Paw Things#6 – Three crazy, woofy updates from Happy

(P.S. – My older and little brother took over mom’s blog and they helped me to put together and publish this version of Paw Things!)

WOOF WOOF from Happy!

You know what, there is a man who’s making whirring noises in my basement! It’s crazy! I am currently freaking out.

I don’t know why, but mom and dad are fine with the man. In fact, they seem to have been inviting him inside. Although I hate the mind-boggling, torturous sounds he makes, there seems to be a new change in the basement every time he comes.

When he first came, our basement was all united, no room and no barriers. Next thing I know, the man waltzes in, and makes our basement full of rooms in two days.

One thing, I like about this change is the fact that the floor is warmer. I used to freeze when I lazed around on the wooden steps, even with all my fur… but now, there is carpet on the steps, which make it more comfy. Although this man’s arrival is terrifying for me, it’s worth it seeing the basement being cozy.

There is another crazy thing going on for a while now. What’s with people getting sick at this time of year? Why do people get sick so easily? Thank God, I am a dog, and I don’t get affected by circulating viruses. My brothers got sick a while back and are still unwell! My parents were discussing the newspaper and how many people in Minnesota are sick.

They were also talking about the shortage of over-the-counter medicines. I don’t want to go back to 2020, when my favorite dog parlor closed. But the good thing was, mom wrote a book on me!

Talking of books, mom is busy with some sort of new project and she has not been working on her blogs and books – that’s why I and my brothers took over her blog. Hmmm… I hope she gets time to finish the second book on me.

The third crazy thing, I want to write about is the snow. It snowed here as it always does in November but today it has melted away. I personally like the snow because it’s fun playing outside when brothers throw snow balls at me in their winter gear.

I don’t like Summer so much because it feels super hot with that extra fur which I have on my body. I always prefer cold stuff…

Anyways, I think the man in the basement has left, and I need to go! I am looking forward to eating some leftover snow in the backyard. I hope dad doesn’t catch me in the act.

Love bark until the next woofy update… stay safe and keep smiling you guys!

My story is now a part of scholarly publication!

I am delighted to share that my short story ‘Note on the Cup’ got selected for #TellMeYourStory Review Sept 2022 in association with York Centre for Asian Research, #yorkuniversity.

The ebook and paperback versions are available on Amazon (order your copies for research/reference/reading at – Amazon India and Amazon US). The scholarly publication presents some excellent thoughts and creative works on how food & drinks shape cultural identity and ideology.

My story ‘Note on the Cup’ is about an immigrant Indian woman’s interactions with an American Handyman and how ‘chai’ plays a role in strengthening their bond.

I am grateful to my readers community for every small and big achievement. It is for you and because of you that I write!

Thank you and Happy Diwali from storiesbyshivangi.

From the streets of NEW YORK!

“Somewhere between living and dreaming… there is New York.” I don’t know why but New York reminded me of New Delhi. May be because I got a similar ‘dream big’ vibe and infectious vibrancy that compels you to dream bigger and better.

There was so much to experience in NYC – great street fashion, enthralling entertainers, amazing architectural wonders, fabulous street food options and so much more.

Also we were in company of great friends and we had done meticulous planning & research before our trip. Comfy shoes, Subway card and Google map aided us to cover every famous spot well within the time frame.

Here are some pictures straight from the maze-like streets of New York! Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

View from the top
And finally my favorite Mr SRK – it was his film Kal Ho Naa Ho that showed New York in a special light and fascinated me.

5 reasons why Bollywood stars must introspect!

As the gods of Bollywood stand in front of disgruntled and disillusioned movie watchers with #boycottbollywood trending every other day on social media, it’s time for them to introspect rather than be defiant.

Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor, Deepika… they no longer inspire obsession, frenzy, or devotion in the general public, but rather unsettling hashtags, and boycott trends! Interestingly, films from the South like RRR and Pushpa are going on to be smashing across India and abroad.

The transition from extreme devotion to contempt did not happen overnight. And there is a big list of reasons for the dwindling fortune of this industry. I will give you the 5 major ones.

#1 – Nepotism rocks Bollywood – Every famous or new face in the industry is a daughter, son, nephew, niece, grandson, or relative of some bigwig of Bollywood. Agreed, some of them are talented but so are many other outsiders, struggling to find a footing – who might never get a chance. If you are looking for an upcoming generation of nepotistic stars, check out Zoya Akhtar’s upcoming Netflix film ‘The Archies’.

The result of nepotism is mediocre talent and below-average films that do not speak to the audience. Why would intelligent viewers want to spend money looking at lackluster performances when several alternatives are available for free online?

#2 – The pandemic and the rise of OTT platforms – During the lockdowns, the popularity of OTT platforms like Netflix, Prime, and Hotstar grew manifold and viewers’ tastes changed as they found quality content and a different kind of cinema & content, just a click away. The Family Man, Panchayat, Arya, The Fame Game…plus some great movies from around the world entertained everyone.

The covid situation changed our attitude towards Indian film stars and films…perhaps forever. Our eyes learned to look beyond the sheen of glamor and examine the cinematic experiences critically.

#3 – Deglamorization of Bollywood – Once upon a time, film stars exercised enormous influence over us – in matters of thinking, dressing up, styling and glamor. But now, every other person is a star on social media. We are learning from each other on Instagram and YouTube.

We don’t want some film star to advise us when we can do better on our own with the help of google, forums, DIY videos, and chat exchanges. Our next-door influencer has more credibility than stars who sell useless brands and sometimes harmful products. Instead of the public taking a cue from the industry, it is now important for the industry to get inspired by common people to survive.

#4 – Defiant Bollywood – When the sad demise of actor Sushant Singh Rajput shook almost every movie watcher and the ugly underbelly of Bollywood was revealed, the industry remained silent.

In 2022, the actors are still stoically silent on several relevant issues related to society or the film industry (Read mafia, drugs, black money etc). When confronted or asked about their opinions on important issues, they shrug, ignore those questions or act defiantly. In every other trade, customers or audiences are treated as God. But something is extremely wrong in our filmdom, where actors do not seem to value viewers. Well, that is the impression they give these days.

#5 – The ever-increasing power of social media – The power of social media is increasing at an amazing (and alarming) rate. People have discovered what a simple tweet or a hashtag could do. It could pull big men down or impact a world-famous brand.

Some netizens, especially on Twitter, could be vicious and are experts in bringing up a past inconsiderate comment by actors or posting a decade-old video to negatively influence the fortunes of a film – no matter the budget, stardom, or publicity! And they have started enjoying wielding their newfound power. The struggle is on and the stars seem to be losing!

It is evident that after the debacle of some of the biggest Bollywood flicks like Aamir’s ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’, Ranbir’s ‘Shamshera’, Akshay’s ‘Prithviraj Chauhan’, Ranveer Singh’s ‘Jayeshbhai Jordaar’, and Ajay-Amitabh’s ‘Runway 34’ – it’s time for the industry to pause, introspect and overhaul the system. Otherwise, the industry will continue to go downhill! Viewers don’t hate good films and great stories, they just hate the ways of the industry. The onus is on the industry to work it out creatively to woo hostile viewers back.

Images courtesy Google

Why can’t an elephant go on a trampoline?

“Why can’t an elephant go on a trampoline?” Tootoo, the Indian elephant wondered.

Why was Tootoo not allowed to go on a trampoline at the Forest Book Park while his friends were having fun? It was not because of his floppy ears, large body or big teeth, then what was it?

Find out all about Tootoo and his adventures in my upcoming book – Elephant on a Trampoline!

The ebook version of the book would be free for a certain number of days. So, you will have a chance to download it for FREE from Amazon (available globally – coming soon)! Follow this space and stay tuned. Thanks for checking in 🙂

Kids Book #Alert – Elephant on a Trampoline

Dear All,

I am happy to share the cover of ‘Elephant on a Trampoline’ with you. It will be published soon on Amazon and the e-copy would be available for #free for a limited time. So don’t miss out on subsequent announcements!

Elephant on a Trampoline is a fun animal adventure book for kids between 5 – 8 years. It celebrates friendship, diversity, and creative problem-solving!

Synopsis of Elephant on a Trampoline – “Since 1934, elephants are banned from jumping on trampolines at the Animal Book Park.

But despite this, Tootoo, the elephant really wants to go on a trampoline. But will his heart’s desire lead him to danger or will he find an amazing new way for elephants to jump on a trampoline?”

Hope you like my efforts as always. Many thanks for your support 😉

Thanks,

Shivangi

#kidsbook, #freebook, #childrensbook #bookalert

Iconic Aircrafts at the Air Expo in Minnesota

The Air Expo, organized by Wings of the North (WOTN), volunteers at the Flying Cloud Airport in Minnesota is one of the most awaited Aviation events in the area. It has been running for 24 years now and showcases an exciting line-up of warbirds, modern aviation and other fantastic flying machines.

It was a wonderful day to check out the iconic world war 2 aircrafts at the event and a memorable family outing with the kids. Check out these beauties!

C47
P41 Mustang

Photos and Caption courtesy Hubby

Small Things#36 – Bird House with Madhubani Art

Today, the kids had fun making and painting a wooden Bird House. They used wood and wood glue to create the structure and then spray painted it with white. They left it for drying.

Next, we made Patterns inspired by Indian Madhubani Folk Art on it and they went on to paint it in vibrant acrylic colors. Thank you for taking a look!😀

Children’s #Bookblogger – The Glow Show Review

I have always been an avid book reader and reviewing books gives me a chance to dive into the world of new upcoming books and learn about the authors. As a children’s books author, It is important I keep reading other books for children to fuel my own creativity and learn about what other kid-lit authors are doing. So, I am all set to review kids’ books and share my finds with you all!

Do keep checking out my blog to learn about upcoming, new, cute, vibrant and informative options for young readers. Today, I present an upcoming book – The Glow Show – a picture book about knowing when to share the spotlight

The Glow Show by Susi Schaefer (Publisher: Sourcebooks Kids) is brilliant, vibrant, heart-warming, and informative. The book is about a bioluminescent squid who is fantastic at twirling! He changes for the better in the course of the book when he learns to share his shine with friends.

I like the book because of three reasons. First, it tells a great story and has an amazing lesson. Second, young readers learn about bioluminescence and the underwater world along the way. And last but not least, the illustrations are striking and imaginative. The only thing that could have been better is a more appropriate font, font size, and color.

Go for it, if your little reader loves beautiful pictures and a great informative story! 4 Stars.

This review is based on #NetGalley ARC provided in exchange for an honest, unbiased opinion.

5 Great Sanskrit Epigrams or Subhaashitas

Sanskrit Subhaashitas or Epigrams have been a guiding light for millions. The messages are conveyed to the reader in form of an aphorism, advice, truth-based lesson, or riddle. Here are 5 great Sanskrit literary Thought Quotes or Epigrams that were popularized through word of mouth and contain beautiful messages for everyone. The authors of most Subhaashitas are unknown.

The poetic style of a Subhaashita is referred to as muktaka (independent), as the meaning of couplets is complete and does not need additional explanation. This poetic form has been compared to Persian rubai or Japanese tanka by some authors. Go on, read these to absorb some great thoughts left to us by some amazing thinkers of the past.

Funny bedtime story of the ghost on a bicycle

One late evening, two brothers, Mahesh and Ramesh were passing through a dense forest where Balluji, the prankster ghost lived.

The ghost noticed that Mahesh wore dark sunglasses even though it was dark. And Ramesh carried small wheeled luggage on his head, although he could drag it behind him. They were into some heated discussion when the ghost hovered near them to eavesdrop.

Ramesh: Mahesh, it’s your turn to carry the luggage. Don’t try to be a hero and make me do all the work.
Mahesh: Ramesh, stop complaining and walk properly or the curry tiffin for our Daadi would drop…

Balluji, the ghost was delighted. He loved curries and had not eaten them for centuries. So he planned to trick the foolish brothers.

The ghost disguised as a veiled woman and created a bicycle with his supernatural powers. He cycled near the brothers and spoke in a shy feminine voice.

Woman/Balluji: Young men, can you help a poor woman in this forest? It’s night and I am tired. I want someone to take me to the nearby village on this bicycle.

Both brothers began to fight to help her but the woman stopped them.

Woman/Balluji: Look, there is a way to decide who will help me! I will show my face to both of you. So, whoever praises my beauty first will get a chance to help me.

The brothers nodded and were eager to see her face. The woman came back to his original ghost form of Balluji.

Ramesh screamed in horror to see the ghost’s blank face with dark hollow eyes and red teeth. But Mahesh couldn’t see properly because of his sunglasses.

Mahesh: You are more beautiful than the sweetest angel…
Ramesh: What..sweetest angel??? …Mahesh, can’t you see… run, I am leaving…aaaaaa…. bhoooot…

Ramesh abandoned the cart and ran for his life. But Mahesh thought Ramesh was jealous because he had won the bet by praising the woman first. So he planned to continue his journey. He attached the luggage to the bicycle and lovingly asked the ghost to sit behind him.

As they rode the bicycle, he heard chewing and slurping sounds from behind. He turned and his sunglasses fell! What he saw was terrifying – the woman had vanished and Balluji, the ghost was slurping down his grandma’s curry.

Balluji’s red teeth were stained with yellow curry. When Balluji saw Ramesh looking at him, he made a disappointed ghost face. He even offered some curry with his skeletal hands…

Mahesh screamed with horror! And abandoning his stuff, he started to run. But the ghost chased him half of the way. “WAIT!!!” yelled Balluji.

“PLEASE LET ME GO BHOOT JI. I WILL BRING MORE CURRY FOR YOU TOMORROW,” begged Mahesh.

“I JUST WANTED TO TELL YOU THE CURRY HAD TOO MUCH SALT!!!” Mahesh continued to run but could hear the prankster ghost doubling over with laughter.

(As told to my kids as a bedtime story. @stories by shivangi)