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STORIZEN HOME TO YOUR STORIES

APRIL 2019

Exclusive Feature on PAGE 8

Photo by Javardh

Driving The Plot Protagonist Vs. Antagonist


Now Available on:Â


“LIFE IS EITHER A DARING ADVENTURE OR NOTHING AT ALL.” HELEN KELLER


WHAT'S INSIDE 7

EDITOR'S NOTE

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COVER STORY Driving The Plot - Protagonist Vs. Antagonist

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HOT OFF THE PRESS

India Misinformed - HarperCollins Publishers

- Pria 16

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Silicon States by Lucie Greene

Magical Women - Hachette India

- HarperCollins Publishers

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HOT OFF THE PRESS Majoritarian State

STORIZEN NEWS THE IVORY THRONE ALL SET FOR A SCREEN ADAPTATION

– HarperCollins publishers

- HarperCollins Publishers

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STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE How you can enjoy a beach trip with your toddler?

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HOT OFF THE PRESS Khooni Vaisakhi, Translated from the Punjabi by navdeep Suri – HarperCollins Publishers

- Sarah Jacobs

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STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE A Father and his Daughter Part 2 - Sangeeta Relan


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STORIZEN INTERVIEW Samantha Goodwin, Author Murder at Macbeth

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- Swapna Peri

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- Mukesh Rijhwani

STORIZEN REVIEW Shadows of the Night by Priyanka Lal

STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE

- Himani Gupta

The Krabi Diary - Stuti Gogia

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- Pria

STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE Practical Step To Love

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STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE The Himalayan Summer Odyssey

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STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE Varanasi, The Ghats... and more - Kasturika Mishra

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STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE Summer traveling tips for first time travelers - Pooja Bagul

STORIZEN REVIEW Murder at Macbeth by Samantha Goodwin - Swapna Peri

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- Raakhee Suryaprakash

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STORIZEN INDULGE Dr. Manisha Saxena, Author Natal Fault

STORIZEN POETRY A Summer's Journey - Vidya Shankar

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STORIZEN POETRY The Twins Beget Grins - Priya Karthik

100 STORIZEN POETRY I Will Be All That I Can Be

- Aparna Mukherjee


We are Sure You got a brilliant idea for a story Let us know when you write it and publish it. We'll help you spread the good word.

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from the editor

calling all writers!

DO YOU WANT TO BE A PART OF STORIZEN FAMILY? You can also be a contributor. Mail us your entries at talktous@storizen.com. Your smart ideas and inputs help us create our informative issues.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all - every time I read this quote by Helen Keller, it’s a gush within that reminds me of treating life as a journey rather than going towards as a destination. The focus here is on the path, the track one travels and not on the final destination or point. Summer has arrived and many of us are in the mood of vacation. The theme for April 2019 Issue of the Storizen Magazine is 'Summer and Travel'.

Only we as people don't travel but the characters in a story i.e. Protagonist and the Antagonist also travel in their lives usually to achieve the different goals but what happens when they are fighting for the same goal? Check out our Special Feature this April: Driving the Plot - Protagonist Vs. Antagonist. As a lover of literature, how can we forget to bring you the latest book releases. We are happy to introduce to you five hot releases this month in collaboration with HarperCollins Publishers and Hachette India viz. Magical Women edited by Sukanya Venkatraghavan, Khooni Vaisakhi by Nanak Singh which is translated from the Punjabi by Navdeep Suri, India Misinformed: The True Story by Pratik Sinha, Dr. Sumaiya Sheikh and Arjun Sidharth, Silicon States by Lucie Greene, Majoritarian State edited by Angana P Chatterji, Thomas Blom Hansen and Christophe Jaffrelot. If you have a toddler at home, you will definitely love the Editor's Choice Article by Sarah Jacobs - How you can enjoy a beach trip with your Toddler. Also featuring an exclusive interview with Samantha Goodwin (Author - Murder at Macbeth) Packed with travel experiences, stories and poems, you will be tempted to read this issue again and again! Help us spread the word by a like, comment and share and let us grow our family of Storizen! Happy Reading!

Saurabh Chawla, Editor in Chief editor@storizen.com


COVER STORY

Driving The Plot Protagonist Vs. Antagonist A Storizen Exclusive Feature Two main characters fighting to resolve the 'conflict', one plot. Protagonist and the Antagonist, who should drive the plot?

by Pria

Writing a Novel involves a plethora of events. The planning, the voice, the plot, the characters etc., all play a major role in deciding how the novel will be at the end. Will it be liked by the readers or dropped by them? Writers today may seem to follow the strategy of writing what the readers want to read but there is something which is 8

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lost by them in the entire process - their own voice.

The main thing that every story out there has and what makes it an intriguing read is 'conflict'.

APRIL 2019


COVER STORY No matter what the readers and the writers feel about the novel, characters actually drive the story from the beginning till the end. Characters are the ones with whom the reader connects. Depending on the genre, the two types of characters are the Protagonist and the Antagonist. I have read hundreds and thousands of books. The plot, the story line, twists and turns are all dependent on how the characters are carried forward in the book. Letting the Protagonist drive the plot

Protagonist is the one who takes the events in the positive direction. The Protagonist is the primary character whose

story is actually being told. The Protagonist can be seen as the primary character who is all set to achieve a goal. The main thing that every story out there has and what makes it an intriguing read is 'conflict'. Without conflict, story is not a story at all! Every person out there in the living world is struggling with many things in order to fulfill the goals and live a life. The novel consists of three main parts - the beginning, the middle part and the ending. Out of all three, the middle part is the most challenging to write. The reason is that it has the maximum content and it plays a vital role in keeping the readers hooked to the story. If the protagonist is allowed to

Without conflict, story is not a story at all! Every person out there in the living world is struggling with many things in order to fulfill the goals and live a life.

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COVER STORY drive the plot, everything that will be happening will turn out to be in his or her favor. The whole idea of the conflict would be deemed as useless. Protagonist driving the plot would be something like winning a race with your own self. But there are exceptions to the rule...

When it is a good idea to let the protagonist drive the plot? There are numerous books like Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and many more in which the Protagonist plays the Negative role! The two sides of the same coin are also the same. This situation can be the grounds of playing the Ace card, letting the protagonist drive the plot. The bad side to it is that the story could end up being a clichĂŠ too!

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Creating the Antagonist Antagonist is the guy who stands in opposition to your primary character, the Protagonist. The Antagonist should be developed such that he or she is complex and compelling. The readers' attention will be riveted to the antagonist's journey. However, the primary conflict that is the root of the story shouldn't be ignored. The conflict part should be given more consideration than focusing on the character's journey alone. One thing to be taken as a rule in general is that the Antagonist is the protagonist of his or her own story. Antagonist is in belief that they are not doing anything wrong or in opposition to what the main character or the protagonist is doing. One thing to be noted here is that Antagonist need not necessarily a "Bad Guy". STORIZEN MAGAZINE

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Protagonist and Antagonist fight for the same goal One thing that supersedes the conflict is that the two important characters of the story share the same common goal. The classic character archetype can be seen in the movie The Dark knight. Out of all the Superheroes, Batman is somewhat still my all time favorite superheroes. The Dark knight had two primary Villains, The Joker, excellently performed by the late Heath

Ledger, and Two Face, played by Aaron Eckhart. For our example, we will consider only Joker at the moment. The main protagonist of the story, the Batman is fighting to free Gotham City from corruption. Every action he takes is driven by this goal. Joker on the other hand, is also fighting for a goal. Every action he takes is driven by his goad. Any guesses what his goal was?

One thing to be taken as a rule in general is that the Antagonist is the protagonist of his or her own story. 12

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COVER STORY A Gotham City free of corruption. The conclusion here is that the Batman and the Joker are fighting for the same thing! The story needs to be written with extreme caution in this scenario. Either the end goal of the Antagonist shouldn't be revealed to keep the intrigue or if the end goal is revealed, the actions that the Antagonist does should be opposite of the goal he or she is trying to achieve.

Protagonist vs Antagonist The two characters should be placed in opposition to keep the conflict going on. Now, their goals can be in opposition with each other or their perspectives of achieving the goal should be in opposition to each other. A story still can't be complete if the conflict isn't resolved. This takes us to the thought of letting the Antagonist drive the plot.

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Letting the Antagonist drive the plot Unlike the protagonist, the Antagonist's thought process while writing the story will be more intriguing both while writing and while reading. If as a writer, you ever get stuck at some point in the story, rather than thinking like the Protagonist, think like the Antagonist. What he will do if he gets stuck at that point? You will straightaway get the answer of where the story should go next. As a reader also, the intrigue, suspense, the thrill is there as the readers are more inclined towards the Villains actions than the Hero's. Other important benefit of letting the Antagonist drive the plot is to see the fun part of how the Protagonist will make in order to oppose the moves of his counterpart. Each and every move will bring both of the Protagonist and the Antagonist closer together towards the climax.

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One thing to be taken as a rule in general is that the Antagonist is the protagonist of his or her own story.


COVER STORY Summarizing the points, if it gets harder for you to come up with what your protagonist is doing or should do. Maybe the Antagonist's actions will help you in figuring out the actions of the Protagonist and what he or she should be doing to beat the Antagonist. In this way, the middle part will be written automatically. If not, at least you will have that direction in which your story is going. Who according to you should drive the plot, Protagonist or the Antagonist?

(Visit www.storizen.com for the full coverage!)

About Pria - Young, mesmerizing freelance blogger, social enthusiast, an economics graduate from Jharkhand University with Master in Child Psychology. She is hardworking yet crazy, a passionate reader, an ardent music fanatic, an avid caffeine lover, and a maniacal animal lover too. She has been a part of numerous anthologies, articles, and write-ups for newspapers and magazines which are multi-linguistic. She has also written screenplays for YouTube series.

pria@storizen.com

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HOT OFF THE PRESS The book is a collection of original short stories written by leading female voices in contemporary Indian fiction.

ABOUT THE BOOK: A weaver is initiated into the ancient art of bringing a universe into existence. Four goddesses engage in a cosmic brawl. A teenage shape-shifter learns to understand and control her unchannelled powers. A graphic designer duels with a dark secret involving a mysterious tattoo. A rebellious chudail makes a shocking announcement at a kitty party. A puppet seeking adventure discovers who she really is. A demon-hunter encounters an unlikely opponent. A young woman’s resolute choice leads her to haunt Death across millennia... A compelling collection of stories that speak of love, rage, rebellion, choices and chances, Magical Women brings together some of 16

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the strongest female voices in contemporary Indian writing. Combining astounding imagination with superlative craft, these tales will intrigue and delight readers in equal measure. ABOUT THE EDITOR: Sukanya Venkatraghavan is the author of the fantasy novel Dark Things, which was selected by Amazon.in as a Rising Star of Autumn 2016 and a Most Memorable Book of 2016. Sukanya started her career in film journalism with Filmfare and was also the entertainment editor at Marie Claire. She has been a part of the creative team, including scripting, for shows such as Look Who’s Talking with Niranjan (ZEE Café) and Design HQ Season 2 (Fox Life). She is also the research head on Koffee with Karan (Season 6).

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The book is a collection of original short stories written by leading female voices in contemporary Indian fiction.


STORIZENEVENTS

HOT OFF THE PRESS A Trenchant Assessment of the Narendra Modi’s Government and Its Impact on India.

Majoritarian State traces the ascendance of Hindu nationalism in contemporary India. Led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP administration has established an ethno-religious and populist style of rule since 2014. Its agenda is also pursued beyond the formal branches of government, as the new dispensation portrays conventional social hierarchies as intrinsic to Indian culture while condoning communal and casteand gender-based violence. The contributors explore how Hindutva ideology has permeated the state apparatus and formal institutions, and how Hindutva activists exert control over civil society via vigilante groups, cultural policing and violence. Groups and regions portrayed as

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‘enemies’ of the Indian state are the losers in a new order promoting the interests of the urban middle class and business elites. As this majoritarian ideology pervades the media and public discourse, it also affects the judiciary, universities and cultural institutions, increasingly captured by Hindu nationalists. Dissent and difference silenced and debate increasingly sidelined as the press is muzzled or intimidated in the courts. Internationally, the BJP government has emphasised hard power and a fast- expanding security state. This collection of essays offers rich empirical analysis and documentation to investigate the causes and consequences of the illiberal turn taken by the world’s largest democracy.

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A Trenchant Assessment of the Narendra Modi’s Government and Its Impact on India.


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HOT OFF THE PRESS A Trenchant Assessment of Narendra Modi’s BJP Government and Its Impact on India.

Angana P. Chatterji is Founding Co-chair of the Political Conflict, Gender and People’s Rights Initiative and Visiting Research Anthropologist at the Center for Race and Gender at University of California, Berkeley. Her books include: Violent Gods: HinduNationalism in India’s Present; and Conflicted Democracies and Gendered Violence (co-edited).

Christophe Jaffrelot is Research Director at CNRS, Sciences Po and Professor of Indian Politics and Sociology at the King's India Institute. His books include: Hindu Nationalism: A Reader (edited); The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience; and Religion Caste and Politics in India.

Thomas Blom Hansen is Reliance-Dhirubhai Ambani Professor in South Asian Studies and Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University. His books include: The Saffron Wave: Democracy and Hindu Nationalism in Modern India; and Melancholia of Freedom: Social Life in an Indian Township in South Africa.

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WE DON'T SELL BOOKS

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STORIZEN EVENTS

HOT OFF THE PRESS A Poem on the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, 1919

To mark the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in April 2019, HarperCollins will publish Nanak Singh’s lost manuscript, Khooni Vaisakhi, translated for the first time into English by the author’s grandson, Navdeep Suri. The great Punjabi writer Nanak Singh was present at Jallianwala Bagh on 13 April 1919 and twenty-two years old at the time. As the British troops opened fire on the unarmed gathering protesting against the Rowlatt Act, killing hundreds, Nanak Singh fainted and his unconscious body was piled up among the corpses. After going through the traumatic experience, he proceeded to write Khooni Vaisakhi, a long poem that narrates the political events in the run up to the massacre and its immediate aftermath. The poem 22

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was a scathing critique of the British Raj and was banned soon after its publication in May 1920. After sixty long years, the poem was rediscovered; it has now been translated into English by the author’s grandson, Navdeep Suri, for the first time and will be published in April 2019 to mark the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. Featuring the poem in translation and in original, the bilingual edition is accompanied by essays by Navdeep Suri, H.S. Bhatia and by Justin Rowlatt, whose great-grandfather, Sir Sydney Arthur Taylor Rowlatt, who drafted the Rowlatt Act. NANAK SINGH (1897-1971) is widely regarded as the father of the Punjabi novel. With little formal education beyond the fourth grade, he wrote an astounding fifty-nine books and received the

APRIL 2019


A Poem on the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, 1919


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HOT OFF THE PRESS

SahityaAkademi Award in 1962. NAVDEEP SURI is an Indian diplomat who Is currently India’s Ambassador to the UAE. He has translated into English the classic Punjabi novels PavitraPaapi and AdhKidhiyaPhool written by his grandfather.

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STORIZENEVENTS

HOT OFF THE PRESS India’s first book on the menace of misinformation and how to avoid it.

The propaganda of misinformation and hoaxes disseminated through print, graphics, and social media has altered the social landscape of this nation. It has led to multiple cases of lynching, mob violence, defamation and riots, and continues to pose a serious threat to Indian democracy. India Misinformed: The True Story, written by the team of Alt News, a fact-checking website that debunks fake information – and edited by Pratik Sinha, Dr Sumaiya Shaikh and Arjun Sidharth – identifies the purveyors of fabricated news, exposes the propaganda machinery and familiarizes readers with techniques to detect these menacing stories.

Hindu? Was Narendra Modi declared one of the most corrupt prime ministers in the world? Is Sonia Gandhi the fourth richest woman in the world? Did Rahul Gandhi register as a non-Hindu at the Somnath Temple? Do treatments promoted by the Ministry of AYUSH have robust scientific evidence for efficacy? With photographs to establish its claims, India Misinformed: The True Story presents the real picture. About the editors: Pratik Sinha is the co-founder of Alt News, where Dr Sumaiya Shaikh, a neuroscientist, is the science editor. Arjun Sidharth is a writer with Alt News. He has previously worked in the television news industry.

Was Jawaharlal Nehru anti-

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India’s first book on the menace of misinformation and how to avoid it.


STORIZEN EVENTS

HOT OFF THE PRESS A Bracing Look at How Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, And Other Silicon Valley Power Players Are Using Their Influence Across the Globe to Encroach Upon Our Civil Landscape. In an era when faith in government and its institutions is quickly eroding, the businesses of Silicon Valley are stepping in to fill the gap. With outsize supplies of cash, talent, and ambition, a small group of corporations has been gradually seizing leadership —and consumer confidence— around the world. In Silicon States, renowned futurist and celebrated international think-tank leader Lucie Greene offers an unparalleled look at the players, promises, and potential problems of Big Tech. Through interviews with corporate leaders, influential venture capitalists, scholars, journalists, activists, and more, Greene explores the tension inherent in Silicon Valley’s global influence. If these companies can invent a social network, how

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might they soon transform our political and health-care systems? If they can revolutionize the cell phone, what might they do for space travel, education, or the housing market? As Silicon Valley faces increased scrutiny over its mistreatment of women, cultural shortcomings, and its role in widespread Russian interference in the elections of other countries, we are learning where its interests truly lie, and about the great power these companies wield over an unsuspecting citizenry. While the promise of technology is seductive, it is important to understand these corporations’ possible impacts on our political and socioeconomic institutions. Greene emphasizes that before we hand our future over to a rarefied group of companies, we should examine the world they might build and confront

APRIL 2019


The Power and Politics Of Big Tech And What It Means For Our Future


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HOT OFF THE PRESS

its benefits, prejudices, and inherent flaws. Silicon States pushes us to ask if, ultimately, this is the future we really want.

appeared on BBC, Fox News, and Bloomberg TV as an expert on the future.

Lucie Greene is the worldwide director of The Innovation Group, J. Walter Thompson’s in-house creative think tank for the future. The Innovation Group’s work is frequently cited in publications including The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Guardian, WWD, USA Today, and The Times (London). She is a thought leadership columnist for Campaign, writes for the Financial Times on futures, and has spoken at conferences including TNW, WWD Digital Forum, SXSW, Web Summit, Cosmoprof, and Ad Week, discussing future trends across multiple lifestyle sectors. She has

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The Ivory Throne All Set For a Screen Adaptation HarperCollins India is pleased to announce that Arka Mediaworks has optioned the audio-visual rights for Manu S. Pillai’s award-winning book, The Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore. Hailed by readers and the press as one of the most fascinating and gripping slices of Indian history, with its warrior queens and ‘female Maharajahs’, enveloped in the dynamics of a princely court in colonial India, The Ivory Throne became an instant bestseller on publication in the year 2015. It even won multiple awards viz. the Tata Literature Live! Best Debut (Non-fiction) and the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar, and was shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt prize. Ananth Padmanabhan, CEO, HarperCollins India said, ‘We’re thrilled that Manu’s magnificent book is now one step closer to finding new life on screen. Manu’s page-turning narration, coupled with the incredible cast of characters makes The Ivory Throne one of the most awaited book-to-screen adaptations from India. We’re also delighted that the book is in the capable hands of the team at Arka Mediaworks who rewrote cinematic grandeur with the Baahubali films and I’m confident we’re going to see an adaptation that’ll be appreciated by viewers all over the world.’

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‘We're excited to start work on bringing the stories and research that Manu Pillai put into his book, The Ivory Throne, to screens. He tells a compelling and unique narrative of an Indian princely state that has rarely been explored or seen on screen before. The stories, culture and traditions from a bygone era can be captivating and engaging to audiences, both in India and abroad. We hope to bring this story to life, and showcase it in all of its glory,’ said Shobu Yarlagadda, co-founder of Arka Mediaworks. Manu S. Pillai said, ‘I am delighted that Arka has optioned The Ivory Throne, and will summon their phenomenal expertise and creative abilities to try and bring alive this remarkable tale of power and princely politics on screen. Sethu Lakshmi Bayi, the protagonist of the book, was one of India’s most remarkable queens, with a life story that is truly gripping – it is most exciting to visualize her tale on screen, and I look forward keenly to the day this happens.’ ABOUT THE IVORY THRONE In 1498, when Vasco da Gama set foot in Kerala looking for APRIL 2019

Christians and spices, he unleashed a wave of political fury that would topple local powers like a house of cards. The cosmopolitan fabric of a vibrant trading society – with its Jewish and Arab merchants, Chinese pirate heroes and masterful Hindu Zamorins – was ripped apart, heralding an age of violence and bloodshed. One prince, however, emerged triumphant from this descent into chaos. Shrewdly marrying Western arms to Eastern strategy, Martanda Varma consecrated the dominion of Travancore, destined to become one of the most dutiful pillars of the British Raj. What followed was two centuries of internecine conflict in one of India’s premier princely states, culminating in a dynastic feud between two sisters battling to steer the fortunes of their house on the eve of Independence. Manu S. Pillai’s retelling of this sprawling saga focuses on the remarkable life and work of Sethu Lakshmi Bayi, the last – and forgotten – queen of the House of Travancore. The supporting cast includes the flamboyant painter Raja Ravi Varma and his wrathful wife, scheming matriarchs of ‘violent,

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profligate and sordid’ character, wife-swapping court favourites, vigilant English agents, quarrelling consorts and lustful kings. Extensively researched and vividly rendered, The Ivory Throne conjures up a dramatic world of political intrigues and factions, black magic and conspiracies, crafty ceremonies and splendorous temple treasures, all harnessed in a tragic contest for power and authority in the age of empire.

series, and soon, a Netflix Original series; among other projects.

ABOUT ARKA MEDIAWORKS Arka Mediaworks, founded by Shobu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devineni in 2001, is a leading name in motion picture production, television programming and digital content distribution. Since its inception, Arka Mediaworks has produced several television shows across languages and channels as well as numerous commercially successful and critically acclaimed Indian films – Maryada Ramanna, Vedam and the Baahubali films are among them. Currently, Arka Mediaworks is focused on growing the Baahubali brand, India's largest and most successful tentpole franchise comprising of films, virtual reality, novels, animated

HarperCollins India authors have won almost every major literary award including the Man Booker Prize, the DSC Prize, the New India Foundation Award, the Atta Galatta Prize, the Shakti Bhatt Prize, the Publishing Next Award, the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Crossword Book Award. HarperCollins India also represents some of the finest publishers in the world including Oneworld, Bonnie Zaffre, Usborne, Dover and Lonely Planet. HarperCollins India is also the only publisher to have been awarded the Publisher of the Year Award three times: at Publishing Next in 2015, and at Tata Literature Live! in 2016 and 2018.

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ABOUT HARPERCOLLINS INDIA: HarperCollins India is a subsidiary of HarperCollins Publishers. HarperCollins India publishes some of the finest writers from the Indian subcontinent and around the world, publishing approximately 200 new books every year, with a print and digital catalogue of more than 2000 titles across 10 imprints.

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STORIZENNEWS

ABOUT MANU S. PILLAI: Manu S Pillai is the author of the awardwinning The Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore (2015), and Rebel Sultans: The Deccan from Khilji to Shivaji (2018). Formerly Chief of Staff to Dr Shashi Tharoor MP, he has in the past worked at the House of Lords in Britain, with Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE DL, and with the BBC on their Incarnations history series. Written over six years and researched in three continents, Manu’s first book, The Ivory Throne won the 2016 Tata Prize for best first work of nonfiction and the 2017 Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar. Manu is also text contributor to Serena Chopra’s Bhutan Echoes (2016), and writes a weekly column for Mint Lounge. His other writings have appeared in The Hindu, Open Magazine, The Times of India, Hindustan Times, and other publications.

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STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE

How You Can Enjoy a Beach Trip with Your Toddler by Sarah Jacobs

Summer is the time of sunshine and happiness. And to probably most of the people around the globe, summer would be synonymous to the beach. There would not be any need for any survey and study, everyone can loudly agree that going to the beach is equatable to the BEST TRIP EVER!! And if you are one beach obsessed individual, the ocean calls to you and the further you are from it, the more sadder you get. And I can safely assume that you have always thought of yourself as a mermaid, even if it is just in your dreams. It is no wonder why the beach is most of the time remembered as a happy place for almost everyone. From family outings, teens gathering for some beach fun, even a couple of well in the years lovebirds walking hand in hand by the shore line, the beach is a place full of wonderful moments and memories. And science can back up that indeed, spending time to splash around is beneficial for all, from babies to the oldies. The calming sound of the waves are good for meditation and for calming the soul. The relaxing sound is good for improving mental clarity and help in alleviating depression. The gigantic big blue landscape helps in getting those creative juices running. It is also worth mentioning that those salty waters and healing ions do a ton in de-stressing and in healing whatever knots you have on. Your first love may be the beach, and now that you have a family on your own, you would want to share your love for the big blue to them. It would not be a problem if you and your spouse share the same passion over beaches, since it might mean that your kids would just be naturally inclined to love 36

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STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE

what you love. But in the case that you doubt your genetic prowess, here are some tips on how to enjoy a sunny day out at the beach with your toddler:

key to keeping the enjoyment throughout the day. You can start this by reminding your toddler of some basic rules even before the day of the trip. Include some safety instructions while keeping the excitement high days prior. And be sure to remind from time to time, since your child might get too distracted with everything that is going on around. APRIL 2019

Photo by Mike Lloyd

S afety first: Safety is always the Pack the right stuff: It never fails to be prepared for any eventuality‌ especially with a toddler. Make sure to pack all the necessities like diapers, baby wipes, extra sets of clothing, sunscreen, snacks, water, first aid kit, formula, and towels. Aside from the essentials, don’t forget YOUR own beach bag. Do not forget to bring along some umbrella, hats, sun shades, and of course the toys. STORIZEN MAGAZINE

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Sun Protection: Yes, soaking up

on those vitamin D’s are good for everyone. But protecting your toddler from harmful UV rays are a must. Make sure to have your tot slathered in sunscreen, and reapply as needed. Let them wear some hats and sun shades for added protection. Remember that the sun is at its full exposure from 11am to 4pm. So make sure to keep them under shade as much as possible during those hours. It would be even better to schedule your beach trip early, to avoid having your kid under the heat of the sun.

Sleeping Space: The sound of

the sea is sure to conk out babies and toddlers. It must remind them of the good old days in utero, where all they did was sleep. So when that happens, make sure that you have the sleeping space that they could crash on, where they are protected from nature’s elements. A tent or a windbreak, plus a thick towel can do the trick.

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B e sure to hydrate: The beach is a place where kids would love to lose track of time. There will be so many things to explore and the place is simply a sensory overload. While these little explorers might get busy digging around and splashing about, don’t forget to get them enough water to avoid dehydration. Bring some cold drinks and fruits for variety. One hack is to have those fever patches on hand, so you can just stick one up the forehead to keep them cool under the heat of the sun.

Sarah Jacobs is an experienced writer who loves creating articles that can benefit others. She has worked as a freelance writer in the past making informative articles and fascinating stories. She has extensive knowledge in a variety of fields such as technology, business, finance, marketing, personal development, and more. https://giftninjas.co/

The key to having a great day at the beach with your toddler is in being able to read and understand how your child is taking the trip. While it would be great for everyone if the young one was able to enjoy as much as everyone else had on the trip, it would still be wise to keep the expectations low. Also, no matter how good the day may start, oversensitized kids are prone to tantrums by the end of the day. So be sure to be able to ready your child’s cues and act on it as necessary.

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A Father and his Daughter…. by Sangeeta Relan

T

he conversation had the desired effect and George realized his mistake. He stepped back but of course found it difficult to do so. He now put his heart and soul into making sure that Mila’s wedding was one of its kinds with no expense being spared. Many times Gina had to step in and hold him back and cut down on the unnecessary expenditure. She had to keep reminding him that they couldn’t afford to spend all their savings on this wedding and also of the fact that he had never been so lavish at the time of the other weddings. It both amused and frustrated her to see him like that. But what broke her heart was the look on her husband’s face when at the end of the

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ceremony it was time for Mila to leave. It seemed as though his world had fallen apart, he had tears in his eyes and just wouldn't leave his daughter. Their relatives had to gently pull him away, at which point he just broke down. It took him quite a while to get used to the fact that his daughter’s world was different from his own and no longer would he be the most important man in her life. But gradually he learned to accept this reality, of course with a lot of support from the two women in his life. A year and a half of this state of affairs and one of the women decided to leave him forever….. Just like that. Gina, who had always been hale and hearty, had never

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on track. It was difficult, almost impossible but slowly and gradually, the acceptance came. George had to come to terms with the reality and also with the fact that he had to move on and let his daughter and son in law get on with their lives. He convinced them to move back and decided to get a hold on his life.

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known a day’s illness, went off to sleep one night and never woke up. It was a day which began normally for George till he realized that, his wife, always an early riser had not joined him for the early morning tea. He went in to wake her up where to his horror he figured that he would never be able to do that. Panic-stricken, he called up Mila who rushed with a doctor who told them that it had already been two hours since Gina had passed away. The father and daughter were stunned. It was shocking, it was unbelievable and not something they could accept. Gina had been the anchor, the rock-solid presence in their lives. How could she leave them and go? How were they supposed to function without her? It was Abhi who had to step in and take charge of the situation. He had to make the necessary arrangements and inform all the relatives and friends. Once it was all over, Abhi decided to stay back and help George get his life back

Time moved on as it had to. For George living alone was not easy but he had no choice. Of course, he wasn’t left alone by Mila and Abhi. They would visit him practically every week, speak to him every day and be there for him. On his part, George immersed himself in his photography, his reading, and gardening. Never one to indulge in selfpity, he kept himself busy so that he had less time to sit and brood. He missed Gina terribly but chose to remember all the good times that they had had and the beautiful memories that STORIZEN MAGAZINE

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they had created. He would look forward to having all his children over who had now made it a point to visit him twice a year. At those times with the house teeming with his children, his grandchildren, he would wonder if Gina could see how happy they all were and then feel happy herself. But once they all left, George would feel very lonely and forlorn especially for the first few days. Though Mila and her husband were there, they did have a life of their own and couldn’t always be around. One day while George was buying his groceries at the local supermarket he saw someone who seemed very familiar but he couldn’t place the woman till the time she walked up to him. The moment she said hello, it all came back to him. She was Megha, his friend who had just moved into the neighborhood. They had been good friends in school and were meeting after more than thirty-five years. They sat

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down to have coffee and to catch up. George came to know that Megha had just moved close to where he lived as she wanted to be close to her son. She told him about her life, how she had lost her husband twenty-five years ago and had brought up her children single-handedly. George was quite impressed by the story of her life and by her grit and courage. He told her about his life as well. They parted ways after promising to stay in touch. This chance encounter with Megha stirred up many an old memory in George. He remembered how he had been completely besotted by her in school but had never had the courage to approach her. It felt good to see her after so many years and yes, he did want to see her again. Another chance meeting with her, this time at the local doctor’s set the tone for many more coffee evenings and afternoons. Meeting her added that spark to his life

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which had gone missing ever since Gina had died. Though he loved spending time with her he didn’t want anyone to know about it especially not his children. He loved them a lot and didn’t want to jeopardize his relations with them because somewhere he had a feeling that they may not like his meeting Megha. They might think that he was being disloyal to their mother. But was he being disloyal?? The moment this thought entered his head, it wouldn’t leave him. Though he knew that he wasn’t doing anything wrong, he was just spending some time with a friend, the feeling wouldn’t leave him. He tried to rationalize the situation by trying to understand as to what was bothering him. And yes he knew the answer, just because the friend was a woman, he was feeling guilty. Had it been a man it wouldn’t have bothered him at all. He then decided to consult a few friends who told him to stop worrying about others and to do what made him happy. 44

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This made him feel better and he decided to stop overthinking and get on with his life. But the more he met Megha the more he liked spending time with her and he could see that the feeling was being reciprocated. They had started to depend on each other for a lot of things, initially with the feeling of not bothering their children too much to the feeling of wanting to be a part of each other’s lives. But then the guilt??? Was he being unfaithful?? Was he being selfish?? He had no answers to these questions. He tried discussing with Megha but she was sailing in pretty much the same boat. In the meanwhile, Mila could sense that her father had become strangely quiet, a little uncharacteristically quiet. There were no morning and evening phone calls, no entreaties to her to come and see him, no surprise visits by him on Sundays!! Something was definitely amiss!! Her natural instinct told her that something was not quite right. APRIL 2019


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She hoped that it wasn’t a medical condition. So one Sunday morning leaving her family behind she decided to pay a surprise visit to her father. And what did she see on her arrival!! Her dad was going out for lunch and when she wanted to know the name of his friend he turned just a little shade of red and wouldn’t tell her. She found his behavior both odd and funny. Not wanting to give up she kept questioning him till he had no option but to tell. When she heard the story and sensed the embarrassment behind it, she had this sudden urge to hug her father and tell him that it was fine for him to have a woman friend. It was no big deal. She decided to do just that. She sat him down and like a parent would explain to a child, she started to explain to her sixty-five-year-old father that he had every right to feel happy and if that happiness meant being with another woman, so be it!! And there was no question of being unfaithful or disloyal to his wife because Gina would feel happy to know that he was happy. She told her father that

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her mother had always loved him unconditionally and always wanted to see him happy. Therefore he could choose to be happy in any which way without going on a guilt trip.

Mila’s pep talk and her handling of the situation made George feels better. It felt as though he had been pulled out from under a ton of bricks. He decided to go ahead and meet Megha. He didn’t know what the future had in store for him, he didn’t know how long he would live, he didn’t know how long Megha would live but he knew one thing… his life ahead would include her no matter what.

Sangeeta Relan is an educationist by profession and a writer by hobby. She has been teaching at the University level for over 28 years, she's also a corporate wife and a mother to two boys. She is passionate about reading, writing, singing, and cooking. She writes frequently on her blog called About Her

@AboutHerOnline

@about.her.insta

The daughter had made the father’s life easier just the way he used to do it for her when she was a child... Child the father of man!! 46

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STORIZEN INTERVIEW

Samantha Goodwin Author, Murder at Macbeth


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AUTHOR INTERVIEWS Tell us something about Samantha as a person. What is a normal day in your life like? Well at the moment I’m on maternity leave, so my days are largely dictated my very energetic 11 month old boy. I grab writing time when he naps. I’m ecstatic now he can sleep in the cot, before then I did a lot of onehanded typing holding a sleeping baby! When I’m at work, my day job is Marketing and Communications Manager for a national charity so my tasks are very varied, although unsurprisingly my favourite is being the editor of their magazine. I tend to write for 30 minutes before work and during my lunch break and am always amazed how quickly things can progress with such little time.

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Take us through your bookMurder at Macbeth. Why did you choose to write a mystery thriller? Murder at Macbeth is a crime mystery novel centred around a talented, young actress who unwittingly stabs herself live onstage after a prop knife is tampered with. Suspicion immediately falls on her eclectic band of castmates and the detectives have to figure out who had the motive to kill the show’s leading lady. Bitter rivalries, secret trysts and troubled pasts are just the beginning of the story... I’ve always been fascinated by the superstitions surrounding Macbeth about it being cursed and the fact the play itself is about corruption and deception provided an interesting parallel to the murder mystery. Plus, I found the concept of interviewing suspects who are also actors

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really interesting; they could so easily be playing a part to hide the truth. Crime is the perfect genre for me as I love all things crimerelated, from books and TV shows to murder mystery games! I think everyone enjoys an intriguing whodunnit. There is such a sense of satisfaction in trying to identify the culprit, especially when there are lots of twists and turns as new clues turn up. I’ve always found the best mystery books hook you so well that you end up thinking about solving the crime even when you’re not reading it. Was there a defining moment in your life which prompted you to take up writing?

that I could do it. Also, it ended up being the last proper conversation I had with my Dad before he died suddenly of encephalitis two years ago so I felt very driven to finish it as a tribute to him. I found the whole process of writing very cathartic during grieving, it was helpful to be able to pour my energy into something positive. Name some of the books that have influenced you from this genre? There are so many! Some of the most influential have been The Girl on a Train and Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. I love how those stories unfold through different narrators’ perspectives and the mystery is gradually revealed. That writing approach is definitely something that influenced my own novel.

I’ve always wanted to write a book and it was my husband, Chris, who finally convinced me

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AUTHOR INTERVIEWS What other genres do you wish to explore and write? I’m a big fan of dystopia, so it would be great to write in that genre. The idea of creating an entirely new world is very appealing to me as there would be so much scope for creativity. My only limit would be my own imagination. How was the publishing journey and what challenges did you face? My main challenge was simply having enough time to work on my novel as I finished writing it just before my first baby was born. So as you can imagine the editing process took a lot longer than I had originally intended! Luckily my editor and proofreader were very patient and worked with me really closely to help refine the story. It will have taken me two years in total, which I think is pretty good all things considered! I am incredibly excited for it to finally be released.

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What are your favorite books and who are your favorite authors? The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling will always be a classic one for me. For the first 5 books I was exactly the same age as Harry Potter was when they were first released, so I really felt like I was growing up with the books and could relate to the characters on so many levels. I find J.K. Rowling incredibly inspiring, not just because she created the incredible Harry Potter universe, but more so because she wrote the first books while she was a single parent looking after a young baby. I can definitely relate to how challenging that balancing act can be.

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Murder at Macbeth is a crime mystery novel centred around a talented, young actress who unwittingly stabs herself live onstage after a prop knife is tampered with. It’s a classic whodunnit as suspicion immediately falls on her eclectic band of castmates and the detectives have to figure out who had the motive to kill the show’s leading lady. Bitter rivalries, secret trysts and troubled pasts are just the beginning of the story...


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AUTHOR INTERVIEWS Do you believe in any writing rituals? My writing ritual is quite oldschool as I insist on hand writing all my first drafts because I find my ideas flow better! It’s great because it means I can write anywhere, but is definitely more time consuming. I then type everything up as I go along and when it comes to editing I print off the pages and edit by hand. I find reading on paper much more natural, which explains why I still have so many paperback books and I haven’t invested in a Kindle just yet!

Few words to your readers. Expect the unexpected as the plot unfolds in this classic whodunnit. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you know someone just because of how they first present themselves to the detectives. All is not as it seems…

Are you now writing anything new or just enjoying the success of your book? Currently I’ve been mainly focusing on my book launch for Murder at Macbeth, so have been working on numerous guest posts and author interviews to help spread the word. I do have a few other future projects in mind, but you’ll have to stay tuned to find out more. APRIL 2019

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Rapid Fire With Samantha: 1. Your all-time favorite author/writer? J.K. Rowling 2. Do you believe in writer's block? Did you have it anytime or not? Yes absolutely. I found reading to be the perfect cure! 3. Your favorite place to write your book(s)? Outside in the sun. 4. Research and then write or research while writing? Which one you prefer? Research while writing, otherwise I’d never get started! 5. Do you Google yourself? Yes!

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DECEMBER 2018


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AUTHOR INTERVIEWS As a debut author, I really value hearing what readers think of my writing. You can get in touch with me on Instagram; @samanthagoodwinauthor to let me know your thoughts. And never underestimate how important it is to leave a book review on Amazon if you can it really does make a huge difference to new authors.

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FOLLOW SAMANTHA AT: https://samanthagoodwinnet.wo rdpress.com/ @samanthagoodwinauthor

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Photo by Priscilla Du

Practical Step to Love by Mukesh Rijhwani Excerpt from one of my favourite books of all time – Linchpin (Seth Godin). Seth quotes Moby, multi platinum recording artist with a great haircut, had this to say about art: Ideally, the market should accommodate art, art shouldn’t accommodate the 56

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market… I know, it sounds idealistic. I had been trying to make myself happy and make radio happy and make the label happy and make the press happy… and it made me miserable. I also don’t really aspire to selling too many records. See, my friends who are writers sell 20,000 books APRIL 2019


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and they’re happy. My friends who are theatre directors sell 5,000 tickets during a run and they’re happy. I like the idea of humble and reasonable metrics for determining the success of a record. And I like the idea of respecting the sacred bond that exists between musician and listener. Back to me, is it possible for us to make the artists (in this case the authors) less miserable. The authors are also hardcore humans like us who have to do physical workout, spend hours in traffic, handle the everdemanding boss, show up at the community events, attend to endless laundry list and still exhibit the stance of a saint…. and top it allwrite to feed their soul. With the hope to touch yours. Here’s my humble requests to you in this

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special edition of Storizen. Whenever you go to a book launch (or a book event), just go and buy the copy of the book to show your love for the author (or books or both). Take that extra few minutes out to find out the price of the book and check your card balance for that amount. Do this and your love will transcend through the author to great books in the future.

thank you for bringing great books and enriching my life. I love you all.

My dear publisher (or the event coordinator), here’s equally humble request to you. The reader, who came all the way for the book event,make them feel special. By providing special discount, if they buy the copy on that day (or in the near future).Take that pain to collect their name, email and number and send them a message of Gratitude and Love (even if they don’t buy a book). To all my friends in the publishing eco-system, 58

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The Krabi Diary

Travel Journey by Stuti Gogia

The unparalleled beauty of Riviera Maya

Not all those who wander are lost - J.R.R. Tolkien

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A few years back, I was going through psychological trauma, all unknown what I’m doing with my life and where do I have to head further,the reason for this state of unhappiness was ‘I’,so the only thing that was left to do is to heal myself in the best possible ways. Whenever I need healing ‘‘Travel Therapy’’ works best for me. Beach, sand, and sun can really help to heal faster which I requisite most. Krabi has one of the best beach views. Blue water surrounding the islands and the voice of gushing waves perform symphony to ears and the most amazing part of my journey was “Island Hopping”. As I had to reach on time for boarding speedboat so I decided to start my trek at dawn .I had a view of beautiful sunrise which deems so serene, exotic and full of life that hardly anyone can get their eyes from it and this gives you hope that no matter how much darkness you faced in past, you can still stand up and rise again. APRIL 2019

So,I finally sat in the speedboat which had two sitting areas,one had the rooftop and other had an open roof. I opted to sit in the later one as I wanted to endure the onshore breeze and scenic view. The first stop was Island covered with the blanket of white sand. Sparkling and STORIZEN MAGAZINE

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shining like the speck of diamond basked all around by the glint of sun made it believe that sand is a most underrated natural healer, the healing capacity of it, is beyond measurable. All you need to sit or lie on it you will feel the difference in energy. From there onwards, I hopped 3 more islands via the same mode. The major one was Phi-Phi Island which is commercial more for shopping and food. As I reached back at 6 a.m. on the main shore, it has been sunset till then which was nearly soulsatisfying. The nest two days underwent eating local foods, exploring the local market, enjoying spas making it a good beach time. 3 days packed with sun and salt worked well and at the end, I was back with much-needed energy. Exploring this beautiful part of nature I conceived that you really become a true traveller when you start enjoying the journey as much as you enjoy the destination. And similar goes for our life,the heartbreak, the emotional trauma and failures are all the part of our journey and when we start appreciating and accepting them 62

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we will start growing in a better way through not craving to reach some perfect destination. And yes this is true we all hit rock bottom once a while because there is no life without muddle but what matters most is that with how much zeal we can bounce back. So, if you feel you are lacking that zest for life then take a trip to an unknown land.

Stuti is a Software Engineer by profession and a writer by nature. She realized her love for writing while blogging for her own page. Her work has also been appreciated by Quora users. She is God's true evangelist and her work speaks volumes about it.

@stutigogia

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My Himalayan Summer Odyssey by Raakhee Suryaprakash To To To To

move, to breathe, to fly, to float, gain all while you give, roam the roads of lands remote, travel is to live.

- Hans Christian Andersen The first time I took a flight was the summer before I turned twenty. I flew to New Delhi from Chennai that May and after a Himalayan tryst flew back a fortnight later. Nowadays flying has become commonplace that teenagers are blasé about taking multiple and longhaul flights. Yet, at the turn

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of the millennium, it still was a big thrill. And I was fortunate to forever associate my first flight with ‘Summer and Travel’.That summer I flew escaping the scorching Chennai heat [Agni Nakshatram – peak summer] for a Himalayan Odyssey. My mother and I met up with her former roommate, Dr. Chanda, and her son at the nation’s capital and then took off on a multimodal journey along the tourist trail in the Himalayan APRIL 2019


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foothills. We met up with Dr. Chanda’s relatives, sometimes staying with them, sometimes having them show us the gems off the beaten path. I had just completed my first year of college and that summer break was a great way to recharge from the rigors of the transition from a school girl to a college-going adult. Traveling by train, by bus, by taxi we made our way from Dehradun to Mussoorie to Nainital and finally onto Almora all in the then newly formed Himalayan hill state of Uttarakhand.

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While the rest of my family was baking in Chennai’s soaring summer temperatures, my mother and I were donning sweaters, jumpers, shawls, and flannel to stay warm in the cool Himalayan summer. One memory that stands apart was being blown away by the flavors after tasting litchi for the first time. After that, we were ordering chilled litchi juice at the various tourist attractions and buying bunches of litchis from every other roadside seller. I was equally blown away by the magnificent and massive red brick building of the Forest

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Another highlight of my Himalayan Odyssey was the privilege of getting a tour of the LalBahadurShastri National Academy of Administration in the other Himalayan summer retreat of the British Raj, Mussoorie. It’s where trainees of the Indian Administrative Service go to become fullfledged pillars of the Indian Civil Service. The views of the snow-capped Himalayas from the institute and the greenery all around left me spellbound. It remains a cherished memory to date. Research Institute. And within its pretty exterior, there was so much know-how on sustainable forestry and afforestation even so long ago. It’s sad that despite knowing how vital our forests are to our survival (not to mention vital for water security) we continue to play ducks and drakes with it. We even stopped for photoops in front of the famed Doon School.

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Later, we were blessed to reach Nainital when the moon was nearly full. Despite a hair-raising bullet-fast night-bus journey, Nainital was breath-taking at night – the Queen of the Hills dressed in all her jewels for a fabulous evening on the town. The moon, the lit hills reflected on the lake all made for a very glamorous welcome.

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Though it was the worrying lines of fire, lit to prevent forest fires, which were eerily beautiful dominating the hills that remains uppermost in my memories of beautiful Nainital. Finally in Almora, we stayed in a wooden two-storey traditional hill home. It was there I met a DRDO scientist, the daughter-in-law of our hosts, who was home recovering from a fracture. It was inspiring to a Chemistry student like me to see a woman scientist in the employ of Government of India working on developing instant foods for Indian scientists serving in the Antarctic Station. From Almora we took a day trip to the ancient temple of Jaageshwar. It was set amidst a deodar forest with massive twin trees before the temple that is said to produce a characteristic rustle when the wind passes through them. Deodars are actually high altitude trees, but despite this

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being just the foothills of the Himalayas, they grow near this ancient temple. There is a belief among the locals that when you hear that song of the wind, a funeral procession will arrive shortly (side note: Jaageshwar is a temple of Lord Shiva – the god of destruction in the Divine Trinity atop the Hindu pantheon and generally there are graveyards found near his temples). Despite trips to the usual tourist traps, it was these gems off-thebeaten-track highlighted by our local guides and hosts and their warm welcome in the cool climes that remain our most cherished memories. My summer Himalayan Odyssey is one of the best trips in my life. It was life-changing and inspiring, the places, the people and the multiple modes of travel all while escaping the merciless Chennai summer. A slice of paradise – a summer break in the crown jewels of Uttarakhand!

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[Dedicated to the memory of the Late Dr.Chanda Pandey who passed away in March 2019, she cheerfully guided us on this summer odyssey across the foothills of the Himalayas.] RaakheeSuryaprakash is a Chennai-based writer, editor, and analyst. She has a master’s degree in International Studies and an undergraduate degree in Chemistry and is associated with civil society organizations such as the Red Elephant Foundation, Chennai Centre for China Studies & Climate Tracker. Her short stories and articles have been published widely both in print and online media.

@raakhees

@10sunshinegal

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The Ghats... and more by Kasturika Mishra When you set out on a journey you have a hundred expectations you evaluate the money factor, do research on the background of the place and also help the emotions to run high. The charisma and mysticism of Banaras effervescent in spirit are ideal for the wanderlust. My journey started on reaching the platform and a train named after the Hindu’s ideal and most venerated God Shiva. The wee hours of a serene and cold temple town was brought alive when one entered the Viswanath gali. Who has been given this status of a slayer of all evils could be pacified by a few Bela leaves, lotus, and roses lined in a queue to get a passing glimpse. What hovers on the sanctum is a dilapidated small arch of tattered temple structure that can fall over the chanting pilgrims. Chanting of Har Har Mahadev kills your silence and the demons that torture you! You wonder the pilgrimage industry so close in the picture to targets and pressures of any corporate house will soon be withered to eternity. When their esteemed product the Viswanath temple is so brutally pounded by lines and rows of tourists who care less for their performance how does one gauge the final profit. APRIL 2019


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The whole propaganda reverberates on encouraging cash-in devotion to the God who himself has a frugal diet and leads such austere life. Mangal Aarti, Rudrabhishek all the related devotional reality makes one belittled that God has put sums on our devotional levels. The place has a group of tonsured Kasi pilgrims male and female who don’t carry any pretensions on their love for Lord Shiva and happy being jostled inside the temple. The same place at the other end stands the allwhite uniformed Neta babu who is next to Lord Shiva for Viswanath’s pandas, Baba Viswanath for the police and the watchdogs of our societal norms. Who will police the police? After you alight from the elevated status of a bhakt, a gift of kachori and jalebi and rickshaw ride to Ganga ka kinara is a welcome change! The boatman is hanging like Damocles sword and hardly allows you to bargain his loot on boat-ride of the 84 ghats. The ghats are all intertwined with small galis that close on APRIL 2019

each day with a cacophony of tourist mongers, foreigners would be workers on religious principles, wannabe-saints who know their backgrounds don’t allow them the space to breathe the air into their so-called pious veins. They roam around learning French, Spanish, Russian to guide the aliens so supernaturally and superficially oriented to adapt pseudo-Hinduism. You learn when you peep closer that you are an easy target to their hollow promises of proximity to God and his various small mercies.

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You gather the substance of their talk that hovers on heavy traffic, metamorphic tourist needs, and the survival on less and lesser space to live and ruminate. Everybody is ousting each other in the ball game of life holding everything else responsible for the impasse and Banaras woes but not himself. The ride on the boat overlooking the ghats was a revelation on the moving life of an exploited river that has become a lifeline for many who want to abandon their near ones. On namesake, Ganga is treated like a mother, filthy and dirtied by the same people who worship her with her fervor during Ganga aarti. The place stinks of enormous environmental hazard equal to an epidemic proportion and the citizens of the country are raining sewage garbage and plastic waste on the river bed. Crores and resources 72

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are being announced and pushed into the system on a defunct and choked urban sprawl. The life savings of many devotees across the globe is washed away by the demanding Jajman on the edifices atop the ghats where pilgrims dole out money without any thought. If one is not cunning and worldly wise one loses the strength to oppose bad vibes and getting cheated by the priests. Outside the Kashi Viswanath Temple, one lines up in the queue with bel leaves and roses to pushed and shoved into a dark alley of lanes where even a pigeon will breathe with difficulty. The temple administration has the prayers demarcated into amounts that matter to help you meet the lord in hour’s timings of the day on paying a particular sum. Army and police guard the sanctum as if the deity and the terrorist have a pact while the temple’s upper and lower crust is peeling and falling off like a tree in autumn fall. There is less and lesser attempt to preserve the virtuous and pious environment and more on the judgment of God on the public depending on their purse. APRIL 2019


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Rickshaws and pedestrians are all that can ply and every nook and corner has a paan shop to satisfy the choked mood. Food is cheap, affordable but available only in small portions. The Indian spice route conveniently travels from one plate to another in plates of chaat of various kinds flavored with masalas and chutney. Misrambu and lassi with doles of homemade malai on it are suited to the sagging nerves of moving among the crowd as a commoner.

Kachori and sabji along hot piping jalebi mingle the taste buds to more food stalls. Keshav ka paan digested everything that you ate. Afternoon descends and with a heavy feeling, one gets into a Rs. 50/- rickshaw ride to the citadel of knowledge Banaras Hindu University. It makes you wonder how well the massive and towering British colonial structures standing tall against the congested galis of Banaras.

The massive old banyan trees, tea stalls, university and college students meeting over Maggi, small samosas and Rs 5/- tea in earthen pots. The massive women empowerment of the women’s college at the towering entrance of Banaras Hindu University makes you proud of the vision of our nationalists Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya. Who would have imagined that

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this 19th-century colossus would have grown out of the simple request of an intelligent visionary to an egoistic king like Kashi Naresh? The man runs on foot from sunrise to sunset and demarcates a portion of the kasha kingdom for his vision to materialize. He wins on the war footing when brain triumphs over the king’s wealth and brawl. The king throws his expensive shoe at the Pandit which gets auctioned at Lanka chowk to fetch the university it’s first earning. The maverick Pandit gets his friends to share his ways and within years on merely a generous donations the foundation is laid. On the amassed wealth and many who share the visionary’s thought there now stand tall in annals of history a university that boasts of highest excellence in research and emphatic philosophy.

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The evening descends on the simmering silence of the ghats to observe Ganga aarti. This is a daily a ritual where on one end a deadman’s body travels to sounds of “Ram Nam Satya he” every two minutes to Manikarnika ghat on another end the blazing fire display of diyas keep playing on the religious fervor of the Shiva devotees. The sound of conch shells, Sanskrit prayers invoking the Lord transforms your soul. You are in unison with the moment with an intrinsic desire to live and encourage the soul to higher levels. The experience lives you hungry to get more receptive to internal tussles one goes through to remain human or go beyond. What one gains at the end of the walk through the galis is buzzing consumerism against the serious thirst for the truth of the being. One should be guided or be a guide only time is left to and decide fate. The next day entails your journey to Sarnath a furlong from the main city where a Buddhist stupa and an ancient excavated site of an extinct temple complex of old dynasties of Gupta period runs from the period. How Asoka the great gets the Buddhist influence his kingdom to become a hub of monks and their historic forays into the unknown and seven commandants of Buddhism. The number of foreign tourists and followers of Buddhism visit these places APRIL 2019


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to satiate their hunger for completing their pilgrimage tour. The Varanasi that is left outside the historical museum and sprawling lawns of Sarnath is all marketing spot waiting to exploit the currencies from all over the world. Generate employment and provide food to the otherwise poor and teaming population bordering on hinges of an old and choked civilization. What Aurangzeb did centuries ago by building a mosque just next to the Kashi Viswanath Temple and plundering the innocent masses to penury is being replaced by Indian middle class who wants the best of clothes for himself at the cost of letting the city die its natural death. What will remain will be the political hopes of smart city offer by Prime minister that will flow into the Ganges as yet another attempt to bring development to the doors of an archaic city that can only be experienced on the periphery and not repaired ever. Governments make promises but the citizens APRIL 2019

have to cooperate on the reality they face. In lieu of getting a few kickbacks for babus, everything is compromised at the alter ego of the scheme of things.

Kasturika Mishra is a Library cataloging specialist, music and dance critic and writes in English. she also translates from Hindi and Oriya her native language. @kasturika.mishra.1

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Summer Traveling Tips For First Time Travelers by Pooja Bagul Traveling in Summer could be fun but only if you are well equipped to fight the heat. While summer looks like an ideal time to travel west side of the world, it may be a little tedious to travel in summer especially in tropical regions like India. Anyway, just in case you are a first time traveler in summer, here is what you need to take with you on your trip.

L oads of sunscreen: You just

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cannot skip this. Whether you are a male or female, it doesn’t matter. Make it a point to carry your sunscreen whenever you step in the sun.

summer could be a little daunting but you need to know that it is fun too. Ideally, you can think of skipping a road trip altogether.

Sunscreen would help you to keep away harmful sun rays that would cause tanning and blemishes further.

Hill station places are best during summer time as the weather is friendly and it doesn't trouble you way too much.

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A iry cotton clothes: Whenever you are packing cloth pay special attention to the fabric. Pack cotton clothes are they allow the air to pass through your skin. Cotton clothes would also help in absorbing sweat which will further avoid skin problems like rashes. Pick loose cotton and linens, light colours, summery prints instead of bulking up on heavy dresses in dark colours. Flip -flops are a must when travelling in summers to keep you carefree. But, remember, you need to pack light in order to travel free and at ease. Photo by Aidan Formigoni

S tay hydrated: While travelling

you may often forget to drink water, but make it a point to remember always. Drink more juices and fluids as they would contribute to keeping your body hydrated.

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P ower bank: You may not find the luxury of putting your phone on a charge through a charger. It is best to invest a little in a portable charger instead.

C arry sun coat: Summer can really be unapologetic at times! Thus, it is advisable to carry a sun coat with you whenever you go. At times the summer heat literally burns the skin and to avoid such cases you must carry the sun coat with you.

C ap or hat: Your head needs to

stay covered as much you can! Therefore we advise you to carry a hat or a cap with you wherever you go. A cap or hat shall help in becoming a barrier against the heat.

A system engineer by profession but an author by passion. Pooja loves to set her taste buds on fire every once in a while. Travelling is her hobby and shopping too! @poojabagul13 @hopelessly_romantic_writer

If planned right, travelling in summer can be absolutely relaxing provided you are travelling with the right things in the right place. Do you think we have missed out on any of the items that you think should be on the list? Well, then put it in the comment section below and let us know!

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STORIZEN INDULGE

AUTHOR'S JOURNEY

Dr. Manisha Saxena 80

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STORIZEN INDULGE

AUTHOR'S JOURNEY Few years back, one Sunday morning as I cleared the clutter, I laid hands upon a long forgotten leather portfolio bag, in the lowest shelf of my closet. Although kept well inside, it hadn't seen light of the day in years, so a thin film of grime had settled over it, diminishing its sheen. I had brought it with me from my parental home after my wedding and had perhaps never opened it in years so I hardly recalled its contents. A whole lot of memories flashed up on seeing it and then after gently wiping away the dust, I opened it. Ah ! There were sheaves of papers, hand written letters of friends, cards and beneath it an old

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leather jacketed diary. Oh, in these mundane years of worldly and professional life, I had hardly cared for it. So I opened it with utmost care lest I didn't tear up the yellowed pages and my eyes welled up when the words written in blue fountain pen stared at me, 'My own little world of Literature'. Hmmm....It was sheer joy when I reread my poems and musings and the mind raced back in time to their contextual origins. It reminded me of my innate love for books, stories and the written word. The earliest interest in stories were initiated when mom and grandmom narrated bedtime stories. It was a wonderful

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AUTHOR'S JOURNEY world, without any visual stimuli of TV or video. We visualized everything on our own and were lost in the worlds of fairies, princesses, witches and devils. Later on in nursery, when the first cursive 'a' was written with a chalk on a slate, a kind of excitement built up for baby me. In fact the first grade , small illustrated story of Late Kate, the poem of Gauri the Dreamer, and later encounters with Uncle Podger, sojourns of Alice in Wonderland, in the fabled Radiant Reader gradually brewed up romance for literature which was full fledged after laying hands on books by Enid Blyton, 82

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STORIZEN INDULGE

AUTHOR'S JOURNEY Agatha Christie, Barbara Cartland, Bronte sisters and Jane Austen. Not to forget tales from Shakespeare, Russian great Anton Chekhov and a whole roll of Hindi writers ranging from Sharat Chandra, Premchand, stories from Tagore and in later part Khushwant Singh, Rushdie, Adiga and Khaled Hosseini. So many legends of literature, mapped a lasting impression. My father late Prof. K.S Bilgrami, an eminent Botanist and environmentalist, ensured we read aplenty, so our bookshelves had the best stories of all genres from writers across the world. We three sibings, loved to gorge upon them. Thus literature had anchored well in the heart.

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I wrote down my first short story in class eighth for my school magazine. Later several poems were penned down but they were confined to the pages of my diary. In school, I loved all the subjects, even music was one of my subjects and I was trained in classical Hindustani vocal music. So devoting my career to literature was not thought of and as I qualified the medical entrance test in the very first attempt, I pursued my career in medicine. Literature, took backseat for sometime. Then years later with the onset of digital boom, I started contributing blogs to the Citizen Journalist CNN IBN channel18 during the years

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AUTHOR'S JOURNEY 2013-14 and as many of them were appreciated it again kindled the desire to write my own book. Traditional publishing houses these days, generally don't publish poems or short stories from debutant authors, which generally find way in mixed anthologies from different writers. So the challenge was to write a novel. I was always intrigued with war time stories, the societal milieu of pre- independence India so I had to bring it in the folds of my story. Moreover, even seventy years after independence, our nation still struggles with its miriad problems, as our soldiers are killed at the

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borders, the social divide persists, women are exploited, corruption prevails, experimental policies are introduced in education of students . Thus my debut novel Natal Fault, which scales seventy years, very closely feels the pulse of the Indian nation and at the same time has an everlasting love story cocooned within it. It was indeed a dream come true when the novel was published in November 2016 by Leadstart Publishing, Mumbai. It was launched at several bookstores across the country and at the Ahmedabad International Literature Festival.

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AUTHOR'S JOURNEY Natal Fault is available at Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal etc. Also internationally through amazon and Barnes and Noble. I would love if more and more readers could read Natal Fault and provide their esteemed reviews. For a writer the three

'Rs' are very important, that the readers Read, Rate and Review their books. Readers could connect with me on social media sites of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads etc. Soon I would be coming up with my second novel, which is a thriller set in a beautiful place. Till then enjoy Natal Fault.

Dr. Manisha Saxena is a novelist, Paediatrician, YouTube Travel Blogger, Citizen Journalist, Shutterbug and loves to experiment and explore. @drmanishasaxena

@dr_manisha_saxena

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Shadows Of The Night

BOOK REVIEW

by Priyanka Lal

by Himani Gupta

T

he cover of the book is perfect with the title which attracted be to read the book. Author had chosen black and white color for the cover which clearly match with the stories of different emotions and hope. I have read author’s first book “The Rose bush” which I really enjoyed reading it. It was perfect love story with different emotions but somehow this book didn’t lead to my expectations. The stories are short and crisp with easy language that one can read at one go. It is good for travelling and during free time. The author had blended all the emotions in 86

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one book. The best part of the book was its narration but somehow, I could not like the endings of some of the stories as I got confused whether it is completed or still to go. One cannot judge through the ending of the story. The book can be read by all the generations as it has stories for all. Among all the stories my personal favorite is Celebration of love and Language of Love. There are 13 stories and each story tell u something new. Those who would like to start reading or wants to develop their interest in reading can start with this book as it is short and easy to complete. All the best Priyanka. You are a good writer and I wish good and interesting stories from your end. Keep writing!

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Book Review About the Book: Nights are the times of real emotions. Mundane of the days may dilute what we feel but at night there is no hiding. Love - a teenager's fantasy, a dying man's first experience, a friend's playfulness, a person's hope‌ Love comes in varied forms and under different circumstances is expressed in a million ways. As the hours of the night changes, so changes the intensity of emotions and the lives of people make into new stories.An insight intoLives poles apart from each other guided by the touch of one common feeling, the stirrings of love. As you walk deeper into your nights be assured there is a shadow just for you. About the Author: Priyanka Lal hails from Ranchi but lives cosily in traffic packed Bangalore. She has found a spot for herself among books, by being part of the developmental process of several bestsellers in the last few years. Reading and life inspire her to write. She is an Art enthusiast and reacts positively to music, paintings, and people rebuilding themselves. APRIL 2019

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Book Review Summary: Book: Shadow of the night Publisher: Redgrab Books & Anybook

☆☆☆

Verdict: A short story collection with all the generes and emotons together one can read this book in their free time.

In her own words: I am Himani Gupta, By profession, I am an HR Manager working in Bengaluru. Reading is my hobby which led me to write reviews for my readers. I have read and reviewed numerous books so far. Rohit is my favorite writer as far as writing is concerned and I wait for his books to read. If you wish to get your book reviewed, do feel free to contact me. @himanigoyal21

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Murder At Macbeth

BOOK REVIEW

by Samantha Goodwin

by Swapna Peri

W here ever and whenever Macbeth is played in Shoreditch's Gemini Theatre at Commercial street, people die like some evil cast has been spelled. Numerous incidents have created a superstition among the people in the theatre that playing Macbeth may claim more lives. On March 23rd, Macbeth is planned and during the playtime a female artiste, Nikki is found lifeless on the backstage. Neil Hillton, the play director immediately informs the police and thus the Detective Office 90

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Robson and his Sergeant Zahra takes up the case. Before the police arrive, Jimmy, Nikki's love realizes that she is not dead. She is then sent to the hospital. When Robson arrives, they make an official inquiry with all the actors and stage personnel present there and come to know the Macbeth Superstition. Is it a coincidence? Is it a real superstition? Is there a real curse that is responsible for the deaths? Or did someone has been doing it deliberately to cover up a horrible truth? Was Nikki attacked because she knows the truth? Read this interesting book to unfold the mystery.

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STORIZENREVIEW

What I like: 1. A very nice storyline

3. The character of the Detective Officer Robson is very interesting. What I didn't like: As the story progresses, many new characters are added at every stage of the story. Too many characters created some confusion. Narration: The book is a perfect page-turner. From the very start till the very end, it is gripping and compelling.

Characters: There are a lot of interesting characters in the book. From a passionate play director to sincere artists and dutiful detectives, from the friendly fellow artists to jealous people. Book Title: The title of the ' Murder at Macbeth ' is very interesting and mysterious.

Language and Grammar: A very fine language and vocabulary are used in the story.

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2. The mystery is retained in every chapter.

Book Cover: The cover image of the book is a silhouette image of a young woman standing in dark with a light focusing on her. The image creates curiosity in the readers after reading the initial reviews and tag line on the cover.


STORIZEN REVIEW

Book Review

My Verdict: An interesting mystery!

Rating Book Title: 3/5 Book Cover: 3/5 Plot: 3/5 Characters: 3/5 Narration: 3/5 Language & Grammar: 3/5 Final Rating: 3/5

Swapna worked as SAP Consultant for 10 years in Major IT companies. Reading has always been her passion and occasional painting her hobby. She decided to quit her job, look after the family and pursue her hobby of reading and painting in a larger way. Thus, her big leap into book reviewing has paved a way and has been successful to date. Reading challenges interest her a lot and visiting book fairs is her favorite thing. She believes that there is no good back or bad book, but only books. Writing unbiased reviews is her strength and she is appreciated by fellow reviewers and readers for the same. An anthology of musings with her paintings is her pending dream!

@swapna.peri @sappy_dreamz_unlimited @swapna508

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STORIZEN POETRY

A Summer's Journey by Vidya Shankar Come April, and my trunks were packed, all set to go on the most exciting journey ever taken by mankind. It was to King’s Cross Station Platform 9 and ¾ I headed first, Where through the barrier I ran, oh so carefully, To avoid suspecting Muggle eyes. Of course, once past it, waiting there, the Hogwarts Express With its red steam engine, all ready and hooting, To take me to a wizarding world. A week I spent there, and wished it could be forever, But my journey was just begun and I had other stops to make. So up the towers went I and like the Mother of Dragons, Summoned Drogon. Perched I upon its scaly back, directed the course To Westeros, the Khaleesi that I was, to claim to the Iron Throne. ‘Twas at Paris I stopped next, and along with Professor Langdon, Followed I the trail to crack the code. Now exhausted, I proceeded to pleasurable Italy 94

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STORIZEN POETRY

Wherein I could just eat, pray and love, Before joining the Andalusain shepherd Santiago, And with him embark upon a search for treasure Across the deserts of Egypt, all the way to the Pyramids. A sea voyage beckoned me and with Pi I rode high tide and low, upon a raft With the mystical Richard Parker. A stopover at a Georgia plantation was next Where, with the charming Scarlett and Rhett, I too struggled for love and life. But soon I had to fly, for I heard the thorn bird calling, From down under, a song of such epic passion And heart-wrenching romance. Unable to take the pain, I found A passage back to India, and soon was upon All the roads that lead to the Ganga. I lost and found myself in Bombay, the maximum city, Till my friend Swami came a calling, And so, with him came I to Malgudi To go on bullock cart rides, play cricket and chase paper boats. But soon ‘twas time for me to return home, Where friends who heard my travel narratives Said, with some jealousy, I know, That travels I had none, only a deep dreamy sleep. APRIL 2019

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I don’t counter them, but smile instead For, when the travel images flash upon my mind’s eye, I know for sure were not illusions, but real.

Like a bamboo taking its time to grow, so has Vidya waited, patiently, for her time to come to live a life of purpose. A poet, writer, blogger, motivational speaker, English language teacher, instructional designer, content developer, and yoga enthusiast, Vidya has, today, broken the invisible shackles of an outdated society. An active member of poetry circles, her work has appeared in national and international literary magazines, literary platforms and anthologies. Her first book of poems 'The Flautist of Brindaranyam', a collaborative effort with her photographer husband, Shankar Ramakrishnan, was published in December 2017. @shanvidwinsalways

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STORIZEN POETRY

The Twins Beget Grins by Priya Karthik

The brightest star radiates, Takes the form of a lengthy, strong cord Entwined with love ,duty and responsibility. Pulls kith n kin from nook n corner, Reestablishing the togetherness under one banner, Paving the way for many chitter chatter, While performing the annual rituals diligently. A sacred journey beating the heat, To beat the heats of life.

Photo by Martin Jernberg

The inseparable twins, Often comes together, lingers forever. The orange rays that kisses the land, Kisses our life too, with memories fond. The eastern light ascends Only to render life's sweet essence.

The golden rays rings our door bell, A call to open the door of pleasure,

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STORIZEN POETRY

And welcome the dawn of travel, Away from the darkness of monotonous task. A break to rejoice, refresh and rejuvenate, We pack not the bag of clothes, But the bag of excitement, We carry not luggages, But loads of amusement, We travel not just as family, But with myriad of emotions, Waiting to be expressed, longing to be felt. Emotions swap, Egos scrap, Solutions knock, Compassion and affection enwraps!!! As we embrace the twins “Summer and Travel” . The twins , go hand in hand, Harvesting tonnes of happiness From everywhere!!!

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Padmapriya Karthik is an enthusiastic orator,writer and a budding poet. During school and college days, she had participated and won prizes in various oratorical, essay and debate contests. Poetry is her passion.She feels poetry as an effective tool to portray ones vivid thoughts with unique choice of words.Her works have been featured in different anthologies like ‘Scintillating Scions’,'Efflorescence’ and Muse India, an online journal.’ priya.kkarthik@gmail.com

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Photo by Kristine Tanne


STORIZEN POETRY

I Will Be All That I Can Be by Aparna Mukherjee With my high spirits and hell-bent mind, I never let the flakes Of hopes fall apart. For, ocean of love Dwells in my heart. It is my good deeds That set me apart. No ray of dismay Will fall on my way For, in my mind, I sustain Someday, my win is certain. No fear creeps around Stands there in front of me The endless will-power Which would fence me round. To my goals, when I intent on No uncertainties can dwell upon Success will surely kiss my feet No matter what happens I fix it my mind to not to fleet. For, I will do my best to rise. To fill the world with surprise No matter how Curvy the roads be I will surely ahead For, I will be all That I can be. APRIL 2019

In a few words, Aparna defines a woman who beholds high aspirations and firmly believes in expanding her horizon. She holds a Master degree in English from Mumbai University. By profession, she is an online content writer and blogger who writes informative articles for various UK and US blogs and websites. Her poems got published in the digital Reflection Magazine and in the Indian literature website named Facestory's.com. She is a budding author too. Her first story on romantic theme got published in a book named "Memoirs Of Love". As a person, she is open-minded, down-to-earth and amiable in nature. Her world revolves around creativity. She wishes to make her mark in the literary world, hoping to leave an indelible imprint on her readers' minds.

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Storizen Magazine April 2019 Issue  

Summers have arrived and it's time for a vacation. Many of you must have planned a trip to the mountains, the Himalayas and the rest of you...

Storizen Magazine April 2019 Issue  

Summers have arrived and it's time for a vacation. Many of you must have planned a trip to the mountains, the Himalayas and the rest of you...

Profile for storizen
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