__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

HOME TO YOUR STORIES

DECEMBER 2020

STORIZEN Debut Special Edition

STORY OF MY LIFE

ANUBHAV AGRAWAL Exclusive Feature on PAGE 8


Now Available on:Â


Cover Story Story of My Life Anubhav Agrawal

Brand Partners Aleph Book Company Bloomsbury India

Book Reviews Swapna Peri

Editors Pria Raiyani Saurabh Chawla

Fingerprint Publishing Hachette India HarperCollinsIndia

For Advertising, Contact us attalktous@storizen.com

Pan Macmillan India Penguin India Roli Books Rupa Publications Westland (An Amazon Company)

FOLLOW US ON:


WHAT'S INSIDE 23

7

EDITOR'S NOTE

8

COVER STORY Story of My Life - Anubhav Agrawal

- Penguin India

24

- Pria 16

HOT OFF THE PRESS The Language of History by Audrey Truschke

HOT OFF THE PRESS A Matter of Trust by Meenakshi Ahamed - HarperCollins India

18

26

28

HOT OFF THE PRESS Till We Win by Dr Randeep Guleria, Dr Gagandeep Kang and Dr Chandrakant Lahariya

29

HOT OFF THE PRESS From Pony to Unicorn, scaling a start-up sustainability by Sanjeev Aggarwal and T.N Hari - Penguin India

HOT OFF THE PRESS Stuff You Should Know by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant - Hachette India

30

- Penguin India

22

HOT OFF THE PRESS The Impeccable Integrity of Ruby R. by Moni Mohsin - Penguin India

- Penguin India

20

HOT OFF THE PRESS Nine Timeless Nuggets by Bharat Bambawale - Penguin India

HOT OFF THE PRESS Indian Economy's Greatest Crisis by Arun Kumar

HOT OFF THE PRESS Pakistan's Terror Conundrum by Khaled Ahmed - Penguin India

- Penguin India

17

HOT OFF THE PRESS Vajpayee: The Years that Changed India by Shakti Sinha

STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE Farewell 2020, Adios Lipstick - Sumana Bhattacharya

34

STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE Hues - Sowmya Reddy


WHAT'S INSIDE 40

BOOK EXCERPT Braveheart 26/11

72

Colors of Fall Part 2

- Praveen Kumar Teotia

44

48

BOOK EXCERPT

- Vidya Shankar

78

BOOK REVIEW

The Impeccable Integrity of Ruby R.

Wall Of Clocks by Madhulika Ra Chauhan

- Moni Mohsin

- Swapna Peri

STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE The Inextinguishable Pyre

54

STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE

82

BOOK REVIEW

- Monisha Raman

Eat up, Clean up by Manjari Chandra

STORIZEN EXCLUSIVE

- Swapna Peri

Musings from the Pandemic - Pavithra Anand

58

68

BOOK REVIEW

STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE

Inheritence by Balli Kaur Jaswal

My Christmas Love

- Swapna Peri

- Aparna Mukherjee

62

86

90

STORIZEN EXCLUSIVE

BOOK REVIEW

Building a Character – The Journey and the Process

No Matter What... I will always love you by Rohit Dawesar

- Madhulika Ra Chauhan

- Swapna Peri

STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE The real meaning of life is to give a meaning to life - Riya Gulati

94

STORIZEN POETRY Dear 2020... - Madhumathi H


To read Storizen on the web, visit storizen.com. Follow Storizen on Instagram @storizenmag.

BOOKMARKED

Storizen November 2020

Books we are loving this month

CLICK HERE TO READ NOW!

FOLLOW US ON :

HASHTAG: #STORIZENMAGAZINE


from the editor

A

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.

lot has happened this year and with the winters already arrived, almost all are happy to bid adieu to 2020. As we love stories, we wanted you to open up and share your experiences with us. We are so happy that you listened and we have received a lot of stories to share with our lovely readers! As the new writers are finding ways to get published and the transformation in the publishing industry, Storizen in association with HarperCollins Publishers brings you the debut author, poet, and social media influencer, Anubhav Agrawal. Do check out the feature story on Page 8. Book Lovers, we are listening! With the hottest new releases in the market, we have also added a new section to cheer you all up! Yes, we have included Book Excerpts for you to dive deep into the world of books! As we wrap up the year 2020, we should do it on a positive note. Reading is the best positive habit. We have included four book reviews for you to check out and strengthen your reading habit! With lovely stories and poetry for you to explore, we are sure that you will love reading this issue again and again. Besides this, we have something awesome for you. We are now a 30K+ strong family on FB! We would like to thank you for your continuous support and belief in us. We truly hope you enjoy this issue and spread the love by liking, commenting, and sharing. Before signing off, we believe that you all are safe and sound and taking all the necessary precautions in these unprecedented times! Happy Reading!

editor@storizen.com Saurabh Chawla, Editor in Chief


COVER STORY

STORY OF MY LIFE ANUBHAV AGRAWAL A Storizen Exclusive Feature In our Debut Special issue, we have writer, poet, and social media influencer, Anubhav Agrawal. With his debut book, "Why Not Me?" based on his own life story, he shares his writing journey.

by Pria Finally, the winters have arrived and I could feel the cool breeze grazing my toes as I stepped out from the blanket. I always loved winters, though sometimes they are depressing. This year, nothing is more depressing than being locked down in your home, thanks to the pandemic! I had a lot of calls scheduled but I was waiting for this one. My words soothe me and that's why I love reading and love listening to 8

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

music! One of the best things about writing that happened to me is poetry. You can write an entire script in a few lines! That's the beauty of poetry. Today, I had a call scheduled with a poet, writer, and now an author, Anubhav Agrawal. Writer, poet, and social media influencer Anubhav Agrawal is the founder of Iwritewhatyoufeel(R), an online poetry community that has over three million followers on social media. DECEMBER 2020


I have a good understanding of nature which gives positive vibes to people and they eventually open up themselves.


COVER STORY

I didn't realize that it was time and I was busy with my daily morning chores. I poured coffee in the mug and connected on the Zoom. Soon, Anubhav joined the call. Hi's and Hellos were exchanged and I started with the discussion. Understanding people The best way to connect with people is to understand. With the huge following on social media and as I had read the book, I was curious to know what makes people connect with Anubhav. "Understanding the emotions. Yes, I have a good understanding of nature which gives positive vibes to people and they eventually open up themselves. Understanding the emotions deeply, trying to find positive in everything that happens, and not judging anyone based on who they’re and what they do, is who I am," he replied.

Why write a book then? I wanted to understand that since he had a lot of followers already and he is very well communicating with them on social media. "Honestly, I didn’t know that I could write a book. It was 14th April 2020, when this thought struck my mind and I couldn’t get over it. It was “Let’s write a book” and I already had the answer to the next question, which was, “What will I write?” My own story was the answer," Anubhav smiled. Helping people solve their relationship issues for the last four years motivated him to write the book. His idea was to help people out with the most important thing in relationships - choosing their own self over the wrong person.

Honestly, I didn’t know that I could write a book. It was 14th April 2020, when this thought struck my mind and I couldn’t get over it. 10

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 2020


COVER STORY

The writing journey Anubhav started writing with blogs and on social media, he started his writing journey by writing quotes on Instagram. but how come writing a book? I wanted to know." Writing blogs is more like telling things in a nutshell, and books need a lot of time, patience, peace of mind, and knowledge. You can write a blog in one go, but for books, it takes days, months, or even years to complete. I think becoming a blogger is a first step to writing your own book," he replied with a snap. Making a positive impact in other's lives is something Anubhav feels he is blessed with. "You can make a difference in someone’s life just by writing a blog or a positive quote, this is what I’ve learned so far from my social media journey. I’m blessed that I’m doing something and it’s changing the mentality of the society." Inspiring others is a continuous process and often people give up

DECEMBER 2020

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

11


COVER STORY

in between. Anubhav, on the other hand, is on a journey of inspiring and motivating others without giving up. " The need to change the perspective of today’s generation towards love, relationships, and life, which is quite impossible; however, I’m trying my best to do it. People have become very impatient and irresponsible, if one is both, the other isn’t. I don’t know about inspiration, but it will be great if this world becomes a better place to live leaving all the toxicity behind. I’m trying to make a difference by writing something which will lead to a great number of readers or listeners to change." I nodded with an affirmation. About his other projects, Anubhav told that he has also written another book and

published it in an ebook format. "I wrote a book “Hands Down: The Simplest Ways To Move On” and published it in ebook format only, on 7th September, which is available on Amazon." The message... Anubhav wanted to help people out there with their relationship issues and the book he has written is his own story and not just any other self-help book. "People assume that it’s a fiction book, I just want to tell every person out there, that it’s my own life story and every incident jotted down in this book is real. This book is not just another random love story of a guy and a girl." Relationships nowadays are

I think becoming a blogger is a first step to writing your own book.

12

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 2020


COVER STORY

difficult to maintain as everybody wants their own space and freedom. Even the people living together are not happy. The ultimate goal of a relationship is to keep everybody involved in it happy and content. What I believe is that nowadays as Anubhav already said, people are becoming impatient, there is a lack of trust which leads to insecurity in either or both the partners. Anubhav nodded and replied, " This book can make you realize and learn a lot of things about love, life, and relationships which they need to learn." As I had already read the book, I agreed with a nod. I realized that an hour had almost past and I didn't want to take more of his time from his busy schedule. I thanked him for his time, wished him the best of luck for the success of his book and we both bade adieu.

DECEMBER 2020

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

13


COVER STORY

Subscribe to Storizen to learn more about your favorite authors and to receive tips on writing and marketing your books combined in a single package – Storizen Magazine personally in your inbox! Follow @storizenmag on Instagram Connect with us on facebook.com/Storizenmag Follow us on twitter.com/storizenmag Follow us on Issuu and never miss another issue from us!

(As told to Pria)

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

14

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 2020


WE DON'T SELL BOOKS

We help you increase your book sales.

talktous@storizen.com


HOTthe OFFpress The Language of History analyses a hitherto overlooked group of histories on Indo-Muslim or IndoPersian political events, namely a few dozen Sanskrit texts that date from the 1190s until 1721.

This book seeks, for the first time, to collect, analyse, and theorize Sanskrit histories of Muslim-led and, later, as Muslims became an integral part of Indian cultural and political worlds, Indo-Muslim rule as a body of historical materials. This archive lends insight into formulations and expressions of premodern political, social, cultural and religious identities. Given the current political climate in India, where nationalist claims are often grounded on fabricated visions of India's premodernity, this book also contributes to ongoing debates in the Indian public sphere. 16

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 2020


HOTthe OFFpress The book reveals the personal prejudices and insecurities of the leaders, and the political imperatives, that so often cast a shadow over their relationship.

From Truman’s remark to now, it has been a long journey. India and the US, which share common values and should have been friends, found themselves trapped in a dysfunctional cycle of resentment and mistrust for the first few decades following Indian independence. In A Matter of Trust, author Meenakshi Ahamed reveals the personal prejudices and insecurities of the leaders, and the political imperatives, that so often cast a shadow over their relationship. DECEMBER 2020

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

17


HOTtheOFF press This book highlights the enormity of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on India.

It critically examines the government's efforts to control the disease and mitigate its adverse effects on Indian economy and society.


STORIZENEVENTS

'Desperate times call for desperate measures.' The outbreak of COVID-19 aptly justifies this expression as the world faces an unprecedented situation. But what is so unusual about the coronavirus, especially since viral attacks-H1N1, Ebola, and Nipah-have taken place earlier as well? How has it affected India and the world? What are the socioeconomic implications for India? How has India's response been to the coronavirus? What is more importantlife or livelihood? How can India recover from the sudden economic shock caused by the pandemic? This book is an attempt to answer these and many more such questions. The coronavirus hit the world in December 2019 like a hurricane. What started as a medical emergency soon turned into an economic one. No global financial crisis has ever hit humanity as hard as COVID-19. The world, therefore, was caught illprepared when the pandemic struck. The situation, to say the least, is worse than a war. The situation in India is no different: In terms of the number of cases reported, it is second only to the United States.

DECEMBER 2020

Arun Kumar is a veteran Indian economist. He studied at the Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), and Princeton University, the US, and taught economics at JNU for three decades, until 2015.

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

19


HOTtheOFF press When will India ever win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic? How long do we have to use masks? When can we expect a safe and effective vaccine? Do we need to wear masks even after we get a vaccine?

Offering insights on how India continues to fight the pandemic, Till We Win is a mustread for everyone.


STORIZENEVENTS

When will India ever win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic? How long do we have to use masks? When can we expect a safe and effective vaccine? Do we need to wear masks even after we get a vaccine? What if there is no definitive treatment against COVID-19? How can we protect our family from this disease? How should we respond to this 'new normal' as an individual and as a community? What is the way forward? Offering insights on how India continues to fight the pandemic, Till We Win is a must-read for everyone. It is a book for the people, for political leaders, policymakers, and physicians, with the promise and potential to transform public health in India.

Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, is an MD in Medicine and the first DM in Pulmonary Medicine in the country.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Dr. Chandrakant Lahariya is a leading public policy and health systems, expert. Dr. Gagandeep Kang is an infectious disease researcher, who links community-based research to highquality laboratory investigation.

DECEMBER 2020

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

21


HOTthe OFFpress From Pony to Unicorn lucidly describes the Xto-10X journey that every start-up aspiring to become a unicorn has to go through.

The journey of a business-from a small start-up to a large company ready for an initial public offering (IPO)-is fraught with pitfalls and landmines. To scale a company, one needs to do more than just expand distribution and ramp up revenue. Scale entails a long-term vision that includes putting in place a timeline to achieve anticipated milestones, hiring and managing the right talent, sourcing capital to support expansion and building in simple yet effective processes as well as technology. 22

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 2020


HOTthe OFFpress Former prime minister of India and member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was an understated and a singular politician of the kind rarely seen in contemporary times.

In this book, Shakti Sinha, a close associate of Vajpayee, helps us understand Vajpayee as a decision-maker. The narrative focuses on the political challenges Vajpayee faced, and on his key initiatives in the strategic and economic fields during his first term as prime minister, which have had a lasting impact. Vajpayee fleshes out not only Vajpayee's political philosophy but also provides an insider's account of how the former PM thought and worked. DECEMBER 2020

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

23


Pakistan's Terror Conundrum by Khaled Ahmed

Pakistan was born amid communal violence and the collective consciousness of danger. Right from the outset, democracy was up for debate between the politicians nurtured by the British Raj and an orthodox clergy that advocated a utopia in which Islam was to be the ideological guide. Today, the threat of religion as an extra-legal force is causing many Pakistanis to think if the state can move forward into the future with Islam as its credo. 24

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 2020


STORIZENEVENTS

Khaled Ahmed is the consulting editor for Newsweek Pakistan and former consulting editor for the Daily Times and the Friday Times. Over the span of his thirty-year career in journalism, he has written widely on the ideology and politics of Pakistan.

ABOUT THE BOOK Pakistan was born amid communal violence and a collective consciousness of danger. Right from the outset, democracy was up for debate between the politicians nurtured by the British Raj and an orthodox clergy that advocated a utopia in which Islam was to be the ideological guide. Today, the threat of religion as an extra-legal force is causing many Pakistanis to think if the state can move forward into the future with Islam as its credo. In this carefully curated collection of his writings in several publications, senior journalist Khaled Ahmed examines Pakistan's policies regarding terrorism against the backdrop of increasing pressure from

DECEMBER 2020

international organizations. Despite joining the US in its war against terror after 9/11, the country has been perceived as a safe haven and breeding ground for terrorists. Ahmed looks at the origins and activities of the various terrorist organizations, the role of the state, and the ideology of its founding figures, some of whom seem to have been forgotten.

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

25


Nine Timeless Nuggets

Nine Timeless Nuggets is a knowledge accelerator for young marketers and an absorbing update for experienced ones.

26

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 2020


STORIZENEVENTS

Bharat Bambawale has spent thirty-six years in marketing and advertising, eighteen of which were as a global executive with marketing communications companies Lowe & Partners (formerly Lintas) and J. Walter Thompson (now Wunderman Thompson).

ABOUT THE BOOK Nine Timeless Nuggets is a knowledge accelerator for young marketers and an absorbing update for experienced ones. It provides a 2020 perspective on timeless marketing ideas. Arranged in three sections-'How to Think of People', 'How to Craft Your Brand' and 'How to Go to Market'-the book casts new light on eternal marketing fundamentals and makes us rethink some basic questions. Whom are we talking to? Why do they buy? Where do brands come from? Where are brands going? How can marketers talk to people? How can they create strong customer connections? How can they build thriving customer relationships? The answers are all here. In Nine Timeless Nuggets, Bharat Bambawale proposes NOVEMBER 2020

new models for customer motivation, customer relationship,s, and twenty-firstcentury brand building. Together, these models can provide a strong foundation for any brand's marketing strategy. Through his career, Bharat has helped shape the fortunes of many national, regional, and global brands. This gave him a vantage point to observe and experience the underlying principles that drive customers, no matter where they live and which languages they speak. Nine Timeless Nuggets is a distillation of these ideas and concepts.

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

27


HOTthe OFFpress Ruby Rauf is an idealistic, industrious scholarship student with a fixed plan. She is going to ace her exams and get a decent job so she never has to suffer the daily degradation of poverty again.

Ruby soon discovers that politics, even with a leader as upright as Saif Haq, is a moral minefield. Diligent, sincere but desperately naĂŻve, Ruby longs to do the right thing but struggles at first to square her innate integrity with the difficult choices her job demands. As she wades deeper into the quagmire of political intrigue and the savage world of social media, her values grow more flexible, her methods more ruthless. She out-thinks allies and rivals to deliver brilliant results. Resented and admired by her colleagues, favoured by Saif, Ruby appears unstoppableuntil one day when Saif asks her to prove her loyalty by making the most painful sacrifice of all.With quicksilver dialogue, shrewd political insight and a thoughtful take on the MeToo debate, this sparkling novel reveals Moni Mohsin on top satirical form. 28

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 2020


HOTthe OFFpress Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant started the podcast Stuff You Should Know back in 2008 because they were curious-curious about the world around them, curious about what they might have missed in their formal educations, and curious to dig deeper on stuff they thought they understood. The pair have now taken their near-boundless "whys" and "hows" from your earbuds to the pages of a book for the first time-and with it comes loads of new content, covering subjects about which they've long wondered or wanted to explore in greater detail. Follow along as they dig into the underlying stories and interesting ways things fit into the world, touching on everything from the origin of Murphy beds, to the history of facial hair, to the psychology of being lost. DECEMBER 2020

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

29


STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE

Farewell 2020, Adios Lipstick by Sumana Bhattacharya Lipstick, dear lipstick, you who so many vibrant shades to our have been swept away by veiled and shoved in some amidst COVID concerns.

added smiles 2020, corner

Once a ‘must-have’ in every girl’s purse, lipstick has been replaced by hand sanitizers and masks. It may not be farewell forever my dear, but we have been compelled to take a break from you for sure, for how long we don’t know. Once our look was not complete without you. You brought a sparkle to our faces and an appeal to our pout. Your lively hues added to our confidence and our sprightly gait. But now alas, we put on a mask to hide behind a tiny virus, a virus so small yet so fatal. We may have survived, but 2020 has for sure trampled over so many things that we held dear. We lock ourselves in, hide behind masks, cringe if someone extends their hand for a shake and run away from the warmth of a loving hug. What we have we don’t need, what we can’t have our heart craves, the human touch we 30

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 2020


STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE

sorely miss. Our wardrobes, full of clothes, shoes, jewelry and so many knick-knacks, mock us. Frequent travels are a thing of the past and we plan endlessly to go out for a cup of coffee. Even after we enter a coffee shop, we can’t rest till we have thoroughly sanitized our surroundings.

We have learned to gesture with our eyes and smile with our eyes. Very soon we will pout with our eyes. And dear lipstick, what you have lost eyeliner, eye shadow, and mascara have gained. We have started dressing our eyes, experimenting

Sitting with apprehension, maintaining a safe distance, we gingerly remove our mask to sip our coffee. Dear 2020, you have added a flavor like scarves and belts of times erstwhile, masks have become an accessory we can’t step without. From the surgical masks, we have graduated to colorful masks in different textures to match our mood and attire. We have simple cotton masks in black & white, colored masks, printed masks, fun masks and glittering masks. Now there are designer lines of masks even. With our lips and half our face hidden behind the masks, lipsticks have become a thing of the past. 2020 is definitely a year lipstick makers’ will forever dread. We look at a world so changed, wide-eyed, from above our masks. DECEMBER 2020

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

31


STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE

with eye make-up, wearing colored eye shadows and contact lenses to add more allure to the language of eyes. With our lips covered and limited hand contact (lest we catch the virus), we rely heavily on our eyes. Fear not, oh lipstick, this is just a temporary setback. We can never bid you adieu, we are taking a break at best. No matter how gloomy the year may have been, our spirit is indomitable and soon we will make transparent masks to show off your vibrant shades. Dear lipstick, you will shine bright even under our masks. of caution to the hot and once carefree cup of coffee.

32

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

Sumana Bhattacharya is a PR practitioner by profession and a writer by passion. Her style is simple, she likes to write about things she feels deeply about.In her writings she sometimes draws from her experiences of having grown up in a small town, Agartala. She has recently started a blog The Retro Feeling, that stems from nostalgia longing or twinge of guilt for days gone by or left behind. She is an ardent reader of poetry, fiction and mythology. Sumana is a post graduate in English from Hyderabad Central University. She works for a PR agency and lives in Gurgaon.

DECEMBER 2020


WE DON'T SELL BOOKS

We help you increase your book sales.

talktous@storizen.com


HUES by Sowmya Reddy


Adhya finally logged out of Instagram after four consecutive screen time notifications for every ten minutes. Adhya spent most of her time on social media leading to headaches and insomnia. She decided to limit herself from using it for a long time and today she succeeded a bit. Yes, you read it right. It's a bit. These bits become large chunks later on. Adhya smiled at herself for the little achievement and thought "Why don't I reward myself ?" Minutes later Adhya came from the kitchen with her choco cupcake and went into her room to pick a book. She chooses A Murder On Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey. She sat making herself comfortable in the swing in the front yard and multitasked. Adhya was so engrossed that it took a few birds chirping to distract her. She looked at the sky in pursuit of those birds, she could see specks. Maybe they were Larks thought she remembering the poem "Lark and the Rook" from her childhood. Her eyes caught the beauty above. There stood an enormous yellowish Sun with a red blush on either side of it. Adhya chuckled at the Sun's golden rays filtering through the trees, decorating her and the surroundings. DECEMBER 2020

The scenario reminded her of the Glitter filter by Instagram. Adhya felt much warm under the Sun rather than her blanket. She observed the colorful leaves which were in all hues of greens a few days ago. They were falling off trees and piling up on one another because it was Autumn. She studied the colors red, orange, yellow, and whatnot. They were multicolored hues of Autumn splashed onto silks. She was between a mess but, a beautiful mess. And that mess took her down memory lane. It was right here in this very season a few years ago. As usual, Adhya was home by 8:00 pm. It was just home, work, and again home for Adhya and nothing in between. Anyone could guess where she would be at this hour. Adhya heard a knock on the door. Isn't it strange knocking on a door in these times though there is a bell? Adhya waited for a few minutes because she couldn't see anyone waiting for her. As soon as Adhya opened the door she couldn't believe her eyes. On the doorstep was a

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

35


small box wrapped in red paper and tied with a golden ribbon. On opening it she found another box which contained photos. Photos of her and Satya. Satya and Adhya were colleagues first, friends later. Both of them had feelings for each other. You don't need to flirt or touch someone to love them. You can do it from afar too. It's not being with each other every minute but it's being with each other in times of hardships and yes, in happy times too. Love according to them wasn't texting every day or exchanging their passwords alike most of them today. It was platonic love yet, telepathic. Every little moment of theirs was captured in those photos. Underneath the last one was an envelope. The envelope contained the much-awaited question "Will you be mine forever?". The moment Adhya read the question tears welled up in her eyes. Satya with a Rose was already kneeling in front of her and she yelled a yes. I must tell you that they were the happiest people at that moment. God alone only knows what is in store for you, me, him, and her.

36

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

A few months later Adhya was waiting for Satya to open the door to surprise him. She rung the bell, knocked on the door, and called him. Either way, there wasn't any response. It was his birthday tomorrow and she wanted to be the first person to wish him at 12:00 am because he was a part of her life. Adhya decided to take a walk around the house rather than stand in front of the door. As she walked an arched window caught her eye and she saw what she had missed long ago. The snowy curtains fluttering to the wind gave her access to the insides of the room. She saw Satya kissing a girl which lead to further intimacy. On seeing this Adhya felt week in the knees, her head spun, she felt the world around her turn upside down. She felt anger, love, hate all at once. Adhya left the surprise at his doorstep and left. She never thought he would deceive her. She was astonished to find the man she loved had all these hues. That was the last time she saw him. Isn't it ironic? The one who loves truly knows what love is yet isn't truly loved.

DECEMBER 2020


Even today she feels that pain. The pain which leaves one to regret, to find any flaw in themselves, leaves a pile of unanswered questions and a burden to carry for a lifetime. Love can be shared but pain can never be shared. It resides in that person forever though you hold onto it or leave it. Adhya's still holding onto that pain. She is still there in that dimension. For a long time of gazing at the trees and the fallen leaves, Adhya comes to the present. Looks like she's done some deep thinking. When these trees are shedding a huge amount of leaves every minute of the day then why can't I shed that one leaf of mine? When they are shedding those precious parts of theirs then why can't I? Why can't I let it go? questioned, Adhya to herself. "Rahiman Dhaga Prem Ka , Mat Todo Chatkaye | Tute Pe Phir Na Jure, Jure Gaanth Paree Jaay ||" Is one of the famous Doha by Raheem which states, "Love is a very delicate thread and must never be broken. If it is broken it can only be joined by a knot. But, that forever."

knot

will

DECEMBER 2020

be

present

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

37


Rather than living between knots forever, isn't moving on the best?. Move on like Adhya who finally won in doing so. She is currently busy face-timing Raj to help her select jewels for their wedding. much to love about life.

Sowmya Reddy is currently pursuing engineering in the field of Information Technology. She is an introvert who pens her views and feelings on paper. She indulges in poetry when she has something to convey and when she wishes to escape from life. She believes writing is another way to bring out change, a change that is not temporary but permanent. A poem of hers was published in an anthology Pinwheel by Aarthi Sampath and another one is on the way. A poem written for an online poetry competition held by Delhi Poetry Slam was also published in their e-magazine. These days she is also trying her hand at prose.

38

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 2020


WE DON'T SELL BOOKS

We help you increase your book sales.

talktous@storizen.com


BOOK EXCERPT

P r a v e e n, Enter the R o om On the night of the 26/11Â terrorist attacks on Mumbai, Marine Commandos of the Indian Navy (MARCOS) entered the Taj, one of the places held captive by Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists. Excerpt taken from 26/11 Braveheart by Praveen Kumar Teotia


BOOK EXCERPT

There is a drill that we follow when a door has to be opened. Following the proper drill ensures that we are not caught in any trap, that the door is not compromised and it’s safe to enter. I was standing on the right side of the door. I slowly unlocked and pushed it in a way that I could slowly make out what was inside the room, in my arc of firing as they say. My buddy was my back-up and he had taken his position towards the left side of the door. Working in this combination, we entered the room. Complete silence greeted us. I could hear my buddy’s breath behind me. Each step was now laden with danger. It was also very dark and a thin beam of light was coming from the other side, making some corners of the room visible. It took us some time to figure out that it was a dining hall. However, before proceeding further we needed a strategy. There was information given to us earlier that there were at least four terrorists inside. Later on, the HLEC confirmed in its findings the presence of four terrorists in the Taj. Two terrorists had stealthily entered from the main lobby (of the Taj Towers) DECEMBER 2020

while the other two, who had fired at Leopold, entered by North Cote entrance (of the Heritage Taj) and joined up with their partners. There was no chance of a police response when terrorists had attacked Leopold Café at about 9:30 p.m. These two armed men had suddenly walked in and begun firing indiscriminately. After creating a bloodbath there, they hastened towards the Taj. On their way, the terrorists walked along Nawroji Furdunji street, spraying bullets along the way. They also planted IEDs (RDX 8 kg), on a side lane near Gokul, a bar on Tullock Road, which fortunately did not explode. The police party headed by DCP Vishwas Nangre Patil was the first to reach the Taj but by that time, these four terrorists had killed a a number of people in the coffee shop, swimming pool area, and the passage in front of the lifts of the Heritage Taj. We could now be very close to them, and after knowing that they were at least four in number, a plan was needed.

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

41


BOOK EXCERPT

I had a quick chat with my buddy and it was decided that we will go in with full prahar. In our parlance, a half prahar consists of four commandos and a full prahar has eight commandos. 4:10 a.m. It was a huge dining hall and I was waiting for the rest of the commandos to join us and form the full prahar. Suddenly, my eyes caught sight of something that made me react like a child. It was a packet of Good Day biscuits. The night could belong as there was no end in sight to this siege. It could stretch for hours and I decided to keep the biscuits for my team, just in case of an emergency. I gobbled a couple of biscuits, myself and kept the remaining in my pocket.

a couple of minutes later, my team commander came. We were now four of us and formed the half prahar. The remaining four commandos would automatically join us as soon as we would enter the hall. Sunil Kudiyadi was still with us, though at a safe distance. The team was now ready. The team commander came and tapped on my shoulder. ‘Praveen,’ he said, ‘enter the room.’

The commando’s mind and his survival instincts were at work. I offered some biscuits to the other commandos too but they refused. They just looked at me and smiled. Their expression conveyed their understanding of my hunger. We were three of us, standing there on full alert. Only my mouth was moving, munching on the biscuits. A 42

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 2020


WE DON'T SELL BOOKS

We help you increase your book sales.

talktous@storizen.com


BOOK EXCERPT

A Traitor? This novel cleverly satirizes the use of social media as political propaganda

Excerpt taken from The Impeccable Integrity of Ruby R. by Moni Mohsin


BOOK EXCERPT

Two days later, Ruby’s summons arrived by text. Mr Saif Haq had invited Miss Ruby Rauf to his London office the next day at 4 p.m. to meet his team and discuss issues she had raised at their last meeting. Delighted to have been remembered, Ruby was nevertheless disappointed by the perfunctory tone of the text. But, she told herself, it was good that it was professional. It showed respect. The message gave a St John’s Wood address. When Ruby showed it to Kiran, across a small table they were sharing at Kiran’s favorite vegan restaurant, she frowned. ‘Acacia Road?’ she queried. ‘But that’s a street full of big family houses with SUVs parked outside. That’s his office?’ ‘That’s what it says.’ ‘You sure, this isn’t a grand seduction scene that he’s luring you into?’ Kiran smiled mockingly. ‘Kiran!’ Ruby protested, flushing with secret pleasure. ‘Why would he seduce me?’ ‘Why not? What’s wrong with you? ‘It’s not like I’m some gorgeous model.’ Ruby was emphatically not model-like, but she was not without charm. What she lacked in stature and regularity of features she more than made up for with her dimpled DECEMBER 2020

smile and neat figure. In an unconscious reflex, she pulled her buoyant, curly hair over her ears. ‘Besides, he’s not like that.’ ‘Not if you believe Nadia,’ said Kiran. ‘Apparently, he’s been sending her suggestive texts.’ ‘Ya, since you believe everything that Nadia tells you, you’ll also believe that Brad Pitt made a pass at her when he saw her across a crowded restaurant in New York. Or was it Dubai? Or no, maybe it was Singapore? She’s such a liar, that girl.’ ‘Actually, I don’t find it that hard to believe that Saif would send her a text after that dinner, inviting her to his room. He has a reputation for that kind of sleazy thing. He preys on young women.’ ‘Let me tell you there was no preying going on over there. You should have seen how she was behaving with him!’ said Ruby hotly. ‘Batting her lashes at him all evening and giggling and flirting and what all.’ ‘So, you’re blaming Nadia for the fact that Saif Haq has sent her inappropriate texts?’ Kiran snorted. ‘And I thought you were a feminist.’ ‘Have you seen these famous texts?’ challenged Ruby. ‘No, na? And just like that, they’ve become “a fact”! You’re so bloody judgy.’ STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

45


BOOK EXCERPT

‘I’m judgy?’ Kiran’s eyebrows shot up in disbelief. ‘What about your precious Mr. Haq who called divorce a “western disease” in his bloody speech? So, we women should just carry on suffering silently with abusive, philandering husbands, and go on being battered black and blue while he lectures us about our fucking Eastern values. Don’t tell me you’re a feminist next time, okay?’ ‘He didn’t say women should carry on being battered and abused. He just said he believed in the sanctity of marriage.’

the opinion of others. ‘I don’t know why you’re so angry,’ she whispered, ‘but . . .’ ‘I’m angry because I can’t bear to see someone honest and intelligent and, and . . . you know, good, like you being fooled by a total cheapo like Saif Haq. Next, you’ll become like Jazz and all those snarling Rottweilers, accusing everyone else of being a traitor.’

‘Fucking hypocrite.’ Kiran’s voice was shrill. ‘Didn’t you see him exchanging those sidelong looks with his sidekick when Jazz was all over him, begging him to come to dinner? He was going to hang out with his louche London friends, Imaad and that lot, doing God knows what. Nadia told me how he couldn’t wait to leave after dinner. And this after that cheesy speech of his about transparency and honesty. Bullshit!’ ‘Shh, lower your voice,’ said Ruby, looking over her shoulder in case Kiran’s outburst had irked other customers. She did not share Kiran’s blithe disregard for social niceties. It must be a function of wealth. Rich people didn’t have to bother with the 46

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 2020


WE DON'T SELL BOOKS

We help you increase your book sales.

talktous@storizen.com


THE INEXTINGUISHABLE

PYRE M O N I S H A

R A M A N


As I rest here in the middle of nowhere, the veins within my now charred skin aglow with the tangerine shade of the flames, I wonder what keeps my spirit alive. Well, it is partly the blaze that arose out of the lit match that was thrown at me, the flames were intended to kill, but they keep me alive. Also, I have to narrate the legitimacy of the tale floating around, about me, to someone. I have to clear the air of those rumours. It could be anyone, not necessarily someone from my upper-caste village. What soothes me here is the pleasure of waiting; for his arrival. ‘Footsteps.’ I hear the others huddle. It is the keeper of the graveyard. There is a collective cry of disapproval. After innumerable attempts of trying to recount my saga, I have given up on the keeper. I do not blame him. There are many of us floating around here. He has no time to listen to us. For all spirits here are of the same caste, the one that he doesn’t belong to. From my position in the wind, the vision of the earth and your beings are all the same. Your pride has painted the mud in scarlet shades of doom. Back then, when I was one DECEMBER 2020

among you, only one thing stood apart in the bewildering hues of my village- a spark that guided me to wisdom. That glow has a name. Dhana, he was called; a short for Dhananjaya. I saw Dhana as this tall lad with charming looks, and curls concealing his entire forehead; his mind bursting with knowledge, sending fertile pods across the village, where they bloomed in all glory. I saw a compassionate, selfless, and intellectual man who was completely oblivious to the gifts he had. The fields of his mind were always lush, abundant with a harvest throughout the year. However, to the world around them, he was just another lower-caste boy. You know the kind that was presumed to have no selfrespect, meant for illegal slavery, that kind of caste. I don’t mind telling you the names of my bull-headed upper caste and his defenseless lower caste. But, you know what happened to the humble Tamil writer whom Dhana had great regard for. He had mentioned the names of certain castes and doomsday followed.

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

49


The caste ferocity and sentiments follow you all the way to purgatory. Dhana read all kinds of religious scripts. He believed in unity. Well, his belief does not matter, for he has been sucked deep into the layers of our lush soil; deeper than the tiers that could yield water. They buried him- the most evergreen perennial, into the abysmal pit of our red foam soil. Along with him, they interred the promise of change and the fundamental principles of unity that he stood for. I wait with hope to meet him here; in the air. These imbecile beings around our village believe that I, the daughter of a landlord was impregnated with the child of our farm help, Dhana, who happens to be my classmate. The mouths of my brethren that sang my praises, turned into ones that uttered the words like ‘dispose of’. The hands that held me through my first steps and first bicycle rides turned vengeful. The more I think of it, the more the flames ignite here on my pyre. The heat becomes unbearable. To turn this torridity into pleasant warmness, I rekindle his memorieshis humble smile, his idealistic eyes, and his ubiquitous charm.

A few months later Adhya was waiting for Satya to open the door to surprise him. She rung the bell, knocked on the door, and called him. Either way, there wasn't any response. It was his birthday tomorrow and she wanted to be the first person to wish him at 12:00 am because he was a part of her life. Adhya decided to take a walk around the house rather than stand in front of the door. As she walked an arched window caught her eye and she saw what she had missed long ago. The snowy curtains fluttering to the wind gave her access to the insides of the room. She saw Satya kissing a girl which lead to further intimacy. On seeing this Adhya felt week in the knees, her head spun, she felt the world around her turn upside down. She felt anger, love, hate all at once. Adhya left the surprise at his doorstep and left. She never thought he would deceive her. She was astonished to find the man she loved had all these hues. That was the last time she saw him. Isn't it ironic? The one who loves truly knows what love is yet isn't truly loved. Shades of Love I hear spirits around me speak of the dynamics of love

50

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 2020


The young girls know a shade of love that the old women here do not understand. As the gentle breeze from the Tamirabharani River prods the branches on the tamarind and neem trees into a tranquil dance, Mythili, the 19-year-old is the first to reminiscence, ‘You know Akka, our love was sweet, tangy, and bitter like a mixture of the tamarind pods and neem leaves here. There were fights. He was very possessive.’ ‘This foolish girl,’ Rajathi Amma shoots. Her 55-year-old spirit, having seen everything, is not in a trance, like most of us here. ‘You have the wrong idea of love. Love is……’ ‘What you had with your husband,’ the 26-year-old Kalai completes. The bruises on her face from having been pushed from atop the cliff are now healing and she is gradually learning to smile, again. ‘The love so strong that it compelled him to kill you, Amma.’ ‘He did not kill me!’ Rajathi Amma lashes. ‘Ok. You did. But his love was so true that you handled his abuse and infidelity and killed yourself for him,’ Meenu backs Kalai with her sarcastic comment.

DECEMBER 2020

‘You silly women! Don’t you all realize that some of your lovers are still alive and they may soon marry the girl of their parents’ choice and live happily?’ Rajathi Amma steers the conversation elsewhere. There is a collective cry of denial. They argue for some more time. ‘On the other hand, if you adults are so cynical about early love….’ Kalai calms the others with her thought. ‘They are just jealous, Akka,’ Meenu, the feisty one interrupts. ‘These women were forced into marriage very young, even before they know what hormones could do to you.’ ‘Yes. It is hormones. There is no love.’ Rajathi Amma finishes. ‘There is.’ I interrupt. ‘Someone is finally speaking,’ Mythili smiles. The others hush her and ask me to continue. ‘I don’t know how it was for you all. Remember on the days we didn’t have power, we lit a mud lamp and huddled around it and were content with that faint light. I was like that. I thought that the mere illusion of light is love. But then, I got close to Dhana and I saw the power of the luminous dawn sun. It was innate, STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

51


enriching, and pure.’ ‘Do you write Kavithai?’ Kalai smiles. I nod. ‘Dhana wrote too. He had many notebooks filled with poems. In fact, in their street, he was called the modern-day Bharathiar.’ ‘Yes. Except that he was no Brahamana like Bharathi. If he had the power to choose his birth, I wouldn’t be here.’ I ponder on what I just said. If only we could select our caste before we land in a womb! Dhana said since a choice prior to birth was impossible, we could adapt to bring in change, and if needed, a revolution. Just then we hear the hustle of the wind. It is a strong one. The Peepal tree at a distance works in response. (To be contd...)

52

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

A freelance content editor by profession, Monisha finds solace in words. She is a borderline compulsive reader. Her essays have been published by New Asian Writing, The Curious Reader, Kitaab, and Women's Web and is forthcoming by Feminism in India. Her works of fiction have been published by The Punch Magazine, Phenomenal Literature (Vol.4 No.1), Active Muse, and Jotted. She is passionate about traveling and considers coffee the elixir of life. Her anthology of interconnected short stories is now complete. She lives in Chennai, South India, and blogs at behindthewoodendoor.wordpress.com .

DECEMBER 2020


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.

talktous@storizen.com


Musings from the Pandemic

BY PAVITHRA ANAND


Bringing in the New Year on a cold December night, when the clock struck 12 midnight, with a warm the fuzzy feeling of a hopeful 2020 to mark the end of a decade, we were oblivious of stepping into the year that will be remembered by the world over. Travel plans, career moves, weddings, college admissions in universities here and abroad, some kids starting their school year and some looking forward to their graduation, stepping out of college into ‘real-life’ and ‘adulting’, otherwise known as work-life, all this and much, much more were in full throttle on a highway of dreams when sudden brakes called Covid-19 brought everything to an abrupt halt. ‘Novel Corona The virus’, ‘Covid-19’, ‘SARS-like virus’ were part of news articles and primetime news channels, phrases used in some countries to describe an illness faced by people we did not know. This soon snowballed into a pandemic, social distancing, quarantine, lockdown, and asymptomatic becoming phrases of everyday conversations. We found ourselves in a world where the word positive had a negative connotation and we had to stay away from people if we cared enough. It was no longer news from another country and the DECEMBER 2020

severity was a jolt when this invisible threat came closer to home, to people we knew. Countries are more prepared to face a tangible enemy than when struck with a global pandemic. The world went into lockdown, a time-out of sorts to stop and introspect personally and about the world at large. Pollution levels dropped drastically, rivers were cleaner and some birds that were extinct in densely populated areas were back as seasons changed. Conditioned to a busy routine, moving from one thing to another through the day, I had not observed hues the sun cast at different hours of the day or paid attention to the azan that is perfectly timed every day. I had taken for granted the choice of stopping a rickshaw on the streets for a short ride and the mundane announcements on aircraft before take-off. It will be a while before I can again appreciate eating from roadside stalls or not flinch when I hear someone sneeze even if they were six feet apart. While country leaders used this time to plan infrastructure, train front line workers, and prepare for the worst, the rest of us contributed to our social media footprint with pictures of STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

55


Dalgona coffee and banana bread. There is an opportunity in every crisis, they say. Face masks became a necessity that was being promoted by every brand, in various colors and styles; good old Haldi milk found itself as Turmeric Latte on the menus of international coffee outlets; Kadhathat we couldn’t get down our throats when we were unwell as kids were now the choice of beverage at tea stalls. In the 1980s, streets were deserted on Sunday morning because people stayed at home to watch Mahabharath and Ramayanaired on Doordarshan. More than two decades later, Doordarshan aired Mahabharath and Ramayan because streets were deserted and people stayed at home. The distinction between Work-FromHome and Work-For-Home disappeared and some found themselves just working all day. Employers and employees, teachers and students, Government officials, doctors and every other professional aligned themselves to this disrupted way of working to keep the wheels moving. The dust settled soon enough and everyone found their rhythm, a routine comfortable enough to being 56

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

called the ‘new normal’. I cannot get myself to associate this with a normal. It is not normal to be talking to a laptop screen for work, banter with friends on a Whatsapp video call, video consultation with a doctor, attend a “zoom” wedding, or a farewell party. It is not normal to not shake hands when you see a colleague at work or not hug a friend. It is not normal to stay socially distant. Numerous people the world over have lost friends and family, jobs and homes, suffering an irreparable loss. This cannot be attributed to the outcome of a normal situation. I acknowledge that this is a difficult time for now; we must ride this tide that is sweeping through the world, till we reach the shore strong and safe. Accept this for what it is but hope for better days! We grew up listening to stories of our grandparents’ experiences of the Partition and our parents’ experiences of the Emergency. I suppose our generation now has its ‘once in a lifetime’ event to pass on stories to the Colonials(the word coined by Cambridge Dictionary babies born during the pandemic).

DECEMBER 2020


This Pandemic will go down in pages of history the world over to be the only event that affected all countries, developed or not and did not discriminate between the rich and poor.

Pavithra is a Corporate Legal Counsel by profession who takes every possible opportunity to travel, with friends, family, or alone. She holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science and wants to be a teacher someday. An amateur blogger, she has taken to writing about her travel experiences and anything that catches her intrigue. An avid reader, Bangalorean, foodie, and yoga enthusiast, she tries to juggle her day between legal jargon, reading fiction, and a few asanas on the mat.

DECEMBER 2020

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

57


My Christmas Love BY APARNA MUKHERJEE

58

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 2020


Tears were rolling down my cheeks that day when I had a breakup with my boyfriend with whom I was having a relationship for the last one years. I was on the way back home in a rickshaw. I was wiping off the drops of tears from the corner of the left eye with my handkerchief. The auto driver noticed I was crying from the rearview mirror. He asked me, "Madam, is anything wrong?" "Are you OK?" I was not in a position to talk as I was afraid I could not control my emotions and my tears may roll down again in front of him. You must be thinking about where I was coming from. It was Christmas eve. I had plans to have a stroll around the streets which were dazzling with lights. Before meeting him, my heart was filled with excitement. I was extremely elated to meet him, as we were meeting after a long time. I had a surprise Christmas gift for him. So, before meeting him, I purchased an expensive watch which would be a special surprise for him. I dressed beautifully to look more pretty in his eyes. I wore an outfit of his favorite color to let him know the depth of my love for him. We sat in a restaurant where I was sitting opposite him. I realized he was not as happy as I was at meeting him. We spent half of DECEMBER 2020

the evening amidst the beautiful ambiance of the restaurant where there was a large decorated Christmas tree in one corner of the restaurant. As I was about to give him his gift, he declared to end our relationship. Neither I could retaliate nor I could speak a word. His words left me in utter shock. Before I could ask him the reason, he said in his polite tone that he had fallen for someone else and he did not realize when he gave his heart to her. With me, it was only an attraction. After hearing those words, I stood up from the chair and walked out confidently in front of him to show his words did not affect me the least. As I sat in a rickshaw, my eyes welled up with tears and my emotions burst out at once. I unlatched the door of my home and I stepped inside my house. I switched on the TV set and started flipping channels. My mind was so disturbed that I could not focus my mind on any of the TV shows. As it was the winter season, I wrapped a shawl around me and walked out of my house to get some fresh cold breeze. As I started walking, I came across a church that was gleaming with lights. I climbed a few stairs of the church to sit in one of the stairs. STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

59


It was at about 20:00 pm. Winter evenings were generally quiet. But, that evening was special for the world. I could hear the noises of people around the church. I chose to sit in a silent place in the backyard of the church which was silent and peaceful. I was engrossed in the bitter thoughts which I experienced an hour ago. All of a sudden, I felt something jumped on my lap. I got scared and I looked on my lap to see a little white kitten who was sitting cozily and was staring at my face. The cute innocent face of the little kitten made me forget all my sorrows. The cute little kitten started licking my hand. The cold tongue of the kitten gave me a soothing and warm sensation. I could feel the kitten's affection for me through his gestures. The temperature started dipping and hours passed by and the kitten was sitting firmly on my lap as if he does not want to leave me. I drew him more close towards me and started running my palm of my hands over his body and head. His white fur was as soft as a feather. I saw the kitten's eyes were closed as if he was feeling my love for him. An hour passed by and I was not able to move from the place. The little animal was wagging his tail and was 60

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 2020


licking my hands at the same time. The love of the kitten had filled the gap of love in my heart again. It was time to get back home. I was not willing to leave the kitten. The little animal's love was precious for me. As I started taking the kitten in my hand to keep him on the ground, I saw his little paws were clenched tightly with my cloth. He was not ready to leave me as I was not ready to stay away from his love. He was almost asleep. I held him slowly in my arms and I noticed his affectionate eyes were open a little and were looking at me again. He was trying to tell me to take him along with me. I understood the kitten's unsaid words and I took him to my eyes. I named the kitty, "Snowy" became my best friend and my companion for the rest of my life. Love which I did not get in a person's heart I got from a little animal. His warm love made me realize that true and unconditional love can still be found in animals. Finally, I found my Christmas love in that little kitten.

DECEMBER 2020

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 Senior Content Writer and Blogger who writes informative articles for various Indian, 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". Her second story in another anthology will be publishing soon.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.

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

61


Building a Character by Madhulika Ra Chauhan

THE JOURNEY AND THE PROCESS


James Bond, Peter Pan, Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes have all been characters who have lived with us as if they were real. 221B Baker Street, is perhaps one of addresses most ardent readers tried to find in search of the famous detective. So, what made them come alive so much so that their popularity has grown, and their fan base refuses to diminish over the years? The answer lies in the uniqueness which gives them a rather third dimension with added depth, personality, and motivations over the course of the story. The changes the persona of the character goes through, adding different tones and hues to it, make it a memorable read. In this article, we will delve into the nuances of creating such a character, which is not only believable but also stay longer in a reader’s memory. Character Process

Development:

The

In fiction writing, character development is the process of building a unique, threedimensional character with depth, personality, and clear motivations which become clear over the course of the piece of work. It can

DECEMBER 2020

also, refer to the changes a character undergoes over the course of a story as a result of their actions and experiences also called the character arc. To answer the question as to why character development is important let's review that when writing it – a novel or a story– a character interacts with events over time. Character and plot are inseparable because much like a person, a character is what happens to them. Without a clear sense of who a character is, what they value, and what they’re afraid of, the reader will be unable to appreciate the significance of the events you create, and your story would not have the desired impact. Like real people, fictional characters to have hobbies, pets, histories, ruminations, and obsessions. These characteristics inform how a character reacts to and feels about the things that happen to them. It’s essential to your novel that you understand all aspects of your characters so that you are equipped to understand how they may react under the pressures of events they encounter.

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

63


Character Development how it affects the story

and

Your main character’s goal sets the stakes in your story. It doesn’t matter whether your story stakes are big or small, as long as they matter deeply to your protagonist. Your character doesn’t always need to face superhero problem and alien invasion, perhaps they are trying to save their family from eviction or fighting to keep their business from going bankrupt. Your job as a writer is to establish what’s important to your character (ideally, it’s something that your audience can relate to), and help the reader imagine what might happen if they lose that important thing. Tips for effective development.

character

1. Develop characters who reflect your interests. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your characters, so the fiction rule “write what you want to know” applies to them as well.

64

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

Don’t be afraid to invest your protagonist with familiar qualities, but prioritize your passions and make sure that your main characters emerge from the setting and topics you’ve developed so far. 2. Reveal their physical world through detail. Different writers focus on different details to evoke character, whether deliberately or not. Balzac focused on his characters’ physical appearance. Dashiell Hammett never fed his characters, while Charles Dickens fed him extravagantly. Some writers are interested in revealing character via clothing, as Flaubert did, while others attend to mannerisms or physical appearance. Whatever details you choose, it’s important for you to know your characters' physical world intimately, and how they relate to it. 3. Give them the right skills. Your characters should have skills that will allow them to function in your setting. If you’ve chosen to set your novel on another planet, then make sure your character has a spacesuit or learns how to use one.

DECEMBER 2020


4. Create memorable characters. When creating important characters that the reader is going to meet more than once, be sure that they’re memorable in some way. Try to give each one a quirk or quality that can be used later to help readers recall who they are. This could be a title like “deputy” or a physical attribute like “gingerhaired.” 5. Give the reader access to their inner conflict. One way to create intimacy with your reader— and to get them to care about your main character—is to use internal monologue. This means letting the reader see a character’s thoughts as they happen, which exposes that person’s inner conflict, motivations, opinions, and personality. Internal monologue not only reveals character: it’s a neat way to convey information about your setting, events, and other characters. 6. Disrupt your reader’s expectations. The most interesting characters will surprise your readers. Think about it: We don’t have to pay attention to things that are stable. But when something unexpected happens— a skeleton comes out of the closet, for instance—we pay attention. DECEMBER 2020

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

65


Characters, like people, are imperfect. They don’t need to be likable, but they must be interesting. Hope you go on to create memorable ones.

Madhulika Ra Chauhan is a digital marketeer by day and a passionate writer by night. She lives in China with her super curious son and an ever busy husband. Her articles have appeared in Ezine, FWD Media and DailyO

66

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 2020


WE DON'T SELL BOOKS

We help you increase your book sales.

talktous@storizen.com


STORIZENCONTRIBUTE

The Real Meaning of Life is to give a Meaning to Life! by Riya Gulati

Life is the most precious gift of God that we sometimes take for granted. We never realize how much blessed we are because we always focus on what is missing from our lives rather than being grateful for what we have. Blessed are those who are able to find happiness in small- small things. We all have been programmed in a wrong way (that includes you should look good- have a high-class friend circle- get admission in a reputed educational institution- get good grades- get a high profile job- build an empire- get marriedhave children- then worry about the same for your children). It is OKAY- if 68

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

you don't look good but have a beautiful heart, if you don't have friends but have your family standing beside you if you did not study in the best educational institution but you are knowledgeable & wise if you failed in exams but you gave your best if you did not get a big job but your earning means are honest if you are not leading a luxurious life but you are able to sustain your basic requirements if you are unmarried and childless but you are at peace. Whatever we do in our life, we never do it for our satisfaction but for the sake of society (What will others think about us?). If your intentions are pure then the viewpoint of others really doesn't matter. Never let the opinions of others knock you down! Indeed, your journey in life will be like a roller coaster ride with many ups and downs but in the end, it will ultimately depend upon you whether you want to scream or enjoy the ride. Pains and pleasures- both are integral parts of life. DECEMBER 2020


STORIZENCONTRIBUTE

Everyone loves to have pleasures, but no one likes to bear the pain. Sometimes, pain is happiness in disguise. Bad time is necessary for you to value & enjoy your good time- it teaches you to remain humble, helps you in your self-discovery, gives you inner strength, teaches you to help others in overcoming that situation, and makes your life more meaningful. The root causes for all the sufferings are anger, arrogance, attachment, expectations, desires, lust, greed, jealousy, and not living in the present moment. It is obvious that we can't get rid of it completely, but we can try to reduce it.

Visiting religious places, reading the holy scriptures, and worshipping God do not make you holy unless you are pure within. Every religion teaches us to follow the right path- do we really follow that? Have we ever stopped ourselves from asking 'God I need this; God I need that'? Have we ever been grateful to the Lord for every small thing he has given? The real worship includes- helping a person in need without any future expectations, respecting every living creature, being DECEMBER 2020

stars, politicians, journalists, an alluring personality, celebutante or anyone to whom you consider your paragonyou will discover that they have the spirit to fight against the odds and therefore, they have developed the art of living aesthetically. You may call them lucky or blessed beings, but the fact is that they have conditioned and vaccinated themselves against all the prevailing pessimism. The confident people are just like you who have mastered themselves to be different in their minds, spirits and bodies. Be courageous to accept yourself, despite being unacceptable by others. Give yourself the same amount of love, care, positivity, blessings, motivation and respect as you have been giving to others and contrariwise- life would become magical!

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

69


STORIZENCONTRIBUTE

loyal to family & friends and doing good deeds. A happy person is not the one who is having everything but the one who is contented with everything he has and is willing to share his blessings with others. We all are here for a limited time so we must make sure that we all are able to give our life, a beautiful meaning. Spread peace & love! Thank you Nani &Nanaji (Asha Khanduja& Kashi Lal Khanduja) Dadi& Dadaji (Prem Gulati & Ram Prakash Gulati) for guiding us to follow the right path in life. With love- Sanjay, Surekha, Ishita & Riya Gulati :)

70

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

Riya Gulati is a Paralegal at Law Offices of Caro Kinsella, Ireland. She is LL.M (Intellectual Property & Information Technology) from University College Dublin & BA.LLB from Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University.

DECEMBER 2020


WE DON'T SELL BOOKS

We help you increase your book sales.

talktous@storizen.com


COLOURS OF FALL- PART 2 VIDYA

SHANKAR


‘Appa, I am not going to learn the art for selling purposes, at least not now. I am going to learn the art for the sheer joy of learning, for the joy of fulfilling a wish that I have, for long, been nurturing. Don’t you remember how, as a young girl, I used to finish off all the art supplies that you had to buy me for school? Don’t you remember how you would take me to art competitions and I would cry because all I got were participation certificates, and maybe an occasional consolation prize, but you would be so proud of me, nevertheless? Do you know why I got only participation certificates? Because the prize winners went for art classes or had someone to guide them with their art. Both you and your mother encouraged me, but you didn’t know the nuances and techniques of art to guide me. I had, since those school days, wanted to go for art classes, ‘Your mother wished so much to send you for art classes, but we just couldn’t afford it then. The most we could do was not compromise on your basic education. We could just about manage to send you to a good school. By the time we could afford it, you had grown up, and life was scheduled with board exams, university, and marriage, one after the other.’ ‘I know, Appa. I am not DECEMBER 2020

blaming you for anything. All I am saying is what I couldn’t do earlier, I am doing now. You spoke of life schedules. Sometimes life does get into a pattern and we find ourselves unable to avoid the schedules. But, should life always go by schedule? Why can’t one do things out of the pattern? Look at mother. Was that an age to die? If everything had to go by schedules, then she shouldn’t have died when she did, at fifty-five. In five years from now, I will have reached that age, Appa.’ ‘Did you know that about two-three years before she died, your mother had asked me if she could take-up music lessons once again?’ Vanaja didn’t know. What was her father saying? That must have been soon after her daughter was born. ‘You knew she was a trained Carnatic singer, didn’t you?’ asked her father. Vanaja knew, or rather, she had come to know about her mother’s dormant music talent only after she herself was married and had had her child. In fact, it was her baby daughter who had brought the story out. Vanaja had gone to her parents’ for her delivery. One day, after the baby was born, Vanaja was having an unexpected episode of anxiety STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

73


and her cheerless mood was affecting her baby. When the baby just wouldn’t be consoled and Vanaja’s distress was shooting up, her mother took her granddaughter in her arms and sang. It was the first time Vanaja had heard her mother sing. Vanaja could make out that it was no ordinary singing; though her mother’s voice cracked a bit, Vanaja could make out the nuances that could come only from proper, indepth training. When the song was done and her sleeping baby was gently laid in her cradle, Vanaja demanded she is told the story behind her mother’s hidden talent. Her mother had grown up listening to her grandfather who, though not a legend, was still a well-known Carnatic singer of his times. Sadly, none of his children or grandchildren, except for Vanaja’s mother, inherited his passion for music. Vanaja’s mother learned all she could from her grandfather, and after he died, continued her music education under the tutelage of another guru. When she got married, her parents-in-law not only put a stop to her music lessons but also forbade her to sing anymore. She was told that married women who took to music neglected their duty by their husbands. Being a gentle and meek girl, Vanaja’s mother acceded. 74

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

Since no one else in the family was interested in music, nobody gave much thought about this talent being buried. This was why Vanaja never got to hear about this from anyone. But now that she knew, she was enraged. What a cruel thing to do, she exclaimed. The past is past, she declared, but it’s never too late to start afresh. She pleaded with her mother to join a music class. Her mother smiled and sang another song for her granddaughter. Halfway through the song, she choked and stopped. Vanaja thought she was crying but her mother was smiling shyly, shaking her head and saying that her shortness of breath wasn’t allowing her to sing. Vanaja’s mother often suffered from severe bouts of asthma attacks, so Vanaja didn’t exhort her mother again after that. ‘Mother had asked you if she could take up music lessons once again?’ a surprised Vanaja questioned her father. ‘And what did you tell her?’ ‘I said that people would laugh at her if she went for music lessons at her age. But two days later, I felt I had disappointed her and told her to look for a teacher who would be willing to teach her. She responded with her usual smile and convinced me that she was not too keen about the idea and had merely asked. She said that singing was beyond her now DECEMBER 2020


because of her asthma and I believed her. But now I realize that she didn’t want me to be hurt, so she smothered her desire to get back to her music.’

about your art class. Please forgive this old man with his old habits. Go, enjoy your art classes. My blessings are always with you.’

Her father went silent for a minute and Vanaja too didn’t know what to say. ‘Vanaja. I now feel that your mother’s asthma was not some illness. It was all her music trying to come out, but the more she kept suppressing her songs, the severe her condition became. She took that one last chance but I put a lid on it. Vanaja, your mother didn’t die of asthma; I killed her.’ Her father wasn’t crying but she could hear his heart ripping to pieces. She wished she had been close by. She wanted to give him a hug and alleviate his pain. But they were miles apart and all she could do then was console him over the phone. ‘Appa, please don’t be hard on yourself. None of us knew what we were doing—not you, not me, not mother.’ ‘Yes, none of us knew then. But now I know, yet I am repeating the same story all over again. I am sorry, Vanaja, if I had sounded discouraging when you told me

DECEMBER 2020

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

75


The jasmine tea was calming. She walked up to her desk, put the empty mug upon it, and looked at the jars of colours. She knew where she had found them. They were the colours of her fall. Then she picked up her brushes and held them against her cheeks—the brushes with which she was going to paint her autumn in vibrant colours. And when winter came upon her, she knew it would be a season of bliss. There was so much to love about life.

76

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

Vidya Shankar, a “book” in the Human Library, and an editor with Kavya-Adisakrit (an imprint of Adisakrit Publishing House) says poetry is not different from her. The author of two poetry books The Flautist of Brindaranyam (in collaboration with her photographer husband, Shankar Ramakrishnan), and The Rise of Yogamaya, she has received several literary awards and recognitions. She also adds meaning to her life through yoga and mandalas.

DECEMBER 2020


WE DON'T SELL BOOKS

We help you increase your book sales.

talktous@storizen.com


A Story With An Interesting Twist! A story of a woman's heart, mind and withered soul. Reviewed by Swapna Peri

The story, its craft and intention is woven in an interesting tale.

Author Madhulika is a con artist in narrating a story in fewer words. The story, its craft, and intention is woven in an interesting tale.

78

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 2020


About the book

A Must Read

A story of a woman's heart, mind, and withered soul. A story of a woman's dream, desire, and future plans. A man's story of repentance and realization. A man's story of contentment and simplicity.

Easy language and good vocabulary are used in the story. This is my third story of the author Madhulika, and as always her writing and the language used is one of the best.


STORIZEN REVIEW

BOOK REVIEW

A story of a woman's heart, mind, and withered soul. A story of a woman's dream, desire, and future plans. A man's story of repentance and realization. A man's story of contentment and simplicity. Characters: There are four characters in the story. Each character has its own existence and scope in the story. Every character is well crafted with an agreeable amount of strength in the given span and space. Narration: Author Madhulika is a con artist in narrating a story in fewer words. The story, its craft, and intention are woven in an interesting tale. There is love, there is pain, there is grief, there is romance, there is passion, there is admiration, there is vengeance, there is anger, there is a mystery, and there is also a tradition. All these emotions and feelings are explained in a 9-page story! 80

|

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

Read On -

DECEMBER 2020


Book Review

STORIZEN REVIEW

My Final Verdict A story with an interesting twist!

Rating Book Title: 3/5 Book Cover: 3/5 Inside the book: 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

DECEMBER 2020

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

81


STORIZEN REVIEW

A WELL-RESEARCHED BOOK ON NUTRITION AND ITS ADVANTAGES! This book - eat up, Clean up if read and followed thoroughly, will definitely help in bringing some change in one's life. Thanks to the author for writing this book.

Reviewed by Swapna Peri

The plan to lose weight and develop a healthy lifestyle is mostly all in theory in everyone's life, but when it comes to the execution, it fades. There are many reasons for not following a health and diet regime, but excuses are dangerous than reasons. Often, people replace the reasons with excuses and thus lose interest and further lose confidence in oneself. Self-pity is also one of the dangerous factors that make a person suffer both physically and mentally. But, some people have a strong determination and decide to change their lifestyle, starting with diet plan and exercise. Here comes the important thing called ' nutrition '.


STORIZENREVIEW

BOOK REVIEW

Some books like this will surely help an individual to understand the importance of nutrition. But again here, sometimes taking opinions from experts will enhance the quality of the changes that one wants to implement. Thus the role of a nutritionist is important in one's life. There have been many health care centers that solely propose good nutrition and assign dedicated nutritionists. These also include gyms, hospitals, and corporate companies. Due to the pandemic, the nutritionists have changed their way of consultation with their patients, and thus many are benefiting even in these days of social distancing.

Vijyant Thapar

DECEMBER 2020

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

83


The Book

A Must Read

The book is intended for a universal audience. Anyone who wants to start a healthy lifestyle, starting with a change in food habits, can happily read the book.

This book - eat up, Clean up describes various types of nutrients, their importance in daily diet.


Book Review

STORIZEN REVIEW

My Final Verdict A well-researched book on nutrition and its advantages!

Rating Final Rating: 4/5 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

DECEMBER 2020

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

85


An Intense Story Reviewed by Swapna Peri


STORIZENREVIEW

This is my first book by the author, and I am delighted to read her work. I look forward to reading more books from her.

BOOK REVIEW

Leading a life in a foreign land comes with many challenges. Leading a teenage life without proper care comes with problems. Leading a life with self-pity comes with personality woes. Leading a life with unheard voices comes with mental health disorders. Leading a life when one's own father treats his children as a curse comes with rebellious attitude development. Each of the above-said statement is the description of the characters in the story. The story is about the family that immigrated from India to Singapore at a time when the country they moved to was beginning to find itself, change its existence. With the rise of this new multi-cultural country, belonging to the community that always has eyes on you, is challenging. The family faces these all! When a person and a bunch of the members of the family are under vigilance by a mob of people, it gives unwanted pressure. Though the intention is good, going to the root level and dissecting every thread talks about personal liberty and freedom at stake. These struggles are very well articulated and shown in the book. DECEMBER 2020

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

87


What to Expect This book, 'Inheritance' by Balli Kaur Jaswal is a fictional story set in the country of Singapore between the 1970s - 1990s.

Who can Read The book is targeted to the readers who understand what teenage life feels like; how various problems attack a person's psyche.


Book Review

STORIZEN REVIEW

How entertaining is the book The story has intense emotions, interesting drama, and a parallel story of a country's development. There are many places where a wow factor, a sorry feeling, and shocking interpretations of incidents attract the readers. The book is a perfect blend of feelings and events and thus makes it a good entertainer.

Rating 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

DECEMBER 2020

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

89


STORIZEN REVIEW

A LOVE STORY YOU CAN'T GIVE A MISS! Love stories are those stories that are built like every story. They have a beginning, they have drama in it, and they have an ending. Isn't it?

Reviewed by Swapna Peri

Love stories are those stories that are built like every story. They have a beginning, they have drama in it, and they have an ending. Isn't it? But what makes a book based on love stories special? Is it love? Or is it the urge to meet that 'special person'? Or is it the magic that love spreads in air when two people who share soul connection come together? This story 'No matter what ' by Author Rohit Dawesar is a carefully crafted love story that happens between two people, who take care of every nuance in their relationship, nurture it and grow it. It is equivalent to growing a plant or a garden which


STORIZENREVIEW

BOOK REVIEW

starts from the sowing of a seedstage until it bores a flower or a fruit. Such stories are honest, intense, and are blended with responsibility and conduct. In this book, the protagonists' Rishi and Mishika are people with clarity of life, clarity in thoughts, and transparent in their emotional quotient. However, intense the character portrayal, both are always teenagers at their heart. The story, like in every love story starts from college life, but the intelligence of the Author's writing takes off from the moment both the characters meet. The feelings Mishika expresses when she actually meets Rishi is genuine and sweet. The phrase ' actually meets ' holds importance here.

Vijyant Thapar

DECEMBER 2020

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

91


The Book

A Must Read

The story is written in a universal and accessible language that appeals to a reader of any age.

The story is for everyone, and everything in the story is good to feel, talk about, and experience.


Book Review

STORIZEN REVIEW

My Final Verdict A love story you can't give a miss!

Rating Final Rating: 4/5 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

DECEMBER 2020

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

93


STORIZENPOETRY

Dear 2020... by Madhumathi H.

94

|

Life defined, in thousands of languages world over It often takes a calamity or pandemic To teach compassion, love, gratitude, contentment... Sigh! Flapping its huge wings, in rage(?!) Descended a virus, to freeze the world! Heaps and heaps of lives lost! Food, shelter, career, health, peace Turned a mirage for many... Sleepless on bed of thorns, nightmares plenty Yet... While the world curses a year I embrace, hug gently my 2020... Life taught us to slow down, to pause To look around and observe The struggles we have often failed to notice From a flower-seller to the Panipuri vendor Cotton candy, bangles, earrings Sweet-smelling fruits and vegetables sold on the streets Innumerable souls lost their living But, I still had food on my plate, a cozy home A big television screen, to watch the news... I missed the Sea, walks around the lake, eating out Roaming around, in sunshine and fresh air Until I valued my privilege Of staying home, and safe... Emotional turbulence, challenges faced Loved ones suffered, hospital visits scary Yet Life taught patience, and faith in darker times A year that pulled me closer, looked into my eyes and said STORIZEN MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 2020


STORIZENPOETRY "Count your blessings; you are stronger than you think"... Eyes welled up, I smiled at life With a new-born hope... Collecting creating cherishing moments, is what life is all about As much as I received, in gratitude I gave Love, kindness, a listening heart to some aching souls Little acts of compassion, to restore smiles Giving is a joy! A year that created more givers, more shoulders Bringing us all under a single roof of humanity A year that made the world meet More artists, unseen talents, and brimming passion Reiterating the honeyed truth 'Art is an elixir, art sustains life'... A year, when Nature felt nourished, replenished Connected people, healed past wounds Technology is the bridge, like never before... As the year has almost come to an end Looking back Though it aches to see a void, some fog and mist I believe the world has learned a huge lesson "Life is unpredictable, ephemeral Before it is too late, give more Forgive more, love more..." All the chaos took care of My heart bows down in gratitude To the selfless saviors, frontline warriors While I slowly sipped coffee, cardamom tea, and wrote poetry... With inexplicable tears, I hold this year Whisper a 'sorry', a heartfelt apology For all the abuses, curses, and stones pelted by the world Give a goodbye kiss, with loads of love As I carry the lessons in my heart To welcome a beautiful year, waiting to be our Mentor...

A bilingual poet-writer(Tamil, English), Madhumathi is an ardent lover of Nature, Poetry, Photography, and Music. Her poems are published in Anthologies of The Poetry Society(India), Chennai Poetry Circle, IPC, Amaravati Poetic Prism, and in ezines UGC approved Muse India, International Writer’s Journal, Storizen, Our Poetry Archives, Positive Vibes, and Science Shore. Besides Poetry, Madhumathi writes on Mental health, to create awareness and break the stigma, strongly believing in the therapeutic and transformational power of words. Contact: madhumathi.poetry@gmail.com

STORIZEN MAGAZINE

|

95


Rekindle your love for books and literature. We bring you the latest releases, interviews and much more from the writing world in our every issue.

Get Storizen Magazine delivered to your inbox the moment the issue is released, subscribe now!

Subscribe


For all stories, visit www.storizen.com


Enjoyed reading STORIZEN?

Profile for Storizen Magazine

Storizen Magazine December 2020 | Anubhav Agrawal  

A lot has happened this year and with the winters already arrived, almost all are happy to bid adieu to 2020. As we love stories, we wanted...

Storizen Magazine December 2020 | Anubhav Agrawal  

A lot has happened this year and with the winters already arrived, almost all are happy to bid adieu to 2020. As we love stories, we wanted...

Profile for storizen
Advertisement