This blog is a part of self discovery, a symbol of my passion for writing - my madness, an attempt to be a part of the 'Write-A-Thon'. This is my space - beyond the judgement of others. Here, I dabble mostly in romance, poetry, shayari, book reviews, social issues that bother me and trending topics (venturing out of my comfort zone) with a dash of personal insights about life - an entertaining fiction itself!
have neighbors next door - Gupta's - I always smell aromas from their house,
especially during breakfast. I wish to go to their nest one day and find out
what's cooking, literally!
day, we had a building function, an informal one. As Mrs Gupta asked me about
my life and college, I decided to ask her about her breakfast, foodie that I am!
is the first meal of the day, it should be eaten well. Breakfast first, rest
later - is the rule at my home," Mrs Gupta said. "I want happy hellos
and smiles on my table every morning rather than sad grumpy faces of my husband
and kids. Hence, I choose to pep up the breakfast each day without compromising
on the nutrition value."
main issue is with the breakfast aunty," I told her.
she asked me, "How come?" I replied quickly making a sad face,
"I don't like omlet and often I get bored with regular bread and butter
said, "It is simple, beta! Start your day with a healthful bowl of Kellogg'scornflakes
in the morning and you’ll be on your way to a great day."
aunty?"I raised an eyebrow. "All that aroma daily from your house belongs
Amused to hear that, she said, "Not just Kellogg's cornflakes but many things added to it, to make
the breakfast royal."
me aunty, I want to know the mystery today!" I urged her.
treat our tummies with Kellogg's cornflakes and added garnishing. You know,
fruits are the best for your health. And fruits combined with healthful
cornflakes make your breakfast salubrious."
yum, aunty. Please continue." I said.
I have named few recipes myself, according to the situations at my home. For
example, if my kids have homework to do along with the breakfast - I have
something called 'Homework Wala Nashta' - easy to hog with basil curd dressing
and cornflakes." She removed her tab to show me the pictures of her
recipes she had clicked. I will share a few in my post here.
this one! Cornflakes with honey and almonds - I call it 'Chup Karane Wala
Nashta' as everyone is utterly happy with this one and eats without making any noise!" and she pointed to another, "See this is 'Movie Wala Nashta'
- with cornflake popcorn clusters!"
continued as she swiped the images on her tab, "See this is cornflakes
with some banana and walnuts. You can use other fruits like strawberry too for
variety." It looked yummy. My mouth watered and I was all nom nom!
show you my favorite - 'Nakhre Wala Nashta'," she said. She swiped to another image. "Chapatti
Cornflakes Chivda - the one I simply love, we can use leftover chapatti's with
corn flakes and some spices over it! I pamper myself with this one." She winked!
you begin to read my post, have a look at the video below, if you still haven't
come across it! You will be dumbstruck, I bet.
was just brought across this news video by a dear friend. Initially, I couldn't
believe what I was seeing.
Today, from where I see,
the future of India is bleak.
"515 students caught during
Bihar board exams, minister says can’t stop it."
images of youths climbing atop an examination centre went viral. Bihar HRD
minister Prashant Kumar Shahi says it was beyond the state government to curb
mob cheating in Class X board examination. Following mass expulsions the blame
game begins. According to him, “We
cannot control or curb unfair means…when we are conducting a large-scale
examination. There are four-five persons to help one student”.
of the incidents of cheating this year have been reported from Saharsa,
Chhapra, Vaishali and Hajipur districts.
clear proofs, news clippings and subsequent police inaction have put a question
mark on the administration’s efficacy.
incident has received widespread attention after Indian television footage
showed parents and friends of students scaling the outer walls of school
buildings to pass cheat sheets to students inside taking class X board exams. Teachers
and state education department officials supervising the examination caught
hundreds of students who had smuggled in text books or scraps of paper for
cheating. Witnesses said local police accepted bribes to turn a blind eye.
image is getting tarnished globally. Where will mob cheating really take us?
can get a certificate by using unfair means in examination but will not gain
knowledge. This large-scale and blatant practice will not help in any way.
education system is in serious need of reform. Former Bihar School Examination
Board (BSEB) chairman AKP Yadav believes that this incident was a result
of irregular and poor teaching quality and a shortage of teachers.
are the ones who teach us the difference between right and wrong. This kind of
parental guidance will drown India. You can never progress on the basis of certificates of such exams. You need talent.
is no window of opportunity. Education experts say that cheating is just a
symptom of the deeper problems that plague India's education system.
Bihar, exams are a family affair, where each member is a Spiderman. Oh, we
Indians have left behind Peter Parker!
system must produce not only knowledge but also morality in student's minds. This incident is really shameful and shows how
corrupt we still are. Knowledge is power and it will open many doors, people will
respect you, only if you earn it. Cheating doesn't suit Indians. We have such a rich culture where we are known for parenting and cherishing values. Honesty and integrity may seem old fashioned to others, but they are our treasured values. Children learn from what they see. Parents and guardians : Please know what's right and what's wrong yourself first. Refrain from Bihar style parental guidance! Indian culture is all about appreciating and doing good deeds. With modern approaches, we need to have 'moral education' in place too. Many modern things maybe against the Indian culture, but being corruption free and honest in all exams of life is definitely not.
"LIFE IS THE MOST DIFFICULT EXAM. MANY PEOPLE FAIL BECAUSE THEY TRY TO
COPY OTHERS, NOT REALIZING THAT EVERYONE HAS A DIFFERENT QUESTION PAPER".
P.S: 1. Thank you, Bharat Kumar Takfor enlightening me
about this issue and urging me to post about it and making me feel that my pen
can make a difference, after all. :) 2. Linking this post to IndiBlogger's IndiSpire Edition 57 #IndianCulture
September, 2014. My daughter was born. The most memorable day of my life.
regained consciousness, the nurse brought her to me. She couldn't speak, just
the usual crying that newborns do. But as I held her, she gripped one of my
fingers with her tiny hand, tightly.
a lot of people would feel that this is an ordinary moment of joy of being a
parent. But this day was more than that for me. My life got a sense of purpose
the day was mixed with joy and fear. I named her Ashika - she was my 'hope', my reason to #lookup to life! It was
the first day of the rest of my life. I too was born with her.
was the day I figured out my plan for life. 'Being a single mother wasn't going
to be easy,' I pondered. I was overwhelmed, but I would be lying if I said I
wasn't unsure - unsure of her future, the questions people would put up to her,
about her daddy.
day was a milestone in my life. The time I spent with her taught me a lot. It
gave me the strength and motivation I needed to go on with optimism, and look
up to life with a new hope.
was an abusive marriage. Raghav would beat me up. The day I took a stand
against him, he divorced me. Just a month later, I realised I was pregnant. That
didn't melt Raghav's heart. He didn't even care about it. He shattered my 'Cinderella
syndrome'. Initially, I was heartbroken, why it had to be me? A hopeless
romantic has this end to her marriage. I developed self doubts. Why me? My
family was my backbone in the difficult time.
first held Ashika - I got the courage to give her a good life. Ashika completes
me. She can hardly understand even when I cry as I put her to sleep, but
whenever I cry, she starts crying with me too. That's how maybe daughters are! Hence,
I have started staying happy for her. We are #together since then, each other's
bad as she doesn't have someone to call a 'father' to. But at the same time, I
try my best to cover up for a father figure. Maybe one day, maybe, I'll have to
answer all her 'why's', 'how's' and 'when's'. Bit I'm ready for it, not
is cold to a single mother. The absence of a man in the house sometimes haunts
me. But they make you strong when they abandon you, isn't it?
is so special to me. My marriage did me no good, except her birth. Lucky is the
woman, whose first child is a daughter. The map of my happy future is hidden in
the crease of Ashika's smile!
not the advice people give, but a company is all you need. Ashika's company
although she can barely understand my pain - is a blessing! That's the power of
being #together. Wordless conversations with her that mean the world to me!
positive attitude is everything. If you don't indulge in bouts of self-pity and
depression, you can handle single parenting. Never turn back to bad
things, something good always comes out of it. You were simply not put through
the storm for nothing.
one of the biggest reasons for losing sleep. There are so many concerns,
troubles and deadlines that snatch away our sleep.
in which I de-stress and #SlowDownZindagi when it all becomes too much to
1. Create spa like relaxation room at home!
lives are so busy that we don't end up having time for the luxurious treatment
at spas. So what?! Spas can be recreated at our homes too. A special room or
simply a special corner where you feel cozy and comfortable is enough to calm
you down and relax you. I have a special corner in my home where I de-stress, a
quiet corner with a good comfortable chair, a resting pillow, dim lights and
candles nearby. I leave behind my cell phone, books, etc, so basically I leave
behind deadlines, commitments for a while for some 'ME time'! Believe me, doing
this unclogs your mind and refreshes you.
tempo songs calm me down, relaxes my muscles and frees my mind of stressful thoughts.
I call it the 'music therapy'.
3. Scalp massage and a hot bath
massage my scalp with my eyes shut and thumbs behind my ears while spreading my
fingers on the top of my head. I move my scalp back and forth slightly by
making circles with fingertips for one full minute with Parachute oil. A long
hot bubble bath follows that relaxes my muscles and soothes my mind. I have my
favourite handmade apple soap, its sweet odour brings me joy and makes me feel
as if I'm at a spa!
4. 20 minute exercise
hectic day at work, I usually feel lazy to exercise. But my parents have
instilled a good habit of exercising atleast for 20 minutes daily to keep in
good health and reduce stress.
in my special corner, with a coffee mug in hand and a book in another, I feel
blessed and empowered. That's what reading does to you! It sharpens your mind. This
activity lifts my mood and slowly I drift to a peaceful sleep as I pay
gratitude for the day! Remember, "When sleep is sound, health and
Btw, just a fact: Did
you know that Friday of the second full week of March is celebrated as World Sleep Day!
your zindagi! De-stress! Enjoy life, more!
There's more to this post. Hey, wait,
listen! I want you, my readers to comment below about how you relieve stress. I
will then select the best comment, which will then win vouchers! Exciting no?!
cursed night at Nisarga had revealed the true reason behind his father's
sacrifice and his own dark past. Each revelation now draws Agni into the
sublime world of secrets. With Vrish and Guru Sidak by his side, fighting the
daggers from the past and winning over the opponents of the present, somewhere
deep down, he knows that his journey has just begun.
other scarred prince walks the ashes of his reality. Haunted by the glimpses of
truth the same night, Yani had but one choice – to survive. His unknowing
steps, trapped in cruel games of ancient powers had led him to a truth, a truth
which shall mould a good man in the clay of misfortune, hate and lust.
the world of Gaya, and thus shall be the Rise of the Grey Prince – the one torn
between the darkness of evil and a lone ray of hope.
Rise of the Grey Prince throws the reader in a world of
fantasy, with an indifferent story written to astonish, scare and lure readers
where the supernatural goes in hand with realism.
The story is about Agni, and his moving world of secrets. He
fights with evil that terrorizes his being and that of his family when he comes
to know the reason behind his father’s sacrifice. He endears over the foe of
the present, for which he knows that his journey has just begun.
The storytelling picks up a swift pace as the story
progresses and I realise there's a whole lot happening. The story is
fast-paced, develops rapidly, and is enthralling once you get into the story,
and begin to make a connect with it.
The characters have not been properly filled out in this
book. The start of the book should ideally give a list of characters and the
basics of those characters, which is vital given the length of the story, and
its complexity and number of characters.
A neatly drawn map of the land at the beginning of the book
becomes an interesting element in the book.
Arka Chakrabarti's style of storytelling is smooth and
fluent. There are many layers to the story and the author has made a great
attempt to tell it all. Probably in a hurry to finish the take the story from
one level to the next, I imagine he has restrained from launching into
elaborate descriptions. He has left a lot to my imagination.
The epilogue is riveting and smartly written, leaving great
scope for the third book!
There is a link back in the book, with a
short précis on what happened in the first part; but it does not
suffice. It is not presented well.
It is fictional story where the writer mixed fantasy with
horror. With no big words/sentences, it is an easy read for anyone. The author
has made a very good attempt at constructing and deconstructing before our eyes
with his words.
All in all, this is a very promising concept, and could be a
top-notch fantasy thriller. All it requires is attention to detail and proper
presentation so that the ones who haven't read the first part can also connect!
Recommended. Happy Reading.
review copy of this book was provided to me as part of the Book Review Tour for
the series of books conducted by b00k r3vi3ws.
The Secrets of the Dark
Author : Arka Chakrabarti
Publisher : Srishti Publishers Distributors
ISBN : 978-93-80349-90-9
Number of Pages : 342
Price [INR] : 195
Genre: Fantasy Fiction
Is one born with his destiny or
does he forge it?
In the mystical land of Gaya, two
prophecies bind the fate of men and empires alike. The Destroyer born from the
royal seed on the Land of the Setting Sun shall bring the empires down, or so has
In between the Destroyer and the
world stand the Seven Guardians of Gaya, guarding the realm of man. A king, a
father, defies the Seven and fate itself to save the last drop of his blood and
prince Agni grows in the Land of the Rising Sun, exiled from his own people,
unaware of his past.
Losing the woman he loved most to
the shadows in the dark, Agni is thrown into a whirlpool of events that he
neither knows, nor understands. His quest for vengeance brings him to the
doorstep of a secret that will shatter the very foundation of beliefs of a
Can Agni avert his destiny? Can he uncover the truth about the Seven and the
prophecies, now hidden behind a veil of ignorance?
The secrets of the dark are
sometimes so terrible that they are better left unsaid.
The detailed map of Gaya in the beginning and the details of the fictional land
of Gaya and the list of characters in the end is good.
liked the world of Gaya. Well set up and well described. The author indeed has
an eye for detail and gift of painting very vivid images through his words.
effort put by Arka is evident from his writing. There's a good control of
language and pace of narration that kept me interested in it from start to finish.
The characters have a certain depth to them, and the ending to this first part
of the Saga of Agni series is not something we expect to happen.
interesting beginning in what promises to be a riveting series involving
prophecies, end of world predictions, kings, kingdoms, wars, princesses,
bravery, chivalry, valour and the 'prophesied one' who could either make or
break it all. The first book sets things up quite well and is quite packed with
a tearing narrative which takes us across important happenings on both sides of
Gaya, viz, the land of the rising sun and the land of the setting sun. It
introduces us to Agni, the 'one' and to Princess Lysandra and her bravery on
the battlefield as well.
The battle narrations are good. I think a little more effort on the design of
the cover might have attracted the attention of the readers what the book reserved.
Even the tagline - the debt of blood is never repaid - on the cover page is
I like Arka’s narration. It’s right there with the sort of language I’d expect
in a fantasy genre novel, something that’s not direct enough to tell what is
happening, and just enough to show it. Like Agni, soft-spoken and sensitive one
moment, brave and valiant later and having the sense to understand the people
around him as well.
writer should be praised for creating a visual platform for his characters.
There are places where he absolutely keeps the readers spell bound with each
turn of events especially when the real identity of each character is
Secret of the Dark is author’s debut novel and at no point it looks like one.
This being a historical fiction, Arka has done a lot of research to share the
various facts, concepts, mythological characters and all about the period they
lived in, which is truly fascinating. This is not the genre that I read
regularly, still I was hooked to this book right from the very beginning. The
credit for this goes to the author and his remarkable story telling abilities.
this is the first part of the series, his future book will solely depend on the
success of the first book. Quite a risk, but will be highly rewarded too.
Indian authors are waking up to explore different types of writing.
I feel the book was quite engaging and can’t wait to see what part 2 of The
Saga of Agni will have to offer. Go for it for the book will keep you
P.S: A review copy of this book was provided to me
as part of the Book Review Tour for the series of books conducted by b00k r3vi3ws.
not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop - Confucius.
step in the right direction can change your life for the better.
is bolder than confidence. A leap of faith can change your life.
didn't manage to get admission to Medical College. I had two options - either
wait for a year or pursue Engineering, as I had done well in that entrance. So
I decided the latter. And trust me, when you take the leap of faith and take
all things in good stride, nothing can stop you.
stronger than you think and made up to be resistant to everything life throws
makes you that way. So today, I have not only cleared all my exams but also
came in the top 10 at the Mumbai University exams.
take a plunge and dive into it, you'll sail through it. I trust destiny and
what God throws at me.
this bold step and it has led to a good place for me. Now I even continue my
masters at Engineering. A girl who feared engineering, now pursues masters in
life throws you at the rock bottom of the sea, it has ways to teach you how to
how it taught me to come up in life even after entering something I was least
struggled initially to cope up with Physics and Maths, but slowly - I managed.
You ask me - How? I would say I never gave up. Yes, there were moments where I
felt like quitting. But you must know each one has a struggle of their own,
nothing worth keeping comes easy!
hard, believe in yourself and let your life start afresh - even from where you
felt it has no scope left. #StartANewLife.
big, bold step today has made me feel secure about my education and soon I'll
be teaching Engineering to aspiring engineers. This big change makes me feel
happy as I look back to where I started. And somehow I feel proud of myself to
have taken the big leap of faith and landed here.
would say is, acknowledge the situation and don't run away from it. A new
beginning can be started any day. You just need to have the faith to move ahead
and make it happen. You can and you will.
bad times as a fuel and work on. Because life has more for you than you
planned. It has big plans.
is a new hope, a new start. Believe in yourself, take bold steps. Life is all
about taking risks.
stay positive, start your new life today!
Housing, they love change - good change! Change signifies that we're moving
forward, living better, and giving ourselves the chance to be the best we can
possibly be. So ring in positivity and bring good changes to your life. See
post for babies! IndiBlogger prompts/topics make you wander your mind and come
up with such posts! I never thought I would be writing about babies and diapers!
makes my baby happy? Well, many things. To list a few -
Consistent sleep at the correct time
love to rest. If you don't allow them to sleep in the time they need to, they
become cranky and irritable. Getting proper sleep for good duration helps them
wake up happily and calmly.
cuddle sessions make my baby know how much I adore her and makes her super
It is a
soothing experience for my baby as she feels comfortable when I put her in new loose,
dry clothes after a warm bath.
massage stroking her limbs gives my baby relaxation and helps her sleep better
without any battle.
other diapers focus on keeping dry on the outside only, the new Pampers Baby Dry Pants promises
dryness on the inside too. The magic gel in it locks the moisture and prevents
leakage for up to 12 hours. Which is why I chose it for my lovely daughter - it
truly pampers her and keeps her happy.
Playful game sessions like peek-a-boo and hide and seek (without instructions)!
sessions help me connect and bond with my daughter, Alia. Playing is good for
baby's soul. Don't instruct them frequently, just let them be.
voice to her is melody. It puts her to sleep instantly as I rock her in her
Dancing to 'London Thumakda'
has become her favourite song off late, so whenever it comes on TV/Radio, she
starts jumping and dancing. It is heaven to see her so happy.
Feeding her on time
is a very simple strategy to keep babies
happy. Feed them at correct times and they will not be bad tempered.
tickle Alia by making funny faces. When I say 'Boing' it makes her giggle! And
it is adorable to see my little one burst into laughter.
loves parks. She gets super excited and chirpy as she knows she will have the
best time of her life there!
loves toys. All kids do, they love to spread all their toys in the house and
play with them endlessly.
babies love when they are given attention, especially by their mothers.
Mother's smiling face makes the baby happy too. I invest time in talking to
Alia, maybe she is too young to understand my words, but I still do, it helps
are a few sweet, silly fun things that make my baby happy! But all these things
work only when she is dry and comfortable. Pampers
Baby Dry Pants promises dryness, hence it promises happy moments to
your little one! Indeed, dry baby, happy baby. :)