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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

Love, Always and all ways

The new year seems to have just begun and we are already at the month of LOVE, the time of the year when the whole world seems

to be painted red with hearts, balloons, letters and all that is mushy enough to make you go „Awww….‟ Is love only about this one day? You might ask. No, love is not about celebrating

Valentine‟s Day with lot of pomp and show it is about celebrating love 365 days of the year, in a different manner every day,

Celebrating ‘LOVE’


Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time every moment with your loved one. Off late it has been observed the definition of love has changed. Every time I hear this I am tempted to ask, compared to what? For love is what it was a hundred years from

now and will be the same even 5 decades later too. According to me what has changed is the perspective of people involved in love. Like I like to say, “Love never hurts; it is the

people in them that hurt.” I don‟t understand when after

a bitter experience people say I can‟t love anymore or I can‟t trust anyone again. Meeting someone wrong in your life is like selecting a bunch of grapes out which few turned out to be sour. The question is -

Do

you stop eating grapes after that?

Love isn‟t what you feel for your partner. Love is what you feel for everything around you – your job, your dreams, your pet, family, friends… the list is endless. And YOU decide what comes in that list, no one else. So this Valentine‟s Day begin the journey of love

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time once again and start with falling in love with you!

Writer‟s Ezine‟s every issue is also about love. Well, you might wonder where love came here when we don‟t have genre or theme specific issues till now! I will explain. WE celebrates the love for writing that binds so many wonderful artists across the globe at one place. And no wonder it has attracted so much love in such a short while as it is said do something with love and all that it attracts is love, that too in abundance.

make you smile. This issue brings us a step closer to what WE continues to strive to achieve, bettering the best. WE would love to hear your thoughts, feel free to write to us at feedback@writersezine .com. Till then, keep loving, keep reading and keep writing

Like every issue of WE this one is equally special for us as we have tried to bring together the best creations for your reading pleasure and joy, ones that would

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time If this is the first time you are reading Writer‟s Ezine do visit our website Writer‟s Ezine to know more. We have tried to make the site as userfriendly as we could. With Navigation tools like Sitemap, FAQ‟s, Table of Content etc. Do check out the Contests on Writer‟s Ezine Please do read the submission guidelines before submitting. This e-magazine is a compilation of Poems, Short Stories, Short – Story Series, Non – Fiction, Photographs published on Writer‟s Ezine.

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time Do check out our Print Magazine

display on your site/blog and spread the word about Writer's Ezine Download the Writer‟s Ezine App

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

Prompt of the Month 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. Click HERE for details.

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

Literati Writer's Ezine presents 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! Click here to read the Literati Articles

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

Cook-N-Tell Till now Writer's Ezine managed to gather various flavors 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, mouthwatering, easy-to-make dishes! Click HERE to read the recipes

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

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!

which only they can create. Read what they have to share with you! Click HERE to read the Author's Quill articles

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

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

Raindrops & Spices Soul Mates – Special Connection Indifference Abandoned Soul Book Review – I Author Interview – I Tough Isn‟t Enough Thanks a Lot A Whisper of Roses Author‟s Quill Kifo Nzuri Of Falling and Flying Cacti, Parks and Shrines Book Review – II Author Interview – II A Daughter‟s Lonely Musings Of Tabooed Love from the Hinterland The Tip A Rare Someone Up Above The World So High Smiling Flowers Prompt of the Month

Sid Balachandran Meenal - Sonal Abhijit Narayan Chitra Ramadas I Am Just An Ordinary Man G. S. Subbu Shashank Tiwari Ridham Mahajan Arish Dhawan Anne Marie Stoddard Khushboo Farhan Shaikh Subbaram Danda ABC‟s of Indian National Education Beloo Mehra Smita Omar Literati Kavitha Murali Amrita Sabat Namrata

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Arti Honrao March


Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time Raindrops & Spices Five-year old Ismail squealed with delight as a huge drop of water hit his face, right between his eyes. The drop slowly slid down the bridge of his nose, leaving a clear line on his otherwise dusty face. He turned around and looked at his elder brother, Faizal, who stood a short distance away from him. They were standing on the terrace of their single-storeyed house, staring up at the sky.

As the rain drops started to pelt down faster, Ismail quickly ran across the terrace and tugged at Faizal‟s arm. With a gleeful grin, he put out his right hand with his palm facing upwards. Mumbling

incoherently, Faizal dug deep into the lone pocket of his tattered khaki shorts and fished out a crumpled fifty Iraqi dinar note. A scowl lining his face,

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time Faizal dropped the note into his younger brother‟s outstretched hands. Though he appeared to be angry about losing a bet to Ismail, he was secretly delighted about the prospect of it raining. As Ismail cheerfully straightened out the purple coloured note, that had illustrations of date palms on one side and the grain silos at Basra on the other, Faizal smiled. He inhaled deeply, taking in the intoxicating smell of raindrops mixed with the parched earth. The light breeze that accompanied the rain ruffled his thick, matted hair and Faizal felt rejuvenated. Just like the rest of his village, he‟d been craving for the rains too. It had been seventeen months

since the last monsoon and a drought was looking imminent. With the wells almost dried up, Faizal and the rest of the villagers had to travel six kilometres to the neighbouring village and pay to use their water supply. But with no monsoon in sight, even the neighbours had raised their prices citing unpredictable weather. However fate had intervened in the form of a travelling group of Imams, who were passing by their village. They urged Yafut Kheiz, their village Imam and the elders to offer the "Salaatul Istisqa” as a last resort. Finally, today the heavens had opened up. “Faizu….” Ismail‟s shrill voice cut into Faizal‟s thoughts. His little brother was

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time hurrying towards the cement staircase that led down to the house and was frantically gesturing for his brother to join him. “You go...” Faizal yelled back, gesturing him to go on, “Tell Omi

I will come down later!” He smiled as he saw Ismail‟s little legs disappear from view. His younger brother was adorable and meant the world to him. Using the bottom half of his t-shirt, Faizal wiped his wet face. He hurried towards the makeshift shelter that his father had built on the terrace and sat on the elevated stone platform underneath it. Despite having just returned from a trip to the neighbouring village, he did not feel tired. On the contrary, he was ecstatic. He loved everything about the

the muddy puddles it left, the sudden sporadic infestation of light greenery all around, the cool misty breeze and most of all, the smell of rain as it mixed with the dry mud. Perhaps the rain

-

reason he loved the scent more, was because it reminded him about his time with their father, Ibrahim. ****

Ibrahim was a soldier with the Iraqi national army. Though he‟d been in the army for over a decade, his heart remained in farming. Hailing from a family of successful agriculturists, Ibrahim had been the proud owner of one of the largest farms in their village of Phariza, thiry-six kilometres

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time north of Fallujah. However the Gulf War of 1991 had dealt him a devastating blow. The bombing of Fallujah and its neighbouring villages by the coalition forces had changed everything. Ibrahim and his family, that included his brothers and parents, had lost more than threequarters of their land. But they did not give up. They used up every bit of money they had saved and tried to fertilise the land again. But the damage had been done, and the land was no longer arable. In a bid to ensure a respectable life for his family, Ibrahim and his wife, Aliyah, who were expecting their first child, moved to Alirez a village that was twenty-one kilometres from Baghdad. During the US-led invasion of

Iraq in 2003, Ibrahim and his brothers got drafted to join the national army. Faizal was born in the summer of 2003. Despite being a part of the army in a country that was consistently under attack both by external and internal forces, Ibrahim ensured that he spent all his available time with his family at home. He also secretly harboured hopes that his son, Faizal, would be the one to reestablish the farming tradition in their family. With this in mind, Ibrahim gradually started teaching his son in detail about the types of soil, plants, irrigation and everything else he knew about agriculture and farming. Fortunately for him,

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time Faizal absorbed everything like a sponge. When Ibrahim returned home after a prolonged placement in Baghdad, he was greeted by a flourishing vegetable garden at the back of their house. He had tears in his eyes, when Aliyah confirmed that the entire garden had been planted from scratch by Faizal and his friends. That‟s when Ibrahim knew that all his efforts with Faizal had started to pay its dividends. **** Faizal smiled as he thought about how delighted his father had been about the garden. In fact, Ibrahim had hugged his eldest son when he was gifted the ripe vine tomatoes and firm eggplants that had

grown in their garden. A loud clap of thunder snapped him out of his nostalgia. He frowned as the dark, ominous clouds in the distance slowly crept closer towards their village. The downpour was going to be quite heavy. He glanced at the Casio watch that his father had bought for him from Baghdad‟s famous flea market. It would be approaching lunchtime soon. Since the rain had reduced to a drizzle, Faizal cautiously stepped out of the shelter, taking care not to slip on the wet terrace. He walked up to the edge of the parapet and peered at his garden. In the middle of his small garden was a semidwarf apple tree; though it wasn‟t quite at the fruit bearing stages yet, it stood

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time proud and tall, towering over the rest of the plants in his garden, even if only by a few feet. Faizal smiled once again. It was his surprise for Ibrahim. “Faizal!” His mother‟s sweet voice interrupted his thought process. “Coming Omi!” he yelled, as he slowly made his way across the terrace towards the stairs. As he clambered down the wet staircase, the intense aroma of onions being caramelised in vegetable oil wafted from the kitchen and made his tummy rumble. He walked into the house and sat on the wicker chair. As he took in a whiff of the Zaffran and Cardamom infused rice, he smacked his lips slightly. He was starting to salivate.

Closing his eyes, he pictured his mother in the kitchen, lovingly frying the potatoes and mixing them with the green peas, carrots and lamb meat cubes, finally topping it off with almonds and raisins. It was his mother‟s masterpiece -

Al-Beryani rice and lamb stew. And it was

reserved for extremely special occasions. Which only meant one thing - after 25 long months, their father was coming home. ****

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time About Sid Balachandran: Academically engineered and a product manager by profession, Sid believes that his true calling lies in writing. Having recently relocated back to India after an eightyear stint with various corporate giants in London, he now writes short stories, social satire and about his parenting escapades involving his toddler son. You can often find him brewing his various thoughts (along with a strong cuppa) at www.iwrotethose.com Editor's Comment: A heart touching narrative filled with longing.

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time Soul Mates – Special Connection Together they commence, A journey of love immense, Connected with strings, Of understanding and selfless clings.

Surpassing all odds, And are precious gifts of God.

Together they complement, With love they implement, Every facets of life, With colorful strokes of pride.

Together they reap, Abundant affection in heaps, Accept each other‟s, Weakness and strengths.

Together they unfold, Life‟s delicate chapters untold, Bonding the family together, Building relationships sturdier.

Together they can assimilate, All the happiness within, That keeps multiplying, With limitless counting.

Together they sing, Melodies of life in springs,

Togetherness has power, Like in a magic wand,

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time That spells its aura, Making life gleam and glad. Each one in this world, Cherish for a companion beside, Who is there as a support, When no one report.

About Meenal Sonal: Auraofthoughts is a dream of two sisters Meenal n Sonal who want to spread the aura of positivity through their writing. They use very simple, pure and unique ways to explain various concepts of day to day activities which easily connect to the hearts of everyone explaining the power of positive thoughts and ideas. You can also visit their blog here: auraofthoughts.blogspo t.in Authors can be reached at: auraofthoughts@gmail. com Editor's Comment: A beautiful rendition to soul mates.

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time Lost in my thoughts Indifference For a few moments, Before vociferously Condemning the act On my social media accounts.

'A young woman raped'; Screamed loudly The news on my computer screen, As I settled into my old, brown chair.

And, Perhaps like countless others, I moved to the next news article...

The images of her distraught family, Wailing, screaming, Filled my mind, While taking the first sip Of coffee, From my blue mug. This city has become So unsafe for women, I thought to myself, Staring blankly At the screen,

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time About Abhijit Narayan: Abhijit Narayan is a corporate lawyer. He studied law in the USA and practiced in India before moving to Germany. He started writing while he was in school. He was preoccupied with professional commitments until he moved to Europe. That is when he took to writing poetry seriously. He describes poetry in the following words: 'for long, I remained a stranger to poetry and for long; I remained a stranger to myself'. His e-mail address is – e2abhijit@gmail.com. Editor's Comment: An eye opener, a harsh one at that.

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time were still on her, she Abandoned paused for a moment, Soul again the same strange She was floating in the air like a bubble, fearlessly. Least bothered about the surroundings, she was moving, jumping, flying in her own world. Somewhere she caught our eyes watching over her, she looked back; First, it was a strange look as if

we were aliens, maybe to her world we would have looked so.. When she realized our eyes

look. We were watching her.

still

Now by the third time she might have adopted us into her world, she responded to us with a warm smile. She is genuinely beautiful, charm & independent. She should have felt us familiar she waved her hands

towards us as part of welcoming us to her universe. We delightfully accepted

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time her invitation, waved our hands too. May be she would have thought we were not worth for her time or she would have indulged with her own stuffs, she simply continued her carefree journey. We were in „Families for Children‟. People call it Orphanage, but when I reached there I realized they were a large family than us. They may name us as 'orphans' :) (Nuclear family living beings). Around 150 abandoned people are there on the premise. We proceeded through each, merely trying to make them believe „You are not alone, we are there for you‟. But we captured a feel like „We are not alone;

There are even people who needs just our Presence‟.

While continuing the visit through every block I was halted by the charming beauty again. Now she was more delighted to receive us to her place, a small but cozy room shared by few. Her hospitality embraced me, she introduced me to her friends, seeing my eyes getting moist, and she pleaded me not to cry & gave me a hug. OMG!! What a wonderful moment was that, though I was lucky enough to be loved and pampered by all around me that was something very special, just unexplainable. Felt like a hug from God!! She - A deaf and dumb, mentally retired person who has the maturity of just 8 year old kid, though she was in late 40s, who was left by her own

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time family but still keep spreading liveliness to the people around her. She was just another Abandoned Soul.

About Chitra Ramadas: Chitra is an IT professional, a passionate writer who is interested in writing non-fictions. Who likes to write realities as it is, without refining. A strong reader who believes in „words can do wonders‟. Editor's Comment: Touching, harsh and yet the truth.

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time Book Review – I

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time :Intro:

Sir, you asked me who I am. What shall I say? I have been asking myself this question for quite some time and reached nowhere. After all I am no saint to throw away everything that I have and go in search of an answer. If I had, I would have been a saint. Don‟t you agree? Well I have a name, but what‟s in a name? You may call me an Ordinary Man. The narrator in a series of conversations with a friend who he says is his alter ego and through his own introspections, unfolds the process of growing up and aging through an exploration of all that had brought joy in living to serious questions regarding God, religion, destiny,

freewill, compassion and to whether we have been really honest in our relationships; the relationships that have affected us at various stages in our life and continue to influence even our present living. They are all locked up somewhere within our private world and which we release and relish in our solitude. Though „I am just An Ordinary Man‟ is an autobiographical novel, it is only in parts that real events have been narrated to build a base for addressing the questions and the existential angst which arise in the mind of any person during the process of living and that the first step towards resolution is in acceptance of the

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time reality of existence and the finality of death.

manages to create an impact on the reader.

:Book Review:

4. Characters: The lead character, the narrator definitely steals the show. He is the one who makes you sit up and take notice of many things.

1. Cover: One word to describe the cover – alluring! It is so enticing that it makes you want to know what is there inside. 2. Presentation: The presentation of the book is very easy going, like a conversation with a friend that has been captured within those few pages. The topics on which the conversations have happened aren't so easy going though. They are hard hitting facts of life, oft ignored. 3. Narration: Narration is simple, straight from the heart and yet

5. Plot: The plot is very straight forward with no major twists and turns but that is what makes it the main highlight of the story. It is more on a conversational fashion which gives it a very endearing feel to the reader. 6. Storyline: There is no story line so to speak but whatever narration has been connected has been done in a very splendid way making it a definite page turner as you want to know

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time what the ordinary man is talking about next. 7. Story flow: The lucid story flow makes this book one that has a lot of aesthetic appeal. The topic on which the book has been written life and its lessons don‟t need much of beautifications around to add to its grace. 8. Language: The language is austere making it an easy going read for readers across all age groups. 9. Pros: The biggest pro about this book would be its unique narrative style and the topics the author has managed to cover through this book. It is simple yet hard hitting, touching yet one that makes you want to ponder over a lot of things and most importantly it is subtle

yet one that manages to leave an impact on you for long. 10. Cons: The only con in this book is the few places where the narrative gets a big dragged leaving the reader wanting to flip pages and move over to the next chapter. :Overview: The overall rating for the book would be 4 out of 5 for the author‟s narrative and of course for the unique style of narration in the book. This book is a slice of life from each one of our lives and makes us hear the silence whispers of our soul very beautifully. WE team would like to thank the author for

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time sending across this book for review and would also like to wish him all the best for all their future endeavours.

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time Subramanian) is an Author avid blogger and writes Interview – I regularly on his blog

When it comes to books WE team loves them and when it comes to review it becomes all the more special when it is one of our contributing author‟s book. This month we have G S Subbu the author of I am just an ordinary man with us for a conversation. GS.Subbu (Gopalasamudram

„Sublimation‟ at subbusg.blogspot.com. His posts are a reflection of his deep passion for the arts, philosophy, religion and relationships. His writings depict a search for a meaning in life and how little things which appear inconsequential can contribute to a greater understanding and help us discover the joy of living. He has been a member of book clubs and done book reviews. Apart from writing on art in his blog he has given talks on „Appreciation of Art‟ in some forums. Though „I am just an Ordinary Man‟ is his first completed book, he has a compilation of his poems and other writings which he

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time intends to subsequently.

publish

An engineer from IIT Kharagpur, India by qualification and a Banker by profession, he now pursues his passion for writing after retirement. When not writing, he can be found trying to finish a painting in water colors or improving his singing skills. The blurb of his book reads:

Sir, you asked me who I am. What shall I say? I have been asking myself this question for quite some time and reached nowhere. After all I am no saint to throw away everything that I have and go in search of an answer. If I had, I would have been a saint. Don‟t you agree? Well I have a name,

but what‟s in a name? You may call me an Ordinary Man. The narrator in a series of conversations with a friend who he says is his alter ego and through his own introspections, unfolds the process of growing up and aging through an exploration of all that had brought joy in living to serious questions regarding God, religion, destiny, freewill, compassion and to whether we have been really honest in our relationships; the relationships that have affected us at various stages in our life and continue to influence even our present living. They are all locked up somewhere within our private world and which we release and relish in our solitude.

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time Though „I am just An Ordinary Man‟ is an autobiographical novel, it is only in parts that real events have been narrated to build a base for addressing the questions and the existential angst which arise in the mind of any person during the process of living and that the first step

towards resolution is in acceptance of the reality of existence and the finality of death.

In conversation with Mr. G S Subbu 1. Welcome to Writer‟s Ezine and thank you so much for sparing your time for us. Talking about I am an ordinary man, tell us more about it.

„I Am Just An Ordinary man‟ is my debut novel. It is a novel that takes you

through the process of growing, living, aging and tackling the questions that arise regarding the purpose of living and finding a

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time meaning.The novel is written in the form of a conversation with a friend interspersed with monologues. The narration does not follow a pattern but keeps shifting from thepast to the present and back to the past, similar to the way our brain works, more by way of association with those small events that keep happening every day and those small things we hold dear to our heart. 2. How this whole idea got conceptualized? Was it something you always wanted or write and felt THIS was the time?

I always wanted to be an author. Since my interests were varied I never really got down to deciding on the subject matter. It was after my retirement and subsequent heart

surgery that it began to crystallize. Looking back at my life I had to admit to myself that there had not been anything extraordinary about it, I had led a normal ordinary life. But I had a story to tell, my angst was real – an existential crisis, something that I believed everyone faces at some point in their lives. I can say that the entire concept fell into place during my recuperation after the surgery. To quote a few lines from my book – “Like us all ordinary people, I have lived an ordinary life. I have done all that the others have done and at the end of the day when I evaluate my life, I find I have not made any lasting contribution that will make me live beyond my death. People will remember that there was one

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time such who existed; a memory that would fade away in course of time into nonexistence. Don‟t you think that is the way to go? It would be so difficult to go, leaving behind a trail of achievements. How does it matter when you have gone? You will be talked about as a memory and may be every year there will be a function to remember and honor you. May be you take with you the satisfaction of achievements to your grave. May be you shall die in peace. Nothing prevents the ordinary man to also die in peace. That shall happen when he realizes that „ordinary‟ is also a satisfactory state of existence.”

3. Can this book be called as your autobiography?

Not really, it is only in parts that it is autobiographical. I talk to a friend who is a fictional character, though I do admit that he may be my alter ego and represents that portion of myself which could have been a possibility. The questions raised and the answers I seek are true for any person during the course of living. Again the last chapters of the book are all projections into the future and that is how I imagined it would be when one approaches the end. In the entire book no character is named, I leave it at that for I want my readers to identify themselves with the book and feel they are reading their own story. Moreover I

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time state early in the beginning that I believe an autobiography can never be a complete story and can never be an honest submission. 4. Do we see a sequel coming up to it soon, given the responses that it has garnered till now?

I am happy that I have connected with a lot of people and that has validated my assumption that it is every person‟s story. Yes a sequel is in the offing, but not in the way of further explorations of my own world. Your own world becomes clearer to you only when it is complemented by your awareness of the external world. You can say that I move from the subjective to the objective world.

Slices of life, you may say. 5. The book though has an autobiographical tone; it surely comes across more as a journey into one‟s inner self, knowing the real meaning of life and a true awakening in every sense. Your thoughts on this.

Any journey into one‟s inner self has to have the autobiographical element in it, so yes that is the path I took. I do not know if there is any real meaning to life in a general sense, each person searches and perhaps finds his own answer to the riddle that is life. When we talk of awakening, you can ask yourself when does it really happen? The ultimate awakening is when man is confronted by the temporality of his

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time existence. It is the fear of termination that makes him seek ways and means to eternalize himself. This is when he moves towards God and religion and seeks solace and hope, or rebels against the situation, seeking an authenticity in his living. Though grounded in Hindu Philosophy, I recognize that the existential angst is very real and is present in every individual. How he tackles it, is a personal choice. Not everyone can be Buddha or a Ramana Maharishi. Whether it is the theistic Existentialism of Kierkegaard or the Atheism of Sartre both tackle the same question. While one offers hope the other points towards authenticity in living. Albert Camus‟s „The

Myth of Sisyphus‟ and „The Rebel‟ has influenced me a great deal. In this context I wish to quote Albert Camus in his monumental work „The Rebel‟ – “An Awakening of conscience, no matter how confused it may be, develops from any act of rebellion and is represented by the sudden realization that something exists with which the rebel can identify himself – even if only for a moment.” I have tried to tackle these questions in my book, especially in the section on letters to God and in the concluding chapters of the book. I found this portion from one of the reviews of my book to be very profound and did convey what I wanted to get across – “This is the life story of

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time a person who through the fever and fret of life never ceases the search for the deep inner silence. He seems to understand that the search for meaning of life is ultimately pointless as it is left to oneself to give a meaning to it.” 6. How difficult or easy it is to separate yourself from the author you – especially when you are narrating your own life and you don‟t want to sound prejudiced or judgmental. How has been your experience in writing this book? Any particular chapters or instances you would like to discuss with us?

Like I said before, this is not a narration of my life story, though it does contain a part of my life. When I started writing, I wrote as

myself, it was only later the author took over. I did not find it difficult for I wrote what I felt. I have learnt my lessons in life and it has not been easy. I have learnt to be less prejudicial and avoid being judgmental. I have, I think succeeded in doing that exactly in my book. I leave it open ended for the reader to find his own answers. Writing the book has been like a journey to the roots of my consciousness. It has been most satisfying and has lent an authenticity to my existence. Every sentence I wrote brought me a step closer to that elusive „the meaning of life‟. The most important portion in the book is „Sublimation‟, in fact the last sentence in

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time that chapter sums it up – “There is no private world any longer as there is nothing inside now. I feel merged in an allencompassing consciousness and realize that this is „Sublimation‟”. Well you may interpret it as the end of a search for a meaning in life. The other portion which to me is very important is when I talk about the death of my father. That perhaps was the first transformation moment in my life.

Once you are born, your life becomes one long search for the „Why‟. Once the search is over and the „Why‟ becomes clear, you are freed from the bondage of living. Well that is what I personally believe. But I will supplement your statement with another quote “You only live twice – once when you are born and once when you stare death in the face” – an old quote from Ian Fleming‟s „You only live twice‟.

7. It is said, you are born twice on this earth. One when you are born and second time when you understand why. What do you think about these lines?

8. How much of fiction has been mixed with reality to make this book what it is right now?

I do not agree with that, for I am not sure that anyone has really understood „Why‟.

This is a real book about a person‟s journey within himself though a portion of the events narrated are fictional, especially the role of the friend and

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time the later chapters. This is only to enhance the import of what I want to convey and I wanted the reader to feel it is his story. In that sense I would call it fictional reality if I may be allowed to use that word. 9. Can you take our readers through your journey of being a published author? Has anything changed post that, something like the before and after phenomenon?

Writing has been easy for me and I found that I evolved as a writer after I started getting active on my blog. I learnt to connect with readers in course of time and I can now say that I do have a dedicated readership. When I decided to write the book it began as a journey and only later

did the thought of getting it published occur. My own experience could well highlight the travails of aspiring authors. I first experimented with selfpublishing with one of the major houses and left it midway as I thought pitching to a traditional publishing house would help me evaluate the value of my manuscript better. I did submit it to five of them. There was no reply from three even after a lapse of four months. The fourth was courteous enough to say that they will not be able to fit it due to constraints in their existing calendar.The fifth publisher did accept the manuscript for publication and placed it as „Projects under consideration‟ stating it would be taken up when the

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time commissioning editor deems fit. They were also very courteous enough to add that a book under consideration with them could get published within weeks or in a few years. I did wait till my patience wore out. Then I decided to go back to where I started from – Self-Publishing. But in the entire process I have learnt a lot not only from my own experience, but also from the hurdles faced by some of my friends when they published their books. The constraints of finance does make you compromise on some issues like editing and marketing. Professional editing is costly and how much reach can you really expect through your friends and social media contacts for

selling your book. I was also awake to the fact that there would be more number of likes on Face book than the number of books sold. Still in the end there is a sense of satisfaction that I have actually made my dream in to a reality. The entire process has now made me a more confident writer and I feel happy when people tell me that they liked the book 10. What is the message that you want to convey through your this book?

It is very simple. There cannot be a general formula to tackle the questions and the existential angst which arise in the mind of any person during the process of living, as the problems faced are ultimately subjective

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time and the answers are within each individual. The first step towards resolution is in acceptance of the reality of existence and the finality of death. It is only when a person comes face to face with nothingness that he searches for ways to immortality, either through a belief in God, reincarnation and religion or through leading an authentic life.

again dub it as fictional reality. 12. Some words your readers.

a for

I will only say that this is your book, written for you with the hope that you will be able to recognize and identify with the events that take place in your life. Thank you very much for your time

11. We would like to know about any future projects you are currently working on.

I am already half way through my next book and as I said before this is more in the nature of an exploration of the external world. Each chapter is a „Slice of life‟ and narrates my encounters with different lives. I may

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time Tough Isn’t awake, she quizzically questioned “Is Enough everything fine, dad?” He rang the doorbell and waited. Sweat dripped down his face profusely. With every passing second his heart pounded faster. He rang the doorbell again, this time for a little longer.

Meanwhile, he paced up and down wiping his forehead. She finally opened the door and tightening her night gown, half

The old man‟s mind was tranquilized instantly by a mere glance of his daughter. Relieved of his anxiousness, he kept staring at her wearing a smile calmer than the night. His

concerned

daughter asked in a puzzled voice, “Please

say something. What‟s the matter?” “Aah!” He shook his

head, and after taking in a heavy breath added, “Nothing. It‟s

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time nothing. I just wanted to see you, is all. Thank goodness, you‟re fine.” “Of course, I am. It‟s 2 in the morning. What‟s wrong with you?” she said her voice louder with every word.

“Who is it, honey?” her husband inquired. “Give me a minute. I will be right back.” she replied. “You woke up my

entire family in the middle of night for absolutely nothing?”

She rolled her eyes, sighed, and added, “Go and get some rest dad.” “I have to wake up

early in the morning and have to do hell lot of work. I don‟t have the pleasure of idling all day like you.” She mumbled while closing the door. He stood there paralyzed unable to move a muscle. After a

while, he somehow managed to drag his lifeless body into his car. A street light, though quite dim, found its way to the driver‟s seat and the rear view mirror of his car caught what his daughter couldn't, the weight that his eyes had bagged from few couple of sleepless nights. “I was worried for

nothing. She is probably right. I shouldn't have barged in at this time.” He uttered to himself and drove back to his own home. The ringtone managed to get through his ears disrupting his peaceful sleep. By the time he managed to get himself up, the ring died. “What time is it?” he pondered. The sleeping

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time pills had actually worked. It was his first time. Realizing that it was already noon, he thought of calling up somebody for lunch. He reached his phone to find that customer service had called him. Calling his daughter wasn‟t an option and then it dawned on him. He hadn't had any real friends or any friends for that matter who he could ask for lunch. He sat on his cot, staring at his late wife‟s canvas on the wall, reminiscing how he had ended up the way he was today. He smiled to himself realizing that in his efforts in becoming a perfect father while dutifully playing mother‟s role too, he had actually shunned everybody from his life, everybody but his daughter.

He was always too busy at work, and would dart off his office sprinting to home in a hurry to get things right for his daughter. He was always there for her and was so busy showering love that he never actually had time for anybody else. A droplet on his hand caught his attention. It had trickled all the way down his cheeks and the old man was surprised. Tears were no less than alien to him. He had never cried once, not when his wife left him all alone, not when his daughter, whom he had taken care of impeccably, was married. He stood bold and tough through every rough day of his entire life. He was a big man, then, why today. Why

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time did he shatter and fall apart today? He wondered. Loneliness had attacked him before too; it had pierced his heart back then too. He withstood it, probably because he had a reason, his daughter to fight it with. And, today, he had become an annoyance to his own strength, pride, and love. He was turning into a nuisance to his own daughter. All his life, he had been striving and praying for his daughter‟s well-being. How could he be so selfish and expect his daughter to spend time, even if few moments, with him. She had a new family, things to do. How could be so foolish? How could he act like a loving father he had

been acting like for his whole life? He left a small note“Love you” before leaving his home for the last time. In case, if anyone took the trouble to check on him. He got into his car with his small suitcase and few other things. With a voice ringing in his head, he drove off to nowhere, to a new start. The voice that rang in the old man‟s head was that of his wife‟s. He remembered her tell, “You‟re the strongest

and toughest guy I've ever met in my life. You could begin from scratch and be anything you want at any point of time, and at any situation. I believe in you, dear.” Months, years passed and neither his daughter nor anybody in the whole town had

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time heard from him or could learn his whereabouts.

About Tiwari:

Shashank

Shashank, shanx, is a Hyderabadi and a "happy Engineer". He loves reading and writing and believes in the magic and power of words. He is a techie at mind and a writer at heart. Editor's Comment: Gripping, emotive with an ending that will you gaping.

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

Thanks a Lot Thanks for coming Into my world Thanks for making Me swirl Thanks for making those promises And thanks again For breaking those Thanks for Making me dream And thanks for bringing me out of those Thanks for Breaking my heart Thanks for Shaking me apart Thanks for those Moments „we‟‟ve spend Thanks for bringing 'us' to an end

About Ridham Mahajan: Ridham Mahajan is a simple girl with soul and becomes a writer when inspiration knock‟s her door. Editor's Comment: The pain of a heartbreak captured in few yet powerful words.

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

A Whisper of Roses

So uncertain this life is Born as varied floras

And here we rest Side by side, detached, uprooted People say we look beautiful

But how could someone look Graceful after they die Or is it just like what they do After a human snuffs it “Ya. He was a good man.” Sometimes I wonder if Humans too fall in love Just like we roses do And if their love would

be As pure as ours Standing beside each other All through our lives

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time Without a sense of touch Until one day we dry up Just like that And a tickle means our Plant is on grounds. It‟s so difficult differentiating Between rocks and humans They look so alike just like Long lost brothers Unlike the uniqueness of every rose And I pray they turn out as A rose next life And realize how beautiful it is To be a rose even while You‟re alive.

About Arish Dhawan: Arish Dhawan is a final year graduate in Mechanical Engineering. His works, both poetry and short stories, have been published in a couple of national as well as international anthologies. An ardent blogger at www.preciousglories.bl ogspot.com, he can also be reached at arish.dhawan92@yaho o.com Editor's Comment: A fabulous take on the Writer‟s Ezine‟s prompt for the month of February with a message that is a reminder for each one of us.

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

The Story Teller When I was younger, as far back as kindergarten, all I wanted to do was become a published author. I spent playtime in kindergarten writing twoor three-page stories about the Easter Bunny (complete with illustrations brought to you by my imagination and a 64-pack of Crayola crayons--I even busted out the fancier shades like "Cornflower," "Timberwolf," and "Purple Mountain's

Majesty" If you've never colored in your sun or stars using "Macaroni & Cheese," you haven't lived, my friend!) After the Easter Bunny, it was crazy witch stories, then straight-up horror stories. I just had an extremely overactive imagination back then. Next, it was witches. By first grade, I was the only kid in class who could spell "Transylvania" because I was reading Dracula. I've always been a bookworm, devouring each Nancy Drew or Goosebumps book in rapid succession as a child. I wrote a few

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time horror stories and mysteries in middle school as well, and then....nothing. I joined concert and marching band and went on to play the saxophone from sixth grade to my fifth year of college. Eventually, I received a certificate from UGA's Music Business program and began working in promotions radio, at music festivals, and other promotional events. Still, I never lost my love of reading, and deep down, my love of writing was waiting to resurface. Fast-forward a few years to sixth grade. After spending my entire elementary school career cranking out short stories and poem by the dozen, I joined my middle school's band. My writing life was put on

the shelf like an old forgotten paperback. I stayed in band all the way through my fifth year of college, and-with the exception of some incredibly angst post break-up poetry in twelfth grade, I didn‟t write at all until two years ago, when I began the manuscript for what is now my debut mystery novel, Murder at Castle Rock. And you know what? While I sometimes regret all the years I spent not writing, at the same time...I'm glad I didn't. It finally did in 2011 when, after plowing through several mystery series over the summer, I began toying with the idea of a murder mystery set in the music industry. Ten months later, "Murder At Castle Rock" was born, and in

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time September of 2012, my manuscript won the Decatur Book Festival & BookLogix, Inc. writing contest. It got published in March 2013, and I've begun my work on what is the second book in that series. Now, hear me out. I know many authors say "WRITE EVERY DAY!!" Well, now I am trying to do that---but those unwritten twelve years of my life? They were a gift to my present author self: They were life experience. My fiction and dialogue are more interesting because of the personal experiences I draw from when I write them. My mystery series is set in the music industry in Atlanta, Ga, and it fits for me

because I actually did work in the music industry in Atlanta. I've created a fictional world that is an altered reality to the music venues I also worked at in Athens, GA in college. In that world I've created rock stars, venue employees, and even a radio station based on rock stars I've met, people I've worked with, and a culmination of the many radio stations I've worked for. There is even a scene in Murder At Castle Rock that is very closely drawn from a real-life experience that happened to me when (*spoiler alert!*) I nearly wrecked a radio station's cargo van while driving back from a promotional event. My stories wouldn't be nearly as colorful without those

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time years I spent storing up the "Timberwolf" grays, "Cornflower" blues, and "Purple Mountain's Majesties" of my real life to use for later. I wouldn't have it any other way.

get a better story out of it.

If you're new to writing, or even if you aren't and you just took a long hiatus like I did, fear not: In all those years you weren't writing, you lived. Now, don't just use your basic 8-pack of colors to tell a bland, unimaginative story--reach into that 64-pack of Crayolas that is your memory bank and draw from those personal experiences. Feel free to embellish as much or as little as you like, but remember how real those times were for you, and try to capture that on paper. I can almost guarantee you'll

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

About Anne Stoddard:

Marie

Anne Marie Stoddard used to work in radio, and it rocked. She goes to concerts like it‟s her job–because sometimes, it actually is. After studying Music Business at the University of Georgia, Anne Marie has worked for several

music venues, radio stations, and large music festivals, and she currently creates promotional contests and writes music trivia for a media company. Aside from all things music, she loves college football, anything pumpkinflavored, and a good mystery. Her debut full-length novel,

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time “Murder At Castle Rock”, was the winner of the 2012 AJC Decatur Book Festival & BookLogix Publishing Services, Inc. Writing Contest. Anne Marie is currently working on her second novel from her home in Atlanta, GA. You can find Anne Marie at Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, and of course, on her own website!

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

Kifo Nzuri Part One Malhar Krishnan Sharda Iyer, 4th January 2014. I signed at the bottom of the page and closed the book. The tedious process of signing the books was finally done. The muscles of my back were taut, my knuckles had developed a severe phobia of pens and my eyes were sleepy. I was sick of signing these books, travelling between geographies and time zones, delivering motivational speeches to people across the globe. They believed I was living a perfect life. However the truth was ugly. The truth was that I was leading the most

loveless life. I was hollow from inside. For ages I hadn‟t felt my heart beat, I had been unable to see splendor in anything that the world considered beautiful. For more than a decade I had only written books and stories and walked across the globe for inaugurations faking smiles. My bags were packed and ready. I had to leave for Jakarta in about 20 minute‟s time. As I anticipated for my cab to pick me up I received a call from my show organizer in Jakarta informing me that the flight to Jakarta had been delayed by 6 hours due to a sudden storm that was fast approaching Cape Town.

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time “Darn, I banged my fist on the wall.” I was annoyed at this sudden delay. I opened the curtains of my plush hotel room and peeped outside the window. It was raining buckets. Scary dark clouds had covered the otherwise clear blue sky; there were occasional moments of lightening accompanied by loud sound of thunder. I saw some trees getting uprooted while some still holding the ground beneath them, strongly. The storm had really decided to claim the evening.

unanticipated time to mull over your fears.

I reclined on my chair hoping to be lost in slumber. Well, good thing about delays are that you get some

“Sir,

“May I come in Sir?” I heard a knock at my door. “Is it room service? I

don‟t need anything. I will check out in about 6 hours. My flight is delayed.” I confirmed without moving an inch from my chair.

it‟s

driver.” replied.

the

The

cab

voice

My flight to Jakarta was delayed. Why has

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time the cabbie come so soon? I was miffed at this uninvited guest. Just out of courtesy, I opened the door and found her standing there, drenched completely from head to toe. She was tall and huge, had curly locks, a very dusky complexion that shone with all its might, eyes that were so deep that for a moment I felt I had seen the world in it.

will also give me an opportunity to spend some time with you. So...” she tried getting

my acceptance over her unwelcome presence.

“Sir,

I realized I was being impolite to a woman. I gestured her to come inside. I noticed she was wearing a strange uniform, fiery red shirt, spotless white jacket and black boots. She held a small book in her hands. “Your Karma” it read. Weird, I thought to myself.

explained peacefully.

“Would you want a cup of coffee?” I asked trying to camouflage my annoyance over her unsolicited visit.

it‟s raining outside and driving back home will be difficult so I thought I will come to see you a little early.” She “Little Early?” I looked at my wrist watch and exclaimed. “Sir, I have read your

books and admire them. So I thought this

“Certainly

Sir. She made herself comfortable near the heater.” “How

did the Hotel authorities let you in?

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time Isn‟t this a five star hotel?” Sarcasm was my middle name.

“Well, I sneaked in Sir.

You see, most of the times people don‟t notice me coming. Only the ones who have a clear heart and virtuous life can.” She smiled.

“So you mean, no one

ever notices you, because a clear heart is impossibility in today‟s world.” I smirked.

“Sir, do you really like writing?” She broke the awkward silence that was slowing enveloping the room. “Well, yes I do. I

always write.

wanted Hence...”

answered.

to

I

“But Sir, why do you

always write endings in stories?” interrogated.

tragic your

She

“Errr! I don‟t know. May be because... I..”

“Exactly Sir…” she replied holding the coffee mug closer to her lips.

“Do you feel sad from within?”She was certainly making me uncomfortable.

“How can someone not

“I have some unclosed

notice a huge woman like her?” I thought to

myself. Well, this is Africa, anything can happen, I consoled myself.

business, some unheard voices, and some unexplained feelings, trapped within me.” I tried brushing aside.

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the

topic


Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time “Then why don‟t you seek a closure, Sir?” She stared straight into my eyes. “Sir,

we African‟s believe that one must seek closure before it‟s too late. You never know when will the soul separate from its mortal body. No one knows when will Kifo arrive?” She

hold a grudge against her?” She asked

sipping her coffee. I was stunned. For a decade I had been escaping from this name, running between continents to forget everything. ~ To be continued

continued.

“What is Kifo?” I asked annoyed over her Swahili accent. “Sir, Kifo in Swahili means death.” She answered. “See, it‟s my personal

life and I don‟t want to discuss this with a cabbie I have never met before.” I was curt this time.

“Do you still long for

Niharika? Do you still

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time About Singh:

Khushboo

Khushboo Singh is a confused soul. She works as an HR for a software company however her heart longs to write, read,sing, and dance. She finds joy in pottery and her little plants too. She is a Mumbaikar at heart but lost her heart to a Banglorean. Hence, Bangalore is her second home sweet home where she now lives with her beloved husband. She can be reached at waves.khushboo@gmai l.com Editor's Comment: Mysterious

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

Of Falling and Flying He stood there, still, quiet and calm, above at the edge of the tallest skyscraper in the metropolis. He could see the whole city

beneath, a suitable for a

view king;

above all, and everyone else beneath him. The hot summer sun smiled at him but he felt no heat as the wind blew in his hair. But he didn't feel like a king there, for he was there to make a choice.

"Do I or do I not?" He was determined with "I

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time do want to cause there's nothing left!" But still there was "or maybe I can still turn back!" Like a spark in

the night. And when he was at the edge, all the pain came gushing back making his heart feel heavy, like there's this burden on his shoulders. "Time to let go!" He spread his hands to embrace the winds and leaped in a last attempt to try to fly. And as he started he thought of how he got kicked out of the job he never liked to work on. The degree he acquired after a lot of hard work and dedication to reach a place filled with rats and leeches. Of how he groomed himself every morning just to be trampled beneath the boots of those rats in the race. He found wings and he was soaring down.

When he thought of the girl who once loved him, of how he loved her with all his heart or maybe even more, of how she showed no remorse when she went all cold like a December dawn, of how she walked off and didn't even bother looking back. But then his thoughts trailed elsewhere. Somewhere he didn't steer them to. He was a man there, fresh in the world. He had hopes in his heart and dreams in his eyes. He had plans lots of them. He accomplished some too. He remembered how happy he was when he bought his own apartment. He was a boy there, in his dorm room studying nights in and out. He was laughing at the pranks they pulled on each other. He

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time remembered his friends who were there for him always. Of how he was excited to be finally be in this place. He was a boy again, had a girl on his arm. She was his first kiss. He remembered how she would smile at him, of how her lips felt like clouds. Of how happy he got every time he saw her. Of the sparkles in his eyes every time they met her's. He could feel the wind through his ribs. When he thought of the ground beneath his feet as he ran across it with his friends, he remembered now, the memories that were locked somewhere deep inside. Of how he fought with his sisters and helped his brothers. His tears flew away from him. As he remembered how proud his father was,

when he saw him walk for the first time. Of how he hugged him every time he was sad. Right now he craved for those arms but all he could embrace was the fast wind. Of how his father said those words he said when laughter filled their house. He felt fear now. And maybe a little regret. He remembered that beautiful face. The face that always assured him that he was safe. That face that he looked at, the first time he opened his eyes. Of how it got worried for even if he skipped a breath, the face that always looked at him as a winner, the face of his mother. "Oh! It‟s too late for maybe I shouldn't!" THUD!!!

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time About Farhan Shaikh: Farhan Shaikh is an aspiring writer who writes when he feels good. He often expresses his feelings through his works such as poetries or short stories. He can be reached at farhaansays@gmail.co m Editor's Comment: A story that will tug your heart.

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

Cacti, Parks and Shrines As we drove down the ghat road, negotiating tricky turns and hairpin bends, beautiful scenery unfolded on both sides of the road. Plunging gorges, tall pine trees, sprawling tea estates and occasional streams were a marvellous sight to behold.

It was a nippy morning and we were heading for Kalimpong, a hillstation in West Bengal at a distance of about two and a half hours drive from Darjeeling, where we had gone on a short sojourn. We had heard a lot about Kalimpong from friends. It is cool climate, exotic nurseries, leisure parks, museums and shrines join together to make it a great

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time destination for holidaylovers. Paragliding is another activity that has become very popular there. Confluence rivers

of

two

Shortly before reaching Kalimpong we stopped at a place from where we could view at a distance the meeting point of two rivers -the Teesta and its

tributary the Rangit. The two rivers originate in the Himalayan glaciers. It was a lovely sight, which no visitor should miss. The local people call it a “Lovers Link.” It was an excellent opportunity to click nice photos. A hot cup of tea and a packet of spicy potato chips from a stall there provided the muchneeded refreshment in

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time the breezy environment. Thorny Beauties

chill

Kalimpong is also known as the “City of Flowers” popular for its rare orchids, exotic

cactus and flower nursery. With a ticket to see it, we entered the place with our own reservations but were astounded by what we found. Cactus types of the size of a pumpkin

blossoms and uncommon cacti. It is also an established exporter of several select varieties. Our first halt in the hillstation was at a private

each with ribs of thorns all over its surface and big yellow or pink flowers at the top were indeed a sight to behold. They were nurtured and grown

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time with all care in transparent tents. Thin tall cactus varieties could be seen standing upto a height of about eight feet. Among the wide assortment of flowers, we could identify the eye-catching lilies, roses and bulbs. For recreation para-gliding

and

The highest point of Kalimpong is called Deolo Hill, from where one can have an unhindered 360-degree panoramic view of the city. A beautifully landscaped garden has come up at the top to serve as a recreational arena with well-paved undulating pathways and a variety of flower beds and neatlytrimmed plants. Several resting areas

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time with benches under canopies have been provided at different points in the park. A tourist lodge is also located in one corner. Pony rides and zorbing ball play (a huge transparent sphere for children to get in and spin) are available there. The hill is also a

there in colourful chutes and landing. We spent more than an hour walking round the place in the pleasant mid-day weather. People who like walking will love it but others are advised to stay put near the gate.

well-patronized hub for paragliding activities. We could see several gliders hovering over

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time Miracles of science The next attraction we went to was the Kalimpong Science Centre at a short

find an expression there. Children will certainly love the displays. The one item we enjoyed most was the “Miracle of

distance from the Deolo Hill. Set up in 2008, it showcases through exhibits the intricacies of scientific phenomena in simple terms to popularize them among students and the general public. All branches of science

Mirrors.” A person standing behind a set of mirrors appears to onlookers as only a bust! There is also an out-door science park. Among its multifarious activities is one that facilitates formation of science clubs in

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time educational institutions and elsewhere. One cannot miss a long row of busts of renowned scientists in the lawn in front of the main indoor block. Hanuman shrine Our next stop was at an open-air Hanuman shrine, where the Lord‟s towering statue stands on a hillock approachable by a long stairway. The image is in reddish vermilion colour with a glittering crown on the head and a triangular cloth flag of saffron colour fluttering. We did not go up but could see the image from the entrance point on the roadside.

Buddha on a raised open terrain. Climbing a flight of steps we found ourselves in front of the image. There was no one in the vicinity. We spent just a few minutes seeing the statue and taking photographs. It was afternoon and it threatened to rain. We decided to head back to Darjeeling. After lunch at a local restaurant we began our return journey. We reached our resort before dusk. Though somewhat hectic, it was a worthwhile and enjoyable one-day excursion.

Buddha statue Nearby there is a large colourful statue of

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time About Danda:

Subbaram

Subbaram Danda is an author and a former journalist. Two of his books Marvels Very Majestic and The Rustles of Pleasure have been listed at Amazon.in and Flipkart.com. He was Chief of News Bureau of a multi-edition business daily and later Media Relations Chief at a foreign diplomatic mission. His contributions have appeared in The Financial Express, The Hindu Business Line, Industrial Economist, Newsman, Merinews, QPeka and SPARK. He has travelled extensively. Photograp hy is his cherished hobby.

Editor's Comment: A virtual tour through pictures and words makes that place come alive.

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

Book Review – II

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time :Intro: This book introduces 26 themes - each for a letter of the English alphabet that according to the author should guide, shape or be a part of an Indian National

Education. These themes speak of some selected aspects of the essential Indian spirit and may also shed some light on the forms through which this spirit could express itself in educational practice. Some of these could be

of greater interest to educators and parents, while others may give educational thinkers some food for thought. :Book Review: What it does offer, and in a highly inspiring

way, is a way for us to rethink our education as a whole, starting with the aim of Indian education. Dr. Mehra uses a rather interesting approach to present several different aspects of the Indian

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time education that must be rethought on a very fundamental level. The book jacket reads – "This book introduces 26 themes –each for a letter of the English alphabet – that according to the author should guide, shape or be a part of an Indian National Education.” It must be emphasized that the book is not about Indianizing the education in any narrow, chauvinistic, jingoist sense. And that the arguments and ideas presented in the book continue to remind the reader that this is in fact not the true Indian way is in itself a remarkable achievement of this work. Dr. Mehra speaks of some selected aspects of the essential Indian spirit and sheds some light on the

forms through which this spirit may express itself in the educational thought and practice of the country. ABC‟s of Indian National Education asks readers – parents, teachers, professors, and educational administrators, policymakers –to reflect upon and rethink some of the fundamentals and philosophical foundations of our National Education. While more thorough research and a deeper analysis of some of the topics included there will make the book much more substantive and comprehensive, even in its present form the book offers several hints on curriculum restructuring, pedagogical

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time innovations and administrative reform. About the Reviewer: Eeshaan Mahesh is a Delhi-based educator, spiritual aspirant, teacher of meditation, counsellor, and author of several Hindi books including some highly successful mythological novels based on stories from Ramayana. He may be contacted at eeshaan.mahesh@gmai l.com :Overview: The overall rating for the book would be 3.5 out of 5 for the uniqueness this book has got to offer and the knowledge.

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

Author Interview – II

an online educator for a private university in the US, she devotes most of her time to studying the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, blogging, reading, gardening and just being. She blogs at http://letbeautybeyourc onstantideal.blogspot.c om and can be reached at beloome@gmail.com.

Yet another author who has been published at WE, Beloo has donned the hats of school teacher, university professor and researcher for many years, and is now happy to be doing what she does best – learn. Living in Pondicherry for the last 7 years and working part-time as

Her book is not the quintessential story, rather it is something that most stories are based on – Education. The blurb of her book reads: This book introduces 26 themes - each for a letter of the English alphabet that according to the author should guide, shape or be a part of

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time an Indian National Education. These themes speak of some selected aspects of the essential Indian spirit and may also shed some light on the forms through which this spirit could express itself in educational practice.

Let‟s hear her tell us what lead to this amazing turning point in her life:

Some of these could be of greater interest to educators and parents, while others may give educational thinkers some food for thought.

know the story behind it as to how it got conceptualized.

1. Welcome to Writer‟s Ezine and thank you so much for sparing your time for us. Talking about your book we would like to

Thank you for the warm welcome. And thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to share with the readers of Writer‟s Ezine, a bit

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time about my book and the journey behind it. The idea for this book was, in a way, conceived last April, during a month-long writing challengefor which I took up the vast topic of Indian Education. I knew there was no way I could research and write in one month about all the issues, challenges and problems facing Indian Education. But it was a topic very dear to me and at the same time one question that had long bothered me was this – why is Indian education not really India-centric? Rather, the question that has been even more important for me is – how can we make Indian Education more Indian in spirit? This one question became the guiding light for all

the writing I did during that month. The month-long challenge required me to take up each letter of the English alphabet, pick a word for that letter and write a post around that word. It was a bit of a challenge at times but somehow through this A-Z exercise I managed to find a way to connect the various lines of argument I wanted to put forth in my attempt to address my guiding question. I enjoyed the process of going deeper into my own thought process and reflecting on what I wanted to include and what I should rather let go at this point. 2. Was it something you always wanted to write and felt THIS was the time?

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time Well, my entire professional experience has been in the field of education, in India as well as in the US. But being an Indian,naturally I have been more interested in learning about some of the challenges we face in our education system. More importantly though, as someone who for the last several years has been studying some of the works of Sri Aurobindo on Indian culture, social philosophy and Education I was beginning to see some connections between some of the fundamental flaws in our educational approach and the larger sense of cultural uprooted-ness we see among a very large section of educated Indians, especially the modern well-schooled

youth. It is as if there is an apathy or some type of an inability to connect with India on a deeper level. What could be some of the reasons behind this uprooted-ness? And how can they be addressed? These were some of the questions I had been reflecting upon for a few years and as part of my ongoing study of Sri Aurobindo. I had been blogging for a year when the A-Z writing challenge came up and something inside told me that the time was right to take up some serious writing. And naturally the choice of the topic for me was Indian Education, and particularly the questions that had been part of my ongoing query and study. And as I kept writing for the

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time challenge, I was getting more and more convinced that it was time to think beyond my little blog and bring out some of these ideas in the mainstream discourse on Indian Education. 3. This book challenges some of age old beliefs and practices that have been a part of our educational system for so many years. Your thoughts on this.

I wouldn‟t say that the book really challenges, it rather compels us to rethink our educational philosophy in a more India-centric manner. Let me clarify. By India-centric I do not mean that our education should only be about India, in a narrow and parochial way. That would never do. That is in fact not at all the Indian spirit. Indian spirit has

always been accepting noble and high ideas from everywhere, it has also been about recognizing that Truth expresses itself in many different ways and that none of these ways ever speak of the complete, absolute Truth. So in a way, Indian spirit encourages a very wide, and highly inclusive approach to learning and at the same time doesn‟t shy away from focusing on the most direct truths that make our immediate reality. The book also makes an argument that the key philosophy that should guide Indian education must be rooted in the eternal Indian wisdom. And it starts with the purpose of education. What, according to Indian wisdom traditions, is the real aim of

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time education? But before we can answer this question, we must ask – what, according to the Indian view, is a human being, an individual? And what, according to this view, is the aim of human life? Is our education based on this Indian understanding of an individual, aim of individual life? So you see, once we start thinking along these lines we naturally start on the path of questioning our present approach to education which is based on a very different view of individual (as one small organism, a part, a social, economic, political component of the larger organism called society) and aim of individual life. Our present approach to education is largely based on an industrial-

rational model of individual, life, and society. This book compels us to move away from that and ground our educational approach in a more humane, Indian view which looks at individual first and foremost as a soul that is enwrapped in physical, emotional and mental sheaths. 4. From being an academician to becoming a blogger and now a published author. How does it feel? What is the role you are closest to?

Aah, that‟s an interesting question! Short answer – it feels very good! I would say it has been quite a fascinating and rewarding journey so far. As an academician also I was always interested in writing for a broader audience.

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time In fact during my tenure as a professor I was quite involved, for a number of years, with a couple of online discussion groups, focusing on issues related to India, Indian society and culture. And I would often write articles based on such discussions for online magazines, with an objective to bring out some important topics in the larger societal discourse. Some of those articles actually generated intense discussions, and I grew both as a thinker and writer as a result of this exercise. My blog, as you know, is inspired by my ongoing study of the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (his spiritual collaborator). This means that it is inspired by and focused around a particular vision of

life, living, reality, existence, art, beauty, love, individual, society, world, nation, politics, spirituality and everything. I should add that it is perhaps the widest and deepest and highest vision, the most complete and integral view that I have come across in my seeking. I try to stay as faithful as I can to my guiding inspiration. This also means that I avoid writing on topics and issues that may be trending or being promoted by blogging websites or forums if in my view they don‟t fit with my guiding inspiration. I also avoid writing for blogging contests, product promotions and other such things, because of this very reason. So do I enjoy blogging with this „focused‟

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time inspiration? Of course, I do. Otherwise I wouldn‟t be doing it for almost two years now (my blog will be 2 this April). It gives me an opportunity to deepen my learning, it helps me see the interconnectedness of a deeply spiritual view of reality and existence with the very living, throbbing and real situations in life – my life, life of the society, life of the nation or the world. As for the role of an author, well I would say I don‟t really see this as a new role for me. I have been published a few times before, in academic books and journals. At that time it was part of my role as an academic. Sure, ABC‟s of Indian National Education is my first „full‟ book as such and therefore, very special.

For me, this role of an author is now shifted quite a bit. I am not writing because it is a part of my professional role, I am writing now because I see it now as a means to my inner growth, it helps me practice a few life lessons such as how to develop patience, how to work without an expectation of reward, how to develop a combination of contemplative and critical mental faculties through writing, how to deepen concentration and avoid scattering of thoughts and many more. It is this aspect of writing (whether it is for my blog or for any other websites where I have been published or for this book or any others I may write in future) that I find most satisfying and

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time personally meaningful. 5. This book has a very easy going theme; one that makes is reader friendly. Was it intentional?

Yes, it was quite intentional. As I said before, the book actually came about as a result of the A-Z writing challenge that I took up in April of last year. And when I started to think along the lines of a book, it made sense to keep that same organizing framework and also the same readerfriendly voice and style, to a very large extent. In the previous question you brought up my academician experience. I should add here that even when I was in my academic role, I wasn‟t too keen on the high-

sounding, jargon-filled, rather heavy style that many academic writers use. I preferred a more reader-friendly voice. Going by the strict old definition of academic literature, it may be said by some that ABC‟s of Indian National Education is not an academic book as such. Though I would also argue that it is also not a nonacademic book. It bridges the gap between the two, in a way. It tries to present some rigorous and intellectual thought in an easy-to-follow manner, and that for me is something quite exciting because that‟s what I had always hoped my book should be like. I would like it to be read by all those who are interested in the future of our country and future of our education –

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time parents, teachers, high school and college students, policymakers, administrators, educational thinkers, ordinary citizens. 6. Education which is supposed to be the very base on the future of our country lies, at times becomes the shakiest one with donation seats, paper leaks and other such scams surrounding it from time and again. Off late the new generation is considering foreign shores purely for the ease in lifestyle it offers. Do you see the future of it changing anytime soon?

You are very right about paper leaks, donations for admissions and other such things that we hear about from time to time. These things

are totally unacceptable. But you see, I happen to think that the fundamental cause for why such things happen rests in the completely misguided view of education we have come to accept as a society and nation. Education has ended up only as a means for social success, a doorway to socioeconomic upward mobility and a key to enter the hallowed chambers of „economic elite‟ in the society. While no one can deny that a good education should help prepare learners for a meaningful vocation in life, but to see education as only that and nothing more than that poses a huge problem. Why are parents willing to pay exorbitant amounts of money for a seat for

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time their child in a reputed school or college? Simply because they know that a certificate or stamp from that institution or a degree in a certain professional field will ensure a good economic future for their child? Why would someone hatch up an elaborate plan to leak an examination paper? Because they know that what matters in the „market‟ out there is only the test results, not the actual learning. The mindset that leads to such problems is the fundamental cause. And that mindset is the product of the present model of education that is based on a completely materialist and industrialist view of individual and society. Do I see it changing anytime soon? That‟s a

tough one. But I sincerely hope that some serious discussion happens on how we need to rethink the fundamentals of our education. In my book also I have emphasized this need for serious rethinking. I also believe that there are some good schools in India where a more holistic view of individual and society is the basis for educational and pedagogical practices. But those are still very few and far in between. We need that spark to become a fire on a much wider and vast scale. As for the current generation preferring to go abroad, well, I would say that this is not really a new phenomenon. Indians have been migrating to many different parts of

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time the world for hundreds of years, for various reasons. But certainly, over the past several decades and particularly in the case of migration to the socalled developed countries in the West, we may say that one of their main motivators is perhaps an easier and more comfortable lifestyle. But in many cases we also see young Indians going abroad for higher education, in fact higher education becomes an entry point gradually leading to settling there as a professional and attainting that comfortable lifestyle they are after. I myself have my PhD from the US, and I lived and worked there for about 15 years. And because my entire experience in the US was in the higher

education system I have also understood that there is a great value in gaining that kind of exposure, especially for someone who is interested in pursuing an academic life of teaching and research. There are many positives of American higher education – its overall emphasis on academic rigour, independent inquiry and interdisciplinary and flexible learning being some of them – which can be very helpful for broadening one‟s outlook and deepening one‟s knowledge in one‟s chosen discipline or field of study. So I would say that such opportunities should be encouraged. At the same time, for the last couple of decades we have also been seeing a reverse movement – that is

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time people who were settled abroad, particularly in the US and other Western countries, have been moving back to India. I know several such families and individuals. My husband and I are also one of those ex-NRIs. Of course different people have different reasons for coming back to India, but for many the reasons have also to do with increased economic opportunities in India (while simultaneously the reduced opportunities in their adapted countries because of global economic recession). So in a way that is a good thing, I would say. But the larger question, and particularly that concerns the topic of Indian education is

this – how can we create world-class higher educational institutions right here in India, which are also based on a view of education that is fundamentally Indian in its spirit? At present, even our best institutions like our IITs and IIMs may also fall short in this, because for the most part they too are based on the same old idea of education as a means to social and economic success alone and the role of education being only limited to prepare an individual to become a „productive‟ member of the society. This mindset has to change before we can hope for any meaningful outer change in the educational scenario. 7. Apart from the teachers, parents and

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time the school authorities how important a role do you think we as citizens of this country in general play towards betterment of the education system.

First let me say this –I believe that it is important that the divide between the socalled academic or intellectual discourse and the general, popular discourse needs to be rethought. This is especially important for areas such as education, culture, social issues etc., because these things are not just meant to be debated by intellectuals or academics in their ivory towers or university conferences or such venues. There needs to be a wider discourse and a wellinformed and deeper discourse on these topics that are of

concern to each and every citizen of the country. The intellectual and overall health of our democracy depends on it. The old division of pseudo-intellectual classes and deintellectualized masses must go, if we want India to be a vibrant, thinking, rational society. Our mass media should be playing an important role in that, but unfortunately for the most part our mass media is driven by fads, commercial interest, quick profits and sensationalism. I would even argue that often the mass media in our country ends up being an agent of polarizing the discourse – because it adds to their market share –rather than adding real value to it.

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time This makes it even more important that our citizens take keen interest in deepening their understanding the complexities of the serious issues and challenges in our society and nation. ABC‟s of Indian National Education is a book that compels us to think deeply about some of the questions related to our education, its fundamental guiding principles as well as some educational practices. It also compels us to think about the role of education in inculcating and promoting a deep awareness of our national spirit, a widely-inclusive and well-informed love for the country, and a keen understanding of the work each one of us must do in order to

live by the deepest truth of our national spirit. Seen in this way, education becomes everyone‟s business. And that‟s why each one of us should be concerned about what kind of education we want for ourselves, our children, our future generations. By being informed, by meaningfully and thoughtfully participating in the discourse related to education and India‟s future each one of us can do our little bit. 8. What is the message that you want to convey through your present book?

I think I have already said a lot about what the book focuses on. But if I were to pinpointat the most important message that the book tries to

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time convey, I would say that it compels the reader to ask two questions – what, according to the Indian cultural view, should be the true purpose of education, and is our present educationhelping us work toward realizing its true purpose. 9. We would like to know about any future projects you are currently working on.

I am not really a planning type person. I generally go with the flow of things as they come in life. But since you have asked this question, let me share with your readers that in addition to my regular writing for my blog and a few other emagazines (where I have also published in the past),I am also working – off and on –

on a couple of larger writing projects. One of these projects should be hopefully completed soon, but I would rather not say anything more at this point,I am a bit cautious that way. But I can assure you that Writer‟s Ezine and its readers will definitely find out when it is complete and ready to be shared. The second is still in the initial thinking stage, so let‟s see where the process goes. One thing that I can comfortably share at this time is that both these projects have the same inspiration as my blog. I think that‟s enough for now. 10. Some words your readers.

for

Well, I think I have already said a lot in this interview. I hope I

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time haven‟t actually turned off the readers by my long answers! So I don‟t have anything else to add, except share these words of one of my favourite writers, Oscar Wilde – “It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can‟t help it.”

curious enough to pick up the book and read it!

Thank you very much for your time

Thank you! I am really thankful for the wonderful questions you asked, this was a great opportunity for me to reflect on my writing process as well as the message I want to convey through my book. I thoroughly enjoyed this reflective process. Thank you very much. And thanks to all the readers of WE for reading some of my long answers. I hope some of them will be

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

A Daughter’s Lonely Musings

She was alone. A lonely child she had been always. But she grew

up to be a woman of substance – strong, confident and independent. That‟s how her parents had raised her to be. One day, the destiny brought a handsome man in her life, who literally swept her off her feet. They were madly, deeply and crazily in love. She couldn‟t have been happier. After the months of whirlwind romance, they decided to tie the knot. The day she was being merrily whisked away

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time by her husband in his car, she half turned from her seat, to wave at the blurred figures of her sobbing parents. Her doe shaped eyes didn‟t shed a single tear, but her heart was crying profusely. Silently, her eyes conveyed to her parents to stay strong and that she would be always there for them, no matter what. While her heart prayed for their happiness, it also fluttered with the sweet anticipation of the new beginnings ahead. She kept looking back, till the time the dust covered every little trace of her prenuptial life. And then, she sobbed. No matter, how strong she tried and wanted to be, the salty pearls started adorning her cherubic cheeks. Her husband

held her hand and squeezed it softly, assuring her that everything would be fine. She met his deep set brown orbs; she saw the hopes and promises in them. Her lips quivered with an earnest smile, because she hoped and believed that he will make everything fine. He loved her, respected her and adored her. The time flew by. The love was still there. That is, if you take love as any married couple would define after a few years into their marriage. But the respect had diminished. Was it because she had bid adieu to her high flying career to embrace motherhood? Or was it because they were going through the typical phases of

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time marriage? She didn‟t know.

impolite answer straight at their faces.

But one thing remained constant throughout these years, his „no love, no respect, no care‟ attitude towards her parents. She was married to him and his family, his and their expectations. But he was married only to her. Her family didn‟t matter, as if it didn‟t exist. He visited her parents and they visited him, twice or thrice a year. At her insistence, he would take her parents for shopping and dining, and buy them gifts too, but never considered them as his family. They would try to initiate a conversation with him, only to be subjugated to a no reply, a blank expression, a monosyllable, or an

He didn‟t even feel courteous enough to talk to her parents, let alone care for them, just the way their daughter did. Make them feel that he was there for them too, just the way their daughter was. That they were his family too, just the way his family was their daughter‟s family now. His parents were hurt so did she, every single time, in every single year of her marriage! She would often ask him why he behaved so arrogantly or threw non-verbal insults at her parents, in spite of being the good husband and father, otherwise he was. He had no specific answer. Sometimes he would say the problem lies

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time within him; he doesn‟t feel comfortable around her parents. Sometimes he would blame her or her parents.

marriage; she has a child to think about too. How will she handle her past, present and future, all by herself?

How someone could chose only a specific set of people to behave this way? How, when and where she or her parents had wronged him? How come she never saw such a peculiar side of her husband before marriage? Had she been so blindly in love then? She sought the answers, but in vain. She still continues to beg for his politeness to her parents, but it doesn‟t matter to him. She is absolutely petrified and anxious now for her parents‟ future, for their hurt feelings. They have only her and she has only them. She is bound by her

She remembered the day she believed everything was going to be fine. He had made her believe so because the only thing that the heart of a lonely daughter really hoped and wanted to be fine didn‟t turn out to be fine. Everything else was fine. Silent tears rolled down her cheeks once again, as they did every single night. She wanted to cry out loud, she wanted to scream. But she wouldn‟t. For the strong woman she was, and for the love of her daughter and parents. She was still alone…still lonely.

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time About Smita Omar: Smita Omar is a freelance writer. When she is not busy juggling between a naughty kiddo and a foodie husband, you can find her dabbling in words to keep her sanity intact. She can be reached at smitaomar@gmail.com . Editor's Comment: Touching confessions of a daughter who is lost between two people, one who gave her love and other who gave her life.

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

Of Tabooed Love from the Hinterland

when we think of love, we always conjure ruby images of beautiful things and gorgeous people, of romance as opulent as

February is celebrated as the month of romance, across the globe. Images and themes of a glorified love, almost ethereal, rich and vibrant, fill the air and overflow from the counters at malls and markets, selling everything red. Is it not strange that

chocolate gift hampers! But the truth is that in our country and across major areas of the globe, the quest of love is not as breath-taking as the next door Archies gallery would make us believe. I recently reading

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finished Amitav


Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time Ghosh‟s Sea of Poppies and was touched by the female protagonist‟s tale of love and yearning. Deeti‟s portrayal encompasses the story of any woman, from rural and semi-urban confines of our land, and is a reminder that for most love stems from pain and leads to more agony. Deeti, is a nonconformist, a female protagonist who breaks barriers in more ways than one. To start with she has a distinguishing physical trait –grey eyes – which cause disconcerted villagers to think she may be a witch, a dayani. She has visions of the Ibis, the coolie ship that she is destined to travel in across the black waters. It would be interesting to presume

that it is this apparition which invigorates her to take steps that would seem too strange, too forward for a woman in her state. Married at adolescence, as is the custom in most rural set ups in our country, to Hukam Singh, an opium addict, who is incapable of fulfilling his conjugal duties, Deeti is impregnated by her husband‟s brother on her wedding night. "You should know," Hukam Singh tells Deeti of his precious opium pipe on that fateful night, "that this is my first wife. She's kept me alive since I was wounded: if it weren't for her I would not be here today. I would have died of pain, long ago.”

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time Deeti awakes to the realization that she was drugged with opium and that her mother-in-law conspired to ensure that the ghastly act was accomplished. Over time, Deeti takes her own sweet revenge by slowly making her mother-in-law addicted to opium, but she and her six year old daughter, Kabutri, are still trapped in this peculiar sea of poppies. Ironically, on one hand opium is sapping her husband‟s life and on the other it is their only means of sustenance. Deeti‟s life reflects the truth of what love means to so many women. It starts with an arranged marriage and hopes for a happy and peaceful matrimony but the dream shatters for

several dark truths, veiled secrets, and manipulative relatives come tumbling out of the closet. Most women learn to live within these shadows, sometimes finding companionship with similarly oppressed women, but mostly alone. Many find relief only in dreams; while many may go on to indulge in illicit relationships. Where love there is none, the phantasm of love sustains the years of drudgery and sadness. When the heart yearns, unarticulated desires are manifest in strange ways. In Deeti‟s chaotic existence, the slow-headed, hugebodied, Kalua, is a daily presence as he transports Hukam Singh to the Ghazipur opium factory, in his ox-cart. Deeti and

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time Kalua have never seen each other because Kalua is an untouchable and keeps his face turned away from the family. However, through a chance encounter in the dark opium fields, Deeti witnesses Kalua being harassed and nearly molested by two landlords. When they leave him unconscious, Deeti sneaks up to the prostrate body of Kalua and realizes that he is young and simple. She reaches out to help him and a soulconnection evolves.

unfolds, because Kalua not only saves Deeti from self-immolating herself at her husband‟s pyre but also tells her “It was myself I saved today, he said in a whisper. Because if you had died, I couldn‟t have lived; jindana rah sakela …”.Deeti, who escapes being a sati and Kalua, who loses everything in this gamble, are forced to flee from the area, hide amongst the crowd and later join the coolies on the ship Ibis that is leaving for Mauritus.

This soul-connection is evident as the story

Destiny does not intend to make their union easy, for on the Ibis, Deeti‟s uncle-inlawis the head of the guards and he recognizes Deeti. Bhyro Singh takes upon himself to avenge the dishonor that Deeti has brought his family

Celebrating ‘LOVE’


Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time and village by escaping death on the pyre and then running away with an outcast. Kalua becomes a captive of Bhyro Singh and is mercilessly beaten but he uses his strength to kill the latter and escapes from the ship into the eye of a sea storm. What eventually, happens to Kalua and Deeti is a story that unfolds in the other books in the trilogy but we are left with the knowledge of this separation and also of the fact that Deeti is pregnant with Kalua‟s child. For Deeti there may be respite in the fact that her tormentor is dead and Kaluais now free.

Burnham‟s opiumlaced acceptance of a lonely conjugal bed and Mr Burnham‟s disquieting tendencies, the Gomusta Baboo Nob Kissin‟s feminine orientation and fascination for Zachary, whom he sees as an avatar of Krishna, and the story of Jodu, the Muslim attracted to Munia, the Hindu. Each character struggles to come to terms with their feelings and find the most natural recourse that would bring them peace. But when the very affections of their heart are forbidden, joy remains as distant as the shorelines from the Ibis.

The Sea of Poppies is a book that is filled with parallel stories of tabooed love – Paulette‟s affection for Zachary, Mrs.

Romantic notions of love often makes us forget that true love demands sacrifice and is almost always based on a foundation of pain

Celebrating ‘LOVE’


Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time and tough decisions. For many in love, red is the color of blood, and brown is the color of earth, especially in a country where love amongst communities, castes and religions is forbidden; where love doesn‟t stand alone but is linked with honor, not of self but of families and villages. Across the centuries, not much has changed for men and women with little power over their lives, except for now there is a day to celebrate being in love! For many like Deeti and Kalua, the storms and the seas separating them are still tumultuous and distant.

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.co m 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. com

Celebrating ‘LOVE’


Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

The Tip

barged into the parlor calling out for Sheetal, her regular beautician. Pure Beauty Salon, Powai was used to Kiran, her loud voice, flamboyance, penchant for “punctuality” and, most of all, her memory. For, Kiran had the memory no woman would vie for, the memory of a goldfish.

Kiran Shah had a 2 p.m. appointment at the beauty parlor, her regular round-thecorner neighborhood jaunt. She arrived promptly at2.30 p.m. in a chauffeur driven Honda Accord, and

Once, Kiran had walked her flashy self into the parlor and was mid-way through a waxing session before her fuming daughter called up from her school Principal‟s office demanding why

Celebrating ‘LOVE’


Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time she hadn‟t turned up yet for the meeting. Another time, she had spent thousands of rupees in prettifying her hair and face for a reception party that turned out to be the subsequent week. But nothing could top the time a ballistic Kiran had scourged the bylanes of Powai frantically searching for her car and driver (his phone was switched off). Turns out her son had dropped her to the parlor that day as the driver was off sick! While the employees of Pure Beauty Salon didn‟t really enjoy Kiran‟s absent minded antics, they looked forward to her visits because she was generous with her tips, both monetary and otherwise. Her beauty tips, sourced from

fashion magazines and high profile kitty party discussions, gave the beauticians much fodder for tea break humor. And her continued patronage didn‟t hurt their individual pockets either. Today, Kiran didn‟t seem to be having it her way. Sheetal coughed persistently as she led Kiran to her pedicure corner. Kiran couldn‟t afford to catch the flu or something, even if it was from her most favorite beautician. She said, in her sweetly snooty tone, “Sheetal. You

seem unwell. Why don‟t you send me that other one… err… umm… the short and plump one, instead?”

But, Reema (the short and plump one) was already servicing another customer.

Celebrating ‘LOVE’


Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time Kiran ended up with Anita, who usually serviced walk-in onetime customers, the lowest of low in the beauty parlor pecking order. Kiran had already made up her mind to indulge in a chocolate pedicure and French manicure today, so she had little option but to put up, if not graciously, with Anita, while calling up her other lady friends intermittently to crib about how she was being serviced by an inexperienced beautician. As Anita proceeded with the pedicure, Kiran gave her continuous, wellmeaning advice that turned from sweet to sour in a matter of minutes – “Add some more cold

water to the tub. Oh!

Stop! Now it has become too cool. Add, a little bit of warm water. Yes, that‟s exactly what the Elle beauty expert advises as right for the feet.” “What brand of cream have you got for me? BB? Oh, no no. This will never work for my skin, and everyone in Pure knows this. Get me the CC cream immediately.” “Why are you massaging my feet from down up? It should be the other way round; every person who has heard the term pedicure knows this. Did you not get any training for doing this job?” Anita flashed an engaging smile, apologized appropriately for her shortcomings, expressed gratitude to Kiran for being such

Celebrating ‘LOVE’


Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time an accommodative and generous client and went on with her job with more diligence and concentration than a bomb disposal squad member on a mission. In parallel, within Anita‟s head were running highly entertaining images of Kiran slipping on a banana peel and fracturing both her legs, Kiran stepping into a pool of muck and splashing it all over her vintage white skirt, Kiran keeping her freshly manicured hands on the table without realizing her dog had just peed on it, Kiran‟s phone falling into her pedicure water dying an instant death and so on. The session eventually came to an end, and as Anita was about to heave a sigh of relief, Kiran shrilled, “Oh my

god! Someone has taken my diamond studded platinum bracelet.”

Anita‟s plastic smile froze, as her hands started shaking subconsciously. She pulled herself together and said, “Ma‟am, let‟s

search your chair and beneath it. Perhaps, the bracelet slipped and fell down.”

But, Kiran was in one of her histrionics-fit, and wasn‟t going to be pacified easily. It took the store manager, Sheetal, Reema and Anita almost ten minutes to calm Kiran down and make her sit on the couch, as they started scourging the area for the missing bracelet. But, as luck would have it, the bracelet wasn‟t to be found. The store mustering

Celebrating ‘LOVE’

manager, all her


Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time courage, asked Kiran whether she could call home and check if the bracelet was still there. Kiran started off with, “I did not expect this

from Pure, check this girl Anita first, call your sweeper so that I can interrogate her, this girl Anita must have taken it, don‟t you run thorough background checks before employing beauticians,” and ended with “I should give a call to my brother, he is the Commissioner of Police in Mumbai.” Anita broke into tears hearing this, and went up to Kiran saying, “Ma‟am, please do not

take any hasty decisions. I swear I did not even see your bracelet. You can check me and my belongings if you want.” As Kiran was

about to retort, the phone in her hand started buzzing. It was a call from home and Kiran picked it up with some irritation at having lost the moment to say something nasty and spread the cheerlessness around. Her maid servant was on the line. She listened for a minute, mumbled something in response, got up hurriedly, exchanged a few words with the store manager, paid her bill and left. The store manager came smiling towards a red-eyed and griefstricken Anita saying “I always knew this

lady would have misplaced the bracelet somewhere else, given her forgetfulness. Seems she left it in the bathroom at home when taking bath. The

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time maid just called her to ask whether she should keep it inside her wardrobe or dressing table drawer.” Anita laughed for the first time that afternoon, dried her eyes and went to clear the pedicure area. At Kiran‟s house, the maid servant was facing a rough time. Kiran had suddenly realized her golden anklets were missing and she was positive she had left them in the bathroom along with the bracelet. As Kiran yelled on about how servants were no longer trustworthy, the maid looked around helplessly, wondering why she put up with this lady and her memory.

pedi tray, she saw a pair of golden anklets that Kiran had removed before the pedicure. Anita hesitated for a second, looked around to check that no one was watching, and silently pocketed the anklets. She reasoned to herself that, given her mental turmoil that afternoon due to Kiran, she deserved the tip.

Meanwhile, as Anita arranged the nail polishes in the mani-

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time About Kavitha Murali: Kavitha Murali is a management consultant by profession, with a burning passion to become a writer since childhood. She is also an avid reader, and loves historical fiction the most. She blogs in her free time on http://blyton.blogspot.c om and can be reached at kavi85@gmail.com. Editor's Comment: A story that made me chuckle and smile, superb twist at the end!

Celebrating ‘LOVE’


Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

A Rare Someone

This is the only way, I will be, I will not change myself, To manipulate through, A cruel world.

I will say with clouded eyes, Yet a firm voice, That the silent prayer, Which escapes your lips! That awe which you feel, When you see one of those RARE SOMEONES, Who is still brutally honest! And apolitical, innocent to a fault; Those blessings, Which arise in your heart… Unconsciously; Will help me survive, Even in this callous, bitter, degrading world.....

And then when you, Confront me and tell me, To change, To not remain so good, Lest I face harassment, At hands of evil-

Celebrating ‘LOVE’


Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time About Amrita Sabat: Amrita Sabat is an engineer-cum-MBA who has worked with Wipro and Fidelity Investments, and currently Director at own private limited firm. She takes keen interest in writing, reading, travelling, social media and environment conservation. She is a writer of two poetry books 'Whispers of my Soul' (published in Class VI, 1996) and 'A Palette of Reflections' (published in Class XI, 2002). Thereafter she has been publishing on her blog www.amritasabat.blogs pot.com. Her poems, stories, essays, letters etc. have been published in various newspapers and magazines like The Sunday Observer, New Indian Express,

Children's World, Femina, Competition Success Review and so on. Editor's Comment: A poignant description of those angels in life

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

Up Above The World So High Story Behind Photograph:

the

Heights is something I have always loved for they denote a lot of things in life. This particular picture was clicked when I was in a journey travelling from one place to another. The cloudy morning made the sun rays shine on one particular area while the other one remained dark for some time. It somehow denoted LIFE for me, the mountains standing for the heights yet to be conquered, the sunlight denoting hope that at times focuses only on the goal and the darker area US when in doubt.

About Namrata: A contributing author to many anthologies Namrata is a prolific blogger and ardent reviewer since past 3 years under the name Privy Trifles.She can be reached @ privytrifles@gmail.com .

Celebrating ‘LOVE’


Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

Celebrating ‘LOVE’


Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

Celebrating ‘LOVE’


Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

Celebrating ‘LOVE’


Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

Smiling Flowers Story behind Photograph:

the

Flowers, they always make us smile no matter what our mood; angry, anxious or sad. I love having flowers in vase in every room of our house. All sorts of flowers, including roses but mostly the Gerbera Daisies. This photograph along with a few more were taken of the fresh Gerbera Daisies bought for a function at home and one of them was selected for the February Issue cover. The photographs were clicked with Nikon Coolpix P510 camera with close-up settings. 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

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time

Prompt of The Month

Image (c) Arti Honrao Details on Prompt of the Month can be read here. Last date for submission: 20th February.

Scroll down to leave your blog or facebook notes link. Those who write fresh entries for the prompt and do not have link to share please send in your entries to

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time admin@writersezine.c om

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<div style="text-align: justify;"> This post has been written for <a href="http://writersezi neblog.blogspot.in/sear ch/label/promptofthem onth">Prompt of the Month</a>; a feature of <a href="http://www.write rsezine.com/">Writer's Ezine</a></div> </div>

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time 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, shortstories, non-fiction, author interviews; book reviews etc.

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Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time (Please read Submission Guidelines for details). So what are you waiting for, unleash the artist within and paint the palette with colours of your choice!

entries for March issue is 20th February.

About the Administrators We are readers and writers madly in love with the written word. To know more about us please visit us at: About Namrata > http://www.privytrifles. com About Arti Honrao > http://www.artihonrao. in Submissions for the March issue of Writer's Ezine are open. Please do read Submission Guidelines before submitting your entries using the submission form. The last date for submission for the

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Designed by Arti Honrao

Profile for Writer's Ezine

Writer's Ezine Volume XI : February 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 XI : February 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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