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Monday, 23 November 2015

Well, confession is not that easy. That is what I have actually heard and in fact that is true too. 

"Confessions act like a broom, sweeps all the dirt and leaves a brighter road ahead."

But what if I had to confess - "small things" to someone to whom I am in love with, to whom I have willfully agreed to spend the rest of my life with (including petty fights to quarrels to not talking at some point), to whom I am the best thing ever happened after her Dad, to whom I am the cynosure of her eye, to whom I am legally married to and a father of a doting kiddo? 

Sounds a Himalayan task, right? Probably more difficult then confessing to a crime - you get a whack at your behind and you probably confess; but getting kisses doesn't lead you to confess your love. Does it? I hope you got the point.

So now what happens to the above quote? It completely makes a mess of the confession that I am about to share. But then, as a writer you need to improvise every now and then and let the creativity flow. So I decided to play with the words...

"Kisses acts like a broom, sweeps all the dirt and leaves a feel good feeling."

This quote somewhat makes sense but not completely as it doesn't lead to the confession about how much I love. 

So when quotes aren't enough, the second-best thing to do is write a poem. So here I go with a Himalayan task, a smile on my face as I recollect those days of our courtship. 

Note: Whoever thinks this is easy, has not tried baby sitting. It is highly easy to baby sit then to write a confession poem that too on Love for your better half. One mistake and you will be dead. Mind it!


On the count of 3, 2, 1...

The day, I had my eyes still on you
It still does today upon your sight
The radiance, the poise, the hue
Your presence is my eye's delight

The widening of the your lips
Highlighting your plump cheeks
Which I still pull till you quip
Is what my heart always seeks

The first rush of blood
The kisses that flooded our souls
All etched in thy heart's canvas would
Get evoked every time as thy heart cajoles

Always on cue
Without even my uttering a word
Your another hue
Is what amuses me and leaves my heart recolored

Those exchanges of daring messages
That sharing of adventurous selfies
Is what made my home-alone abuzz
A perfect for hearts' therapies

O! How could I forget !
The main reason for a 'yes'
The naughty yet lustrous and drool-worthy asset
Disheveled, kept, coiffured, I obsess

Even we had our fair share of pizzas
The four aligning with you, rest with me
Understanding created a fuzz
But we sealed it with a kissing spree

That's how I as a partner prefer
Melting into each other's arms
Calming our nerves to blur
The fight, and rising to the lover's charm

There can still be a fallacy
Resulting into a sore
But I confess I would not flee
And not let the love to the door

Phew! That was one of a confession.... till death do us apart, until the bond, the feelings and emotions, the mutual respect, the support, the romance and Love will always be seeing the sunshine.  

This post is written in a response to a #WritingPrompt #CanIConfess as a part of the #BlogBuddy initiative by @Blogchatter a wonderful platform for bloggers on every genre, that encourages, motivates, encourages on everything blogging! 

Friday, 20 November 2015

A Thousand Unspoken Words 
Paulami Duttagupta 
Publisher: Readomania 

A hero, a person who displays great courage for the greater good, can also fall. But what happens to a fallen hero? A Thousand Unspoken Words is the unique journey of a hero who falls. 

The champion of the underdogs, the writer who uses the nom de plume Musafir is famous in Kolkata. His incisive criticism of the injustices around him earn him many enemies but he holds his ideals above all else. Scathing attacks at his books and a night of hide and seek from political goons leads Musafir unto a path he never liked, faraway from his ideals. He runs away and chooses the comforts of money over the travails of following one’s ideals. The hero falls. 
But Tilottama, passionate fan’s hopes don’t. When he comes back after many years, emotions, love and lust take charge and an affair brews. Will she bring back her hero? Will he rise again? Or will the thousand untold words, the many stories of the ideal writer be lost forever?

Buy @


Wahan kaun hai tera, Musafir jaayega kaha’, the retro radio show played the SD Burman classic. Tilottama looked at her radio once and tears blurred her vision.

‘O Sachin karta this song reminds me of him.’

Tilotamma quickly wiped her eyes and turned the radio off. The day had been taxing enough. She needed to unwind, get Musafir out of her mind. How crazy could some people get? He had just written a fictional piece. How could fiction humiliate a government in power with an absolute majority? Wasn’t this a democracy? How could the supporters of a faith or political party get all insecure and burn his books?

The object of Tilottama’s despair, Musafir, was a writer supposedly based out of Kolkata. He wrote books at irregular intervals, and hid behind the veil of anonymity. His pieces were mostly social commentaries and satires on the state of Bengal. They were all fictional but had come under severe criticism in the past few months. Little paperbacks in funny covers, his books were available in old, rambling, bookstores across the city. Some were also available with the book vendors on the footpaths of the city.

When the news of the pulping of Musafir’s books had reached her a couple of days ago, Tilottama hadn’t thought things would go beyond a protest or two. The people of the city wouldn’t let go of things without a sign of protest. They got agitated at trivial things like who was included in a cricket team, and burned effigies and tyres in protest. They took out processions for Vietnam and Gaza. They could protest against him; but there would also be scores who would come out for her Musafir. They did when Firaz was hounded for his paintings of Goddesses.

‘And when they come out in large numbers, these goons will realize what it feels like standing before a civil society. They just can’t stifle Musafir’, she had confidently told her friends. What she did not realize was Musafir wasn’t exactly popular with the masses. His works were mostly literary and catered to niche readers. Her admiration for him had made her assume he was more popular than he really was.
Things had happened much faster than expected and spiralled out of control. Musafir’s printing press was vandalized and set on fire. Even as she and other Musafir fans watched, his books were dumped into that raging fire; words and hopes lost. The hundred odd fans tried to put up a bravefight, sang songs of freedom and stood with placards. But nothing worked. A couple of local channels had tried to stand by them in solidarity. The protest ended as a camera was smashed by the hoodlums on the road. People started fleeing fearing more violence.

‘They would kill us if they could’, Tilottama angrily spat out. ‘We were just so outnumbered. These were organized cadres. Yes, they were. Their bosses just can’t pretend to be innocent.’

A handful of policemen stood by pretending as if nothing was happening. The printing press was in one of the dingier parts of North Kolkata. It mainly did odd jobs like printing leaflets and bills, a few little magazines etc. and would print Musafir’s books on the sly. That is where he gave shape to his voice. The place was reportedly registered in the name of a man long dead, and people were left guessing who Musafir was. Some said the owner was a refugee who was avenging years of discontent. Some said his son was murdered by members of the ruling party. Some said he was just a frustrated man using the medium to lend himself a voice. To some other the entire idea was amusing and fascinating.

Tilottama grimaced and wiped her face clean. She was cutting a very sorry picture indeed, covered in grime andtears. All she could think of was her Musafir. She fought back her tears wondering what could have happened to her hero. For the past couple of years a strong wind of incumbency was blowing and Musafir’s voice had become stronger. Everything came under Musafir’s attack; from Dhaniajhapi to the burning of monks, the ban on English in government run schools, the apathy in the use of computers and much more. However, recently he had become vocal against all forms of religious appeasement and challenged the special religious laws. He had also set the stage against land acquisition bills, mismanaged industrialization plans and pre-election harangues. Musafir wrote as many books as possible bringing the discrepancies to light. And that is what brought about his downfall.

Tilottama sat on her bed and hugged her knees to her chest and went over the events of the day. She bit back the memory of the man who had asked her to let go of her placard, but that face would just not fade. 

‘What had he called himself,’ she wondered, ‘Ayushmaan . . .no Riddhimaan.’

He was a photographer! How dispassionate could he be?He had watched the carnage, merrily taken snaps and asked her to throw away her placard. If even the press did not come out in support of Musafir, then who would? Weren’t both of them fighting to make the pen immortal? Why was the media silent now; because Musafir didn’t have international backing, or corporate sponsors? She was upset that Poltu had shamelessly praised the man. Riddhimaan and the likes of him would give importance to writers only if they had a South Block or Writers’ Building backing.

‘I wish this government goes down. They will go down. I promise you Musafir they will,’ she told herself.
The loud banging of her window pane broke her reverie. The rains had lashed Kolkata with all their fury that evening. 

‘Even Mother Nature is angry. Drown the city, drown all of us. Since we have nowhere to go and hide our shame,’ Tilottama said aloud.

She continued to rant as she shut the window. She had hurt her finger in the process. Then she walked into her bedroom looking for the first aid box. As she cleaned the cut, the antiseptic made her skin burn and her thoughts drifted to Musafir. There was no way to divert her mind. Maybe reading Musafir would help, or maybe writing. Musafir always said he wrote to look for answers. Maybe she could do that too. But nothing gave her peace; maybe she was obsessed with the writer. The gag on Musafir was beginning to become a personal loss to her.

About Paulami Duttagupta 
Paulami DuttaGupta is a novelist and screen writer. She shuttles between Kolkata and Shillong. She has worked as a radio artist, copy writer, journalist and a television analyst at various stages of her life, having been associated with AIR Shillong, The Times of India—Guwahati Shillong Plus, ETV Bangla, The Shillong Times, Akash Bangla and Sony Aath.As an author, her short stories have appeared in various anthologies and literary magazines. A Thousand Unspoken Words is her fourth book. Paulami also writes on politics, social issues and cinema. Her articles have appeared in Swarajya, The Forthright and NElive. 
Paulami is associated with cinema and her first film, Ri-Homeland of Uncertainty received the National Award for the Best Khasi Film. Her second film Onaatah—Of the Earth is at post production stage and will release in 2016. She is currently working on her third screenplay. A short film tentatively titled ‘Patjhar’ is also in the pipeline.
Paulami is a complete foodie and is almost obsessed with watching one film every day. She also loves reading—political and social commentaries are her favourite genre. Literature classics and books on cricket are also a part of her library, apart from a huge collection of romances. Jane Austen’s fictional character Mr. Darcy is her lifelong companion. She is an ardent fan of Rahul Dravid and has been following all news about him for almost twenty years now.

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Thursday, 19 November 2015

Technology is at the root of everything. Whichever product you use, it has some or the other technology applied for the better performance of the final product. The same goes with mobile phones or rather smartphones. 

If you as a lay man who is smarter between yourself and your smartphone, I am sure that person will choose the smartphone as the clear winner. What not it does for you! For instance, it can wake you up, keep you in touch with any and everyone on this universe, share important business related files and click pictures too!! Isn't that a device of great utility and importance in today's generation?

Well, as it is said, 'You can keep the smartphone away from you, but smartphone won't allow you to keep it away from you'.

So let us look at some of the awesome things you can do with your android smartphone camera.

1) Your smartphone camera will allow you to take pictures of things that are faraway from your present location. Now, don't look confused and give me a wry smile. You don't believe me? Fine, I will tell you how. Take your now-never-to-be-used binocular lying in one of the corners of your cupboard. Place the lens of your camera in front of the viewing lens of the binocular and snap! You will get the desired image of a faraway place without moving from your current location.

Tip: The trick is good while you are holidaying or travelling.

2) I think you must have at least once wished of having a clone of yourself to work on your behalf. Well, unfortunately camera doesn't allow you that, but what it can do is play a prank on people whom you wish to be fooled. Didn't get it? I'll tell you. Go to the panorama mode of your camera and ask some one to capture you. Once you are captured in the frame, run a la Usian Bolt towards the other corner where you want to be captured in the panorama. Bingo! you have now successfully cloned yourselves only to fool the people around you.

Tip: Be your casual self in one click and your Halloween self in the other for maximum effect.

3)  We have always wished to have that one perfect click of nature and surroundings. Sometimes we only want a particular thing in the frame, like a pinhole effect. To create a pinhole effect either you need to visit a designer or a Photoshop expert to create a pinhole effect. But now with your one-man army of smartphone camera, you can do this easily. You need to place a cardboard just below the lens and a thumbtack strategically for the desired final effect. What you will get is a nice pinhole effect for your image.

Tip: Use different things apart from thumbtack. Even your tiny part of finger tip can give you the desired result. Also, it needs much practice.

4) If your sunglasses has a reflective coating on its lens then use it to its best especially during the early morning and late afternoon times. This can be a new arsenal in your photography tricks to get some superb perspective and shots.

Tip: Try clicking it from different angles and see which one is the best. You will learn only through trial and error. 

Also, here are some few more tricks to use your Android Smartphone Camera to its best.

1) Avoid flash as much as you can. Use natural light for better images.
2) Avoid using digital zoom as the image will appear grainy. 
3) Use HDR while taking images of stationary objects.

So, it is time to be a Technocrat and test your smartphone camera using the above ways for more fun and awesome pictures.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Hello friends, it is the day when creative juices flow in such a flow that it becomes imperative to pen it down. Only then you feel better and a lot happier. So that's exactly what I did. I wrote some micro poetries on Twitter on the prompt 'Waves'. This prompt was given by the Twitter handle KaafiyaPoetry. So here are my seven micro poetries on 'Waves'.

Hope you all like it !!

 If you have liked the poems, please do share on any platform of your liking. It will be a big boost to me as a poet. Thank you for dropping by and reading the verses. :)

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Karmic Kids 
The Story of Parenting Nobody Told You !
Kiran Manral 


Move aside Tiger Mom and forget Helicopter Parenting, Karmickids is the view from the other side of the fence – of laid back parenting, of giving in to food jags, of making unstructured play time mandatory and of not bursting a blood vessel when your child’s grades are not something you might want to discuss in public.

A roller coaster ride of love, laughter, and a few tears, Manral takes you through the beautiful chaos of the early years of parenthood. Written in a gently humorous style, this home grown, hit-the-ground-running account of the chaos of day-to-day parenting is peppered with anecdotes, reminiscences, a little practical advice and is a non-preachy, hilarious take on raising a spirited child while retaining one’s good spirits through it all.

Grab your Copy 

What others say about Kiran Manral 

“I enjoy reading Kiran’s books. The genre of easy reading and happy reading with inevitable style, she keeps you hooked on the book from the first page to the last.”-- Tisca Chopra, actor

“This quick paced, fun new book had me enthralled.”--Tara Sharma Saluja, Actress and Co-producer and host of The Tara Sharma Show

“Kiran's writing style is witty, humorous and makes you think. She has a penchant for making even the most mundane, interesting because of the razor sharp observations, served with a dollop of dead-pan humour.” --PreetiShenoy, bestselling author

“Kiran's writing is that rarity in today's world - the ability to be really good without taking itself too seriously. This is writing that is effortless in its humourand also its fluidity. It asks not for heavy literary criticism but for a certain laid-back enjoyment.” --Parul Sharma, bestselling author

"Kiran's stories are fun, engaging and always fresh - and her droll style, of course, inimitable!"-- Yashodhara Lal, bestselling author

“Kiran's writing is delightful, her wit inimitable and her sense of romance untarnished by cynicism that is so typical of our times.”— Shunali Khullar Shroff,  bestselling author

“Kiran Manral's sparkling sense of humour leaps off the page, every page. Her blog posts, books and columns have given me great joy over the years. She has a distinct original voice that brought a breath of fresh air in the world of Indian Writing in English.” – Devapriya Roy, Bestselling author  

About the Author 

Kiran Manral worked as a journalist with The Asian Age and The Times of India before she quit full time work to be a full time mommy. One of the leading bloggers in India, her blogs were listed in Labnol's list of India's top blogs, and her parenting blog, Karmickids, was ranked among the top five parenting blogs in India by Blogadda. She was also a Tehelka blogger columnist on gender issues.

She was listed among the 10 non-celebrity 'social media stars' on twitter by the TOI and IBN Live named her as among the 30 most interesting Indian women to follow on twitter and among the top 10 Indian moms to follow on twitter in 2013. Fashion 101.in named her as amongst the most stylish authors in India. Womensweb.in listed her as one of the 20 women authors from India to be followed on twitter.

Post the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai, she founded India Helps, a volunteer network to help disaster victims post 26/11 and has worked on long term rehabilitation of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack victims and 13/7 Mumbai bomb blast victims, amongst others. She was part of core founding team behind Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month (www.csaawarenessmonth.com) and Violence Against Women Awareness Month (www.vawawareness.wordpress.com), two very well received social media awareness initiatives.

Her debut novel, The Reluctant Detective, was published by Westland and her second novel Once Upon A Crush, was published by Leadstart a couple of years later. Her third book All Aboard!was published by Penguin Random House in August 2015. Karmic Kids is her fourth book and first nonfiction book. She has one more book due for release in 2015.

She is on the planning board of the Kumaon Literary Festival, an advisor on the Board of Literature Studio, Delhi, an Author Mentor at sheroes.in and a columnist at iDiva.com. She was awarded the Women Achievers award by Young Environmentalists Group in 2013.

She currently blogs at www.kiranmanral.wordpress.com and is on twitter @kiranmanral.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

A fragile flower
Alive, yet crushed knowingly 
Just as our lives - bombed

A haiku in the wake of the recent terrorists attack on various parts of the world; Beiruit, Baghdad, Paris and many more unreported places.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Name of the book: Déjà Karma
Author: Vish Dhamija
Published by: Rumour Books India
Genre: Thriller
ISBN: 978-1630412845
No. of pages: 243
Price: INR 200

On the jacket: Deja Karma is about Jay Singh who is the best defence lawyer in New Delhi that money can buy. But Jay Singh is a closet alcoholic; he has a dark and ominous past. His mother has been accused and convicted of killing his father… something he doesn’t accept even after twenty years.

Flamboyant, wicked, lethal, Jay Singh never loses a case, though his methods might not always be within the law. If the law is after you — guilty or not — there is only one man who can save you. If Jay Singh takes your case, witnesses for the prosecution disappear or turn hostile, evidence evaporates, technology and science fail to provide any cogent support. What’s more — Jay Singh can even provide you with an ironclad alibi.
And then he gets a case that can completely destroy him.
If he loses the high-profile case he can kiss his career goodbye; if he wins the case he better keep his obituary ready. 

Review: Touted to be the as India's John Grisham, I was intrigued as to how it is going thrill me and leave me in splits; whether it will be a perfect whodunit and will the climax not turn out to be predicted. Well, to answer all these questions, I would only say one word, YES.

Yes, the story greeted me with a tinge of uneasiness that refuses to leave until and unless you finish the entire story. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish the read in one go, but that's what made me more interested in knowing what will be there in the coming chapters. I sort of started predicting the turn of events which somewhat matched to that of author's and some didn't. 

The story is gripping, right from the word go. Although, I couldn't comment much on the pace of the story as I myself was reading at a snail's pace but trust me it will keep you on the hooks till you finish reading the entire story. The introduction of Jay Singh, the dual style of narrative to separate the current on-goings in his life and his personal life, almost goes in sync with the overall plot. Moreover, it helps in taking the story forward. 

The characterization of Jay Singh is aptly done where I could almost feel and empathize on the turmoils going on in his mind viz-a-viz his ruthlessness to win any case at hand. Along with that, a small plot of love developing over the more important case is what made the middle and the latter stages of the plot interesting. It added a bit of much needed garnish to present the dish beautifully. The characterization of other characters, especially that of Bhima is nicely etched. In fact, I am in love with Bhima's loyalty towards Jay and that too without any conditions attached. 

The climax is what made me cringe as I felt it a bit over the top, filmy style, but I guess that's how the term 'fiction' got developed, didn't it?

I did find a few grammatical and spelling errors and it would have been much better if the font size would have been a couple of scales on the higher side. It would have made my reading much more at ease.

Overall: A good plot, nicely woven story and a strong characterization is what kept me turning pages of this superb novel. A must, must read.

Ratings on:

Plot - 4/5*

Characterization - 4/5*

Writing - 3.5/5*

Entertainment - 5/5*

Overall - 4.5/5*