Why I am the Way I am

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One’s life is the most interesting piece of fiction one will ever encounter in his or her lifetime. For in life, as in a novel, or a short story, there will be numerous twists and turns, and you will never know when which twist will completely change the face of your life and the direction of your journey.

When I won my first story writing competition in, I think, my 5th grade, I used to tell everyone who asked, that I wanted to become a teacher. An English teacher, to be precise. I was in love with the language even then, and more importantly, I was completely awed by my English teachers. They way they spoke, their diction, made me completely besotted with the language. I spent hours after school scribbling poems on my rough notes. I participated in speech competitions, essay competitions and anything else that had the slightest inkling of English in it. Continue reading

A Blogger’s Success

Year 2030

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The alarm clock in my mom’s phone goes off as it always does – at exactly 5 in the morning. She sets it in the hope that I will wake up along with her, but I only pull my sheets closer and try to continue my dream, as always. And again, as always, she doesn’t force me to get out of the bed. At least, not until 7, when she starts her sing song “Utho beta, its time to go to college…”. Almost like a cuckoo clock, where the cuckoo sings in a human voice. I sit on my bed, rubbing my eyes, trying to figure out what day it is and what is lined up for me today. And then I remember.

Yesterday night I chanced upon something I never knew existed. My mother’s blog. Well, I know she is a writer, having written some three books, of which two are said to be bestsellers. Said to be, yes, for I don’t know if they really are since I have not read any of them. No, not because they are written by Amma. I have nothing against her, and in fact I am proud that she has written those books. But I have never been much of a reader. I can hardly manage to flip through my course materials, reading for pleasure or hobby is a far off objective. Sports, adventure, games – they are my forte. Books, umm, uhh

Sitting in the Bullet train that will take me to my college, I turn on my Google glasses and bring up the long forgotten blog. There are entries from 2013 till 2020. Around the time I was a toddler. It is as if my birth brought about a spurt of creativity in her, because before 2010, the entries are very sparse, and between 2013 and 2016, there has been a huge upsurge in the activities. My eyes wander off to a section names Amma’s corner. Under that section, I find a number of posts, titles suggesting that they are all somehow related to me. I start reading them.

It is all there in those posts. What I did when I was so small, how my mother coped with parenting, the good times she had with me as a baby, her joys, her concerns, her anxiety, her rants, her aspirations. The posts, both on the Amma’s corner section and the others, bring about a different persona of Amma. I have always seen her as the fun lady who has stood by me no matter what. High on energy, but also highly sensitive. Sometimes unreasonably, sometimes silly, but my best friend. It is a revelation to read her thoughts from over a decade ago. She had moved on to a new blog sometime around 2022, and that blog contained posts only revolving about her ‘author’ persona. There were no more personal posts in the new blog.

The girl sitting next to me nudges me to point that we were at the last stop. I jump up with a start. I was supposed to have got down at the previous stop. I thank her as she is leaving, and put my glasses inside the satchel, before walking towards the platform where trains going in opposite directions will arrive. I wait for the next train to take me back to my college, feeling closer to my mother today that any other day. I want to rush to her and tell her, “I love you, ma“. When the next train arrives, I do just that, going all the way back home. She is surprised to see me back soon, even more to see the effulgence of emotions from a usually stoic person. I tell her about my discovery, and she is delighted to know that I read her writing. She has tears in her eyes, when I talk about the mommy posts. Wiping them, she tells me, “People used to comment on some of my posts and compliment me. I always thought the yardstick to measure the success of my blog was the number of people commenting and liking it. But today I know, what others say or don’t say, doesn’t matter. The very fact that you read them, and liked them, that my writing helped you understand the things that your father and me did, and has brought you closer to us, is enough. That is the biggest success my writing can achieve.”

I smother her in a big bear hug, putting my chin over her head to hide the tears of joy that are escaping my eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

This post was written for the following open prompt from Project 365 – We Post Daily - 

openprompt_25thaugust2014

 

 

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A Review of Meghna by Sundari Venkataraman

Meghna by Sundari Venkataraman

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The Blurb
     The young and dashing Rahul Sinha lives in England with his parents, Shyam and Rajni. He is an only son of the rich banker. Rahul is totally attached to his father but does not care for his mother. Read the book to find out why…. 
     Rahul is exulted with his efforts at work paying off and plans a holiday with his best friend Sanjay Srivastav who lives in Mumbai with his wife Reema, kids Sanya and Rehaan and most importantly, his sister, Meghna. Rahul recalls meeting Meghna just before they parted six years ago. 
     Meghna works for a website and also teaches modern dance as she loves it. She’s thrown for a toss when Rahul comes visiting. She had thought he had forgotten them. 

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A Review of “Love Stories That Touched My Heart”

The Dawn, a leading newspaper from Pakistan, has reviewed in detail the stories from the anthology “Love Stories That Touched My Heart”. Published by Penguin, this anthology is a collection of short romances selected through a contest by Ravinder Singh, the best selling author, who has also edited the book. Yours truly’s story May God Bless You Dear is also a part of this book, and has also been made into an e-single available on Amazon. It is amazing that even though it is more than a couple of years since the stories got published, we still continue to hear praises for them from time to time. Like the review in The Dawn today. Continue reading

A Review of Scarlet Revenge by Ann McGinnis

The Blurb

 
The FBI doesn’t know what to do with Analyst Caycee Scarlet. She’s brash, brilliant & brutally relentless when tracking a serial killer. But she also has a temper, problems with authority figures and recognizing the chain of command. Things go sideways for Caycee when she uncovers a lead that saves the Omega Killer’s latest victim. Rather than working the system and making nice with her pompous boss, sparks fly and she gets into an altercation with the lead Special Agent on the case, resulting in a transfer to another assignment. Caycee finds herself transferred to an FBI interrogation facility where she assesses the most dangerous of criminals in custody. She struggles to get over the loss of her dream job, but her new boss, handsome Special Agent Gil Graham, may soften the blow. Sparks, of a different variety, fly between the Special Agent and his new Analyst, as they work together to crack the most difficult cases. Just when Caycee’s wounds are healing from her expulsion on the Omega Killer team, she is dragged back into the thick of it. Caycee and her new team are front and center, focused on an interview of a bombing suspect, when Omega comes looking for revenge. His attack wounds her team, leaving Caycee with only one option for help-the devastatingly handsome bombing suspect. It will take all of Caycee’s wits, and a kiss for luck, to stop Omega and save her co-workers.

The Review

An ambitious FBI newbie, a handsome and intelligent boss, an egoistic and power hungry ex-boss, a psychotic yet charming prisoner, and a serial-killer on the lose. Scarlet Revenge has all the elements for a fast paced, nail biting, suspense filled entertainer, and it does a pretty decent job of just that – entertaining. First of what probably is going to be a series, Scarlet Revenge is about a newly appointed FBI analyst, who is assigned to a complex and particularly difficult serial killer case, which is keeping an entire team of agents on tenterhooks. The killer, Omega, seems to be on a killing spree, seemingly picking his victims at random and leaving his mark (an Omega sign cut on to the forehead) on every victim.

Scarlet Revenge by Ann McGinnis

Enter Scarlet, who manages to find a pattern to the killings, and is successful in foiling the killer’s latest execution. But if she thinks her brilliance would have earned her respect and appreciation from her team and boss, she is in for a rude shock. Enter Gil, a senior agent working on another project, who saves her from her futile attempts to stand up to her boss in the Omega team. Sparks fly between both, and the reader is taken through a roller coaster ride that is sometimes brimming with sweet romance and sometimes with adrenaline rushing action.

The characters are etched well, and the tension between the lead characters is brought about quite convincingly. I thoroughly enjoyed the interplay between Hicks and Scarlet, although, Hicks’ lines seemed more well thought out than Scarlet’s responses. Alec’s character as that of a sweet co-worker brings smile to the face. On the flip side, I found it hard to believe that so much action takes place between the time Gil talks to the rescue team and the team actually arrives. The team had promised 45 minutes, but the amount of action that happens seems impossible to have happened in that time. Nevertheless, Scarlet Revenge makes for a short and entertaining read for a boring journey, and it leaves us with the promise of a sequel soon. Looking forward to more from Ann McGinnis.

My Rating – 3.5 / 5

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Meet the Author
 
Ann McGinnis writes about characters that let their egos and sense of justice rule their lives, while they protect the public from serial killers and unthinkable crimes. Of course, Ann’s characters always find a way to blow off steam — romantically!
As a writer, Ann comes from the world of action/thrillers and screenwriting. She has two scripts currently in development. A third script, about a spunky FBI analyst, is the basis of “Scarlet Revenge” and the main character Caycee Scarlet. It is the first book in a series, with Book 2 “Scarlet Envy” coming out in September 2014.

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By yamini Vijendran Posted in Musings