My book made it to Amazon’s Bestseller List, Thank You.

My book, The Boy Named Joy, has made it to the Amazon’s bestseller list in the U.S. and India. It is much more than what I had expected. All thanks to you dear readers! If you haven’t already, do buy the eBook for free now:(https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084DMGH8J for US and https://www.amazon.in/dp/B084DMGH8J for India.

Do read about the book here. The promotion will get over by February 5, U.S. time. The Boy Named Joy is for little kids as well as adults. It tells us how simple it is to be happy!

I am grateful that this joint effort got some recognition. I collaborated with my son to create this book that talks about the power of choice. My other family members supported it, then my small group of book launch team (Husband, sisters, brothers, family and dear friends) did there magic to bring it into the bestseller list of free books. And then there is Krishna always!

This has been my maiden effort on Amazon KDP. My  two eBooks have been sold on other platforms but not exclusively here. And I am loving it. Do download, read it and review it and it will greatly help a humble beginner like me.

Thank you my reading and blogging community for your support always. You help me create! Thank You!

Bedtime Book – The Boy Named Joy on Amazon!

Children’s bedtime book, The Boy Named Joy is now available on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084DMGH8J). Download your eBook copies on Amazon.com or Amazon.in (if you are in India).
Here is the preview:
About the Book: Why is King Boo-Hoo always sad although he has everything? And why is the boy named Joy always happy although he has nothing. What is the secret? The magic painting or something else… Read this endearing tale to know all about JOY!
 
The Making: The story was written quickly but the illustrations were a problem. Then, my eight-year-old, Adiraj stepped in and created the characters. He was enthusiastically encouraged by my little kindergartner, Aviraj. And after the characters were drawn on paper, I digitized the pictures and put it all together. This is how we created the book.

Message: The Boy Named Joy has a message for school children and adults as well! This Children’s eBook tells us that happiness does not really depend on cool gadgets, apps, video games or fancy clothes. That kind of happiness is momentary. True happiness comes by choosing to be happy irrespective of what we have and what we don’t have.

The eBook will help raise, good, happy kids who would learn to make wise choices in life. It is my sincere hope that this special tale will entertain as well as teach the kids to stay positive despite challenges in life just like the main character Joy.

Our kids face many challenges in life and this simple book might help.

Your feedback is extremely important and very welcome. Don’t forget to write a review on Amazon if you like it. Thanks again for being a great support!
– Shivangi
 

Whom should the fair lady marry?

A beautiful maiden had three equally good-looking and worthy admirers to choose from, whom would she marry? Betaal, the celestial spirit, asked the legendary king Vikramaditya in the famous Sanskrit story book – Baital Pachisi.

The question seemed baffling but the answer given by the wise king at the end of the story was exceptionally wise. Read the story (in my words) and decide for yourself – If you were the fair girl, whom would you choose and why?

Once there was a beautiful and intelligent Brahmin maiden, who was sought by many young men of the time. But her father wanted to choose the best of all her admirers.

Three handsome Brahmin young men of Kanauj, who were great scholars arrived, and each one claimed that they were in love with the lady. Her father was perplexed as each one was great in every sense. The girl couldn’t choose because she did not want to hurt sentiments.

The three men’s ardent love for the girl did not lessen with time. They stayed on for months and months, showing their commitment towards the lady. But tragedy struck one day, the maiden fell ill and died. Her father and the devoted men were heart broken.

After the lady’s funeral, the first man, built a hut there, slept on a bed made of her ashes, and got his food by begging.

The second took her bones and went far to dip them in the sacred Ganges river.

And the third became a wandering monk and travelled around.

One day, the wandering monk, stopped at a Brahmin’s house to spend the night. The Brahmin thought he was a great ascetic and welcomed him. Dinner was served and the Brahmin’s wife and son joined them. But the son was quite mischievous and he began to trouble his mother by throwing tantrums. The mother got very angry and threw him into blazing fire. The boy turned into ashes.

The third man was shaken and began to scream. He thought the Brahmin’s family was that of vampires and demons. The merchant calmed him down, brought a book, murmured a magic spell and threw water on the ashes. The boy got up, alive as before. The third man was joyous. Here was the way to revive the maiden!

That night, he stole the magic book and returned to the cremation ground. The first man was already there and the second man had returned after immersing her bones. The third man told them about the magic book and asked the first man to bring the ashes of the girl.

The lady came back to life, prettier and more radiant than before. And the three men began to claim her recounting their respective, trials and tribulations.

The first man said – I kept her ashes. That is why she came to life. She is my dear wife.

The second man said – She came to life because of my journey to the sacred river. She is my wife.

The third man said – I brought her to life by my magic spell. She is my wife.

Here Betaal stopped and asked the good king – Whom should the fair lady marry?

(At this point, while reading the story, I considered the monk as the worthiest one because he found the way to revive the girl. But after understanding the king’s answer, I agreed with him.)

King Vikramaditya said – The third man painfully found the magic spell and brought her back to life, but he did what a father ought to do. He is not her husband. And the second man who went to dip her bones in the sacred river, he did only what a son ought to do. He is not her husband.

But the first man who slept with her ashes and lived a hard life in the cemetery did what a lover ought to do. The first man deserves to be her husband.

Betaal agreed but flew back to the tree to test the king’s constancy. And the loop of stories continued with questions and wise answers in the book.

But, If you were the fair girl, whom would you choose?

(Image courtesy Google)

Three Men and God

So, one day, three men, who were friends, began their search for God in the magic jungle. They reached the jungle and looked around. The first friend, saw a cave, and unwittingly entered it thus losing his way entirely. But his search for God was so intense, he did not care about darkness or dangers and walked on. It was a very tough, long, long journey, with no companion, no food and absolutely nothing for support. He became skeletal and hardships troubled him at every turn. There were beasts around, and scary thoughts as well as physical handicaps but he continued walking just because he knew nothing else to do. Eventually, he found the exit of the cave and concluded God is ‘Nothing’. And instantly got enlightenment.

Soon after this, his second friend called him from a nearby stream. He was rowing a boat, looked drenched and tired . On reaching the shore, he got down, tied his boat and came to sit by his first friend. The first friend enquired about his journey. The second friend said -“When I lost sight of you two, I found the river and the boat. The journey was exhausting, with severe ups and downs, and there were agitating storms and heavy rains. At one point of time I was sure to drown. But I found a certain balance, somewhere in the middle. So, this understanding helped me to find the perfect balance in the boat. The whole time, I stayed on the middle path, and I survived.” The moment, he uttered – Middle Path, the second friend got enlightenment! Now, they waited for the arrival of the third friend.

The third friend soon joined them. He came running down a hill, and looked healthy, happy and upbeat. His two friends asked in chorus – “How was your journey, friend?” The third friend said – “Divine and blissful!!! You see, when I lost my way, I was terribly sad and scared. I climbed a mountain top, looking for both of you, but couldn’t see you anywhere. But then, I found a very interesting rock. I began to sculpt the rock and created a fascinating companion.” He showed a rock statue of a little, naughty looking boy to his friends. “I was missing your company, my friends, so I would talk to this statue, the playful guy. This guy answered all my questions. And you know, He became my guiding light. He made mockery of the dangers and I learnt to laugh with him. We enjoyed exploring the jungle – the cave, the river, waterfalls and mountains….all was fun, because I had Him. I was free of fear, sadness, stress and attachment because He was with me and I was devoted to Him.” The moment, he said – Devoted, the third friend got enlightenment.

Then, the statue suddenly laughed and said – “Journey matters friends, as much as the destination. And if you find devotion, you attain the highest form of intelligence and life becomes a breeze.” The three enlightened men smiled together.

(This story alighted in my mind out of nowhere and I thought of capturing it in this blog.)

The Wrong Ferry

He looked at the beautiful lady standing next to him on deck of the departing ferry and wondered – Has she won a trip to Duluth, too? She wore a period costume, similar to Kate Winslet’s in ‘The Titanic’.

He cleared his throat and casually remarked about the weather but she seemed lost in thoughts. Her pale blue dress matched with her eyes while the turquoise waters of Lake Superior provided a befitting background.

Aha, photo time, he remembered! His wife, Mrs Sharma would kill him if he didn’t keep her updated with photos and messages. She had reluctantly let him go on this trip, alone.

He took out his iPhone.

“Do you mind taking my picture, pleeeeease…..”

The lady turned to him angrily. Her face changed, got distorted and eyes emanated fumes of red. Blood froze in his veins as he realized he had boarded one of the famous ghost ferries that haunted Lake Superior!

(This my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the amazing Priceless Joy. We are given a photo prompt and approximately 75-175 words with which to create our stories. This challenge is open to all who would like to participate. Thank you Ted Strutz for the image. Please CLICK HERE for more.)