuff.

Here’s the list of writers who were copywriters (and the books they wrote)

Elmore Leonard- Get Shorty, Freaky Deaky, Bandits, Glitz, Pronto etc

Joseph Heller- Catch 22, As Good As Gold

Eric Ambler- Passage of Arms, Journey unto Fear, A Coffin for Dimitrios

Clive Cussler- Mayday!, Raise the Titanic, Iceberg etc

Sherwood Anderson- Winesburg, Ohio; Mid-American Chants, The Egg & Other Stories

Peter Mayle- A Year in Provence, Toujours Provence, Acquired Tastes

Lawrence Kasdan (scriptwriter)- Bodyguard, Bodyheat

Salman Rushdie- Satanic Verses, Midnight’s Children, Shame, Grimus, etc.
Anita Nair- Ladies’ Coupe, The Better Man
Indra Sinha- Animal's People

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

When I have a Pen in Hand I Stop at Nothing

It is this line by Simone de Beauvoir that I saw in the Mont Blanc catalog, which is buzzing in my mind all the time. I wish I had written that line. It sounds so true and one needs to be a person who loves pens to truly understand Beauvoir’s line.

Apart from this line there are several such lines on writing, pens and ideas by writers and others in the Mont Blanc catalog. These lines are scattered among the glossy pages containing stunning photographs of some of the most beautiful fountain pens I have laid my eyes on.

The other lines in the catalog are:

When I have a Pen in Hand I stop at Nothing - Simone de Beauvoir

Pencil, paper and books are the gunpowder of the mind- Neil Postman

I am a galley slave to pen and ink - Honore de Balzac

One writes to make a home for oneself, on paper, in time and in others’ mind -Alfred Kazin

I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living for it is being conscious of living- Anne Morrow Lindbergh

We are not only responsible for what we do, but also for what we refrain from doing- Lao Tse

It’s kind of fun to do the impossible - Walt Disney

A line is a dot that went on a walk- Paul Klee

No day without a line - Gaius Punius Secundus

Monday, September 24, 2007


Unlike many others, I actually look forward to paying my utility bills every month, especially my telephone bill. Not because it doesn’t come to much but for some other reason I enjoy paying the telephone bill.

My phone is a BSNL one and one would tend to think it is a cumbersome task standing in line and paying the BSNL bill. And no, I don’t do it online but I stand in line because there is no line where I have to pay. It hardly takes me more than a minute to pay it in Hyderabad.

No one will believe it if I say that it is one public utility service where the service is so fast you actually stand there with your jaw hanging open for a long time. I pay the bill at the Vikram counters near MLA Quarters in Adarshnagar, near MCH office. There is no line at the counters and one can rush to a counter, hand over the bill, pay the money, take the receipt and come out within a minute. Yes, one minute or less is all it takes to pay the phone bill at the Vikram counters. I have been paying here ever since I noticed the speed at which the persons at the counters complete the transaction.

The service here is lightning fast and laudable. I wonder why no one has written about it in the papers.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


After nearly a week of continous rain it was a no-rain day today. But it continued to be cloudy and windy all day. The sun seemed hidden behind the clouds and emerged sometime in the afternoon throwing some weak sunlight. All it needs is one sunny day to drive away the gloom that seems to be pervading the city, Ramzan and Ganesh festivals notwithstanding.

The only bright spots are that in the evenings one can get to hog as much haleem as one can, and also the roads are being repaired at breakneck speed. Come Monday and one can expect pothole-free roads.

The sight of the long arms of the cranes parked on the Necklace Road side reaching high into the sky is awesome whereas on Tank Bund the cranes do not seem to be so awe-inspiring. Every Ganesh festival the Tank Bund takes a battering with the pavements dug up to build platforms for the heavy-duty cranes. By next week it will all be restored and Tank Bund will continue to be the picturesque spot that it is anytime of the year.

The Buddha statue in the middle of the Hussainsagar Lake continues to fascinate the foriegners who visit the city. Almost every day I see at least one foreigner taking pictures of the scenic lake and the statue in the middle.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


The Sunday Book Haul

It turned out to be an odd Sunday this week. Not a book seller was seen inside the Metro Estate corridors beginning with Hollywood shoes to the other end at Dayals. It looked eerie and very unreal. It seems the shopkeepers were not allowing the booksellers to set shop. Since the festival season is approaching the book sellers won’t find space to set up their wares. Until end of Dassera, the Sundays will be different at Abids.

I found three books this Sunday and it wasn’t until I got home in the end that I realized all the three had some kind of a link with each other. I had picked up a book, a magazine and a catalog from various places and not one cost me more than ten bucks.

Finding Martha Stewart At Abids

The first book I picked up was ‘Martha Stewart; Just Desserts’ by Jerry Oppenheimer. I found this book in a heap of books selling for ten rupees each. ‘Just Desserts’ is claimed to be an unauthorized biography of Martha Stewart who is in jail for a securities fraud she had committed. It is a brand new copy containing 447 pages with eight pages of photographs. I wonder how the book got here. It also looked like whoever had bought the book had no time to read it.

The World's Most Expensive Fountain Pen In 'SPICE'

The second find of the day was a magazine. I usually pick up copies of foreign magazines but today I picked up the May 2007 issue of ‘Spice’, the luxury lifestyle magazine from the India Today group. I was flipping through it when I spotted a picture of a diamond and ruby encrusted fountain pen in one of the pages. I read that it was the world’s most expensive fountain pen costing Rs 3 crore. It was a pen made by Mont Blanc and Van Cleef Arpels. It was such a stunning picture that I couldn’t help buying it ( the magazine, not the pen!) I got the mag for ten bucks. Inside was another coincidence that I noticed when I got home.

The Mont Blanc Catalog- 'expressions'

The third find of the day was a catalog of Mont Blanc fountain pens. This is the third such catalog I am picking up from the pavements of Abids. This was the latest catalog titled- expressions. Inside were pictures of some of the most beautiful fountain pens I had ever seen.

Needless to say, being a fountain pen freak, I was ready to pay anything for this gorgeous catalog. But when the guy asked for ten bucks for it I nearly fainted with joy. Not only pictures of fountain pens the catalog also had some inspiring lines on writing by famous writers. I will write about it in detail in a later post. But for the time being all I can say is, if not the pens, at least the catalog I can afford to buy.

The Link Between The Three Finds

When I got back home I flipped through the day's find. In ‘Spice’ magazine I found mention of Martha Stewart! It seems the food on Virgin Galactic’s maiden space tour is being catered by her. Coincidentally, I had picked up a book on her moments before I picked up the magazine. Then the magazine had also a picture of the most expensive fountain made by Mont Blanc and later I found a catalog of fountain pens by Mont Blanc. Some coincidence this.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007



Motorists in Hyderabad, especially those on two wheelers had never had it so bad during the past week. They are being battered from the top as well as underneath leaving no room for even a spot of joy during their daily ride to and from office.

Since a week it has been raining heavily almost everyday especially during afternoons and evenings. It is not just ordinary rain but a heavy downpour leaving all the roads filled with pools of water as big as lakes. If this wasn’t enough the roads underneath have turned literally into powder. The gravel is coming loose from the potholes that seem to be growing in size with every rain, and spreading across the road posing a grave risk to two-wheeler riders. The road becomes slippery making bikes skid when turning and when the brakes are applied.

The rains are making it difficult for the potholes to be repaired so the motorists must bear it until the rains stop. The best thing to do under the circumstances is to take the bus and avoid a lot of problems.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


The previous issue of "India Today' (dated September 10) carried a story on VS Naipaul, the Nobel Prize winning author. Apart from putting him on the cover, the issue carried exclusive excerpts from the forthcoming book- 'A Writer's People' by VS Naipaul.

Controversial that he is in his views, Sir Naipaul stirs up his readers who fall into two categories- those who love him and those who hate him as well as his books. His lacerating insights and observations of people and the countries he travelled brought him both laurels as well as brickbats, and also the Nobel Prize in 2001, the ultimate recognition one can aspire for.

S.Prassanarajan does a write up on Sir Naipaul ( I can't get myself to call him Naipaul- he's 74 and I'm 44 and haven't written a book yet) that is reverent in tone. He does inspire reverence what with nearly 25 books in a career spanning 50 years during which he has done nothing except write- exactly what another favorite author of mine, Maugham, did.

The excerpts from his book- A Writer's People- might stir up a lot of controversy in the country with his remarks about Mahatma Gandhi, VInoba Bhave and others. I was more interested in what he had to say about Indian English writers. He writes ' India has no mens of judging. India is hard and materialist. What it knows best about Indian writers and books are their advances and their prizes. There is little discussion about the substance of a book or its literary quality or the point of view of the writer... the most important judgements of an Indian book continue to be imported."

'A Writer's People' is one book I am going to buy the moment it is available here.

Thursday, September 13, 2007



Yesterday, during the lunch hour, feeling restless I went to the Best Book Center at Lakdi-ka-pul. It is perhaps the first second hand book store in Hyderabad and one of the largest with thousands of books displayed in two large rooms. Normally it takes a couple of hours to browse through all the racks but yesterday I took a quick tour of the storeand came up with two good finds- one a book by Peter Mayle- Up the Agency and another a delightful book on punctuation- ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves’ by Lynne Truss which rocketed up the bestseller list when it was launched a few years ago. I found this latter book in a dramatic way.

I noticed ‘Up the Agency’ in the first rack itself and it was a book I had listed in my own short list of books to be read. I have Peter Mayle's other books I found over the years- ‘A Year in Tuscany’, ‘Toujours Provence’ and the book I found last month- ‘Acquired Tastes’. As an ex-copywriter like Mayle I was keen to read this book about life in advertising. I got this book for sixty rupees.

As I was leaving with Mayle's book, my eyes fell on a book with a bright yellow cover. The title grabbed my attention. It was a book I was looking to find in a second hand book store- ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves’ by Lynne Truss. It was an Indian edition and priced at Rs 195, and on the back of the book it said the original price of the book was Rs 850. But I got the book for only Rs. 60 i.e., at less than one tenth of the original price. The book was in good condition with no inscriptions inside. I felt lucky to find it so unexpectedly and at such a low price.

The rates of the books in these second hand bookstores are more than what you can expect on the pavements of Abids on Sundays. But they don't keep these sort of books on the pavements either.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007



It wasn’t a good haul this Sunday because I did not find any new books. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood to look carefully. But I managed to pick up two books and a magazine. Apart from thousands of books one can also find magazines of all sorts- Indian and foreign at Abids. One can find the latest editions of several good magazines if one has a sharp eye.

I look for ‘The Atlantic’, “New Yorker’ and travel magazines like ‘Conde Nast Traveller’, “National Geographic Traveler’ and such travel magazines as I love to travel and also write about my trips. (though there aren’t many posts on my travels here in the blog.)


The first book I found in the usual heap of books selling for ten rupees was one that I found rather unusual. It wasn’t actually a book but more of a catalogue. It was ‘The Stephen H. Wakeman Collection of Books of Nineteenth Century American Writers’ published by the American Art Association. The book lists out First Editions, Inscribed Presentations and Personal Copies, Original Manuscripts and Letters of Nine American Authors- William Cullen Bryant, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry W Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry D Thoreau and John Whittier. I do not know some of the authors but Emerson, Hawthorne, Poe, Longfellow and Thoreau are known names to me.

I got this hefty, hardcover book for ten rupees only. I bought it to find out what kind of books are sought by collectors.

THE SECOND BOOK- Somerset Maugham's ‘The Summing Up’

Somerset Maugham’s ‘The Summing Up’ is one book that started me on a strange habit of picking up books on writing by well known writers, writer’s memoirs and autobiographies. I pick up every copy of this book provided it is in good condition. This Sunday I picked up yet another copy ( my 4th copy, I guess) of this book at Abids for twenty rupees. It was an old copy but in reasonably good condition.

The copy I got was a Mentor Books edition which said it was a reprint of the original hardbound edition published by Doubleday in 1938?

The blurb says ‘…in a sense, too, this book is an account of the education of a writer, of the discipline and training that is required for the mastery of the art of the novelist, and of the self-imposed standards which Maugham has insisted on in his work- Simplicity, Lucidity and Euphony.'

It also says… 'The reminiscences of this unusual lifetime, inter-woven with penetrating insight on life and art, make this book indispensable for all writers and readers.'

Need I say more?


This magazine was a special issue of the Top 100- 2005 Reader’s Choice Awards of the Best in the World- Cities, Resorts, Islands, Hotels and Cruises. It was enclosed in a special plastic cover and was in pristine condition.

I picked it up for Pico Iyer’s essay ‘Finding Rio’ inside, which alone is worth the twenty rupees I paid for this whopper of a magazine with 358 pages. I found it slightly difficult to carry the magazine, heavy and unwieldy that it was.

I took a peek at the Top 100 Best of Best list and found Jaipur was at 9th place, Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur was at 41 on the list. That was in 2005, don't forget

With nearly 360 pages of stuff it is enough reading for a month, this magazine.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


On one hand preparations are going on for the month long Ramzan festival that begins this Friday and on the other hand preparations are also on for the ten day long Ganesh festival that commences on Saturday.

Pandals are coming up at every street corner for installing the Ganesh statues. Bamboo poles, bamboo mats and wooden platforms are being put in place not to mention the loudspeakers. It will be ten days of festivities filling the ear with lots of drumbeats and songs over the loudspeakers all day.

At the same time hearths are coming up in select Irani hotels for preparing the famous 'Haleem' that is eaten in tons in Hyderabad during the Ramzan month. Bricks,firewood and mud for the temporary hearth, and huge vessels to cook the Haleem are being put in place. Foodies are eagerly awaiting this festival as it means one can fill the stomachs with this delicacay It is a happy time for all Haleem lovers in Hyderabad.

I have heard of a "Haleem festival" being organised in Hyderabad. Keep reading for more about the best haleem and such news.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Yesterday a flyover under construction at Punjagutta collapsed in the evening killing two persons. It is feared that many more maybe dead under the girders and cement portions that fell down on cars and autorickshaws. As per the news reports heavy rain and digging of pipelines caused the mishap but whatever the reason the accident has claimed the lives of several innocent people. I watched the television images shocked at the way the whole structure collapsed on the commuters.


As people around me discuss about this latest accident they also talk of some kind of jinx that seemed to have hit Hyderabad. Two weeks ago it was the bomb blasts and now this. There have been other accidents in the State and people are linking up the events to some kind of a jinx. Whatever, Hyderabad isn't the happy go lucky city it once was. There is some kind of anxiety and fear on the faces of people. A feeling that they aren't so safe is seen in almost everyone.

No one can do anything about such things but my advice would be to wear your helmet and follow the traffic rules to begin with. It was in a newspaper report that one of the cars that was crushed under the girder near yesterday's flyover accident had skipped a red light and sped away only to be met with disaster. Had the driver stopped at the light he would have been alive today.

Friday, September 07, 2007

A Minor Success; My Article on Fountain Pens Published

Today's "Young World', the Friday supplement of 'The Hindu' carried a short article I had written about fountain pens and environment. This is the link. Below I am giving the unedited article.

(Or) Save the Earth; Write with a Fountain Pen.

We may not realize it but some of our seemingly mundane activities actually cause harm to the environment. Take for instance, writing with a plastic ballpoint pen. No one would believe that writing with it actually damages the environment. If you are writing with a plastic ballpoint pen then you maybe doing more harm to the environment than you imagine. So, exactly how does your using a ballpoint to write with affect the environment?

To begin with, lets take a look at the commonly used plastic ballpoint pen. Everything about it, from top to bottom, is plastic. Only the tiny point at the end of the refill is metal. We all know plastic is bad for the environment because it is not biodegradable, cannot be recycled and remains in the environment for several years or maybe, forever. Besides being an environmental hazard, plastic also poses enormous risk to our health. When plastic is burnt it releases toxic fumes into the air that can cause cancer.

The magnitude of the threat to the environment these plastic ballpoint pens pose will be clear once we look at some figures. Almost every one who needs to write either at the office or in school uses a ballpoint pen. Our country’s population is more than a billion and out of these millions, about 150 million are students at any given point of time, as per government estimates.

Assuming that an average student changes the refill in his ballpoint pen once a month it means twelve refills (or say ten refills) a year, all made of plastic. No student uses the same ballpoint pen all year- being made of plastic they break easily and are also easily misplaced or lost. We have to account for these breakages and losses, and the replacements.

Even if we assume that a student buys a new ballpoint pen every three months to replace those lost or broken, then it comes to four plastic ballpoint pens every year. It means a total of twelve plastic refills, four plastic ballpoint pens a year per student. Of course, the plastic packaging these refills and pens come in is a separate component itself. The wrapping may not weigh much but it is plastic nevertheless. This also gets added to the total plastic generated by just one student per year.

Even if we assume about 100 million out of the 150 million students use plastic ballpoint pens then we have something like a billion plastic ballpoint pens, ten billion refills and their plastic wrappers. Now imagine how much plastic that could be? A veritable sea of tons and tons of plastic which probably will remain in the soil for years and years causing serious and incalculable damage to our environment.

But all is not lost. There is an alternative to the plastic ballpoint pen. It is an alternative that has passed out of fashion long ago. It is the good old fountain pen. A fountain pen (made of ebonite or celluloid) generates zero plastic because it doesn’t use plastic at all. One good quality fountain pen lasts years so one can forget about a plastic fountain pen polluting the environment.

A common fountain pen uses only ink and not refills hence its other name- ink pen. Which means no plastic refills. The ink used to fill the fountain pen comes in glass bottles. The glass bottle comes in cardboard packing that can be recycled. The glass bottle itself can be recycled. However, some fountain pens use cartridge refills made of plastic. These are expensive anyway and students cannot afford them.

So using a fountain pen to write means no plastic ballpoint pen bodies, no plastic refills and no plastic wrappers either. These advantages make the good old fountain pen the perfect eco-friendly writing instrument of choice. Another advantages is that not only writing with a fountain pen is elegant, it is also cheap and convenient to use. A fountain pen needs little care and a few simple precautions are to be followed when using a fountain pen.

Clean the pen and nib assembly with tepid water once a month. Screw the cap tightly to prevent leakage of ink and accidental damage to the nib. Check the ink level regularly and carry a spare pen during examination time. Do not lend your fountain pens to others as nibs adapt to your writing angle and may get damaged if others write with it at a different angle. If possible, keep a piece of cloth in your desk or bag to wipe off any ink.

So, if you are really concerned about saving the environment, throw away your plastic ballpoint pen and go for a fountain pen today. It is the perfect zero-plastic solution for guilt-free writing.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Sunday Haul of Books at Abids

This Sunday too I struck gold on the pavements of Abids. I picked up four books and three of these seemed to have a common thread running through them. It was an odd coincidence finding these books.


The first book I found was Ian Fleming’s ‘Thrilling Cities’ which I got for twenty rupees only. It was a surprising find since I was of the impression that Ian Fleming wrote nothing but the James Bond books. It always gives me a thrill to discover that a favorite author has written a few interesting non-fiction books as well. Coming back to ‘Thrilling Cities’, the book is a collection of essays that Ian Fleming wrote about fourteen cities that he traveled to. These essays were published in 1959-60 in a Sunday newspaper. The cities he visited include Hong Kong, Macau and Los Angeles.


The second book I found was also a sort of travel book- ‘Into the Badlands, Travels through Urban America’ by John Williams. It is about the writer’s visits to several cities that figure in the thrillers of famous writers like Tony Hillerman, James Ellroy, Sara Paretsky and Elmore Leonard. I got the book for just ten rupees.


The next find in a heap of books being sold for twenty bucks near Dayal’s was Elmore Leonard’s ‘Bandits’. I had just then picked up John William’s book and finding ‘Bandits’ written by Elmore Leonard, one of the writers he spoke to, was a nice coincidence. The copy of ‘Bandits’ I found was a hardcover edition and was in good condition. I already have a copy but I picked up this copy as well; maybe I will gift it to someone who is an Elmore Leonard fan like me.

The last find of the day was the Spitting Image edition of R L Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’ published by faber and faber. It was of a big size, like a magazine and had superb color illustrations on high quality glossy paper and the exciting thing about this find was that I got this 160 page book for only twenty rupees.

It was another good Sunday at Abids for me.

Monday, September 03, 2007



It usually rains a lot here in August but it was a rain of a different kind for me. It rained books for me last month- twenty-four books got added to the pile of books on my table. In addition to nineteen books I picked up at Abids on Sundays, at a book sale and one at a book reading, I got five books from others. My brother in Delhi sent me two and a friend in Mumbai sent three books.

Of the nineteen books I found last month these are the good ones I am particularly pleased with:

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
All Fishermen are Liars by Linda Greenlaw
Ballad of Sad Café and Other Stories by Carson McCullers
Long Quiet Highway; Waking up in America by Natalie Goldberg
The Law at Randado by Elmore Leonard
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami
Dave Barry’s Guide to Guys by Dave Barry
If Morning Ever Comes by Anne Tyler

My brother in Delhi sent me ‘Beware Falling Coconuts’ by Adam Clapham and John Le Carre’s ‘The Mission Song’.

I also picked up half a dozen or more magazines from the pavements of Abids which are not worth mentioning here. It was truly a good month in terms of books for me.

Saturday, September 01, 2007



If one is crazy about fountain pens then it naturally follows that one should also be crazy about the things one writes on with a fountain pen. I am absolutely nuts about writing materials, especially notebooks and writing pads. Whenever I go to a stationer's or a book store I always end up buying a couple of notebooks or writing pads.

In that manner I have bought several notebooks that lie around on my table until I find a use for them. I take a notebook around when I am traveling and jot down everything I observe. I realized late that if one wants to be a writer then you need to have notebooks to jot down your ideas and observations. I was in the habit of taking down notes on scraps of paper which I would inevitably lose. Then I read this usefuladvice about maintaining a notebook at all times if one wants to write and began to hoard notebooks.

If I fancy a notebook or a writing pad I lap it up without regard for the price. Last week I had been to the ‘Odyssey’ store in Punjagutta and ended up picking up a writing pad and a couple of notebooks.


The first find was a ‘Bagao’ brand writing pad with a metal spiral binding at the top. The spiral was large making it convenient to flip over one part of the notebook fully which makes it easy to write on it. It was quite handy, the size of a post card and ideal for carrying on trips.

The covers didn’t appear durable but the notebook looked good. It had cream colored papers inside and seemed to have around hundred odd papers. The price on the yellow sticker at the back said Rs 50 but didn’t have anything about the number of pages.

The writing pad seemed worth it especially considering its looks. It looked elegant and I bought it without a second thought.


Another great find was the ‘Trendy’ brand of notebooks by Nightingale. I have not seen such good looking notebooks before. The rugged covers were of bright colors and were very attractive. Inside the paper quality was superior and the white paper felt smooth to the touch. I liked the notebook very much and chose the standard sized ones, the size of regular notebooks.

These notebooks seemed ideal for writing a short story or for outlining a novel. I liked them so much I bought two of them. The price was Rs 40 for the two hundred pages notebook
There were two other sizes- one was a long notebook type used by college students and the other was a small sized notebook and quite handy to carry on trips. I planned to pick them up on my next visit to the store.