Posts Tagged ‘pune’

Monthly InGenius meet-up

We have been thinking about this for some time now and finally decided to act! Yay!

We create lot of interesting content – quizzes, workshops and also come across LOT of interesting content created by others (TED talks, books, websites, apps, games, a new hobby, presentation style like pecha kucha) which are not just to be shared but also actively discussed and worked upon, with – yes, you guessed it right, kids. We had been dithering on scheduling something regular because we wanted to get it perfect – a cool venue, projector, accessible to parents, we wanted to get the timing right etc. etc. Then we figured out that the great stuff and the kids shouldn’t be denied each other because of stupid reasons like infrastructure. While we will continue to share stuff online on our blog with the Interesting Stuff series of posts and we will also have our more formally defined workshops like Summer Camps (incidentally our April batch is starting on 15th April – the official announcement will be up very soon), we are going to start our monthly meet-ups which we call InGenius meet-ups. While the agenda is not going to be set in stone, you can be assured that we don’t do anything without an objective or an outcome in mind 🙂

So what will be the outcome from the InGenius meet-ups?

Children will become

  • better informed about the world around them
  • better equipped to work on ‘projects’
  • better judges of what they are good at and what they like
  • more inquisitive
  • better communicators.

We may eventually have a TEDx of our own!

So how will an InGenius meet-up look like?

We’ll have ~10 participants at a cafe/meeting room/classroom. One facilitator will come along with a laptop. We’ll show a video/website/game/app/article/news item/presentation which will be the central theme for the day. And then the participants will drive the remainder of the meet-up. We could simply discuss and debate the Israel conflict, we could answer questions of a mythology quiz, we could learn to present using Prezi, we could discuss the chances of Pune FC in the football league. The facilitators will look to challenge the participants in every which way and try to get them to ‘take things forward’ e.g.create a Prezi on your favourite topic, write a Wikipedia page on each player of Pune FC, create a working model of a battery operated aeroplane. There will be considerable project work that will be required to be done outside the meet-ups. Things are not going to be mandatory but (I hope) there will be social pressure to fulfill commitments made to team-mates.

The group will decide what we work on. We will only give pointers to what we can offer.

Who is invited?

Anyone in the age-group of 8-14 years. You want to learn; you want to share what you know.

Who is not invited?

  • Parents who can’t handle a child who questions status quo (You must think this through. It is not easy to answer a child who questions stuff you have learned to accept without giving a lot of thought)


We haven’t decided on the venue yet. For starters, we are looking at Baner/Aundh areas. We’ll be happy with any restaurant/CCD kind of a place that is decently accessible. We are looking for options – so please suggest if you know of any place.

Venue: Cafe Peter Donuts, near Gaekwad Petrol Pump, Aundh, Pune.

Date: 16/03/2013

Time: 10:30 AM to 12 noon

Charges: Whatever the owner asks – could be 1 donut each/1 iced tea for the facilitator/mention on this blog. All we’d recommend is we should be nice to the owners for allowing us to use their facilities. We should be able to get started with a group-size of anywhere from 1 to 10.

How do you register?

Drop us a mail on harish(AT)tenderleaves(DOT)com or leave a comment. We’ll get back to you.


Book Reading – Vikhe Patil Memorial School

On 31st Oct & 2nd November, TenderLeaves organised a book reading session and other fun activities for the students of Vikhe Patil Memorial School, Lohegaon, Pune. The participants, aged between 5 to 9 years, were split into groups of 60 students each. Ms. Priyanka Maurya from TenderLeaves read from books such as Little Black goes to the Circus, Curious George goes to a costume party etc., to the children and got the children involved in fun games to draw a few characters from the books being read, spelling words from the story and other group / individual activities. This session was thoroughly enjoyed by the children and was graciously welcomed by the School principal, Mrs. Mrinalini Bhosale and the staff community.

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TenderLeaves organizes book exhibition at Saama Technologies

TenderLeaves held a book exhibition for Saama Technologies Pune. The idea was to give quick access to books for folks who could buy books in their office – without traveling to a bookstore or waiting for delivery from an online store. We had classic books for employees – and we had activity books for kids of employees.

We expect to hold such exhibitions for other schools and companies soon. If you’d like to buy books that you typically don’t see in our catalogue (collector’s items, coffee table books, reference books etc.), or if you’d like  us to hold an exhibition at your workplace, school or college, write to us today at

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Meet a writer series – Rupali Rotti, author of The Valentine’s Day Clue

We’re kicking off the ‘Meet a writer’ series at TenderLeaves. We interview local writers who are just about taking off in their writing careers – and have them share their experiences – so YOU can see behind the scenes about what it takes to bring out a book. We start our series with an interview of Pune-based writer Rupali Rotti, whose book The Valentine’s Day Clue came out a short while ago.

Rupali Rotti

The Valentine’s Day Clue


Q: After working for eight years across major companies, what got you into writing?
Rupali: Writing a book and getting it published was a childhood dream. I used to write poems, short stories, thoughts and articles as a school kid. But then after college, when I got busy with my career, the hobby took a backseat. But there was still a small flicker in the back of my mind somewhere. It was in the darkest hour that the books I read came as a ray of light. How the protagonists overcome every difficulty taught me to hold on just a little longer. I only hope that my writing could do for the readers, what those books did for me. If I could inspire a single person, I’ll be at peace with myself.

Q: Your first book, The Valentine’s Day Clue is now available. Can you please tell us your experience writing this book?
Rupali: It was very funny, actually! Sometimes I’d spring up on my bed in the dead of the night and start scribbling away. I called these as “write attacks”. And sometimes, I’d go days without writing a single word. I’d ask an out of the blue question to my colleagues,to my bosses even! And they’d be like: “What’s happened to her?” I’m a very straight forward person. And if you ask such a person to immediately start writing suspense, they’ll ask you, “Woh kis chidiya ka naam hai?” I knew what suspense could do – make you bite your nails; make you sit at the edge of your seat. But how to create it in my writing was the biggest puzzle.

Q: Detective fiction, especially featuring amateur detectives is a very challenging genre for a new writer. What prompted you to pick up this subject?
Rupali: I’ve always been a big fan of detective adventure stories. I’ve even tried a hand at practical sleuthing. I’d once followed a lead to find a thief who’d stolen my bicycle. I managed to find him even! But then I chickened out looking at the sheer size of him. I thought that since I personally have no exposure to formal ways of sleuthing or police work, it would be better to start my characters as amateurs. Then as ‘I’ gather knowledge, contacts, and experience, I could advance ‘their’ skills as well.

Q: What did your routine look like while writing the book, The Valentine Day’s Clue? Did you write daily and according to a schedule?
Rupali: I was running a business back when I was writing this book. So, there was no schedule as such. But all my ‘personal’ time would be spent in writing, or at least thinking about it.

Q: How did you market/promote your book?
Rupali: I’ve become a member of International Thriller Writers (ITW) Association, which provides a lot of help to the new authors, including promoting their books internationally. I’ve registered with as an author. I’ve created a Facebook page: I also have created a website: I even went to college and public libraries in Pune.

Q: In one of your posts at , you mention that as a woman, writing for male protagonists was a challenging task. Can you please elaborate on this?
Rupali: Girls and guys think differently. For example: The Nayak brothers pataofy their friend Dev by telling him that his brother was beaten up because he’d proposed to a girl. A ‘sister’ would have been angry at whoever beat her brother up. But as brother, Dev feels proud about this. So there are very slight differences in the thought process of both sexes, which can easily be mistaken. I don’t use any bad words (in fact, if any of my friends uses a bad word, he apologizes for it, because I don’t like it). Moreover, I don’t like hurting anyone – physically or even emotionally. Though I know guys (and especially criminals) would not find it difficult to even ‘do’ those things if the situation so arises.

Q: What kind of research did you do before writing this book? Did you visit places in Pune mentioned in the book to better illustrate the story?
Rupali: Yes, I visited most of the places mentioned in the book, clicked relevant pictures, and then shared them in the book for the readers. In fact, I’d never been to Sinhagad before writing this book – I went specifically for my research and loved the place! I pataofied a doctor to help me with the medical details mentioned in the book. Like when the Nayak brothers are attacked with chilli powder, I asked the effects and remedies of such a situation, if it arises in real life. There’s another incident in the book when Sandy is held captive with his hands tied behind his back. I wanted to find a way for him to free himself. So, I found a kid trained in gymnastics and made her try that.

Q: On a related note, what are your favourite places in Pune? Where would one find you on a weekend?
Rupali: JM Road, JM temple, Pashan road is fantastic for long drives, Sinhagad is cool for trekking, Phoenix and Inorbit Malls in Viman nagar (me being a movie fanatic), and Peth areas for shopping. I like long drives – sometimes I go out alone, with my husband working all day long and having only one week-off. Sometimes I go to small villages around the Nagar Road, sometimes Hinjewadi, sometimes Chikhali, Pradhikaran, Kalyani nagar, wherever the road takes me.

Q: Does writing keep you financially independent? Do you think India’s literary ecosystem is ready to support writers completely?
Rupali: I haven’t started earning through my writing yet. But I’ve heard from many writers (across the world) that it is better to have a second source of ‘supportive’ income. I think India is yet to develop its literary ecosystem fully. It has seen a sudden crop of new writers, older being just a handful (especially in English lit). So we should be patient, observant, and progressive. At the same time, this whole industry itself is going through a big change with e-publishing picking pace all over the world. Who knows what’s in store for us now?

Q: There has been an explosion of new writing in India – but there is also criticism that ‘elitist’ writing is dying and writing for mass audiences has picked up. What are your thoughts?
Rupali:  I think in case of writing in India the reader base has just increased multi-fold after Chetan Bhagat. This also has encouraged the story tellers in India to become authors. It was thought that in order to write, you have to be perfect in English. But now, the story tellers are realizing that they can tell their story in whichever way they prefer. There’s a huge difference between ‘buddhu’, ‘chaman’ and ‘Chatursing’/’Birbal’. But does the word ‘stupid’ communicate the exact feelings like all those Hindi words did? Such a thing was long due – Indian authors writing in Indian context for Indian readers in Indian English.

Q: Who are your favourite authors? What is your favourite book?
Rupali: Franklin W. Dixon, John Grisham, Jeffrey Archer, J K Rowling. I like the ‘Alfred Hitchcock and The Three Investigators’ series, Nancy Drew series & the Hardy Boys series. I can’t put a finger on just one book as my favourite.

Q: What book are you reading right now?
Rupali: I am currently reading books by Lee Child and ‘Immortals of Meluha’ by Amish Tripathi.

Q: When can we expect to read the next adventure of the Nayak brothers?
Rupali: I’ve given myself a target of pushing one book out every year. Let’s see how it works out.

Q: What advice do you have for budding writers?
Rupali: Well, something that the Nayak brothers learn the hard way in this book series, and something that applies to all of us: It’s easier to break your will when you don’t have a purpose to go on. And a kick in the a** is also a step forward.Most importantly, enjoy your writing & do well. God bless!