I started life in the heart of Shillong, India, The Scotland of the East.
Growing up amongst majestic lush green pines and yawning blue lakes, the better years of my early school education was at St.Edmund’s School, a prestigious institution run by Irish Christian Brothers with headquarters at Dublin.
As a qualified marketer I also dabbled in copywriting (won several accolades at national level for my ad campaigns). However, my first love remains weaving tales for children and adults which I hope to nurture as long as I am able to. I penned down my maiden work at the tender age of eight. A story of love and grief, it pertains to my pet dog Lyka. I’ve never looked back since.
Primarily a Children’s Literacy Advocate, I live and breathe original fiction. I don’t believe in “pouring out old wine in new bottles.” I especially relish writing delicious picture books. My writings reveal the terrain of that vast and explored country, the human heart. Of course, my forte remains humour in its many bubbly forms — giggly, silly, or dark!
Famous Illustrators: Legendary stalwarts of Indian children’s literature — Jagdish Joshi, Suddhasattwa Basu, Tapas Guha, Savio Mascarenhas, Ajanta Guha Thakurta, Deepak Harichandan, Prithvi Gayen, Debasish Deb, Saurabh Pandey, Ankur Mitra, Sanjay Sarkar, Niloufer Wadia, Subir Roy (in random order) have illustrated my children’s literary works — to name a just a few.
Children’s Book Categories ( 2021+): Board Books, PB, Early Readers, Middle-Grade.
Awards and Honours :
Open Short Story Writing Contest (organized/broadcast over All India Radio, North East Service 1975 [First Prize Winner])
Children’s Book Trust, India ( 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2001,2004)
Tinkle Original Story Award( 1992,1993)
Association of Writers and Illustrators for Children (AWIC-IBBY 1993, 1994)
Commonwealth Short Story Prize (shortlist) 2003
Communal Harmony Writing Award ( 2012)
National Story/ Script-writing Contest ( First Prize Winner, 2019) (sponsored by The Children’s Magazine, Kerala)
Best of Indian Children’s Writing ( Contemporary) Award ( BICW, 2019)
Published stories for kids/ YA/Adults ( Print/ Audio , 2007- 2021+):
NEWSPAPER DAILIES: (70+ stories) The Telegraph (Telekids), The Times of India (N.I.E.), Deccan Herald, The Indian Express ( Young Express), The Statesman, The Statesman Annual Special Number, The Hindu ( Young World, forthcoming 2021)
MAGAZINES:(200+ stories) Target, Chandamama, Junior Chandamama, Tinkle, Champak, Magic Pot, Dimdima, Children’s World, The Children’s Magazine (Regional), Ananda Mela (Ananda Bazar Patrika) in Oscar Award-winning publisher Late Satyajit Ray’s Sandesh (in Bengali), Sofura ( Assamese).
POETRY: A handful of selections by Poet Laureate Nissim Ezekiel. My poems have been published in Indian P.E.N Journal, The Independent, Pangolin Review ( Mauritius 2018).
SHORT PLAY (for Children): Award-winning Play, ” Sad King Mathematica,” published by C.B.T., India.
BROADCAST (AUDIO) MEDIA:
RADIO: (Over 30+ stories) for kids (Y.A., Adults) recorded and broadcast by All India Radio, Kolkata ( Yuva Bharati, Horizon program slots).
Membership Categories: AWIC-IBBY (Life Member), SCBWI (P.A.L. member, India)
Social Media Work-outs: @SCBWI, Goodreads, Amazon Author Central, Linked In, Facebook.
Author’s Interview Focus: Celebrity Citizens’ Series: DEBASHISH MAJUMDAR
(The Times of India, Kolkata interview by Saima Afreen, dated: 4/11/11)
INTERPRETER OF STORIES: ” Debashish Majumdar is a gifted writer who transforms places of daily life into snapshots from a dream world.” — Saima Afreen, T.O.I.
Beautiful pine forests smoke rising from the chimney of a cottage atop a hillock, whistle from a distant train. Sounds like stuff that dreams are made of? Well, that’s the magic of words oozed from the pen of Debashish Majumdar. He is a gifted writer who transforms places of daily life into snapshots from a dream world. Savouring Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island in the cozy library of his grandfather, a writer, was what he wanted to be. At the tender age of 15, his short story, Man by the Roadside, was broadcast by All India Radio when he won an Open Short Story Contest.
Expounds the writer,” The celebrated writer Eric Segal could have been my mentor at Harvard University when I won the scholarship for studying literature. But my parents thought that just being a writer would be highly risky, and I ended up studying at The Chartered Institute of Marketing, U.K. Nonetheless, he enjoys both his roles of an independent marketing consultant and, of course, that of a writer. Reflecting a faint glister of Ruskin Bond, his simple yet unique narrative is what children get mesmerised with. The hilly region where Majumdar was born and brought up seems to have shaped his imagination. So it is not surprising that the alpine topography where many of his stories are set in emerges and merges into the mental landscape of the young readers.” (An excerpt)
Interview TOI (http://debashishmajumdar.com/Media/Media_01.html)
Debashish’s more Interview links:
Author’s Interview # 2: SUN magazine
Author’s Interview #3: Kahani Takbak
Book#1: ” Fooled You!” ( Published by Scholastic India 2018) National Book Award Winner, Best of Indian Children’s Contemporary Writing Award (BICW), Picture Books Category 2019
Summary of Book # 1: A little girl Rina wants to make sure she doesn’t get fooled on April Fool’s Day. A series of events take place during the day. She thinks everyone is trying to fool her. It turns out that all the happenings were all true! Lastly, when Rina believes in that no one is cracking April Fool jokes on her, Granny knocks. She falls for Granny’s prank and gets fooled again!
Text Review of Book #1:
Jaya’s Review: Very early in childhood, children are teased lovingly about ” April Fool’s Day.” Quite soon tiddlers have a Pavlovian reaction to any incredible news being said with a dismissive wave “Oh! It’s an April Fool’s Day trick!”
Debashish Majumdar’s utterly splendid picture book ” Fooled You!” is about one such girl Rina. Her parents, brother, friends, and teachers give her a string of happy news throughout the day, but she never believes them since she’s convinced they are pulling her leg for it is 1 April. She is determined not to get April Fooled.
Read this marvelous picture book with your little ones. Great way to read together or to read aloud. Easy-to-read for new readers. Ultimately a lovely story magnificently illustrated by Niloufer Wadia.
(www.jayabhattacharjirose.com) (11 May 2018)
Video Review: www.facebook.com/kahanitakbak/videos/fooled-you-by-debashish-majumdar/2213500125559554
Book #2: Hilltop Ghost and Other Stories ( Published by Pauline Book India 2012)
Summary of Book#2: Realistic fiction comprising a collection of 24 stories for children. Each story highlights incidents involving little children as they move on in the journey of life. Happy and sad, replete with empathy, each story ends on a positive note presenting variegated values that should inspire young readers and adults alike.
Text Review of Book #2:
Book Review @ The Statesman ( Kolkata & New Delhi editions)
Enjoyable and Lively: The Hilltop Ghost & Other Stories by Debashish Majumdar
This is a collection of 24 children’s short stories,dealing with the various confusions and moral questions of children’s lives.The author is renowned for his children’s stories which has gained recognition in leading newspapers, prestigious publications and his stories have greatly contributed to children’s fiction in India.
The stories have a strong moral lesson attached, somewhat bearing a resemblance to Aesop’s Fables but differing principally with it by by using children as the subjects and the experiences they have in the course of their growing-up years as learning lessons. The short stories are not preachy, are enjoyable and most of us are able to identify ourselves with similar situations and encounters through which we learn the right way to live life.
Largely set in India, the stories deal with various emotions which each individual experiences — jealousy, vanity, arrogance, greed; essentially portrayed as the ‘immoral emotions’ which need to be honed and tamed.
Each of the stories deliver a lesson — a guide to rectifying oneself and improving on one’s weak points. In the first story of the book, “Broken Bond” we come across Shoma and Alpana, two little girls, the best of friends and Namrata, their classmate, jealous of their close relationship.
The story, “Hilltop Ghost” is a humorous take on a dead man’s ghost who punishes children for being greedy, but in the end, turns out to be living, after all! ( Hilltop Ghost broadcast over All India Radio, North East Service and rocked listeners!)
‘The Beauty Contest’ deals with the vanity and arrogance of a little girl who understands the true beauty lies not in external appearance but in humanity and modesty.
The language is lucid and the stories are very enjoyable. This book is perfect for any child who is in the process of learning and for any adult who has forgotten what he has learnt over the years! This one rejuvenates the mind and has a feel-good factor about it.
Get hold of a copy and enjoy these delightful stories!
Book Review : Hilltop Ghost … The Statesman, Kolkata & New Delhi dated 5/1/12
Links to other reviews of Book #2:
Hilltop Ghost … Children’s World(CBT),New Delhi (Issue dated May 2011)
“ You have to fight…fight real hard,” said dad,” I had to battle real hard against life’s storms to be a successful carpenter.” Sandy asked his dad, surprised,” Are you proud of your trade?” “It makes no difference what profession you choose in life,” replied dad, ” always remember, try and excel in whatever you opt for.” “Dad,” said Sandy softly, with dreamy eyes “I have a dream. I want to become a famous football player someday.”
(An extract from Storm Warrior)
(http://debashishmajumdar.com/Media/Media_04.html / hilltop ghost review/ CBT)
Book # 3: Granny’s Day Out ( Publisher: National Book Trust, India)
Category: Picture Book
Summary of Book#3:
A hilarious story about a Granny who steps out for an exciting , mischievous adventure! Kids love the rhyme and all the crazy things she does. Granny stumbles over a goat, slips and falls into a swimming pool, meets a ghost in the park! Finally, she’s back home, tucks herself into bed as an innocent baby!
( Reprint Edition 2019)
Book# 4: Tiger Comes Home ( Publisher: DC-Mango Books)
Summary of Book # 4: This is another very funny picture book. A fast-paced adventure of a tiger who wants to eat up a boy. The boy acts cleverly on each occasion and finally gets rid of the greedy tiger at the end– in a most unlikely ending!
Book # 5:The Magical Sunglasses ( Publisher: DC-Mango Books)
Summary of Book# 5: This story is also very original and funny. It relates to a little girl who finds a pair of trendy sunglasses lying in the corridor of her school, and she wears them. She is transposed into a different world. Were the sunglasses magical? Read and find out!
Book # 6: A Lesson From Grandma (Publisher: National Book Trust, India)
Summary of Book # 6:
The story highlights how the rival cousins learn the art of appreciating the other. With the Grandma playing the role of an ingenious peacemaker!
Review of Book# 6: Translated into Indian regional languages –Odia, Marathi and Telegu in 2020.
Links to critiques, articles published by me:
A note of appreciation from a Goliath Media Personality!
I thought of addressing a personal letter to you. Your writing is good. As they say you are felicitous with the pen. Any newspaper would be happy to publish your contribution, in the children’s corner.
With best wishes for health, happiness and fulfillment.
(Late) Founder & Publisher, Tinkle Comics + Amar Chitra Katha series
(by a personal letter addressed to me dated 29 January 2007)
India Book House Pvt.Ltd., Mumbai
Links to my story samples:
To know more regarding me, feel free to visit the following links:
Link #1: https://www.scbwi.org/members-public/debashish-majumdar
Link#2 :http/ www.debashishmajumdar.com
Link# 3: https://www.eurekabookstore.com/debashish-majumdar-27-profile
Link# 4: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13955678.Debashish_Majumdar