Book promotion by my little ones!

My ebook ‘The Princess with Brown Teeth‘ is now available on Apple Itunes. You can download it free here. And if you use Samsung or other devices, please read it free here. Kindly leave a review, it will be of great help😀.

My kids took up the onus to publicise the ebook on Youtube. Do check out their effort to promote their mom’s work. The voiceover of the boy with glasses is by Adi and that of the little girl is by my toddler Vir.

Check it out here on YouTube.

Thanks a lot for your support and love, my readers and bloggers community. You guys are a lovely lot! Stay healthy and happy.

Image courtesy Google

The Exotic Nautch Girl


I first saw a nautch girl (dancer) when I was a little girl. We were at our mother’s village to attend a wedding and the nautch girl was standing in front of the community guest house.

She was ordinary looking but had a pleasant form. What made her special was the buzz surrounding her! Ladies were throwing scrutinizing glances at her while gents were checking her out through the corner of their eyes. Old ladies were chatting about beautiful baijis (another name for nautch girl) of their time. The arrival of the nautch girl had made the calm village a little noisy. She was considered a public woman, a fallen woman and everyone wanted to have a good look at her. But for me, she was exotic!


One of my relatives chided me for peeping at her. “She is not a good lady. Stay away from her. She is a nachaniya (another name for nautch girl). She dances and entertains the male crowd. Nice girls never go near her.” Her words made me all the more curious. And throughout the day, I kept a watch over the dancer through the window.

In the evening, I saw her washing her face and getting ready for the dance. We heard that groom and the baraat (group) had been received and were resting in the tents. I couldn’t wait to see her dance.

Well, at the auspicious time, the groom arrived with pomp and splendour. The nautch girl began to perform a welcome dance in front of the group. She had whiten her face, stained her teeth with betel and put on a lot of make up. Under bright lights, she looked younger than she actually was. The ladies watched the welcoming of the groom from the terrace while gents stood around her in a circle. Some young baraatis threw money at her which she pocketed fliratatiously.


I watched from above while she danced on and on…on that magical night. I forgot all about the wedding but her forbidden persona stayed with me.

It was later in life that I learnt more about the likes of her. I had almost forgotten about my exotic nautch girl when I came across this quote by James Forbes (Oriental Memoirs 1813)-

“Nautch girls are extremely delicate in their person, soft and regular in their features, with a form of perfect symmetry, and although dedicated from infancy to this profession, they in general preserve a decency and modesty in their demeanor, which is more likely to allure than the shameless effrontery of similar characters in other countries.”

I learnt that possibly my nautch girl was a crude and jaded version of the former nautch girls, who were superior in art and bearing. With time, during family functions, nautch girls got replaced by choreographed dancers.  And now we have DJs playing songs at every wedding.

Earlier, they were a prominent part of Indian life and culture during the second half of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. They were mostly teenage girls, who typically performed in Mughal courts, the palaces of nawabs, the mahals of rajas, the bungalows of officers of the British Raj, the houses of zamindars as well as at ordinary homes wherever they were invited. Sometimes they arrived with their troupe without any invitation to a celebration and patrons were expected to pay them. They would break into an impromptu dance whenever situation demanded.

It should be kept in mind that they were not into flesh trade and their husbands accompanied them as one of the musicians. Their dance forms were an amalgam of prevalent dance forms of India at that time.


As royalty faded, the tradition of nautch lost its lustre. Some of them joined films and theatre. They have been widely portrayed in films too. The prominent ones among them were Shashimukhi from Chitpur and Phanibala. Shashimukhi was the first recorded artist of India. She went on to become the tragedy queen of Bengal theatre. 

Further on, nautch girls lost their dignity and came to be seen primarily as sex workers. That is why my concerned relative had admonished me – “Nice girls never go near them”.

I do not know whether the nautch forms are still alive in some corner of India or not but I cannot help remembering that particular  nautch girl, who had looked so divine to me! I had followed her almost like a fan adores a film star. I had enjoyed her playfulness and dance moves. I did not know then that I was witnessing a fading tradition…

Images courtesy Google

Yoga is like being on a seesaw!

This International Yoga Day, spare a few minutes for yourSELF.

It is simple! Just like being on a seesaw!

“Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God,” says Krishnamacharya. This exercise is liberating!

“The utility of this science (Yoga) is to bring out the perfect man, and not let him wait and wait for ages, just a plaything in the hands of the physical world, like a log of drift-wood carried from wave to wave and tossing about in the ocean. This science wants you to be strong, to take the work in your own hand, instead of leaving it in the hands of nature, and get beyond this little life. That is the great idea,” says Swami Vivekananda.

Yoga is our natural state, let’s get back to being peaceful and blissful!

Happy Yoga Day!
Images courtesy Google

Four Seasons through my window!

Last year, I vowed to capture the beauty of Four Seasons through the window of my house in order to blog it for your enjoyment. Today, on a warm summer day, I finally got all the four pictures.

Summer made the outside world look like this.


When it was Spring…


When it was Fall…

When it was Winter…

Did the music of Four Seasons touch your heart? I hope, it did!

Can we reset our past?


Can we change our past? Most of us would answer an emphatic ‘No’ to this question. We have always been told that our past can never be changed.

But this particular quote by the great Richard Bach got me thinking. 

You are always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past.                                                                     

Choose a different past, really? What made Richard Bach write that? I thought.
Further research made me smile. I got my answer! Bach was right! Our past can really be changed. I learnt that our past is energy and made up of our experiences…of what we have gone through in our private world. If we change the way we look at our past, our past will take a different shape… thereby liberating us in our present and changing our future for better.

Even if two people were a part of the same incident, their perspective about it would differ from each other. Past is a variable…If it was invariable, every person in a particular time and place would have undergone exactly the same kind of emotions, same sort of feelings and level of trauma. But everyone has a different past. You and your sibling’s past could be similar but not same!  

I learnt that our past can be changed by changing our perspective towards it, through creativity, positivity and visualization of the event. It can be changed through different ways, which you can read in this inspiring post here. (http://simonarich.com/change-your-past)

Dear confidantes, if something about your past is troubling you, take this journey – Go back in time, look at the incident as an observer and try to help your ‘stuck’ self there by being positive and strong. Tell yourself – you will emerge stronger after this! Be creative and strong as you live through it!

We derive strength from our past when we have a grim present…why not the other way round? Everything is possible! 


We are always free to change our mind and choose a different future, or a different past.

Images courtesy Google


The statue of Faith


The old man came limping into the park. He was a peon at a huge office and his boss was giving him a hard time. 

“You are too slow to work in my office, Jagdish. I will have to find a replacement soon,” the boss barked. “I am t…t..trying my best, Sir,” he stammered. “But the accident at the factory has left me crippled, please take that into consideration too,” he begged. “Get out!” said the rich man.

Jagdish knew he could be released any day. His heart felt heavy as he thought about his dependents. 

He needed to take a break at his favourite place – the park of Faith!

It felt good to be there. The evening breeze calmed him down. And then there was his favourite statue! 

She was his faith. He had named her so… she calmed him whenever he was in despair. She had no arms but her eyes looked skywards! The inscription near her said – He will take care of You!

Jagdish knew he would be taken care of… no matter what! He smiled at the statue.

This is my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the lovely 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. Please CLICK HERE for more. Thank you Phylor for the image!

Devotion – The highest form of intelligence!

Today, I came across this wonderful quote by the well known seer Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. 


In one of his discourses, available on YouTube, he talks about how devotion is the highest form of intelligence and living life. If you are a devotee, you will conquer every struggle in your life easily. It is the simplest way to be… there is no struggle, no ups and downs… just leading your life in pure bliss. 


…Because a true devotee knows, there is a huge power around us, who is managing things in the best of our interest. Do check out sadhguru’s videos. 

Have a blissful weekend!

Image and video courtesy Google & YouTube

The Poetry of Earth is not dead yet!

As we drove into the gorgeous Arboretum, one of the top visitor attractions of Minnesota, US, my heart skipped a beat. It was a beautiful sunny day to explore gardens, sculptures, woodlands, walkways and trails. 


Smell, touch, feel, sights and sounds of nature filled our senses as all shades of green interspersed with colours dominated the landscape. Minnesota is more than glorious in Summers after savage and challenging winters, it is stunning!


Such sublime sights always inspires poetry in a lover of literature. Therefore, I couldn’t help chanting some famous lines by great nature poets.

Do check out the pictures, dear confidantes, and may be you can recite the poetic lines too…


When I see birches bend to left and right Across the lines of straighter darker trees, I like to think some boy’s been swinging down…. Robert Frost


Tall and erect, with tempting clusters hung, A virgin scene!–A little while I stood… William Wordsworth


Never mind silent fields— Here is a little forest, Whose leaf is ever green; Here is a brighter garden, Where not a frost has been… Emily Dickinson


Yet, if you enter the woods, Of a summer evening late, When the night-air cools on the trout-ring’d pools ,Where the otter whistles his mate… Rudyard Kipling


Hot midsummer’s petted crone, Sweet to me thy drowsy tune, Telling of countless sunny hours, Long days, and solid banks of flowers… RW Emerson

The poetry of earth is never dead: When all the birds are faint with the hot sun, And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run, From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead… John Keats


I couldn’t help thinking as we took the exit to Arboretum that nature still dwells in some places on Earth. It hasn’t taken leave of mankind as yet!

5 Dirty Secrets of Mothers!

Yo mothers! I know all your dirty little secrets since I am a mother too. We lead a life that demands constant activity, sacrifice and 24×7 caregiving. Our everyday battles involve commotions, screams, tantrums and hullabaloo over silliest of things. 

So if we have some dirty secrets, we need to be excused! Shouldn’t we?

1) If the baby is sleeping near our closet, we often wear anything from unwashed nightgowns to hubby’s worn out t-shirt after bathing rather than taking the risk of waking the baby up.

2) We excel in eating messy leftovers of kids. This saves food and our energy. After all, eating is important for us not the style.

3) The rule is – never put your hand in a mother’s handbag! You may get revolted on touching used wipes, toffee wrappers and spilt juices on the inside. It is full if tidbits which is there just for satisfaction sake. 

4) Another rule is – watch when you borrow a mother’s phone! It may be battered, greasy or simply discoloured. It often is smeared with  cooking oil, baby food and spices. Most of the time, it becomes non functional and gets reduced to being the favourite toy of the baby.

5) We may have uncountable clothes in our closet but our complaints about ‘nothing to wear’ is justified! One quarter of our clothes are stained with baby poop, food or oil, other clothes are either too big or too small due to changes in our bodies within a span of few years. Some clothes are not ironed and others are simply not washed.


Mothers do many circus acts and perform shortcuts too to multitask. Often, a day seems too small to finish our chores. We need to be celebrated even if we look sloppy, unwashed with messy hair as long as we are bringing up a healthy family. Shouldn’t we!

So, three cheers for all of us! We may be chubby, messy, greasy and at times, overwhelmed and saucy but we are doing the noblest of noble jobs. Please accept our slovenliness for some time and applaud us!


Images courtesy Google

Anecdote – Lesson by my grandma!

My grandma is a grand old lady nearing a century. If you look at her, she may appear formidable in the beginning and then a ringing laughter would ensue, dismantling the image you had conjured up in your mind. The fact is, she is both formidable as well as light hearted. A unique, delightful combination!

Born and brought up in a royal family ( Kharsawan, Jharkhand), she has always had that regal bearing. She believes in maintaining distance from her kids, grand kids, great grand kids as well as recently added a great great grand kid. And we are all supposed to behave in her presence. We rise when she enters the room and remain respectful in her presence.

During my childhood years, we lived with her, so, we had the opportunity to observe her from the closest quarters. I discovered her lighter side later in life. Initially, I was apprehensive of her. She commanded and the household ran according to her. But as I grew up, I discovered the lighter, fun side of her personality. There have been many instances when she would have us in splits.

Here is one such incident. One of our cousins was going to meet a prospective bridegroom. In arranged marriages in India, girls and guys are introduced by their families, they meet up, chat and then a decision is taken unanimously. 

So, this cousin was both excited as well as scared before her first meeting. Our granny called her and said, “If you like this man, try to do little something to make him fall for you.”

We were seeing another aspect of our grandma. We all asked, “what?”. She immediately showed us how to woo a husband – “Look sideways at him and then look down… blush… look up again at him… look down and blush again. And then smile juuust a little.” We doubled up with laughter!

I don’t know whether my cousin looked sideways at the prospective groom or not but they ended up getting married!

(Sharing a picture of my grandparents)

I look up to my grand old lady because she always had the audacity to laugh at all challenges that came in her life. In her almost 100 years of life, she has seen many ups and downs. All her peers are long gone now, times have changed but she has remained strong.

I adore her because she is quite broad minded, child like and her booming laughter lightens the most serious of situations. A great devotee of Krishna, she follows what the playful God  says – to celebrate life as it is!

Long live my grandma!

Cinderella in the Metro!

 Mr Charming tried hard to fit the footwear into her feet. Was she the girl in the metro?

He had fallen in love when he was 20. He was travelling by a metro while she slept right across him with her face hidden under jacket. But what had caught his eye were her lovely legs which rested on the seat.

At one of the stations, she woke up with a start. And before he could catch a glimpse of her face, she ran out of the train leaving behind her stilettos. The crowd enveloped her. He lifted the footwear and kept it.

Life did not move on for him, though. Professionally, he became the proud owner of a chain of hotels. But he stayed single, in search of the gorgeous owner of those stilettos. 

Occasionally, he would request a guest to try it on. They would do it willingly, but he never found the right legs.

This time, the stilletos fitted perfectly! He looked at her finger… no ring!  Elatedly, he asked her to join him for dinner.

This is my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the lovely 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. For more information, please CLICK HERE. Thank you Barb for the image!