I was like Alice in Wonderland, a tale of eyes wide open gushing on this discovery called Orkut. True, I couldn’t live without it, rushing to check out scraps, discovering an online world opening itself, offering countless possibilities of making friends across the globe. It redefined self super stardom on the internet world. More homely and simple, Orkut offered a human face for interaction hidden by the net. A tale of connecting with old chums, scattered in different parts of the cities or world, at a time when college was almost over. Move over sms-es, phone calls or letters, it was the super cool thing to do to be connected.
World Gratitude Day 2014 is celebrated and wish you, folks the same. This post is written as part of the prompt hosted on http://writetribe.com/world-gratitude-day-2014/ by vidyasury.com
World Gratitude Day 2014
Grateful I am to wake up to the morning and afford the steaming cup of coffee and food;
Thanking my stars for learning so much from life and feeling fulfilled as I hark back from a past,
the novice that I was;
As a human being, I am grateful for the kind of people who entered my life, changed me as a person and gave me so much;
I feel rich when I see so much love and happiness spread around my existence;
The first time I fell in love, I was the luckiest person on earth,
Thankful I am to the stars who gave me a heart capable of feeling the music of the heart;
Whenever I seek help from friends and plain strangers, my request was seldom turned down;
The bloggers who write guests posts for me, the celebrated authors who gracefully accept my requests for interviews,
makes me jump with happiness and joy;
They make my day and I am touched by such kindness;
Grateful I am to my parents who sacrificed their small joys to make me someone today,
capable of understanding the ways of the world and a lovable human being;
Life is a roller-coaster ride, we win some battles of life and loses others,
Grateful I am!
To always getting up when I am knocked down by life and never losing the urge to fight;
The world is a cornucopia of love, abundance, disappointment and love,
let’s seek and find happiness, joy with abundance,
for there is no dearth of positive energy and vibes.
This post is written as part of Wednesday prompt hosted on writetribe.com, ‘I, Me and Myself’.
Write Tribe Wednesday Prompt 17th September:
I, me and Myself
Myself, Vishal, suffering from the syndrome of forgetfulness and tale of missing stuffs. Would you imagine that I misplaced few important stuffs during the past two days? I am getting old, Me feel. First, I am trying to recollect things in the right lobe of my head. I mean, there must be pointers to remember where I place stuffs that miraculously disappear in this I, Me and Myself world.
I woke up on Tuesday morning to realize that I cannot find my diary. I’ve turned the room and table upside down to lay my hand on this treasure trove called diary. After all, it’s not some miniature object like the pen drive that may have been slipped under stack of newspapers, books or magazines. The diary is the size of a book that should be visible on the table, after all. I remember taking the diary in the bag to meet a friend in his office on Monday since I had to send an urgent fax and later went to the bank for withdrawal. One possibility is that I may have left the diary at my friend’s office. I left an sms, asking them to check if the diary is left lying in their office.
Today, I woke up and had a smoke but the I, Me and Myself misplaced the lighter. Another tale of forgetfulness syndrome. Come on, the lighter should be lying, somewhere in the house or on my way to work, I may have dropped it, somewhere. But, till the time, I reached office, I didn’t smoke at all. So, there is no way that these objects are flying from one place to another to play havoc with me. Surely, it’s no tale of Placebo Effect.
What can better describe I, Me and Myself than Big Boss 8? Yeah! I’ve been watching the show for three consecutive days and I may get hooked to the show watching participants under house arrest. Celebrities jumping on the band wagon to resurrect their fading careers and creating controversies to be in the lime light and, eventually, winning the show. We shall see the real self of the celebrities on the show! Their anger, crazy antics, drama, ego and what’s not on display for the public to show. Some will be too much of themselves, feeling bad, that fellow inmates don’t find them beautiful or who hates whom or who is having a soft corner for who,. The tears of narcissists and drama to show the world who they are! After all, it’s not just a syndrome but attention-seeking behavior. It’s all about me and nothing else, matters. Like my favorite BB contestant and Lady Gagga-yish, Diandra Soares has painted her hair green but dunno whether it’s for the show but she truly lives up to the image, I, Me and Myself. Move over selfie, Facebook updates or 140 words tweets, inmates gonna rob the limelight and crush fellas on their way. After all, Big Boss is all about I, Me and Myself.
But then, aren’t we all narcissists trying to prove something about our identity, be it social media, TV or real life. I agree that, at some point in life, I am so full of myself as an individual. I was so much hooked to FB that I decided to de-activate the account for some self-detox. I don’t intend to be back soon and enjoying the ME time. It’s been more than one month and it’s an exercise that I intend to do every year. You dare to be different? What are the odds?
I, Me and Myself
We love rom-coms, don’t we all? When a new author woos us with a dash of freshness by sketching relatable characters that remain with us, we feel connected to her. There are numerous authors on the Indian scene but there are some whose writings stay with us for a long time and give us a life time memories. One such author, is Ruchita Misra whose The (In) Eligible Bachelors made me smile, jump with joy and laugh like crazy. In fact, she won over the heart.
Today, I am pleased to host Ruchita Misra on the blog whose latest book, I Do, Do I! published by Harper Collins India which is set rolling on the market in September. She is an incredible talent whose creative words will make your heart long to fall in love. She re-defined romance in her first book and there are loads of expectations with her latest, I Do! Do! which I am sure will be a running best seller on the market. Woohoo! The big interview of the one & only best selling writer in town, Ruchita Misra.
You can order for I Do! Do I! on http://www.amazon.in/I-Do-Ruchita-Misra/dp/9351363325/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411320817&sr=1-1&keywords=ruchita+misra
Who is Ruchita Misra?
Born in Lucknow, Ruchita Misra is a triple gold medallist from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Delhi. Her first book, ‘The (In) Eligible Bachelor published by Rupa & Co. in September 2011 that made it on The Hindu’s bet seller list for 11 months. Zee News and Uttar Pradesh (UP) Government, in an acknowledgement of the achievement awarded, Ruchita the ‘Awadh Samman’ in 2012. Her second book, ‘I Do! Do I?’, published by Harper Collins India, is set to be released in September, 2014.
Ruchita has been living and working in London for the last 5 years.
Ruchita enjoys travelling, reading, writing, gardening, baking and painting. She blogs at www.smilethesmile.blogspot.com
INTERVIEW: Ruchita Misra
‘I Do! Do I has the warmth that comes from romance': Ruchita
1.When I finished The (In) Eligible Bachelors, the first thought that popped in my head was, ‘Move Over Chetan Bhagat’. Did you expect your first book to woo the hearts of readers and become a best seller?
Thank you J
I had this fantasy that my book would be on the best seller charts. It was just that, a fantasy, just as you fantasize about winning the lottery or about Shah Rukh falling madly in love with you- you know it won’t really happen. That this happened was a blessing and I deeply grateful to the readers who made this possible.
2. The (In) Eligible Bachelors brought a certain freshness and re-defined rom-com coupled with hilarious writing to Indian English Literature? Are you anywhere close to your main character, Kasturi?
I don’t know, because Kasturi, for me, is a real person I know very well. A person with hopes and ideas (mad ones though), fears and her own battles. However, people who know me well and have read TIB, insist that Kasturi is a lot like me. They say they can imagine me saying and doing all the things that Kasturi says and does. I am therefore, forced to think that Kasturi is an extrapolation of an aspect of my character. I can be very melodramatic and little bit crazy with very close friends (only) and I think Kasturi is that generally- mad and dramatic.
3. Your latest offering is I Do! Do I? What it’s all about and for sure, you must be aware of the huge expectations after the best-selling, The (In) Eligible Bachelors?
It is fun take on a couple’s journey from ‘Yes’ to ‘I Do’. I like to call it a masala entertainer! It has a lot of laughs, drama, more drama, talks about love and friendship. It really is the book version of a Bollywood masala movie.
In fact, it picks up from where TIB left and yes, it is again the story of Kasturi, Pitajee, Purva and Anu. I just hope that I have done justice to it.
4. You’ve been a blogger and belong to the horde of engineers jumping to blogging. Was writing always your passion and did you always wanted to become a celebrated writer?
I have always been writing and that is what I want to continue doing; I think I write so that I can stay sane and cannot not write. I started blogging at my brother’s suggestion and have been doing so now for 9 years! For me it is important to write. Whether I become a celebrated writer or no is for the universe to decide, I will simply keep telling stories.
5. Where do you get the inspiration of sketching characters from? Are they close to the mango people we meet in real life?
I do not know…typically my books begin as a few scenes in my head. There is something about that image that stays and I need to know more. To do that I have to start building the characters and begin to think about how they got there. More often than not, I get totally wrapped in the story and find it difficult to come out of that world into the real one. Writing, for me, is a very organic process, it happens most naturally. Story telling is like breathing. (Mostly) effortless.
6. How do you see the market for romance in the future and can someone survive solely by making a career in scripting novels in India?
I think most people enjoy a nice, fun romance and till such people exist, the market remains. I have a full-time job in London and if I were to be honest, it is my job that pays the bills. Writing is just for me and my sanity J
7. How long it took you to write I Do! Do I! How would you describe the entire process of weaving characters into words, detailing and drafts?
It took me about 6-8 months to write IDDI but I wrote 2 drafts before that and that will explain the 3 year gap between my two books. The other books just did not work for various reasons and maybe one day I will go back to them. I signed my contract with Harper Collins in October last year and we have been working on the edits and cover since. Yes! Almost a year for edits and cover! The process is long and can be quite painful (when you are red-eyed at 2 a.m and staring at your laptop while on a holiday, it can best be described as painful) but it is all worth it in the end!
8. Do you face the writer’s block and how do you overcome it?
There are days when I just don’t want to write and I don’t. Because it is not my job, I do not like to work under pressure here. I write when I truly want to and I think that is why I enjoy doing this so much.
9. Finally, a piece of advice you would like to give to new authors who want to follow your footsteps?
Persistence and disciple are keys in this field. You would be surprised that it is these two qualities I am pointing out to in a field as creative as this, but it is true. Just keep at it. Do not give up. If you have seen the dream, you have the capability to fulfil it. Never forget that!
10. How much time you devote to writing? Final words to your fans on the latest offering.
I work on my books pretty much every day. However, that is simply because I really enjoy writing. Sometimes, I start writing at 10 p.m and do not stop till 3 a.m in the morning and, on other days, I might end up with just a few words.
Final words- please go out, buy the book and read it! I really hope that the readers will enjoy the book! It has the warmth that comes from a romance. It will have you in splits and it might make you tear up. Happy reading!
‘Jhalak Dikla Jaa, Jhalak Dikla Jaa, Ek Baar Aaja.” I woke up from the slumber as the Deccan Queen whooshes past the crowded Dadar Station during the night. The coarse voice of the street urchin woke me up from the deep slumber. I tender the innocent face five bucks to get rid of her. It took me quite some time to recover from the deep slumber. I checked the time. It’s 10.30 p.m. Oh! My God! We still at Dadar. I realize that I fell asleep on the berth and it took the child to ape Himesh Reshammiya’s voice to wake me up after 30 minutes.
I order for tea and Vada Pav in the train and admire the scenery unfurling itself, yellow and black cabs on the highway, as the train slowly rattles away from Mumbai as we leave Panvel to head towards Pune. It’s three hours journey yet it feels it’s gonna be a long and eventful journey. Train journeys are always like that. I love the feeling of wind brushing past my face and hair. It’s bliss sitting at the window seat, observing kids jumping with joy and waving hands from their modest huts. It makes me wonder what it’s like to live in a humble shanty. I plug on the ear phone, listening to the latest Hindi chart busters on Radio Mirchi to whine away my time and enjoying the breeze. AC coaches never work for me like traveling in trains does. And, I bought the seat for 10 bucks from some guys cleaning up the train since I didn’t book the ticket. Lucky! You bet!
What can someone do in a train when you are facing a beautiful girl whose eyes is buried in a Sydney Sheldon book? Attempting a conversation over book and train? Nah! I don’t have the guts to do so. I am happy enjoying my journey and nobody shall come between us. Mein aur mere Deccan Queen. The train alighted at Lonavla and I had time to buy Chikki from the seller who passed to me through the window. Suddenly, it started raining heavily. The beautiful girl was over-enthusiastic to shield herself from the rain and pulled the window. She smiled at me, telling, I am gonna deprive you of the joy of the rain. How wicked can someone be! I shudder at this thought. I pretend to close my eyes.
I order another cup of steaming hot tea to enjoy the weather and the urge to smoke is hitting me like tornado. I walk towards the door and look furtively around to see if nobody is watching. I sit on the stair and lit the Classic Mild cigarette. I’ve just done an unlawful act inside the chugging train, surrounded by the hill at Khandala. The best feeling is that you took a risk and didn’t get caught by the railway guys.
Finally, Deccan Queen reaches Pune station. It’s time to pick up my luggage and move off the train, my life line and love. We’ve been together for six years, swearing allegiance to each other and jumped at the sight of each other. It’s past midnight and walk off the platform to hunt for a rickshaw, ever ready to fork out the double. After all, those guys charge half meter after midnight, meaning that I’ll pay 75 bucks. Anything, for an awesome Mumbai-Pune train ride.
This post is written for my love of trains and the journeys undertaken between Mumbai and Pune in the second class compartment. It’s influenced after I read Anupama Sharma’s anthology Railonama. It’s the first of many and decided to share my rail experiences with all of you.
Sneezing my way to heavenly bliss,
the cough engulfing the mind and body to reach soaring level of weakness;
The body is heavy and unarmed as the fits is injecting shock on the mind;
Restless and impatient,
I am pinning for better days and contenting myself,
Tis too shall pass!
You name it, you get it!
fulfillment is a luxury of sort as the mind tries to be happy,
reasoning that there shall be better days;
Negativity is creeping in as I sit in a familiar place that has turned its back on me;
Futile attempts to wane away negative vibes.
Yet! This was the place that gave me bundle of happiness and joy;
One can never be happy in a job filled with unhappy emotions, a life we force to live,
thinking compromise is the way,
coz happiness doesn’t lie in coming to terms but living life on our own terms.
The Boob-y confession: I’ve been a regular reader of TOI, right from my student days in Pune and Mumbai and till now, I regularly surf their website looking for hardcore news. Wait! Did I say hardcore news! Should have said, hardcore soft porn? Okie, it’s my inflated ego that I keep exaggerating stuffs. I feel squeezed like the orange, taking on TOI, being a journalist based out of India. Yet! I cherish (ed) the aspirations of working for the prestigious Benett and Coleman group, one day. Don’t take me seriously! I am no sexual bigot, it’s just that I am hallucinating with this post.
TOI has been my favorite newspaper and I was in awe of them, owing to their high standard of journalism and the kind of human-cum-feature stories they would come up with in the not-so-distant-past. But, now! I am not very sure about that. Now, I understand why accusations of pen pushers and whistle blowers are directed with a punch against my tribe. The OMGs! Actress have sex in car, show boobs, showcase assets is a matter of laughing-stock. I mean, seriously! Is that feature or news in the first place! I wonder whether I am in the right profession!
Entertainment! Seriously! Deepika’s cleavage show! Guys, are you serious when your EQ is all about the lady’s cleavage. And, the country I am based in, I fork 25 bucks to get a late copy of Sunday Times shipped from India, which is sold for five bucks. Am I a fool to fork out five times more money to get a late copy of my ‘favorite’ newspaper? It makes me shudder when you defend and justify yourself that it’s a compliment to Deepika. It’s downright sexist and it doesn’t make ‘news’ sense to me. It’s not even sensationalism and you’ve gone to an extreme step by living up to the adage, ‘sex sells.’ It’s not even that but a scathing attack on the dignity of a professional woman who is proud of her femininity. Mind you! Being comfortable in one’s body, doesn’t mean someone is indulging into skin showing as the newspaper is trying to portray but rather she is expressing pride in who she is. She is proud of her body, but,ToI, you make it look so cheap.
Deepika served you right when she placated, Yes! I am a Woman, I have Breasts and a Cleavage. You Got a Problem?! Don’t Talk about Women Empowerment when You don’t Know How To Respect Women. Deepika Padukone deserves and commands respect for taking a stand against something which is demeaning and humiliating, to say the least. It’s so unfortunate that many women in the film and fashion industry face such kind of cheap thrills under the name of journalism. Sorry, it’s not. Before going to print, one should have checked the facts and quality of news.
It pains me to say that TOI is going the down slide when we see such stuffs appearing as news. Not so recently, someone wrote something sexist in the name of entertainment, ‘advantage of women being a virgin till they marry.’ It’s another thing after protests that the story was removed. But, the damage was done. Sad that the paper with the biggest circulation in the world has reached this stage. I am tempted to ask, ‘What’s gone so horribly wrong?’ Is there no such thing as editing and news filtering, with sub-editors being the last line of a newspaper’s defense?
Objectification!You name it, you get it! The latest victim today is SRK ‘We don’t go into frenzy seeing SRK’s abs.’ Mind you, I am no prudish and know that some people enjoy picking up a mag seeing glamour and sexy pictures. But, seriously, this is not even glamour but an act of over selling yourself. Surely, you are not that desperate to sell your newspaper since your office is not housed in some dingy corner down the road. It’s no standard of journalism. Let’s not speak about ethics. I feel a shudder down my spine since I have seniors whom I respect a lot and who made careers at TOI and one of them is a respected columnist. But! But! such sexism cannot be tolerated. Good that someone took the cause of not just the females but males in the industry. Yet, sometimes back, Aishwarya Rai’s Karva Chauth was breaking news. Or years down the road, Amitabh Bachchan’s family boycotted the Filmfare Awards when one of your sister company, Mumbai Mirror, published an untrue story about Aishwarya Rai suffering from stomach tuberculosis and therefore cannot conceive. It’s slanderous against woman! The irony was a refusal of apology and the rare feat is repeated in Deepika’s case, four years’ later.
Nowadays, I prefer to read Hindustan Times who has upheld its standard of journalism, features and entertainment. Hope ToI will pick up the thread where they left or may run the risk of being sunk into oblivion with the adage, ‘Has-been newspaper with high standard’. It will break my heart to see ToI going down the road like that. I want the good old Times of India which made me rush to hold it in my hands, enjoying a cup of coffee on a lazy Sunday.
Or else! I’ll prefer a pirated copy of Akshay Kumar’s Entertainment, any day. Let’s skip the booby trap ToI and cleavage show. Certainly, it doesn’t honor our profession as journalists.
With care, love and genuine concern
Aap ka Shubbh Chintak
Railonama, unforgettable train stories
Genre: Anthology of travel
Editor: Anupama Sharma
Publisher: Good Times Books
I’d call it a religious devotion of various emotions, binding the hearts together like strings of the guitar, in this amazing train adventures in India. Indian Railways always fascinated me to no end and I absolutely love the rattle of trains, sitting by the window, admiring the scenery and observing people’s behavior. Railonama is the collection of human emotions, travelling from one end to another, in India where various authors put in together their hearts to tell stories witnessed where plain strangers bond over food, children delight in playing the game of romance and where hearts meet and converge. Railonama is lyrical, poetic, romantic but strike a chord with one’s heart.
Railonama is compiled by Anupama Sharma who, herself, is fascinated by travel across India and brought together several authors who told their tale of experiences of sitting in the train, to make memories of a life time. It’s poetry in motion, unfurling like magic at times and competently written in such a way that makes one live the journey of the protagonists. The Boy with the chocolate eclairs by my good friend Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan beautifully captures the emotions of two small children, exchanging the goodies and brings a certain freshness and delight during the journey. A cute story that touches the heart and brings back the innocence of childhood. Varsha Halabe’s My Love Affair on Wheels is a sensitive tale woven that will remain with you for a long time and shows that humanity can be redefined during train journey where plain strangers can become the perfect friends. It’s a story that I can relate with and almost brought tears to my eyes how human bondage surpass everything in a train journey. Francois Juneau’s A train trip in the land of extremes is about love and memories which shows that at the end of the day, life is all about two hearts longing for comfort and emotional warmth. Anupama Sharma’s A slice of Apple is all about human bonding and sharing the small joys of life with plain strangers in a journey that makes memories of a life time. It’s not easy to find joy in life but a small act of kindness can bring hope to humanity. We may find our destination in train journeys where we open the self to the vast horde of humanity. A slice of Apple is one story, beautifully expressing human emotion, will stay with you forever.
Railonama is not just an anthology but a beautiful journey during the various train journeys the writers undertook to describe how their life changed over hours, days and nights. I felt like living this journey along with them. This is what made Railonama click with me. It’s pure ecstasy and human happiness. I’ll give Railonama 4.5 out of five for extracting the best by pouring hearts out. It’s an ode to joy and happiness. You cannot afford to miss this beautiful and creative work.
If you haven’t traveled by rail, you haven’t really experienced India in all its forms and emotions. Make sure you grab the book and trust me, it will stay with you forever. It’s a real gem. Railonama is prompting me to tell my train experience in a brand new post. Railonama, a must read for all train lovers.
This post is written as part of 100 Words on Saturday Prompt hosted by http://writetribe.com/20-quotes-about-writing/
‘The Writing Dilemma’
I vow to stop writing forever and throw away manuscripts and newspaper columns bearing by-lines. I am shattered and just deleted my blogs. After all, I am not cut off for writing after the hate mails, slanderous attacks on my mighty pen. I penned my resignation letter which I hand to Madam editor after she shows me the hate mails on my latest Sunday column. She tears off my resignation letter that leaves me flabbergasted. She flings a print out on my face, ‘that’s better’ :
If you can’t annoy somebody, there is little point in writing.
― Kingsley Amis
Our lips gently stroke each other,
before kissing passionately putting all boundary to rest.
She thrust her sexy leg on my chest,
pushing her bosom forward.
A dash of adrenaline seeps through my body as she untied her blouse,
twisting her lip and biting my ear.
Caressing her naked body from top to toe,
I zero on her navel, kissing her voraciously.
Her lusty eyes invite me to make love to her in the fire of passion.
Nothing on earth could douse the passion as we explore zones that one wouldn’t dare to go.
We are burning in hell, satisfying each other’s carnal desires and biting each other in full swing.
I dreamed of making love to her, drawing me to her like magnet.
Getting into each other and enjoying the spasm of painful desire is heavenly bliss.
Lying naked on the bed, our fingers tweaked into each,
as the hearts reflects on the fulfillment of our desires.
We made love as if its doomsday.
Soon, our love-making session became a routine,
our body craved for each other.
There shall be no love between each other,
but elements of fire and lust.
Exploring each other, kissing and becoming one in the heat of passion.
The scent of our bodies gravel towards the mystery of human emotion we couldn’t control.
Our end neared but we couldn’t see the destruction.
It was our moment of hell.