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:

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Read! No more excuses!

Among other joys in life, reading tops the list and i am not the only one saying it. Enough research has been done on finding what makes people special happy and not surprisingly, reading seems to have the best spell. How great!

For proof, let me give you the list of Top 15 Hobbies in the world:
  1. Reading
  2. Fishing
  3. Sewing
  4. Listening to music
  5. Bird watching
  6. Wood working
  7. Collecting (coins, stamps, books, antique jewelry, furniture etc.)
  8. Watching television
  9. Golf
  10. Travelling
  11. Shopping
  12. Cooking
  13. Gardening
  14. Spending time with family and friends, and 
  15. Theater

Read. Read. And read.
For me, reading does not come as a hobby. It's one more way of living life, a big sophisticated but personal show to feel the magic of another world. Reading defines my life up to a great extent. Nurture the passion of reading. Because it is worth. Every. Single. Second. 

Therefore, in order to spread this infectious joy, i am sharing some quick fixes to people who do not like to read as well as for those who do not find enough time anymore to pick a good read.

Set reading as priority

If setting up an alarm is the routine, if taking care of laundry, work and family is the routine then why not reading? It does not ask you to move or to make a conversation or running errands. It just wants you to sit for some time and be quiet. Once you put reading in your Top 3 priorities, i am pretty sure you will get your list 100% checked every time.

Find your taste

Reading does not prompt you to pick any book and start it right away. You may stumble on a bad choice only to wake up with a refreshed oath to not to read ever again.

Instead, you need to hop on a mission. To find your taste. It is much like finding the best cake for a sweet tooth or the most titillating spice for savory lovers. Some like fiction (imaginary stories, non-real) and some prefer non-fiction (real stories). Some like thriller that causes goosebumps or some may find horror more appealing. 

There are plenty of genres or categories in books to browse from - historical, mythical, religious, motivational, cookery, spiritual, travel, self-motivation, learning and much more. The best way to find everything at one place, not Amazon...but a library. Library is the perfect place to start. Take the membership and start on the mission TODAY.

Monday, 15 January 2018

8 pointers on How to survive on your own.

How do you define a good time?

When everything is running smoothly, when everything is exactly what you wanted to be, right?

Now let's define a bad time.

When nothing goes in favor, and you feel your legs are tied at one end of the anchor whose other end is tied to the bottom of the ocean. The feeling of drowning to be precise.

If you abhor bad times, well then good times are the ones to blame. Because they have given you the taste of happiness, of how time flies away quickly and how easier it was to breathe every second. With bad times, it is like we are standing on the other side of the mirror where everything is the exact opposite.

So who is the better teacher between the two?

Bad times. Right?! Because they teach you the hardest lessons, because they peel the mask off faces, because they allow you to see the reality. And since we are all dreamers, reality is a salty pie which no one is willing to eat.

Learning process is hard but with few hacks, it can get easier to understand the sinking phase. We can evolve, only if we allow ourselves a chance to deal with the ghost presence called dark times.

Throw a quick glance at 8 hacks


We may all have one primary job but like soups and salads, we have our side kicks too. Find distraction as soon as you feel downward. This will prevent negative sentiments to pile up. Find something that can take your mind off. For example, watch a good movie that can absorb you totally. Read a good book which has a compelling story to tell. Paint or draw, may be. Doodling is a hack proved by the researchers that works as a healer. Go out. Fresh air fills your brain with more oxygen and that's what required to feel uplifted.

Do not push

Saturday, 13 January 2018

5 things that show you have a winner's spirit

Clear eye on the goal

It takes time to identify but once the mist is cleared, your eyes are never off the goal. You not only pay attention towards it but also do the extensive research on What it takes to get it! 

Focus, self-motivation, perseverance, regular practice, discipline, imbibe everything that needs to ease the hurdles and fulfill the dream. 

A circle of chosen few 

It is a very common saying that a man is known by the company he keeps. Think deeper and you'll know why it is such a famous idiom. If your friends have positive attitude, accept your flaws and merits with equal enthusiasm, keep up with the motivation, provide space, believe in development and doing new things, ready to take a plunge for you if asked...these things in surroundings shape you. 

They make you better everyday.

Absorb the failures

An experience is a failure until you call it so. Till then, it's merely an experience, a lesson. One with  an undying spirit will never allow himself to succumb to the failures, disappointments, losses, rejections, lack of resources etc for longer period. These things may keep him down for some time but soon after, he will dust off the negative sentiments, pick up the drive and get ready to bat once again. 

Falling will never be the ending. It'll only be a part of the process. Getting up will always be the end as well as a new beginning.

Friday, 12 January 2018

8 powerful signs to identify Childhood Trauma

Childhood Trauma(CT) - a painful incident taken place in childhood. Its affects can be so devastating that not even the bearer realizes its power. He blames himself for not being able to do better but the reason might be very opposite. It may not be his lack of doing things better but the trauma that he had to endure in the childhood that's keeping him from evolving.

As parents and guardians to our children, it is utmost important for us to learn signs of Childhood Trauma. The painful episode can affect the child in so many ways that many a times, we fail to even see them! Then how can we identify them?

Here are 8 powerful signs that can help you to understand whether a child is suffering from a traumatic episode:

Lack of confidence
The person suffering from CT may lack confidence. Where other people can do tasks without any hassle, the trauma bearer may find it difficult to execute. The lack of confidence triggers to low self-motivation which makes the task look bigger than its real size. The desirable result stays at far.

Staying isolated/away from everyone

If you see a child or a grown up keeping to himself frequently, this can be a sign. Coming out means dealing with the world whereas the trauma bearer may consider the outer world unfriendly. So he prefers to stay indoors or a place where he can stay alone, where he does not have to deal with anyone. Silence, as we can understand, works more as an ointment or healing.

Refusing to play
The traumatic child finds it challenging to mingle. Socializing becomes out of question. If a child refuses to play with others, it means he does not want to share his toys and space with anyone else. Other's presence may look like an intrusion into his little world.
The fear of socializing is known as Agoraphobia. It triggers anxiety, discomfort and unusual behavior.

Fear of indoors and/or outdoors

Have you seen a child fearful of staying at one particular place? The boy does not want to stay home or the girl is constantly itching to come back to home? Does the boy makes excuses to stay at his friend's place? Does the girl give numerous reasons to stay inside?

It's because of the fear of the place. It is called Topophobia - the fear of a particular place. The affected person would like stay away from a place that can easily trigger anxiety and make him uncomfortable.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

As a parent, you need to be braver.

Yesterevening when my kid wanted to play cricket but did not know where, i stepped in, apparently with more courage and invisible armory. There is a pretty place on my floor right outside my doorstep and the sport understandably can not be played inside the house. So i asked him what if we played out on the floor space but he denied vehemently. After all, no one would like to be reprimanded by a neighbor for disturbing his evening time. i insisted and we played. For 15 good minutes i guess. One neighbor sure came out but when he saw a kid playing, he said to continue. It was encouraging.

There was, of course, no intention to disturb anyone but if we, the parents, keep following rules and guidelines all the time, how then can we expect our children to be able to break the ceiling glass one day? If parents keep saying Yes and No as the world says, how our children would change the equation? In order to teach them the formidable lessons of  passion and dedication, as parents, we have to bend some rules first. i stepped out with courage thinking - if any neighbor said not to play, we won't continue but let's hear it first! - and it worked. My kid was glowing with happiness. 

It's the other matter that my right hand had soon started to ache due to tackling leather ball fiercely.

Sharing helps!

The post title is also a quote from my book - The Shadow of Darkness. 

How it came to be? Because the story comforts an ebullient friendship between Sejal and Diya. They are childhood friends. Where for Sejal, this friendship is a perfect escapade from her daily issues (like nightmares and nagging people), for Diya, the bond is moreover about being receptive (welcoming the shifts of emotions). Their friendship is the kind that drags one to the other. 

Like Sejal, you too must have someone with whom you share not only happiness but also the problems. Because let's fact it! Sharing good times is easier than troublesome experiences. So in the same endeavor, i'd like to ask you:

You can pick'n drop your comments below. Keep sharing. 

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Warm wishes from family and friends.

So we asked some of our family and friends to record their best wishes for my latest book - The Shadow of Darkness - instead of conveying them personally. We thought it'd be a good way to freeze their words for inspiration whenever i feel loss at it. So, the same has been shared and i am very delighted sharing the collection. It makes me feel i can go on because i have these wonderful people by my side to look after. 

Monday, 8 January 2018

Sarojini - an inspiring woman

The above quote belongs to my latest book - The Shadow of Darkness. The character in reference to whom this line has been written is Sarojini, an old woman and a widow, living with her son and his family. 

When Sarojini lost her husband - Sujoy, it was, of course, not easy on her. She was devastated for months! As a loving caring wife, she always did her best to be the strongest support pillar for her husband so that their marriage can be called a beautiful home to be in. Unfortunately, one night her dreams and desires are put to an end when the person she loved the most dies. Sujoy leaves her to grieve and loneliness. 

Losing on the husband is a big tragedy for a woman. Not only he is the towering figure for the family for protection but also a practical mind to solve many issues. Tough head but soft at heart. Sure men and women are different but when the husband has this caring nature, knack for his business to expand its wings, always stays protective of his family, the wife sure feels the stab when such beautiful figure is lost. A woman can live alone these days, i agree but a true companionship does not hurt. And that's what Sujoy was for Sarojini, a true companion and a loving husband,

But life does not stop here. As long as you are breathing, you have no option but to live it. It's highly difficult to move on, to breathe through days and sleep through nights. Both become inhumanely impossible and painful. You don't know what to do, how to lead the further steps, where to find the necessary strength and meaning in living, when to stop grieving...

Time makes everyone tough. It challenges you to not to break you but to train you into a bigger fighter. Sarojini too learns a few important lessons on how to live the rest of life. In her vow to find the lost self, she says to herself - 

'If life is meant to be lived with finding a harmony then so be it. I would do it.'

Read more about Sarojini and her inspiring struggle to find peace in The Shadow of Darkness.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

The soothing hug.

It's weekend here. Friday and Saturday. Be it either weekdays or weekends, there is always a rush chasing. For weekdays, it's routine whereas on weekends, it's the desperation to relax. Both the ways, days always go by in a blink.

These days i feel i am growin even more intolerant to the constant running. All i crave is to sit down and have a lengthy luxurious piece of quietness. Now i understand better when i see movie stars having wine in their bath tubs, listening to music and relaxing in the aromatic pool of water. Quietness can be so lucrative that it makes the human go at any length to have it.

It's so tough to afford it, you know. The quiet Me time where you can just sit and do nothing. A cup of tea is appealing so warm sips provide more comfort. Here in Kuwait, there are plentiful of sea beaches. And the way its citizens maintain them, hats off! They really like to keep their city and beaches superbly clean. Whenever i get a chance, i want to walk on the edge of the sea. The crashing of small waves at several points, the restlessness of water, the precision of clarity in it (when you look down, you can actually count stones, pebbles and rocks under it. the water is so impressively clean!), the mild winter, the warmth i get in the hugging jacket while seeing at the horizon where the sky and earth seem to have an eternal meeting...these just take me off my feet and i breathe the freshness, the crispness of the moment. Each one of us has different perspective to absorb the surroundings. i too am no exception.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Review for The Shadow of Darkness

Buy your copy on Amazon 

It is love that outlaws every existing logic.

It happens when you least expect it
the shift comes slowly and steadily
and before you know it,
you have already fallen for it!

It is the light, it's the darkness
it is the suffering, it is the healing,
it's a no wonder yet is the biggest magic,
it is love that outlaws every existing logic.

Buy the book on Amazon

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Early December 31st post

2017 is about to say bye bye giving way to the new year. Like every predecessor, this year too had been the roller coaster in many sense. But it's still not over. One more day is left. The last day. The final call. The Judgement Day. Sounds scary. Only it isn't. After the last drop comes another empty bucket of 365 1/4 days to fill with memories mixed with emotions, faces and what not. Let's not indulge into finding examples here.

Let's talk what i did this evening. We had nice dinner outside at a good restaurant. The weather here is chilly so a reasonably good jacket is required. You'd also like to cover your head to save those precious silky locks from receiving harsh repercussions afterwards. i also travel with gloves. My hands get too cold too soon. What else? You can also carry a good scarf, thick socks, good quality lip balm to avoid chapped lips, rich moisturizer, shoes/boots...i guess this much is enough. 

Post dinner, we walked to the sea beach which was barely 100 meter walk behind the restaurant. It was lovely to walk at night, under the clouded sky where the sun was visible but hardly any star. The mild chattering of people, lights keeping the city awake, crashing of sea waves, footprints and should i rather add messages on sand(such as today we found - i love Dimple - carved on the sand over which my son took the liberty and turned the letter D into P. Now you can imagine the funny transformation). But the best thing i like about such place is the silence that the night has to offer. You  might get tired of walking alongside the banks of the sea but you can never be bored out of the peacefulness of it all. You are there but not there. You are with people but you are still alone. You are alone yet you are accompanied by many. 

You travel in many time zones at once.

Sea beach is one of those places where i would love to take my laptop and write my stories. Imagination runs so smoothly, without the hindrance of Writer's block or anything. Things just flow to you as waves to the bank. Sea is, i guess, the only compensation for leaving India. Bangalore is deprived of such nature's beauty. Rest things you can always find everywhere. 

On sea beach, trying to embrace new year

This is the picture my husband took today. We were talking about how 2017 has been for us so far when i asked him to click me with my arms open. i did it in order to feel the welcome of new year. What better way to do it than striking the signature pose of Shahrukh Khan or Rose and Jack? Open arms are the symbol of letting go of fear, uncertainties, lost chances, forgotten faces, sufferings, trauma, would-have-been happinesses and golden opportunities, worst nightmare, losses... They are also a symbol of accepting the new year with fresh enthusiasm and positivism. 

i am collecting snaps of this year to make a video. i'll certainly share it on my pages. It'd be good to see some of those precious memories who made the year worth, who compensated for the losses and filled the cracks when i failed. i hope the video turns out good and inspiring. Making a video is a humongous task and when i come down to make one, it's not an easy task! My expectations with me is too high. So i don't go only extra mile but a couple of extra miles. That's why my projects take longer time, much more energy and more brain cells than i believe i have. But the result has always been awesome! People like my videos. And i like them for liking my efforts so much.

So this new year, do whatever you want. Just make sure you preserve happy memories before 2018 knock you out with happiness and new opportunities.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

You are stronger than yesterday.

In a way, Sejal was the common link between two worlds that stood poles apart in every sense. 
(Page 25)

The above quote is from my recent book - The Shadow of Darkness (It ends where it was started)

What came into your mind when you read it? Why do you think i posted it here? For my book promotion? No. i posted it here because it's the reality told bravely through a fiction story where Sejal leads and loses, wins and performs. People affected by a traumatic episode in their childhood years not only struggle to live a life but they constantly thrive to bring meaning to it. They look for a stronger purpose than the mere survival everyday. In my words, they are fighters with brave souls.

Some might say Sejal is my lead character and that is why i talk her as a fighter. Nope, once again. She is a fighter and that's why she is my protagonist. She is beautiful and intelligent, sensitive and brave, caring and friendly. She has the colors of a good human being with downsides of being the very same. She loses confidence, nightmares haunt her; she likes to lick her wounds before anyone can see them, she looks for support instead of being brave all the time (which is fairly impossible!), she needs love in order to find herself...The Shadow of Darkness is her story told in an untold manner.

Childhood trauma has a long lasting affect. There are fair chances of it outgrowing the person. He continues to live in the particular piece of past from where there is no escape. The episode keeps playing in a loop until he is exhausted, wishing he could do something to erase that memory or direct in a different direction. The exhaustion comes largely because of the inability to do something, anything about it but when the last kick of failure puts the final bolt, it is done...until the cycle repeats itself all over again.

When life seems challenging enough to lead, i tell myself to take it one day at a time. One day until it's all over. Traumas take their time to binge on the person. It makes the person fragile, introduces a new low every day. What you think is impossible to handle today, well then, hello! Tomorrow you may have a bigger challenge to face and worse, deal with. 

And then you know you were stronger the previous day. Because you survived alright to face the next sun rise, the bigger challenge. And somewhere, this weird realization, gives you strength. If i survived yesterday, i might as well be able to do it again. All i need is a sun set. 

The final teaser of The Shadow of Darkness talks about the same - the sun sets, high tides, trauma, the questions we ask everyday to ourselves, and the kind of love we need to overcome them.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Love 'not' at the first sight.

"You don't know me, Sejal. But I hope you do                                                                                                             Very soon!" Kartik to Sejal.

The book cover and two characters placed side by side do not make much of a mystery, do they? You can easily figure out that Kartik and Sejal are the lead protagonists of my next book: The Shadow of Darkness. 

K and S are very special to me, not because they are my creations but because they have developed themselves along with the story. If i wanted K to do this, he refused and did the opposite. If i asked S to go there, no! She would go nowhere near 'there'. At the end, i gave up and let them carry on to grow, to become what they wanted to be. And i guess they have done a nice job. A recent review says the same.

But unlike every other love story, K and S tick off each other at every chance they get. Neither of them is willing to settle down. There is always a dagger drawn out, ready for the battle. There is always this desperation to chase each other in the conversations to prove who's superior. You see. K and S are not into each other since the beginning. It takes quite a time. 

But how did they meet for the first time? And where? Why the dagger is always out? Why none of them can settle and be comfortable in the other's presence? Where does their chemistry leads the story? And what happens later on that made them bring together? Did they also draw a happy ending besides their personalities or....?

Well, if you need answers, you have to read the book. 

Monday, 18 December 2017

The limitless boundaries of a writer.

Writing is cathartic.

Writing is beautiful.

Writing is ethereal.

Writing touches you deeply, wraps you in a sheath of comfort.

Writing lets you be when you wish to scream but are unable to do so.

Aren't above the things people usually say about writing? That it is magical? that the pen is mightier than the sword? That the writers turn thoughts into action?

True it is, whatever you pick. Writing is about making the words prance around sloppily with happiness. It is allowing the words to ache instead of you. It can magnify the slightest of pains and dwarf the biggest of achievements. Writing is like building the monument of events, firing the plot with crackers of interesting set of characters who amaze you with the sight ever so blinding, with the feelings ever so heavenly. Writing indeed is magical!

Writing is not only beautiful but it also makes the pen holder feel beautiful too. Words let you express. Words allow you to expand when you feel shrinking into a dot. Characters speak on your behalf while your emotions remain anonymous to the world. When you write, it works as an outlet and whether it is not fully guaranteed that you'll feel better at the end, but it is sure a signed off treaty of peace that you become better at handling things by the time you put that last dot at the end tunnel of that last sentence. You no longer remain the person you were before the drop of the first word. You have grown, like into a toddler from the infant, into a tree from a seed, into a fertile land after the heavy rainfall. You grow into the desired result from a mere casualty of the battle.