Meetup 81 – Critical Thinking

The week before last, when I was away doing my own thing, Aparna Sridhar hosted her first session at Write Club, and by all accounts it was a smashing debut. The room reportedly was bursting at the door with people and there were cheers and laughs all around. I’ve had a look at the material and I can see why. Any session that aims to polarize people is sure to become a riot.

The topic is critical writing and critical thinking. In our professional degrees, some of us may have done courses which ask us to write arguments. Learning to argue and present your argument coherently in writing is a skill that is critical to all kinds of writers. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, the two things that mark out a critical thinker – clarity and empathy – are the two most basic things that every writer must nurture with utmost care. If you cannot be in anybody else’s shoes but your own, you will never impress anybody but yourself with your writing.

All said, this is a good topic. Please do take the time to have a look at what Aparna has got to say, and please make the effort to do your own reading to develop your critical thinking abilities. It will help you both in life and in your writing.

Download the material


  1. I read your “The Winds of Hastinapur” and I am always fascinated by the story of Maha Bharatha and specially the character of Bheeshma..The very idea of writing a book on Ganga and Satyavathi..really amazing!…It did not occur to me that I am reading a book purely on the imagination of a writer..I believed every word to be true!…I am immersed in the thought process of Ganga and Satyavathi…the depth of your imagination really impressed me a lot..The beginning of the great story is always shrouded in mystery…why Ganga took the life of seven sons…what was her state of mind? and why Satyavathi made such an unreasonable demand and Your analysis of Ganga’s and Satyavathi’s introspection is really very convincing…I don’t know what the typical guardians of tradition feel about your book, the book made me think a lot..On a more phiosophical level, your conclusion that we gain something after losing something else…explains lot of unanswered questions…Hats off!


    • Hi Swapna,

      Thank you for your kind words about the book. It’s always nice to meet a sympathetic reader. During the many years I’ve read the Mahabharata as a beloved story, I’ve always seen it as a ‘story of gaps’. I have always wondered what happened during these long periods of inaction (one being the fourteen year gap between Ganga’s departure and her return, the other being the two-year period during which Chitrangada dies), and I’ve not seen any writer deal with these periods. I thought I should give it a shot.

      I am glad you liked what I have written, and though I share your concern on what the ‘keepers of tradition’ will make of it, I am hoping at least some of them will take it in the same spirit that it was written.

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.


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