Sunday, 13 May 2018

Mother's Day special: A kid like ours

Our kid has joined Royal Cricket Academy here. He is passionate about the sport beyond words could ever say. Whether he sleeps late night or doesn't at all, the guy has to get up early in the morning every weekend to attend his sessions. His dedication and craze for the sport often inspires me.

It's cricket tournament going. Turns out, RCA is not the only academy here. There are four others as well. Yester-evening it was Semi-finals. RCA V/s MG 7. Let me tell you something about the latter. MG 7 was at the number 2nd in the list while RCA was number 3rd. So they are naturally a strong team. i was dreading the match. We all were. Chances of RCA to win was bleak yet we hoped for the best. i even made two pla cards to swing around during the match, much like the ones you see on TV when there is a cricket match happening in stadiums. One had 'Go RCA!!!' and the other had 'It's A Wicket!!' i thought to make these just to boost up the team spirit. With a match such as yesterday's, they were going to need it.

Anyway, we won! Yes. RCA won! And it was such a stellar show by the team. Be it batting, bowling or fielding, every moment was nerve-cracking, filled with adrenaline rush, prayers and Yaaays and Noooos. i was fortunate 'cause i got to swung my pla cards at many moments. RCA did really well at the crease (first inning) as well as in fielding (2nd inning). They took all 10 wickets of MG 7 leaving them to only dream of victory.

Later on, it was quite a celebration under a daze of happiness and winning though i felt a little bad for the losing team. They are only kids, come on. It was Under 12 match by the way. 

The best part? Our kid got the Man of the Match. First, i never thought RCA winning and being my kid rewarded with the honor of MotM, that was whoa! It is his first tournament and first winner's cup ever! He will get it tomorrow, on Finals day but he got to pose with the big board of the prize. As bowler, he handed over 7 runs in 3 overs and grabbed 3 wickets. As batsman, he scored 30! Ain't that rich and classy?

Friday, 20 April 2018

O Saathi (Movie: Baaghi 2) Guitar cover/tutorial

But before i put the next cover, listen to the latest one. 

Say yes to No...

...if you must face it.

This morning, i was working on a song on my guitar as the next number in the on going Atif Aslam Special series on my guitar page (like, share, some Atif love) and YouTube (Subscribe to add guitar magic in your life). i played it for my husband and after a few lines, he just shook his head and said that it wasn't sounding quite melodious. In other words, the strumming that i have crafted to go along with the song did not work for him at all!

Just yesterday i had played this whole song to my kid and he loved it. He said that i am playing it quite classic and that he liked it. i was elated. And without me knowing, that moment had set an expectation of listening to some more positive feedback from my husband too. But guess what? i am not an ice cream seller. i can't keep everyone happy. 

Nevertheless, i felt down. i wanted my whole family's big thumbs up before i put this song cover up. Regardless, i played the whole song to myself, as a part of practice. Whether someone likes it or not, i am going to use the same style of guitar playing and make the cover. Because i too like the way i play it.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Keep going...

After practicing guitar during the day and maintaining the two hour class for the same in late evening, serving dinner, tomorrow's breakfast and lunch preparations (by the way i am still clueless about what veggie to cook for lunch), filling up hot water bottle, sorting out a few rather important stuff, i am now on my bed tucked in the blanket ready to work on my story. And suddenly, i feel so exhausted, so drained up! i don't remember when was the last time i actually sat for a minute without worrying about my writing or guitar. Tonight it feels it's just too much at the moment to take but what to do? This is the constant war i have chosen for myself. i have no option but to keep at it.

i didn't say any of the above to my family. i anyway realized this evening that i have turned into a boring person. My husband kept cracking jokes this evening and i just couldn't respond. fact to be shared (just between you and me), i was getting agitated at his constant humor. May be because i was expected to respond suitably and smile or laugh or something like that but i was failing. Before i could kill myself, i (almost) ran to the kitchen to make tea, finding a safe haven where i could hide my smirk. And then it hit me. i have turned into an utter boring person who has forgotten to laugh at jokes. i pitied my husband silently thinking what person he has married to for the lifetime. 

i need some motivation so before i started on my story, i filtered net for some optimum motivational quotes and i found one. And then i posted on my Instagram. Here is the quote that helped me to keep going.

Well, i don't remember why i started out but since i am on this path, it won't do any harm to keep going. Writing is helping even if it is a little blog post before i jump into the sea of thoughts in desperation to catch some pearls of wisdom that can help shine my story line more than anything in this world. 

Monday, 16 April 2018

One thing that i miss being in India

i finished working on my story almost an hour ago. The whole day i was leaned into my laptop until my kid came back from the school. That was the pre-determined cue of i am done for the day! thing.

The day has been charming in and out. It was sunny but pleasant in the morning but as the magician unwraps his more complicated tricks by the end of the show, the weather too has become more inviting, beckoning one to sit with a cup of tea/coffee and enjoy the sight. Have a look. i just clicked a few moments ago.

How i wish i were in India? In the sea of things, i miss my terrace  in India during such evenings. 

There, i'd often go to my building terrace with tea cup safely secured in my hands, all the while praying no one to interrupt me on the way. Once there, i'd just get lost in its charm. The shade of the sky would turn darker, stronger, more intense. It'd often be the binge of a crazy painter splashing hues of gold, orange, blue, saffron smartly tinted with a bit of blue. Those sights used to be so beautiful!

Old habits die hard.

As i put the tea-dipped piece of biscuit in my mouth before beginning to write here, i was already decided what subject to write on today, this morning, Monday morning. It's 13:04 there in India but it's 10:35 here in Kuwait. i am sitting on the ground over the carpet having breakfast with tea. The box of my favorite biscuit is beside me. It's a small moment but beautiful enough to inspire the writer in me. 

If i tell you the truth, it's becoming a challenge to meet my writer side these days. Since the time i have picked up pace on my guitar, all i want to do is to keep playing songs after songs until the muscles in my fingers or neck snap or either of the strings give up. i sometimes play for 5-6 hours, non-stop. No. i do stop. for a few seconds, only to re-adjust my neck position and look at the skin under the nails in my left hand. The new skin has now made its appearance quite impressive for the area has gone smooth but tougher, sturdier, ready to tackle hours of challenges. 

Pinch me with a guitar talk and i start running in some different galaxy. i totally forgot for what subject i was here to write about. Sincere apologies.

So my tea is now half and breakfast is finished. As i sit on the carpet, on the floor, it feels good. Have you ever sat on the ground and ate or talked or may be watched a movie craning your neck all the way up in the direction of TV? It feels good, to sit down and then have breakfast and write. It's one of the ancient habits. These days, we prefer to sit mostly on sofa or table-chair but resuming some of the old habits makes you feel nice, makes you feel connected with yourself. 

Let me see how many other old habits i still pursue in daily life. i drink warm water with honey (and sometimes with lemon) as first thing in the morning, something yours and my grandmother would peacefully agree on. 

i keep the windows of my house frequently open during the whole day till it's evening. sometimes i do it at night as well. Here the whole of the house, buildings, malls, and everything manageable is air conditioned. So windows and doors are packed all the time if you don't step up for the good cause. i am not used to of living like this, in an enclosed house with no flow of air and sun light. My house back in India is so welcoming to these. So i keep opening windows quite frequently here. Old spirits living with me must be happy and relieved getting fresh air.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

A faceless, shapeless, endless poem.

No one deserves sadness
No one deserves loneliness
even when things are in bad shape
might as well you too
still, there should be a glint of hope
love, strength, happiness;
where the world around you expands
the one inside you collapses,
leaving you to feel brittle and naive
with legs too wobbly to walk,
too weak to follow a simple trail;
you may have called it a Golden Phase
where there is all the learning
harsh bitter cutting learning
as essential to you as a soap to your body
meant to cleanse, intended to purify;
but as the process begins and proceeds
turns out it's not easy
to drain all that pollution of you
to get rid of the dirt
the mud, the slime, the streaks of black holes;
it's difficult, you know
goin' through the process
it's rude, merciless, insensitive
might as well be a killing machine
'cause at one or the other point
it makes you think of quitting;
things that inspired you to keep breathing
faces that showed it's worth living
promises that held your pieces together
the Hope that was supposed to stitch those wounds better;
but as time slides away,
things stop working, faces turn away
promises tear you further apart
the same hope urges you to stop living;

Tere Sang Yaara (Rustom) Full Cover+Tutorial

Monday, 9 April 2018

Relationships - heart or head?

Relationships are meant to play by heart. The day you start using the head, they are doomed.

You must have read it somewhere too. Guess the world is a little bookshelf where two people indeed can read the same book. Or, may be we both have the membership of the same library.

Anyhow, it's a wise quote/thought to live by. Outside the four walls of home, you have to be on constant alert, contemplating each step, calculating each word spoken, listening to unsaid and reading the hidden. It's a treacherous world out there, i have heard it too. But once you are within those four walls, you can be yourself, original, pure, totally uncompromised.  Your family, friends, siblings...these all are the people who give you enough motivation and help you in fighting the world outside. How could you not love these people? How could you possibly work by head when heart is so filled with love for them? Admit. You are even ready to be called too sentimental. If that's what takes to show them your love, so be it. 

But may be head too should be working, you know. Heart is all the time busy pumping blood to all the organs, filtering good blood from bad blood, fighting against your smoking habit, working over-time all the while loathing that insane drinking habit, the endless things to stress over...the heart might as well be the housewife of the body. Working all the time and yet gets nothing worth in return except diseases and attacks, not that these are healthy to work for. It's a nut job, heart. You now understand how most of the housewives feel. No offense.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

i'll forgive but i'll stop being friends with him.

i was about to settle to play guitar when i received a phone call from the vice-principal sir of my kid's school. i was on alert immediately thinking what happened and whether my kid is alright.

Turned out, there had been a scuffle between my kid and his friend out of which my kid had to lose out on his spectacle. The other kid punched on his face and it fell down on the ground and broke in two pieces. Now the VP sir wanted to know what do i want to do in such situation, since this was an incident involving body hurt and the damage of a property. i listened and said, with a relief that my kid was alright, to let the matter go. The kids already have their punishment by the amount of guilt they must be going through. VP sir seemed to be alright with this and allowed the matter to mellow down but not before giving out a strict warning to both the kids.

It was his version. i was anxious to listen my kid's. Once he got home, i inquired. He said he did snatch the ball in the game but his friend punched him on his face and hence, his glasses broke. The school authorities has glued it together with an adhesive. Now it's in one piece, don't know for how long. We gotta go fix it nicely.

The other boy who hit my kid is actually a good friend to him. Even my kid has been wondering why did he go aggressive like that without any sort of apology later on. My kid accepted his responsibility in the incident (that he was snatching the ball) but his friend refused everything outright. It was not acceptable, for me. i asked what will you do now. My kid said,

i'll forgive but i'll stop being friends with him.

Dil Diyan Gallan (Tiger Zinda Hai) Full Cover Guitar

Friday, 6 April 2018

Learn to play music. It's awesome!

And by this, i don't mean tapping the play button in your mobile neither on your stereo. Certainly not surfing channels on radio either. 

What i mean by the blog post title is to learn some instrument to play. Anything you pick. There is a sea of choices to dive in and come up with one. i play guitar but i am lucky because it chose me instead of the other way around. i now play it and it feels so beautiful! Even though i am still a learner and in much early stage yet i try and practice every day. One plus one everyday will make me a rockstar one day. Day dreaming, i know.

By the way, i am about to upload my latest guitar cover on my Facebook Musician page (click) and YouTube channel (click click) for Dil Diyan Gallan from the blockbuster movie, Tiger Zinda Hai. When i play this song, i feel alive. No wonder tiger feels the same way. Lame joke, i know it as well.

But have a preview first. Soon i'll update the cover.

Thankfully, this time the thumbnail showing up above is not embarrassing. i look happy. It's the magic of music. Learn an instrument. It makes you happy and strong. 

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Which one do you want to have - good or better?

They say, believe that whatever happens, happens for good. Life must have better things in store for you.

But who said you wanted better? May be you were happy with the good. Don't the other section of they say that be satisfied with what you have and be grateful for it?

If these two sections of they ever sit across each other on a table, they can stir a good debate.

This world has lots of confusing things to offer. In order to clear it, we have to become nitpickers and surf for what's suitable. Good or better, it's actually worthless talking about. 'Cause we have no control over it. If we have good, yay! If we have better, double yay, possibly? 

For me, sometimes it feels like i was good with the good, you know. Like when i was in India. i liked being there. It gave me a sense of belonging. Being in India was good. Now i am in Kuwait. If i open up the virtual register of past months' events, i can easily say moving to Kuwait has been great. My second book came out (by the way, did you order? not yet? Go back, Simons! or whatever your name is) and now both of my books are in the process of getting here. It'd be nice to see them on shelf here. 

Links to order my books are on the right side of this blog by the way.

Taken a few moments before, just about finalizing this post

Friday, 23 March 2018

Welcome video and O mere dil ke chain on Guitar Gorgeous

So this is the Welcome video i posted on my Facebook Guitar Page: Guitar Gorgeous

If you don't know what the page is all about, you can click the name as well as watch the above video and that shall be enough.

Now coming back for the updates, i have recently made a video on ever-so-famous song - O mere dil ke chain, from the movie - Mere jeevansathi. Hope i have pulled it off nicely.

The thumbnail looks awful but i am sure my playing isn't.


Sunday, 18 March 2018

Guitar Gorgeous: A new venture

It's Sunday and thankfully, i have a great news to add to the fun. i have created a Facebook page for my guitar practices. The site will hold a collection of songs and tutorials (done by me), Guitar Gorgeous quotes, facts about it, moments of my life with guitar and the similar stuff. Check it out:

i am in love with guitar since i was very little. When i had reached the age where i could join classes, i had gone to the only institute that was home (and still is) for various instrument lessons. May be they were not very keen on getting students or there was something wrong with my face, the guy i had talked to there told me straight away that learning guitar is quite a tedious practice and can easily take 2-3 years. He did not even encouraged me to try a little.

i was disappointed. Like many others, i too had assumed that like fabric painting, guitar too could be learned in a short span of time but years? i started to have doubts about my passion. i thought may be it was a time phase where i have fallen for a guitar instead of a guy. So i came back home and never saw the door of that institute. 

Years went by but i don't think my fascination for this particular instrument ever died or even faded away. Or else why would i keep looking for guitar tuition or an institute wherever i lived/moved? May be the universe does answer to your constant quest. It was some morning of the year 2015 and I was in Bangalore home on my swing. i had taken the newspaper in my hands when a pamphlet slipped out from between its pages. i casually picked it up and found that it was about a guitar class. The location mentioned was not familiar to me. i called up my husband and asked. Turned out, it was merely away by a 5 minute drive. Now all those lost moments and years started to pile up together and i decided to try. For the first time, i was going to see a class where i could learn to be with my first crush (my guitar, of course. have you not figured it out yet?). i went there pretty soon and just like that, i was enrolled. 

Two factors played key roles:

1. It was insanely nearby to my house, and 
2. It was pretty affordable

Awesome, isn't it? What else did i need? A guitar, you smiley face. So i asked my teacher, Mr. Prakash Chhetri, to buy me one. i asked for Red and he got me a red colored guitar. i can't begin to explain the happiness when i had held my first ever guitar in my hands. it was like being in the arms of your lonnng lost love with a promise to never depart. Sorry for the cheesy liners. 

My first guitar

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

What makes 'The Shadow of Darkness' special?

Books affect its readers. But it also affects its writer too.

While writing The Shadow of Darkness, the journey had come together in a bunch of surprises. When i was done with my previous work - It's Never Too Late - i knew there would be a sequel to it. As the creator of Maya and Sejal, it'd be unfair of me to leave Sejal's side of story, her struggle, issues she might face and overcome, and finally the life she would make out of everything, on the side curb.

In one of my recent interviews, i was asked what's the hardest part about writing. Not surprisingly, i responded with thinking is the easiest while setting it up on the paper the way it's been rolling inside head is the hardest. When i had started writing The Shadow of Darkness, i felt my response of the interview question magnified to another level. Writing It's Never Too Late was easier than penning down The Shadow of Darkness the way i wanted this world to know Sejal and her story. To begin with, i had to come close to the much hushed topic called Childhood Trauma.

Sighing and lifting my sword up, i jumped into the battle field. It was either do or die. i really did not have any choice. So i researched. A lot on childhood trauma. i kept exploring books and internet pages. The horror of real life trauma stories had started to shake me within. Plug in your internet, bring Google to life and make it chase stories on Child Abuse (a type of childhood trauma) and you will find endless pages colored with the blood of child abuse victims. i still recall a case vividly and i remember how i had trembled just reading it. It still sends me into shock. What those people did with the barely a month old baby was cruel, inhumane, a pure torture. That baby had fought bravely. As i kept scrolling down the page, tears too continued rolling down my cheeks just by imagining the baby's plight. Finally that baby died. And so did the torture. Hospital people said he fought bravely against those bruises, lacerations, sexual abuse and torture. i still feel the hatred towards such people. 

Above and many more cases of childhood trauma i have explored during my research. i now see the subject with a wider lens, where it is no more a myth. Childhood trauma (and abuse) exists! And so do the people responsible for that baby and many more kids.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Hawayein Hawayein from Jab Harry Met Sejal

After so long, i've made a video of me playing my guitar and finally have posted a new video...freshhh video. Below it is. i totally love the song! Easy and beginner friendly. You can learn it in no time. i have shown how to play it. Hope it helps. If you like, do Like and Subscribe my channel as i will soon be posting another song soon!

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Stand by Tough Moms - by All Out

Today a video was shared. Millions of videos get shared every day every hour, i know but this one i got to watch. It's been released by All Out (the mosquito repellent company in India). It is called Stand by Tough Moms. The entire narration is impressive.

The background is the age old mind set. In-laws accusing the girl for a small thing her kid has done. One by one - the mother-in-law, the sister, the aunty, even the husband - nulls her decision to keep her child hungry as punishment. The girl stays silent suffering bullets of insult. Because she knows. It's her decision. Let people say what they have to. The only person coming in to support her decision is the father-in-law. When he flips the coin of perspective and validates her decision, everyone stops dead in silence. Suddenly, the fire-pitted words are ashen and angry faces look pale. It's the other matter if the girl had chosen to speak herself, no one would have paid attention.

i have no complaints when she stays silent. Not all the time you are obliged to speak up your choices and decisions. Sometimes, it is best to let the silence prevail. Voicing out can be taken as you are trying to justify yourself and hence, your perspective becomes null and void. Silence can symbolize confidence.

Why i am focused on exam scores.

When i was in India last year busy running my Pick'A Book Club - For Kids in the society, there happened many-a-times when a kid has asked the meaning of an English word and i had found myself thinking over how to explain that emotion or action in exact words. Kids these days usually understand the meaning of an English word if you describe them in English. In such predicament, my kid would come to my rescue and fulfill the job perfectly. He would describe the asked word so precisely in English that i could not help but smile.

The purpose to write such prologue is to say that sometimes, kids help you to pinpoint something that you may have been searching to explain in exact words. You know what you mean but fail miserably to explain the motive behind it.

Not two hours ago happened the same thing. My kid asked me a question with a request as prefix to not to get offended by his curiosity. i said alright and go ahead. He asked,

"Mumma! When you got 80/100 in your Guitar exam, you were profoundly delirious. But when i score 70+ in exams, you don't feel the same way. In fact, you don't appreciate the result much. Why is that so?"

Although i continued to finish the chores, i fell silent nonetheless. The Q. was indeed worth pondering.

i am a kind of parent who does not push her child to score the highest in the class. Instead, i always focus on the line of attention and knowledge yet i would ask my kid to score better next time. He has always been one of the most brilliant students in the class. But recently, i could see the changes.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Parents! Be a exam warrior.

It's exam time. No. It's not scary. It's only a exam. Be prepared, be ready and keep your senses together.

And i am not talking to my kid or anyone else's. i am talking to parents. When it's kid's exam time, it's parents' too.

As a parent, i know it's stressing. Kid has to do best in the whole class. His 5th std. grades are going to decide his future. His 6th std. shields are the trailer of our future status in society. His 10th results have the capability to make us feel pride or shame and when it is 12th exams, it's like our heads are kept under the executioner's blade. Why are we parents so panic-stricken in relating kid's exams to our life? We feel as if our breathing depends upon the teachers' remarks.

Only it's not the case. Exams are only exams, a short term testing period not only for kids but for parents as well. How well your kid is going to perform largely depends upon how well you, the parent, is prepared in advance. Follow a few tips to be an exam warrior, just as your kid might be feeling these days.

Study regularly

It's the tip that can't be emphasized enough. Once the kid is back from the school, allow him to relax for sometime. Let him watch TV, read a book or play with friends. It's essential! After a fixed play time, get him back to his studies and no, you are not allowed to leave. As a parent, it's yours responsibility too to sit with your kid and help him study. Follow finished and unfinished chapters. Teachers' remarks in the diary. Let the kid revise what's been taught in the class and pepper him with the benefits of studying new chapters/fresh portions in advance. Be gentle, all the while.


Talk to your kid about studies, classroom and friends, teachers' behavior, anything special happened in school, new principal, rules and guidelines etc. Topics related to school are endless. Pick many and get to know how your kid is spending the big chunk of his time outside the house.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

When was the last time you lived in the present?

i believe, up to an extent, that i will have Alzheimer's in the future. It may sound sad but i don't think it is. Looking at the pros, forgetting bad memories, traumatic episodes, inconsolable emotional phases, fatal thoughts, and journeys through dark tunnels actually weigh more to their side. Would i want to be cured? May be not. Because recently, i have learned that i must live in the present, not the past not the future but in the present. It's actually an art to exercise and much more helpful if you want to make it to the other side of the river with all limbs and muscles intact in their respective places.

Once again, i enjoyed quoting it a few days ago and posted it up on my Instagram and Twitter:

It's currently my desktop wallpaper. 

Past is a country where no one should live, it's the thought i read in Suhel Seth's book. As easily, it's one of his thoughts. i found it helpful to use his thoughts to extend my expression in a way that makes more sense. Future is a dream that no one should see, this thought is mine however and the rest after that. Cool to know the history behind a working mind, isn't it?

And if i talk about today and not yesterday and not tomorrow, it's a shady weather. Literally. i guess the city is soaked in the haze of dust storm. Drizzling was there in the morning. i don't know whether it's completely normal for the clouds to start Spitting Competition this early in the year because i am  a new born native to Kuwait, hauled here only three months ago. i can also go look up the weather reports and check on the stacks of articles loaded on the internet but it's better to live the sight than to rush authenticating its appearance.

Present. When was the last time you lived in it? Because from my recent experiences, i know we are either burying ourselves in the past till the point we start choking or rushing in making castles of successes in the future till all the imaginary turns absurd and we swirl back to the present only to repeat and reorganize the same process all over again again. Now, i will give you a minute. Think! When was the last time you were actually there in the present?

Aligning with the natural occurrences.

Some movies are worth spending time on. Like 3 Idiots by Rajkumar Hirani. i have seen it already, may be for 2-3 times, but it was the first for my kid. As we chomped down Schezwan noodles ordered from a restaurant, my kid and i were glued to the screen. The movie binds you with every scene.

In between the scenes, my kid grumbled quite a few times saying - Why there is Sunday tomorrow? i have to go to school! Here, in Kuwait, weekdays are from Sunday to Thursday. Fridays and Saturdays are weekends here. Well, as a mother, i was feeling bad but as a parent, i ignored. When the movie was done, my kid repeated - i don't want to go to school tomorrow! 

Now i had to say something. Because i too had been there fussing over the initiation of weekdays and celebrating over the onset of weekends. Now i have stopped doing it. Simply because, when both have to happen and there is no way the course can be altered then why to fret about it? If a particular day comes as a good news then rest of the days automatically turn into bad ones or the unlikable ones. But that's truly not the case. 

Each set has good things to offer. Weekdays provide discipline whereas weekends allow relaxation. In fact, i get relaxed thinking of the approaching of Sunday. At least, i get to do my work. Then i have a slight aversion to noise or constant chattering or being surrounded by people. Weekdays save me from that for a bit. Therefore, weekdays are actually good and healthy. 

i explained it to my kid. i said - If you get too joyous about weekends, you are bound to get sad about weekdays. Just chill and take them equally. Don't get either too happy or too sad. Enjoy as they come.

He stopped whining. i don't know whether my experience worked or he simply realized we were speaking different languages and hence, there was a gap in communication but i do hope he ponders over it and aligns himself more to the course of natural occurrences. It helps! 

By the way, here are 15 facts about 3 Idiots you may not know. Enjoy!

Friday, 16 February 2018

The deserving child.

Mumma! i want to see a rainbow
full of colors, curves and dreams;
Mumma! i want to ride the moon
pointed and bright, the crescent one;
Mumma! i want to travel around the world
on my little two feet, just like a little girl;
There are so many things i want to do, Mumma!
Some i do, some i wish, some i dream
but never touching even the half of it
Not because i am not trying
but because the list is growing;
You taught me to be brave, to be flexible
adjusting with the course of nature
and to smile nonetheless
i remember this lesson, Mumma!
But how can i tell you what i have braved?
What i have been through?
The twist, the cut, the pain, the noise
Kind of suffering enough for whole mankind;
Each day rips me apart 
each night sews those shards
in between their shift
i imagine the time i was in your arms;
Snuggled as a small baby, carefree and cheeky
with milk teeth popping out and sneaky
Smiling up at your ever glowing eyes
Slowly trusting in the beauty of life;

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Strengths and weaknesses

These days, i enjoy quoting my thoughts in interesting frames. It gives me a little boost of happiness, the sense of sharing a thought in a more powerful way. Besides, Insta asks for pictures so i have to have my quotes framed to woo it.

How do you make out the above thought?

For me, i have found a profound shift in my thoughts recently. i now believe that we should talk and spread our strengths, whatever they are in nature. By doing this, good things move and splash around. By talking weaknesses, it may not work the same. Once or twice is fine but doing it constantly can cost us and the others peace of mind. i also realize that with family and friends, it is perfectly alright to share whatever you feel but if you think for a moment, if you can stay quiet and work on yourself, you will get not only stronger but also wiser and braver too! Instead of talking the weaknesses or low points incessantly, talking positive actually makes more sense.

Speak up your strengths such as being a good learner, practicing harder, exercising regularly, doing job nicely, keeping house clean, being friendly, doing charity work, paying bills on time, playing with kids etc. These will only inspire the daily life. You will feel better in order to keep going. Plus, people would like to be near you. They would be willing to talk to you. We all look for inspiration every day. A bit of providing it wouldn't harm much, would it?

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Monday, 5 February 2018

BUZZ review for 'The Shadow of Darkness'

Not every reviewer gets the struggle and idea about what goes on inside an author's mind and what could have prompted her to write a sequel. Many-a-times it's evident but some times, it's hard to figure out what pumped the author to write a successor of a book, culminating the work into a series.

What caused me to write The Shadow of Darkness (It ends where it was started) is the Q. that i get asked often. i answer them but when a reviewer understands the point way before the author has paid any attention to the query, it feels like a success. 

The BUZZ magazine has recently gifted me the taste of such. In her review, Aniesha Brahma has pointed the trigger so aptly that i am inclined to mention it here:

Hats off to Priyanka for writing a story that no doubt proved quite challenging to write! The story of Sejal is one that often doesn’t get told. Because people do not care much about victims once the story is done. The PTSD comes from being attacked, the repressed memories – everything has turned her life upside down.

i thank her for writing positive. She has understood that the author is supposed to justify each of her characters' struggle. And that's exactly what i have done in my latest book. The struggle of Maya and Sejal would not be completed if Sejal's side of story in later years was not narrated. 

For the full review, click on the link:

i totally loved the way Aniesha has showcased my book in the shadow of light and darkness both. It appeals to the viewer. For a quick glance, read the snipped review here:

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Good movies are like good books.

Hope is a luxury not everyone can afford but those who can are the wealthiest of us.

What Hope can do to you? It can keep you going. It can make you apply for a new job with probably better opportunities. It can make you get a new toy in anticipation of it lasting the fresh joy longer than the previous one. It can prep you up to invent a new recipe to get that chef title.

Or, it can get you free of Shawshank State Penitentiary after almost two decades of prison time.

Yes. i am talking about 1990's one of classics and all time hit movies, The Shawshank Redemption.

Good movies are like good books. Every time you pick them up, there is always a new thing to learn. You have already gone through those pages/scenes previously, may be for 4-5 times and yet the 6th time you revisit, they still have the nerve to fix you with the charm of amazement and the naivety of anticipation about the mystery. Every time you pick such marvel, you will be amazed like you just got kissed for the first time, with the joy expected and yet the experience mysterious and sweet as you could never imagine until you are through it.

Mr. Andy Dufresne, played exceptionally well by Tim Robbins, is a character built up on the mortar and brick of Hope and Strategic planning. Two life sentences, back-to-back, could break anyone's back but each time Andy faced a turmoil, it only strengthened him. Or, that's the choice he made. He could have allowed himself to be drowned by the hopelessness of it all but the way he chews the latest trouble and spits it out as a part of his later plans, that sends his viewer straight to the island called awe. i was in awe thinking of this morning when i woke up at around 8.30 and cried for no reasons after ten minutes and then seeing a guy getting sentenced for twenty straight years despite being innocent and yet not surrendering to get bulldozed by emotions on prime time, i was certainly in awe. i cried for no reasons while Andy did not despite of having all the right reasons. Talk about wonders of life.

i think the movie has many things to offer. The character Red, played amazingly well by Morgan Freeman, is the one you feel more inclined to. He is the guy who gets the stuff in the cell which are illegal and hence, unthinkable. He even gets Andy his little hammer. He is the solution. People come to him with his demands and he solves them up in exchange of a fair share. Over the time how the friendship between Andy and Red develops, it is shown with much normalcy. Andy asks and counsels, Red provides and follows. Even the promise made to Andy keeps Red alive once he was on the other side of the prison walls. It was Hope once again, to see someone he liked, the anticipation of discovering something unexpected while being on the new journey to Zihuatanejo.

There is one character who makes you think what Home is. It's Mr. Brooks, the librarian in the Shawshank prison. Now Mr. Brooks has spent 50 years in the prison library managing it as an old man could and rolling out books to prisoners every night. One day, he is free to go. He walks out of the prison and there he was, finding no sense of belonging in the newly acquainted freedom. He walks and hops on the roads, trying to speed up with the world that has picked the speed of an extra mile or two in last 50 years, working up as a grocery-loader at grocery shop all the while trying to fight renewed fear of living in a small apartment provided by the government. Looking at him in the outside world, i thought to myself - 

We have a wrong definition of Home. For us, it's beside the main road and out of prison. For folks like Mr. Brooks, it is prison, finding peace and heaven in sniffing rustic smell of books, sleeping in a small cell and dealing with prisoners. For us, prison is the outside world. For Mr. Brooks, outside world is his prison. No wonder he tried to commit another crime so that he could stay inside.

And then we have the prison warden. i am forgetting his name but he has not done anything bonzer to be remembered. All he did was to keep Andy up close and sending the only witness to his innocence in heaven (or, hell may be). finally he gets paid handsomely at the end, by his own hand, through a fashionable gun. You can get the idea.

There is also a saying - Not two people read the same book. Again, it applies to movies as well.

What i find in this movie, i shared a piece of it. You may see it altogether differently. Product is same. Lenses are different.

And if you have some time, would you mind sharing a fragment of your landscape? Wish to see if yours is greener than mine. 

Friday, 2 February 2018

Communication at another level.

The post was supposed to be written yesterday because the incident i am about to talk occurred yesterday itself but as you and i both know, it's never too late.

She was busy in cleaning dirty utensils in the sink. The previous night two families were invited over dinner so it was sort of natural to have a couple more ladles, a few more plates and ice-cream bowls to wash. i cringed just by having a look at the load. Imagine how she would do it? Since not all days are equal, she was fine with this too. She who? My house helper or colloquially, my maid. She is new to my house.

Tea was being done on the stove when i struck a conversation with her about her family and kids and life in Kuwait. She said her children live in India while she lives here. Her husband is not doing well by health. So he is unable to add more to the cash flow. She talked about other issues which are important to pay attention and because of which she is here, away from her family, living a life in a foreign country trying her best to earn. Basically, she is struggling to stay afloat. 

'Don't you miss your children?' i asked.

She smiled apologetically. Such a stupid Q. i had asked, after all, adding more salt to her wounds.

'i do, madam but what to do? In India, there is no enough income. Survival is tough! So i work here and send money there. Every day my children ask me when are you coming back, Mumma? What should i say? i have to earn.'

'But they need you. You should be with them. They need you TODAY and if you don't go, they will forget you tomorrow. Then what will be the worth of earning money and sacrificing for them? They will never understand.'

'i know, madam but what to do?' She asserted the same question as to her answer. 'There, i don't have enough money.'

i sighed while stirring tea. It was about to be done. 'So, are you happy?'

'No, madam. i am not. Everyday when i lie on my bed at night, i cry! i miss them so much!'

'Then go to India. You will find some work there. Here in Kuwait, you are neither happy nor earning enough. In India, you will be at least happy being with your children. That happiness will be the backbone of your efforts in finding work. With more efforts, you will survive there. So i will suggest you to go India and be happy, be with your children. Children need their mother the most.'

i strained tea in two cups, one for each of us. 

'You are saying the right thing, madam. i will stay for probably for 1.5 years here and then i will stay back in India.' i nodded and came back to the living room, imaging about the misery she must be going through thinking about her children who live far away and for whom she cries every night. Only a mother knows what it takes to stay away from her child. It takes a piece of her soul every day in order to provide them happiness, comfort and other things.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Warm encouragement by Amandeep Mittal

First things first. Read below one of the recent reviews for my book - The Shadow of Darkness on Amazon.

The book is featured on Book Spotlight on his blog: Confessions of a Readaholic . Click to go there. You may not see it two days from now. It's been put there for a week time.

Amandeep's words are very warm and encouraging largely because he chose to share the positive aspects of his thoughts after finishing the book. i appreciate and respect it totally.

Many thanks to him! And yes. i'll work harder now.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

It's not only her job. It belongs to both.

Last week i was in telephonic conversation with my friend. i don't remember when our conversation was directed into this direction but i do recall we were talking on the concept of sharing the load. To know better about this worldwide concept, i request you to watch this video first.

This video is truly one of the most powerful videos you will ever come across. 

Coming back to the phone call with my friend, she narrated quite an intriguing moment of her daily life. Scrambling up her words roughly, this was what she said,

"We were done with the dinner. Since being in US you don't get house helpers, i was putting back the vessels of left overs in the kitchen. When i returned to took away dishes we had just dined in, my husband came in and tried to take those dishes away. i interrupted saying, 'It's alright. i'll do it.' in exchange to which he said, 

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Let's handle what's needed to be handled: Criticism

People have different choices to respond to a situation. It totally depends upon what makes them comfortable doing it. And when it comes to criticism, you not only have to keep smiling but also have to accept it in positive terms. It's not easy when someone criticizes your work and being an author, it doesn't come easy any less.
When my latest book - The Shadow of Darkness - was put out in open, it was special. When i see the same book lying around the house, i still feel that special feeling has not gone yet. It is still lingering round the corners.
A few reviewers have reviewed my work and some of them have bowled me with their kindness. Even though i know their POVs (Point Of Views) are completely honest and unbiased, it still makes me humble thinking that they chose to look more at the strong aspects of my book rather than focusing on what could be done better. Don't get me wrong. i respect both kind of reviews.
But the real Q. arises when someone has said something about your book which is not true and on the top of it, this POV is out in the public that can lead others to make false assumptions about your work. Well, this is something i did not ask in exchange of ARCs. If you don't like my book, give legitimate reasons but with all due respect, i'll say that do not complain about the absence of those things that are already there, described, and well explained between pages.
So here i am today kicking myself for taking this huge risk - responding to my criticism only in regards to my latest work - The Shadow of Darkness. One by one. Why not analyzing good reviews? Well, what's there to talk about them? They have already validated my work with their fully legal, comprehensive and honest views. All i can do about them is to be happy and look forward working at my next project.
Criticism No. 1
My writing is too simple to read.
Well, in thirty four years of my existence on this earth, i have learned quite a few things. Being simple is one of them. Language is an option for a writer. i'll talk in feminine gender here. She can choose to write simple, vague, complicated, directive, suggestive, descriptive, short, offensive...anything that suits her level of style and comfort. For me, i prefer simplicity over complicated writing. Because my main motto is to get the message of my book across to my readers.
Simplicity is my chosen choice of writing style.
Criticism No. 2
Book cover is too dark.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Poem for my parents' anniversary.

कर्तव्यों की सीढ़ी चढ़ते - चढ़ते
जाने कहाँ छोड़ आये हम खुशियों की ज़मीन
मुस्कुराये हुए तो जाने एक ज़माना हो गया
और लोग कहते हैं वजह भी हैं हम हीं !

रिश्तों के भंवर में घूमते घूमते
सीधी सी ज़िन्दगी भी उलझ गयी
चले थे ज़िम्मेदारियों की बागडोर सम्हालने
पर अपने ही थोड़े बदल गए;

अब नहीं होता,  बस बहुत हो गया !
सहन नहीं होता, बहुत हो गया !
एक पल को ही सही पर कहीं छुप जाते
माँ -बाप के साये में एक बार बच्चे फिर बन जाते !
वही कोमल बूढ़ी उँगलियों को पकडे
बचपन की गलियों में दौड़ आते
थोड़ा सा गिरते, थोड़ा सम्हल आते;

लौटा नहीं सकते समय के चक्र को
तो आगे ही देखना है, मेरे साथी!
सैंतीस साल बीत गए तुम्हारे संग
तुम ही हो मेरी जीवनसाथी ;

ग़म न करो , मेरे हमसफ़र !
रिश्तों के इस भंवर में
ज़िम्मेदारियों के इस समंदर में
मैं हूँ आपका हाथ पकडे
खड़ी आपके पीछे हिम्मत बन के !

साथ जो ग़र है एक दुसरे का
मुश्किल से मुश्किल दौर भी गुज़र जाएगा;
चलो आज एक बार फिर जी लें
थोड़ा हंस लें, थोड़ा मुस्कुरा लें
कल से फिर वही ज़िन्दगी में चलना है
साथ जो हम हैं तो फिर क्या डरना है !

P.S. This poem i have composed as in a small dedication to my parents' special day. They loved it! And i feel, gosh! Is there any other feeling better than making your parents proud? i am just happy they liked it.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Secret of the night

i have felt it; the shift, the change of plans
clubbed over night in deathly silence,
i now know what destiny holds for me
it's all glittery and stars, blinding and beauty,
i intend to embrace it all with elegance and grace
'cause destruction has donned a wicked new face;

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

The evening and the First Step

Remember how they say take the first step and then it becomes easier? Well, they say it right.

Because taking the first step is always the hardest of coming ones.

The late evening i am about to mention belongs to November 2017. i was perched on my sofa. The house was silent. That means my husband and kid were soundly asleep, most possibly waving through pleasant dreams. i, on the other hand, was restless, nervous, and filled with anxiety. 

My book was about to be published and now i had to put the news out. It sounds simple. Like singing your brand new song out loud. Like putting the final strand of parsley on the finished dish. Too easy. Too quick. But only it wasn't. i was afraid, not of the world but of myself. It had been long since i had felt how does it feel when your book comes out. i was just still and blank. 

As i glanced down at the glowing cars and lit shops, my heart was racing. i felt sweat beads right beneath the uppermost layer of my skin, ready to burst out any second regardless of living in the air conditioned house. There was a mildly pounding headache in the picture too. i was curled into myself, like a baby in the womb because i could not stop thinking  - How i am supposed to put the news out? It had taken me quite some time to arrive at this moment and now that i am here, now that it's all done and finalized, how i am expected to do it? 

Sunday, 21 January 2018

When Sunday is no more a holiday and you are a writer

The cycle of reading goes on

i want to write a post here but there is this song stuck into my head since last 15 minutes and every time i come here to type, i play that song once again and listen and then i come back to type but then again i listen the song, finish and then come back only to helplessly watch the cycle repeat itself. Do you know what does the song, that is stuck in your head and keeps playing in a loop, is called? It is called Ear-worm. The word is quite catchy though.

Anyway, let's talk about books! Today i finished Girl Online Going Solo by Zoella Sugg. i am seriously not into teen books and chic lits but a few weeks back i was into the book shop here and saw this Girl Online on discount. The cover looks colorful and vibrant, matching to the story of 17 years old girl. So i bought it. i find books the best articles to decorate my house with. i love seeing books lying around, my guitar resting at one corner and my laptop perched on a table or sofa. These give me a sense of belonging, remind me of my goals and keep me perked up. In short, the best sight to lay eyes on. 

So i was saying i finished GO. As expected, the book can be much more enjoyed by teenagers or  simply, young adults. Penelope Porter is the lead protagonist and the book has two predecessors in the same series to claim. Before GO, i had finished Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. What an awesome book the latter is! i was totally absorbed once i got into it. For the first few chapters, my reading was not organized but soon after, most possibly a miracle, i picked up my old pace where i, if i am in love with a book, do anything to finish the book asap. i read Small Great Things practically in every free minute and even then when i had my face pack on. The author has such fine way of narrating a story that just got under my skin. Now after GO, i again have picked Picoult. Yet to start but i am sure i am about to disembark to a great journey.

Which book did you finish lately? Would you recommend it as my next read?


Buy my book - The Shadow of Darkness - on Amazon

For other Buy Book links, check out the right margin of my blog. Much thanks!

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Get off internet, get a life.

A few days back, i came across this :

These five words are way more killing than the famous three words. They can stop your heart beating in a second while the latter one may take time to do the same. If three words aren't able to - cause hyper tension, a couple of syndromes, sleepless nights, jaywalking, incessant blabbering, birds and stars roaming around head, and stop the world spinning - then these five words definitely can. i know they are pretty effective because i can chant i love you!  for 108 or may be, 1008 times but i don't think i have the courage to say - i am switching off internet - not even for once.

Internet has become like breathing. Once it's out, you get blank! You don't know what to do? Where to go? Whom to chat with? Where to meet? The whole world has only one ramp walk and that's internet. It's impressive seeing how everyone just loves the internet but life is existing beyond that. Yes. That's true. Don't believe me? Okay then. Let me tell you an experiment i have been thinking to do since sometime.

Since almost a couple of weeks, i have been thinking to shut my self down from the internet once in a week. i am still undecided but have been giving this experiment a serious thought. Wouldn't it be healthy to stay off the stress caused by internet for one whole day? Sounds much like a dream, too good to be true, right?

But i did it today. Stayed away from the internet for the whole day except for RTing on Twitter and posting a Hindi article of mine, that has got published this evening, on FB and sharing its snippets on my Instagram. Read it here:

It was relaxing for most of the part. Yes. The habit is not easy to fade away. One moment, you are all over the internet and suddenly, everything stops. You stop. The sudden break causes jerk. It's an uneasy feeling but if the break has happened after a long long tiring journey then it's welcomed. A little discomfort is far better than getting your eyes blood shot, butts aching, numb fingers and mild headache. It was welcomed today. All of it.

Tomorrow, the life will get back to its own routine, the same old tweeting about my new book (did you buy it, btw?), creating interesting post for FB and staying engaged on Insta through out the day. Also, mail exchanges and sharing links, taking care of the reviews, giving interviews, biting nails over current contest...everything will be back but i had my break. And it had relaxed me. It has wooed me enough to finally decide upon a definite day in a week when i can say Good Bye Wifi! for full 24 hours. i need it. Everyone does.

So i'll recommend you to say these five words - i am switching off internet - TODAY! 

Take a break, have a day off. Find life once again. Smile for once not from a joke popping up on the internet but coming out of some real person's lips. It's good for your health. Meet people face to face or over a book. Chat and not tweet. Create moments, share those snippets later. Unfurl good times and then pin them afterwards. Get off internet, get a life.

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Buy my latest book - The Shadow of Darkness on Amazon

For other links, check out the right margin of my blog.

Friday, 19 January 2018

My version of The Judgment Day

It's become a routine lately, writing a post before hitting the bed. My fingers just want to tap for 30 minutes or so in an attempt to create something that can help me with the good night sleep. Writing is soothing and all that theory and facts.

An hour and a half ago, i was glued to my sofa, eyes sticking out in front in horror and dismay, and my heart was pounding just to figure out whether we'd survive the deathly Leo-Beiderman comet attack on earth. Well, it was not actually an attack. The comet happened to be thrown in the earth's orbit and now it was coming with a greeting card. USA was as usual worried. Mr. President was doing his best to keep his cool while addressing the nation but i could feel he must be wanting to be reassured by someone else as well. Some times, you want to be weak and receive all the sympathy flowers and soothing words. But you are stripped off this privilege when you sign yourself as the president of USA (and that is exactly why i am never going to stand up in US elections). Things were deteriorating and hope was about to die. But at the end, everything turned out well and nice as a few brave astronauts already floating in space took the risk at destroying the bigger comet. One from the other smaller twos did hit the earth and cost casualties, but hey! Many were saved as well, if that helps. This way the dying hope survived once again. And that's what makes up for a good movie ending. With people hugging each other, tears rolling down the cheeks realizing they are the fortunate ones getting the second chance at Life, and the happiness flooding the rest of the country sizing up larger than the sea flood that the cheeky smaller comet had hailed earlier, i too heaved a sigh of relief as in i too was about to die. 

Deep Impact. That was the movie i was glued to. Movies such as Deep Impact, 2012, After Earth, Interstellar etc. sets you up on the trajectory path of possibilities and fantasies. i even think sometimes about the day and time when i'd open my big window curtains only to look at the giant sea wave swallowing the city and now rallying towards my house. The wave in my imagination looks pretty hungry. It wouldn't stop easily. Then i think what would i do in such situation. i think i'd grab my family (and passport. You can't help but think of passport first when you are in a foreign country), only if we have time and, well, here is the funny part, would run out of the house as if this move would save me from being the apple pie of the wave. Then i debate on the better option - die inside home or outside? The question looks tougher than any of those my kid's has ever asked. i think harder and then i give up! Why to fret when it's not going to happen? So i stop imagining, refill my lungs with hope and go on to open the curtains. And the hoe survives once again.

Do you like watching such movies? If you do, do you ever go crazy like me imagining what i imagine? If you do then what it is? A giant big wave or an insanely huge dinosaur attack? Aliens' invasion or the earth freezing to the death? Is it earth and sky finally meeting up at the horizon and thus, sticking to each other turning the elliptical globe into a round flat plate? Or we, the humans, have eaten up all the resources throwing ours and the rest species on the brink of extinction?

Wherever your imagination takes you, share. Would love to listen other versions of The Judgment Day. 

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Feminism: Where it needs work?

In the series hashtag Women On The Move organized every Wednesday by Women's Web on twitter, we women were indulged in discussing probabilities of below idea:

                                                               How to raise feminist sons?

Men and women, all are equally welcome to join these weekly sessions.

Bring the word Feminism anywhere and you will be frowned upon, sneered at or may be even face palmed with judgment. And that's exactly why it makes up for a brilliant topic. The concept is highly misunderstood and often taken as an offense/granted when someone says he or she is a feminist. There are multiple layers of myths and misconceptions linked to feminism that demands to be unpeeled off! As a result, we talked.

After an hour long chat, these ideas were bring forth collectively - 

  • Communicate with sons. 
  • The males of the house should start respecting women. Because charity begins at home.
  • Boys should be involved in household chores to understand the nature of women's work.
  • They should utilize media such as books and movies to understand women more.
  • They should not play gender wise. Girls and boys both should play together.
  • Stop using blue for boys and pink for girls.
  • Parents should not select toys gender wise.
  • No silly jokes/gestures, that indicate disregard to any woman, should be allowed to avoid complexities later.
  • Sons should communicate with such men who pay regards to women and understand them. Sitting with own species bring more awareness and broadens the perspective.
  • Household chores should not be divided as what's assigned for girls and what's for boys as much as  when it comes to sports. If boys can play badminton, girls too can play chess and cricket.
  • Make sons responsible

Well, i have tried to put as much of them as i can remember. i am sharing only to spread the knowledge. 

The evening moved forward and i was busy in preparing dinner. Along with rolling out chapatis and cooking veggies in the pressure cooker, i kept thinking about the topic, on 'what else can be done in an attempt to raise our sons into more civilized and open minded personalities'. Two ideas hit me eventually: