Saturday, October 26, 2013

I smile...


When the golden rays greet me
In the morning with utter warmth
And morning glory blossoms
Stealing the worries of last night
I smile...

When the velvety breeze
Kisses me in a moonlit night
And twinkling stars promise me
A beautiful morning
I smile...

When soft petals flutter
And dew drops dance
And nature, filled with melody
Sings the song of newness
I smile...

When you touch me tenderly
And eyes show all the affection
Making me realize
The depth of love
I smile...

When I kiss you
And you stop crying
A fat tear rolls down your cheek
When your divine smile reach your eyes
I smile...

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda. We give out themes for creative writing each weekend for Indian bloggers.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Book-Review: The Weight Loss Club by Devapriya Roy

The Readers Cosmos conducted a giveaway for "The Weight Loss Club" (Rupa Publication) by Devapriya Roy. I haven't read her previous book and the title of the book indicated that to be a self help book about weight loss. But when TRC said this book is like Hrishikesh Mukherjee's "Bawarchi", I knew I had to read this! I participated in the contest and won this author's signed copy.

The Weight Loss Club is about the lives of middle class families living in Nancy Housing Cooperative in Calcutta. Everyone has got his/her own problems.

Monalisa cleans her house in no time and rest of the time worries about her son's studies. Meera finds herself whirling around her daughters and mother-in-law, Aparajita aka Apu is an academic who needs to lose weight to get a nice match, Abeer is busy thinking how to impress Mandakini aka Mandy, Ananda a lecturer/philosopher, whom nobody takes seriously, anyhow manages his job and bedridden mother with the help of a maid and a nurse, Treeza is depressed and carries huge emotional baggage and Oxford-returned Sandhya, a saadhvi/spiritual guru/yoga instructor who, one fine day, comes to live in Nancy Housing Co.

The cover page is interesting but I think the title is misleading. One may think it's a non-fiction.

Writing style of the author is very neat and crisp. For the story,  I think there are too many characters to deal with and I found it very confusing. I almost forgot where I had left (about one character) when the POV of that character returned again (After travelling from many other characters) but I really liked the way author switched to 'various' points-of view.

The characters are very realistic and well defined. I liked Meera's, Ananda's and Treeza's part. Meera nicely represents the typical Indian bahu who doesn't have any personal time. I found Abeer's part a bit dull and insignificant for the story.

Overall, for me it was a simple, light and nice read. You can pick this book if you like light contemporary read!

I thank The Readers Cosmos and Devapriya Roy for sending me an author's signed copy!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Be safe, stay happy: Safety matters

Life is precious and we must have the liberty to live a happy, respectful and secure life.  Read my post for Smart Suraksha.

Apart from blaming the system and others for our safety and security, there are some safety tips we can follow.

Make sure your mobile is charged.

Keep the numbers of your close family and friends on speed dial. 

Don’t ever take lifts from strangers. A strict NO when an unknown person offers you a lift. 

No matter how scared you are, you personality should always reflect confidence.

Keep red chilli spray or any pointed thing like scissors with you.  If possible, get some self-defense training.

Be responsible. Keep your family informed about your travel/location. Keep talking to them periodically.

Note down the details of the vehicle you're hiring and message it to your family and friends.

If you have to travel alone at night, avoid 'cumbersome' clothes/accessories and luggage.

You shouldn’t just worry about outdoor safety. Be careful at home also. Get the security grill door installed with your main entrance so that you don’t have to open the door for unwanted visitors.

Last but definitely not the least, Be Alert...always!

I am sharing my Smart Suraksha Tips at in association with Smart Suraksha App.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Compromises and
Adjustment becomes obvious
When life takes grey shade

I was married now. Married to a man who was seventeen years older than me.  Father of two children.  I  didn’t know how my so called new life would be. Maybe my husband hasn’t forgotten his previous wife yet. I envisaged a hanging framed photo of his wife. What if children don’t accept me? I exhaled a labored sigh.  I will try to adjust.  Finally I looked at the photo of my parents, who left me alone many years back. Vision blurred. I knew it was my last day there.

Written for: Write Tribe (100 words on Saturday)
                   Haiku Heights
Shared @ Poets United

Friday, October 18, 2013

Author's Interview: In Conversation with Vrushali Telang

Here's I'm in conversation with Vrushali Telang whose second novel "He Loves Me Not"  (Read my review HERE) has been released recently (Random House India) and it's getting nice reviews.

Hello and welcome to my blog.

Thank you Tarang.

So, tell your readers something about you.

I love stories. I love to read, watch and write stories. I'm based based out of Mumbai, in fact I have always been in this city. I live with my husband and daughter and my plants. Currently I am working on my kitchen garden!

What prompted you to write?

I love to write. I love to observe people. I love to see how they behave in different relationships. I love to notice how equations in a relationship change with success or failure. Human behaviour fascinates me. I write my understanding of people and situations.

The characters in your book ‘He loves me not’ are very well defined. On a different note you’ve chosen Parsi characters. Are they real life characters or pure imaginary?

The starting point of any character was a real person I knew. Then I took their traits and added my own dimension. However I only did the initial leg work. Very soon my characters started to take a life of their own. They spoke for themselves. All I had to do was listen to them. I did not create them. They created themselves. They wanted to be set in a Parsi milieu.

 Do you follow any strict schedule for writing?

Ha! I wish! I write as and when I can. My only deadline is 300 words a day. That I stick to.  You see, I have my little one to take care off. And I do it hands on.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

In general, people inspire me. Interesting characters that I meet in my daily life, they inspire me.

Tell me something about your first book ‘Can’t die for size zero’.

Can’t Die For Size Zero is a funny story about a what a plus size Joyeeta Naik feels in an a world obsessed with Size Zero. It is about her love for food and beer and how she finds it difficult to go on a diet.

Many of my readers wrote in saying how they saw themselves in the trials and tribulations of protagonist Joyeeta Naik . Couple of them knocked of the kilos only because they did what Joyeeta Naik did in the book.

Seems interesting! Would you like to share something about your next project

I have just about started work on my next. But it is too nascent in form to talk about it. All I can say is that it’s a crime drama.

What’s your favourite genre in writing/reading?

Humour and Noir are my favorite genres in both writing and reading.

Your favourite book/author.

Tales From Firozsha Baug by Rohinton Mistry

Writing a book is a huge task but getting a publisher is the    toughest nut to crack.  What’s your take?

Not in my experience. I have been lucky that way. Touchwood.

“Writing a book” trend is developing extraordinarily in India. What do you think about it?

I think it’s a great phenomenon. There was no space for commercial Indian fiction a decade ago. Indian fiction was too high brow back then. But now there is room for those who want to write a book. And we have to thank publishers for opening up and Chetan Bhagat for starting the Indian Commercial Fiction Trend. It would have been an uphill task for me, as an author had I written He Loves Me Not in the early 2000s.

E-books or traditional style of reading?

Traditional, Hands Down. Love the woody fragrance of old books and the crispness of fresh paperback. With a cup of hot chai.

Any words of encouragement for aspiring writers who crave  and struggle to get into the ‘published author world’?

At any cost, Write YOUR story. The story that is your truth. Because no one has or will write it as well as YOU can. Don’t worry if it’s not been written or heard of before. It’s probably because it was meant to flow through you.

And after that relax. Just take it easy. If you are having a tough time finding a publisher, try to self publish. Then distribute copies. I know someone who wrote a bunch of short stories, self published and sold copies to his friends for Re.1/- For him it was more about the joy of writing and seeing his work in print than being published in the traditional sense of the word.

Remember celebrity author, aapro Amish Tripathi started his successful journey with self-publishing.

Having said this I’d like to reiterate, this is for those who are struggling to find a publisher. It is not an option if a publisher is interested in your manuscript.

Very helpful tips for aspiring writers! Finally, what do you think about my blog? What’s your idea about blogging?

It is a very popular blog and I think your reviews are widely appreciated. I have been planning to blog, even started once but stopped. A Blog is like a full time job. One has to be Disciplined and Consistent about it. According to me bloggers are serious writers.

Thanks for your kind words! It’s an absolute pleasure to have you here! Quite enjoyed this candid conversation. Thank you and I wish you all the best for your future projects!

Thank you for your time. Good Luck with your Blog. 

My pleasure!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

You’re not alone

Smart Suraksha Contest

When I heard that she had been stabbed, the first thing came to my mind “God! She is pregnant!

She was expecting her first child. After taking rest for two months, she had to resume her job. She usually returned from the office by 7:30 p.m to 8:00 p.m, but that day, due to some emergency meeting in the office she was a little late. It was 9:30 when she disembarked from the bus and started to walk slowly towards her colony nearby.

The road was deserted. It was not unusual. That road was generally desolate at this hour and in six months living there, she was quite used to of it.

She was walking in her own thoughts. Her husband must have arrived before her today. At that very moment, she sensed someone following her. She couldn't dare look back and started to walk with hasty steps. She heard some rattling sound and couldn't resist looking back. She saw a rickshaw coming towards her. Feeling relieved, she continued walking.

Suddenly, someone grabbed her hand to snatch her handbag. How was she supposed to react? Obviously, she resisted and tried to shout for help. Right then, the other boy muffled her mouth tightly.

Finding her still resistant, they stabbed in her hand and back! She gave up and they ran away with her handbag (That obviously contained many important documents, debit card and money) and mobile phone, leaving her injured. Do we work hard and earn money for these greedy robbers? She cried and cringed in pain. But no one was there.

After sometime, she gathered some courage and trudged herself. Luckily, one of her neighbours was passing by and he was kind enough to help her.

She was now safe. Thank God the baby was safe but I kept wondering what if those monsters hit her stomach! I really wish she had Smart Suraksha with her!

Recently, newborn of a woman, very close to me, was admitted in Sir Gangaram Hospital. She stayed all day in the hospital to breastfed her baby and returned back with her husband who usually picked her up at eight at night (Fathers are not allowed to stay with the baby).

That day her husband called at the last moment that he could not come to pick her up due to some urgent work in the office. She had another child to look after, so she had to get back to home.

After several refusals, finally, she got an auto. After a while, the auto stopped at a marooned petrol pump. She remembered the Nirbhaya’s case and shuddered. She asked him to leave her at her home first but he said “What if the fuel runs out on the way”. She was not used to of travelling alone at night and had a very little idea about the route. Sometimes, your circumstances leaves you with no option.

Thankfully, she got home safely that day but what if the auto driver was wicked. She must have thought about something like Smart Suraksha and I wish she had Smart Suraksha with her.

Travelling alone at night has become the biggest risk any woman can take these days. But we should have the liberty to care about our own duties/problems/convenience, not the filthy mentality of some nocturnal monsters. So, I would say, in the present scenario, The Smart Suraksha App is a very important and thoughtful initiative. It’s an android application which at the touch of a single button sends your message of help along with your location (Even if the GPS setting of your phone is switched off) to five pre-chosen contacts on your phone. It aims at making the women feel safe. It can make them feel that “don’t worry, you’re not alone”.

I am participating in the Seeking Smart Suraksha contest at in association with Smart Suraksha App.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Book-Review: He loves me not by Vrushali Telang

Recently, I finished reading He Loves Me Not by Vrushali Telang. It's her second book (Her first book was 'Can't Die for Size Zero')

'He Loves Me Not' tells about the life of childhood sweethearts, Jimmy Cooper and Mehroo. Mehroo is a glass painter and is quite satisfied with her life. While she is actually in love with Jimmy (Envisages herself as future Mrs Jimmy Cooper), for Jimmy this relationship is just timepass or you can say love of convenience.

Actually, Jimmy doesn't care for any relationship in his life. He just dreams to be a big star and while desperately chasing his dreams, he lands himself in the marsh of complications and eventually in very troublesome situations.

How will he get out of the complete mess? What about his dreamsWhat's the destination of Mehroo's true, selfless love? To know the complete story you'll have to read the book.

The book is entertaining. I found the start a bit slow and too descriptive but as the story progresses, it becomes engrossing.

The book is written in multiple points of view and  I think description of some characters are insignificant. Like I did not find any need of going into Ritu's life (From her husband's point of view). There are many writing errors. Usage of wrong words, typos and repetitive words (I hope it gets corrected in the next editions)

The characters and situations are well defined. And the book conveys some good, light messages and facts about life.

Overall, for me, it was a nice read especially the second half. If you like to read a light read, you can pick this book.

I received this book from the publisher Random House India (Random Reads) in exchange of an honest review. Thanks!

Linking @ The Tales Pensive

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Eerie night.....

The wind is howling outside. ‘tak…tak…tak’ the windows start beating violently. Kanika closes them. Furiously dancing trees are giving an eerie sensation at this wee hour. Varun had said that he will be back till 9 o'clock but now the night has grown deep. She starts to feel uncomfortable. Just three days back they had shifted to this large house located in a remote area fringed with lush greenery. She can now hear the pitter-patter of heavy raindrops on the windowpane after a frightening thunder

Tring…tring…the phone rings and it flashes the number of Varun. She picks up the phone immediately but gets beep tone. She dials his number but couldn't connect. He is out of coverage area. ‘Where he could be at this hour?’ She thinks.

‘Tannn’ the wall clock strikes one and then the house plunges into a deep darkness. She searches for the candles but couldn't find them. Suddenly, she hears a hard thud as if someone has just landed on the roof. She skips several beats. Her heart is throbbing so hard that she can hear them. She feels scared to death. She had told Varun not to buy this house….

The phone rings again. It’s Varun! She feels slightly relieved.  “Hello, where are you?” She almost shouts. The line is not clear but she could hear him. “The road is blocked due to bad weather. I’ll come tomorrow morning. Don’t worry and keep the door and windows closed. I….” The call disconnects again.

Kanika has to spend this creepy night alone. But she can’t sleep. She hugs herself tightly and waits for the electricity and then….someone knocks the door……!!

This post is a part of   Write Over the Weekend an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda where the post must contain at least five sound words.

This post has been chosen by BlogAdda as one of the WOW posts


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pure charm blossoms


Beads of bright colours
Light up the face of nature
A pure charm blossoms

               Haiku My Heart
          Poets United

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Book-Review: English Bites! My 'Fullproof' English Learning Formula by Manish Gupta

English is a beautiful and fascinating language. A very helpful medium to communicate. But it’s not so easy (At least for some people). People can be good in written English but they may falter in spoken English. Fluency in English speaking needs confidence minus hesitation and it enhances confidence minus hesitation.

I generally don’t read self-help books. When the author Manish Gupta approached me for the review of his debut book English Bites!, I was a bit skeptical. But as I said English is a fascinating language, it stirred the second thought. I read some really nice reviews and decided to go for it.

It’s true that learning is an unending process and this book proves it yet again.  

English Bites tells about the author’s English learning experience and thankfully it’s not written in a preachy way. It’s a light read. Tells you some interesting anecdotes based on the author’s keen observation and experience (which may seem quite identifiable to beginners). Moreover you don’t have to consult dictionary because the book carries a nice dictionary in the form of footnotes. But it’s not just for beginners. It will promote your brewing desire to learn this language as the publisher (Penguin India) says that the author is now very fluent in English and has a very good command over this language (This book is a perfect example). 

Here the author shares some interesting  techniques to improve this language. The book promises that you will learn thousands of new words. I am not sure about the number of words to learn as it depends on the knowledge of an individual reader, but yes you will learn for sure. 

Difficult / unusual) words are highlighted that makes the book easy to read. You will  learn some new words (You may know the meaning of some highlighted words) and this book will  help you to revive your memory as sometimes we tend to forget the meaning of some learned words (I used to highlight the words in the dictionary so that I could meet those words easily while turning the pages of dictionary every time.) The assignments like oxymorons and words without vowels are interesting. Woman-husband example of epigram is funny.

Overall, I would say its a very decent and intelligent attempt/compilation.  I would suggest every one to read (And keep in the collection) this book (not in just one go necessarily as its not fiction, so you may not want to finish it in just one go). It's a 'must have' for aspiring writers. It was a good learning experience.

If I have to point out something negative about  this book. I would say that the book cover could have been a bit vivid and I found some words too vast to use in general English specially spoken  English. In this book, the author tells about his college/school life. I think, college life has a lot of spicy, interesting, funny and exciting stories so, the author could have added such incidents to make this book more interesting/fun. 

I received this book from the author for a brutally honest review! Thanks!

Linking to The Tales Pensive