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About Writer’s Ezine: When Alfred Hitchcock said “Ideas come from everything” little did he know that everything would mean literally everything in this world. Taking inspiration from him, two fellow bloggers and friends – Namrata and Arti debated one day the exact meaning of Freedom of Expression and its rightful usage is today’s times. And so was born Writer’s Ezine, a monthly literary online magazine (E-zine) with the intention of providing platform to emerging as well as established writers from around the world. Born out of a need and a necessity of solely being able to express all that one feels, thinks and understands Writer’s Ezine is one place where writing and creativity come together to ensure a

wonderful experience to the reader. As you read along and turn a page you will find your mind wandering into places you never thought of before, making you sit up and question the biggest mystery of all times – LIFE. This is one place where readers, writers, poets, photographers, idealists, thinkers, atheists, believers and story-tellers all will be in sync with creativity. We accept submissions in poetry, short-stories, non-fiction, author interviews; book reviews etc. (Please read Submission Guidelines for details). Cover Photo Copyright – Ishan Honrao This e-magazine is a compilation of Poems, Short Stories, Short – Story Series, Non – Fiction, Photographs


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Prompt of the Month

Author’s Quill

Books are magical and the ones who create them are magicians. Author's Quill is a segment that will bring all those magicians to recreate some of the magic through their quills, as they know it the best! As we all love to hear what they have to say, WE brings to you some of your favourite authors in this segment. Month on month WE will invite amazing authors to wield the magic of their quill and take you to their magic land which only they can create. Read what they have to share with you!

WE believes that at times creativity looks for a muse. So here we attempt to give you a muse month on month that will tickle your creative buds and let your imagination take a flight. The rules remain the same. The prompt remains open till the last date of submission for the next month’s issue. i.e. till 20th of the month to be considered to the next month’s.


Literati

A bi-monthly column which will bring to you interesting tits-bits about literature starting from authors to their books, everything that you ever wanted to know about it is here now. Join our columnist Aneesha Myles Shewani as she takes you along on a journey where the smell of books is in the air!

Cook-N-Tell

Till now Writer's Ezine managed to gather various flavours of romance, suspense, mystery, longing, pain, life, death, thriller... every chapter a new story and every poem a new song. And that is when we realised WE missed out on a very interesting flavour one that adds a zing to it. So here we are, presenting Cook-N-Tell a bimonthly column which will have some amazing, mouth-watering, easy-tomake dishes!


Aspire to Inspire

Every morning we wake up with a choice either to be happy or be sad. What we choose decides the course of our day. Fortunately or unfortunately many times we tend to be such choices for near and dear ones as well. I am sure each one of us remembers at least someone in their life at some point of time who acts like a termite, draining them virtually in about everything starting from emotions to peace of mind. Such people are easily identifiable - they tend to have a problem with everything and anything in life, and they have no qualms about letting their bitterness spill over to everyone

around them. What these people conveniently forget is that they are causing more harm than spreading joy around them and that each one of us is fighting a unique battle in this race of life. From their myopic view sight the world shrinks in to fit only them.

Long ago I had read somewhere, “If you cannot be a reason behind someone’s happiness, try and not be the reason behind someone’s tears.” Inspired by it, I try to adhere to it always. And what I learnt is that seeing someone smile and knowing you are the reason behind that smile is priceless.


Life gives different challenges to everyone that does not mean one is happier than the other. It is all a matter of one’s own capacity and strength. It is a good thing to look at less fortunate people and count your own blessings but looking at others and counting your miseries is no way to lessen them! Not only are you making yourself more miserable you are also inviting pity. And that is something that I am sure no one wants to attract. Moreover you reflect yourself as someone who is not compassionate enough to understand other’s condition.

The real winner of life is not someone who fights his or her own battle perfectly it is someone who not only wins his own battle but encourages others also to fight his or her own battle. Aspire to inspire someone and then see the way it just keeps multiplying further into your life. Keep aspiring, keep inspiring!


IN THIS ISSUE The Night Duty Spectrum Love not to be confined in certain fixed definition..! A Journey Accomplished Our Heritage Revisited : A glimpse into ancient Indian texts Anju Saha The Intricate or the Minimalist – Spoilt for Choice! Where life resides Old age Home maybe Your next Home The Making of a Bloody Good Book The Known Stranger A face of Poverty Farewell The Eligible Princess Summerita Rhayne Touch Mark of love Prompt of the Month

Mohan Murti Shandilya Sreesha Divakaran Vikram Pratap Kalpana Mishra Anju Saha Our Heritage Revisited : A glimpse into ancient Indian texts Aneesha Myles Shewani Revreme Vinny Evelyn Uday Satpathy Shahrukh Jamal Shanya Sharma Namitha Varma Summerita Rhayne The Eligible Princess Namrata Arti Honrao Arti Honrao


The Night Duty

It was an early evening. Winter had not yet knocked on the doors of Delhi, but there was a hint of romance in the air. Weather was pleasant. The sun was gradually setting, collecting its golden light to let the moon spread her charm with a cool moonlight. It was the naughty full moon night that evening. A young man was waiting for a bus at NSCI Club Bus Stop near Pragati Maidan’s Foot Over Bridge. He considered himself to be smart enough to have the Lady luck on his side at a young age. And rightly so, for he had succeeded to be the Club’s Assistant Chief Manager at just 28. Rahul

had finished his day’s work, and was headed home. Suddenly, his eyes fell on a young girl, standing at the bus stop across the

road. She was alone. As their eyes met, he noticed she had smiled, with some shyness a bit hesitatingly. He found her beautiful and attractive. Her smile set his heart a-flutter. From the corner of his eyes, he saw a bus, menacingly approaching her bus stop. He didn’t want to lose this opportunity, so he waived her not to take the oncoming bus, and wait for him to take the Foot Over Bridge, cross the


road and reach her. This time also, the Lady Luck was on his side. The girl, across the road, smiled and consented. Rahul reached the Bus Stop, took her extended hand like a thorough gentleman, though squeezing a little with a naughty smile. Her hand was delicate and soft. She was indeed a very, very pretty girl, tall, slim, royal with a mesmerizing hold. Her reverse pastel peach coloured sari and virgin white lace blouse enhanced her feminine attributes of a generously endowed woman. Her dark black long hair was tied in a smart bun with a red rose adding to her sensuousness. He found himself totally surrendered to her captivating charm.

‘Hi, I am Rahul. You are so beautiful … thanks for waiting …’ ‘Thank you. My name is Sonia.’ Her voice was mellifluous music to his ears. Her eyes were like a magnet, Maddening Beauty – He passed a judgment. ‘Are you going home, Sonia?’ ‘No, I am on Night Duty tonight.’ ‘Where do you work? I mean, is it far?’ ‘Not really … just two stops from here …’ ‘Wow … great … it is a pleasant evening… would you like if we walk to your place of work?’ ‘Not at all. My pleasure!’ said Sonia with a small sexy laugh. Rahul was taken, smitten. Taking advantage of this short walk, he tried to impress her by describing his job at the Club, and a large disposable monthly


income, sharing with her the best of his young life achievements, top swimmer at University, consistently a Topper since school days, living alone in this new found city in a Studio Apartment in a South Delhi’s posh colony, being a studious, almost a book worm, never had a girlfriend and so on. Time flew. Soon, he realized they had reached the gate of a Cemetery. As Sonia took a step to enter the gate of the cemetery, Rahul froze. ‘What happened? Come inside. This is where I work.’ Rahul could only mutter: ‘But there are graves all over the place.' ‘Are you scared … being a man?’ ‘No, no, no … I am not scared … but?’ By now, Rahul was shaken to the bones. He was frightened.

‘Don’t worry … Follow me …’ Yet, he was under her spell. And also her challenge to his being a Man had touched his fragile ego. He found himself entering the Cemetery, following her steps along the well laden, but eerie on this full moon night, graves on both sides of the tiled path. Rahul was totally terrified, trembling like an autumn leaf ready to fall his face was as white as a sheet. Sonia stopped next to a creepy grave, asked him to follow her down the steps into a cellar next to the spooky grave. Like a dead soul, Rahul obeyed her. The cellar was spinechilling dark but for a tall white Candle throwing flickering light on a dining table in the middle of a bloodcurdling empty room.


Sonia stepped up to the head of the Dining Table, and asked him to sit down on the couch along the wall opposite to her at the end of the table. ‘This is where I work’ – She declared. ‘But what is your job?’ somehow, the words came out of his dry mouth seemingly flowing out of fear. ‘My job is to bring food.’ ‘For whom?’ he was horrified in this unnerving setting. ‘For her’, Sonia pointed out towards a vampire on her left ‘and for her’ – she pointed out to another vampire on her right. ‘But where is the food?’ ‘You.’ Seeing Sonia also turning into a wicked vampire, he fainted … and all the three evil vampires were scrounging with loud horrendous cackling …

eeeheheehe … eeeheheehe … eeeheheehe … About Mohan Murti Shandilya: Mohan Murti Shandilya, PhD(CanMin) in Linguistics from Moscow State University & LLB from Delhi University, is a practicing Lawyer, Chairman of several companies in global businesses, own a publishing House in Singapore, a film maker, Cinematographer, Actor, Radio Presenter, has published several books translated by him from Russian into English and Hindi and 10000 scientific papers. Now, wants to write fiction. Currently, battling lifethreatening Cancer with confidence that God will help him win. Editor's Comment: Spine chilling and eerie.


Spectrum

About Sreesha Divakaran: Sreesha Divakaran is a technical writer by

profession, and a writer by passion. She began writing poems and stories at a very young age, and encouragement from both teachers and parents made her take up writing as more than a hobby. To read more of her writing, please visithttp://petrichorandcl ouds.blogspot.com. She can be reached at reesh.1211@gmail.com

Editor's Comment: Amazing capture shows the diversity of life, various colours of life.


Love Not To Be Confined In Certain Fixed Definition..!

Love is just a feeling or merely an illusion? Love is a path to soul searching or merely a customary obligation of reproduction? Love an attraction of opposite poles or there lies some inborn connection? But one day he found something quite unusual, Same pole attracting each other.....! But one day he found it doesn't fall in line of natural cycle of reproduction.

But one day he found his ward is not what he/she has supposed to be, he/she really is.....! And it is not so easy to even comment on this critical situation?

How could he/she do this? He was angered at their decision of mate selection? Is it right or wrong to act and love who you really love? Is it wise or foolishness to turn into completely different?


Is it excess of freedom to behave in that way? Is it justified to become Gay or lesbian? He asked! He shouted! He cried! He feared what the society will think of them..! He thought and thought and thought again and again.

About Vikram Pratap: Vikram Pratap has completed his Electrical Engineering from NIT Kurukshetra and currently working in NTPC Ltd. He is avid reader, passionate writer, and a helpless daydreamer. He is keen lover of art of any form, loves sketching and photography and active blogger. Editor's Comment:

But at the end of day, They are still his children..! But at the end of day, it’s all their decision..! But at the end of day, it’s all about loving deeply someone..! But at the end of the day, Love is not to be confined in certain fixed boundary and definition..! And then he smiled and respected his/her decision.

A very harsh reality of our society depicted in a heart touching manner.


A Journey Accomplished

It was 1000hrs on 4th July 1990. We bid goodbye to our Maths Teacher and were waiting for our History Teacher to appear, yet hoping that the boring teacher may disappear along with all our History books. I was specially praying that some miracle may happen and the History teacher may not be able to take our class. Although not a poor student, I had a special disliking for History. Today the reason for such a prayer was very simple; I had not completed my History Homework. Ironically, history Teacher Mrs. Bhandari was my favourite, as to my young mind, she was the most

understanding teacher since she could understand that although I like her, yet I do not like her subject at all. And as if God was listening to my prayers. Suddenly, all of us were called in the Auditorium located on the Ground Floor of our School, Sadhu Vaswani International School for Girls (SVIS). “Line Up everyone�, shouted Shashi Madam. I realized that only girls of classes 8th and 9th were called for a discussion or probably a meeting or may be people from Times of India would have come for giving lectures on usage of


Newspaper in Education, or on Sanitary Napkins.

Officers”, my mind started racing fast.

Whatever it might be, but it is definitely a welcome change from our daily routine of opening History books and listening to the boring lecture. However, it turned out that few Army Officers had come to tell us something. I could make out from their uniform that they were from Army. We were told to stand in rows as Madam Shashi wanted to address us.

And suddenly as if woken up from my thoughts, Shashi Madam pulled me out of one of the rows, “Come in front, you are so short heighted that they will not be able to see you”, she said. “Have they come to see me”, how ridiculous a thought could that be. Nonetheless, we all lined up in the order of our height. “I wish to inform all the

“What could be the link between a Hindi Teacher Shashi Madam and Army

girls that in addition to Extra Curricular Activities that we already have in


the School like Yoga, Taekwando, Athletics, from this year, we are going to have another subject called NCC ‘National Cadet Corps", she continued. And as soon as she finished, up went the volume of the whispers, “What could it be, why the hell are they adding another damn thing to our already hectic routine”, everyone discussed. Colonel Singh took over from her and said a big Hello in his baritone voice. Suddenly, as they say in school, a pin drop silence happened on its own. “So girls, who all like adventure, to climb the mountains to see different parts of our country?” he asked confidently. At that age, when the young minds are still naive, they are learning and wishing to be trained, such activities seem to be fun and attractive.

So, yes, mostly the hands went up. Thereafter his voice appeared even more confident and convincing. “Girls, we want the Nation to be proud of our youth. For this, we train and motivate them with leadership qualities in all walks of life, who will serve the Nation regardless of which career they choose. We provide an environment conducive to motivating young Indians to choose the Armed Forces as career. Cadets are given exposure to Basic Military Skills and knowledge. We send the cadets to the Annual Training Camps, National Integration Camps (NIC) and Special NICs.” He ended his short lecture with a small note that NCC is an innovative and dynamic approach to training and enabling transformation of the NCC cadets into disciplined and responsible citizens capable of positive


contribution nation building.

towards

It was indeed a motivating lecture for many of us. However, when all interested were asked to raise hands, none could be seen in the air. I could see Shashi Madam’s frowning silently. Hence, out of sympathy for her, I thought I should raise my hand. While I tried to lift my hand from down position to up position, I tried hard to figure other reasons to join, like I was getting bored with yoga, since I was doing it since Class IV, and the fees of the other option available Taekwando was not affordable for my parents. So this could be a welcome change. Hence my hand which, till now was refusing to go up, now readily agreed. I could see the smile on Shashi Madam’s face.

Then through eye contact I encouraged few of my friends Monika, Payal, Anu also to follow the suit. I think every student knows this language of eyes even before it was learnt by lovers. We all joined NCC together for varying reasons. For me it was an escape mechanism without knowing the impact it was going to make on my life. Initially it was fun with small drills, Left Right Left, which although was torture at the outset, later appeared rhythmic to my ears. I used to stand in the end habitually, but I think the Instructor, alongwith Shashi Madam also got habitual of pulling me out to the front. I do not know how and when, but gradually I took a liking to this subject, and used to look forward to its classes, yet lacked the will to take any initiative.


We used to have three classes a week during our extra-curricular activity period. It was barely four months that we had been getting training from NCC Instructors. It was one of those days, when the presence of sun seemed to be a blessing on a cold day and we had found out a new reason to enjoy NCC sessions, which is getting to enjoy the sun rays. I was enjoying the sun rays, now standing in the front row when the Colonel called me to him. I thought, I am already in the front row, now what does he want, why the hell is he calling me. Nonetheless, I went up to him and was told to give commands to the group, and make them do the parade. Shocked by this sudden responsibility, I again prayed to the almighty for

a change in the situation, but God, it seems, was also enjoying the weather, and was in no mood to take up complaints from anybody that day. So, as directed, I started off with the normal drills. But as soon as I established an eye contact with my friends, who were now in front of me, I could not help but found myself joining the group in giggling too. Suddenly, I heard Shashi Madam shouting, “Kalpana!” She made me face the other side, so that my back is towards the group. Her stern looks, however, gave me my dose of confidence. “Left Right Left”, now was accompanied by “Daayien Mud, Baayien Mud, Aage Bad, Peeche Mud.” At the end of the drill session, I was congratulated personally by the Colonel in the end. This boasted my


confidence a million times; Shashi Madam too smiled at me and said, “I am proud of you. Where had you hidden this confidence?” I went on to win the “Best NCC Cadet Award” from my school, and led the NCC Group on the Independence Day Parade in my School. That was the moment when I decided that I am going to join Armed Forces some day, in what capacity though, was yet to be ascertained. It is 14th July 2014 today, 24 years now and today I have taken charge as Assistant Director, in Directorate General of National Cadet Corps. Today I am proud to be a part of the team making policies on the Training Schedule, the number and different types of Camps and Social

Services undertaken.

to

be

It seems that on that day too, the God was not sitting idle enjoying the weather but was actually listening, yet had His own plans.


About Kalpana Mishra: A name suggests a lot about one’s personality. She sometimes wonder when Parents keep a name for their child do they actually want the child to become that? Probably, her parents had that in mind. Studied at Sadhu Vaswani International School. Represented school in NCC National Integrity Camp. Once in ARSD College, Delhi University, joined Cultural Team and won Awards for her performances in Street/Stage Play Competitions. Again bitten by creativity bug during her working days, got hooked to writing articles/stories/poems. This ensured her blog abheekalp.blogspot.com. The passion has finally culminated into authoring her first fiction, “LOVE AT RAJPATH”. She can be reached at E-Mail:

kalpanamishraa@yahoo.c o.in Editor's Comment: A very inspiring story for everyone.


Book Review – I


:Intro:

:Book Review:

We in India are blessed with a great literary heritage and tremendous cultural, philosophical and traditional wealth. However the contents of ancient Indian scriptures have generally remained an enigma and most of the existing works available to readers, take up for commentary, an individual text for a detailed understanding but an overall picture is not easily available.

1. Cover: The cover of the book is simple to the point.

This book attempts to present a user-friendly description of these texts and their evolutionary account. It is a simple version, meant for someone keen to get an overview of our amazing ancient scriptures but may have found existing books too exhaustive.

2. Presentation: The presentation of the book is very in depth highlighting the important points and expanding them in a manner that is easy to understand. 3. Narration: The narration of the book is very lucid; every reader who reads will be able to connect with the content. 4. Language: The language is perfect in terms of the context of the book. When you are talking about Vedic scriptures more than the language it is the content which gains priority. 5. Pros: The pro has to be content. The author has managed to bring together such amazing information


on the topic of the book given the exhaustive amount of research resulting into a perfect book like this. 6. Cons: With very few and negligible typo errors this book is otherwise a knowledgeable read.

:Overview: The overall rating for the book would be 4.5 out of 5 purely to the author’s concept of this book. WE team feels the author has potential and would like to thank her for sending across this book for review, also wishing her all the best for all her future endeavours.


Author Interview – I

Today we are in conversation with Anju Saha who has written a very interesting book on Indian scriptures. Anju Saha is a graduate in Science and in Education, and a post grad in Psychology from Delhi University. She is a retired senior official (Top Executive Grade) from the State Bank of India. She is a regular attendee of satsang where there are group readings and discussions on the scriptures. She has read translations and commentaries of several of the Hindu texts. She has now done considerable research over a period of eighteen months to put this book together in a simple style so as to bring about clarity on the very

vast expanse ancient texts.

of

our

The blurb of her book reads: We in India are blessed with a great literary heritage and tremendous cultural, philosophical and traditional wealth. However the contents of ancient Indian scriptures have generally remained an enigma and most of the existing works available to readers, take up for commentary, an individual


text for a detailed understanding but an overall picture is not easily available. This book attempts to present a user-friendly description of these texts and their evolutionary account. It is a simple version, meant for someone keen to get an overview of our amazing ancient scriptures but may have found existing books too exhaustive.

Join us in this interview as WE tries to know the real her: 1. As written in the introduction of the book, a seemingly innocent question by a child led to this book. Can you elaborate some more on the core idea behind this book? My niece is actually a highly qualified and experienced professional. I had earlier done a compilation of Hindi bhajans for my satsang group and her suggestion was that I write a book on our Hindu scriptures, for her friends. Since I too have been a professional, the idea of writing for such a group, on a subject that would take me beyond banking and management, appealed to me. The topic was intriguing, and the idea challenging – writing about our ancient texts such that it would appeal to the present /


modern generation. I had not seen any book that covered the vast canvas of about 2000 years and presented it in a simple yet systematic style. My idea was to bring about a familiarity with our literary heritage to those persons who had little time, or inclination, to understand our religion and its concepts. The Shruti texts – the Veds and the Upanishads are generally well heard of, but their contents are not. On the other hand, the contents of several Smriti texts are better known but not their construct. Thus both the content and the presentation was stimulating from the very beginning. 2. Please take our readers through your journey of seeing this idea of yours in the form of a book. After some reading here and there, deciding the

topics to be covered took me some time. One thought was of making this a shorter read in the form of FAQs, but that did not appeal for long. While reading several books and articles, I loved the concepts we have on Time, and I wrote a whole chapter on yugs and manvantars. I also worked on several others concepts in Hinduism, 16 sanskars, ancient sages etc. But after a few months of work I felt that the facts, as they are known about our scriptures, require a more objective presentation. And this would not gel with the other aspects of Hindu Dharm I had picked, which would tend to be more emotive. The readers of these topics might also be different. I could not therefore cover both in the same book and so the focus shifted entirely to the scriptures.


Having completed the first draft of the Shruti texts, I started on the Smritis. Then a question from my daughter sent me on a chase – she said the Veds talk of the gods of Nature and then of Brahm, but today we pray to Vishnu – Ram or Krishna, or Shiv, or Devi or Ganesh etc. – how and when did this transition come about? So I started delving deeper into the Upanishads but did not find what I was looking for. That is when I discovered the Agamic texts – something about which I (and perhaps many others in the Northern part of India) are ignorant about. The Upanishads were originally only a chapter but I loved the concepts in them so this gradually expanded to become Part II the book. The preparation of the book is truly “self” in all respects with continuous support and inputs from

my family including in editing. Additionally, the title is from my husband and the cover design by my daughter. 3. This book holds a part of our history in its pages. How important do you think it is for us, or the generations to come hereafter, to know about our history and why? I will not comment on history in general but I definitely feel that a study of the history of religion is essential. Hinduism is a very tolerant and everevolving way of life. In India, religion occupies a very prominent place in our lives and in our thoughtprocess. Unless we understand why certain concepts came about, we become blind and perhaps irrational followers, unable to understand and explain ourselves, and rigid in our religious beliefs.


4. This topic as such would have needed a lot of research. How was your experience when you researched for it? Was it easy to collect all the material or was it difficult to put together all the broken pieces and find out the whole picture? Actually there is a lot of material available, the works in English being both by Indians and by foreigners. So I read several translations and commentaries of our scriptures, and a great many sources for the Upanishads. The bestknown English translations of the four Veds are by foreigners and I read a fair amount of each of these. Material from Indian authors are more frequently discourses, or commentaries on individual scriptures - Sankaracharya, Swami Tejomayananda, Swami

Nikhilananda, Vinobha Bhave, Vivekanand et al. But these did not give an over-all perspective. There was also considerable content I found available at the sites of universities in America and Europe through their own research and study in Sanskrit. For an overall picture of all our texts, S Radhakrishnan has covered the entire gamut in a very detailed manner suitable for an in-depth study. I found an interesting introduction to the Shruti texts in the work of Arthur A Macdonell. There are also a large number of web-sites. The difficulty I faced was that the texts by known authors were not simple to read and understand, generally having great depth and being very erudite. I also found the spellings and the diacritical marks prevented smooth reading, which is why, in my book,


I attempted simpler spellings and added the Hindi words. Simultaneously I also found many sources give contrary details and information – perhaps to be expected considering that many facts are not known, real research on the texts is still not being done in India and even if done, is not talked about. I suppose till Universities and Institutes start working on this subject, and our media covers such topics in a truly secular manner, this will continue. 5. Do you think that aping the west has led to a lot of loss in terms of culture for a rich heritage like ours? While mere aping can never lead to growth – absorbing can only be beneficial and requires taking the good from other countries and people, and merging this into one’s own culture and

identity. Our loss is perhaps due to our own lack of self-confidence, our mentality of servitude – even today terms used for leaders is “rulers”, “ruling the country/state”, “political masters” etc. Today, so many decades after our Independence, we still do not find adequate importance being attached to our heritage by way of research, and to the protection of old original writings. On the other hand, many countries in the west have taken up the study of what we consider as inherently Indian. Thus USA is taking up yog, UK has undertaken translation of the Rig Ved in English, and Germany is focusing on Sanskrit teaching and research etc. Research done in India on our culture and heritage is, however, not in the limelight. Yet the developed countries have had an impact on our


pronunciation of Indian words apparently because of our aping the West. We need to be taught the correct Sanskrit pronunciation rather than distorting our Indian words due to removal of the diacritical marks in their English spellings. 6. Recently there was news about suggesting to the education board to include the Vedas in the curriculum for students. What are your views on this? There is definitely a great need to have compulsory teaching about India’s culture and heritage in all its aspects and diversity. Talking of religious texts, why only the Veds – why not also have some teachings from other homegrown religions – Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism? And Christianity and Islam. I for one would have loved to have also learnt a bit about the

Quran. Today, Hinduism / Sanatan Dharm is the religion of the majority in India and yet, in general, students are kept bereft of any systematic knowledge about it. 7. How important is research for a book according to you? A lot depends on the genre of the book and the level of knowledge and understanding the author has on the topic. Books, say, on fiction and poetry would perhaps require correct information about the locales and maybe even history. A non-fiction book would require greater research, but something along the lines of what I have done is basically research. 8. Do you feel this book is exhaustive in itself, or is there still some more that can be explored in this field?


The field of our literary heritage is huge – one could almost say infinite. My effort was pre-decided as a basic book – my drafts were all called “Primer”, so necessarily it had to be short and to exclude a lot. 9. Do we see you writing more on such topics in future too? Yes I do hope so. Recently a fifth class student who has also looked at my book has sent across a message – ‘please reserve a copy of the next book for me’. I cannot disappoint her. Several ideas are floating in my mind but thoughts have not yet crystalized. 10. Any words that you would like to convey to the readers. Do explore India’s richness and depth, it is fascinating yet unfathomable. Thank you very much for your time


The Intricate or the Minimalist – Spoilt for Choice!

Flood of Fire, the third book in the Ibis trilogy by Amitav Ghosh has arrived. I am reading every media byte on the book and its illustrious writer. I have not yet purchased the book and honestly, I may not do so for quite some time. The second book in the series, River of Smoke, still adorns my book shelf, half-read, dusted, and neatly kept

back every week, until the day I am inspired enough to revisit Paulette Lambert in her botanical pursuits, where I had last left her. As a voracious reader it is perplexing for me how the tomes entice me but cannot hold me in their throes for an indefinite amount of time. Time is a luxury and indulging days and months in a big book when so many accomplished writers are vying for my attention is a dream. I may buy a book on impulse, intoxicated by the book blurb and impassioned by the lure of the black ink. But soon the intoxication wears off, leaving me with a hangover and the accompanying guilt of not only abandoning a good


book but also ignoring the plethora of literature that await my greedy eyes. In the past two months, I am remorseful of two such purchases – Zemindar by Valerie Fitzgerald (800 pages) and The Dancer and the Raja by Javier Moro – as I forsake them for books that offer gratifying fast-paced reading.

It brings to me the pertinent question – has the overabundance of reading material and the lowering publication cost

altered our reading tastes and choices so much that we want smaller, faster, crisper and smarter fiction. Gone are the days, when a big fat book was bought to be read over hot summer afternoons or long winter evenings, or as precious company on a journey. When time was aplenty, reading choices limited, and money less, the big fat novel was expected to deliver the big bang for the buck, in every possible way. Times have changed. Writers have abounded and international literature that was earlier hard to procure, with dependency on local libraries for astronomically priced imported editions, now


available as reasonable Indian print versions at our nearest book store or at the click of the mouse on our reading devices. We are spoilt for choice; do we really want to give up our right to read the more and the many by offering undisputed attention and affection to the writers of monumental literature. How many would have sworn by Martin’s Game of Throne series was it not for encapsulated visual extravaganza of the television series, which is actually deviating from the book series now. Martin is a household name not because the world was devouring 80 hours of reading material but has consumed 50 hours of the HBO series and another 50 hours of all the media tidbits, hype, hoopla, and conspiracy theories around the characters! We want our

entertainment easy doses.

in

small

No wonder the Internet has many advocates for short works like haiku, drabble and its forms like 55 words flash fiction, and even the six words short story, said to be inspired by Hemingway's, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” story. While teaching my first grader I learnt about the beauty of cinquain. Short stories and poems are the ultimate exercise in crisp writing, a mental workout I advocate for every writer as a way to test “ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in a confined space”. I myself delve in short fiction writing and find it be really brainy work. However, in the dynamics of the publishing world, the novel still supersedes short fiction in terms of popularity. One


reason could be inherent human greed – a novel with its long narrative probably gives a psychological satisfaction of purchasing something bigger, thicker, and more complex. The other reason could be the desire for a relaxing read and not something that requires brain storming. Short stories by nature of brevity usually leave a lot to imagination and rumination, shifting the burden of thought and sometimes even the conclusion to the reader. Short story characters are usually not as welldeveloped as they may be in a novel that allows the privilege of an elaborate character sketch. Readers who want their characters well-sketched down to their gummy boots and up to their top hats may not be excited by the fill-inthe-blanks character outlines in short stories.

Many readers claim that short stories require greater concentration and even greater commitment – a novel waits for you to get that free time or board a long journey bus or flight, while a short story is compelling by its urgency, by a need to finish it in one sitting, without diversions. Reading novels is also a coming-of-age thing. It defines the transition from adolescence to young adult and then mature reading for many children brought up amidst books. So, when children move from fairy tales, story collections, and abridged novellas to sustained reading of bigger works like classics and novels, the stories get left behind. The dizzying world of unlimited fiction in the genre of novels creates amnesia for the short story.


Another reason could be we don’t have that many modern short story writers who can revive the magic of the beloved short stories of the previous decades. The question then is why people are writing lesser short stories. Is it the commercial angle – novels sell faster and better, novels get movie or television tie-ins, or novels provide the ultimate selfindulgence. May be shorter prose is now saved for the blogs and the online spaces, where readers and writers get their quick fixes. Short story writers may also feel pressurized to create equally impressionable stories every time or may be pushed to write many short stories to publish as a collection. There are more chances of a collection of short stories being picked off the book shelves than a slim story book.

The art of short story writing remains an essential element of longer and ambitious writing expeditions. Our ancient tales of shruti and parables were short stories. Our epics are ultimately a collection of episodes or short stories. Short stories as an art form still dominate genres like science fiction, mysteries, and thrillers. While science fiction is a blossoming, flourishing species, writers of thrillers have moved into the area of novel-writing and I suspect that it has something to do with the ultimate motivation to be paid for a digitalized version of their work. Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature, confessed that her busy life as a mother and a woman was why she evolved into the master of contemporary short fiction. In her words, “So


why do I like to write short stories? Well, I certainly didn't intend to. I was going to write a novel. And still! I still come up with ideas for novels. And I even start novels. But something happens to them. They break up. I look at what I really want to do with the material, and it never turns out to be a novel. But when I was younger, it was simply a matter of expediency. I had small children, I didn't have any help.” As an avid reader, I love reading both stories and novels. Stories definitely give me more food for thought. However, as an aspiring writer, I confess that my novella is still in the writing, while many completed short stories have found their way into my blog. I make it point to read a collection of short stories in between my regular novel-reading schedule. Reading short

stories is the quickest way to gain insight into the complex mind and the plethora of influences in an author’s life. For those who want to delve into the pleasures of short stories, here is an interesting list compiled by The Guardian. And for those who still prefer the in-depth experience of novel-reading as opposed to the diverse involvement in short-stories, there is a fascinating genre called novels-in-stories. Use this list and this one to pick some of the most wellknown books in this category. So much to read, so less time – whether it is the short story, or the novel, or the interconnected stories that read like novels – we need more than one life-time to indulge and appreciate all our favorite writers! And as we devour one book


after another, the debate rages on as to whether we love complex literature or adore minimalist writing.

About Aneesha Myles Shewani: Aneesha Myles Shewani is a full-time IT professional currently employed as a technical editor. She is a voracious reader with a wide foray of reading interests - from historical literature to science fiction. This working mother is also an amateur writer/blogger and her blog – www.felinemusings.com is a reflection of the various facets of her personality. She aspires to be a published novel writer. She can be reached at aneesha.myles@gmail.co m


Where Life Resides

The cancelled plans and forgotten friends. The hopeful beginnings and beautiful ends. The fork in the path and the road you chose. The treasures you gain and those you lose. That is where the life resides. The longing and the wait, the hope and the prayers. The end of missing someone and long awaited reunions.

The exhilaration of win, the gratitude and the tears. The guilt of sin, the insecurities and the fears. That is where the life resides. The timeless beauties of our lives. The fruits of hard work that timely ripe. The priceless trust and a few lies. The foolish steps and some decisions wise. That is where the life resides. The lowest lows and highs so high. Being on the ground and still touching the sky. The brimming emotions that silently dies, And those which are expressed without the voice. That is where the life resides.


The lovely melody and hateful noise. The nameless anxiety and peaceful poise. The depth of the ocean and contentment of shore. The things we never said and those our eyes spoke. That is where the life resides. The places we went and territories unseen. And those where in our dreams, numerous times we have been. The people we saw daily and suddenly left behind, And those strangers who with our life will be twined. That is where the life resides.

About Revreme: A Chartered Accountant with a perspective on everything. She writes all about the reveries, realities and memories, the tidbits we gather knowingly or unknowingly while treading on the path of life. You might find the pieces of you somewhere in it. Contact her at revreme@gmail.com Editor's Comment: An epitome to beauty, this poem is a beautiful ode to life.


Old age Home maybe your next Home

These are the words from a grieved heart, which could not bear the pain after listening to the story of a Grandma. When I randomly going through social networking site I read this story and felt like……. *shrugs* Every time when I start to pen down here, I always choose to be very waggish but today I'm continuing with a straight sort of face. The story goes like this,

A woman gave her entire life to bring up her son. She went through so many hurdles and gave him the best position in this society. Now, she was leading her life very happily, under the roof of

her son’s house. One day, she was playing with her grand children; her son sat near her couch and had been waiting to say something to her. She asked her son “Is there any problem?” He said “no”, but as a mother she noticed that he wanted to say something to her.


And the conversation went like this, Son: Ma! Mother: *thinking that he might be in some trouble* Tell me. I don’t bother if the issue is tough to handle. In your childhood I have only suffered to handle everything but now you are there, giving strength to me. Son: *setting his throat* Ma! Actually we want to----oooo….oooo Mother:*lifted her eye brows* Please hurry up! I want to play with my grandson. Son: We….weeee….we want to join you in an old age home Mother: *silent* *upset* Son:*silent* Mother: *cried silently* (came back with her trolley) I want to join in old age home today itself.

Son: Ma! Ma…… I don’t want to send you today…….*Interrupts* Mother: No! I just want to leave now….please no more words *hurts* The son joined her in an old age home. And he got struck with his busy work. He couldn't have even time to make a visit over there. Few months later, He got a call from Old age home. In his so called hurry….burry life he didn't even lift the phone. They made another call……he lifted the phone. Son: hello! Old age home crew member: hello! We are calling from old age home. Your mother wants to talk with you. Son: yeah! I will make a call after a while……I'm totally busy now….. Interrupts Old age home crew member: *angry* okay!


But she was in a serious condition. It’s your wish to talk with her or not. Son: what? He started driving back now his heart was beating very fast he was remembering everything from his childhood *Love* hands were shaking finally he drove there with throbbing palpitation. Son: *Crying* Mother: Dear don’t cry. I'm always there with….with you…….*not able to speak* Son: Please! Don’t say like that ma…. Doctors are coming and I will make you live and I……I…I will take you with me and I’ll make care for you. Mother: Thank You! But …… I want to say……. Son: Tell…tell me Mother: Here in this old age home we people find cockroaches in our food, fans are not working, sometimes we lived

without water, we are unable to bend our knee but we just slept on the floor. Son: *Cries silently* till now why didn’t you say all these things to me? Mother: I don’t want to disturb you. Your children take you as their role model and they may drive you here. I don’t want my son to live in this uncomfortable home *Love*.so, Sponsor money and make it as good as possible before you take a walk into this home. Son: Ma,.ma. *He cried a lot.* *but no hope* Son: *crying ...... saying to himself that Old age home maybe your next Home*. * Life is like a circle what you did to others will definitely surround you. If you think about old age home you will definitely


drove back to old age home.* I realized that some people are affected with the disease Affluenza. In this story the son cried a lot but no use. No matter what’s the scenario is, his mother didn't leave him in an orphanage despite of her burdens; she sacrificed her whole life to lift him up in this society but what he did to his mother? He just offered old age home. He realized the importance of his mother late but you know what happened. So, do things when time is in your watch. Give them your caring hand as a token of gratitude.

About Vinny Evelyn: A girl who is always wearing smile on her face and gives the impression of being highly reserved but with her friends you will find new Vinny with naughty thoughts and crazy actions who is characterized by her Integrity. She feels that she is very precious to Her Lord because He created her as the part of His beautiful creation with all His love and mercy. The greatest gift that the God has given to her is this LIFE and she wants to make sure to use it in the best way possible. She is very passionate to write articles. Editor's Comment: What goes comes back in life!


The Making of a Bloody Good Book

The story behind India’s first crowd-curated novel BRUTAL. My eyes open reluctantly, in the middle of the night. Rubbing them, I glance at my mobile phone. It’s 3:30 AM. I grumble (I don’t remember about what) and crawl out of my bed. After dragging myself into the living room, I sink back into the sofa, staring into the darkness in frustration. I feel helpless. Prakash and Seema are in danger. They are scared; they don’t know how to get out of it. They have been asking me since the last two weeks. I don’t know, I reply. It’s my doing, I


know, but I can’t find a way out. Is this what they call as the Writer’s Block? Funny foundations My first foray into writing would have been through Hardy boys’ fan-fiction, had I not been lured by a thrilling mad scientist story. This was some eighteen years ago, when smitten by the awesome superheroes from Raj Comics, my brother and I decided to create our own comic-book. While I took care of the storytelling department, my brother, a good artist, drew the cartoons. The result was as stunning as an Indian railway station track just after a train passes over it. My writing never took off again, though my reading moved ahead from the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drews to the Robert

Langdons. There was a period in between when I actually believed that Sidney Sheldon was the world’s greatest storyteller and IITs were the place where the greatest of love stories took place. It was during these days that I realized how much I loved the mystery, thriller and suspense genre. This passion continues till today and it shows up in the kind of movies and TV shows I usually watch. Writing my first novel It was during my days at Wipro (four years back) that I came up with the plot for BRUTAL. It was a one liner plot – a murder mystery which blows up into a far deeper conspiracy. In my mind, I had an initial picture of what my characters will go through. I began reading a lot – thriller novels, movies and non-fiction books. My interest in geo-


political issues and the world of espionage also helped me a lot in developing my story. Once, the skeleton of the story was ready, all I needed to do was layers of flesh and blood over it. It looked easy, but it was one hell of a tough job. I was a debut writer. I didn’t know whether whatever I wrote was worth the paper it would be printed on. So, I made my poor wife read and reread every chapter as soon as I completed them. Thankfully, she used to gobble up my work faster than I could produce. Hell, it’s not boring at all, she used to say. I couldn’t have asked for more. As they say, “all good things must come to an end”, it happened with me as well. When I was half-way into the novel, the sub-plots

began to entangle, making it difficult to keep track of the story. To make matters worse, the writer’s block kicked in. Type, Backspace, Type, Backspace – my hands began to follow this routine over my laptop week after week. Different people have different ways of tackling writer’s block. I had once heard Ashwin Sanghi say that “there is no writer’s block which can’t be brushed away with a peg of whisky”. “Day-dreaming” was my peg of whisky. After weeks of day-dreaming, I finally made my way to the end of my book. Hell begins here (gearing up for rejections) Ready with a ‘complete’ manuscript, I pulled up my socks and began tracking my submissions to publishers using a project plan. Synopses, chapter breakdown


summaries, character outlines were cooked, served on a plate and then distributed like evening snacks among publishers. But, I did not know it all was going into Bakasur’s bottomless belly. Not even the most ambitious of burps could escape from it. In our publishing industry, rejections are generally implicit, which means that if an author does not get any response from the publisher in evaluation period, he/she should consider the manuscript rejected. Emails are rarely responded to. A Rejection mail is so uncommon that you can preserve it in Formaldehyde and keep it as a lucky charm. For almost eight months, I kept following up with publishers without any answer. One of them asked me if I could pay

them to get my manuscript published. Another bluntly asked me about the number of copies I am willing to purchase from them. I said, thank you very much. While I waited for a source of hope, I decided to start a blog. Being a thriller genre enthusiast, I was looking for a blog which talked specifically about the Indian thriller novel market. When I found none, I decided to start my own. I named it Thriller Writing (now converted to UdaySatpathy.com). It took off quite well and soon began showing up on top literary blog lists. It encouraged me a lot, because I could now connect in a more meaningful way with other thriller authors and readers. During the course of such interactions, I came across the concept of self-


publishing, which has become quite a rage nowadays. I too would have joined the bandwagon and selfpublished Brutal had it not been for a couple of questions which kept haunting me. Has my book achieved its real potential? Or is there a scope for improvement? God answered prayers.

my

One day, while googling, I came across an interesting publishing venture named Bloody Good Book started by Rashmi Bansal. Rashmi is one of the most popular non-fiction authors in India and has done a lot of work on entrepreneurship. The concept of her venture was simple. Let readers decide what to publish and what not. I liked it immediately. Getting

feedback directly from a potential reader was so much better than interacting with a black box. I invested a lot of time in creating a publication quality cover page and then submitted my manuscript to BGB. Niyati Patel (BGB’s co-founder) replied to me, mentioning that Brutal would go live in a couple of days. So far so good. I waited with bated breath. All of my hard work for the last two years was going to come out in front of readers and critics. D-Day The first few reviews of Brutal were not as I expected. One of the readers went on to call it as the most disappointing book on BGB. I was shattered, crushed. It was an odd feeling, touching


an alien chord which I never thought existed in me. I could instantly sympathize with authors who have been on the wrong side of criticism. It hurts. I thank God that my ordeal did not even last a day. Positive reviews began to come in. Some of the star reviewers praised Brutal so much so that it quickly made its way to the top of the leaderboards. It gave me a glimmer of hope. ‘That’ call I got a call from Rashmi and Niyati in September, 2014. Rashmi told me that she could not put down my book and read it till 3 AM in the night, devouring it in one sitting. In fact, the whole BGB team liked Brutal immensely.

I gulped saliva. Say that word. Please. “We have decided publish your book!”

to

I took a deep sigh, trying to come to terms with the magnitude of that statement. Some moment it was! The usual drill It was time to get over the euphoria and move back to the drawing board. In the next few months, I had multiple conversations with the BGB editorial team to improve Brutal and make my characters stronger. Niyati went through my book with a fine-toothed comb, and came up with some brilliant suggestions which have gone a long way in making Brutal the book it is today. Soon, words of praise from none other than Ravi Subramanian (master of


financial thrillers) trickled in. It was a great confidence booster for me. Present day Brutal is going to be launched on the 5th of August. The first impressions have been very positive and the critics have rated it highly. Readers are welcome to visit my website http://UdaySatpathy.co m and watch out for the latest updates and reviews. My fingers are crossed. Brutal is a thriller. For me, my book will be a success only if my readers get the thrill they are looking for.

About Uday Satpathy: Uday Satpathy is an Information Technology expert in the world of Healthcare and Life Sciences. He has a degree in electrical engineering and an MBA from one of the top B-schools of the country. Brutal, his first novel, was born out of his love for thrillers with intricate plots. He is a movie connoisseur, a cricket fanatic, a quizzing enthusiast and a travel freak. As if that was not enough, he has a special place in his heart for cooking as well. He lives in New Jersey, US. You can write to him at author.uday@gmail.com


The Stranger

Known

Part One The cold breeze followed by drizzle had become a

common phenomenon in the city of Brooklyn for the past couple of days. The weather had changed and the summer camps, the sunbaths, the scorching heat remained in memories now. Many youngsters had read books and watched

movies related to summers and that inspired and instilled them with hopes of finding their love somewhere that would seem like another Nicholas Sparks novel. Their faces were hung low as for them summer meant the season of love

and relationships. That's how they looked at it and waited for it. But for Martha, a thirtyyear old widow who was nothing more than just another resident in the city, summer meant making countless trips to


the market for groceries and accessories to make her home look better. The only thing that appealed to her was decorated, wellorganized homes and so one could see her enthusiasm for such things in the paintings that hung proudly on the walls of her rooms, various types of lamps and antique items that were present in every other room, flower vases which would be taken care of daily and classic novels that never failed to attract the guests. Although she wasn't much of a reader, she loved keeping books as sometimes they'd be her best companion in the hours of loneliness. Her lust for books was wellknown back in school a few years back when she was an avid reader of Charles Dickens and Agatha Christie. She wanted to pursue Literature but her father expected something else

from her. He had lung cancer and soon death only waited him at the doorstep. His last wish was to see his lovely daughter in the white bridal dress. She didn't like her father for that, but she didn't want him to curse her after he left. Thus came her sacrifice and she married Steve, son of her father's best friend. He owned a toy factory and dreamt of playing with his own factory's toys with his child. But a fateful morning brought the news of his death that occurred a week after their marriage. He had slipped on the stairs and that was the end. The loneliness that leads to Martha's book reading arrived only after his death. She now lived alone with her antiques and found solace in the classic characters from the shelf.


That day, amidst the rattling of the rainwater outside her home, a thud sound startled her as she tried to get some nap. Someone was knocking at the door frantically. She looked at the direction of the sound and then got up from her sheet less bed and after a little hesitation, she opened the door. Someone's arrival at her home was pretty unusual. After Steve's death, hardly anyone turned up to show his care towards her.

portion below her knees. He looked at her untied, ruffled hair and then concentrated on her face.

'Yes?' Martha's voice spoke.

'Don't think I'm an intruder or something. I belong to a very good family. You know Mrs. Gilbert? The one who runs an orphanage? She's my aunt.'

feeble

A young man, probably in his mid-twenties, turned and faced her. He wore a plain white shirt and black trousers and was drenched in the rain. He observed Martha's glowing, toned body from top to bottom and gasped. Martha was in her night gown that exposed the

'I'm Allen.' He said and extended his hand. 'Do I know you?' 'Well, I live two blocks away. I was passing by and suddenly the rain occurred, so...' 'Hmm...' Martha observed Allen's trembling lips and shiver. 'Come in.'

'I didn't ask you for your intro.' 'Oh...sorry. I just don't want you to form a bad


image of mine in your mind.'

around here belongings.'

'Have a seat'. Martha's irrelevant response made Allen think that she was thinking of him as a bad guy, but then she had let her in, so he was relaxed.

Allen didn't like Martha's rudeness. Nevertheless, he took the towel and then Martha left. 'I'll make you some coffee.' Martha announced from the kitchen.

He looked around the drawing room and observed the flower vases on the table, the range of paintings hung at an equivalent distance on the walls and the book shelf which attracted him. He walked towards the shelf and picked a torn Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and flipped through its dull pages. The binding was somehow intact but the cover had lost its charm. The next moment his vision was blocked by a creamcoloured towel. 'Here, dry yourself, lest you get cold and sniff

at

my

After a while, Martha entered the drawing room with a tray that carried two cups and a kettle. Her uninterested steps stopped all of a sudden. Her eyes were fixed at a sight she found soothing. Ahead of her, a few steps away, near the shelf, was Allen's bare back. His perfectly shaped body and beautifully carved muscles stunned her. Water trickled down from the back of his neck to his back and her eyes followed it until it went under his trousers. She noticed the thin lining of his butt and grinned. Then she noticed a


startled Allen and realized he might be aware of her presence. She immediately cleared her throat so that he listens and then moved her stubborn gaze away from his asset to appear decent.

She had noticed him staring at her at the door and now all she could imagine was the intimacy between two bodies. She was brought back from her fantasy by a gentle voice, 'Ma'am, you okay?'

'Hey! Welcome back.' His smile took away her senses. She smiled back. This was the first time she let him feel he was actually welcomed.

Certainly, she wasn't. She realized she had been staring at him for a really long time while the tray still demanded to be put on the table. She didn't respond to Allen's question and immediately put the tray on the table which made the utensils clang. Allen looked at her and without any more word, he sat on the sofa. Martha then poured the coffee in his cup and he took it in his hands. Then she poured for herself and sat on the sofa with the cup in her hand.

Another stint of hormonal mischief took over her. Right in front of her was a miracle, Allen's wet chest and nipples had taken her breath away. She expressionlessly looked at his cleavage which still had water drops. She ran her gaze from his Hercules-like torso to his well sculpted abs which told how dedicated he was at the gym. His navel carried a water droplet and she kept staring at it.

'You didn't ask my name.' Martha said after taking the first sip.


'That's because I already know. I know about you.' 'What do you know about me?' 'Your husband...I'm sorry, your husband died a few years back. And you love such antiques and read books.' 'How do you know all this about me?' Martha was half-scared, half-excited. 'Your husband was of one of the richest guys in Brooklyn, how wouldn't I know about his wife? Kidding! Actually, only a person who loves decoration can keep his home like this, so beautiful, so unique, so attractive.' He turned to run his gaze over the walls and the shelf for the second time. 'Thanks. What do you do?'

'You'll be glad to know that I work at your husband's factory.' 'Oh really?' 'Yeah. I joined just a week ago. But yeah choosing your house for the shelter still wasn't intentional.' 'What?' Martha laughed heartily. 'You really have a great sense of humour.' 'Really? My friends deny that.' 'Silly they are.' She said and smiled. ~To be continued

About Author: Shahrukh Jamal Editor's Comment: Mysterious Intriguing.

and


A Face of Poverty

Tormented By the harsh gelid night Swallowed By penury Emaciating bones Blanketed By icy air Cutting Right through her paper skin Wrinkled face Exhausted eyes So they were right To call her Impoverished

But what they failed to see Was her exemption From the grains of fraudulence And they were right When they said She had no clothes But what they didn't notice was Her emancipation from The clothes of narcissism And no doubt She was homeless But what they didn't realize Was she didn't dwell In the house Of deception and enmity So governed By their vehemence Of avarice They had always been blind To see that Though she was poor And her shoes broken But rich with humanity Her heart Was a palace..!!


About Shanya Sharma: Shanya Sharma is currently pursuing her degree of B.E. from S.G.S.I.T.S. Indore. A girl with revolutionary thoughts, she aims to change the society with her poems. Apart from being a passionate writer she loves to read and wishes to publish her own book soon. Editor's Comment: Thought Provoking


Farewell

I watched the tree bloom, ripen and go bare. I watched the black turn into grey, then wither and fall off. I saw her supple skin sag and prune till she no longer existed under it. I held her hands through the dawns and dusks. I watched her silhouette walk into the night all alone. I remembered till I choked on the memories. a silent observer as the cancer cells ate her away

About Namitha Varma: Namitha Varma is a media professional based in Bengaluru, India. She is a voracious reader, a music enthusiast and an opinionated social observer. She has publishing credits in over 20 literary journals including Sahitya

Akademi's Indian Literature, eFiction India, The Literary Herald, The Voices Project, Hackwriters, MadSwirl, Manushi, Writers Asylum, A Story in 100 Words, and Postcard Poems and Prose. Her works also feature in two anthologies – 'Resonating Strings' and


'Just a Moment'. She blogs on narcissistwrites.blogspot. com and tweets via @namithavr. Editor's Comment: Deep, poignant and soulstirring.


Book Review – II


:Intro: The Kamboj Princesses Saga continues with Rukmani’s sister Lakshaya. Although the setting and the family is the same, this is a standalone story separate from Book 1 titled Hidden Passion. It can be called a prequel since this story is earlier in timeline than Hidden Passion which features the youngest sister Rukmani. This is a complete work. There are no unfinished threads in either book. King Kartikeya must marry a princess. He's determined to do anything to keep the kingdom that he has taken with strategy and sheer guts. If that involves charming a princess into marriage, then so be it. Princess Lakshaya infinitely prefers the study of her scientific experiments to the

learning of the arts of impressing a suitor. In fact, she would rather have no more proposals at all. But refusing a king as opulent as Kartik is out of question. Drawn against her will by the force of his attraction, she begins to accept him, only to discover hidden secrets along the way. Can she bring herself to go ahead with this marriage? Set in the Early Middle Ages in India, Book 2 in the Kamboj Princesses Saga follows Lakshaya in her journey to discover desire, passion, intrigue and love. :Book Review: 1. Cover: The cover of the book is very attractive that makes one want to grab the book and read it. 2. Presentation: The presentation of the book is


very well narrated backed with superb research.

makes you gasp, sigh and feel romantic.

3. Narration: The narrative of the story is very intriguing as it has history and romance mixed with it in liberal doses. The author has done a detailed research which reflects in her story as has the power to transport you back in that time and make you live the love story as you witness it unfolding before your eyes.

7. Story Flow: The flow of the story is absolutely flawless, one that makes you just flow with the story and bask in its magical narration.

4. Characters: The characters are nicely created, connectable and beautiful. 5. Plot: The plot of the story which is like a historical romance and leaves the reader feeling mesmerized with the sheer detailing involved in it. 6. Storyline: The story line is gripping, one that

8. Language: The language is very artistic as it brings together romance and history. 9. Pros: The pro has to be the sheer plot, historical romance as a genre is very exciting and at the same time mystic. 10. Cons: The only con would be few typos here and there.


:Overview: The overall rating for the book would be 4 out of 5 purely to the author’s attempt at this book. Her writing of historical romance is truly mesmerizing. WE team feels the author has potential and would like to thank her for sending across this book for review, also wishing them all the best for all their future endeavors.


Author Interview – II

Author Summerita is back with another historical romance. Summerita Rhayne loves to write sensual and emotional romance. There's no knowing when some quirky - or sometimes even not so quirky happening in daily life might trigger her right brain and then she's off craving a new story. She loves writing characters that learn and grow and

find their way out of their troubles and emotional hang-ups. Hot, sensual heroes and sassy but sweet heroines mostly fit the bill in her stories. She also believes that a touch of humor never goes amiss in a book. She divides her time between family, job and writing and loves winding down with music, movies and the internet! The blurb of her book reads: The Kamboj Princesses Saga continues with Rukmani’s sister Lakshaya. Although the setting and the family is the same, this is a standalone story separate from Book 1 titled Hidden


Passion. It can be called a prequel since this story is earlier in timeline than Hidden Passion which features the youngest sister Rukmani. This is a complete work. There are no unfinished threads in either book. King Kartikeya must marry a princess. He's determined to do anything to keep the kingdom that he has taken with strategy and sheer guts. If that involves charming a princess into marriage, then so be it. Princess Lakshaya infinitely prefers the study of her scientific experiments to the learning of the arts of impressing a suitor. In fact, she would rather have no more proposals at all. But refusing a king as opulent as Kartik is out of question. Drawn against her will by the force of his attraction, she begins to accept him,

only to discover hidden secrets along the way. Can she bring herself to go ahead with this marriage? Set in the Early Middle Ages in India, Book 2 in the Kamboj Princesses Saga follows Lakshaya in her journey to discover desire, passion, intrigue and love.

Let’s hear her talk about what’s close to her heart!


1. You are back with another historical romance part 2 in the Kamboj Princesses Series. What is it in historical romances that intrigue you so much? Thanks for hosting me :) I have always been intrigued by history. I guess it’s because it makes your imagination trigger happy and you can think of all sorts of dark and mysterious plots happening within those time frames. Since I write romance primarily, I think it was inevitable to merge the two genres. It didn’t happen intentionally, however. A few years back I wrote the story of a slave girl falling for a king which didn’t quite work out. But it made me research the era and subsequently led to the idea for my first historical, Hidden Passion. The good thing about writing a historical is that you can stretch your imagination a lot.

Conversely, it requires very minute research for the setting. 2. What does writing mean to you and when did you actually take up writing? Writing is a passion for me. It’s something in which I can get so immersed that I lose track of time. I go temporarily deaf and sometimes forget meal times too. I actually thought of writing to get published about five years back. It had always been at the back of my mind, so I decided why not give it a go. 3. Having written quite a handful of books by now, how does it feel to be a published author with so many titles to your credit? It feels absolutely fabulous. At the same time, I have quite a lot of projects which are pending. I’m guilty of often


starting on a new story while the old one is still underway, so there’s always something to keep me busy :) 4. What is that one piece of advice you would like to give to all romance writers? I’m still learning many things myself. If I had to give some input, it would be this: Try writing in different genres. You’d be surprised at what you discover about your writing. 5. This book has been narrated from the Prince’s perspective, how do you decide which voice to use while narrating a story? The Eligible Princess is told from the perspective of both the king and the princess. I always write from both the hero and heroine’s pov. I feel the story is driven forward much faster if it is told from

the point of view of both the protagonists. 6. Can you take our readers through your writing ritual? There is no proper routine for me as such. I write whenever the characters and the conflicts they face become alive and real in my mind. I cannot write if I’m not enthusiastic about the story. I used to write a bigger word count but now being busy with some personal things, write whenever I get my ‘me time’. I feel even ten minutes of complete concentration can lead to more fruitful writing than hours when you lose your focus. I write best when I don’t plan too much. 7. Do you know the ending of your stories before you start working on them? That’s a difficult one to answer. I’d say yes and no. I do know where the


story is headed and I do know the point of conflict. But I don’t have the exact ending charted out. I prefer it to be more visceral, that is, coming from the actions of the characters and not imposed on them. 8. Your views on indie authors and indie publishing industry as a whole. Indie authors are doing way better than before and poised to do even more. Personally I’m surprised at the sheer amount of hard work and research authors are prepared to put into an indie career. The best thing about being an indie is, you can control every aspect of the publishing of your book, except of course, sales and even that can be regulated to a large extent by learning the proper marketing techniques. Of course, it involves a lot of hard work, in fact, incessant work.

But definitely the advent of independent publishing has changed the face of publishing forever. 9. We would like you to share your favourite excerpt from this book for our readers. Thank you. Here it is. ……………………….. Being the eligible princess was a headache. Too many clothes to be stitched. Too many ornaments to be chosen. A sigh escaped her. Who was she trying to fool? She knew she wouldn’t mind the clothes or ornaments, if it weren't for the analysis that came with their selection. It was the remarks that hurt. ‘Such a bright shade of yellow wouldn’t suit you, kumari. Makes you look dusky.’ ‘Silver looks better with fair skin. No, no pearls either. Maybe dark blue


sapphires will make you look fairer.’ Her mother and other queens of her father along with his sisters who often stayed at Bagalpur on extended visits, went on and on, pondering on her failure to come up to their expectations. The accompanying sighs and the sympathetic looks tried her patience and her capacity to bear the putdowns. She was dusky. How else would she look, regardless of what color she wore? ‘Matein, I have to go. I don’t want any more clothes,’ she spoke up. There were protests from her aunts. But, thankfully, her mother, witnessing the look in her eyes that declared ‘no argument’, said, ‘All right, we can choose for the others now. Go on, Lakshaya. Go and rest a bit.’ She wandered to the gardens and sat down near the pond to watch the

placid swans. The very serenity seemed to highlight her own despondency. Her mouth turned downwards as she stared disconsolately into the shadows playing on the waters. Plucking the grass from the bank, she tore it to bits and threw it into the pond. Why was she born dusky, when all her sisters were fair? Well, Liya wasn’t. But then Liya had her own kingdom and hadn’t needed to worry about snaring a handsome prince! Why was it so allimportant to snare a prince? Why couldn’t she get married to a nice man who didn’t expect too much from his wife? Getting married wasn’t a bad idea. She wanted a home of her own but the lofty royals frightened her. Maybe not frightened. She was as put off by them as they by her.


Since her parents didn’t have confidence that strong rulers worthy of forming a political alliance with, would rush over to Bagalpur for her swayamwar, that ceremony where she could pick out her husband from the assembled regents, they hadn’t made any move to hold one. Instead, royals who were interested were invited on one pretext or the other on visits during which she was expected to capture them into marriage. She didn’t understand the expected etiquette. The ensnaring and impressing part was beyond her. Even her bookish sister Kamodini surely had been smarter than her at understanding the ‘gestures’. When the prince of Jagatibhuj had sent her a chrysanthemum bouquet, she had sneezed and spoiled his romantic overture. When the king of Aprantya gave her a shawl

of fine wool, she spilled the cardamom and kesar milk on it. On top of that she asked him to let her know the proper method of washing it, to the horror of her listening aunts. Expectedly, he hadn’t been impressed. They told her she didn’t have the ‘art of enamoring’. What was this art? She had an instinctive dislike of the term. If she acted different from her own self, wouldn’t she be fooling her prospective husband? And wasn’t that cheating really? She talked of subjects which interested her with her suitors. Her favourite was wars and the strategies and techniques employed in them. She asked them to tell her the details of the battles they had been in. Especially what caused the win or the defeat. She pondered and picked up the faults in their battle plans. Her


mother told her it wasn’t the done thing at all. To her mind, she was helping them. It was obvious if you shot an arrow from the height of four feet horizontally, the earth will pull the arrow down causing the shot to strike low at the base of the target. The arrow would have to be aimed four feet above to strike the target. She had actually been suggesting a better way to build the shields to a prince when her mother had hastily interrupted them. It went over the queen’s head why she bothered about these things. Her mother deplored her surfeit of calculative knowledge and her interest in fighting stratagems. She would shake her head and subside after dire mutterings about her future. Somewhere along the way, Lakshaya sensed her anxiety and began to curb

her tongue till she was mostly silent in the sabha and with the guests. Some thought her boring. Others thought she was too proud. Nobody wanted her company and the crux came when the prince courting her began to seek out her sister Rukmani, the youngest and most mischievous of the sisters. Lakshaya fell into a sinking of spirits. It seemed she was all wrong to be the eligible princess. She liked numbers and paints more than she liked the monarchs. Since her aunts gave her dark looks every time she opened her mouth to discuss her favourite topics, she refrained from talk and her own interest and liveliness in others’ company diminished. She spoke conventional phrases most of the time and behaved like a wooden doll. Her last suitor had spent the whole of the trip to the waterfalls staring at


Rukmani and hanging onto her words. As a result, her father had stopped inviting suitable husband types to the kingdom lest they make an offer for the younger princess before the older one was married. That would be a shame indeed. Lakshaya had heaved a sigh of relief. Though the sigh was tinged in large measure with regret and sadness of what she regarded as her failure, still the reprieve was much welcome. She was tired of being put on show. Only this time, Kartikeya, the king of Vidharbana had spoilt it all. When his letter had arrived – on gold spun cloth carried on a gem studded gold dish, no less – the whole sabha had been spell bound. ………………………………

your stories that you really like more than the rest? If yes, why? Since they are my creations, though sometimes they feel too organic to be imaginary, all of my characters are my favourites. If I had to select one, it would be the hero of the next book, Arfaaz. He’s a film director. The reason he is the one I like most is because he’s put through some very hard times, not just by his life, but also by the heroine, Piya, who’s a Bollywood starlet.

10. We know an author is not supposed to have favourites, but is there any character out of all

12. Can we expect another part in this series soon? On a more

11. If your book was to be made into a movie, who would be your dream star cast? I will let the readers of this post answer that. Who would they like to see in a historical movie set in the early middle ages in India?


serious note, what are your future projects? I would love to write about Lakshaya’s elder sisters. In fact, the story of Princess Liya is beginning to take shape. But to tell you the truth, writing a historical is psychologically very draining. There’s an enormous amount of research to be done. There were times when I was writing this book when it took me two hours just to get one tiny fact historically accurate. So I’m going to take a break and finish my new contemporary novel before attempting more in historical fiction. The contemporary story is the one I mentioned before. It’s about a film director who has a clash of values with the heroine, who is a Bollywood diva. Attraction, love, tension all play a part in this romance fic which has serious overtones.

13. Despite having read your work, the readers are still intrigued to know more about Summerita the author. Who is she? A hopeless lover who is able to weave such amazing romances or a firm believer who believes that love shall triumph, always which is why her stories talk about happy ever afters. Well, stories are based on truth and sometimes real life is stranger than fiction. I believe that happy ever after is not a solid but a liquid state *laughs* It is changeable, not steady. You have to constantly work at love to keep the Happy Ever After intact. You might say I am a cautious romantic in real life. But in my writing, I’m firmly into the happy endings :) 14. A message for your readers.


A big thank you for all the love and support. I have a message for you in this book. Check out the dedication of The Eligible Princess :) Author links: Twitter handle @SummeritaRhayne Website: www.summeritarhayne.co m Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com /SummeritaRhayne/e/B00MZQ0PUC Thank you very much for your time


Touch

Snigdha stood in front of the mirror staring at her reflection. She mentally traced the outline starting from the top of her head slowly coming down to her ears, her slender neck

right to her shoulders. She was trying to recreate his touch like this. The way he had outlined her face, those tender features and stared into those deep dark brown eyes before bending down to claim her mouth. It sent her in a dizzy even now as she thought of it. She didn’t remember last when she had experienced a human touch like this. Was it when the sabzi-wallah had brushed across her fingers while tendering change or that seemingly innocent push while she got into a crowded bus? Her body ached for a touch that


spoke of love and care, of want and desire and that wasn’t just a touch. She didn’t want to think of her mother, who hugged her daily as she left for work or for that matter of Vishal, her ex-husband who touched her in the name of making love but it felt more savage than that. His name made her smile, for it was long she had even thought of him and today he coming up in such a manner was surely funny. Of all days today, when finally Snigdha had crossed that threshold of being what she was supposed to be and had finally become what she wanted to become. And then just like that she broke down. First tear rolled out of her very slowly as if marking out the area before the whole dam broke down. Though her eyes were crying her lips had a smile dancing on them.

Today she felt complete, for having been wanted by a man in a way she always desired. Every place that had been touched by him was on fire right now as if narrating a story of its own as to what had happened between the closed doors of that dingy hotel room. Strangely it didn’t feel wrong. She had known him barely for few months now and could clearly read desire in his eyes every time they were together. Till now she was known for her strict ways in dealing with the opposite sex when it came to official matters but with him, she melted down like a wax statue. She didn’t know why or rather she didn’t want to why. All she knew was it felt good, to be touched like this.


About Namrata: An investment banker by profession Namrata romances life through her writings. Her stories have been published in various anthologies like 25 Strokes of kindness, Time’s Lost Atlas and Stories for your valentine. She can be reached at privytrifles@gmail.com


Mark of Love

She stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around herself. She ran a hand over the foggy mirror creating a track of clarity. She looked at herself in the mirror; the last night happenings etched on her fair skin. She ran her fingers over the hickey on her neck. Thankfully, he had been careful about the placement. She'd have to wear a turtle-neck to office to conceal it. She stepped out of the bathroom and tiptoed towards the wardrobe. He was still sleeping, sprawled in bed like a starfish; his naked limbs protruding out of the comforter.

She was aching all over; all she wanted to do was climb into bed again and lie next to him, resting her head on his chest and listen to his heartbeat. Listening to his heartbeat, her head moving in rhythm with the breathing movements of his chest made her feel alive. Her life seemed meaningless before he came into it. She was proud to belong to him. The only reason she had allowed him to give her the hickey. He'd told her he loved her and wanted to mark her with his love. It sounded so romantic. He stirred in bed and she looked away quickly to avoid being embarrassed for staring at him. If he opened his eyes and their eyes met, she knew it would be difficult for her to get out of the room. She opened the wardrobe and searched for a turtle-


neck, she found one and put it on. She put on her jeans and when she turned around she saw that he was awake and staring at her. He had perhaps seen her getting dressed. He smiled, got

out of the bed and put on his jeans. Standing behind her, he tugged at the turtle-neck to see the mark he had left on her. Satisfied, he kissed it. "Are you ashamed of me?" he asked and she looked at him surprised.

"What? No, of course not." she replied "Then why are you wearing a turtle-neck?" he asked "You seriously want me to show off the hickey you gave me?" she asked surprised. "Yes, why not?" he asked in a husky voice. She smiled. "That would be awkward." she said without realizing what it would mean to him. He looked at her, fury beginning to dance in his eyes. "So, you ARE ashamed of me." he said in an angry tone and pushed her towards the bed.


"I did not mean it that way." she pleaded but it in vain. He pushed her on the bed and climbed on top of her. Holding both her hands he kissed her jaw-line and then bit her. She screamed in shock. He bit her again and then again. He licked the bite and kissed it and then he bit her on the cheek, leaving behind the teethmarks that soon turned rosy. She tried to free herself from his grip but he was stronger. When he removed his hands to undo the buttons of his jeans she noticed that he had left impression of his grip on her wrists. She tried to get up but he slapped her hard across the face, leaving the imprint of his palm on the cheek.

He pulled at the hem of the top she was wearing and exposed her belly and bit her near the navel. She screamed. Hot tears rolled down the side of her eyes. She was scared. He unzipped her jeans, yanked them away and claimed her. Satiated, he dismounted and observed his artwork. "You look beautiful" he said, pride evident in his voice. He bent over and kissed her full on the mouth. "You belong to me" he said and walked out of the bedroom. She began to shiver as the meaning of the words dawned upon her.


About Arti Honrao: Author of fiction books titled 'My Life story' and 'Is This Love & Autumn - The Last Leaf' and novel 'Resemblance The Journey of a Doppelganger' Arti enjoys writing short stories on Relationships. She has attempted writing different form poems but most enjoy writing Prose poems where she gets to express without the limitations of words or rhyming. Most of her writings depict human feelings and emotions, which she tries to bring onto the page and into the minds of the reader. She believes that essence of writing lies in not only entertaining the reader, but speaking to them through words. She writes at www.artihonrao.net and can be reached at contact@artihonrao.net


Prompt of Month September

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About Namrata If someone were to ask her to describe herself the one befitting word would be “ A Dream Catcher” followed by a child - woman, a dreamer, a dancer, a bibliophile, an author, a poetess, a writer, a painter, a singer, a go-getter, a doer, and an achiever. Having a decade’s experience to boast of in the corporate world, Namrata today is striving to strike a balance between her dreams and reality. Mastering the nuances of finance does not deter her from giving voice to her inner most feelings at her Blogs. Having been bitten by the writing bug very early in age she had her first poem published in a coffee table book "Letters from the Soul" anthology of poems at the age of 17. Since then she has been a contributing author to many anthologies and has penned her first book Metro Diaries which is a collection

of love stories. Apart from being a reviewer for leading publishing houses, she is also the editor for various books along with Writer’s Ezine. (An online mag) Her world is made up of loads of wonderful books, a handful of beautiful souls and tons of memories she gathers every moment. She dreams of making a difference to the world, one word at a time!


About Arti Honrao Born and brought up in Mumbai, Arti Honrao is author of fiction books 'My Life-story' and 'Is This Love & Autumn - The Last Leaf' and Novel 'Resemblance - The Journey of a Doppelganger'. She began studying medicine but realized soon that her real calling was writing. Today after some ten years of blogging at Straight from the heart where her entire work is neatly categorized in Poems, Short Stories, Short Story Series, Fiction Letters, Sentimental Posts, Silent Night and more, capturing some breath taking moments with her camera, and sharing different quotes on her My Two Cents Page and having published a few heart touching stories she is glad she listened to her heart. Fluent in English, Hindi and Marathi, writing came very early to Arti as she was dabbling in it since the age of

twelve. She writes different genres of poems like Haiku, Tanka, and Cinquain etc. but mostly enjoys writing Acrostics which she continues to write. Most of her writings depict human feelings and emotions, which she tries to bring out onto the page and into the minds of the reader. She believes that essence of writing lies in not only entertaining the reader, but speaking to them through words. Her style of writing makes it easier for the readers to visualize the story unfolding around them. She is of the opinion that being good at writing a story is not about the story being unpredictable, it is about the way you narrate the predictable story and still keep the reader interested.

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Writer's Ezine Volume XVII : August 2015 Issue  

Born out of a need and a necessity of solely being able to express all that one feels, thinks and understands Writer’s Ezine is one place wh...

Writer's Ezine Volume XVII : August 2015 Issue  

Born out of a need and a necessity of solely being able to express all that one feels, thinks and understands Writer’s Ezine is one place wh...

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