Innocence!


A quick sketch to start the week! Have a lovely, relaxing and fun filled week ahead. 

I tried to digitally colour the sketch using an app but couldn’t figure it out properly. I will keep trying my hand on it.

Meanwhile, I  hope you like Miss Innocence in her raw form!

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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

A letter to my classmate!

   
Hello,

Hope this letter finds you good. I felt an immediate need to write to you after visiting your facebook profile via our common friend’s profile. I was looking for a tall, gawky person but saw a different man there – aged with lined face and a pot belly. I was aghast! There was no sign of the boy who would enter the classroom bustling with energy, taking on the world in his languishing stride. 

It seems as if time has flown since I last saw him after our board exams (Kabuliwallah syndrome… remember the story?). We were sixteen then… fresh and so full of excitement to take on the world. I had half expected to find the same boy and initiate a chat with him. But for the first time, I experienced how much the world has changed… how much I have changed! In a flash, I felt being transported from teenage years right into my thirties.

He and I studied together from kindergarten till tenth. Although, we were never best of friends! Infact, I remember the boy was mean to me a number of times and I myself was not a model of good behaviour but we were comfortable around each other. I also visited other classmates via your profile but everyone has changed. Most of us have put on weight, have moved to different places, undergone varied experiences. Life truly has taken a toll on us.

I tried hard to find some semblance, something of the past in your picture but …I gave up.  You looked comfortable around your family…a typical man of the world who goes to work in the morning, returns home tired and waits for dinner to be served at night. Your wife is beautiful and kids are cute. One of them resembles you. I am glad life has been good to you. But again, you are so unlike him. He was fidgety and non-conformist. You are a stereotype family man!

He was ambitious, boisterous and haughty but you seem to avoid confrontations. He questioned everything and you seem to accept everything. I like that you are happy and settled but I liked him better – my happy go lucky classmate who would make the class laugh with his pranks. He was non predictable and creative, you are adjusting with what life has offered you. Good for you!

 I smile thinking that once upon a time,  my classmates were an intrinsic part of my world. I had enjoyed their encouragement and would take any discouragement to heart. Many a times, they were harsh and judgemental.

My classmates held the power to make or break me. I didn’t know then that all this would change so drastically. And that I would no longer have to compete with or conform to anyone’s notions. It felt good when I moved on from teenage angst towards maturity but in the process, I took you all for granted. I had never thought I would never find you all ever again…not in the same way. 

I get nostalgic remembering the last parting image of my classmates – excited bunch of boys and girls who loved to chat,  bitch, scream and dream. Where did they all go?

Lately, some of you crept into my memory and reminded me of those sweet-sour school years. Perhaps, wanting to re-live the past encouraged me to visit your FB page.  I wanted to meet you all and have a chat online. But I guess…I have lost the connect.

If my letter encourages you to find him – the gawky teenager, somewhere deep within you, then kindly let him know that I am thankful to him for being a part of my childhood. 

May be, my letter would make you  curious and you would want to check back my profile. But I warn you – you will hardly recognise me – a married woman with kids. You would not know what to say to me.

But perhaps if you let that tall boy visit my profile, he might find the quiet girl who loved doodling and reading. They will connect, have great conversation and laugh together like youngsters do. Please find and send him once for I am sure we all miss the innocent, musical laughter of our wonder years! Then, may be we will reconnect again with our past.

Best wishes for everything,

Your former friend

  
Images courtesy Google

She Walks in Beauty

  
I saw her approach. She stopped and looked at my direction for a heart throbbing moment. Then, looked away. The perfumed breeze played with her long dark hair, integrating her with the colourful autumn landscape. Her flowing floral dress matched her peaches and cream complexion while red roses seemed to bloom in those cheeks. 

I was overwhelmed by the sudden brightening of the world due to her presence. The clear sky, blue lake, vibrant foliage, provided a fitting background to her supple form. Could such beauty exist? Was she a figment of my imagination? 

I started to write. It had been long since I wrote a word inspite of my self imposed exile in this cottage. Day after day, I had struggled with the dreaded writer’s block. But she appeared and my whole world changed.I needed to immortalise her in my work. 

A gentle knock jolted me out of my reverie. I put my pen down and peeped through the window. The damsel stood at my door…the evening sun formed a halo around her lovely head. I couldn’t believe my luck…!!

( The title has been borrowed from Lord Byron’s famous poem “She Walks in Beauty”. The great romantic age poet wrote this poem to celebrate virtuousness and beauty.)

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. Image courtesy pixabay.com

Balloon Full of Colours for You!

  

Green teeth, yellow hair, red face and blue hands…anything can happen during the festival of colours – Holi. With the onset of Spring, this festival, brightens each and every corner of India with love, forgiveness and togetherness. Even, foreign countries have embraced this fun festival with open arms.

Holi always takes me back to my girlhood days. In those days, we had a large field in front of our house and my father would make arrangements for playing Holi with colours and water. We were a huge family of uncles, aunts, cousins as well as our staff. And we made sure no one stayed dry that day.

  
Since morning, soon after breakfast, we would start playing with coloured as well as mud water till late afternoon. And after having a delicious lunch, we would get dressed and play again with dry colours. We would also pay respect to our elders by colouring their feet in the evening. In return, we were given blessings and sweets followed by an elaborate dinner.

The tradition would bring us closer as one family unit. I had taken those days for granted and yearn to go back to Holi of the yore. Things have changed, times have changed, single families are emerging but vibrant and sweet Holi always remains the same. This festival always encourages community feeling and reunites family members.

  
Holi encourages to reach out to others with the colors of joy. It teaches to love and forgive. It teaches to avoid discrimination of any kind. It teaches to be comfortable with each other through pranks and jokes. It is an amazing festival!

This year will be a dry Holi for me here in America. But I will make sure my kids play a little and know all about it.

Meanwhile, wishing you a very happy, colouful and fantabulous Holi!

Images courtesy Google

Failure, struggle and a tiny thought!

  [Dear Ma’m,

Thank you for your participation in our Writing Competition.

The overwhelming response to our contest resulted in thousands of entries from amateur and professional authors alike. We’ve spent an enormous number of hours reviewing all the entries, and narrowing those thousands to double digits has been no easy task. 

Unfortunately, we’re sorry to inform you that your entry is no longer being considered for a prize.

We sincerely hope you will ‘try again’!]

When you receive a letter like the above, you are gripped with an enormous sense of failure. All that months of brainstorming, effort, struggle and persistence ends up in a huge cipher. And then tormenting questions start spinning your head – Am I not good enough? Where do I lack? Perhaps, my works should be thrown in a garbage can? Should I quit writing? They no longer appreciate works like mine… Thoughts like these go on and on as you go about your daily chores. The letter crashes your expectation and self worth in a moment!

At first, the words ‘try again’ in the rejection letter sounds downright condescending. It seems organisers are patting the back of a dejected child, who is on the verge of tears. You think – “Have I not tried enough? I neglected sleep, appetite and everything that mattered to create something unique. And my work is mundane for them, my creativity has no acceptance.” You feel your struggle came to naught. You believe you are a loser for this is not the first time you have been rejected.

And then, from a tiny corner of your mind, emerges a beloved and luminous thought angel. “It wasn’t about winning, it was all about trying your best.” You remember hearing your child chant that sentence just a couple of days back. It is from his favourite story book. Everytime he comes across this line, he demands an explanation. And you like a doting mother, explain it to him.

This thought chastises and shakes you to sit upright. You no longer look grumpy and slumped. You think – “Why did I forget the meaning of the line when it became relevant in real life? Is it one thing to lecture a child and another thing to incorporate in real life?

You smile pleasantly as you repeat to yourself – “It wasn’t about winning, it was all about trying my best”. 

One happy thought defeats dejection. The thought of quitting no longer plagues your mind. You know, you cannot let down your creativity. Winning or no winning, appreciation or no appreciation, applause or no applause… you will try to create like the everflowing murmuring  ‘Brook’ ( Alfred Lord Tennyson). “Men may come and men may go but I go on forever”. Victory is transient, creativity is not!

You once again gear up to take up another challenge… just for the heck of it. Who thinks about failure as long as you are creating! Indeed, life is not about winning, it is all about trying your best! The rejection letter is forgotten.

And I met Shah Rukh Khan…

Great News, my confidantes! A while back I had jealously shared a post about my friend Pratibha’s meeting with the superstar of Indian Film Industry, Shah Rukh Khan and had expressed a desire to meet him myself. Well, perhaps, someone up there heard me and arranged my virtual encounter with him. 

The proof of our meeting is in the video lest anybody should doubt me. I admit I was a little disappointed to see him as a cartoon but it was a great fun experience.  Do have a look:

Let me confide friends! The virtual encounter has been made possible due to the wonderful app called Evertoon, and the voiceover of Shah Rukh Khan is done by my four year old, Adiraj. The other voice is mine, it may sound a little strange to you… I find it weird too!

I and my son enjoyed making and sharing this video. Hope you will like it too. And it was great to meet dear old, Shah Rukh Khan, albeit, virtually. Hope to see him in flesh and blood sometime in the future.

Meanwhile, enjoy my encounter with the dear superstar!