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Beneath her feet


Bending on,

he gently caressed her flawless feet,

kissing her toes,

he didn’t want her feet soiled on the mud,

feels like a Queen,

she’s the mistress,

mastering the intimate game,

unquenched thirst,

none shall hold her back,

quest for freedom,

straddling away,

from everything,

 past scars,

love,

yes it pains.

 shorn from emotional turbulence,

 they kissed a moment of eternity,

she walked naked on the sand,

 into seamless water, riding like crescent on the waves.

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Novella: Hot on wheels (15)


Chapter 15

Splaying on the bed, Hardik twisted her curls into his fingers and rubbed her face with his hand as if applying an anointment, she guffawed, “What are you doing?” “Just loving the caress, don’t you?” he asked. She lisped, “As if you are not enjoying. How do you do that? Tickling my face and running your hand. Orgasmic climax, hai na.”

Geet inched closer to him and gently caressing his hand, taking it on her soft waist, held tightly as if it’s a teddy he doesn’t want to part with. He felt an electric rush running deep like feverish temperature and tries to control his urge. “Feeling something inside…let it be. Don’t push them away,” she teased. Geet slowly unlocked her fingers and twirled her hands on the edge of his jeans pressing on his private. “I knew that…you were getting hard inside. It’s okay. Just my waist arousing you.”

Hardik tried not to resist and pointless denying his arousal in holding her waist. It gave him the hots. He held tightly to her waist, biting into her ear, kissing her nape and a stroke of hair planted on his lip. “Ouch! This shit feels so good,” she lit the roll.

“Which one is better?” he lisped.

“I prefer the roll, not your lip,” she turned around. Lips melted and stroking each other, tongues curled into a maelstrom running like steam. A short interlude like in the movies and a wine bottle waiting, frothy sensation on mouths feeling like an aphrodisiac. “Better than kissing,” he let off. “Agree,” she quipped, “Except that I’d prefer wine over you after sex and not the cigarette.”

His fingers pressed on her neck. She jerked her neck up and down. Fingers pressed on the back shoulder, pulling her off the bra strap with his tooth and hands moving on her back. She faked the moans, “Ouch! Oh! I wanna more. Give me what I want…ooh…aah,” before bursting into a seductive laugh.

Hardik didn’t utter a word and intentionally pressed his palm on her neck, almost strangulated her. “Ouch! It hurts fucker,” she protested. “Do that again, bitch. I gonna kill you for real,” he pressed his tooth.

“Dude, you are really sounding now like Dhirubhai Ambani whom the Government screwed for real. And I ain’t some Kingfisher model mistaking you for Vijay Mallya. Is it some sexual frustration and not liking these tender, soft moments?” she placated him.

He moved his hand away from her shoulder, massaging the neck and pressed her head, twirling her curls into his hand, asking, “This is better than the neck.” She smiled seductively, “Totally dude. You still didn’t tell why you were plotting to strangle me. Is it your idea about BDSM?”

“Arre na, I don’t get ejaculation pressing your neck. Your fake orgasm, man and you think I am the unphunny fuck,” he sniggered. Geet turned around and pulled his hair, tickling him on the hairy chest. He pulled away from her, “Stay away. Don’t spoil my hair.” It gave her wings and pressed on his body with t-shirt on, “Oh! My thinny weeny teddy getting all worked out and telling not to spoil his hair and all. I own you and cannot do or say what I want. What? You need listen to the mistress, my little slave,” she pressed her knee on his chest. “Are you hurt, my chocopie, tell na? “ She pressed harder on his chest and pressing knee on his stomach. “I wanna wolf you, my kissie kissie munchie burger.” He almost choked, “No! Not hurt.” He lost his voice. She collapsed on the other side of the bed and panted.

“What do you say? We should do it more often and actually better than rainy fuck. Me on top and you gasping for breath,” she whispered.

Hardik wheezed, “Hey! Forget about all the full clad orgasm and for fuck sake, we are not some sanskari God and Goddesses. You are such a perv woman. How did you create this pagdi guy, imagining him to be your ex and new fiancée?” he cackled. She hit him lightly with her hand. The garrulous laughs didn’t stop.

“It’s just that you didn’t notice. Not pagdi but the condom you’ve put the last time with strawberry foamed flavor on top. I thought you got the scent. Just saved it, dude.” Geet made the perfect comeback.       

“You know one thing?” Geet winced with a pause in her voice. “Had we not known each other before that and meeting you in college only, perhaps we would never be together, forget about saying Hi to you. I would probably wonder what kind of weirdo you are…I love my chubby cheek weirdo. So cute my Punchu?”

“Punchu, what the fuck is that,” he pretended to be offended.

“Arre, punchbag!” she smiled.

“And, me pursuing you and getting rejecting several times, giving you blank calls and messages in college,” he doled out.

“Haha! Ya go on with this zero fuck list…m already hitting a climax with our imaginary second life in campus,” Geet simpered.

“Tell me something, na,” Geet egged on him, “Is there any girl from class that you would love to date or making mad love to, apart from me.”

Hardik was taken aback by this question like many guys hating to confess in front of the one. “Remember that girl in class, always wearing hippie jeans and playing with earrings?”

She became curious and jealous at the same time. “Kaun? Divya!”

“Arre nahin re. The other one who would always come late and sit behind Divya, hiding her face away from Economics teacher…hint the nautanki wali. She is also from Mumbai…Dadar I think!!

She tossed her head, right to left, pretending to unaffected and felt heartbeats, wondering whether he had some action. Geet pretended to be brave, “I mean how would I know! You just took me to Divya and now some other chick…who is this nautanki wali and that too who stays in Dadar. I mean, Dadar is fucking huge and crowded in Mumbai, man!” It skipped her mind hovering on that female. Right now, Geet wanted to murder her.

“Who is she?” he coaxed him into spelling her name.

“Who?”

“Aree wohi na. Woh woman you told about just now. I mean other than me,” she pretended not to be unfazed. The trick worked big time. She was shaken and behaved abnormally as if someone sprinkled chilli sauce in her drink. Geet would soon be spitting fire on him. He was enjoying this abnormal behavior, getting hyper and bout of red on her face. An idea struck in his mind, He gotta act fast. Should he or not?

He took a risk and took the game forward, flipping a mobile showing her a hot chick she clicked picture on saree day. Both of them stood close to each other and holding a rose. “This one,” Geet almost jumped. “You had some scene with that bitchy woman,” she was aghast. Hardik simply nodded. Geet stormed out of the bed and kicked the bin. She was shaking and lit a cigarette. I really need a drink, right now. She poured herself a whisky.

Geet came back inside the room. She was composed and told, “Let’s party next Saturday. It’s alright. I am telling you.” Hardik was surprised at the split personality.

Love

V

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antidote called love


Flapping wings,

soaring in the jet sky,

when knees go weak,

gyrating to music,

is sleep’s lullaby,

a child’s energy,

my swan song,

craving for the unquenched,

the seamless enthusiasm,

reminder you shall not go old,

push those steps,

ressembling my last,

for love is the anti-dote,

to everything and anything,

adrenaline rush,

always longed for,

moving mountains and seas,

let the heart break,

bruises moving the soul,

battered and bruises,

shall not be a tragedy,

unfurl a new story,

leave behind the past scars and disappointment,

abandon painful memories,

tis alright,

a voice tells.

With Love

V

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Novella: Hot on Wheels (14)


Chapter 14:

“I am getting married. I am leaving Mumbai for good and will continue college there…Mithibhai, Xavier’s or Jai Hind, something,” Geet nonchalantly says while rummaging through clothes in her wardrobe and flung them on the luggage bag unfolding open on the bed.

“What? Are you crazy? Last time, you run away from the engagement and fought with uncle and aunty before coming to Fergusson. It’s the best college in Pune. You must be out of your mind to leave such a place and that too for some fixed match,” Hardik protested. He didn’t know what fell on his head and felt like lightning piercing his heart into pieces.

She stopped in her track, the oscillation from bed to the cupboard and turning in a statuette that someone could have mistaken for the Indian version of Mona Lisa. He felt absolutely helpless and mad. The statue started talking and stared straight at him, “Now! What? You tell me what to do? We need to listen to parents, sometimes. See, Mom has been adamant for me to get married and this time, the guy is well settled and works as scriptwriter for TV serials. At least, I can give him ideas about Mom’s crazy Ekta Kapoor’s K Serial fixation. Mom can give her inputs and we will mint money together as one sukhi parivar (Happy family)!”

“Pyar sab kuch nahin hota hai janab aur kabhi kabhi peth ka sawaal bhi hai…now let me go before I become emotional,” she walked unaffected to the balcony. (Love is not everything Sir and sometimes we need to feed ourselves). He followed her. “Why are you fucking doing that? What happens to us and our world?”

She turned towards him, “Heylo dude! What love? I told you my decision that I am leaving the city and in case you are thinking, Mom never forced me for this match and second, I accepted of my own will. We cannot forever be like that, sex, high on smoke and alcohol, fun, laughs, fighting and again mushy love.”

“Honestly, I am bored being with you dude. You are being clingy with this love crap and all. I made it clear the first time and remember we agreed that the moment we start falling for each other, the whole crap is over,” ruthless woman just went on a spree.

He turned silent and asked, “So, it means there was nothing between us, no emotions at all and the love declaration you made was all false. Geet! I don’t believe you. I really don’t!”

“No! You should,” she upped the decibel. “I am not making that. Wake up to the reality. I have. We are not some Heer Ranjha or Laila Manjnu tearing our clothes nor do I plan to sing Humne ghar choda (We left home) with you and shouting Garibi Hatao (Get rid of poverty) on the street of Mumbai. Aaji kya chahiye dinner pe? Jumbo sized Vada Pav!”

“You have no answer for that, except telling how cool our Fergusson College and campus is. Look beyond that, dude.” She went on a tirade. He didn’t counter her argument and deep inside, a feeling of helplessness struck him like a bomb. The soon-to-be-turned jilted lover was persuaded that he cannot afford to let her go and already plotting in his head how to make the unknown groom run away.

“I love you Geet…something I never told any woman and never felt anything like that for any fling or date. But! This feeling is ecstatic. I want to make the most of our college days together…”

He squeezed her wrist tightly. She didn’t protest. “I am being a bitch. Your eyes shouldn’t remind me about that. Say it thousand times that Geet is a bitch leaving everything for a guy chosen by Maa,” she spoke interruptedly.

“Dude, you are fucking no squirrel. Get that in your head. You keep popping every now and then in the apartment and am fucking tired of this cat and mouse game. Head I fuck! Tail you fuck. Everything is fuckboi game we keep playing by lying on top of each other. Let’s get down to it. Got an adrenaline rush being down?” the soon-to-be bride went on a monologue.

She spoke in an interspersed, monosyllabic tone and so quick that Hardik missed bits and pieces in the conversation. “Can you please repeat everything?” he asked. It was a ploy convincing her not to leave. “I don’t repeat myself,” she countered in a mocking tone.

“You are not going anywhere,” he ran fast towards the door. She leaped behind him. Both of them wrestled the apartment’s key as if it’s some prized candy. She bit on his palm. He wouldn’t let go of it. “Leave my home key. It’s not your condom,” she broke into a splinter. Both slipped to the ground and wrestling with the stack of keys.

They lie on the floor bursting into peals of laughter. “Ouch! My stomach paining, dude?” she guffawed. “Why are you pregnant now?” he teased. “Shut up,” she howled. “Arre! Why are you after me and not letting me get married to Maa’s proposal? Go to those bimbos girls you were serenading on rose day and your tongue curling at moving tits and boobs.”

“You are definitely jealous?” he plainly told.

“Jealous and I? Of Whom? You or those bomb chickas,” she simpered.

“I dunno may be both. You might be bisexual.”

She chortled, “Haha very phunny Mister male Phoebe. You sound like singing Smelly Smelly at my wedding, except I am no cat. You know Mom showed me the picture of the man I’m getting hitched. Well! He looks dashing like a groom in traditional sherwani and pagdi. I immediately said yes…” He stopped her, “Shut up! Shut up! I don’t wanna listen.”

She raised her voice louder, “Arre! Suno na. You know the guy. I wanna tell his name.” He protested. She spoke intermittently and on a spree as if running after the last 1.40 a.m local, laughing seamless. Devdas pinched her arms.  

“Ok! Tell!” he grew tired, feeling pulsating heartbeat.

“Are you sure?” she asked.

“Are you telling or not? Let’s get done with it.”

“You don’t wanna hear do you?”

He was getting tired and shrugged, “Are we playing Pehle aap…pehle aap. I am not some train and you want to go to Jaipur in a local.”

“It’s Jim!”

“What the fuck,” he hid anger and jealousy. “You mean the ex you ditched to have sex with me and on whom you actually spilled coffee at the radio station.”

“Hello! I didn’t have any shauk (passion) for sex with you. I just wanna take revenge and you were the first option who came up. Now, what are you looking at? Say na, call me a bitch. Agar bharas hai dil mein toh nikalna, huzoor.”

“Arre when Mom showed me the picture, I couldn’t recognize him. He looked dapper and transformed like a bullet, the long, unkempt hair, chiseled and well-toned chest. Just imagine the bullet driving me on the bed. Are you imagining na our naughty naughty…”

“Ok! You can go and get married, do whateverrr you wanna to. You can fuck yourself.” He moved away from her and she ran after him, grabbing his hand. “Why would I fuck myself? I have my dulha doing that. Just imagine. Me and him naked on bed, caressing his chest and running my hand on…” she says with mouth open and tongue curled, lashed out.

He moved his face away and felt a sensation running high like feverish bout, “I don’t wanna hear.”

“Fine! Let’s do it then,” she simpered.

“What? You are such a pervert,” he was scandalized. “With him, then go ahead.”

“I want to do it with you only. My cute, chweet fuddu. I am getting married today to you…!

“What, where and when….today…Are we eloping? What happens to your sasta dulha?”

“Check the date my fuddu duddu?”

Hardik flipped the calendar app on his smartphone and yelped, “April First!” She leaned and kissed on his cheek, “Ban gaya tu April fool…Fool for Fuddu.” He ran after her. She jumped on the bed. They played hide and seek, pillow throwing and he grabbed her wrist from behind. Both fell on the bed with hands interlocked, stumble on the bed, and chortled.

Love

V

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Vitamin H works as the perfect anti body


Book Review: Vitamin H Volume 2

Author: Abhishek Vipul Thakkar

“Don’t let anyone disperse seeds of doubts on your land of faith. Small minds are always afraid of the rise of the great ones.”

The first volume of Vitamin H, a bouquet of inspiring quotes came as the capsules of daily intake winning hearts and it’s only natural that Volume 2 was awaited with bated breath. There were expectations with the book of quotes which no doubt is inspiring but at the same time distinct from varied genres where you can see the writer gently touching soul-stirring themes across issues such as women and caste-based, positive thoughts, happiness, spirituality, motivation and combating adversities.

At one shot, the quotes are curated simply and ingeniously showing that the author has observed the humdrum of life in a close manner and at the same time, it works like herbs for the well-being of the spiritual mind and physical body.

The quotes penned by the author are meant to gently sink inside us like slow breathing or enjoying every bit of our favorite food or feeling. Every quote is meant to be popped like medical syrup, uplifting every time it is read and particularly when adversities get the better of you. We live in a world where we grapple with several issues of anxiety or depression and uncertainty in a world infested by COVID-19. Vitamin H serves as the perfect jab we need to take vaccines every day to inspire, uplift and empower.

The book starts with a beautiful and deep prelude by Purba Chakraborty who is herself a seasoned author and poetry. It couldn’t be a bigger testimony on the book of quotes from no less than the talented writer who has designed an enthralling cover.

Some quotes are simple and work in an effective manner calling us to reflect on the essence of life, “There is no pathway to Love. Love is the path.” Poignant is this quote for our dreamland called India to become the country we have always wanted it to be, “If we want our nation to succeed, we need to get rid of the birth-based caste system.” This is one issue I feel strongly close about be it caste or religion and if we are stuck in the stone age, we can never succeed as an individual, community or nation. Let’s take a minute and reflect on what Abhishek conveys to us.

“Poetry is the air. Prose is the Wind.” It’s beautiful. It’s lyrical. This is what poetry is all about and lending such aesthetic meaning to verses.

“If staying true to your path makes you a pariah, then be one.”

In our everyday life, we tend to disagree more than we agree because we are unique entities and wired differently. This is the beauty about enriching lives and Abhishek sends a powerful message: “If we argue relentlessly without understanding somebody’s opinion, we are trying to gauge the depth of water without diving into the ocean.” It is important to understand where one comes from and what leads to reacting in a particular way and making us not just related but empathetic beings.

Girls’ education remains an important aspect enshrined in the quotes.  He does it not only splendidly but has a soulful way of reminding naysayers, “If you water the roots, the leaves on the branches will surely receive water. If you educate girls, world will surely become a better place”. The quotes are done in such a realistic manner yet never losing the youthful spring, right from getting older and bolder should remain an assertion and a prayer of sort, or questioning every rule as the birthright. Isn’t this the path to grow as enlightened beings?

I shall ask you a question: What is the path or secret recipe to rejuvenate and grow as a spiritual or unique entity. It couldn’t be better than that in the mind of the author:

Learning. Relearning and Unlearning. It comes as the most important for us to learn, unlearn and learn again. How about emptying the bottle?

Vitamin H: Volume 2 is the book that should find a place of pride on your shelf or kindle, popping a pill every single day at a time when we are battling the second wave. Vaccinate the soul and nourish the mind’s anti-body for Vitamin H has no limit. I shall leave you with this poignant quote to reflect upon:

“Your daughter is your biggest asset and NOT your liability. Therefore, ponder more about her education and career rather than worrying about her marriage.

Read the blurb on Goodreads and click on Amazon to get a copy. I wish to thank Naaz Farhaa of Lab Academy Book Reviewers approaching me for the review.

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Novella: Hot on Wheels (13)


Chapter 13

Moist eyes and face caked with tears drenched on the white bed sheet. Dreaming and longing for someone and didn’t realize how moist imaginative eyes turned real. “You are not going anywhere…I love you…I don’t.” She shrieked in deep slumber.

A shadow disappeared in the forest and turned into ice as she stood frozen, watching and pleading. Geet lunged and heaved out of the bed, with a heavy chest. “Oh fuck! This cannot be happening to me.” For days, she has been resisting the feeling of being in love, battling emotions and fighting the emotions. She was finding it hard to accept. “No! It cannot be happening to me,” she repeated to herself every time. “So what I confessed but I was drunk?”

The emotions were not leaving her alone and the ghost of love lurking and haunting making it complex gathering her thoughts. The phone rang. A cheerful Hi met with silence. “Heylo…” lover boy pronounced with excitement. “Wots up, babe?” he repeated in an alluring, musical tone and curling tongue in whistle.

“Ya, tell me,” she was cold. “Aye! What’s happening with my babe?”

It infuriated her: “Listen fucker, don’t babe me and I’m in no mood for your silly humor.”

Hardik went blank for a second. “Ok! I thought about calling you but it seems to be at the wrong time. Call when it works for you. Declare love and all emotions when the mood suits you and then disowning the whole thing next.”  

The words hit hard and like an arrow piercing the heart. It sent her into a tizzy and shouted to herself, “Shit! Shit! What I have done? Fuck my feeling. Fuck my confusion.” What Geet wanted right now is to pacify him and why on earth would she do that! She sent dozen calls. He didn’t reply.  Slim fingers expertly held and soft lip lit a smoke, “Ok! Fuck him. Role reversal.”

Pulling on her jeans and white tee, she dashed out of the apartment like an abla naari and kept calling on his mobile but there was no answer. A Whatsapp was clicked sent, “You know what Fuck you, babe. Yes! Fuck you, Babe! Except you looking for that fuck. Is it your male hormonal?”

Tears streamed on her cheek. She drove the bike in speed and almost screeched on the muddy patch, regaining control and stormed inside the campus at Fergusson College. She drove straight to the parking lot and got down, plodding her legs past bikes and cycles.

A huge and colorful crowd greeted her on the campus and unfurling in seductive sarees as if the Principal just got hitched. The guys straddled for once in speck trousers, crisp shirt-wearing tees and some in suits as if clicking a deal crores, thinking themselves as Anil Ambani. The torn jeans and hippie denim were discarded for once. She felt like a homeless woman on her campus, and thought a beggar would dress better than her.

Geet in her nice white and branded blue denim just turned into a beggar. She watched from afar and wished that she knew about the traditional and rose day in college was the moment for guys to ask the girls they pinned for. A rose would do the trick. Secretly, she pinned that he would swoop her off the feet with a red rose. So, what she look like an outcast?

“Ok! Fuck it!” she cursed and walked inside the campus, ignoring the colorful crowd past the main circle and classrooms, desperately looking for the man who makes her heartbeat. She spotted someone dressed in crisp black trousers and ironed white shirt paired with a colorful tie. He seemed to ignore her and chatted with the glamorous girls, holding stack of roses in his hand, white, red, and yellow. The girls were giggling. She couldn’t believe Hardik is making flirtatious advances to the hot woman in a seductive game, walking with composure and wooing with flowers. He bent his knee in front of Miss Hottie and offering her a red rose. She made a doe-eyed face and couldn’t stop blushing not leaving his sight.

Geet eyed both of them from a distance and slowly walked towards him. She wanted to break the face of Miss Hottie. She popped in front of him, “Who is she?” He was a bit shaken at her sight and uttered, “Oh! That’s you…sorry didn’t recognize…you wearing plain jeans na like a Jane in distress.” All she could tell was, “Haha very funny. So, no rose for me?” Hardik ignored her, “Too late. Some people don’t like to be called babe and so I thought why surprise them!”

She stared in disbelief. He was unfazed, “Flowers are over. Sorry. Too much demand.” They stood face to face when a girl decked in a black saree dotted with sequined gold walked in front of them and stopped right in front of him, chirped like a morning bird, “Hey! Happy Rose Day. So, no Rose for me. How mean?”

Hardik had eyes only for her and ignored Geet, “Of course, I do. He removed a white rose and gave to her. She smiled, “Ah! White rose. Will do…will do.” Geet was aghast and seethed with anger. “How dare he ignore me like that?” she looked menacingly at him. He straddled in slow pace inside the sprawling Fergusson College campus as if she never existed.

Flailing her hands in disbelief, the avatar of a nameless, angry Goddess shouted, “Hey! You just ignored me like that. Am I Chucky’s bride or what that I will torture you? How shamelessly you are flirting with those stupid, babe bimbo types?”

He was amused and made a mocking face without saying a word, having fun at the sight of a heartless woman being tormented. Geet went on a rant, “I don’t keep getting laid with so many and yelp in pain. You get that.”

“Jealous,” Hardik simply asked. “Now, you wait and see what I do,” she shot back at you. They made way past the main gate and outside the campus when she stopped a random guy, “Hey! Dude! Will you go on a sassy date with me? I am all yours.” The guy looked at her and gave a weird expression, “Nopes, not interested.” He scampered away as if she’s corona virus. Hardik laughed gleefully.

“Guess, you are ghost into invisible mode,” he teased. “Wait! Now I know. You are taking rose day’s revenge on me for ignoring you this morning. This is it. What should I fucking do? Fold my hands! No, bend my legs right in front of our campus in Baba Ramdas coital position for you,” she spurted.

He didn’t expect this side of her. The wounded tigress was getting louder. Some students walked happily in saree and formal suits with rose, looking at them. “Yes,” she was adamant. “Let’s do it here. I shall strike this erotic asana right now.”

She was turning into Jhansi ki Rani and spitting fire. The daring charmer has turned into a henpecked kinda boyfriend who needs to pacify her but didn’t know-how. He didn’t have the heart to look around and wanted to bury his face. There was absolutely no way to soothe the fiery mood growling like stormy waters. Geet angrily went into an unstopped rant when he cupped his face to her mouth and smacking hard.

 “What and why this lip-smacking just felt like you fucked me so hard in public?! Don’t ever think that you can ever shut me out every time for I’m no Cinderella.” He hid something behind his back and in slow motion, serenading her on the road and bending on his knee, showering a red rose with a sheepish smile. “The last and special one for you only,” he winked.

It sent her in a tizzy and pretended to be unfloored by the flirting, “Show me your bag?” He didn’t protest. She sieved through, “There is none…for anyone. Chalega chalega…the last one for me.” Geet blushed and intense eyes talking and making deep love to each other.  

Love

V

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Diary of a recluse (6): A colourless Holi


A year without Holi celebration seems to be futuristic and unfathomable yet it’s been a damned year where everything we love doing has gone for a toss. As we are in lockdown, there was absolutely no way to get colors celebrating the festival and while it was my day to be at the supermarket yesterday, I didn’t chance to buy colors to not breed risk of becoming COVID positive.

Holi has always been my favorite and there were very rare or exceptional occasions of giving a miss to the festival. No gujiya at the Indian Sweet Mart reminding me about India due to lockdown and we are not allowed to leave the zone where I live that has been declared red or high risk zone. Such a terrible feeling of missing the festival. It seems the same, old narrative of last year and another season of waste.

Sprinkling colors have always brought me good luck and a tikka applied on the forehead did the trick. There have been the bad but also the positive one with lil bit of freelance earning that came this morning. Reason to cheer and like they say, bask in the positive feeling. Still, there is this feeling of missing the fest that we, as an Indian family abroad, absolutely adore. While over the years it has been a subdued affair and depending on the kinda crowd, there is still this immense joy of celebrating looked up to every single year.

A mind hovering to India during the college days celebrating rain dance with friends, waltzing in the open disco and water showers falling on the face, gyrating to Do me a Favor Let’s Play Holi. Of course that was many moons ago. Yet! I will argue that there is absolutely nothing that beats Amitabh Bachchan’s Rang Barse bheege chunar wali’ and over the years Balam Pichkari became a favorite too. We always dance on the songs during the college days in Pune. Of course. I remember being drenched in the colors outside college gate in the company of friends so much that our hang out restaurant denied us entry for chai and the nice waiters we called, “Anna” (elder brother) brought us tea outside. We were family.

Endearing it is and intrinsic part of our rich Indian culture, just take a walk on the road in those days and you will see Holi revelers welcoming you in the group. Once it happened while being bored, walked near our Fergusson College and met my friends from the Science stream, we basked in the holi of glory. It was nigh impossible not to be drenched in colors when the heart is in.

Yet, it happened this time. We are living in an uncertain world. It broke the heart. I know there are many who violated sanitary norms to celebrate but what matters at the end, is we need to keep ourselves and others safe. Just imagine a world without celebration! It’s hard to fathom. But, what choice do we have other than being optimists for a better tomorrow when we will be able to go out without the virus fear!

The only thing that helping coming to terms is to avoid being infected with the spiralling of Covid cases staring straight on the face. Logic tells that it’s better to avoid smearing of colors to avoid risks since we can never know how the virus may seep in! We have a big battle right in front of us and let us be responsible people to flatten the curve. We owe it to ourselves and the community at large.

Keep the spirit high and stay safe.

Love

V

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Kaleidoscope of colors


Smeared with colours,

tracing lines,

unblemished love,

happiness is undiluted,

painting seamless aura, bonding and identity,

beyond race, caste or gender,

wiping prejudices,

celebrating love and beauty,

exuberance,

sprinkling miracle,

making every moment count,

colours are protest,

against discrimination,

anti prejudice weapon,

swarming into the sea of happiness,

we call it Holi,

where good triumph above everything,

gentle touch of humanity,

warding off anger,

bringing hearts closer,

cementing friendship.

pained heart,

abated celebration,

stripped of colors,

vanquishing dreaded foe,

silly,

tiny virus,

carry colours inside our hearts,

not on each other’s faces,

chain of tapestry shall destroy the devil.

Love

V
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Scrabbling thoughts


Words shall play a game,

scrabbling spirits and thoughts,

connecting alphabet dots,

images conjured,

puppets speaking alien language,

syllables,

monosyllable,

words maketh us,

faillible humans,

game of adversity,

triumph lies in hidden emotions,

scars unwashed by a mind in turmoil,

hiding vulnerability,

brave face to the world.

lost individuality,

identity constantly in-flux,

upheaval may just be a definition,

how much do we hide the real us?

tears is weakness,

to the world,

yet a soul,

laughs, cries and broken into smithereen,

is strength unknown to us and all.

Love

V

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Author Koyel Duttagupta curates effective communications in book, and discusses branding, online coaching in digital age


Kolkatta born and settled in Pune, Koyel Duttagupta is a communication and social media professional releasing her first book ‘Mindful Communication – Within You for a Better You’. An alumnus of the prestigious Loreto, the author has graduated in communications and worked as a professional with big brands such as AXA, Resilinc and Deutsche Bank as a content provider spanning across vast areas such as private medical insurance, technical, notifications on supply chain-related events, audio/video snippets from YouTube, SoundCloud to drafting legal contracts pertaining to finance transition. In this interview, this media professional discusses what led her to come up with the on Mindful Communication during the lockdown last year after discussion with her husband, the Ws of reading it, the relevance of branding in today’s digital times, and the thriving L&D market on how to choose effectively and reliable online communication coach, cutting above the rest. Koyel has a message in her book for young graduates and communication experts.

Click on Amazon to get a copy of Mindful Communication – Within You for a Better You’ and connect with the author on FB, Linkedin and Insta.

Author Koyel Duttagupta.

1. Corporate and Self-Help book, if I may say so, ‘Mindful Communication’ belongs to a niche genre. How does your book reach out to a wider crowd, beyond the targeted audience in today’s age of digital media?

‘Mindful Communication – Within You for a Better You’ is my brainchild and as you mentioned correctly, the book belongs to a specific genre.  I didn’t want to follow the cliché marketing mantra for my first book and have put across the e-book details on my various social media pages such as Facebook page, LinkedIn and Insta following the traditional ‘word of mouth’ technique. I believe that it is critical for a first venture to have word-of-mouth publicity helping the author/writer become a household name and connect with readers.

2. The virus and lockdown have forced many to sit and contemplate reinvention. I guess it’s no different for you looking at the fact that you embraced social media as a career. How the attitudinal shift in perspective has helped you to come up with this book and what ‘Mindful Communication Within You for a Better You’ is all about?

The global pandemic in 2020 definitely is an eye-opener for me. The ‘work from home’ setup was taking a toll on my health and I was not enjoying my regular job at all. I felt this urge to do something on my own and work on my passion for ‘writing’ in a broader context and communicating with the wider mass. I trusted my instinct and took a step ahead to change my career path after a lengthy discussion with my husband. This decision was not an easy one as I was diving into insecurity but I wanted to listen to my heart this time and not my brain.

‘Mindful Communication – Within You for a Better You’ is all about effective communication with yourselves. We hardly get time to connect with our inner souls or minds and always doing the running around after our jobs/chores on a regular basis. Our minds get fully ignored in this process and we don’t give ourselves enough time. On top of that, with virtual setup coming into the picture, we have lost the human connect. This detachment was a concern for me, and I started with my research on the same coupled with personal experiences and suggestions in stitching my book which took shape in a month’s time. The end product is on Kindle for everyone to read!

3. You are a product of the prestigious Loreto in Kolkata and communication grads which brings you close to what you are doing as a professional in your field of work. How your education has defined your career and influenced the book’s making and to what extent you want it to impact the lives of aspiring young communication graduates or digital experts, and professionals in a field where we speak about 360-degree solutions?

Being a Mass Communication student, I felt my forte has been ‘expression’. In my 12 years of corporate experience, I have been mostly into content writing and content management. I derive immense satisfaction when I can express my thoughts in my own words and it reaches the right audience.

Communication is everywhere. We need it and we need to imbibe it skillfully so that we succeed in today’s e-world. Having said that, I would recommend to all the young graduates and digital experts, not to ignore this concept and the mechanism of Communication. You can be highly knowledgeable and an expert in your processes but if you cannot express or articulate effectively and put forward the right point at the right time, you will be nowhere.

To add on, just wanted to let all your readers know that I am coming up with my online communication training program shortly. I will cover both personal and professional aspects of communication in my program in a detailed manner to help people understand the nitty-gritty of the communication process as a whole.

4. Coming back to your career, an impressive CV dabbling into content and being part of leading brands such as AXA, Resilinc, and Deutsche bank writing with exposure to events and snippets on YouTube and Sound Cloud. How do you see the growth of such channels leapfrogging to make communications an important aspect of our lives be it corporate and personal, particularly in today’s times?

Communication is evergreen and vast subject which keeps evolving. It’s true that we are living in a digital world, hence the need to use social media to reach wider masses. FB, Insta, YouTube, WhatsApp, Telegram, and LinkedIn, to name a few are here to stay. We can reach out to many simply by ‘going live’ and just by sharing content here. Moreover, these applications are coming up with unique and distinct features suiting different types and content duration.  Hence, as a student, teacher, corporate leader, or employee we all need to be tech-savvy and utilise social media to its fullest extent and potential to enhance visibility.

5. How do you see branding in communications from the trainer’s perspective evolving during the years and the challenges we will face in a world severely impacted by the corona pandemic?

To be honest, today’s virtual world is replete with online trainers, coaches and speakers. There are multiple domains and a bevy of experts to follow. Obviously, how do you know who is genuine and whom to follow! In this context, branding plays an important role to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. Your knowledge in the field of Communication needs to be associated with a specific niche and it should be clear enough to attract the right audience who in the long run can associate with you.

Branding is ever evolving but the knowledge you want to share needs to have strong footage into it. It has to be personalized and for that reason only, one needs to make it unique.  If there is one positive role the COVID-19 outbreak played is that it led to the L&D market booming in the current times. This market needs knowledge givers armed with the true intention and without their personal brands, it makes it difficult to sustain.

The book Mindful Communications-Within You for a Better You.

6. One thing which interests me and to the benefit of readers is how your book addresses the underlying issues and opportunities in communications, need to reinvent and embrace the vastly complex world of digital?

My e-book ‘Mindful Communication – Within You for a Better You’ speaks about mindful presence or self-awareness before we actually speak or read or write. Our mind is mostly functioning with a ‘what if syndrome’ which builds and breeds in too much negativity in and around us. So, it’s important to be fully aware of ourselves, understand the feelings, emotions and thoughts that create the Communication process, how to effectively communicate with ourselves and others in any environment.

7. How do you see the market demand for ‘reliable’ online communication coaches and what it takes to be a cut above the rest in terms of training and education, offering a tailor-made approach to the needs of a young crowd, as distinct from handful coaches mushrooming daily? Do you see aspire to take this role sometime soon in creating value addition?

As I mentioned earlier, the L&D market is growing enormously in the current times where the market demand for ‘reliable’ online communication coaches is definitely quite high. You can make a mark for yourself if you know who is your target audience, offer tailor-made courses based on the participants’ or clients’ needs and also carry a strong personal branding essence with you. Something which you offer has to be genuine and not covered by anyone before – that gives the edge to you above all others.

I have mentioned earlier in one of your questions, that Yes, I am coming up with my online communication courses soon and I am sure it will add a lot of value to the learners who pick it up.

8. Your book has opened to positive reviews in such a short span of time. Are there plans to come up with a longer version in future or a new book tapping into the complexity of communications and how you would describe the USP of ‘Mindful Communications…’?

Yes, I am planning to come up with a new book, hopefully tapping into areas of ‘Communication and Leadership’. The USP of Mindful Communication – Within You for a Better You’ is simple, written in free-flowing English language explaining complex concepts or ideas. It is a short read of 18 pages and the tips prescribed are easy to follow but gives extraordinary value in return.

Love

V