Meet the characters of ‘The Boy Named Joy’!

Meet Joy – The boy named Joy is always happy no matter what! No mom and dad, no money, not even a decent dress to wear or meal to eat…forget about fancy toys or gadgets, but strangely, he is always happy. WHY IS THE BOY NAMED JOY ALWAYS HAPPY??? Everyone wants to know. Is it because of some secret treasure?

Meet King Boo-Hoo – The child king Boo-Hoo is always sad no matter what! He lives in luxury in a magical fun palace surrounded by amazing gadgets. He has adoring parents as well as caring staff. They dare not make him cry or else he has the power to drown the kingdom.  BUT WHY IS KING BOO-HOO ALWAYS SAD? Everyone wants to know.

Do you want to know too…? Do you want your kids to learn about a secret power that Joy has? 

Find your answers in the upcoming picture eBook – The Boy Named Joy, illustrated by my 8-year-old. Coming soon on Amazon.com. Follow this blog for updates.

Blog Birthday – 5 years of blogging and a surprise!

My Dear,

I have a very special surprise (#blogiversary special) for you on this special day that marks 5 years of blogging on Stories by Shivangi. I have blogged almost every week, shared my meditative thoughts, updates on life and random observations with pictures and quotes. It has been terrific journey so far!

You have been a great companion to me all this while. You did not stop reading and I did not stop writing, it has been a lovely relationship!  This blog has grown beyond my expectations and page views everyday are really motivating.

There is some good news – my two picture eBooks ‘The Princess with Brown Teeth‘ and ‘Who Ate the Moon?‘ are now available on Amazon.com as Kindle purchase. The princess book is sure to motivate picky eaters and help them in making good food choices and the moon book talks about the various phases of the moon. Kids who have read it on iTunes have loved them.

But wait, here is the surprise  – my third picture eBook would be coming out very soon!!! Before the Valentine’s Day, for sure! It could make a lovely gift for your loved one. Here is a quick look at what is to come. The illustrations are by my 8 year old, who stepped in to create the characters from my story about ‘The Boy Named Joy’! (I would love to know what do you think). More exciting stuff to come in my next post…

I am grateful to god and you for keeping me inspired!

Love,

Shivangi

P.S – Thank You Sneha, my little sister and loved ones on Facebook for being my champion promoters. I need your support always.

 

Dallas Zoo in Pics – An entry to the animal world

Home to over 2,000 animals representing 406 species, Dallas Zoo is the oldest zoological park in Texas. And it’s rich, diverse offerings, stunning views of animals and educational exhibits, makes it a must see attraction in the city.

Every sight was a revelation about animals! Royal lions, majestic elephants, affable giraffes, meditative rhinos, intelligent cheetahs, genial gorillas, fun-loving monkeys, singing birds, busy bugs…. there was so much to see.

And sadly, it was also a revelation about the selfishness of our human kind which has driven so many species to extinction.

Being at the zoo, around animals brought out the child in me. It felt entering an animal book, interacting with animals and understanding them.

It was a great visit for all of us (four adults and four kids) on that pleasant sunny day in Dallas. These amazing pictures shot by my nephew does all the talking!

The icing on the cake was a 20 minute ride on the narrated monorail – The Wilds of Africa Adventure Safari, which travels around the watering hole, rain forest, mountains, river, arid desert, semi-arid desert and bush exhibits. The monorail showed us exhibits that are not accessible through the nature walk. All thanks to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law who made sure that we took the train.

If you have the chance, go visit the zoo with your family for a joyful, exuberant experience that will remind you of the old forgotten jungle stories, straight from your childhood.

(Pictures by Advik Singh)

Just a Thought – Rejection

Every winner reaches the top by climbing a mountain of rejection, refusing to get buried after an avalanche of disappointments. And then, getting up to climb back again with renewed determination.

Winners know that reaching the top is not in their hands but climbing up is and that is what they do till the end… relentlessly, tirelessly and zealously.

Winners do not fear disappointments or rejections. They know the mountain of rejection is sacred, because the process of climbing, falling down, getting hurt and starting again shows them what they have got and what they are made of…!

No, nothing can break their spirit… let alone the mountain of Rejection. Because winners know that nothing is more stronger than a resilient will made of their unyielding spirit! They will just not give up!

Get up and keep climbing friends, that is the most important part!

Images courtesy Google

Obituary – Rajmata Prafulla Manjari Devi

She was a queen and died like a queen on the morning of January 8, with a grand procession marching with her to the cremation grounds – Mangardaha Ghat on banks of the River Koel at Daltonganj. My grandma was 103 years old.

And with her ended a very long and amazing chapter in the history of Chainpur Estate, one of the prominent royal families of Chota Nagpur Region in Jharkhand, India.

Princess Prafulla Manjari Devi, the third daughter of the Ruling Chief of Kharsawan (Raja Ram Chandra Singh Deo) loved and celebrated life just like Krishna, her ishtdeva. In her anecdotes, she would talk about those blissful girlhood days she had spent at Kharsawan that included travels, visits to Calcutta theatres, swimming lessons, education, elaborate religious ceremonies and a life of luxury.

After marrying my grandfather, Raja Brijdeo Narain Singh in 1941, her life took a new turn. She often told us that my grandfather looked so handsome as a bridegroom that people came in huge numbers at Kharsawan just to have a look at him. There was a train booked for the baraat and the marriage was recorded on a movie camera at that time. Otherwise all the elaborate ceremonies were a blur for her as she had to sit covered from head to toe with ornaments and bridal wear.

Accompanied by the usual retinue of cooks, servants and maids, she came to live at Chainpur fort and experienced a huge cultural change. My grandfather’s side observed purdah and ladies did not show their faces. She often smiled talking about how she was expected to walk, talk and live a veiled life in the royal household.

Communication was another issue. My grandma spoke Oriya and broken Hindi while no one in her new home knew the language. But her mother-in-law (my great grandmother) was kind enough to let her have the upper floor of the Garh where she was free to live comfortably and interact with her personal Oriya speaking staff.

Gradually, times changed, and the family moved to Chainpur Bungalow at Daltonganj town, a short distance from Chainpur. By this time, India had become free from British rule and was declared a democracy.

All the princely states got integrated into the country. My grandma adjusted to the changed and moved on to focus on education and subsequent marriages of her eight children.

After the death of my grandfather in 1977, she faced some great challenges, but the iron lady did not crumble under pressure. Instead she laughed at it all. She spent most part of her life at Daltonganj amongst grand kids and great grand kids.

She was a champion for girls education and donated land for school, hospitals and public welfare.

Towards the end of her life, she moved back to Chainpur, where she had once lived as a blushing new bride and breathed her last there. She felt no pain as she passed away in her sleep, surrounded by family.

Thus, ended the life of my grandma whose ringing laughter made people smile. She was regal, strong and spiritually exalted – the gift she passed on to subsequent generations. She is survived by three sons, four daughters and grandchildren. She will be sorely missed and mourned by all the family members of Chainpur.

Dadi Ma, we will not forget all the lessons you taught us and how you touched our lives in your own way. Hari Bol!

(Images contributed by Family)

(To read one of the anecdotes, click here.)

(To read Hindi newspapers article on her, click here)