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O.P. Singh’s Incredible Journey from Books to Badges!

Ever wondered what it takes to transform from a student of theory to a leader in action? From the lecture halls of Delhi University to cracking the civil services exam, explore the milestones that define O.P.Singh’s inspiring ascent. Are you ready to be inspired by the story of ambition, dedication, and the pursuit of excellence?

Read on for a glimpse into the extraordinary!

Crime, Grime and Gumption
Crime, Grime and Gumption || O.P Singh


The academic scene at the DU campus was competitive. I mean, you could really feel it, the sense and the urge to learn, to grow big. I found my years at DU intellectually most satisfying. I cannot escape the mention of some of my professors with whom I had the privilege to cover a distance. Randhir Singh, the master of political theory and thought, was an exceptional professor. His oratory skills had the audience eating out of his hands and he was quite popular among the students too. Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty, another exceptional mind, handled comparative politics. International relations was the domain of Prof. Mahendra Kumar, while Prof. Susheela Kaushik talked about Indian politics. Last but not the least, Prof. M.P. Singh and Prof. R.B. Jain professed political theory and public administration, respectively. It was one august line-up and I immersed myself in the holy waters of Delhi academics.


Besides looking forward to the edifying lectures of eminent faculty members, I used to have after-dinner talks with Shekhar Singh, my senior in academics and also a lecturer at Kirori Mal College, till midnight. We would often discuss threadbare Western political thought, Indian political thought of leaders such as B.R. Ambedkar and M.N. Roy, and politics of representation and participation along with discussions on changing international political order. Shekhar Singh joined the IAS and retired as chief secretary of Telangana. The Central Library offered a refuge of a different kind. Innumerable boys and girls, research scholars and professors from different departments would converge and recreate a sangam, a confluence of varied interests. I, too, became part of the furniture in the library, and I could smell the aspiration for the civil services around me. I was convinced I had come to the right place. My preparation for the exam of my lifetime began in earnest.


I visited my mother and Gaya during the long breaks, especially during the summers. The train journey across the Gangetic plain held an unparalleled charm. In the company of friends and friends of friends, we travelled in a spirit of camaraderie. Second-class journey, reservation or no reservation, crowded platforms— nothing dissuaded our spirits of adventure. I still remember Gaya Station and its crazy, cacophonous milieu of coolies in red shirts, with their golden brassards in place, the shouting brigade of vendors and the lone shout of ‘chai-chai’ resounding even after one had left the premises of the rail station.


After my master’s with distinguished honours, I rested my eyes and hope on my MPhil programme in political science. My dream of clearing the civil services exam was still on. Deshbandhu College of Delhi University offered me a lectureship and I grabbed the opportunity. Thus began a small yet significant start to my career. Though my heart lay elsewhere, I was lucky to keep myself and my mind on course. The year was 1982. The urge and the thirst to do something big was alive and I knew it was just a matter of time.


Dates hold a strange fascination for me, and 19 May 1983 became another such landmark. No, it wasn’t the day of the results of the UPSC examination but the day I appeared for the selection interview. As I stepped out of the cool confines of the imposing UPSC building and on to Shahjahan Road, I exuded a certain confidence, the confidence of having arrived. The forty-five-minute interview had been a breeze. I was grilled by the chairperson of the interview board, R.O. Dhan. She was possibly the vice chancellor of some university and had real pointed questions in her armoury. Former IPS officer John Lobo, another board member, carried the legacy of having investigated the famous homicide case of Admiral K.M. Nanavati. From the United Nations to the Chauri Chaura incident, the interviewers were thorough in their approach.


The UPSC interview was held in the month of May. The news of my selection came through in June. Life has its own way of springing surprises. At times I think back on my journey to academic success, a candidate who cracked one of the toughest examinations in the country, in fact in the world. There is always a trigger that catapults one from a modest follower to a fiery leader. Fifth standard had been mine. I had started believing in myself and taking myself more seriously when I stood first then. This precisely was a moment when I reinvented myself afresh and a sense of competition was instilled in my young mind.


My training and induction were fixed to commence in the first week of December. For me, the ultimate had happened. God had blessed me with his indulgent embrace. My mother was with me in the momentous occasion, so were my sisters and brother Shree Prakash. Babuji was missing in the picture and that stung me.


And then, out of nowhere, the love of my life tiptoed into the family and straight to my heart.


Get your copy of Crime, Grime, and Gumption by O.P. Singh wherever books are sold.

Behind the Digital Curtain: An Excerpt from ‘Cyber Encounters’

In this age of rapid technological advancements, our lives are intricately intertwined with the digital world. From online purchases to virtual education and personal communication to financial transactions, all of it is now possible at the click of a button and facilitated by deeply interconnected networks. With such pleasing convenience, however, comes the imminent presence of Cyber threats that can disrupt and compromise our online activities and endanger our privacy, paving the way for Cybercrimes around the world.
In this riveting book, Cyber Encounters, authors Ashok Kumar and O.P.Manocha dive into the notorious Cyberspace and bring forth tales of cybercrime based on real events.
Read this exclusive excerpt to catch a glimpse of one such story.
Cyber Encounter
Cyber Encounter || Ashok Kumar and O.P Manocha
The Republic of Cameroon is a small country in West Central Africa, bordered by the Republic of Congo and Nigeria. It has a population of 25 million (2.5 crore) and is popularly known as “Africa in Miniature” due to its geographical, linguistic, and cultural diversity. But what not many people know about this remote country is that many cybercrimes originate here.
It was a car accident that killed Dy Commandant Ajay. He was returning from a pilgrimage to Pauri, Uttarakhand, with his wife Madhu and two beautiful daughters, Diya and Sakshi. Madhu, her daughters and the driver of the car escaped unhurt. One month had passed since the accident and Madhu was still shocked and emotionally unstable. Diya, who was 15 years old, was Madhu’s elder daughter and a student of Class 9. After the death of her father, she had become very quiet. She neither watched television nor played online games like her classmates. Her only friend was her sister Sakshi, who was two years younger than her.
The Covid-19 pandemic had resulted in them all being forced to stay home, with classes also being held online. There was fear all around and people were dying. Even children were suffering from depression. “Mom, I don’t have any friends and no place to go. Whom shall I play with?” Diya asked Madhu. “Pihu has such an adorable beagle, why don’t you get me a dog too?”
Madhu had always been apprehensive about getting a dog. Her elder sister, Sanvi, had a three-year old female beagle, Daisy, who kept her and her daughter Pihu on their toes, and Madhu had seen her plight. Sanvi had to give Daisy a bath every week, get her groomed and make frequent visits to the vet during the monsoon, when Daisy got persistent fungal infections on her paws as she could not help playing in the garden and came back wet. And the most arduous job was to walk the dog three times a day without fail! Madhu, who was also grief-stricken due to her husband’s recent death, thought it would be a real nuisance to have a dog. Who would take care of it? So she kept procrastinating and did not pay much heed to Diya’s demand to get a dog.
One day, Madhu was sitting on the balcony with Diya when she got a call from her friend, Neha, who lived in the same society, that their neighbour’s 12-year-old daughter had died due to Covid. this was shocking. Madhu ended the call and looked at Diya with gloomy eyes. Diya asked her what was wrong, so Madhu told her about the girl. though Diya did not know her, she went quiet, her face drawn with fear. She hugged her mother and said, “Mom, are we also going to die?” this brought tears to Madhu’s eyes. She held Diya tight in her arms and said, “No, my dear, God is not so unkind.”
This one moment changed Madhu’s mind. Diya’s 15th birthday was in a fortnight. She would be going to Class 10 and would be giving the board exams next year. Diya was already under great stress and the boards would definitely add to it, Madhu thought. It was now that Madhu decided that she would give Diya a dog on her birthday.
Madhu looked up to Sanvi for advice on every little thing. She called her up and told her about her idea of buying a pup for Diya. Sanvi advised her to go in for a smaller breed as Madhu stayed in a flat and big dogs need a lot of space to move around. She suggested that she buy a cocker spaniel, which is quite a playful and loving breed. So Madhu began her search for a cocker spaniel. She sent a message on the WhatsApp groups she was a part of, asking if any cocker spaniel pup was available for sale. She also searched on Google and came across a few dog sellers whose contacts were listed on a local search engine website.
Madhu always believed that whatever information there was on the internet was authentic. The first listing on the website displayed a picture of a cute cocker spaniel. Madhu had struck gold! Little did she know that she was going to be trapped on a dummy website that offered the sale and purchase of various household goods, and even animals.
The seller had managed to get a good rating through paid reviews and had posted eye-catching pictures of the pup to secure a top position in the listings. The next day was a Sunday. Madhu was sweating as she finished preparing breakfast for the family. She switched on the air conditioner and sat down on the sofa to contact the seller on the number she had obtained from the website the previous night. she preferred contacting the seller on WhatsApp rather than calling as it provided a record of any conversation for future reference. She sent a message asking for details of the pup. She promptly got a reply from the seller, who introduced herself as Shweta.
She sent some cute pictures of the pup to Madhu, who was mesmerised. She immediately responded to Shweta, asking her to send details, including the price and availability, of the pup. Shweta told her that the pup was a purebred. Its registration with the Kennel Club of India (KCI) would be done shortly. It would cost Madhu Rs 15,000 and she would have to pay Rs 5,000 as an advance and the rest upon receiving the pup. Madhu immediately made her a payment of Rs 5,000 on GPay. Booking done, she told Diya about the pup. The girl’s happiness knew no bounds.
Two days later, on June 22, Madhu got an email with a bill of Rs 1,03,300 and the details of an SBI account into which to transfer the money. The charges included the price of the pup, COVID-handling charges, vaccination fees, feeding charges, and transport expenditure.
The mail stated that this amount would be refunded to her once the puppy was transported to Dehradun and the entire cost would be borne by the seller except for the price of the puppy. Madhu sent Shweta an enquiry about the mail and once she was convinced, she registered the account number as a beneficiary and transferred the required amount. She took a screenshot of the transaction and sent it through WhatsApp to Shweta. she got a message that the insurance process would be initiated the next day and the pup would be hers soon.
Get your copy of Cyber Encounters from Amazon today.

A guide to Novoneel’s crime thrillers and Obsession Trilogy

Since the past few decades, India has seen a rise in the number of young Indian novelists and while most of them write stories about youth, love and family, there has been one author who has managed to change the face of the genre of Indian thrillers. Indian book stalls’ thriller section has often been graced by the famous Sidney Sheldons and Agatha Christies through years now but Novoneel Chakraborty is the one who seemed to transform everything.

He has managed to write over 20 novels, many of which have gone on to become bestsellers, some have been translated into 6 languages and a few have even been converted to web series productions online! With his latest novel Whisper to me your lies hitting the shelves, we bring you some of his past novels and a guide to step into Novoneel’s world before picking up his latest book.


Marry me, Stranger               All yours, Stranger              Forget me not, Stranger 


The Stranger Trilogy is one of his initial major successes traces the story of Rivanah Bannerjee, a regular, young Bengali woman working and living in Mumbai and her life’s intersection with a stalker she refers to as Stranger. Marry me, Stranger, All yours, Stranger and Forget me not, Stranger– all unveil several mysteries and their relationship unfolds in front of the reader’s eyes where the annoying stranger becomes a romantic interest for Rivanah, while constantly bringing mystery, thrill and drama to her life. If you’re into mysteries, this one will surely keep on you edge.


Forever is a lie                         Forever is true

 Forever is a lie and Forever is true are part of the popular thriller Forever series by Chakraborty and traces the life of an 18-year-old girl studying mass communication in Bangalore and the story of a dark romance that ensues between her and a man she falls in love with. The second part of the book narrates the twisted past of the man and what deadly limits one can go to because of a ruined childhood.


Roses are blood red     Cross your heart, take my name       Whisper to me your lies

His book Roses are Blood Red, (2019) and Cross Your Heart, Take My Name (2020) are the first two books in the Obsession Trilogy whose third book Whisper to me your lies is finally being released on the 18th October, 2021. After Vanav and Nihira’s encounters with obsessive crime, it’s now time to listen to Ekantika’s story of facing a murderer, who could perhaps be the Cellotape Killer of the 90s!


Perveen Mistry can’t rest until she sees justice done

November 1921. Edward VIII, Prince of Wales and future ruler of India, is arriving in Bombay to begin a fourmonth tour. The Indian subcontinent is chafing under British rule, and Bombay solicitor Perveen Mistry isn’t surprised when local unrest over the royal arrival spirals into riots. But she’s horrified by the death of Freny Cuttingmaster, an eighteen-year-old female Parsi student, who falls from a second-floor gallery just as the prince’s grand procession is passing by her college.

When Freny’s death appears suspicious, Perveen knows she can’t rest until she sees justice done. But Bombay is erupting: as armed British secret service march the streets, rioters attack anyone with perceived British connections and desperate shopkeepers destroy their own wares so they will not be targets of racial violence. Can Perveen help a suffering family when her own is in danger?

Here is an excerpt from Sujata Massey’s new book, The Bombay Prince that talks about Freny’s death.


The Bombay Prince: Perveen Mistry Investigates || Sujata Massey

“Miss Mistry, come down here,” Miss Daboo beseeched. Perveen knelt down and, feeling queasy, reached out to touch Freny’s wrist. It was still warm, yet the veins on the inside of her wrist seemed deflated. She could not detect a pulse. Perveen’s mother, Camellia, and sister-in-law, Gulnaz, were the kind of women brave enough to volunteer in hospitals. They might know another spot to look for a pulse. All Perveen could think of was the heartbeat.
Freny had fallen on her right side, so it was possible for Perveen to slide her hand under the khadi cloth and over the left side of Freny’s white cotton blouse.

“Don’t be obscene!” Miss Daboo muttered in Gujarati, and Perveen belatedly realized there were men watching her. Having felt no sign of life, she pulled back her hand.

“We must pray. God can work miracles.” Another Englishman had appeared. He looked to be in his fifties, with a long face made even paler by its contrast with his black robe. Right behind him was a breathless Principal Atherton.

The principal and the college chaplain had taken long enough to arrive at a scene of crucial emergency. But perhaps the police had occupied Principal Atherton’s time getting details about Dinesh Apte. And why weren’t they with him now?

The answer came: The college’s leadership didn’t know Freny was dead. Only she and Miss Daboo knew the truth. Or maybe— Lalita also did. Surely she would have tried to help her friend sit up. Surely

Mr. Atherton spoke between gasps. “I’ve just heard—about the accident—from the reverend.” Two more breaths. “Who is she?”

“Her name is Freny Cuttingmaster,” Alice said. “She’s a second-year student.”

“And what about you? Are you a nurse?” Mr. Atherton’s face was reddened, no doubt from agitation and heat.

“Sorry, I am not.” Perveen looked away from him and back at Freny. She thought of saying she was a lawyer, but it didn’t seem the right place.

“Miss Perveen Mistry, my old friend from Oxford, is here at my invitation,” Alice said quickly. “Miss Mistry, this is Mr. Ath- erton, our principal, and our chaplain, Reverend Sullivan.”

Principal Atherton pressed his lips together disapprovingly. “I am not—entertaining interviews for women faculty. This is an emergency—”

“I’m not a teacher; I’m a solicitor with a practice nearby.” Having honestly admitted her field, Perveen didn’t know how long the college administrator would allow her to linger.

“Miss Acharya, is it correct that you were first on the scene?” Atherton had turned his attention to the student, who was clutching Alice.

“Yes. I was a few yards ahead of the others,” Lalita said in a choked voice. “Miss Daboo was with me as well.”

Atherton’s eyebrows drew together. “And where was Miss Cuttingmaster during the procession?”

“Actually, we realized midway through the proceedings she wasn’t in the stands with us.” Lalita’s voice was hesitant, as if she didn’t want to admit she’d known all along the girl hadn’t showed up.

“Yes. She must have had her accident while we were turned watching the prince!” Miss Daboo said.

The excitement of the parade could have masked any cries, even though the college and its garden were just a few dozen yards behind the viewing stand.

“Maybe she fell down. I only hope . . .” Lalita’s voice trailed off.

“What is it you are hoping, my dear?” Reverend Sullivan prompted.

“I hope she’s going to wake up.” Lalita was clenching and unclenching her hands. “Why can’t the nurse come from the infirmary? Didn’t anyone call for her?”

“Leave the response to faculty,” said the reverend.

“I think someone should fetch the police.” As Perveen said it, she couldn’t believe the words had even come from her mouth. The police! The men who’d so recently challenged her were needed to secure the scene and take note of details.

“The police?” Mr. Atherton’s voice faltered. “But Miss Daboo says this is an accident.” He shook his head as he looked at the smooth path and neat green lawn. “I wonder what caused her to fall?”

“It could be that she jumped. This was going to be a day of protest for some.” Reverend Sullivan turned to grimace at the mass of students standing a respectful distance behind. “I know some of you are in the resistance club. If you were aware that she was planning self-destruction, you must tell us now.”

Did the chaplain understand Freny’s life was gone? Perveen looked at his stern, unmoving face until he glared at her.

One of the boys in a Gandhi cap raised a hand and spoke when the chaplain acknowledged him. “Reverend, nobody heard any such talk in the Student Union meetings.”

A blond man in his twenties, who had a shaken expression, put a hand on the shoulder of the student who’d spoken. “That is my impression as well. Arjun, thank you for coming forward.”

“I’ll go for the police,” a student voice said from within the crowd, and three boys took off through the gate.


What really happened? And what is going to happen next?

Get a copy of Sujata Massey’s The Bombay Prince to find out!

Thrilled in 240 pages

Bilal Siddiqi’s The Phoenix is a classic roller coaster of intrigue, vengeance and excitement. Read an extract here.


The Gateway of India was beautifully illuminated in honour of the victims of that fateful night of 26 November 2008. It had now been over a decade since the day those ten Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists swarmed in and carried out a series of attacks that brought the city to its knees. The coordinated massacre had lasted about four days, taking at least 170 lives and leaving some 300 injured. The city had been under siege, but the residents began to pick up the broken pieces soon after, resuming their everyday lives with their indomitable spirit.

The city was now paying homage to the martyrs of 26/11. Around 200 people had gathered at the Gateway of India, and the number was increasing with every passing minute. A popular actor had just taken to the stage and was addressing the crowd. It was a sombre moment for everyone present—some were reduced to tears as they lit their candles and uttered their prayers. Little did they know that there were plans for an unprecedented attack to be carried out that very night by a patriot who had repeatedly put his life on the line for his country.

The Indian flag fluttered proudly in the wind. People bowed their heads in respect. The actor’s voice from the stage broke the two-minute silence…


Aryaman’s eyes met those of a policeman. They nodded to each other, and Aryaman put on his hoodie. The policeman stepped back and turned off the metal detector as Aryaman went through. Aryaman read the policeman’s name as he moved past: Sanjay Rane.

Although he had switched off the security system to allow Aryaman to pass, Rane went slightly against Eymen’s plan and frisked Aryaman when he saw that a fellow constable was casually looking over at him. Aryaman felt Rane’s hand go over the concealed vest. The frisking done, Rane cleared Aryaman and gently pushed him in towards the venue.

Aryaman moved past the crowd, reluctantly walking towards the centre… His unsure steps were being watched through a sniper scope by Eymen, who had perched himself atop a nearby terrace.

Eymen’s instructions could be clearly heard through the earpiece that Aryaman was wearing: ‘Any funny business and a bullet ends you on the spot. And I don’t have to tell you what happens to your family after that.’

Aryaman didn’t bother responding. He was going to do it. There were no two ways about that. He stepped on a poster that had the faces of the deceased printed on it with the words ‘Gone But Not Forgotten’, and he pushed past a group of children as he reached the centre.

A middle-aged woman looked at him disapprovingly. She saw his bruised face, his glassy eyes, his salt-and-pepper stubble and his dishevelled, greying hair. And then she witnessed something she couldn’t decipher until it was too late…


There was mayhem—the kind Aryaman had rarely witnessed. People began to scream and run haphazardly. The actor, who until a few moments ago had been talking about how Mumbai had risen like a phoenix from the ashes after the 26/11 attacks, was now being whisked away by security personnel into an armoured car. Aryaman was jostled and pushed to the ground by the frenzied crowd.

A security team of four, all in hazmat suits, rushed towards him. They handcuffed and dragged him along the ground towards an armoured vehicle.

[The Phoenix is out now. Get your copy today!]

The Phoenix|| Bilal Siddiqi

5 Reasons You Can’t Run Away from Harlan Coben’s’Run Away’

You’ve lost your daughter, and she’s made it clear that she doesn’t want to be found…And then you see her – living on the edge, frightened and clearly in trouble.

You approach her, beg her to come home.

She runs.

And you do the only thing a parent can do. You follow her into a dark and dangerous world you never dreamed existed.

Here are 5 reasons to read Run Away by Harlan Coben:

This is Coben’s 31st Novel. 

Harlan Coben was the first ever author to win all three major crime awards in the US.This makes the new standalone thriller from the master of domestic suspense a must read!


The author was inspired to write the first line when he was in the exact same location 

“Simon sat on a bench in Central Park- in Strawberry Fields, to be more precise- and felt his heart shatter.”


Coben’s wife is a pediatrician, just like Ingrid, Simon’s wife, in the book. Does art imitate life in more ways? 

“…Ingrid, a wonderful mother,a caring pediatrician who dedicated her life to helping children in need, said, “I don’t want her back in this house.”


The book showcases how dealing with the seedier underbelly involves sticking to their unlikely schedules.

” Dave texted him:
11AM today. I never told you. I ain’t a snitch.
But bring my money at 10AM. I got yoga at 11.


Simon is a man on a mission, and that mission is getting his daughter back.

” ‘Is Paige hiding from us?’
‘I’m not going to tell you that.’
‘Would you tell me for ten thousand dollars?’ Simon asked.
That caused a hush.”

Run Away is a brilliant new thriller from the international bestselling author described by Dan Brown as ‘the modern master of the hook and twist’.

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