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The Vaishnodevi Experience 2023

My first trip to Vaishnodevi was unimpressive. Climbing was hard, and it only served to highlight how badly out of shape I was, while my in-laws managed to cope so much better. Further, I hadn’t quite realized that the cave experience wouldn’t be the same as I had imagined, since the original cave was only opened at certain times a year, and that we only entered a newly created tunnel, one far easier to access, and hence more manageable with the crowds that thronged the mountain shrine. The resulting experience at the shrine, for barely a fraction of a second, hardly compared to what I had expected / imagined / heard about. So, for me, Vaishnodevi was like any other temple, nothing to write home about, something that was reflected (though not explicitly mentioned) in the blog post I wrote then.

My stories in print!!!!!

I first started writing stories when I was in school. Of course, then, I never dreamt of being an author – it was just something I did when I was in the mood. All I was interested in at the time was physics, and all my dreams were of publishing some wonderful scientific articles in the leading journals. All those dreams came to an end when I decided to dump my Ph.D, but then my old pastimes came to my aid and I started writing again – both, travelogues as well as stories. But now the dream raised its head again – of being published, not just on the net, but in print! One part of this dream came true when my travelogue was published in the Sunday Herald (you can see the article here). But the larger dream came true this week when a collection of my stories were published in a book!

I was approached a few months back by an organisation named JK Yog. They had read some of my stories for children, and wanted me to re-tell some stories from Indian mythology and folk tales for their book aimed at the children of their NRI devotees. I hadn’t even heard of the organisation then, but liked the idea they put forth, and began writing. I anticipated writing between 10 – 15 stories for them, but by the time we had finished, I had contributed more than 30 stories! All stories were those I knew well, but I liked the way they wanted them presented – teaching a particular value relevant to today’s way of life, and in excellent English! I enjoyed re-telling these stories in my own style, and it helped me remember a lot more stories to tell Samhith!

At last, the books arrived at my doorstep this week – two volumes among the four in the complete set. Volume 3 has 21 stories, of which 14 are mine, and Volume 4 has 19, of which 17 are mine. The books have turned out be far better than what I expected… the illustrations are superb, especially the ones in Volume 4!

We have spent the last week showing my family members the books, and finally I have time to put up some pics of the books here!

It feels so wonderful to see my name in print!!!!

A few illustrations from the books to give you a glimpse......

The books have been published for free distribution among the devotees of the organisation during the Satsangs of their Guru. However, the books are available on their online store too, but as of now, this facility is available only in the US. You can check them out here. If anyone in India wants to buy the books, please send me a mail and I will send you the contact details of the person through whom you can buy the books.

This is the complete list of books available. I have contributed to Volumes 3 and 4 and the festival collection.

Meanwhile, about the stories themselves, I don’t have permission to put up the illustrations, but I am posting the stories on my other blog. Take a look here. I have already posted a few stories, and shall post all of them one by one, so please keep coming back…… and please leave your comments to let me know what you think of them!

Finally, here is the list of stories you can read on my blog - Stories for children!


  1. Congratulations! This is such a wonderful success! Cheers!

  2. That's so lovely and wonderful a news. Congrats. I am happy for you Anu.

  3. Woooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwww!
    What a wonderful moment ! Congratulations, Anu :)
    I hope you write lots and lots more and get all published :)
    All the very best !!!

  4. Im very very proud of u Anu! very well done! here is to more such milestones..
    Samhith must be one proud kid!

  5. Congrats Anu... That's a great achievement indeed. So happy for you. May this be just a beginning.

  6. Congratulations Anu!
    What an achievement! Be Proud. :)

  7. Hey.. was this news you had put up sometime back on your blog :)
    Gr8 .. Awesome ... Three Cheers for you!!! This is really good news and I am very very happy for you :)

  8. That's a wonderful news, Anu.
    I am very happy for you.

  9. Kudos to you. Contribute more and more. Feel so happy for you. God bless you.

  10. Awesome stuff... Congrats!! :)

    May god give you many many more such reason to smile...

  11. Many congratulations Anu. Wonderful news. I can see though your words how happy you are and I am for you.

  12. Congratulations :)
    A wonderful achievement :)

    Best wishes for the future :D

  13. Hearty wishes...

    but nothing can beat a story that is told verbally....

    Conveyed along with the soul & the passion of the story teller himself... :)

  14. congrats and wish u great success in print medium also

  15. Congrats once more! The books look lovely!

  16. Thanks so much to every single one of you!! Your encouragements are what help me keep going.. thanks again!

  17. Hi Anu, although I'm new to your blog I can't tell u how happy I am, coz I know it's dream come true. Btw, I have a manuscript of my novel ready, but I know it's an uphill task getting it published. Congrats! May you write many many more books.

  18. hi. new here. nice blog you have here and a big congrats on getting the stories in print. what an achievement. keep going.

  19. @Neena Sharma & @ Momo's Ma: Welcome to my blogspace and thanks so much!!!

  20. Fantastic achievement Anu. Congratulations...Thomas

  21. congrats is always a great feeling to see your stories in print.
    Heres to many many many more

  22. Wow this is great.
    Is it available in the book stores like Landmark/ crossword?
    After reading this I feel the urge to go back and read these types of books.

  23. sure you are going are already an author now :) as a child i used to love stories..even now, I am drawn towards them

  24. Respected Anuji, can you please suggest me a way to buy the books in India. You asked to send email. But could not locate your email. I'm writing from Swami Vivekananda Gurukul, Vikarabad, near Hyderabad, India. My email Thanks.


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