Wednesday, May 18, 2022

तुमने कहा था...


Photo: 
Lasse Møller, Unsplash


तुमने कहा था ― 'कि अंधेरे से कभी डरना नहीं। मैं रहूंगा, हमेशा, तुम्हारा हाथ थामने को। थोड़ी देर हो भी जाए गर तो इंतज़ार करना। हम साथ चलेंगे, उन्हीं अंधेरों में ढ़ूंढ़ लेंगे वो राह जो हमें रौशनी तक ले जाए।'

बहुत देर हो गयी इस दफ़ा, मैं अब भी इंतज़ार में हूँ। इन्हीं अंधेरों में इक आशियाना बना कर।

कभी कहा नहीं तुम्हें पर मैं अंधेरे से डरती नहीं। ऐसा भी नहीं कि कोई राह ढ़ूंढ़ पाना नामुमकिन होगा मेरे लिए।

पर तुम्हारा वो साथ, मेरे हाथों में तुम्हारा हाथ ―वो मुझे रौशनी से भी ज़्यादा अजीज़ है। 

मैं यहीं हूँ, यहीं रहूंगी।

तुम...तुम आओगे ना?



Monday, May 2, 2022

It Rained That Night

 


Photo: Lochie Blanch, Unsplash


It was howling outside, darkness veiled by gleaming, heavy raindrops. She was waiting for Amar. Their first anniversary planning went awry. But he said he will be home, no matter what. 


The doorbell blared. Relief rushed through her mind. 


She opened the door. Amar was right there, smiling and drenched. She moved to hug him. 'Arrey, I'm drenched. Let me change.' He said affectionately, looking deep into her eyes. There was sadness in his eyes, which bothered her. I'll talk to him, she thought. Amar disappeared into the washroom. 


Her phone rang. She frowned at Amar's number flashing. Had he lost his phone? She picked up the call. 

'Hello. Is this Kavita?'

'Yes.' 

'I'm sorry...but...we have found a body on the highway. The I-card says Amar. Do you know him?'



If you like it, you may like this very short story ― The Crying Baby







Sunday, April 24, 2022

Hindi Translation of My Favourite Poems

It's fun, so here it is, again!

You can read my last translation post HERE





'तुम्हें मुहब्बत हो गयी है?'
उसने पूछा। 'बताओ तो, कैसा महसूस होता है जब किसी से प्यार हो जाए?'

'जैसे हर वो चीज जो मैंने खो दी थी, आकर मेरे गले लग गयी हो,' मैंने कहा।
Original: Nayyirah Waheed



Light is more important by Nizar Qabbani (It's already translated in English)





रौशनी दिये से ज़्यादा खास होती है।

कविताएं उन पन्नों से ज़्यादा अहम होती हैं

जिनपर हम उन्हें लिखते हैं;

लबों से ज़्यादा मायने रखता है

वो चुम्बन जो दिल को छू जाए।

और तुम्हारे लिए मेरे वो ख़त...

वो हम दोनों से बढ़कर हैं,

क्योंकि वो वाहिद दस्तावेज हैं

जिनमें दर्ज है

तुम्हारी खूबसूरती

और मेरी दीवानगी...




तुम कहते हो कि तुम्हें बारिश पसंद है
पर तुम भीगना नहीं चाहते।
तुम कहते हो कि तुम्हें आफ़ताब अजीज़ है
पर धूप में दरख़्तों के साये ढ़ूंढते हो।
तुम कहते हो कि तुम्हें हवाएं भाती हैं
पर तुम खिड़कियां बंद कर देते हो,
जब भी वो दौड़ी आती हैं।
बस इसलिए,
मैं डरती हूँ
जब तुम कहते हो कि
तुम्हें मुझसे प्यार है...



What do you think?


Thursday, April 7, 2022

F: Favourites of 2022 (#BlogchatterA2Z)

 

This year, I decided to go slow with my reading (mainly because of my writing assignments). I am reading at my own pace, without bothering about posting a review and all that (I do write mini reviews if I like the book; avoid if I don't). I have abandoned 5 books so far (3 back to back). I really hope I like what I started recently. Also, I'm listening to my first audiobook (first full length novel, I mean). The Last Boy to Fall in Love (Hindi).


But let's talk about what I liked. 


Young Blood by Chandrima Das





'A ruined reputation is one of the most effective ways devised by society to control women.' (from the book).


I read horror after a LONG time and I'm glad I read this book. A wonderful collection of 10 terrifying tales. It wasn't terrifying for me but it was certainly creepy. 


The writing is beautiful and crisp. Stories are gripping. You would not want to miss a single paragraph. That engaging.


I recommend it to everyone. Even if you don't like this genre, read it to enjoy the author's writing and storytelling.



The Flatshare Beth O'Leary





Tiffy and Leon share a flat

Tiffy and Leon share a bed

Tiffy and Leon have never met…


This is the gist of the story. 


‘Have you ever looked forward to reading a book so much you can’t actually start it?’


I was pleasantly surprised to find this quote in the book, as this was the very reason why I didn't start reading this book even though I bought it last year.


And I'm so glad I read, finally. It's entertaining and endearing. So engrossing that it traveled with me to my kitchen. That I took a break from an important writing project as I couldn't put it down.


I'd like to mention 'Before the Dawn' by Emma Pass. It's a historical fiction. The love story of Sam & Ruby. I thought it was going to be my favourite, as it was really endearing in the first half. The second half (especially the war scenes) was not that engaging. 


Now, television:


I seldom sit down to watch TV. 

But I watched a couple of web series recently and really liked them, so much that I am eagerly waiting for the next season.


Asur





I read some fabulous reviews of this web series plus I was pleasantly surprised to see Barun Sobti. 


It's really good. Intriguing, mysterious and gripping. An interesting blend of science, psychology and mythology.


Maybe an unpopular opinion (because Arshad Warsi is there) but Barun Sobti is the hero of the show. He acts really well.



Special Ops 1.5





It's a short series, kind of bhumika before the season 2. I loved the season 1. That was an excellent spy series. 


I'd like to mention Gullak. Loved it! And so excited about the season 3 (starts from 7th). It's so pleasant, poignant and entertaining. The characters are so real. 





There's something common between these series: unlike most of the shows, these series do not have abusive language and vulgar scenes. Which is a great relief. Most web series are so loud, vulgar and abusive that they make me cringe. 


Have you read or watched any of these? Your favourite books/shows so far?



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Wednesday, April 6, 2022

E: Epistolary Stories (#BlogchatterA2Z)

 



When I read my first epistolary novel (Love Virtually), I had no idea about this format. And I didn't know that the entire novel was written in the form of emails. 


I read, loved and ordered the sequel (Every Seventh Wave: another epistolary novel). And I couldn't believe I enjoyed reading emails, just emails!


I love reading books that carry texts/chats. Two novels, The Flatshare and The Meeting Point, that I read and loved recently were all about exchanging texts (not epistolary). When I was reading The Flatshare, I suddenly wanted to write an epistolary short story (novel would be difficult) or at least a story with lots of texts. 


The challenge was to keep the texts/chats interesting. Throughout the story. But I started. I carry so many love stories inside my head. There are ongoing conversations. So I thought of channelising it. And I was so hooked that I completed it within hours. And I could not believe it.


I published (have removed for some reason. May republish later) and thankfully those who read that found it interesting. 


So, I experimented with a new format. Enjoyed working on it immensely. Might try again. 


Do you enjoy reading epistolary novels? Any favourites? And have you ever tried writing an epistolary story?


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Tuesday, April 5, 2022

D: Dialogues (#BlogchatterA2Z)





Pleasant conversations…isn't it endearing when you interact with someone with whom you can make a smooth conversation?


Fiction is no different. I'm not a very talkative person, but my mind is constantly buzzing with made up dialogues and conversations. In real life, I'm not good at making conversation (or talking for that matter) but, despite these conversation troubles, endearing/witty dialogues is one of the main reasons why I like any book/movie. Most of my favourite books have interesting dialogues. 


Why do we need good dialogues?

There could be so many reasons, however in this post, I'm going to mention two simple reasons:


Dialogues tell a lot about the characters. Other than dialogues, characters are the the backbone of a story. No matter how poetic the writing is, I don't like a book if I don't connect with the characters. 


They play a pivotal role in building the bond between the protagonists. The sparkling chemistry? That comes from the dialogues. 


Things to keep in mind when writing dialogues:


There could be so many things but, again, in this post, I'm going to mention three simple things. 1. Keep it real. Like we speak? 2. Keep it short. Two paragraphs/one page long dialogues are tiring and unreal. 3. Don't forget the activities and body language.


That's all for now. What do you think?


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Monday, April 4, 2022

C: Colour Mixing (#BlogchatterA2Z)



Acrylics on 10×12 inch canvas board



God, I missed painting! Could not find time for some reason in the last ten days. But then I painted this. It's an intuitive painting and mostly done by a palette knife. I wasn't sure if it was complete but didn't know what to add more. 


When we are beginners, we want to purchase all the possible shades, which is not practical of course. So, slowly I began to experiment with colour mixing. In the beginning, it felt like a task, but now it's fun. Moreover, when you mix your own colours, you get unique shades that you may not find anywhere. So limiting your palette is a good idea. In this painting, I haven't used any green, I mixed them. 


I know you should understand the basic colour theory rule, so yes learn it, however following rules can be really tiring at times, so experiment. No one is going to suggest you, but mix randomly, whatever you feel like, you will learn it eventually.


Recently, I started a YouTube channel, however I realized that it's not my thing because I get painfully conscious when recording and it kills the joy of painting. But I like making colour mixing videos. Here are some, in case you find it interesting. 


Four Unusual Ways to Mix Green



Two Ways to Mix Turquoise




Shades of Red







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Saturday, April 2, 2022

B: Beta Reading (#BlogchatterA2Z)

 






Have faith in your writing but do not fall in love with it. Not too soon at least.


When I wrote my first novel I was pretty pleased. Writing a novel is a big deal, yes it is. I sent it to several publishers and it obviously got rejected. I was heartbroken.


Then one day I found a website where they were reviewing the first 800 words of the manuscript. I submitted, very hopeful. Publishing industry is difficult to crack, right, so maybe they rejected my work just like that? But no, my manuscript actually had problems as I got bad reviews. I decided to not touch that manuscript. Not for a while at least. 


After a year or so, I started working on it again. I changed my voice and made major changes. In fact I rewrote it. Again submitted and got positive responses from renowned publishing houses. 


What I mean is, get your manuscript beta read even if you feel it's good. Especially if you are writing your first book.



In simple words, beta reading means reviewing a manuscript. A beta reader checks your manuscript for plot holes, readability and plausibility, which is very important. It would enhance your chances when you are going for traditional publishing.


Two important things to keep in mind:


You can seek professional help, of course, however you can ask your close ones, who enjoy reading and understand the craft, to read. In my case, my sister, my husband and my brother (plus some family friends) shared some valuable points. 


Choose someone who is brutally honest. A few years ago, a friend sent her book to me to review. I am not a very straightforward person but when it comes to reading, I am very honest. Sometimes honesty lands you into trouble. The friend told me that my input was affecting her writing in a negative way. I apologised but we are not friends anymore. 


The thing is, if you like praises then you must have the heart to accept criticism. It's for your own good. You don't have to agree with your beta reader every time she/he makes a point but consider it, think carefully. There's nothing to feel bad about. 



What do you think about it?




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Friday, April 1, 2022

A: Audio Books (Blogchatter A2Z)



Never say never! 


I always thought I could never enjoy an audio book. Because as a reader, I need to 'read' the words, to see them. I want to read in silence, not listen to someone saying so many things for hours. 


But, I am listening to an audio book currently. I am listening to 'The Last Boy to Fall in Love' by Durjoy Datta (Hindi translation). I have read his books before, so yes he writes engaging stories, but I'm listening to this story on audible mainly because of Barun Sobti who has narrated the story. There's something about his voice and the way he is telling the story. I think, for an audio book, the voice and the style of the narration matter.


It's not like I haven't listened to a story before. I have listened to several Neelesh Misra stories on Yaadon Ka Idiot Box. Recently, I listened to a story 'Unconditional Love' by Dr. Gaurav Yadav, recited by Divya Prakash Dubey Ji on audible (one of the stories in a series called Postcard). But they are short stories, maybe 10-20 minutes long. 


So, The Last Boy to Fall in Love is technically my first audio book (full length novel). However, I am reading really slowly: one chapter a day. But I feel I will finish reading/listening to this book.


Do you enjoy audio books? Any favourite?



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