Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Shore of a Lake

"Wow!" she exclaimed.

He made an "ugh" face as he continued to read his book on the shores of the Lake Tahoe.

"What!" she said irritatingly, "Did you even bother to give a second glance?"

He pulled down his shades partially and gave a brief look, "The water is muddy so why to give me the trouble!" he admitted.

"Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Now if the beholder is a grumpy old man, beauty does not care to show her true self" she said while continuing to click the picture of the pebbles amidst the mud.

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In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using a lens. Join in the fun at CarrotRanch

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Guest Post of The Smitten Husband by Sundari Venkatraman


Lately it's been raining authors :)

I got an opportunity to meet up with The Sundari Venkatraman.

Question
"I see you have penned down quite an impressive number of books thus, making your writing career as Numero Uno. As a reader and a follower of your author page, could I get a peek into A Day in the Life of Author Sundari Venkatraman?"


Thank you so much for your compliment. Numero Uno!!! Not yet, but soon. :D

All my days are generally the same from Monday to Sunday Unless, I decide to go out by myself or with my family, I work on all seven days of the week. It’s fun since I am my own boss.

I am a late riser, waking up at around 9-9.30 am. I cook on some days when the mood takes, or my part-time cook does the honours. I open my computer at around 11 am. I begin with promotions, a bit of fooling around on social media and then writing.

I do my best to write every day and succeed most days. My target is 2000 words, but it doesn’t really matter as long as I write at least 500 words. What I write today, I definitely edit and proof the very next day. I can’t go forward otherwise.

I read at least a few pages every day. I go for a walk or exercise, depending on my mood. Sometimes, I am too lazy to do either. Dinner is my department and I can’t escape that. So I cook in the late evening.

Late into the night, when all are asleep, I pray. This is basically chatting with my Maker, writing my gratitude journal and visualising my future in colour.

I go to sleep at 2-3 am.

Yeah, my family has given up on me. They realise that it’s more peaceful if I am left to live my life the way I want. ;)



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You can get a peek into her work via

Twitter: 
@sundarivenkat
Skype: sundarivenkatraman
FB page: Flaming Sun
Amazon Author Page: Sundari Venkatraman
GoodReads: Sundari Venkatraman

Friday, September 23, 2016

Guest Post of Usha Narayanan the author of The Secret of God's Son

Today I got an opportunity to have a tete a tete moment with a prolific writer/author.

The Usha Narayanan!

I am in awe of her creation thus my question


"You are the queen of mythos, Usha. Have always been curious ― while writing, do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you hold the reins?"
Interesting question, Ruchira! My very first book , ‘The Madras Mangler’, started off with just five pretty girls having fun under the sun. Soon they began to demand more colour and action in their lives and I finally ended up bringing in a killer for them to fight and defeat!
If this were the case with mortal characters, imagine how much more spirit and fire you would have to deal with when your protagonists are gods reborn on earth! ‘Pradyumna: Son of Krishna’ started off with the simple story of a prince in an asura court who finds out that he is the son of the avatar. How was this pampered youngster going to transform himself into a warrior worthy of his clan? As he focused on building his confidence and his physique in order to kill the tyrant Kaalasura, I focused on finding out more about him. I discovered that he was Kama born again and that his wife Maya was Rati herself, trying to recreate their transcendent love in a world coming under the sway of the evil Kali demon. Pradyumna had to embark on dire penances and take on deathless demons. He had to seek wisdom from Krishna and Shiva and wage battles with the devas and Yama himself. And that was not all. My research unearthed clues on his previous lives ― lives packed with action, adventure and misadventure. His exploits spilled over into a second book, ‘The Secret of God’s Son’, where I infused stories from our puranas with a huge dose of imagination. After all, mythology provides us with a gigantic canvas and limitless possibilities to portray divinity and splendour.
In my fictional universe, Pradyumna became not just a hero but a super hero, one tasked by his godly father to save the world from evil. He must discover new powers and weapons, venture into terrifying realms and bring back a message that would empower humanity to face the challenges of a sinful world. He and Maya became symbols of the transformative powers of love that can defeat darkest evil.  
It was a tempestuous journey as I guided Pradyumna to his destiny and I sincerely hope that my readers find him as memorable as I did. Do email me at author@ushanarayanan.com with your thoughts. Find me on www.facebook.com/writerusha or tweet @writerusha.

Spotlight of The Secret of God's Son by Usha Narayanan


Banner - THE SECRET OF GOD'S SON by Usha Narayanan
THE SECRET OF GOD’S SON
by
Usha Narayanan
Book Cover - The Secret of God's Son
Goodreads link


Blurb
‘The seas will devour the glorious city of Dwaraka. People will forget your name and your Gita. May the world perish! May the world perish!’

With this cruel curse on Krishna, Queen Gandhari plunges mankind into the unspeakable evil of the Kali Yuga. 
It is up to Pradyumna to try and reverse the dire prediction. To journey into terrifying realms, confront Yama and Shiva, and to vanquish the Kali demon. In order to do so, he must shed all that holds a mortal back—his arrogance, his fears, his baser instincts… He must lead his people out of the swirling vortex of greed, disease and misery. And there is one powerful weapon still…the secret surrounding Pradyumna’s origin.  
Will he uncover it in time to fight off the cataclysm? 
In the answer lies the destiny of all humanity! 
Grab your copy @
About the author
Usha Narayanan
USHA NARAYANAN
Usha Narayanan had a successful career in advertising, radio and corporate communications before becoming a full-time writer. She is the author of The Madras Mangler, a suspense thriller, and Love, Lies and Layoffs, a light-hearted office romance. The Secret of God’s Son is the sequel to her bestselling book, Pradyumna: Son of Krishna, which was published in July 2015. 
When she’s not juggling travel, writing and interviews, Usha reads everything from thrillers to romances, provided her cat isn’t fast asleep on her Kindle. She would love to hear from her readers here: author@ushanarayanan.com 
You can stalk her @

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Media mentions
Praise for Pradyumna: Son of Krishna
Usha Narayanan has taken a quantum leap . . . to the outright spine-tingling narrative from the leaves of a time before. This book is Indian writing coming of age” Femina
Like the best of our mythological tales, this too, is a multilayered one . . .There is valour, there is cowardice, there is glory, there is shame, there is sex, lies and deception” The Hindu
This engrossing tale takes readers on a mythological saga” Times of India
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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Self-Introspection and Compassion

Love, Care, Affection, Honesty, Compassion.
These are some of the nouns that are wired into living creatures.
These names hold a special place at the bottom of the heart in every breathing creature, but it's the environment, the setting the circumstances that can either make an individual mute these attributes or can hone it.


When an infant is born, the terms such as sharing, helping his/her sibling, use of the magic words are inculcated. All of them learn it, but as they tread upon the journey of schooling from elementary to middle school, most of them forget all about it. Call it the race to the finish line or just darn lack of time or the choice of priorities.

Adults sure play a significant role in their molding but at times they too are lost in this game thus, choosing to pinpoint only when necessary. The yearning is all within, but unfortunately, the materialistic world blows dust over it thus, allowing this attribute that actually distinguishes man from an animal to bury deep within.

The household is sprinting along the journey called Life. The child is busy with his academics, set of friends and a shield established by his parents with regards to exposure to the wild world. Until a calamity strikes, and this family starts to limp instead of walking with steady steps. All shields are broken. The slow walk makes them see around themselves. Makes them ponder over the pain their neighbor or a passerby is withstanding over a certain issue. That pain can be felt by all in the family. They choose empathy and extend their hand towards them, which is followed by compassion.

Compassion is an essential part of human personality. All of us have it. Some are more aware of it than others. Some of us have buried it under cynicism and some beneath skepticism.

Sickness, Tragedy, Loss, Sorrow make us halt in our rat race, and ponder over the essence of life.

Self-introspection makes us extend our hands to the community dealing with similar concerns since we realize the genuine joy in sharing and caring along the way.

The choice of giving back such as Volunteering of time and money, Gratitude, Exchange of smiles, Lending an ear to the distressed are some of the ways the society can usually be tendered upon when in distress.

What pace we choose to walk upon is the choice that we have to make!

Mantra for today: A Mindful life is the key to Nirvana!


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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Review of Dangle by Sutapa Basu


DANGLE 
by 
SUTAPA BASU


Blurb
Stunning, svelte, smart Ipshita is a globetrotter. She treks across the world to gather bytes for the travel chats she designs and hosts for TV channels. Despite being a self assured and sophisticated entrepreneur, Ipshita is haunted by a nameless fear. Social interaction with men unleashes psychotic turmoil inside her, making her wary of male attention. Yet, the cold and aloof Ips is inexorably drawn to the three men she meets at different points in her journey.
Her arousal to the overtures of these men catches her unawares. Well-built defenses break as her dormant sexuality goes into overdrive until she discovers the horrifying truth about them…and herself.
Life puzzles. Secrets tumble out. Will she be able to reclaim her life or let it dangle?

My Review
Dangle by Sutapa Basu is a novel that could be described in just two words...TT, i.e., Travelogue and a Thriller. The author's protagonist Ipshita travels across the globe with an aim to capture nature for her chat show that she freelances to various TV channels. Amidst the clicks of raw nature, the author takes the reader on a picturesque journey that ranges from the skyscrapers of Chicago to the hustle bustle daily grind of New Delhi and then a peeks into the army life and the quaint and offbeat Imphal, Manipur followed by the scenic and colorful beaches of Indonesia. Ipshita's mental being is also challenged as she fights each temptation that surfaces around her. Unknowingly she gets lured by men named Amar, Akash, Steve. However, leaves herself in a suspension mode with regards to the above individuals. 

What I loved....the author's research of the locales and the various destinations is commendable. The grip over her language was a smooth sail for the reader in spite of the protagonist being in a dangle. Sutapa has explored the various intersections of life where Ipshita is left swaying in confusion. 

Eventually, her fantasies are uncovered while uprooting her hallucinations. Illusions are exposed, and she was made to ponder over an incident that triggered when she was a teen. Thus, the root cause of all the above. It was engrossing but as a reader, I got the clue too soon when the protagonist read about the crash of Amar Seth en route to Delhi. That could have been delayed (my 2 cents!)

The games of the mind were uncovered, and she was labeled, 'cured' as she set about living her actual life with her long time childhood friend and husband, Aditya. But does the mind let her live this 'normal' life?  

Dangle is a novel about the power of the mind, and how it can capture the individual in spite of her being Stunning, Svelte, Smart and have a Flourishing Career. A Recommended read for people who love to live on the edge or study the mystic mind.

Grab your copy @


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About the Author


An author, poet and publishing consultant, Sutapa Basu also dabbles in art and trains trainers and is a compulsive bookworm. During a thirty-year old professional career as teacher, editor, and publisher, she travelled the Indian subcontinent, Nepal and Bhutan. She has visited UK, USA, Dubai and Singapore while working with Oxford University Press, India and Encyclop√¶dia Britannica, South Asia until 2013 when she decided to start writing seriously.  
Sutapa is an Honours scholar from Tagore’s Visva-Bharti University, Santiniketan and holds a teaching as well as a masters degree in English Literature. 
 As a publisher, Sutapa has developed and published around 400 books. Recently, her short story was awarded the First Prize in the Times of India’s nation-wide WriteIndia Contest, under author, Amish Tripathi. 
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Friday, August 26, 2016

A Roti

The sun broke the blackness triumphantly just as it promises each day; by spreading its bright tendrils to every corner of the globe and warming the planet including the city Delhi, India while chasing away the darkness. 

One such household was awaiting the return of the brightest star as the clock struck 5 am. A tall frame lady with a round figure dragged herself out of the bed while embracing herself tight to keep her warm as she walked in the cold corridor towards the kitchen. Her eyes were dull, body lethargic as she yawned wide to get more oxygen into her body so that she could go on with the new day but same old routine with a bunch of new instructions that were on the side of her mind marked with a red flag.

Once she entered the kitchen, her hands started to move diligently as she multi-tasked on preparing the morning and afternoon menu.
Kitchen chores began as the utensils clinked. Mortar and Pestle crushed the ginger for the morning tea. Cutting board pulled out for chopping the vegetables as the cumin seeds hissed in the hot oil in a pan while she methodically placed the produce in it followed by essential herbs and spices.  The bangles on her wrist also jingled along as she stirred with one hand while rolling the dough with another.

Just then she heard a loud curse from the adjacent room. That made her retract for a bit. Paused and continued with the drill but, this time was mindful of her actions and kept the volume low.

Within a few minutes, a command made her quick in her steps, and she hurriedly moved in that direction with a cup and a saucer.
Thereafter, the radio was ON with bhajans playing in the background as she hummed along and prepared a meal while sipping her tea along with it. Her hands got busy again by rolling out the dough into a neat circular form via a rolling pin on a flat surface and placing it on the hot pan.

The husband beckoned for his cup of tea, and she was quick to serve him inside along with an extra cup for his mom as he accompanied her while Sarita went in for a quick shower.

As the clock was ticking, Sarita's footsteps got quicker as she finished packing lunch for herself, her better half and placing it neatly in a casserole for her mother-in-law whom she lovingly called Mummy jee.

Once ready, she put the tiffin on the counter while shouting out in a particular direction, "Do not forget your tiffin" and just when she was about to leave with her's a distinct voice made her falter.

"How many roti's did you pack for him?"
That made her frown, ponder and after a brief pause she turned towards that voice and responded with respect, "Mummy jee, I put four this time."

Before the mother-in-law could say anything, another boisterous voice irritated her, "What! Do you think I am an elephant to be eating so many during the day?" the husband came out while combing his hair and expecting a response from his wife.

Sarita fumed and rolled her eyes as she viewed her watch, "Darn it! I will miss my bus today thanks to the mother and son." she muttered.

Turned towards him with her arms on her hips and said in a low voice, "Ask your mom about the logic of not serving odd but only an even number of rotis."

"Huh!" he said in a confused tone.

"Ma, what is this? You know I eat only three rotis during the day. Why did you ask her to pack four for me?" he posed in a baby voice, which made Sarita chortle as she placed her tiffin in her bag and waited impatiently to hear her side of the story.

"Listen, beta numbers such as one, three, five are never favorable."

She wanted to explain further but got interrupted by a fuming Sarita, "But, Mummy jee I also take an odd number roti, and you did not care to justify for me?"

Mummy jee blushed but immediately made it clear, "These figures not good for a man's career. You don't earn as much as him so do not worry." she continued with innocence.

That boiled Sarita further as she stormed out of the house wearing her chappals and with her bag on her shoulder.

"Oh God! Ma now look what you have done," said the tensed husband, "I will have to send her hundreds of texts to bring back her good mood." 

Mummy jee realized the impact, and clarified to her son by going on, "Odd numbers always lead to adversity. They tend to upset the digestion if consumed, and could also lead to weight gain."

The son at that moment was not interested in the odd even saga, and continued to get ready for work but mentally upset over his wife's reaction, and was fishing out ideas to please her.

Mummy jee went back to her knitting without giving a darn of what just happened but internally satisfied that her family had embraced the odd-even fundamental and shall continue to walk on it for a brighter future.


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‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’