Happy Birthday Adivir!

  Greetings Dear!

Welcome to the first birthday celebrations of my blog child Adivir ( Stories by Shivangi) on WordPress. I am glad you could make it!

When I started blogging with two little ones around, I was not sure about the consistency of my posts. But then ‘You’ came along and everything changed. Your likes, your appreciation, your comments, your ideas, your posts sort of liberated and motivated me. I am indebted to you, dear, for enabling my blog child Adivir ( Stories by Shivangi) to grow into a one year old beauty.

Adivir is humbled to have around 200 friends on WP and a number of supporters on other social media too. 

  
This child of mine came into life with my first post ‘A Short Ghost Story’, on January 30, 2015. A year from today! She had no readership except for a single comment by my friend. But since then she has grown on your support despite the fact that I am unable to devote much time to her.

Owning a blog and maintaining it gives one great feeling of power and happiness. I experienced it while running this blog. It gave my creativity a new lease of life. And whenever I stopped writing ‘You’ egged me on with a kind comment.

Late Barbara Beacham’s ‘Monday’s Finish the Story’, enabled me to write posts while I was on the move with a six month old baby and a three year old. Barbara is no more and I miss her. If she were not around during the initial days, I might have stopped writing. She was one of those who brought fresh ideas and appreciation…

  
Then, there is You! The Reader! I write because I have to… and it becomes all the more pleasurable when I feel You are around… nodding, smiling or may be disapproving. But you are there for Adivir… and that is the most important thing. 

Kindly keep blessing Adivir with your love and encouragement. I am sure she will try her best to keep you company this year as well as years to come.

Have fun here and don’t forget to pop the mouth watering rasgullas before you leave. May Krishna Bless You!

  

Images courtesy Google

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Be Well Barbara! In memory of a special friend

  Remember to be well! ^..^ 

This is the last line Barbara Beacham wrote in her blog ‘Life in the Foothills’, before cancer took her away from us.

The lady was one of my first blog friends when I started blogging in January last year. Time constraints did not allow me to write long posts so I thought of taking up some 100-150 words story challenges. And then I came across ‘Mondays Finish the Story’ and her highly creative hostess Barbara Beacham. It was a fun challenge and helped me overcome my writer’s block. She ran two blogs – first was ‘Life in the Foothills’ and second, ‘Mondays Finish the Story’.

I would look forward to the story challenges every Monday and would peep at posts of other story writers and wonder at their creativity. I learnt a lot in the whole process. With time, I developed a strange kinship with the lady… I admired her story telling skills and loved it when she wrote ‘Be Well’ at the end of each comment.

What I didn’t know was that she herself needed the wish more than anyone else as she was battling cancer all this while. She did reveal to us about her illness at a later stage and expressed the hope that she will strike back…

One morning there was no ‘Mondays Finish the Story’ challenge in my inbox. I asked Priceless Joy… she sounded hopeful that BB may strike back but I think we both knew that her end was near! 

She could not make it. With a heavy heart I accepted the fact that I will no longer look forward to Mondays as I did since last year. 

There will no more be ‘Mondays Finish the Story’ from now on… The only thing is…it was too abrupt an end for me.

What I admire is the fact that cancer couldn’t defeat her optimism and creativity… She wrote and encouraged us to write wonderful stories till the very end. She showed rare courage and wisdom all this while! I miss Barbara. I miss the challenge.

One thing I know for sure – I had grown to love her. Be well Barbara, wherever you are!

This post is written in memory of Barbara Beacham – FfAW-Special Challenge for Barbara Beacham – hosted by Priceless Joy. To read other entries please click here.

Trapped in the Forest

  

“Not knowing what to expect, he made his way into the dark of the forest.” His psychiatrist had advised him to visit this forest. Being close to nature helps, he had said.

As he entered, the queer forest disturbed him. He felt as if he was being watched. Everything seemed unnatural.

He cursed the psychiatrist and looked for an exit. His phone had been taken away near the entry so he was helpless. The hand map had no exit sign. He was trapped!! Luckily, he found an old dusty hut with tidbits.

As he fought for survival everyday, struggling to eat and live, his depression took a back seat.

Three months later, he suddenly found an exit route.

Outside, lights and cameras greeted him. All this while, he had been the star of a reality TV show. Viewers had feasted on his misery. All including the psychiatrist had benefited from this. He got a huge sum too.

But was he a victor or a victim?

(This flash fiction is a part of the wonderful ‘Mondays Finish The Story Challenge’ by Barbara Beacham. She provides us with a photo prompt, the first sentence, and approximately 150 words with which we are to use to write our story. To take up the challenge click here – MFtS)

The legendary caretaker of the hidden castle!

  

“Few knew about the castle hidden inside the island.” But whoever visited it marvelled at the history and architecture of the place.

Almost everyone noticed him too. A grand old man, busy cleaning and polishing the floors. He looked a part of the setting – cold, dark and mysterious.

He knew more than anyone else about the untold secrets of the past. But he chose to be quiet for the sake of his masters.

His young masters had migrated to a foreign land and he was not expected to work anymore. Yet, he continued doing what his forefathers did centuries ago.

Locals spread all kinds of stories about him. The scariest one was that he had been long dead and his loyal soul was serving the castle!!

He never reacted to any claim or story, he just worked!

(This story is a tribute to Satna, the caretaker of our ancestral home in a village in Jharkhand, India. He was a short, dark man who spoke very little. Since boyhood to old age, he served our family. He was a loyal and dutiful person, who reported daily to work come what may. He embodied the very essence of Karma Yoga – to attain perfection in action to live a fulfilled life! He passed away a few years back but we will fondly remember him always.)

This story is a part of the wonderful ‘Mondays Finish The Story Challenge’ by Barbara Beacham. She provides us with a photo prompt, the first sentence, and approximately 150 words with which we are to use to write our story. To take up the challenge click here – MFtS

The strange dream house!

“The A&B Building was made entirely from driftwood.” My grandmother informed me, pulling me closer. “And it would crop out of nowhere overnight at any secluded area and lure innocent victims inside,” she informed. She warned me never to venture inside such buildings as strange things happened there.

I believed her every word but forgot the warning. I earnestly wished to enter that driftwood house so that I could see those ‘strange things’.

One day, as I was playing along the beach near my home, I saw the driftwood building materialise near the shore. My parents were talking so I just slipped away. I entered the inviting house.  And was I delighted? It was every child’s dream house. I played on and on and ate and ate….

After a while, when I missed home.  I looked for an exit and walked out of the house. To my horror, the world had changed and I had grown very old!

This story is a part of the wonderful ‘Mondays Finish The Story Challenge’ by Barbara Beacham. She provides us with a photo prompt, the first sentence, and approximately 150 words with which we are to use to write our story. To take up the challenge click hereMFtS

The bird that sang of Dharma

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She lived in a mango tree”. Her voice was the sweetest of all! Every spring, all birds and animals in the mangrove forest would assemble near the abandoned tree house to listen to her song of Dharma.

She sang, “Exert yourselves in the bright acts of merit, and shun the dark acts of evil!”

A traveller, who knew the language of birds, heard her. He was surprised to hear the Cuckoo’s didactic song. He planned to capture her.

He managed to capture her and put her in a cage. But she lost her voice after being confined and died soon.

Years later, while passing through that same mangrove forest, the traveller heard a Parrot singing the dead Cuckoo bird’s didactic song.

The singer had died but the song of Dharma lived on…

This story is a part of the wonderful ‘Mondays Finish The Story Challenge’ by Barbara Beacham. She provides us with a photo prompt, the first sentence, and approximately 150 words with which we are to use to write our story. To take up the challenge click here – MFtS

The ageless Monk with a benign smile

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“From her small balcony, the witch watched the world go by.” All this was going to change soon, she thought.

He came. She sensed his presence like always and turned to greet him. There he stood in his flowing monk’s robe with a benign smile! She lay down prostrate at the feet of her Guru (teacher). He had shown her how to direct her magical powers to a higher purpose.

She had aged with time but the monk had always looked the same. He helped her to her feet and blessed her. She noticed, he was holding a palm leaf manuscript.

No, she was not capable of the holy secret!

The monk smiled reading her thoughts. He just said, “You have been chosen. When it will be too dark, use this booklet for light.” He left unnoticed. The end was near, she had to do her bit!

The monk in the story is loosely based on Mahavtar Babaji. Mahavatar Babaji is said to have revived in this age the lost scientific meditation technique of Kriya Yoga. He guided Swami Yogananda, the 19th century mystic, and his Gurus time and again.

This story is a part of the wonderful ‘Mondays Finish The Story Challenge’ by Barbara Beacham. She provides us with a photo prompt, the first sentence, and approximately 150 words with which we are to use to write our story. To take up the challenge click here MFtS