Posted in uncategorized

Book Review: Purva Grover’s The Trees Told Me So is playwright’s delight


Book Review: The Trees Told Me So

Author: Purva Grover

Publisher: Niyogi Books

Rating: Four and a half stars

 

 

Introduction:

Purva Grover’s The Trees Told Me So is a collection of short stories narrating about cities, hidden emotions, and memories in a tender and sensitive voice melting hearts. 11 stories, heart-wrenching, rare friendships made, love, simplicity of life is a delightful serving where each comes alive making it a color palette of form and, the dewdrop deeply layered lending a ubiquitous expression of visualization in this joyride.

 

Narration:

 

Addiction is sold in the rusty and stained red, the betel leaves through the eyes of Chaurasia Panwala. Don’t we all have a favorite Panwala whose concoction melts our taste buds and hearts! Purva Grover paints a delectable image about hidden lives reverberating in the night pocked with noise and whipping a compelling story about the multitude charm of India.

“The Darkness of Red” lends strong imagery hinging on the marvel about the untold and the language is lyrical, at the risk of repeating myself and besotting the reader with the invisible character Sapna, lusted by many, men and women having both lovers and spouses is enthralling.

“They spoke of the joys of comparing the beauty of beloved to the moon.” Don’t we all have a story to hide?

“A Summer Ritual” is about the memories carved at granny’s place embedded with simplicity, the joy of childhood, and growing up, chatai under the tree, and verandah makes for powerful visualization. The story is deeply embedded in the small but simple childhood joys, the magical cupboard we craved for at granny’s place. Remember how we would sneak in to steal goodies.

“It was filled with things we needed: caramel cookies, chocolate bars, potato wafers, pack of balloons and buntings…I told Mum there is ‘no place like home’ was the grandparents’ place…smothered with love and care. Evocative. An interesting point the writer makes on how the gem of growing up is missing in today’s times yet there is nothing left in going back to relive the past.  

“Glass for Rs 1” is another expressive story melting hearts about the licensed trolley we find in every nook-and-corner of Indian streets. It’s about uncomplicated love and how two strangers find comfort in silence replete with human understanding, and a unique friendship forged. There is tragedy at the end where natural calamity doesn’t discriminate when it injects pain and takes our loved ones away.

One of the most powerful and heartbreaking stories in The Trees Told Me So is “Between Us, Daughter and Mother.” A rare sensitivity on how little we understand our innocent daughters. “My Mum never told me I had a vagina.” In itself, the phrase is deeply layered and wounds the heart on the character, an innocent child saying, “Mum, I was so ashamed to be naked. I hope you can believe me.”

It brought me to a reality that there are millions, hidden tales that should put us to shame and a Goddess lost is too many. The story melts and pierces the heart like an arrow as if silence could speak or tears moving us.

The last two stories in the book paint an evocative image about memory and pain in a diametrically opposite direction and an emotional bonding touching every single shred in the soul. “Over a Cup of Chai” is the story of Sonia and her daughter Rhea finding a common friend in Sharma Aunty serving chai to countless generations at the campus. It relives the college days where Purva Grover whips a tea storm, bringing the memories alive about campus life, discussions and familiar sounds, bubbling of water, stirring of sugar, stove pumping, and risk crunching jangled together. It makes for powerful imagery.

As I read the story, I re-experienced life in college and university, the sprawling campus, my friends’ voices and could see Sharma aunty as the tea maker in our days. How Purva has made Sharma aunty, alien to me an intrinsic part to re-imagine unlived days. The reunion of old students and Sharma aunty, and the batch mate adding a dip of honey and a friend without whom life would be incomplete. How we all wish to have a Sharma aunty in our college days, a mother figure and friend who never judged.

The vicissitude of loss and the pathos enshrined in pain is narrated in the first person making for effective funeral conversation tearing apart the heart. Multiple instances where I was brought to tears and took several pauses to let the feeling sinking inside. Purva has a rare flair with description making her a powerful storyteller in depicting the protagonist lying on the pyre, five feet an inch bed, and the depth of words on the stack of woods as a resting place for the departed soul.

Beauty embedded in the letter addressed by the soul to her young son, yearning for love and the pain of separation. A strong point is driven on tenderness and warmth while breaking taboo at the same time on boys don’t cry false narrative percolating in society. She reminds there is no wrong in pain and the right to grieve or setting free, “you should never let losing me compromise your life or lives of those around me.”

 

“I know you’ve never seen granny cry so much…can i ask you to keep holding hers (hands)? If you too feel like crying, cry.”

 

There are beauty and searing pain at the same time. “On the Bed of Wood” is laden with wisdom and education. So many times, we get angry at unfairness on wanting to leave everything but the mother gently reminds the son, “Always show up after the storm…telling someone that you love them despite any disputes.”

 

“Sometimes the wait can be forever, so never walk out in anger.”

 “Scent of the Familiar” is another beautiful story about the sister’s unbridled happiness in trusting Gupta Ji the Mehendi artist brings the joy of the past embedded in simplicity alive celebrating the special days of happiness. “Handsome Point” pays tribute to the charming but dying art of hair saloon on Indian streets. The stories bear their charm together with The Player, a riveting tale about the protagonists bedding rich married women yet there is pain deep within. Don’t we all wage battles inside us pretending to be brave?

 “A Bigger Place with more Feet” serves as a eulogy to the cobbler and tapping into the element of street smartness we call ethics. The theme of forbidden love with a twinge of surprise and twist unfolds through the unique, pacy narration style in “The First Kiss”.

 

What’s Not!

The Trees Told Me So is about countless lives and emotions depicted in a powerful yet elegant and simple manner. One thing that I sorely miss is more soul stirring tales where the author raises the bar higher, gently stroking the soul. I wanted more.  Almost impossible to hinge on drawbacks in this brilliant collection.

 

Final Words

Purva Grover has a unique flair for words and expression, uncanny ability for stories replete with human emotions drawing on pain, nostalgia, secret city tales, or revisiting childhood makes The Trees Told Me So an enthralling read. The various stories are an ode to the old world charm about the commoners and strugglers we meet on Indian roads and streets every day and from afar.  Fluid, sober narration and rich appeal through the visual imagery crafted to make the book poetry in motion and experience playing live. Purva Grover is truly a playwright.

 

The Trees Told Me So can be bought on Amazon. Connect with Purva Grover on her website, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Posted in uncategorized

Review: Lockdown longings brings raw honesty alive


Book Review: Lockdown Longings

Genre: Short stories

Review: Four stars

Publisher: Roli Books

 

Check the book blurb.

Introduction:

10 Short stories, 10 writers coming together spinning tales that can be rightly called soul stirring in a new world. The various stories in Lockdown Longings, where some allude to the national lockdown in India and making peace with past scars, rail tale about silence healing wounds and live-in partners showing love can be distant yet an oxymoron, a forgotten city amidst bombs, and a compelling tale about a petite girl in hospital dealing with dichotomy of pain isolation intertwined and ensconced in the past or present.

 

 

Narration:

 

An aura of pain and poignant echoes the words of Sucharita Dutta-Asana narrating about Martine D’Mello, an old, lonely man plagued by anxiety and facing the desolate streets. Interlude is a story about coming to terms and the individual is brought back to a painful memory as he veers between past and present. The character is drawn to the cemetery trip. A story about coming to peace is lent credence and strong imagery painted brings raw emotions alive.

Lovin’ Lockdown is an intense story penned by Gargi Mehra on the what ifs of love from a distance and merging beautifully about snooping on a couple making out. There is a slow but real intensity and hinging on unrequited love from the narrator’s lens sitting in an office and eyes following the couple. The COVID-19 pandemic context slides effortlessly and the author doesn’t lose her grip in this uniquely woven voice with a dash of reality. The story is innovative where love or lust, and jealousy whichever name you call it merges with a sudden rush of misplaced optimism coupled with an out of the ordinary denouement. Love is strange and even stranger is attraction.

The various tales stir the heart and a unique story comes in the form of Malini Gupta’s Benedict which is set in the hills and imaginative Kanakbari Railway station. As the narration moves, one gets the sense of déjà vu but the skills of the writer come through about human understanding and beyond our traditional comprehension about love sharing the same destiny. Calling it, ‘estranged’ would be the biggest aberration and the climax makes for a powerfully evocative image where no words need be exchanged.

The anthology has its fair share of romance and a uniquely woven tale is about live-in partners in Mitica. Kanishq Banka depicts what goes in the life of a live-in couple in the premise and hinging on how self-isolation has altered the equation or chemistry of relations minus the intimacy. The end is simply sensational. Go read and figure out.

Have you ever heard about something called rape bomb? Amit Singh’s Gumsum-Nag takes readers to Kashmir, a place where paradise percolates but the dichotomy lies painfully on bombs wreaking havoc. An image of the parachute soldier landing, bombs flying in uprooting lives coupled with poverty and conditions of woman as intrinsically linked. The narration pierces the heart as the author depicts rape-bombs pushing us to ask about no land for commoners, the lesser Gods. Hunger is the biggest culprit. So little we know about lives alien to us and Singh’s story provokes utter sadness.

One of the favorite stories, Tiny Sparkle, of the Girl, with Tiny Feet and Petite Shoes written by Purva Grover starts with a woman in a hospital and the wobbling emotions about coping with loneliness, grief and pain are put to fore. The writing is effortlessly striking, knotted strings in our soul, heart, and nerves. Pathos is touching subtly on the condition of a woman and conversation hinges on the father-daughter equation, “Daughter and Dads, they will never stop astonishing me.” Simple and evocative making it heart wrenching.

The writer taps into emotions that we hold inside and probably because of the social construct, “Men: if only we would let them express without labeling (them).” Every aspect in Purva’s narration brings alive a certain emotion and the description be it colors, dress, white suits, or a mother longing for her daughter.

The stories are baked in a colorful manner from Ajay Patri’s Rose on e-love and how strangers can be trusted with a heart, making one hell of a tale where humans share moments and apprehensions to Lawrence Houldworth Air 3.0 served on an interesting human premise but with complex layers at some point making the read worth in the end, and Rajni Mishra’s Prognosis making for an important conversation about mental health, the chemistry between the character and Dr. Kala, where loyal love takes a toll. How often we ignore our mental state and brush out everything? In the end, the author makes an important pitch for space. Pragya Bhagat’s “Your Love Affair with Grief” makes for effortless narration on how expectation and reality come as metaphor together with social media ruling or ruining lives.

 

Concluding Remarks

Lockdown Longings weaves uniquely, distinct tales and what work is unpeeling human emotions reminding us about frailties and vulnerabilities, celebrating the commoners in us. This trait is what makes this book a winner, the raw honesty is a sheer delight.  It is the book to read during the lockdown.

 

Click on Amazon to buy.

 

Love

V

Posted in uncategorized

Interview: Dr Nikita Lalwani concocts ‘2 Peg ke Baad’


2 pegs ke baad

Meet 25-year-old dentist-turned-author and copy writer, Dr Nikita Lalwani whose latest book, ‘2 Peg ke Baad’ (What happens after 2 pegs!) was launched on World Book Day at Hive, Khar in Mumbai.  The book touches sensitive topics such as companionship, cross border love, a transgender coming out of the closet and close encounters with Shemales.

Dr Nikita Lalwani 3

The author who hails from Jabalpur, a small district in Madhya Pradesh wrote her first article at the age of 15 in local newspaper where the idea, she says, was to confront people with the long running conflict in her mind. The article focused on why girls have restriction. Dr Lalwani is no stranger to writing for she penned her first book at the age of 16, Live Life…Stop Analysing It. Her latest, ‘2 Pegs ke Baad’ is a collection of short stories which she says, “My mother says, after 2 pegs, nothing could go right’. But I feel that the world and the most happening stories come up only after 2 pegs; so that’s how I decided to come up with a short story collection.”

The copy writer speaks about the stories concocted in her book and how she became a writer, moving away from dentistry. Dr Lalwani is represented by Dr. Lalwani is ably represented by Sarvashreshtha Solutions and AGENCY09 and a big thank you to Mayura Amrakant of  Sarvashreshtha Solutions LLP who facilitated the interview.

  Interview: Dr Nikita Lalwani

 

Dr Nikita Lalwani

  1. 2 Peg ke Baad! So much can happen after smelling liquor, right. How did a coffee enthusiast tooth extractor, read dentist, shifted gear to 2 pegs of life?

The best feeling in the world is Euphoria. I got it while I was exploring the insane stories that were spun ‘2 peg ke baad’, even without actually getting drunk.

  1. After how many 2 pegs, the dentist realized that it’s time to concoct stories about liquor to sway readers on a high?

Honestly, I don’t drink. I used to, back in college days, but not anymore. For me, the idea of writing on this angel was to bring up the variety of human emotions that lie within us and surface ‘2 peg ke baad’. I love to study human behaviour. And, what could make the study more interesting than a situation where they all talked neat?

  1. Tell us your story and the shift from dentistry to being a copy writer. Would you say that life has just started for you in this new journey of self-discovery?

I wouldn’t say ‘started’, but I have explored a lot of things so far, in the journey of discovering myself. I am quite content and clear with my goals for life.

Fortunately or unfortunately, everything in my life that I cherish and am very serious about happened to me out of the blue. I took up dentistry out of ‘social pressure’, and copy-writing was never a part of the plan. However, writing has been there for a very long time (since I was in 10th grade), and will always be there for me.

  1. There are 14 stories, right from relationships to the Ghats, sex and much more. Has your observation of life in its simplest hues and complexities played a part in penning the book? How much do you draw from real life events and personalities?

I would say, if I may , that every story has a little bit of me in it. There are few stories which are entirely someone else’s; in that case, I am the spectator. There are few stories where I could clearly relate myself with the character –  Papier Blanc, My last painting, Drive-in-sanity and a few more.

Dr Nikita Lalwani 1

  1. How long it took you to write 14 short stories and did it happen when you first landed in Mumbai? To what extent Maximum City and your home land played a part as characters?

It took me about 7 months to finish my first draft. I started the blog simultaneously with my job, so the only time I used to get to write was after office. It was last year, when I put my pen down, i.e., before I came to Mumbai. Cities didn’t play much role, but personal life experiences absolutely did.

  1. Every writer has a story behind a book. What’s the story behind ‘2 Peg ke Baad’?

I appreciate people who talk neat. I do not prefer to glace up while talking and that reflects in my writings. In fact, that’s the reason I chose to write in the first place. The thought behind making people speak ‘2 peg ke baad’ is to make sure they speak their heart out, and without being politically correct. After all, in a country like ours, how often do we get a chance to be honest in our opinions and beliefs?

  1. I gotta make you confess, like your characters. What’s your story and the most awkward one after 2 pegs?

There’s one story – drive-in-sanity, where one of the characters gets drunk and has an interaction with complete strange guys. The girl ran away from a party but was hoping for some guy to ask her out. Before the strange guys leave, she asks them if the guys had friends and then slips in saying, ‘I want one’. I have been there!

Dr Nikita Lalwani 2

However, in most scenarios, I have been on the receiving side of the story, where I was responsible for taking care of my drunken friends.

  1. The book is all about being intoxicated high and it seems you haven’t left any stone unturned in depicting companionship, cross over love and a transgender coming out of the closet?

Absolutely, and I feel that’s the best part. The book has various tastes, at least one for everyone.

  1. What’s the thing about Shemales & Love? How it fascinated and intrigued you to tell this story, something you observed closely?

Now, this one is again derived from a true story. I had my first encounter with a shemale when I was on a trip to Thailand, and I found them stunning.

  1. These are stories that take place in metro cities like Mumbai and Delhi. Do things happen differently in small towns?

I don’t think so. ‘2 peg ke baad’…how does it matter whether you are in Singapore or Singhroli. You feel good; job done well!

  1. You said, ‘I consider myself being married to writing. So no matter what I do for a living, I can never ignore writing’. How often do you manage to write and the boyfriend or prospective one doesn’t feel jealousy pangs for being the other guy in your life?

Lol. That’s very interesting! As of now I am not dating anyone, so I manage to make time for my writing after work, at times on weekends as       well. I have already started to work on my next book. However, right now I am more on the research part.

  1. Coffee enthusiast and rebel. How did you take dentistry and tell us about the quirky characters you met during the extraction and ended up taking reality-turned fiction from their lives. Did you ever get ‘Log Kya Kahenge’ for making the shift?

The ‘Log kya Kahenge’ was there all the time! I now realise that it was more in my head than for real.

Frankly speaking, I’ve never enjoyed my job as a dentist; never, except orthodontics, where we weren’t given any patients at BDS level. So, I would come up with some or the other excuses to not get patients, although, it never worked very well. I think the best moment in every dental student’s life is when they deliver the first denture made by them to the patient, and it fits well. That moment is pure bliss.

Love

V

Posted in uncategorized

Book Review: Brushstroke ‘tales of sunshine’


Book Review: Tales of Sunshine

Author: Sundari Venkatraman

Published by: Flaming Sun

Stars: Three and a half

Image sourced from: ttps://www.facebook.com/AuthorSundariVenkatraman/photos

Introduction:

Author Sundari Venkatraman experiments with the unique genre of short stories which is all about the human stories, life’s battles and a world makes one’s oyster. It’s the tales of struggle, hopes and the lemons thrown by life at us. The stories are distinct from each other and painted with a gentle touch, the brush stroking the emotions in a vivid manner. The language is simple in depicting lives where the human soul is not only vibrant but comes alive in all its forms. The collection is a quick and smart read that will leave a lasting impression in nurturing human understand, passion and it certainly pays to be true to the self.

Blurb:

TALES OF SUNSHINE is a collection of ten short stories that brings hope. It’s all about the struggles, friendship, hope, promise, belief and breaking free. After all, life is all about making choices and compassion never harms.

Narration:

In ‘The Ray of Sunshine’, Raj faces a dilemma where he has to take a decision but has to face his inner demons where he is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. The character has been sketched in a clear manner and the story addresses job losses and how it affects families. The story is sensitive and touches the human heart.

‘A Promise Given’ takes us in the world of Aparna and Sachin with friendship, drugs and treachery as the backdrop. It’s all about finding ourselves in a friend and the story will bring tears to your eyes. It is tragic and will leave a mark on your heart for it is built on sadness and hope, at the same time. I particularly liked the surprise element in the end.

‘In Life Goes out of Control’, Sundari Venkatraman touches the subject of conflict, parental ego and what we seek from life. There is a daughter who takes the call in her life and the story echoes tales of obsession with academic streams where the conflict between passion and ego has been well addressed. It’s all about the battle one faces in life as a lone child who ultimately gets the last laugh by standing her ground.

The theme of passion finds echo in ‘Breaking Free From the Mould’ with a nagging grand ma who can’t see her grandson breaking free on his own terms. There are no evil parents but the way Sundari Venkatraman twist and spin the story in a light manner makes it a winner. The generation gap has been done in a light manner in spite of tension in the plot.

In ‘Rakesh Nath’s Recovery’, the unexplained phenomena in life is depicted in the trial of human life which flows easily till the last moment which makes us realize the character coming back from the dead. I have heard such human stories and the author makes it so real, true to life. She adds an edge to spookiness in all its manifested form, real and alive.

The story, ‘Until Death us do Part’ is a tale of revenge plotted in a smart manner where sheer desperation can drive us to the wall where no hope is left and it’s only a miracle that saves us from the jaws of death. The message Sundari Venkatraman sends is strong and it’s sheer Karma that cheats death.

The grandfather, grandson and son trio in ‘Is Grandpa Home?’ is beautifully woven with a heart capable of loving and no power on earth can stop it. The story breaks our heart and brings sadness when the grandfather faces hurt and pain but, ultimately, happy ending is the sweetest revenge for the readers.

There are stories like Daydreaming Mercenary’, ‘The Elephant in the Room’ and ‘Exam Fever’,  treated in a sensitive manner and aptly addresses life in all its forms and subtleties that shows that life is not what it seems to be, expressing nuances that appearances can be tricky, emotions fickle and our judgements are not flawless. There are surprise elements that warm the heart in depicting the triumph of humanity above everything.

What’s Not!

Sundari Venkatraman is a terrific story-teller whose writing captivates us and she knows her readers’ pulse. However, I feel that few stories could have been better explored by extending the length to lend nuances or conflicting shades to the characters. Of course, that doesn’t take away the credibility of ‘Tales of Sunshine.’

Final Words:

The collection of short stories by Sundari Venkatraman is truly tales of sunshine that speaks the language of love and humanity in aesthetic way. Not to be missed. Go and grab your copy and let the sun shine in your life.

You can grab your copy on Amazon.

 

 

 

Posted in uncategorized

2 Peg ke Baad: A scintillating and glitzy affair


It was pure intoxication as the liquor of life flavor wafted in the atmosphere bringing spirits in splinter of laughter and fun. The mood was set and after all, what happens post ‘2 Peg ke Baad’? An intellectual high on books and tales! So many times, you’ve confessed after ‘2 pegs ke baad’.  It was a glitzy evening in Mumbai when Improv Comedy Star, Gavin Methakala let the cat out of the bag making confessions that had the audience in splits.

Author Dr Nikita Lalwani with actor-director Rajat Kapoor
Author Dr Nikita Lalwani with actor-director Rajat Kapoor

Don’t get ideas for it wasn’t a night for drink, kiss and tell. Dr Nikita Lalwani launched her eclectic collection of short stories, ‘2 Peg Ke Baad’ where she read the story closest to her heart about a transgender coming out of the closet. The audience was spellbound by the narration. The dentist-turned copy writer and author beamed with joy when she presented a signed copy of her book to none other than the terrific actor Rajat Kapoor.  . A star studded evening with celebrities such as Shivani Tanksale & Sarika, TVF Permanent Roommate actors, Sumeet Vyas, Nidhi Singh and Sheeba Chaddha in tow.

The author with stand up comedian Gavin Methalaka (left) and another guest.
The author with stand up comedian Gavin Methalaka (left) and another guest.

A light and breezy book that breaks the monotony of life, ‘2 Peg ke Baad is a collection on a variety of subjects, to which Dr Nikita Lalwani has quite a tale to tell ” My mother says, after 2 pegs, nothing could go right’. But I feel that the world’s most happening stories come up only after 2 pegs; so that’s how I decided to come up with a short story collection.”

The author with renowed Physiotherapist, Maya Shahane
The author with renowned Physiotherapist, Maya Shahane

The dentist turned copy writer and author hails from Madhya Pradesh and has made sapnon ki Nagri her home. Where else! Mumbai Nagariya. Writing was always hidden somewhere and bugging the dentist for she penned her first article at the age of 15.  Her love affair with books never seems to end for at the age of 16, she wrote her first book, ‘Live Life… Stop Analysing it’ released by Himalaya Publishers. Her journey with words took off from there and there was no stopping her.

A coffee enthusiast and rebel, the author high on 2 pegs of life and words confesses, “I hated being a dentist. My parents were not too glad with the career choice that I made. Somewhere they wanted me to continue studies and do my post-graduation, but I already made up my mind. It wasn’t that I was extremely sorted at my plans. But I was clear about the things that I didn’t want. I didn’t want to listen to the society anymore, as the past few years of listening to ‘what will everyone think’ had brought glamour in my life but not happiness.”

Dr Nikita Lalwani in the company of Sheeba Chaddha and Sarika
Dr Nikita Lalwani in the company of Sheeba Chaddha and Sarika.

Dr Lalwani says, “I consider myself being married to writing. So no matter what I do for a living, I can never ignore writing. For now, my job is taking away all my time. However, when my clients and bosses are gentle on me, I manage to write. I have started working on my next book which is a dark fiction. It is based on a negative woman character and the plot is yet half thought through.”

Arup Bose of Srishti Publishers says, Dr. Nikita’s age belies her unending potential. She is an excellent writer who brings in variety in her stories. Since she is young, she understands the pulse of the youth and her roots allow her to understand the interests of the older generation as well. The result is a book that contains a collection of stories for every kind of reader.

The author is represented by Dr. Lalwani is ably represented by Sarvashreshtha Solutions and AGENCY09

A sneak peek into the various stories penned by Dr Nikita Lalwani.

A walk with a call girl

A guy in Singapore went to celebrate a bachelor’s night with his friends. He even finds a prostitute to save his night and it really got saved. He got drunk, met a call girl, spent a great time with her but there was one thing he never did that night- sex. He never slept with her and yet it was one of the best nights he ever had.

What happens in Banaras… Stays for Lifetime

They say, “You can take a Banasi out of Banaras but certainly not Banaras out of a Banarasi”.

Sitting at the ghats of Banaras with a joint and few pints of beer, while you watch a body being cremated, is only when you realize that life is much more than being an “IITian”. While you watch a body cremation on your left while a dancer taps her feet in the celebration of salvation of the soul, life doesn’t seem to be as complicated as we think it is.

Theater personality and film actor, Mahesh Manjrekar with book copy
Theater personality and film actor, Mahesh Manjrekar with book copy

 

It’s not a love story

Deceived and dumped in love Manas was returning from her girlfriend’s wedding when he was halted by a traffic police constable under the charge of drinking and driving. Under inebriated emotions he hurled his story to the constable finding him as someone to share his heart with. They discovered a silent connection with each other that lasted on the overnight conversations and a few drinks at times. It is not a love story; it’s a story of what turned a ruined relationship into a successful friendship.

Sonalee Kulkarni in smile with her copy.
Sonalee Kulkarni in smile with her copy.

How we got married

Amit and Bandita fell in love with each other before they could finish their beers. But it takes more than the agreement of the boy and girl to cause a marriage, especially in case where the Boy speaks Gujarati while the girl speaks Punjabi. But how much more: they certainly had no idea. From pursuing every member of his family to even the long distant friends, ex-s and his fiancé’s family Amit finally gave up on everything and ran at his own wedding a week before to marry Bandita. Confusion, drama, tumult, brain freezing some love stories can get very complicated when started at 2 pegs.

Epilogue

Hindu Vedas might claim alcohol consumption being a sin as it leads one into unconsciousness, but Laxmi would dance every night wearing his ghungroo in the name of God only after 2 pegs. Somewhere in a small town of Maharashtra, this dancer believes that alcohol is the only way to make him remember God, parrying away from other worldly distractions.

 

2 Peg Ke Baad is available for pre-order on Amazon, Paytm, FlipKart and Infibeam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in uncategorized

My Seven wonders ‘social media’ moments


Once upon a time, there was a luxury called IRC chat attracting like magnets starved adolescents to the cyber cafe down the ‘galli’ (Alley). There ‘was’ yahoo mail. A lucky adolescent, you gotta be lucky to sneak beyond your parents preening eyes at home to steal moments logging on and off, jamming your phone lines. Setting an e-mail and dying to receive something at wiring speed was joy unplugged tasting like mint chocolate. Social media aka networking was a luxury and an ‘alien’ that entered our lives much later. Saving our ‘measly’pocket money to chat in the cyber cafe for 30 precious minutes, till the dying seconds like a fielder to win a match.

Enter 2000! Hi 5 came to rule our hearts for a short stint like a passing flingy affair! The domesticated and now history ‘Orkut’ which is in ‘RIP’ stage was the first domesticated love. A tiny, geeky fellow called Marc Zuckerberg came to rule our lives. No prize for guessing! We became tweeple, linkedin Gurus and bloggers. A candid confession: It was in 2006 during the final year when friend in college gave me her blog link in a paper scrap which left me wondering on the cool and zany way of rocket science on the web. See! I ain’t no techno savvy and pardon my illiteracy when it comes to the web and world of computers.

Image credit: Google

 

Chillax! I ain’t scaring your wit with my social media horror story. The digital world worked wonders in my life as I hark back to the not-so-old 730 days of life that brought me exposure and visibility. This post should have been christened, ‘How social media added spice to my life?’ Sounds boring!!! Let’s get a bit mechanical. There is no harm getting stuck in the routine of life. Pardon, this uninteresting language coz I have ‘successfully failed’ to get the mojo to make this post a jewel.

It started way back with the ‘blogger me’ in 2013 reading super talented tribe members that increased my viewing from a paltry 10 to 12 in a day to reach an average of 3,000 monthly. Write Tribe gave me a big push in the ass. One thing led to the other: A to Z challenge, Ultimate Blogging challenge in 2014 and, of course, Blog Adda’s WoW made the blog quite visible. I must have made it to 15 WoW posts by now. Sharing blog links on the biggest saviors on earth, FB, Twitter and G+ was alien to me. Till it happened! That’s the true super power. Move over the superman, spiderman and Krissh!!! Idhar chala mein Udhar Chala!!!

I whine a lot about places like Facebook that push me into a depressing mode from time-to-time and even went to the extent of de-activating the account for weeks and months. Ahem! Ahem! There is no denying that places like FB and Twitter got me the high points in life and ‘celebrity’ kinda temporary status in what were the rough years. Two years that got me publishing e-novellas on both blogs.

Some freelance work landed in my spicy platter of ‘food’ that taste better every single day. Social media platform provided me with such an amazing opportunity to publish and boast about my work. Like they say, we are all a product and depends how we sell the ‘package’. I got two freelance assignments via Facebook. Yeah! I ain’t kidding and you gotta trust me on that. The year 2014 was the time I ventured in an arena I feared the most, doing book reviews. Once again, courtesy Write Tribe, went along with the fun of reviewing Shuchi Singh Kalra’s Done with Men and a couple of Sundari Venkatraman books as well as many more. Toggled with blog interview of popular authors such as Shuchi, Kiran Manral and Ruchita Misra. It was the true moment of life.

Slow and steady on social media, it brought me some kinda lil stride where quite a few book authors have contacted me to do their reviews. I am not being pompous. Far from that, the authors who were kind enough to give me their book for reviews plays a catalyst part for me to get lil bit of social recognition to take my career further. Years down the line, I would refuse to believe in the super power of social media on how it can make careers by publishing for free. I take a bow to that. What an idea, Sirjee! Any argument on that!! You can be a publishing author for free by using social media but mind you, it depends how you do it.

Doffing my hat to the role the lover played in my life. Don’t we all love social networking? It returns the love with equal passion. I was pondering on a ‘boring’ post on the highs of 2014 but it’s a year I’ve left behind. In short, the high tide been guest posts for bloggers, welcoming our online friends on ‘scripting the story of life’, book reviews, authors’ interviews, couple of short stories loved, freelancing, my interview on Sugandha blog, political satire, Mumbai Musing and great many friendships carved. The social media journey made memorable as I get to read super, talented good people who makes me learn a new thing every day.

My 2014 in review. Wait did I repeated the year that’s now flown in ash and dust!!! Let’s not repeat that again. What’s your social media journey and your ‘Taj Mahal’ moments! It’s my seven wonders spelled out.

Love

V