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


turn a page you will find your mind wandering into places you never thought of before, making you sit up and question the biggest mystery of all times – LIFE. This is one place where readers, writers, poets, photographers, idealists, thinkers, atheists, believers and story-tellers all will be in sync with creativity. We accept submissions in poetry, short-stories, nonfiction, author interviews; book reviews etc. (Please read Submission Guidelines for details). Cover Photo Copyright – Ishan Honrao This e-magazine is a compilation of Poems, Short Stories, Short – Story Series, Non – Fiction, Photographs published on Writer’s Ezine. Image source Google Images, unless mentioned otherwise. (Photography submissions © of mentioned author. The photographs in the magazine are printed in grey


scale. The coloured and high resolution photographs can be viewed on www.writersezine.com or www.issuu.com/writersezine The copyright of the work published in this magazine remains with the author of the individual work. Please contact the authors and Writer’s Ezine if you need to use the content. You are free to share the content as long as you retain and respect the copyright. Visit Writer’s Ezine (www.writersezine.com) for details Find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/writersezin e) Twitter (https://twitter.com/Writers_e zine) Send us an email (admin@writersezine.com) WE on Issuu: http://issuu.com/writersezine WE on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1LV3o5a WE E-magazine site: http://mag.writersezine.com


WE on What’sApp

What's App on the number provided in the image with your details (name etc.) and your query. WE admin would reply as soon as possible. Writer's Ezine would broadcast alerts frequently about important notices and newsletter with direct links. All you have to do is add WE to friend list if you wish to get the alerts and inform us about the same. You can trust WE, your number would not be shared with anyone and WE would not send you spam.


About Administrators: Administrator, Editor, Promotions & Marketing Manager, Assistant Relationship Advisor: Namrata: www.privytrifles.com Administrator, Web-designer, Strategist & Relationship Advisor, Co-editor: Arti Honrao: www.artihonrao.in Do share your feedback with us. WE would love to hear what you have to say testimonials@writersezine.com

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Segments on Writer’s Ezine

Author’s Quill

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


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.


Literati

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


Cook-N-Tell

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


WE Celebrates

Eighteen months of hard work, team efforts and most importantly eighteen months of joy and success thanks to the readers of Writer's Ezine.

WE admins take this opportunity to thank all the contributors and readers for their love and support. You all made us feel like a part of huge


family. Thank you so much for giving us the space not only in your virtual world but in your hearts as well. WE admins have been asked by a few people how only two of us manage to run this online magazine and manage to bring out the issues on time. I am going to tell you all how we manage. First and foremost it's not two people who are running the magazine; it's one team. WE admins work round the clock. Namrata does the day shift, I do the nights. Namrata handles the promotions, compiling and editing of posts, I do the behind the screen work of badges banners and the website. When I go wrong she points it out to me and when she goes wrong, I do. We both are our worst critics and that's the reason why we emerge together as perfectionists when the


magazine finally releases on 2nd of each month. If any minor error slips by our readers understand. We keep our egos aside when it is about WE. A few people think that I am the owner of Writer’s Ezine and Namrata works for me. Say that to someone in some other work place.. These days it is not as much about the efforts put in than it is about being appreciated. Neither Namrata nor I expect to be appreciated for our individual efforts. We are happy to be appreciated together as a team. Namrata and I are the founders of Writer’s Ezine and put in equal efforts and money into it. We both know that WE would have not been possible in the absence of either one of us. We make it a point to say encouraging words to one another as much as possible


and whenever we get the chance. And we are not embarrassed of making mistakes, most importantly neither one of us is offended if the other points out the mistake; in fact many a times we both blame ourselves rather than the other one for the mistake. Recently, a publishing house mentioned WE to the author as one of the best in the country for books and reviews. I made it a point to congratulate Namrata because she is the one who reviews books at WE. Another reader praised the user-friendly interface of the magazine and Namrata made it a point to congratulate me for it. In short, the secret ingredient of WE's success is the teamspirit. We hold it close to our hearts and now you know it.


Eighteen months! And - Many more to go... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

Name of the article Looking Back Sparkled – Cover Photo The Musings of a Balding Man Memory Lapses Where Was My Fault? The Awakening The Crack Dad Knew Nothing – When I Was Young And…In The Fullness Of Time One Life to Ride Ajit Harsinghani Fortune In The Belly Paper boat My Life My Choice The Snowman Love In Paris Lost Her Journey of Selfdiscovery Walking My Way My Journey As a Writer The Little Girl Who changed My Life Pratik Deshpande India The Shadow Tresses – Thick, Long, Beautiful and Lost Curiously Smart, Kiddo! The Two Hosts Remember Me Women Chakoo's Funtruism The lady At The Bus-stop The Revision Rainbow Cake Painting The Town Red Towards The Unknown Prompt of the Month for October

Author Namrata Sid Balachandran Subbaram Danda Viji Nathan Maitreyee Rao Soumya Prasad Ajay Pai Murli Melwani Dipanwita Ajit Harsinghani One life to ride Geetika Gupta Shashank Bhardwaj Parmita Dubey Naina Manchanda Ajay Vyas Ram Prasath Amreen Bashir Shaikh Chitralekha Sreejai Kirthi Jayakumar Pratik Deshpande The Little Girl Who changed my life Ketki Yennemadi Natasha Badsha Ranjini Poonam Khanduja Pijush Kanti Deb Biki Mahanta Swati Abhay Nishima Avasthi Purba Chakraborty Nikhil Pandey Mayura Chetan Honrao Namrata Arti Honrao Arti Honrao


Looking Back Looking back at the past 18 months, it all still feels like a dream. That moment when WE was born and then nurtured well enough to be presented before you all, the small hurdles that we met on its way, the failures, the disappointments and the joys with the victories they all have been so special that every single step of this journey seems like a milestone for that makes WE what it is today. And none of it would have been the same without each one of you.


This makes me think of life at large. When we look back at life, we see the potholes and the pits we overcame to reach where we are today. More often than not, it is human nature to criticize what happened then, pity our conditions and feel sad for all that was rather than feeling happy for all that is. Like I said above it is very important to remember that it is that one fall there that made a difference in shaping you up as what you are today. What makes the difference is the attitude with which you look at things. Long ago I had read somewhere, “If you cannot be a reason behind someone’s happiness, try and not be the reason behind someone’s tears.” Inspired by it, I try to


adhere to it always. And what I learnt is that seeing someone smile and knowing you are the reason behind that smile is priceless.

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


own battle but encourages others also to fight his or her own battle. Aspire to inspire someone and then see the way it just keeps multiplying further into your life. Keep aspiring, keep inspiring!


Sparkled Photo

–

Cover


Story behind the cover photograph: Though we try to keep Diwali largely pollution free, we do light the odd cracker and watch it in awe as it fires up into the night sky and sets off these myriad of colours. For this shot, we kept two of them side-by-side and lit them up with a brief delay. That explains the difference in the heights of the 'fire fountain' so to speak, and eventually when it burst against the night sky, it looked magnificent.

About Sid Balachandran: Academically engineer-ed and a product manager by profession, Sid believes that his true calling lies in writing. Having recently relocated back to India after an eight-year


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 timely accurate capture which speaks much more than the picture.


The Musings Balding Man

of

a

uddenly one morning Vijay looked intently at his framed photograph hung on a wall in his bedroom. It was taken years ago shortly after his marriage, with his better half standing next to him. Neatly groomed thick dark hair on his head stood out prominently, adding a touch of smartness to his overall appearance. He rushed to the bath room and stood in front of the mirror. What a contrast! His reflection showed only a few streaks of hair that too silvery. They also threatened


to enter the annals of extinct species anytime. In a moment, various thoughts flashed in his mind. How do cine actresses and actors manage their ‘hairy traditions’? Despite advancing age, erstwhile dream girls of the silver screen retain their glamorous looks with dark tresses cascading down their head. Macho men of yesteryears too show off their attractive manes. Science has made a lot of progress and he wondered why he should not take advantage of it to fix his receding hairline. He hit the Google search engine and soon several advertisements popped up, confusing him to the core. Seeing his predicament, his wife came to his rescue. A nice and understanding woman, she advised him not to worry and asked him to give a “missed call” to a


number. Obviously she was taking a cue from an advertisement on the television. He called the number and disconnected after some rings. Within a few minutes he got a call back and he could hear a sweet feminine voice. “Sir, we are specialists in solving your hair problems. After decades of research we have produced a gel brand-named Dintan. It is essentially made from rare herbs found only in the dense jungles of South Africa. It will stop hair-fall and ultimately halt balding.” He heard the sales talk patiently but she would not give him an idea of what damage it would inflict on his wallet. He finally asked her, “How much a can of Dintan would cost and how many cans I should use before I could see results?”


She parried the question ably and went on with her welltutored torrent. “Sir, we have our consumers throughout India and abroad. You should have seen our advertisements on various television channels, several times a day. Our products are very popular.” Obviously she was trying to brainwash him about the product’s popularity. He started losing his cool. It became clear to him that the product had a high price tag, judging from the way she was avoiding his question. Also, they had been shelling out a lot of money on TV ads, which they should make up. At last she came to the point. “To answer your query, Sir, each can of 100 grams of Dintan would cost only Rs.1,999.99. And by the time you complete using ten cans, you would have grown thick lustrous hair. You have my guarantee.”


Who was this woman to give him a guarantee? She was not an authorized representative of the company. She was only a call-center girl. He said immediately, “Thank you, madam. I will come back to you.” Next day Vijay broached the subject with a close friend of his. He suggested using a Korean cream prepared from the excreta of a rare species of crocodiles. It should be applied on the head at least twice a day. Vijay had always abhorred the very sight of crocs. Now he should buy their poop and rub it on his head! What an idea!! Anger laced with snigger raced through his head. He shouted at his friend and they stopped talking to each other since then. Soon a half-page advertisement in a newspaper caught Vijay’s attention. It


promised “simplified” hair transplant! It offered an “innovative method of performing surgical hair replacement” through a “painless and seamless” process. It guaranteed growth, density and permanent hair on the scalp. That kept him wondering. “Where from are they going to get hair for the transplant?” He shuddered. He had always been scared of surgical operations. He detested even a small pin prick. So he brushed aside the idea of a hair transplant. Finally, Vijay thought of approaching his cousin, who was into everything and was believed to be knowledgeable about all things under the sun. “Don’t worry, dear. Right now a sage from the Himalayan holy town of Rishikesh is in the city. Swami Arogyananda has solutions for all health-related


problems -physical, psychological and emotional. He has specialized in matters of the scalp. Seek his advice and you will be happy. Take my word,” his cousin assured him. He gave him the address of the place, where the sage was staying -the guest house of a top ranking film star -- and its telephone number. Religiously, Vijay called the number and got an appointment – for a time slot a week later. As the swamiji had a tight schedule, he could be with him for only fifteen minutes. The day arrived and Vijay landed at the place, dreaming about his head gleaming with thick lustrous hair again. At a counter with the sign “May I help you” he enquired about his appointment and he was delighted that his name had been correctly listed. He was asked to pay a fee of Rs.5,000


for consultation with the sage. With trepidation he paid it and got a receipt for the amount. At the bottom a phrase in fine print stared at him—“no refund under any circumstances.” He wondered what it all meant but hoped he would get true value for the money spent. Anyhow, he was happy that everything was being accounted for and was going on in a streamlined fashion. His turn came. It was a dimlylit room with flower-bedecked, framed photographs of several gods of the Hindu pantheon hung beautifully on a wall straight ahead. Aroma from burning incense sticks wafted all around. Sage Arogyananda was seated on a tiger skin at the centre. He wore long flowing saffron robes and a silky green headgear adorned with strings of milky white pearls. He had no beard. His jaws were prominently set. His eyes glinted


mesmerizingly. He was at least ten years younger than Vijay. The sage looked at him very benignly. In a moment Vijay came under his magic spell. He narrated his story to him. There was none else in the room. Sage Arogyananda smiled at him at first and then burst into laughter. “Dear Bhakta, what you need is not a gel, a cream or a transplant but a fresh frame of mind to understand and appreciate the tenets of universal truth. I will make you realize them. Take my word. Have confidence in me. You will be alright,” he said. In a jiffy he ran his right hand under the headgear he was wearing and pulled it off. Behold! He had a bald head, shining demurely! So, he was Swamy Sunyakesananda! In encouraging words he advised Vijay, “Don’t despair. Hold your head high. Don’t go against the


nature. A receding hairline, or a scalp shorn of hair, is not a disaster. It has its own unique advantages – at least ten.” He then went on narrating them – his pearls of wisdom. 1. The bald man does not have to bother about going to a barber shop every month. More important, he can put a stop to the snide comments of his wife after every visit to the shop about how his hair has been groomed. 2. His wife need not buy his preferred brand of hair oil. Instead, she can buy nail polish for her own use. 3. He can forget head bath with coconut oil and shampoo. Just pouring a few mugs of water over the head is enough. 4. If this is done daily, his head will remain cool too. He would not mind his wife nagging him. 5. He finds no need to comb his hair. Smearing a few of drops of oil on the smooth surface


will do. The oil can be stolen stealthily from the bottle of his wife. 6. The most gratifying thing is that there is no necessity to search for grey hair and pull them out without the knowledge of the children. 7. He can enjoy his grand children rubbing his head with their tender palms, accompanied by shrill giggles. This is a rare gift by God given only to a select few. 8. He can be easily identified in a crowd if lost in an exhibition or in a mall. 9. With the overall savings, he can take his wife and children to a film and let them enjoy it, while he himself can have a blissful sleep. 10. He can chuckle within himself appreciating the scientific fact that bald men are more virile than others. Vijay listened to the sage in rapt attention. He was overwhelmed by his exceptional erudition and


worldly wisdom. All his ideas would stand test of time. Vijay offered his pranams to the sage and turned back. Instantly he felt reformed and emboldened. He could feel a new transformation overtaking him. 0 He realized that soon he would be a sunyakeshadhari. So what? He would go about it nonchalantly. As advised, he would hold his head high and his chin up. This would be his attitude always. It was acquired at a cost. How could he forget its price tag of R.5,000?

About Subbaram Danda: 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. Photography is his cherished hobby. Editor's Comment: Funny satire on those little laughters life sends our way.


Memory Lapses

It

was a bright, sunny day. The

morning rays pierced through the window and strained the feeble, hopeless eyes of the old woman gazing at the window. She had struggled a lot in life but her effort did not go in vain for she had children, comfortably placed, with respect and dignity, at places far off. The faint, ringing of her mobile, hardly fell in her ears. It was a long, long, ring.....She fumbled and reached for it. Recognizing her son's voice at the other end, she wished him. It was his birthday and she remembered this, in particular, for her long time


memory was strong. She had an abiding respect for this son, who called her, come rain or shine, and kept track of her health and well-being. When he enquired about what she had for breakfast, she was blank...her grey cells failed to co-operate. It was then that she thought of her medicines. Had she taken them? She couldn’t remember. She saw the driver come running for the car key and she was clueless....for she had misplaced it. It was then that a burnt smell spread from the kitchen. It was the milk on the stove .She hurriedly ended the chat and murmured, in ire. She was in a dilemma, to rage upon herself or act it out on others. Time and age, closely knit, were chipping away her memories....She had to grab whatever she could and move on.....for memories were just on surface and not deep within...They drifted and the only solace was to go with the


tide, or exercise her grey matter to avoid losing it. A crossword puzzle was the only option at this age. She opened the cupboard but stood transfixed and blank. She had no clue as to what she was searching for.......

About Viji Nathan: Viji is a homemaker,takes a break from her routine,at times,to pursue her hobbies. Reading is like breathing fresh air and she never fails to pursue that. Real-life incidents get embedded and Memory Lapses is one such incident of her mother coping up with old age. Editor's Comment: Touching narrative about how life comes a full circle for all of us.


Where Was My Fault?

Where was my fault? I genuinely do not know... Thus starts the contemplation, When the genius brain commences thinking from its right side. Right side- Mind you, the emotional one. The requirements, as they were called. I knew perfectly well‌ knowing that I was the most capable one, over qualified even.


Then started the real downfall. It was a hasty compromise. Someone close, a brother was chosen, albeit as an option... And I was shown a cold shoulder, I thought‌"Will I be able to handle this with the strength of a boulder?" The world came crushing down upon me...When the stark realities were revealed very plainly. Acquiescence was extremely difficult... but that was regrettably the only option available. And thrown, I was, into an unending abyss... I lingered around, in the dark, for a while...Asked my brothers for help and advice. Help they did advised me a lot..."Cut the threads, end it brazenly" was said Comfort and solace was granted....


Why not? I confronted one day, heartbroken. "Unthinkable you are" "Unimaginable you are" "Confused I am, for my decisions are never correct...� "Don't want to think about this anymore" were the answers which were received... "Does she deserve you and your love?" Friends and Family kept saying that‌ Calling her names for what she had done... I kept silent, because deep down I knew, I still loved her and I wasn't buying that crap... Then came unthinkable blows, The chosen was discarded, deserted... Both the brothers were comfortless, abandoned and desolate. With the other's help each brother coped...


Perplexed befuddled were both, godforsaken... Time went by... Prejudiced was the verdict... a revelation, sickening Just when I found myself recovering; Was I thrown into the dark again… Still comprehending… Still contemplating... Still calculating… Was I really suitable? Appropriate? I know not. Because just then the brain switches over to that logical Left! The computer beeps… I realize. I’ve been thinking for a few milliseconds. And once again, a mind starts to work trained for logic; And the Right again is suppressed and it keeps screaming... The brothers come to a conclusion…


"We are made for something far greater than such useless discombobulating." About Poet: Maitreyee Editor's Comment: Deep and profound this is one poem that is bound to make you think.


The Awakening

"Atleast let me take you out for a cup of coffee." Nihal pleads for the tenth time today. I was busy at work, but he has been here every day since a month trying to ask me out. "Don't you have to be at work?" I look at him through my glasses. "Sia, I'm a businessman. I can work whenever I want to." He plays with the pen stand on my desk. Ofcourse I knew that he was a businessman. Nihal Dutta, the super-rich scion of the Dutta group of industries. His family


was into every business under the sun. From real estate, to textiles to hotels; they had it all under their family name. Why this millionaire was pursuing a simple receptionist like me was something that I could not understand. And more than that what I could not understand was how I fell in love with him. I had met him eight months ago at a hospital where I was admitted for dengue. He was visiting the person in the next bed and we had started talking about the cricket match that was going on. After that we continued to remain friends and would hang out once in a while. In about three months, I was head over heels in love with him. And from the looks of it, he was smitten too. But the whole situation seemed very unlikely to me and I knew deep in my heart that this was not right. "So, what do you say?" He breaks my reverie.


"Okay fine, what the hell." He does a small victory dance and helps me out of my chair. I wrap the scarf around my neck hastily and walk ahead with a smile on my face. He takes me to the poshest restaurant in town in his swanky black BMW. The restaurant overlooked the whole city and the height gave me a thrill. I look around in glee as he watches me with a grin. "I think you like the place." He signals to a waiter. "I love it! Thank you so much." I give him an impromptu hug and he embraces me tightly. I can feel his breath on my hair. I feel my insides melting and I wish that the world stood still for now. The waiter interrupts and Nihal escorts me to a corner table.


"Thank you Raman. We shall place the order shortly." He tells the waiter who is staring at me. "Sure Dutta sir. I'll come back later." He leaves after giving me another disgusting look. "Why did he look at me like that?" I ask Nihal. "Maybe it was all that PDA." He winks. I blush deep as he holds my hands. "You know I've fallen in love with you right?" He looks right into my eyes, like searching for a few answers. Sadly, I had none at this point of time. I nod and look away. He doesn't prod much and instead asks me what I will have. "You tell me. You seem to be the regular here." I chide him as he signals to the waiter again.


"Raman, we shall have the usual. Be generous on the spice though." He smiles at the waiter and melts me all over again. It is a sexy quality when men treat people lower to them really well. Nihal was excellent at it. While I was at the hospital I remember the way he used to address the nurses by their names and bring in small presents for them. He used to play with the children of visitors and made everyone around feel happy. It was mainly because of him that I healed quickly. We used to play scrabble and chess at my bed and he challenged me all the time. I felt happy having him around and I knew that he is the one with whom I could spend all my life with. This little sojourn of mine reminded me of the most important thing.


"Did you go to the hospital today?" There was a certain concern in my voice that changed the look on his face. "Yeah, I went there this morning. As usual." He looked away. "And?" "And the usual, no improvements. Just the way it always was." I squeeze his hand and force a smile out of him. "It will all be fine. Do not worry." I say as he nods. The waiter arrives with a tray of food and a pot of coffee. Soon, the conversation drifts and we are back to being the awesome twosome that we always were. His laugh made me feel alive and having him by my side made me feel so lucky. It was not because of the money. That was the last thing


on my mind. I just wanted him. His pleasing aura and personality drove me crazy and his modesty was what I had fallen for. I loved him so much that I could not think beyond him. I had ignored his feelings for a long time but I could no longer hold back my feelings for him. As I kept staring at him in the backdrop of the sunset, he comes closer and plants a kiss on my lips. I kiss him back as I taste the bitter coffee on his lips. I was never too fond of coffee, but now it was becoming my favorite. I look at him and see the love in his eyes. We sit there holding each other’s hands as we watch the sun go down. An hour later, he drops me back to my apartment that I share with my best friend. “Was that Nihal Dutta?� She asks as soon as I set my foot in.


“Yeah, we went out for coffee today.” I say nonchalantly. “Oh wow, seriously? So you are going to marry a millionaire.” She sings playing a piano in the air. “Let us not build castles in the air now Simi. Relax.” I say and walk to the bathroom. Later during dinner Simi looks at me with concern. “What is it?” I blurt out. “You do know about him right? About his……” Simi sounded worried. “Yeah I know. Exactly why I don’t know how to go about this.” I look away. “Sia, you love him right?” She pulls my face to look at me in the eye. “You know I do. I’m crazy about him.”


“And what about the…” “Age difference? It’s okay Simi. Twelve years is not that big a deal.” I try to argue. “That’s not the only thing. You are hanging on to uncertainty here.” She tries to make me understand, but I already know that. As I lay awake at bed that night, I get a call. Nihal’s name flashes on the screen along with heart bubbles. I smile as I answer. “Will you let me sleep, please?” I reprimand him playfully. “I will if you will.” He says hoarsely. “Don’t you have a meeting early tomorrow?” “Yes, but I cannot stop thinking of you.”


“Really? Why?” “I think you know why. I wish you were here now.” There was an urge in his voice this time. The fact that he was craving for me thrilled me. The sexual hint was obvious, but I was not sure yet. Still, I was pleased that he wanted me. “Well, tonight I am not. Someday maybe.” I say slowly. “Maybe? Lady I am not going to let you get away. That day is close when you will be by my side every night.” He says proudly. “Let’s see. For now, night!” I say reluctantly.

good

“Don’t do this to me Sia. Don’t drive me so crazy. I love you. I love you so much.” I could almost hear the sincerity. My heart ached for him too. I wanted to be there, right in his


arms, against his strong chest, smelling his fragrance. I was getting turned on myself. “I’ll see you tomorrow Nihal.” I say and hang up. As expected Nihal was back at the office the next day. This time dressed in complete work wear. A crisp slim fit shirt tucked into equally well fitting trousers, with shiny black shoes. The blazer fit him like it was made for him and the tie enhanced the color of his dark brown eyes. I could almost see the six pack abs inside his shirt. I look at him like I was seeing God for the first time. He walks to my desk and taps the table. “Did you just hang up on me last night?” He asks. “Yes, I did. So?” I say playfully. “If you do not want me to bother you, I shall not.” He walks out.


I am shocked. I lock my laptop and run behind him. As I walk out, I see him leaning against his car. My heart skips a beat as I see him. Yes, again. “I knew you would come.” He grins. “What is this? Is this a joke to you? I thought you were angry.” I scream at him. “They say you only get angry at the people you love.” He smirks. My anger just disappears and I start laughing with him. He pulls me close and plants a kiss on my forehead. I hug him tight, never wanting to let go. “Now go back. I need to go to the hospital. I’ll pick you up after work. Sharp at 7. Okay?” “Okay.” I walk back with a smile on my face.


I hear his car right outside my window at exact 7 pm. That was another thing about Nihal. He is punctuality personified and extremely well organized. He wants his things to be done in a particular manner and he chooses to do it himself. Which is nice, because he doesn’t trouble anybody else. I pack my things and bid goodbye to my colleagues and step outside. He greets me with a hug. He is dressed in the same attire as morning and yet he looks fresh and smells refreshing. I suddenly am conscious by the way I look. Maybe I should have checked my make up before leaving. “You look lovely.” He says and pecks my cheek. “Really? With smudged kohl and undone lips?” I ask sarcastically.


“Even if you had done them I would have undone them.” He winks making me smile. “So, where are we headed?” I ask him as I try to adjust my makeup looking at the front mirror. “You will see.” He continues to drive. In a short while we are at a huge villa and I see him open the gate using a remote. The security guard salutes him and he smiles back. “I don’t believe this. This is your house?” I ask as we drive towards the parking lot. “Yeah.” He grins as he parks the car. I get out of the car and look around in awe. There must be atleast around fifteen cars there. “All these belong to you?”


“Some. Most of them belong to the business.” And here I was. I had been saving up for three years a buy a bike of my own and have been travelling in local buses until now. It suddenly felt like a culture shock and I felt very small. It must have shown on my face. “Hey, don’t let it get to you. None of this matters you know. At the end of the day every man is alone.” He tries to cheer me up. I nod and walk with him down the pathway which is surrounded by excellent maintained plants. I could see strawberry shrubs too and I was tempted to pick one up, but then refrained from doing so. “Nihal, why have you got me here?” I had forgotten this


thanks to all the riches I was exposed to. “I wanted you to see where I live.” He says casually. The door opens and I see a man smiling at us. “Good evening Sir.” “Good evening Pratap. This is my friend Sia.” Nihal says as we walk in. “Nice to meet you.” I say with a smile that Pratap does not acknowledge. Nihal takes my bag and jacket from me and escorts me to the drawing room which is almost as big as my company’s auditorium. Soon another staff worker comes in with a tray of fresh juice and some cookies. “Wow, you stinky rich idiot.” I mock him.


“Hahaha, get used to it lady.” His laugh warms the cockles of my heart. We spoke for a while about the house as we had the snacks. The staff kept passing by with a weird look on their faces. “Come let me show you around.” Nihal extends his hand out. We walk upstairs into another living space which is as big as the drawing room. There is a huge television with a home theatre on one side and a floor to ceiling book shelf on the other, stacked with books of different genres. I look at it in awe. If there was something called heaven, this would be it. “This way.” He breaks my thoughts. Like almost hypnotized, I walk behind him into the most exquisite bedroom that I have ever seen.


“Oh my God. This is crazy.” I look around. The room was done completely in shades of black and white. The furniture matched the curtains perfectly and everything stood out on its own. “This is my haven. The place where I think of you all the time.” He says. I rush into his arms and lose myself. His lips find mine and soon he is kissing me all over. I could feel the hunger in him and this time I did not want to hold back. His hands were all over my body, exploring areas that I did not know existed. I was like putty in his hands and I was melting with every touch. I couldn’t take it anymore. I started unbuttoning his shirt, when he held my hands tight.


“No, I know you are not ready for this yet.” He looks into my eye. “But….” “It’s okay Sia. I know how tough this has been for you. You can take your time. I totally understand. I love you and we will do this only when you are completely ready in your heart and mind.” I escorts me to the seating area. I look outside the window with tears in my eyes. This guy was so amazing and so respectful of my thoughts. And I loved him like crazy and all that I wanted was him. He was perfect in every way possible and it would be an honor for me to be with him. I wanted to let go and be his today. But one thing in my mind held me back. There was no doubt in my mind that he was perfect for me. But I could not help but think what would happen, when his wife wakes up from her coma.


About Soumya Prasad: Soumya is an avid reader and a passionate writer who works as a Software Engineer in Bangalore. Danielle Steel is her inspiration and she hopes to publish her own novel some day. A hardcore romantic, most of her stories and poems are about love and the various shades of it. She is also a fashion critic, baker, dancer and a painter and in love with anything this gets her creative juices flowing. She loves spinning tales and uses her real life stories as an inspiration. Rhymed poetry is her perfect orgasm. Editor's Comment: Love is so complicated, one moment it makes your world and the next it mars it completely.


The Crack

They say that the eyes are the mirror of one’s soul. Still, there are people, who can brilliantly mask the emotions. The below lines were written for my birthday, when I sat pensive. Dedication to myself for my birthday on 17th May. Please read on: Another Birthday? Oh! Monkey mind, Should you be happy Or, saddened?


The question too stark Nudging your face now. Right from birth Wings chopped And Clipped, An unknown fear Instilled within, ever since! Your soul feels bruised From time immemorial, With haunting penury Ridicule, and abuse.

No gifts, no balloons, Ugh! Luxurious, the days Of cakes and movies. Depressed Mind, Lonely self and Suicidal thoughts, The comrades. Fake faces and Venomous smile A daily scene. Ah, You're an introvert,


They say! Hey, you! Look into his eyes, Can you see the crack?

Guess now, Is he, jubilant or bereaved?

About Ajay Pai: Ajay Pai is a banker by profession and blogger at heart. The crack is a selfdedication poem. He can be reached at his email id is : ajaybpai123@gmail.com Editor's Comment: Poem depicts the vulnerabilities of human mind.


Dad Knew Nothing – When I Was Young

The relationship between fathers and sons is one of the timeless themes of literature. This is as it should be, since the nuances of this relationship are as varied as the personalities of fathers and sons. At the age of 15, I considered myself a know-all in relation to my father. I ignored whatever advice he gave me. I thought that my father knew nothing. This supercilious attitude was due partly to the fact that I went to a private, somewhat


elitist school and my father had not completed high school. At the age of 25, I admitted, rather reluctantly, that my father had some idea of the how the modern world worked. This was largely because I became aware of the skills he had used to overcome a number of odds. My grandfather, a rich landowner who leased fields to tenant farmers in his native Sind in undivided India, had one weakness. He loved to speculate on the stock market. When hope outpaced prudence, my grandfather had to sell his lands. The biggest impact of this turn of fortune was felt by my father. He tearfully left school at the age of 16 and started working. Four years later, at the age of 20, my father traveled from Sind to Singapore to work in a relative's department store. World War II broke out just as he was about to complete his


two-year stint. His hard work attracted the attention of another friend of the family. This friend was on the board of a company of international chain stores. He asked my father to open a store in Shillong, India, close to the border where India, Burma and China meet. Shillong was a rest and recuperation station for British troops at that time, and his employer benefited from my father's overseas experience in dealing with foreigners. Shillong is where I went to school. My father chose to send me to a private school even though he could ill-afford the fees. He tightened his belt to give me something that circumstances had snatched away from him: the gift of education. It was his way of living through me. Only around the age of 30 did I understand the magnitude of his sacrifice. By the time I was 35, I began to credit him with


having an instinct for understanding and handling situations and people. I observed how his approach varied with the situation or the personalities involved. Over and over again I saw him listening patiently to customers who told him hard luck stories - and extending credit to them even when he knew he was being taken for a ride. I was also a witness to the humor he tapped to diffuse an argument between two neighbors or iron out differences between members of his staff. A well-turned, light-hearted phrase calmed ruffled feathers without fail. The education he had provided me enabled me to make a career in the export trade overseas, in Taiwan. By the time I was 50, I began to consult him, long distance, and ask him how I should handle the dilemmas that my


work threw at me. His suggestions invariably worked. By 55, I began to make up problems and ask him on the phone how I should handle them. I did this so that I could inherit his mind when his body left the earth. That happened shortly after he crossed his 82nd year. Today, when contradictions and doubts assail me, I pause and wonder what advice my father would have given me. I do this because I am now convinced that Dad, Herkishendas Melwani, knew everything. About Murli Melwani: Murli Melwani's short stories have been published in magazines in various countries, including U.S.A, Hong Kong and India. His stories have been nominated for a number awards, including the Pushcart Prize. A few have been included in anthologies, including Stories


from Asia: Major Writers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh (Longman Imprint Books, U.K).He is the author of a collection of short stories, a play in Three Acts, and 2 books of literary criticism. He is part of the team that runs http://indianshortstoryinengli sh.com/ an archival database that encourages readers to post reviews of collections of short stories. Editor's Comment: A poignant piece of how our parents are our first school always, the place where we learn some of the most important lessons of life.


And‌In The Fullness Of Time

Between the beginnings and the ends; There is time that unfurls, And the distinct universe does unfold. Between being loved and unloved; The mere state of one’s being turns unbeing, Distances grow, endless chapters locked within; Between prologue and epilogue.


Between being happy and unhappy; Everything dwindles to become an impression. Between yesterday and tomorrow; Today is the best day, irrevocable too, Let it sink in fervently. Between being touched and untouched; Are, surreptitious glances exchanged, Till the magic wanes; Between being kissed and unkissed. Between being valued and unvalued; Are, sentiments and emotions, That behest to be felt. When there are million seconds to fill in; Between words and silence. Time seems to stand still; Between being spoken to and remain unspoken. And eventually, time flies; Between being expressed and unexpressed.


Nonetheless; that which demands to be Felt is unfelt, Loved is unloved, Valued is unvalued, Expressed is unexpressed, And, in the fullness of time; Lost.

About Dipanwita Chakraborty: Dipanwita is a full time Business Development Executive. A writer, reader, blogger and photographer out of work. She writes about her thoughts and experiences in her blog “Cocktails, Mocktails and Life” (http://talesfromtherainbow.b logspot.in). She also loves to travel places and considers her travel experiences to be her muse. E-mail Iddipanwiita@gmail.com Editor's Comment: A beautiful ode to the most bittersweet thing of today’s world – TIME.


Book Review - I

:Intro: The book is based on the author’s motorcycle journey from Pune to Ladakh and


Kargil - a travel story which takes the reader through the hot and dusty plains of India to the higher mountains of the vast Himalayan range many covered in snow even in June. Weaving its way along coastal roads of western India, to Goa, with pig toilets and palm liquor, the story winds through old and new stories - one from a holy-man cycling from Mumbai to Mecca, another about the meditation technique of Vipassana, yet another of a light-hearted congame at a scout's camp in Rajasthan - the tale finally takes you to the highest motorable road in the world the fabled Khardung-La. You'll meet Sufi saints, fake fakirs and homesick soldiers. You'll get stuck in an icy road river and be miraculously rescued. You'll feel the stress an average Kashmiri experiences every day. You'll see how blind and dangerous religion can be if it is only


followed in rituals and illogical beliefs. You'll see how friendly and hospitable everyone is on the roads of India. You'll come away feeling exhilarated, entertained and yes, also exhausted by the physical arduousness of the motorcycle ride.

:Book Review: 1. Cover: The cover is very enticing and inviting as it has a very picturesque image of the mountains as the backdrop with a bike in the front. 2. Presentation: The presentation of the book is very simple, as the author strives to strike a chord with the reader. He begins with the most simplest of things that is planning a travel and takes you along on his journey by providing the smallest detail possible of the same.


3. Narration: The narration of the book is perfect from the beginning till the end, not a single place where he makes you feel bored. Rather at times it reminds of you those campfire nights where you would huddle together to listen to some interesting tales. Here the narrator is the author and you feel as if you are huddled around a bon fire waiting for him to continue, as his stories take away your sleep and make you dream with open eyes. 4. Language: The book being a travelogue needs to have a very easy going language and this is where the author scores a brownie point as he manages to ensure his language connect with the reader. He has used very simple words liberally sprinkled with day to day language and Hindi to make it more entertaining. He makes you visualize places with his vivid descriptions which in a travelogue is a very strong point of the whole book.


5. Pros: The pro, the strongest one of this book is the way the author speaks about his passion for travel. That reflects throughout the book with the same tone, not a single place where it wavers or makes you feel dreary. This is one entertaining book, almost equivalent to your travelling on your own. 6. Cons: NA

:Overview: The overall rating for the book would be 4.7 out of 5. The author manages to make you travel along with him on this exciting journey. WE team would like to thank Fingerprint Publishing House for sending across this book for review and would also like to wish them all the best for all


their future endeavours. After Random and Penguin, this is one publishing house to look out for with their consistent quality of books being delivered time and again.


Author Interview – I

Ajit Harisinghani lives in Pune, India. He is fairly nonambitious, easy going kind of guy, who finds life a breeze and who enjoys living in India precisely because it is a place of surprises, thrills and chills! He believes in JRD Tata's adage "Live Life a little dangerously". He believes that an obsession with 'security' is the hallmark of an insecure mind. By profession he is a speech therapist, trained in Mumbai and later on in various locations in the USA. www.speechfoundation.com is


his work-website which focuses on helping young adults overcome speech problems like stammering, unclear speech, etc. He has travelled overland across the USA, around the world on the hippie-train in the late 70s, and on a motorcycle from Pune to Ladakh (Northmost), Thimpu, Bhutan (North-East) and Kanyakumari - the southern most tip of India, with numerous rides to Goa. Next year (presuming one is alive), he plans to ride to northwestern India - through the blazing deserts of Rajasthan to Jaisalmer. There he shall walk amidst the forts and imagine that he's a Rajput king! The blurb of his book reads: The book is based on the author’s motorcycle journey from Pune to Ladakh and Kargil - a travel story which takes the reader through the hot and


dusty plains of India to the higher mountains of the vast Himalayan range many covered in snow even in June. Weaving its way along coastal roads of western India, to Goa, with pig toilets and palm liquor, the story winds through old and new stories - one from a holy-man cycling from Mumbai to Mecca, another about the meditation technique of Vipassana, yet another of a light-hearted con-game at a scout's camp in Rajasthan - the tale finally takes you to the highest motorable road in the world - the fabled KhardungLa. You'll meet Sufi saints, fake fakirs and homesick soldiers. You'll get stuck in an icy road river and be miraculously rescued. You'll feel the stress an average Kashmiri experiences every day. You'll see how blind and dangerous religion can be if it is only followed in rituals and illogical beliefs. You'll see how friendly


and hospitable everyone is on the roads of India. You'll come away feeling exhilarated, entertained and yes, also exhausted by the physical arduousness of the motorcycle ride.

Join us in this interview as WE tries to know the real him:


1. A warm welcome to Writer’s Ezine. Having read your book One life to ride the first question that comes to the mind of a reader is how does it feel to be on a constant wanderlust? Thank you for the welcome. In my case, this question about being on a constant wanderlust is being asked a decade too late because like most of my other ‘lusts’ (ha ha), this one too has found fulfilment and is in the process of sublimation. But yes, I have spent large portions of my life wandering about the globe. In the late 70s, I travelled the Hippie trail - starting off from California - zig-zagging through the US, Europe, India and then the near and far east. Those years of travel taught me more about the world and myself than any university could, and I was hooked. Once in a while the wanderlust still emerges the last time in March this year when I went for a solo 800 kms, 8 day ride to the Konkan coast


on my new 500 cc Royal Enfield Desert Storm. How does it feel? Exciting - of not-knowing what the day’s ride will throw at you - the thrill of uncertainty - that’s what adds spice to a day. Also, the ride tests my physical and mental body like no other medical test can! Now I’m becoming garrulous - after all, I am 65 years old! 2. How do you plan your trip? India offers a wide variety of destinations, but on motorcycle journeys, the road counts for more than the destination. I choose based on weather and time the journey to avoid the tourist season. Then I get the motorcycle in top mechanical condition and pack in all possible tools and spares. I don’t pre-book any hotel-stay because it allows me the freedom to stop anywhere. I prefer to avoid taking highways and plan my route through villages not often heard of. I make sure I have enough clean


water and nutritious dry-food. These are open-ended journeys - full of interesting real-life encounters with the fascinating people you meet. Too much planning can spoil the trip. 3. There are various reasons for people to travel, leisure, family bonding etc. What’s yours? If we are talking only about my solo cross-country motorcycle rides, my reasons are many: First, its a time of prolonged introspection a kind of selftherapy. Leaving routine behind and entering a world that changes daily, one can take a look at oneself from a distance. Then there is the sheer pleasure of being on an open road, astride a powerful machine, watching all kinds of worlds whizz by. It’s good to meet different types of people who walk India’s roads from fakes to genuine fakirs. Also, I like putting myself through a self-test of physical endurance.


All organs are tested to the limit on a bike. 4. Did you travel along with a diary making notes all through the journey which later on transformed into this book? While on the road from Pune to Ladakh (all 4300 kilometres of it), my central interest was survival! Riding a 2-wheeler demands total attention. By the end of the day, I was so fatigued that I thought of only bath, food and sleep. There was no plan to write a book and no diary to take notes. But every minute of the ride from Pune to Ladakh became etched so clearly in my memory that I can still (after 11 years) re-live it in 3-D. 5. They say that home is something we all crave for despite travelling the whole world. But for every traveller the world is their oyster and it becomes their home. Your thoughts on this.


Yes, the world is our oyster but I guess we all have one special place we call home. Travelling the way I do, often I encounter discomfort, distress or even danger. There are times when all you want is the security of your own familiar bed. I travel because I can come home. 6. What was the inspiration behind writing this book? Was it to share your travel experiences, or inspire other travel enthusiasts or simply capture the beauty of the mystical India? I wrote for the sheer selfish pleasure of re-living this journey of my life. Along the way someone suggested I do it as a book. The idea of being an author was flattering so my ego must have something to do with it. But yes, I wanted to show India through the eyes of an Indian who is rooted here and loves the country he is riding through. I also wanted that the book should inspire adventure


travel in India amongst Indians of all ages. 7. Your book has been an easy read making a reader travel with you in spirit. How easy or difficult was it to recreate this experience? It was not difficult once I decided to write as an observer not as a judge. I focussed on showing not telling. Riding a bike is a sensual experience in that I mean all 5 senses are on full alert. So I have tried to recreate the sounds, sights and smells, the bounce, the breeze and also sometimes the brazenness that makes up the ambience of an Indian road. 8. For a first time writer, this book is exceptionally well written. What was that one thing that you kept in mind whilst you worked on this book? This might make me sound like Donald Trump (whom I can’t stand) but I started this book deciding it will a best-seller.


Then I just worked my way backwards. Easy! 9. Any particular favourite memory from this book or otherwise from this trip? Meeting with the Sufi baba, talking with lonely, home-sick soldiers, seeing Kashmiri families from close, bonechilling winds, the crystallake in the Himalayas (Suraj Tal) the book is full of memories. 10. What are the three most essential things you never plan your travel without? First I never travel without an abundance of tolerance for all levels of human activity. The world is full of interesting people but sometimes it can stretch your forbearance. Second, I never travel without my sense of humour. Difficulties can become funny seen from a changed perspective. Thirdly, and most importantly, I make sure I’m carrying enough money.


11. Amongst all the travelling that you have done, is there any particular place that you would want to visit once again? First I never travel without an abundance of tolerance for all levels of human activity. The world is full of interesting people but sometimes it can stretch your forbearance. Second, I never travel without my sense of humour. Difficulties can become funny seen from a changed perspective. Thirdly, and most importantly, I make sure I’m carrying enough money. 12. Have you come across any place in your travel expeditions which you wished was your home? That’s what’s really happened with me. I came to Pune as a tourist and decided I liked it enough to live here. 13. On a lighter note if given a choice whom would you


like to be your pillion ride on one of your expeditions? On a lighter note, I like my pillion riders lighter - preferably in the late 40s kilogram segment! On a slightly heavier note, I’d like someone with whom I can be silent with. 14. Any message that you would like to give to your readers and other travel enthusiasts? What better than JRD Tata’s advice : “Live Life a Little Dangerously”.

Thank you very much for your time


Fortune In The Belly

Standing there, chortling in the corner Observing things, just like a foreigner. Gives you joy in spreading your charm saving from things that may cause harm! You stand all straight and steady,


Protruding your belly, spreading the happiness already! They say you bring wealth and good luck They say your smile brings joy and happiness that was all stuck They say you bring peace and harmony in the family Unraveling all the matters affably! Carrying a magic stick in one hand, Holding the pack of happiness that it withstands The robe that it carries, Hides the power of all fairies Delightful it is, for it brings prosperity in the house Or else people have this habit of non-stop grouse! That exuberance in the eyes And the sense of exaltation in the smiles Blessed we people are Who have you to take our worries afar


The fortune you that you bring And the praises that people sing Is nothing but one’s own deeds That decides the path it leads For you are there to churn out all the weeds So that malevolence never gets feeds! ˜Laughing Buddha” so they say for some it’s their everything, while for others it’s just a clay!


About Geetika Gupta: Geetika is a passionate teacher and finds solace in the joys of her students. Writing is one thing that helps her be and brings out the best forms of expressions. Reading, writing, learning new things, meeting new people and travelling are few of her interests. Intelligence, humour and honesty attract her the most. She lusts for knowledge and quenches her thirst in finding out the answers for herself. Compassionate, empathetic, enthusiastic, full of life, curious, wanderer are few of the words that describe her best. Loves excitement and is a sucker for love. Editor's Comment: You will never look at a Laughing Buddha again without thinking about this poem.


Paper Boat

Sitting in a coffee shop, with a beautiful book to read, seeing the raindrops falling, all over the leaves, Through the fogged mirror, something catches my attention, a little girl rushes in the rain, with such utter excitement, She sits at the pavements, and sails the paper boat, that glides over the rain tide, with no one aboard, The girl sees the boat,


till it's out of sight, sighed a beautiful prayer, with all faith in her might, And I sit and wonder, where did we fall apart?, turning the pages of books, is that what we really are? She saw me sitting inside, signalled me to join, I learned the paper-boat again, indeed it sailed pretty fine.


About Shashank Bhardwaj: Shashank Bhardwaj, is a new aspiring poet. He is been writing for the past three months. He has started his writing ventures through the aforementioned blog and has managed to write about 50 poems till now. The writer is silent reader who loves the smell of old books. He is a big foodie and traveler. He is presently about to enter his professional life as a System Engineer. His passions are writing and reading. Editor's Comment: Childhood is one of the best periods of one life.


My Life My Choice

10:00 A.M. Abha’s mother rushed to her overcrowded room. She pushed a colored pile of gifts blocking the door. Abha sat in front of the mirror, stroking her ebony black hairs. “Abha, here’s a parcel for you.” Her worn-out mother handed it over. Before she could say something else, she was called by Abha’s father. “Mr. Sharma is here,” he said without giving a single glance to Abha. Her hardworking parents left her with her package. Usually, they would’ve strummed her with questions but not today. Today, they were busy


preparing for their oldest daughter’s marriage. Abha sighed and continued playing with her hair.

11:30 A.M. Little girls giggled and jumped around Abha. The mehendi girl had arrived. She walked down, smiling at the kids who treated her like a celebrity. It was a long walk: down the stairs that smelled of flowers, into the hall littered with cartons of sweets, snacks, and decorative lights. Some distant uncle of Abha’s was glowering at her boy cousins helping out with the decorations. Abha and her gang of girls walked passed them into the room at the corner. The boys side-glanced at their soon-tobe-married cousin. Abha caught their eyes and gave them a fleeting smile. The mehendi girl, apparently called Rina, was already busy applying elaborate designs


onto the hands of several of Abha’s older cousins. But they immediately emptied space on her arrival. Instead of getting her hands painted first, she pulled up her saree to the knees. Rina, although looking confused, didn’t question her and started making swirls with her mehendi cone on Abha’s right foot. Her hands abruptly stopped. She stared at Abha with her brow raised. Abha smiled and told her to carry on. Rina obliged and continued applying mehendi on Abha’s tattooed leg. 2:00 P.M. Ordinarily, the marriage ceremonies would have taken place for at least three days as per the Hindu traditions but the groom, or rather the groom’s family, had insisted on reducing it to one. Everything had been arranged in accordance with the groom’s family. Abha wasn’t asked when she was taken to the marriage meeting, nor was she


asked when her marriage had been arranged. This came as no surprise to her. But what did shock her was how insignificant her opinions were regarding decisions of her own life. Abha’s suitcases had been packed with all the essentials—the jewellery, the glittering sarees, the gifts, the cosmetics … everything besides the clothes she actually wore and novels she loved. She wouldn’t need them while she complied with her soon-to-be in-laws’ house rules which were particular: no “western” clothes and no “unnecessary” baggage. Abha twirled the ring on her left hand. The day they had gone to buy her an engagement ring, her groom had skipped the jewellery shop to get into an apparels store. In his opinion, Abha and his mother were sufficient to take care of the “women stuff”.


Abha’s stomach grumbled. The compulsory fast made her feel edgy, especially since it was the first time she hadn’t eaten food for several hours. She pulled open a drawer. Her eyes shifted from the bar of chocolate to the unopened bottle of tiny white pills. She gulped. The door opened loudly. She pushed the drawer close. Her relatives swarmed around her, the smell of perfume mixed with sweat made her feel nauseous. 4:00 P.M. “Abha, it’s time. Hurry up to the parlour.” Abha’s deep-red mehendi reached up the shoulders where she swung her bag. “Who’s going with you? Mita, Roshni, and—” “Mummy, Subu would be fine.” Abha looked at her younger sister. “Only the two of you? But—”


“Mummy, we know the place. It’s not like we’ve ever been anywhere else.” Abha’s sister, younger to her by three years, said. Abha had always admired her headstrong sister. She’d managed to get superb marks in all her exams and then left to pursue her dreams. Unlike Abha, who did whatever her parents told her to, Subu did what she wanted to even though it resulted in long arguments with their parents, especially with their father. Abha never felt like fighting until the day when she was pushed into matrimony with a man older to her by seven years and not at all the kind of man she could dream of spending the rest of her life with. But Abha got engaged anyways and today she would be married off. 7:00 P.M. Abha and her sister had left for the beauty-parlour two hours


ago. Their aunties and cousins fussed over. Abha’s mother was shaking. The groom was nearing the gate—his colorful band playing loud music. Abha’s parents had spent considerable amount of their fortune into the marriage. Whatever the groom’s family demanded, they complied with. There was just one thing they may not be able to give them now. Gasps and jibber-jabber followed when people gazed at Abha’s empty room. Over the wall by her study-table were written words in a mix of lipstick and nail-paint: My life, my choice. From the table, a Laughing Buddha smiled generously at them. Scattered around it were several sleeping pills, as if Abha had prayed a deity but used pills instead of flower petals. 5:00 P.M. “You’ll be all right then?”


Abha asked while looking over Subu’s shoulder. Passengers frisked by them in hurrying footsteps. “Get on with it or you’ll miss the flight to New York.” Subu said. Abha planted a kiss on her sister’s forehead. She never wanted to involve her, but she couldn’t hide herself from the only person who knew her the best. It was a month ago when Subu had found out. While looking for Abha’s credit card in her purse, she’d come across the visa and the statement of fixed deposits. “Subu I—” “If you hadn’t asked, who would have driven you to the airport? Get on with it idiot.” Subu tsked. There wasn’t a trace of sadness on her face. Instead, there was a light, a hope for her sister, and maybe pride too. Abha rubbed her eyes and wiped her nose on the sleeve of her t-shirt. Taking out her


smartphone from the pocket of her jeans, she insisted on a selfie with her sister. Announcement was made, clicks and chatters followed, and Abha rushed to the closing gate. She waved, Subu stuck out her tongue. They both laughed, their eyes wet. 7:00 P.M. Abha looked down from the tightly shut glass of the airplane. In the dark sky, she couldn’t see anything, but her future was clear to her, clearer than it had ever been. “My life, my choice.”

About Parmita Dubey: The Unofficial Writer, Parmita Dubey, is an elusive reader, aspiring author, imaginative blogger and a Master in Business Administration (only in degree). Over twenty in age, she is still trying to define her true self up to no fruitful end.


With hundreds of poems, a couple of action-fantasy novels, a few dozen of short stories, unaccounted articles, and never ending abstract quotations penned down over the past few years, she eagerly awaits the day when her name would need no introduction. Editor's Comment: In a country where daughters are treated as mere commodities this story is one that is heart touching.


The Snowman

Wood sticks for the arms A carrot for the long nose, Rounded with a scarf Head sports the brown hat Pebbles for the button eyes, Looking short and fat Ready to embrace The bundle of ice delights, Like a sight of grace Cold storm blew so fast Altering his perfect form, His arms did not last


Followed suit the scarf, No longer mirrored a dwarf, Wind played a spoil sport He could only pray That the sun will not betray But, soon it came out In utter dismay, Remains scattered on the ground, He melted away. Now life awaits spring, Till he returns next winter With even more zing. About Naina Manchanda: Naina is an avid reader and a dreamer, who believes that the world of words is her sanctuary. She welcomes feedback and constructive criticism. You can reach her at enigmaticthinker18@gmail.co m. Editor's Comment: Wonderfully written makes you visualize!

haiku


Love In Paris

On top of Eiffel My desire got fulfilled Holding her hand close to my heart I wish we never get apart It was like dream come true After what we both went through Now it’s time to celebrate O darling!! Keep your faith Take my hand, take my heart. You've made me whole, from the start. A special place for you and me An undying bond to guide us free Loneliness blocking the day


Our Love lighting the way Your gentle touch Your smiling face There is no corner No dark place Our passion flowing in the waves My heart stands still Awaiting your pace.

About Ajay Vyas: Ajay Vyas is poet who is also an engineer and a management student. Basically belonging to Gwalior The heart of India, he is an amateur writer waiting for his first novel to be published. Editor's Comment: Love is what makes the world go around.


Lost

My dear stinging bee, It’s your nectar writing this... If you think my nectar is impure Then you are wrong... I might have fallen in love with him once but even he could not stand The weight of my nectar... If you got my nectar without much fight, it was because My nectar waited for only you...


In the world of nectars, Every drop of nectar is unique... If you got one, Consider you are lucky... If you read this, Consider you lost it forever...

About Ram Govardhan: Ram Govardhan’s first novel, Rough with the Smooth, was longlisted for the 2009 Man Asian Literary Prize, The Economist-Crossword 2011 Award and published by Leadstart Publishing, Mumbai. His short stories have appeared in Asian Cha, Quarterly Literary Review of Singapore, Muse India, Asia Writes, Open Road Review, Cerebration, Spark and several


other Asian and African literary journals. He somehow survives the deadly humidity of Chennai, India. He can be reached at ram.govardhan@ymail.com Editor's Comment: A mystical narration.


Her Journey of Selfdiscovery

..And

then she stumbled upon a quote which read, "And when you look at a person, any person, remember that everyone has a story. Everyone has gone through something that has changed them." Her eyes kept staring at those words till the mobile screen light went off. Something hit her hard. She has been turning weak lately. Despite the fractures she recovered from post the car accident, the doctor's advice of complete rest affected her mobility and the stiffness of muscles restricted her. Her


basic chores were dependent and prolonged inactivity created confinement. She kept sinking in a state of physical and mental captivity. But those strings of words encouraged her. It was like an assertive pat of buoyancy to her demoralized soul, making her realize the void she lived in for weeks and how it made her desolated. She thought to herself, "I too have a story and.. a change to discover within me." Zestfulness encompassed her and she was determined to document the pain she had endured to liberate her morale trapped within the walls of pessimism. “Day 1: I feel depressed. Life seems painful.." There were long pauses and her fingers struggled to type her infirmity in the digital diary. Those few words made sense to her and the plunge was taken.


“Day 5: Last night, Mom said I should thank God for saving me and I think she's right. Today, I started to perform prayers. It gave me inner peace. I feel humble. God is great." “Day 10: Prayers are going fine as I promised. We so take our lives for granted. I never thought there would be so much pleasure in doing simple things. The Physiotherapy lessons are aiding in my physical betterment. When I see people running, bending down effortlessly, taking stairs sans fear, my heart wishes to do the same, with the same sense of freedom. Getting physically restricted made me think over God's blessing on us. I never gave a thought to these actions when I was well, but today everything counts. When I perform the exercises at the clinic and the doc shows thumbs up, a sense of accomplishment runs through


me and that gesture is enough to make my day." “Day 20: Feeling much better. The Physiotherapist is happy with my progress. Writing is healing me. Prayers are magic. When you connect to God, you value life. You see the beauty in your possessions and your actions. Kneeling down before your creator and asking his help appeases you. He plans everything for a reason better known by him but we fail to realize that. This accident did hinder my life for a while, but when I bowed before him and TRIED to put all my worries unto Him, ask His help, share my pain with Him, I attained sheer peace and tranquility. This accident, I feel, was His way of getting me close to Him in order to better my perception towards life." “Day 30: Yesterday I met the Doctor and she says I'm improving. The


Physiotherapist has reduced my visits to twice a week. Life is getting better. I plan to visit an Orphanage after full recovery and spend some time with the children there. Well, I intend to do a lot of things I didn't enjoy doing earlier- pet an animal, plant a tree and taste all the happiness that perches in the ordinary aspects of life. Life has transformed and I thank God for it. I get up every day with a smile and appreciate what I own. I did have a story in me and a change waiting to happen... it did! Life is beautiful :)" Seated at the writing table, she opens the drawer to take out a hand-made frame adorned with beautiful beads at the edges and a note written in the center, in a graceful handwriting which reads, "The true nectar of life resides in letting things go". Holding the frame firm in her hand, she says, "This message is the


essence of a special phase my life is experiencing and I'm going to hold it tight within the clutches of my thoughts forever. So framey, you're going to be my first sight for the day, every day, Alright?"

About Amreen Bashir Shaikh: Amreen Bashir Shaikh is a Web Designer by profession and writes at leisure. She has her poems published in "Muse India", "The Paperbook Collective", "The Tophat Raven", "Blue Monday Review" and a poetry anthology in the UK. She has published a Poetry E-Book "Thoughtfully Crafted Words" on issuu.com early in 2014 which received many good reviews and


appreciation alike. She blogs on painttheworldwithwords.word press.com about Poetry. Editor's Comment: The truth of life encompassed in this post.

is


Walking My Way

I think I walked a lot those days. To this day I have not learnt to drive a car, a scooter, nay, not even a bicycle. In my early teens I tried to learn the art of cycling for a brief period. But I committed the mistake of choosing a cousin's huge black Street Cat for learning. The decision to learn to ride was hard and steadfast until I fell down scraped my elbows and knees and bled. Benzoin and agonized wails again and I gave up my case as a useless one.

I decided and argued with those benevolent family members who tried to persuade me to learn 'the art of


driving' that I need more reaction time than others and by then I would have the automobile crashed onto some poor pedestrian or another vehicle. I accepted my case as an absent minded typically dreamy one never capable of being stirred into such high alert activities.

I loved walking those days. I remember the long walks from bus stand where the school bus dropped me to my rented home away from the main street. I typically remember it, for I enjoyed the dreams I relapsed into during the long walk. I used dreaming as a shield to guard me from the fear that might have come with walking alone through the somewhat deserted area. The green paddy fields on the right built dreams in my eyes- the typical dreams of a just about then teenager. I realised I was growing out of my childhood by the rosier colour of my dreams.


I pictured in those days a little home surrounded by fields where I lived with my future family. No faces then, only I knew I had a family - I found myself looking out of a beautiful window, the interiors lit up by the warm glow of a light; the fields studded with silver drops of rain that glimmered in the light. The walk ended at the crossroads under a pipal tree adjacent to which stood my rented home. It was a single house that stood in the middle of a huge property. The owners were extremely affluent people who had three huge mansions and they were on the verge of bringing down this beautiful home. We got it naturally at an affordable rate and it was a little dream like home for me. The home had a typical hue of ancestral homes. It was like we were transported from flat lives down to the earth for our feet to sink in and feel the emotions of the mud. There were


beautiful flowers, lovely acres of backyards and sturdy trunked trees ripened by age. The backyard was brown and dusty and there was a well beside from where Amma drew buckets of water for washing and kitchen. I walked down the uneven backyard with my little brother treading on the hard stones with naked feet hardly heeding to Amma's scolding to at least wear a chappal. Beyond the well and mango trees there was a feast to the eye to which I could watch with transfixed eyes for a whole life time. The fiery love igniting blooms of the Gulmohar coupled with a golden shower of Kanikonna. I cannot forget the sight - the two trees growing almost into each other on a mound their arms embracing each other so truly standing in love and deep passionate hues. Yellow bottle brush blooms weighed down with the weight of the rain water in the


beautiful entrance. The windows of my room opened on one side to someone’s land with a lush green prolific growth of emerald green grass interspersed by tall coconut trees laden with coconuts. Water collected under the trees - shallow blue green waters rippling in the wind and in the shade of the trees and weaving dreams in the eyes. I passed by the road quite many times recently and desperately tried to find the house.When the curiosity couldn’t be contained I even got out of my car in the busy street and walked, ignoring a volley of abuses behind. It is many years now- two decades probably and the face of the street has naturally changed. I couldn’t locate the house. It might have probably been demolished, and even the ‘someone’s land’ next to the home probably utilised for another mansion. The cross roads under the pipal tree


nearby which the house stood still exists but I cannot recognise anything else there.

About Chitralekha Sreejai: Chitralekha is an aspiring writer with a deep passion for literature, art and music. She has a doctoral degree in Sanskrit. She published a book of poems titled 'The divine hand in the dark' with India books, Trivandrum. Some of her writings have appeared in Woman's Era and Alive magazines. She lives in Kerala with her husband and two daughters and can be reached at uchitralekha@yahoo.com

Editor's Comment: A visual painting lovingly crafted by the author.


My Journey As a Writer

Ten years ago, a history lesson at school on the Second World War and a lost opportunity to participate in a Model UN session owing to a health setback decided the career front of the funny trajectory that is my life. I decided I would join the United Nations.


The lure was magnetic- I would stand as a representative of my country, or of an oppressed people. I would work with grass-root organizations and proffer them the benefits of humanitarian aid and assistance. I would be their voice. I would be their advocate. I would fight for them. I would ensure they would get justice. But I would not be an activist, I told myself. I would never, ever stand and scream hoarse saying that I wanted rights as a woman. I counted on myself as empowered, and found it anywhere from ridiculous to outrageous, to hear cries that alleged that women suffered “deprivation” of rights. I found it stupid that women would stand and argue in Parliaments, demanding that they be given legal rights. What legal rights, I’d wonder. I am not deprived of anything. Blame it on my upbringing. My parents brought me up


treating me as a human being. I was never deprived of anything by virtue of my gender, nor offered any special treatment owing to my gender. I was normal, life was normal.

Bit by bit, I began uncovering the entire spectrum of work that had to go into making the dream real. Not meaning to forget the hurdles altogether, I’ll save them for another post on another day, and for now, focus on the things I learned so far. Ten years later, I found myself somewhere near my goal. I had something like a foot in the United Nations through some volunteering opportunities. I soon grew to become part of organizations that worked for women’s rights, for peace and conflict, for research on human rights and conflict. And that is when the true essence of activism separated


from the chaff of jingoism smacked me hard in the face. I learned the importance and imbibed the practicality of being a feminist for the woman in need, and not for the already empowered woman in greed. I learned the value of being a peace activist for communities that had never known what it meant to be free of war in mind and body. I learned the significance of standing up for rights that were deprived and violated, regardless of whose rights they were. I learned the value in Voltaire’s words – that I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight till death to protect your right to say it. When I worked with these organizations (I still do- I love each of them, sincerely), I was just a writer – doing blog posts, newsletter pieces, writing researched briefs and brochures. That was what I was – a meagre nerd across continents and oceans from where these organizations


functioned, staring at a computer screen and churning piece after piece after piece, following copious research. What difference are you making, anyway? I’d ask. My family would ask. My friends would ask. You’re just writing. I’d tell myself. My family would tell me. My friends would tell me. Does your writing bring any justice to the ones in need? I’d ask myself. My family would ask me. My friends would ask me. Well. I have no idea. Does it make any difference? Did it make any difference? To them, I don’t know. To me, it did, it does and it will always do so. When I wrote, I narrated the stories of women in distress. I told the world of real stories, of stories that were so real, they had to be fictionalized for the world to digest, of sordid and morbid realities that could leave you shaken. I told the


world of the things women went through, children went through. I told the world what it already knew- or at least, most of the world already knew. Stories of Rape. Sexual Harassment. Domestic Violence. Honour Killings. Deprivation on gender-based grounds. Gender-based inequality. Foeticide. Infanticide. And as I wrote, I grew. I grew because I didn’t just tell these stories, I felt them. I realized that what were just words for me here was the reality, the harsh truth for a woman, miles away. I realized that as much as the world was “ahead”, it was also terribly backward. I travelled in my research. I went to war stricken Afghanistan where women bear the brunt of living a crippled life- facing domestic


violence, honour killings, rape and an abject deprivation from their every right. I went to DR Congo where women still bear the brunt of Sexual Violence aplenty, and suffer indignities in the hands of the very society that should protect them. I went to different parts of India, where I learned of girl foetuses being killed in the womb because they were girls, where tribal women are forced to dance naked to be able to get a meal. I travelled to parts of the Middle East where women are the property of their men, and could even be killed or raped, with no one asking. I went to Nigeria, where girls are subjected to the harsh malpractice of genital mutilation, and their cries were too loud, that they were silent. I went to Pakistan and Palestine, where women are subjected to the awful nightmare of murder in the name of protecting their familial honour. I went to South East Asia where girls are


born into brothels, and lived their lives there, without knowing that they were made slaves. I travelled to Kosovo and Houston, Texas, where their dirtiest secret is the filthy game of human trafficking has many a woman under its fold. I went to Latin America where “poverty has a woman’s face�. I realized that in the same world where a woman had the freedom to work as an equal with a man, a woman was also subservient to a man and could not work whatsoever. I realized that in the same world where a woman had the right to be educated, a woman was also forced to give up school because her society ordained otherwise. I realized that in the same world where a woman was free to choose who she would marry and when she would marry, a woman was forced to marry a man many years older than her while she would be a mere child. I realized that in the same world


where women would be respected and their honour safeguarded with dignity, a woman would also be used as a miserable sex-slave. I realized that in the same world where women would be in charge of making peace, the bodies of women would be battlegrounds where war would be waged ceaselessly, devoid of all compunction. I learned, quite simply, that there is something intricately linking the backbone of society and women. I realized that when one of those woven threads constituting the weft in the fabric is unravelled, society is crippled. I may not be an expert. I may be far more ordinary than I know I am. I may lack expertise in totality, and “intellectually stimulating� might hardly be a justifiable title for the kind of stuff I write.


But I do know one thing. I am a drop in the ocean, but a drop, nevertheless. I am one among the scores of other women who serve as a conduit between the oppressed and the outside world. And that is why I am happy to be a writer.

About Kirthi Jayakumar Kirthi Jayakumar is a Lawyer, specialised in Public International Law and Human Rights. She has diversified into Research and Writing in Public International Law, Arbitration and Human Rights, besides Freelance Journalism. Working as a UN Volunteer, specializing in Human Rights issues in Africa, India and Central Asia and the Middle East, Kirthi has worked extensively with grass root organizations that focus on


women's rights, and also run a journal, academy and consultancy that focuses on International Law, called A38. Kirthi is also the founder of the Red Elephant Foundation, an organisation that works for the empowerment of women.


Book Review - II


:Intro: Amit Duggal finds a one and half year old Divya under a tea vendor's kiosk. Just when he is about to hand her to the cops, he learns that she has extreme stage lung cancer and he decides to take care of her on his own. The little girl who changed my life is about Amit's relation with a total stranger and the changes that she brings along, which transforms him as a person.

:Book Review: 1. Cover: The cover is simple with a backdrop of the beach and two silhouettes assumed to be the main characters Amit and Divya. 2. Presentation: Though the book deals with a very sensitive topic and begins on a sombre note it goes ahead to


give a very thrilling surprise to the reader, something which can actually be tagged as unexpected. 3. Narration: The narration of the book is very straight and simple with no major twists or unexpected turns except towards the end which is more like a pleasant surprise to the reader than a shock. 4. Characters: The main characters of Amit and Divya have been shown very well, so much that they come alive. There comes a stage in the book where you begin to pity them both and feel their sorrow. This for an author is a commendable job in itself. 5. Plot: The plot though a very clichĂŠ one with no newness to offer, has a lot to speak because of the way it has been handled by the author. 6. Storyline: The storyline is not an unseen as such but


with his one twist in the whole plot the author manages to make it stand out in the memory of a reader. 7. Story flow: The story flow is lucid with no abrupt endings or beginnings making it one entertaining read. 8. Language: The language is simple, easy to understand and one that makes a reader feel connected to it because of the same. 9. Pros: The biggest pro is the sensitivity with which the author has written the whole book relying purely on human emotions and nothing else. 10.Cons: There are a lot of typos, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes which could have been avoided.


:Overview: The overall rating for the book would be 3.75 out of 5 for the plot and his narration. WE team would like to thank the author for sending across this book for review and would also like to wish him all the best for all his future endeavours.


Author Interview - II

Please extend a warm welcome to Pratik Deshpande this month as we talk about his debut book along with all that he holds close to his heart. Basically he is a Chartered Accountancy and Bachelor of Commerce student residing in Nagpur. Truth Underneath is his first novel. He started writing at the age of 19 and lives with his parents in Nagpur. He wishes to take up writing as a full time career. The blurb of his book reads:


Amit Duggal finds a one and half year old Divya under a tea vendor's kiosk. Just when he is about to hand her to the cops, he learns that she has extreme stage lung cancer and he decides to take care of her on his own. The little girl who changed my life is about Amit's relation with a total stranger and the changes that she brings along, which transforms him as a person.


Join us in this interview as WE tries to know him better: 1. This is your second book. So how does it feel to have brought out your second book? It feels great actually. The second book being a different genre was an amazing experience, and I am glad readers are loving this one too. 2. Your debut book is right now in Amazon’s top 100 crime thrillers. Your thoughts on this? This was unexpected for me and the biggest achievement I could think of. It gave me the assurance that readers are accepting me in a very positive manner. Super happy about it. 3. Let’s talk about “The Little Girl who changed my life.” Who was the inspiration behind this book? Everybody has been asking me about the “mysterious who. ”


It’s a work of fiction so I didn’t have any particular person in my mind, but main inspiration was the gentle human nature that can sometime do wonders and miracles. We don’t know what we can do till we actually do it. Little girl is same, Amit didn’t know what and how things would go in his life and what he could do with it. It’s a matter of choice and with today’s empowered youth, I want to do my bit by trying to impart some positivity through the little girl who changed my life. 4. The book deals with a very sensitive issue, how easy or difficult it was to keep aside your emotions and write this book without letting the narrative be affected by your own personal thoughts? It was something I never thought I could write. Being a young boy myself, it was difficult to fathom what possible situation a young single man would face, if he


found a little girl. Little girl is about the relationship, trust between a stranger and the girl. How far can a person go to help someone and how that thing affects them. Its also a love story, the love of a stranger for an innocent little soul which is out in the world all by itself, with no cover above her little head. When I was done writing, I was in tears. This one was heavy duty emotional for me. I didn’t write this one using my brain, it came from the heart. 5. What is the message that you are trying to send across with this book? In this tech savvy, digital and E-World, some small things in real non digital world can make huge difference in life. Every child is born innocent, its all the love and care that depicts its future. Everybody has a different approach of loving and caring. It all depends on HOW you do that. Giving a child a new toy by robbing someone is love and giving a child a new


toy by hard earned money is also love. The only difference is approach. 6. The language that has been used in the book is very simple and lucid. Has it been a deliberate attempt to keep it simple for the readers? I want everyone to read it. Its not something that I want to be perfect, its full of simple imperfections that can make somebody’s life or break it. My honest attempt was to make sure that people start giving attention to the very small simple things around them. There is a sense of satisfaction in making a little baby smile and I want every reader to enjoy the journey and if it brings any minor positive change in them, then my work is done. 7. From a crime thriller to this sensitive issue, do you plan to experiment with genres in future also?


As for now, I don’t think I have it in me to write something as emotionally exhaustive as the little girl. I don’t see a little girl happening again. But there are some psychopathic thrillers, crime thrillers, and Sci-fi adventure already in the pipeline. 8. Why do you write? Simplest question so far. I love it. And I love to entertain my readers, be it a smiling face or happy teary eyes. I just want to give my readers something different from the ordinary. 9. How do you balance writing and your studies along with other preoccupations? Toughest question so far. I don’t know, I seriously don’t know this one. Writing is part of life. Its like lunch and dinner, you don’t have to balance them. It’s there every day. You just post or prepone it.


10. Whom do you aspire to be like? Is being a writer for you the ultimate goal? I don’t want to be someone too big, but I want little kids or youngsters to look up to me and try to achieve their dreams and do something beyond the normal ordinary 24 hours permits them to. The results doesn’t matter, it’s the zeal and the experience to live life to the fullest. Do everything you want as well as everything you need. 11. Where do you see yourself 5 years down the line, somewhere in the bestselling authors? Oh, best-selling author. That’s a dream. Yes, somewhere there, or at least near it 12. What are your other upcoming projects? There are three or probably four at the moment. But the first in line is “Mumbai Psyched.” As I had said earlier, I am back to crime thriller. And “Mumbai Psyched” is homecoming after


the little girl who changed my life. 13. Any message for aspiring writers. Write your heart out for the first time. The brain later takes over, as its smarter by nature. But always let your heart hold the pen (or keyboard nowadays) first.

Thank you very much for your time


India

From 1947 to 2015, the meaning of India has changed over and again. Here's my take on what India means today. India - A word that means a lot more than a mere indicative of a mass of land. To each of its one billion, 'India' has its own meaning. To me, India is India. It is beyond what words can attempt to explain. It is a feeling that lives somewhere deep inside my heart. Sometimes I am proud of it and sometimes I am not. India is that smart IT savvy girl, who is now a globe trotter.


India is that husband who makes hot aalu parathas for his wife and greets her with a smile when she comes back from a long day at work. India is that engineer who is now a chef because he found his true calling, albeit a little late. India is that poor farmer who looks proudly at his daughter's report card and then thinks what he can sell next to send her to college. India is that mother who teaches her young boy that there is no pride in being inept, that independence is about knowing that there are no gender roles. India is that family who loves their son and his boyfriend without thinking about what the world will have to say. India is those parents who happily get their daughter married to the man she loves, whatever be his religion, caste or creed.


India is that group of boys, fresh out of college, working hard on their dream start up. More than anything else, to me, India is free. More than it ever was!

About Ketki Yennemadi: Ketki is a 24 year old corporate trainer who finds her joy in words. Ketki, as she likes to describe herself, is not a writer but only a story teller who has a way with words. She can be reached at ketkiyennemadi@gmail.com Editor's Comment: A perfect to Mother India on its 69th Independence Day.


The Shadow

The shadow that lurks over me, Sometimes over, sometimes under me, Touches my body and owns my soul, Makes me shudder as he swallows me whole! He keeps an eye everywhere I go, Invading my space damaging my core! He has no heart, he feels nothing,


But he satisfies his inner being. He clasps my mouth and shuts my eyes, He makes me fear my own mind. He shackles me in his time, I start to question if the rest is mine. Every night, in darkness I scream, The shadow is closer, all around me. Another night of fearful dreams, Of fearless lies and deceit! The shadow that lurks over me, Thriving at all times it may seem, The shadow stares back at me; Threatening that he won’t let me be!


About Natasha Badsha: Natasha Badsha is someone who can’t be described in a 100 words. She’s a writer who likes to have her hands in everything. She’s worked in films, television, the e-learning industry and what have you. She loves anything that has to do with words; be it reading, writing or talking. A post graduate in media with a major’s in physics, she’s always on the lookout for a new path that’ll lead to a new color in her life. You can follow her at amordiaries.wordpress.com and can reach her at tashaatwork@gmail.com. Editor's Comment: A nerve shattering depicting fear so well.

poem


Tresses – Thick, Long, Beautiful and Lost

They laughed, waved, smiled and toiled. They danced in the breeze and reflected her turmoil. They were stared at, they were touched, some gazed at them, awed. For the beauty was rare, of such tresses long, strong and thawed. Anger pulled at her hair, With his arms brawny, he hauled.


He curled them around his fist, and hit her against the wall. Envy leered and sneered, and held gently her tresses. With a smile of deceit, bit by bit, he snipped them as he caressed. With the passing years, her head ached with the burden. Of illness, pains and aches, and her tresses adding to them. Envy, Anger and sickness, Never sullied those beautiful thick hair. They grew every time, quick and with a newly found vigor. Until he came along, Uninvited and never to leave. Not a strand did they find later, Envy, Anger and the pain peeve. For the tresses fell & never grew, as long as the guest remained.


And to shun him they had begun radiations that had her hair drained.

About NAME: Ranjini .S. hails from Cochin, Kerala. Being a Chartered Accountant Student, she shooed away all her blues by writing. Apart from chocolates, rain, long drive, music and books, writing too makes her feel alive. She dreams of breaking out of the cocoon of amateurism and fly as a professional in this field someday. ranjini.s22@gmail.com Editor's Comment: A social issue so very well depicted that one is bound to be moved.


Curiously Kiddo!

Smart,

"Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers." I will never be able to know what went around Socrates' mind when he was prompted to make such a categorical statement which is devoid of any relation to the coordinates of time and space. Well, it holds true universally and is as prevalent as the concept of 'Generation Gap'. I guess the human psyche is wired to behave in the jaunty manner that it does. It is blatant and in-your-face, more often than not, as thus.


We are our own masters and enslaved by none. Freespirited dreams govern our horizons, discovering the nuances of life as our own! Parenting is a tricky business. Jovial pride, uncanny reasoning, adamant disagreement, clever negotiations, baffling discoveries, all are part and parcel of life as a parent. You never cease to be a kid with your kids, they say. Nor being a parent, I add. I always believe that kids are able to present a never-seenbefore perspective to us adults, who tend to the world around us on face-value, for granted, in any situation. Kids commit the most outrageous crimes while belittling them with a straightfaced - 'Did I do that? Are you blaming ME for the ruckus?!'


It is this innocent outlook which wins hearts. They are an angel to call our own. At times, they are more devious than you can even think of, too. ~~~ It's a small world, they say. More so now, owing to the eternally connected world. I believe that communication is a tool which zeroes in on the distance factor. With such vastly spread means of communication, it comes as no surprise that toddlers who are barely learning to walk have acquainted themselves well, with the quintessential 'smartphone' and every detail of its functioning, with toothless smiles! I remember distinctly when I spent a good fifteen minutes chatting with my colleague last week.


Five minutes later, I received a call from her princess! Turns out, she had sneaked in the phone from her mother's reach and accidentally swiped her finger on my name in her last called log. This is how the children of today are exploring flashy gadgets and bright screens on their own. ~~~ Back to when I was acquainting myself with the nuances of parenting, we were also welcoming the Internet in the 90s. The retro telephone with that round dial, which used to go clunk-clunk on dialing the digits, those televisions which used to go 'five colored lines' if the signal went wary, and those cassettes with reels


which had to be rolled using that pencil were still the norm. The computer with its Windows '95 OS and the blue screen which signified a terrorizing system failure was a new addition to the house that time as well. With that massive desktop machine, the words Compact Disk and Floppy Disk too made way into our vocabulary. Unlike today's ultra-slim, wafer-thin gadgets, the technology of that time was arduous to the tee and cumbersome to a certain extent too. From that blue screen which symbolized terror on the Win '95 command prompt to a violet colored template on the GUI of Windows 8.1 which means perfectly normal, the technology in our house has come a great way!


The stereo from BPL Sanyo with an accompanied cassette chamber, ranging from 1-2-3 A-B-C to Indie Pop songs from Leslie Lewis and Hariharan has been replaced by the sleek iPod. Those VHS cassettes with which we as kids used to discover joy, on having documented numerous birthday parties over the years has made way for a single DVD player and multiple CDs. The concept of the reel driven Kodak camera, which used to surprise us on the development of every 'negative’, is now obsolete. From those video game parlors to game applications 'apps' on the smartphone, technology has taken gadgets in its stride and evolved too. ~~~


Kids today are so receptive to technology that it makes me wonder - 'Where will we go from here now? What next?' The next step might be to make the child realize that the page of a book does not zoom in on its contents and that the television screen does not respond to touch! It is the hyperactivity of today's kids which has led them on to be Einsteins and Newtons of their own little world! There is a little anecdote of curiosity concerning one of my colleague's two-and-a-halfyear-old. The other day, she was recollecting how her husband had gone to the girl's school to complete the formalities concerning the tiny tot's admission. She was joyously proclaiming to him that she would also be


able to go to school, like her mother. The fact being that my colleague and I are teachers, the little one was surprised on not finding her mother in her school, the next day. When she returned from her first day in school, she ended up complaining to her mother. 'Mumma, I went to school today. Where were you? You were not in school. You don't go to school! Where do you go?' She does not realize yet that there is no one school in this world. It will, of course, dawn upon her in due time. As goes for self-discovery, today's kids have mastered that art. As parents, we must flow with the tide and learn with our little ones. These children of today's generation are growing up in


the world where it is imperative to explore oneself and the happenings around oneself to ensure a witty survival. The realization of this fact and the ideology of the survival of the fittest, ensures for them a well-rounded personality, as they embrace their future with open arms. Being 'Curiously Smart' is what lends an edge to the GenX persona, Kiddo! ~~~ Queries which put up disagreement, Adamant eyes which desire a reason To put their curiosity to rest, Pair what you know, with the art of persuasion Stressed out parents, mischievous kids, Hand in hand, the explorer never takes a moment to sit


Being tech savvy, gadget friendly, Comes with its concerns of safety Parenting is an art, to continuously evolve, Ensuring the ring of security in the cyber world too Explore the world together with your child True bliss, would then be known! ~~~

About Poonam Khanduja: Poonam is a parent, teacher, and now, a blogger. She holds a M.Sc. in Anthropology. For the past three decades and counting, she has been the one who teaches not only by curriculum, but by practicality. She aims to invoke a sense of responsibility


in her readers by her blog, at http://stiryoursouls.blogspot. in. The blog also sees poetry, photography, creative writing and her musings on life. She comes from a family of bloggers, with her husband and daughter, giving her company in the world of blogging. The author can be reached at poonamkhanduja@gmail.com. Editor's Comment: Today’s times so very well captured in words.


The Two Hosts

Mind and soulthe two hosts wait always to welcome their bodyashamed , confused and hesitated for collocating its head with their own hats but the careful body keeps examining by turn head to tail of a central point appearing between the two hosts


wherein its simple knowledge turns into complex wisdom to make everything quite naked and pride and contumacy meet with the lost shamefulness in the illumination of a fused bulb hanging so far in its dark room making even its handicapped eyes a scanning machine to judge the two enthusiastic hoststhe mind who hangs around carrying a lazy cat on his lap and the soul who waits with a malnourished human baby on his safe lap of comfort with great care.


About Pijush Kanti Deb: Pijush Kanti Deb is a new Indian poet with more than 180 published poems and haiku in more than 50 nos. of national and international poetry magazines and journals print and online like Down in the dirt, Tajmahal Review, Pennine Ink, Hollow Publishing, Creativica Magazine, Muse India, Poetry Pacific, Teeth Dream Magazine and so on. At present he is working as an Associate Professor in Economics. Editor's Comment: Complexities of life so very well depicted.


Remember Me

I have been an ardent fan of books. They just titillate my soul and give me the meaning of life. They take me to places I can only dream of visiting. They teach me to be ecstatic, gloomy or outright obnoxious. They introduce me to characters who just sweep me off my feet. Now dear readers, you must be wondering why I am all so fussy about my love for books. It's because it's among those rustic smell of old paper I found my first love. "Uncle, do you have that new book by Khaled Hosseni?� I asked rummaging through the stock of books neatly arranged on the shelves in the library which lay to the west of my


house, just a mile away next to the clock tower on the right. The library itself looks rather archaic and it being placed to the south bank of the brook keeps its very sheen with the serene and peaceful ambience adding to its rather illustrious past. "Son you haven’t returned the book you had borrowed previously.�, he answered with a thick urdu accent that was just melody to my ears. Had I really developed an affinity for the language or do I like it because it's the only thing that connects me to my country is just too much for me to understand. But whatever it may be he was the only sort of friend I had in this rather unbeknownst country. I have been living in Sussex, England for nearly a year after my father shifted here, rather abruptly I should say, after he was posted to work on a project by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India. From the day I landed in this


beautiful countryside I had only three companions. My books, the nature's bounty and the old Pakistani man who has been the book-keeper for nearly two decades now in this rather moribund looking library. "Oh yes Uncle I am done reading it I just forgot to bring it along, I replied rather sheepishly because that has been my excuse for eternity since I started borrowing books from him.”Ok son, please return it during this week. Someone had come looking for it,” he replied rather bluntly as he always does to my rather weak defense. "And there is nothing new of Khaled Hosseni that you haven’t read. “He replied in the negative. "Ok Uncle, give me this Jhumpa Lahiri’s book. I will return both of them together to you.” He took the book in his rather emaciated hand, turned its cover and handed it to me. I don’t know what he looks at


turning the cover of a book but that is what he has been doing for the past one year or so whenever I borrow a book from the library. For the other borrowers out there he takes out a long streamlined register of sorts and jots down some details required to be kept. Maybe he has seen me enough in these past few months to know that I have fallen in love with the pile of books stacked up and hence bound to return. But moreover there has also been a bonding of sorts between us as he shared the vivid storylines of his life to me exclusively through his eyes. He was a resident of Karachi, Pakistan and had been to this small countryside nearly two decades back, for his horticultural ventures and ended up in this library, never to return. He has a wife who now looks after three beautiful orchards of apples, grapes and pomegranate some 5-6 miles to the northern corridor.


Sometimes on weekends he tells me different experiences of life right here in this countryside and also back in Pakistan. His stories were rather mesmerizing, leaving me perplexed and hence I spend hours just listening to him and looking at him going through his daily chores. The weekdays wore off as usual, with my bustling school schedule and I immersed in my homework and other extracurricular they had in a rather drab school curriculum. I just waited for the weekends to arrive so that I can again be amongst the books, my companions who were a part of my life now. Sometimes I even prayed rather absurdly for two Sundays a week. When Sunday arrived I was again on my bike pedaling as fast as I could to the one place I love the most. I quickly parked by bike to the right corner of the building and sped as fast as I could through the


doors. The waft of inked paper just hypnotizes me and I felt at peace with myself all over again. I was amongst the shelves once again trying to find where my next adventure lies. As I removed a book from one of the racks my eyes fell on "Her". It just appeared I didn't blink for eternity. I just gaped with my mouth wide open and felt like a bolt of lightning striking me piercing my heart. I looked like I was possessed. Those few seconds of bliss were abruptly ended as she caught me unawares staring at her. I just stood there frozen, my mind completely blanked and with one swift movement of my hand I replaced the book on the rack and blocked my vision. But still I could hear my heart beat, faster than the wind that sometimes sweeps this countryside. I suddenly heard a thudding sound and looking down saw the two books that I had to return falling down. I quickly collected them both and went


hastily to the counter to return it to the old man. But there she was sitting at the very desk where uncle used to sit for hours jotting down names on the register. I suddenly came to an abrupt halt thinking twice now if I should approach her and ask something. Then I mustered enough courage and walked towards the counter barely shedding my inhibitions. I glanced at her closely and was mesmerized by her beauty. She had blue doe-shaped eyes with a face that was rotund to just about perfect with a skin texture that was creamy and without any blemish. Her hair was like the black wisps of the night and with her bluish dress she looked like a mermaid. I quickly glanced at myself on the glass of the counter. With completely disheveled hair I looked completely from some other planet. But mustering enough courage I asked," Where is


uncle. Haven't seen him around here today." Hearing my half croaked voice she just looked up from the book she was concentrating and shifted a little. "Do I know you?" she asked. "Have I seen you here or some other place before?" she asked with a face so straight that I felt like being stripped of my somewhat remaining confidence. I was at a complete loss of words. "Uh.. Hmmm...Ummmm", was all I could blabber. Then I quickly handed the two books that were with me and spoke, "Just tell uncle, I have returned the two books I have borrowed". With that I fled from that place and ran till I reached my bike. Picking up my bike I just pedaled twice as fast as I had done when I came here. From the time I saw her, my mind was completely filled with her thoughts, thoughts that just didn’t leave me alone. Thoughts that eroded every part of my mind. I remembered


her gaze under those beautiful eyelashes. I could feel those beautifully sculptured lips parting and speaking to me. Basically, I was infatuated by her. I thought it was love at first sight. I was just dying to see her again. I was having sleepless nights with weird day dreams. I was counting for the week days to end. Come weekend, I dressed up in my best shirt and denims. I was never this self-conscious about my looks before. But today I double checked myself in the mirror. I wanted to look my best. I sprayed cologne as if I had bathed in it. As I was leaving my house, my mom blocked my path. "Waah!! My son is looking damn handsome today. Are you going on a date beta", she asked with a wry smile on her face. "Mom please don't pull my leg. I am getting late for Andrew's birthday party" I quipped. I blushed as I ran out of the house. As I reached the library


I looked at myself in a rear view of a parked car and touched up my hair again. As I walked inside my eyes scanned for any sight of her. I couldn't find her at the counter so I walked across a shelf and started fiddling with the books. For the first time in this place my mind was somewhere else other than the books. That's what love does to you I suppose. It diverts your mind from the things you love doing the most. As I was having these rather absurd thoughts my eyes fell on her. Draped in a white salwar kameez with golden brocade she looked like a princess from the fairy tales I had read so much. I mustered enough courage to go up to her. As I neared her, I blurted out rather abruptly, "Hi, what is that book you are holding. It's a great one where the protagonist catches the murderer and eventually both of them get killed". I felt like a fool blurting out the climax of the book. She just tilted her


head towards me and gave me a "f**k off" expression. Then she closed her book and put it aside. Turning towards me she smiled and asked, "Have we met before, do you know me?" I was taken aback firstly because I have never seen her smile and it rained pearls all over once she did. Secondly she didn't even remember seeing me last week or was she pretending? "Yeah! Last week I gave you two books to return it to uncle." I immediately retorted. "Maybe you did, but sorry I don't remember, she said with an apologetic face. My face was flush red with anger and I wasn't able to stand there anymore. I briskly headed towards the door and exited. As I was walking out I met uncle on the doorway. "Where have you been off late my son, haven’t seen you in a while," he enquired. As I was about to speak he said "I got both the books you had left me with." Then I asked with


childish innocence, "Who is Afsanah? And why does she always pretend to not remember me? “Uncle smiled at my question and said, "Come here son, have a seat. I will tell you.” We took seats facing each other on the staircase leading to the library. Uncle took hold of my hand and said, "She is my niece. Five years ago she lost her parents in a car accident and since then she has been staying with me. Afsanah escaped any injuries in that accident but she got what is known as Anterograde Amnesia.” What is that?", I asked rather quizzically. "She cannot remember anything for more than 24 hours. For her every day is a new day." He was rather grief stricken and full of remorse. Hearing those words my jaw dropped. I was at a loss of words. I immediately got up from where I was sitting and sped as fast as I could on my bicycle never


to return. And dear readers that was where my first love story ended. But I still remember those beautiful eyes and that amazing captivating smile. I also learnt never to judge anyone from their looks or talks. There's much more to everyone than it meets the eye. We create religious divide that just takes us further away from humanity. Love does not see any divide nor can it be bound by frontiers. It just happens.

About Biki Mahanta: Biki Mahanta is a banker, a freelance writer and an avid blogger. A football fanatic by heart he also has a deep penchant for writing and delving into the emotional side of people. His blogs could be


read at www.bixjannat.blogspot.com. Currently he is working on a novel depicting the sudden shift in emotions in the human mind. He could be reached at bix.jannat@gmail.com. Editor's Comment: A painful love story.


Women

I am a power of Strength, who can run an endless Length I am empowering this moments, Endorsing myself with certain sort of mystique, I deliver an independent will, don't underestimate my physique I am a care giver, who won't give up the fight, I remain firm and believe women have equal rights I am tough, outstanding and beautiful, My work can never go unnoticeable My self-confidence comes from who I am deep down,


Who can never hide herself behind a face of a clown! I am not less, I am more, I am a woman whose heart is so pure At the end of every day, I have one other thing to say, I believe in myself, that's why I do things my way!

About Swati: Swati is a MHA (Master's in Hospital and Health Management. She also has Health Blog, "Health Info" i.e. hospital amanagementinfo.blogspot.in. She likes to read poems and sometimes also pens it down. Editor's Comment: A salute to the strength of women


Chakoo's Funtruism

It was an advent of winters with bright decorations of lighting and nice smelling marigolds, throughout the marriage Pandal with Mandap made of red roses, giving a glimpse of a vibrant kaleidoscope. The floor was covered with rich red velvet, like a main assembly of a great kingdom. Amidst these preparations, there was the bride groom sitting on a white horse with heavy attire where his body weight was forming the major part of this attire than his dress. This is Mr. Sooraj, but popularly known as Chakoo. Chakoo was very nervous and out of anxiety was biting his finger nails with his teeth,


praying to God that all goes well. He always went and tried to do things normally but it always turns out to be comic, creating an embarrassing situation always. He remembered how badly he was trying to lose his weight before marriage and tried almost everything to cut that extra flab. In the process, when he tried to bicycle, his leg struck on the peddle and he rolled over on the floor, with his back on it and when he lifted the bicycle to remove his struck leg, everyone burst out laughing as if he was bicycling in air. There were several such instances of humour in his life. He remembered that how during yoga classes, when he followed his lady guru for a particular yoga pose by spreading the legs apart from each other in 180 degrees and while doing it, not only his pants tore off but some gas also passed with a bizarre


sound of puuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhh. Everyone including hot girls just rolled out with laughter, closing their nose. Often, Chakoo used to opine that God has graced him with special encomium to make everyone laugh and sent him as a comedian angel, on the earth, bringing him some disadvantages too. Once he mis-identified a customer as a shopkeeper and paid money to him for the grocery purchased. The customer who received money free of cost was none other than a thief, who had come to loot the shop. The thief ran away with cash in hand and as soon as Chakoo was about to leave the shop, shopkeeper ran hurriedly towards him to catch hold of thief, and mistakenly beat Chakoo like anything. Chakoo was very sad that day as he had purest of intentions and it took him days to get rid of the body pain and bruises. Moreover he repented on


visiting to doctors for medication, paying hefty bills. That incident seemed like a well made conspiracy by God to him and he considered that all the characters: the thief, the shopkeeper and the doctor actually looted him in a pre planned plot. He questioned God why he with purest of intentions was always the soft target in such situations? Chakoo was lost in his dreams and experiences, sitting on a horse. Two beautiful girls draped in pink and green saris respectively came out to welcome the groom. The Pink silk sari was embroidered with soft velvety red thread while green sari was embellished with silver sequins. The girls were all decked up with a shinning bindi on their forehead and gold jewellery, throughout. The glitzy neckpieces and beautifully handcrafted bangles were jingling with each other attracting everyone's attention.


The lady cladding pink sari had an exquisitely carved kalash made of brass filled with water on her head while the one in green sari held a silver thali with some flowers for puja, a sweet, kumkum, haldi and a small lit diya. Both were there to welcome the groom. Lost in his own world, Chakoo didn't realize that the horse on which he was sitting was also feeling some pressure of his weight. Horse made a sound Neigh....Neigh. As soon as the pretty ladies stepped ahead to start the welcoming ritual, the horse couldn’t bear the weight of Chakoo and out of pressure or so called special luck of Chakoo, it pooed and at the same time one of the ladies stepped into the horse's apple by mistake. As a result, the kalash dropped on the ground and she screamed out of awry feeling. Her soft fair feet, decorated with Alta and payal are now almost full with horse's sh*t. It was yet another upsetting moment for Chakoo.


He tried his best to lose weight but alas the nice smell and irresistible tasty food always forced him to lose control over his tongue which affected even the horse so badly. Post this episode, the bride stepped down the spiral staircase, in an orange lehanga adorned with red and golden border. She is Priya, popularly known as Maala. Her pinkish blushing cheeks were in tune with the entire attire, highlighted with her radiant jewellery complementing her in style. She had an attitude but the charm and innocence on her face with a flawless makeup was making her a standout. She was bejewelled from head to toe with as usual feminine grace. The bride came and puja started with panditji chanting all mantras. Sweet smelling scent of Chandan Agarbattis, Thalis containing rice, flowers, mango leaves, sweets, fruits etc. were set aside around the


chhokhhis(small square shaped seaters of low height) on which both the bride and bridegroom were sitting. The pious fire which is of sacred nature was lit in the centre for the purpose of Saat Phere (7 circumambulations). Both Chakoo and Maala were about to exchange vows in the presence of Lord Agni deity. This event was only once in a lifetime sort for Chakoo and he was completely ready to take this wonderful journey ahead together with this new member in his family but had some glitch that his better half may not get discouraged with such awful funny uneasy experiences. Chakoo was not only feeling completely tired but boring too because of long puja. He started dreaming that the two of them going for a ride on a car in a beautiful picturesque lush green forest with snowy mountains around just like he had seen in typical bollywood


romantic films but then he realized that bicycle is far better connecting vehicle for romance than a car. So he rewinded back and restarted dreaming himself riding a bicycle with Maala wearing purple chiffon sari, sitting ahead of Chakoo and they both are enjoying the ride by singing a song but suddenly the fear of something going wrong in the subconscious mind of Chakoo comes into the picture and he further dreams that the pallu of Maala's sari which was swaying in the air, comes into the grip of the back tyre of the bicycle. As a result, Chakoo looses balance and the bicycle slips down the slope, attached on both the sides of the road. The bicycle is going down with a fast pace with both Chakoo and Maala trying to maintain their balance by holding bicycle's handle tight. As bicycle comes down, it enters a hut speedily and comes out of the other side with all the locals residing in those huts


running out to save themselves with the attack of such cyclic explosion. The bicycle hit a stone and both fell down. The song gets interrupted and so was the dream. The puja neared to an end and both stood up to take Saat Phere now. Chakoo was walking by matching his steps with that of Maala to complete phere. Once the phere were done, they both stood at their respective places for the final blessings of God as per the ritual but suddenly the red stole with the knot that was used during gathbandhan caught fire from Chakoo's side. Out of fear, he started running around like a nutty, crazy man, disturbing all stuff kept aside. Even Maala fell down and hurt herself in the ankle. People at the gathering stifled the fire with water kept in the matkas nearby. Maala's parents rushed to her to see if she is ok or not. Similarly Chakoo's relatives and other friends came and stood near to


the couple to check their wellbeing. A gentleman standing diagonally to the newly wedded pair was observing every minute thing. He was known as Joseph Uncle to Chakoo’s family. Joseph had seen Chakoo suffering from weird incidental miseries and was known as situational entertainer. He remembered how inappropriately Chakoo once danced in a social gathering. Other dancing people moved backward by two to three feet to save themselves from being hurt due to Chakoo’s severe pressure put while tapping the floor. However, being unknown of his dance's terror, he was on a dancing spree unaware of the fact that people were feeling those thuds like tremors and so everyone had termed Chakoo's dance as “Earthquake dance”.


As the event was nearing to end, with a teary Vidaai, the couple moved ahead towards railway station to go to Chakoo's home. They rushed as there was very little time left to catch the train. The whole baraat reached station and they were just standing outside the train, they needed to board. The train crawled slowly to speed up and run on track, and Chakoo ran with his luggage hurriedly, to catch it, leaving Maala behind. Anxiety made him forget that he was married now. Everyone was taken aback with his this attitude and then suddenly Chakoo realized that now he is not alone and he has to take care of his life partner. Realizing this, he pulled the train’s chain and got down of it and went to Maala to apologize her for being such a mistake and promised that he won't repeat such silly mistakes. Maala smiled and both boarded the train with each other's hands clasped


together. The other baraati's were happily smiling on couple's first lovely formal interaction while laughing out on yet another live funny act done by Chakoo. The sweet journey had both Chakoo and Maala, sitting together near the window of the train. The other baraati's and guests were playing antakshri and singing songs. Post musical session, everybody had their meals, which was made and packed by one of the renowned Caterer’s arranged by Maala's family. Meal had hot and soft puris, spicy and tangy peas’ potato vegetable, salad, papad, curd with chilli pickle, a sweet and mint mouth freshener. It was a mouth watering and a soul satisfying food. All got tired and went for a short power nap except Chakoo and Maala. There were still few hours left to reach the destination. Chakoo initiated the talks by breaking the ice


and they both exchanged the ideal likings and other affairs ranging from readings to politics, sports, education etc. On getting comfortable with each other, Chakoo stopped for a moment to take a long pause. He narrated all the main life incidents to Maala till now. She listened patiently and seemed interested. Her face expressions kept on changing from wide O of the mouth to smiling eyes due to an openhearted chuckle and when Chakoo told about his insecurities related to his comic image, Maala held his hand tightly and said that she is lucky to have a man who in today's world make so many people laugh and release their stress . She suggested him to consider it as a part of a social altruism in a funny way. She termed it as ‘Chakoo’s Fun truism...’ Chakoo liked this new word and was amazed on Maala’s way of understanding and interpreting his deepest fear in such a simple way. He


was relaxed now and so then the railway platform came. Maala and Chakoo alighted the train to get a cold drink. Chakoo saw a dirty bag, which seemed like a garbage bag. So he threw the discarded bottles and other trash into that. As soon as he threw that, a man rushed towards him screaming, oh Man! That is not a garbage bag but it’s my work bag. Now this time Maala and the shopkeeper burst into laughter and Chakoo in awkwardness thinks no, not again please.

About Nishima Avasthi: Nishima, a self-driven and a go-getter, works with a renowned Financial Organization in Mumbai. Her job deals with processes, Operations and people. Most of the time is spent on Number Crunching Excel sheets. She


loves to write, paint, cook & play with her little daughter at home and occasionally dabbles with photography. Music & Movies are her biggest passion. She can be reached at nishiema@gmail.com Editor's Comment: Life and laughter go hand in hand with love.


The lady At The Busstop

It

was the month of July and monsoon was at its brimming glory in Kolkata. The roaring cloudburst and the vigorous downpour was enough to predict that it was a wild night. Rajeev has been working overtime that day. He assumed that the rain would stop shortly, but nothing of that sort happened. Finally, he came out of the office and reached the bus stop when it was 9pm. The bus stop was secluded and not a single transport could be seen on the road apart from a few private cars. Rajeev couldn’t help but


worry about getting a bus so that he can reach home. It was raining heavily and the clouds were clattering every few minutes. With a glum face, Rajeev took a seat in the bus stop. Suddenly, his eyes rested on a woman who sat at the extreme corner of the bus stop. She was covered with a black stole right from her head and therefore, Rajeev couldn’t catch a glimpse of her face. Her bright pink sari confirmed that she is a woman. After about ten minutes, Rajeev got up from his seat and sat beside the woman, intending to talk to her as he was feeling bored. He cleared his throat to make her aware of his presence, but the woman did not respond even a bit. Weird! Must woman.

be

some

old

Rajeev muttered as he looked at the woman. Right at that


moment, a strong wind hit her face that resulted in the stole to fall down from her head. Rajeev looked at the woman in bewilderment and wonder. She was definitely the most attractive woman Rajeev had ever seen, and her eyes were so beautiful that they could hypnotize anyone. Rajeev’s eyes were transfixed on her and finally the woman looked at him. Rajeev smiled, but the woman did not smile in return, neither did she drop her gaze. She looked at him, as if she knew him, as if she wanted to tell him something. It was an unusual gaze, her eyes brimming with excitement, eagerness, angst and pathos. She mumbled a few words, which were inaudible to Rajeev. Rajeev took his eyes off slowly, but even after a seconds, he realized that was looking at him. He definitely happy that he

her few she was was


being gazed by such a beautiful woman, but then, it was also awkward. “Rajeev Sengupta. What’s your name?” He asked the woman, extending his hand. After a long silence, she replied “Meera.” “Such a beautiful name, just like you.” Rajeev complimented her, but she did not say a word. She only looked at him with the same intensity, as if waiting for him to comprehend all the unsaid words. Rajeev kept talking to Meera for more than half an hour, but she barely replied in monosyllables, albeit her gaze intact on Rajeev. There was no hint of the rain to stop. Rajeev observed that Meera was trembling slightly due to the chill in the air. “Would you like to have a cup of tea? The tea stall near my office is still open.” Rajeev offered, empathizing with Meera’s condition. Meera nodded silently.


Rajeev assured her that he would be back within a few minutes and went to the tea stall which he knew would be open even at that hour. I never knew that I was so good looking that a beautiful lady would turn speechless on seeing me. Yes, Meera is not much of a talker, but anyone can die for those beautiful eyes. I need to take her number. Rajeev soliloquized as he bought two cups of masala chai. He rushed towards the bus stop, but to his sheer disappointment, he saw a bus moving past him and Meera looking at him from the window of the bus with a tear in her eyes. It broke his heart as he realized that Meera was gone. Before the story could start, it came to an abrupt end. With dismay, he sat on the bus stop, sipping his tea. Suddenly, he noticed a piece of paper on the floor


getting to and fro with the wind. He picked the paper at once and opened it. You look exactly like my husband who had passed away three years ago. It took me a while to realize that you are Rajeev and not my Jai.

God bless you. Meera Rajeev swallowed the lump that was formed in his throat after reading the note. He looked at the direction where the bus went by. He read the note again, things registering in his mind slowly. If only I could meet Meera again! If only this story hadn’t finished here‌

About Purba Chakraborty: Purba Chakraborty is a freelance content writer, online Bollywood magazine writer and


the author of bestselling novel "Walking in the streets of love and destiny�. Her second novel "The Hidden Letters" is currently under the editing phase. She blogs at www.purbaeasternwind.blog.c om and www.reverieofpurba.blogspot.i n . Her short stories have been published in various anthologies. Apart from being a professional writer, she is also a singer in leisure. She can be reached at purba.khushi@gmail.com Editor's Comment: A heart touching tale with a lot of things unsaid yet understood.


The Revision

Opening journal turning to date 10th December 2014, Thursday.

The day on which the biggest dream of Ramakrishna at the age of 56 was achieved. The day on which he won Noble Prize in Literature. My greatest inspiration, my teacher, my one and only God. Today, I am rewriting his grand evening in my journal again for the third time. Why third time, you will get that later. I could never forget that moment. I was present there in crowd, sitting on the 2nd row. So let’s begin:


In the great Stockholm Concert Hall, Sweden, on the vast blue stage with a big letter “N” encircled in the centre of stage he was sitting on the left side of the second row at third position. Drum roll started, everyone stood up in honour of chief guests. Soon Maestro started playing his melodious “Requeim: Confactious” symphony. The violin, cello, piano each and every instrument was extraordinarily synchronized. After two minutes of heavenly music it ended. The anchor came and started giving introductory speech. First, he greeted everyone, gave a brief history about the Noble Prize and then again Maestro commended his orchestra to play a soothing symphony. Then anchor came again and started distributing prize for various fields, soon his name was called.


He stood up, walked to the centre and received world’s most prestigious award. Among every single person in that hall I was the happiest person seeing him receiving Nobel Prize. The ceremony ended after an hour and some days later we came back to India. He was trending on Twitter, his Facebook page had more than a million fans. He got praised by Prime Minister by getting a title of “New Age Rabindra”. Some days later I was at home watching his live interview on TV when reporter asked, “What made you get the Nobel Prize?” He smiled and said “I don’t know?” A confused look came on reporter’s face. “I never thought of winning it. I now think there was only one thing that helped me and that was basics. I stick to my basics.” He continued.


“How?” The reporter asked. “Let me tell you a story, a real one, the incident of my life which turned my way of thinking.” He said. He stopped for a second, inhaled until his lungs fully expanded then exhaled and started telling his “Life Changing Incident”. “It was Wednesday’s evening, I was watching cartoon, depressed. My half yearly exam results were out and I had failed in maths by only three marks. It was third time in a year when I had failed in maths. I had always been a topper, I rarely came on second position till sixth grade but in seventh I didn’t know what was wrong. Despite trying very hard maths was indecipherable. It was heart-wrenching when teacher showed my marks. I tried to tell mom and dad but every time I opened mouth, my


throat went dry. There were many unspoken vocals. Since it was Wednesday, I went to Lord Ganesha temple with mom. Instead of going into temple, I went to the temple’s park and sat on the bench. I was lost in my thoughts and suddenly I heard a little girl crying. She was standing at the bottom of playground slide. She started climbing from slippery side. She reached at half and slipped. Then again she climbed up and slipped. And then again. Her mother came and said “Let’s go.” But she was stubborn and tried again and slipped. She was trying and slipping. Tears were rolling on her cheeks and she was screaming in her lisped voice “I am trying na!” She reminded me of The King and The Spider story. At last


she climbed up and screamed in loud voice: “Yayy! See mummy I did it.” I smiled and thought it was God’s way of showing me path. Many times we know the way but just need to take a fresh look at it. I was lucky, lucky to see that little girl winning. It revised me the story. It then struck me that we have to revise every important thing whether it is related to academics or life. We should revise them. Scientists have proven that we remember information from when we last revised them not from where we first learned them. It is the best way to retain every information and memory. This is the biggest lesson I learned and this is the only incident worth sharing from my life.” He said and smiled. And this is the reason why I am writing this incident for the


third time. It revises me. Fills me with inspiration. Good night. Will meet you again tomorrow. Journal Closed.

About Nikhil Pandey: Nikhil is an Undergraduate and soon going to be an engineer. Writing is his inspiration and reading is his hobby. He welcomes feedback and constructive criticism. You can reach him at supernikhil619@gmail.com. Editor's Comment: Inspiring


Rainbow Cake

Ingredients: All purpose flour - 2 cups Baking powder - 1/4 tsp Baking soda - 1/4 tsp Condensed milk - 400 gm Butter - 1/2 cup Oil - 2 tbsp Milk - 3/4 cup Powdered Sugar - 4 tbsp Yellow food colour - 1/4 tsp Red food colour - 1/4 tsp Green food colour - 1/4 tsp Vanilla essence - 2 tsp Strawberry essence - 1 tsp


Mango essence - 1 tsp Orange essence - 1 tsp

Procedure: Mix maida, baking powder, baking soda and keep aside. Take a bowl, beat butter, oil and condensed milk till smooth, add 1tbsp maida and little milk to it and mix it properly. In this manner mix flour and milk completely. Now add powdered sugar and whisk this batter properly till smooth and then check it's consistency pour some batter on a plate, if it doesn't spread itself in plate then your batter is perfect else add some maida in it and


whisk properly now add vanilla essence in it and mix it. Divide that batter into 6 portion. Add 6 colours into 6 different portion. Firstly pre-heat oven and bake your cake on low rake in convection mode on 200 degree C for 35 to 40 minutes after it insert a knife in it's center and if it comes out clean then it's ok else bake for some more minutes. After that take whipped cream. First take purple colour cake n apply whipped cream on it. Make layers of the cakes. Make a thick layer of whipped cream layer into each cake. After that apply whipped cream all over cake.


About Mayura Chetan Honrao: It is said; 'The way to a man's heart is through his stomach' Mayura Chetan Honrao loves cooking various cuisines for the family. May it be from a recipe book, television or facebook, she loves trying new recipes sometimes, even making changes herself to add a special touch. She loves decorating her house in her own way. Different Warli paintings made by her adorn the walls of her house and festivals bring out the artist in her, her art shining through the colorful Rangoli she makes.


Painting Red

The

Town


Story Behind Photograph:

the

This is at St. Kilda, Melbourne, Australia. The moment I had seen this place I knew I had to capture sunset here. Unfortunately our last meeting for the day got so delayed that by the time we reached St. Kilda the sun was setting at a pace faster than I could walk. I remember running down the road with my camera in hand just to get a perfect sunset click and the result is for you all to see.

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


Towards Unknown

The


Story behind Photograph:

the

Stress - buster. When I fill the bubble gun with the fluid, I put in the stress along with it. I press the bubble gun trigger and let the bubbles out; I let the stress out with it and as the bubbles float toward the unknown, so does the stress.

About Arti Honrao: Author of fiction books titled 'My Life story' and 'Is This Love & Autumn - The Last Leaf' and novel 'Resemblance - The Journey of a Doppelganger' Arti enjoys writing short stories on Relationships. She has attempted writing different form poems but most enjoy writing Prose poems where she gets to express without the limitations of words or rhyming. Most of her writings depict human feelings and


emotions, which she tries to bring onto the page and into the minds of the reader. She believes that essence of writing lies in not only entertaining the reader, but speaking to them through words. She writes at www.artihonrao.net and can be reached at contact@artihonrao.net


Prompt of the Month for October Details on Prompt of the Month can be read here. Last date for submission: 20th September.

Photograph (c) Arti Honrao 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 admin@writersezine.com


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About Namrata If someone were to ask her to describe herself the one befitting word would be â&#x20AC;&#x153; A Dream Catcherâ&#x20AC;? followed by a child - woman, a dreamer, a dancer, a bibliophile, an author, a poetess, a writer, a painter, a singer, a go-getter, a doer, and an achiever. Having a decadeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experience to boast of in the corporate world, Namrata today is striving to strike a balance between her dreams and reality. Mastering the nuances of finance does not deter her from giving voice to her inner most feelings at her Blogs. Having been bitten by the writing bug very early in age she had her first poem published in a coffee table book "Letters from the Soul" anthology of poems at the age of 17. Since then she has been a contributing author to many anthologies and has


penned her first book Metro Diaries which is a collection of love stories. Apart from being a reviewer for leading publishing houses, she is also the editor for various books along with Writerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ezine. (An online mag) Her world is made up of loads of wonderful books, a handful of beautiful souls and tons of memories she gathers every moment. She dreams of making a difference to the world, one word at a time!


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


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

Profile for Writer's Ezine

Writer's Ezine Volume XVIII : September 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 XVIII : September 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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