A Free Write

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I haven’t the faintest idea why I have embarked on this mission today. I am not able to blog these days. It is driving me crazy. I get email updates when my friends blog and it irritates me because I am not able to do so myself. Then I hear that November is the month to get back to writing. To that , add the magic words “500 words”. I am a fan of such short post challenges that don’t expect much from you other than just writing 500 words a day. How difficult can that be?

I speak a lot to people these days. My talks with myself thus reducing with each passing day. That is what this blog is all about. Me speaking to myself. Yes, I am self obsessed that way!

When I read about My500Words at Write Tribe , I knew that this was it. I need something like this to blog again. So here I am, doing a free write. Just letting the world know that I pledge to write for 31 days.

I am guessing the prompts are going to come into my email everyday. Thus, pushing me to write for the day. I hope so. I really need that reminder to go on.

Facebook is a long lost dream now. So no joining groups for a while. Maybe when I sit up and write continuously for a few days and get into the habit of it, I shall consider using facebook groups again.

Yes, I am thinking out loud. This is a free write remember!  Being a teacher, my mind is always busy planning something or the other. So why not plan my blogging too. Writing 500 words a day can’t be difficult at all. Considering there is so much happening these days for me to share.

My job keeps me engaged, my kids keep me on my toes and my writing keeps me sane. Yesterday , I wrote the first few scenes of a screenplay for a movie making competition. I needed to give a sample of a script to the students to work on. They need to work on different story lines based on the few scenes I have written. That is when it struck me. I miss writing. I miss it a lot. My English might not be perfect, my technique might not be right. But I love to write. That is a good sign isn’t it?

There is a story that I started on this blog a few weeks ago. I haven’t been able to give it a part two so far. Maybe I will continue with that. Maybe I will write one  short story a day. Maybe I will just ramble through the 500 words everyday. That is the beauty of this. There is no theme, no restrictions. I just need to write 500 words about anything.

There is so much joy in writing, only now do I realize how important blogging is to me. I will try and be regular. My word count is at 510 now. And here I stop for the day…

BOOK : Double Jeopardy

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double-jeopardy

double-jeopardy

This is a “coming of age” story of a young woman who travels back to India from London , after 10 years , to meet her childhood crush. Sanya accepts the invitation to spent some time with her father’s best friend’s family back in Mumbai. To revive the relationships she shared with his twin sons, Arth and Ansh.
It was Arth, who as a teenager, had stolen her heart. But during this trip she realizes she has fellings for Ansh as well. She tries her best to sort of the issues in her love life, while at the same time comes to realise what path her life should take.
The story is about how Sanya comes from London as a silly confused 22 year old. It is about how she transforms into a woman with a career in front of her as well as a blossoming love life. It is a perfect romcom Bollywood kind of story about new age love and acceptance.
As I reached the end of the book, I was left wanting more. It was just 90 odd pages! The characters are so vivid in my mind, that I can see a lot of new turns and twists the story could have taken. It is so well written and so easy to read that I was transported to Panaroma, the house that the Sharmas lived in , for the period of the book. I am looking forward to reading more from this author. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves romance and believes in happy endings.I would rate it at 4 out of 5.

Book review done for the Write Tribe Book Review program.

 

It is our world !

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I had been staring at a blank screen for hours in the morning while I was trying to churn out a post for today’s prompt until I finally gave up! I am not a feminist by any standards. I just believe in equality in everything. Men and women have equal contribution in this life and the wheels of life move ahead only when the two are in sync. Unless of course if we learn to create clones of ourselves or like they say in the serial “Almost Human”, create perfect chromes of ourselves, we are still entitled to equal share in this world.

How the disparity happened? How the social status of the woman got reduced to nothing? How inhuman crimes against women began? These are questions that I do not know the answers to. To tell you the truth, I am done with pointing fingers and trying to find someone to blame for the state of women in this world. It could have been mean women or meaner men. The key word here being “mean”.

What I would like everyone to focus on is on educating men and women about respecting every individual they interact with. Irrespective of caste, creed, religion or sex. They need to be taught to be kind to the people around them. They are to build a family of their own someday. They are to produce the next generation that will take over our places and run the administration of this world. If the adults are educated in this respect, the kids automatically get to learn this. And with this the crime and atrocities can be reduced. This, in my opinion, is the only way to solve the issue.

It is not a “man’s world” or a “woman’s world”. It is “our” world. And to protect this world, the education must begin at home.

1. Marriage minimum age must be increased to 24 for men and women. At least by then, the person has an idea what he/she wants to do with his/her life. They would have completed graduation and had a chance to make their own living even. Making every person , man or woman, self reliant is the first step.

2. Once the decision to have a child is made, other things like who is going to care for the child, who is going to take time out from work to tend to the child should be planned well ahead. This makes the planning of the child and its care giving much easier and stress free.

3. Financially sound family only can give a safe haven and a balanced home to a child. It is better to wait till your finances are sorted out and some money has been saved.

4. Life , although most don’t want to agree, is about giving life to a new generation of abled and responsible citizens. If you can’t manage to create more than one responsible citizen because of time and finance situation, stick to having just one child. Give the child all you have, in terms of education, sensibility and time.

5.  Nobody should be judged if they decide not to have children. It is an investment too and getting into it should be done with proper planning and thought only. Nobody should be forced to have kids just because it is considered the norm!

These are just 5 points that I think every young adult should be made aware of. Times are changing, world is changing, it is time to change some of the norms and move ahead in life.  Let us protect “Our World” and make it a better place for everyone , men and women alike. Let us inspire change in ourselves and the people around us. Let the ripple effect begin. The outcome can only be better anyway.

We don’t need a day to celebrate ourselves, but we do need a day to remind ourselves of our responsibilities towards future generations. Maybe a day like this can be used to unite the people of the world into making a happier world for all. Maybe one changed person at a time even.

Written for the Festival of Words 3 Day 7 @ Write Tribe : International Women’s Day 2014 theme – Inspiring Change

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International Women's Day

International Women’s Day

Laced with Revenge

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Laced With Revenge

Laced With Revenge

She looked around to see if anyone recognized her. Her presence was a threat to a few in the room and she had come disguised as a waiter. Her moustache was the Hercule Poirot kind. Within minutes of entering the room, she spotted him. She walked towards him, handed him the drink laced with cyanide.

***

Every person seemed like a threat to him. The guilt of what he had done had been haunting him for months now. It wasn’t his idea to ruin that girl’s life. He was heavily under the influence of his friends and drugs. The company he had kept was bad. He at least feared his fate.

***
They were five in all. And five glasses were found as the source of the poison. Every glass with a different variety. Each of the five boys died clutching their neck and screaming out help! No one could help. Just like no one came to help her when her innocence was being crushed under them.
***
Written for the Festival of Words 3 Day 6 @ Write Tribe : 55 Fiction on Friday
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Photo Courtesy : Photography Wallpapers

Inspiration

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Nurturing Mom

Nurturing Mom

When this prompt was announced, I was in a dilemma. Maybe it is weird that there is not a single person who comes to mind when I think about the people who have inspired me. Maybe this may sound like an arrogant disclosure, but I assure you it is not!

I get inspired each morning. When I feel the winds blow, when I see flowers bloom, when I hear the birds chirp away. I find inspiration from the books I read, the blogs that I follow, the Facebook interactions I have everyday and the children I see around me. Some of these young children can really make you wonder if age is the only criteria for gaining knowledge and understanding. Some people are definitely born with a nurturing nature.

I see women struggle to make ends meet. I have seen mothers trying to make a better future for their children. Most of them smile through their misery, while most of  us whine through the day on comfortable beds and sofas and complain about the things going wrong in our lives. I have wondered how these people live their lives with no luxuries of any kind and yet smile their way through life.

There was a woman who used to come in to help with the house work every morning when my kids were younger. It was a time when I was considering going to work and trying to find someone trustworthy to leave my children with. This particular lady was a good cook. She never smiled much, she just did her job and that was it. It is obvious that she has a lot of problems back home in India. Or else she wouldn’t be here working as hired help in houses. Her employment visa was getting over and if we wanted to keep her, we could hire her and get her a visa. This was a long time ago, before the maid visa rules became so strict in the UAE.

She was a strong woman. I mean a well built woman. To be honest I used to be scared of her. But then I knew better not to judge a book by its cover. So I entrusted my just a year old daughter in her care while I sat with my son helping him with his KG homework. I left my daughter in her care for less than an hour. She was listening to news on her radio while keeping an eye on my daughter who was playing in the kids room with some toys.

After the homework was done and the lady went to start on dinner, I picked up my daughter and took her into the sitting room where her brother was doing his colouring work. She couldn’t speak at that point, but she looked sad and was pointing to her right hand. I lifted the sleeve of her top and I saw a black circle mark on her arm. I was furious. When I asked her what happened, she pointed towards the kitchen.

I couldn’t control my anger, I went into the kitchen and confronted the lady with it. She initially denied it, then she admitted it that my daughter wanted to come into the sitting room where I was seated and the lady was so engrossed in her radio news that she just held on to my daughter’s hand tightly so that she won’t leave the room. I didn’t hear my daughter cry, or else I would have run to her. I am not sure how her cries failed to reach me in a two bedroom apartment! I shudder to think if she scared my child into keeping mum!

There is an inspiration for you. This lady inspired me in more ways than one. Anyone who rarely smiles is definitely not someone you want around your kids. If your instincts tell you not to trust someone, follow it. After that incident I decided to care for my children on my own. I didn’t look for another nanny after that.

My mom was a good student in school. She was majoring in Botany at a college in Thrissur when she got married. She was more capable than any one at that point in time to work and make a career for herself. She would have definitely made a wonderful teacher. She was an amazing athlete in school too. She was good at basket ball and she was quite a champion at shot put too. But she chose to leave all that and take care of us three girls. In this part of the world getting help was next to impossible in the 1980s. She grew up in a house with three to four maids doing all the work for her. Here she was doing all the work and tending to three daughters and their needs. She managed to give us good education and also got us married to respectable people in the society. All with the salary that my dad brought home. She still strives to do her best to help the three of us and our families as much as she can. My dad is with her in everything she decides to do. Together they are the best set of grandparents a child can ever have.

If that is not Inspiration, then what is? They have not accomplished wonders in their lives. But they are miracle workers in our eyes. Lives which seem so perfect from the outside, need a lot of work to survive on the inside. They believed in not showing to the world the pain that came their way and not flaunting the gains either. A perfect balance and a well lived life. I wish we could give them something in return. But they don’t want anything from us. They don’t need anything from us other than love and respect. Not a difficult task at all considering how loveable and adorable they are. 🙂

Written for the Festival of Words 3 Day 5 @ Write Tribe : An Inspiring Story 

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Photo Courtesy : Cherished hearts at Home

Book Review :The Almond Tree

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The Almond Tree

The Almond Tree

This is the story of a young Palestinian boy who makes a mark in this world with his intelligence and resilience. Even with the army throwing obstacles along his entire path, Ichmad manages to get himself and his family into a better future. The story begins with a 12 year old Ichmad witnessing the death of his young sister because of a land mine. The helplessness of war, the atrocities of the soldiers and the fragile lives of his family hanging between life and death are portrayed so well in this book that you can’t help but live his life with him.

The loss of another sister, his father going into jail, he losing his wife and up to the point that sees himself winning the Nobel Prize in Phyiscs. The story shows an entire lifetime of Ichmad and how he manages to live his dream despite the cruelties of war. Being forced to fend for his family since the age of 12, an injured brother who turns a rebel later on and fights with the revolution, this book shows it all. About how he managed to control his hatred and brought himself to love and trust again and how despite all odds he makes a life for himself and his family.

The book is an inspiration for sure. He made it out of the life of misery because of his brilliant mind, but the book also talks about another brilliant young mind, who gives his life to prove a point in the revolution. There in lies the strong will power and the patience Ichmad possessed and which got him to be successful in life. Of course with the backing of his father and his beloved teacher who helped by noticing the genius in him and encouraging him to chase his dreams.

I never read war stories. There is enough crime happening around us already. But this book although depicting the cruelties of war, manages to stay loyal to telling the story of a young man caught between life, responsibilities, his dream and a war.

I rate it 5 stars for its language, the story it told and the ease with which it was told.

It is a Book review today for The Festival of Words 3 Day 4 @ Write Tribe.

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