Monday, 16 October 2017

When a bibliophile tries to sell her old Blackberry!

I always believe in having a clutter-free home. Therefore, before every Diwali, I try to get rid of all those things that are no longer serving me. I donate a few things to the needy and sell other useless stuff.

Now, before smartphones made us crazy and dependent on them, I had a number of phones with QWERTY keypad. I especially loved my Blackberry during that time, but after I got my first smartphone, I realized my Blackberry no longer served me. So, I decided to sell my old Blackberry with QWERTY keypad before Diwali. I think the year was 2014.

At first, I told my younger cousins that I am ready to sell my Blackberry and if they would be interested in buying it. I was initially hopeful as they were really eying my phone, but their responses were extremely discouraging.

Cousin 1: Please Di. This is my birthday month. Gift it to me.

Me: I am trying to sell this.

Cousin 2: I will give you all my Harry Potter books in return of the phone.

Me: Um..that sounds good. But you only have the first 3 books. Are you trying to fool me?

Cousin 3: I don’t need this phone. Dad will gift me a smartphone if I score 80% in my board exams.

Me: Such a demanding kid you are!

The conversation with my cousins went nowhere. I understood that I have to think of something better to sell off my Blackberry.
I knew it would be useless trying to sell it to my friends as all of them had smartphones. I decided to list it on sites from where I can sell it. As my Blackberry was in a good condition, I quoted 3000 INR and listed it on the selling websites. I waited for sellers to contact me, but even after 10 days, I got no reply.

So, I reduced the price to 2500 INR and then waited. Finally, a seller messaged me and told me he is interested in buying my Blackberry at 1200 INR. His negotiation infuriated me. I was not at all ready to sell my Blackberry at such a low price of 1200 INR.

Finally, I thought to take help from my friends. One of my friends wanted to buy it for her sister. I was relieved and told her I am ready to sell it at 2500 INR.

“I have a better idea.” She said.

“What?” I was curious.

“You are a crazy bookworm and I am a book hoarder. Why don’t you take 10 of your favorite books from my library in return of this phone?” She said with a twinkle in her eyes.

I was speechless at her proposal. The fact that even after trying so hard, I cannot make any money selling off my old phone pinched my heart.

“It’s actually a perfect give and take offer. I need your old phone for my sister. And you want many of the books that I have in my library. Think about it.” She continued, looking at my crestfallen face.

She guided me to her library. As I looked at her enviable collection of books, my heart leaped with joy. I selected 10 books that I always wanted to own- books by my favorite authors, Paulo Coelho, Nicholas Sparks, Jhumpa Lahiri and Dan Brown.

I gave her my Blackberry and finally returned home with the 10 books and a toothy grin.

After that incident, my father tells me that I am a disaster in selling off my old gadgets. Well, he is right, but he cannot say that to me anymore! Why? Because, now I have Cashify, where selling used mobile, tablet and iPhone is so easy and completely hassle-free.

So, if you can also recollect one such failed attempt at selling off your old phones, you should immediately check out Cashify. For the lovely readers of my blog, I am sharing a Coupon Code (CLEANCASH). If you use this coupon code when you are selling your gadgets, you will get an additional 250 INR on the sale of your gadgets.

So, what are you waiting for? #CleanUpCashOut this Diwali!

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Thursday, 21 September 2017

5 must have short kurti for this festive season

The festive season has arrived with all its glory, when all of us want to look our ethnic best. Whether we opt for sarees or salwar suits or kurtis, we basically want to sport a gorgeous look that will make us stand apart from the crowd. Short kurtis look extremely trendy and fashionable. They are very much in vogue these days. Super comfortable and stylish, you can wear the Indian tunic with your favorite denims, leggings, palazzos or long skirts, depending on your choice. Let’s look at the 5 must have short kurti for this festive season that will make you look like a diva:

Embroidered short kurtis

Look gorgeous and chic this festive season by wearing bright embroidered kurtis with zari detailing. They look elegant and beautiful. The side slits and short button placket give it a fashionable look. Team it up with palazzos in contrast color and high heels to make heads turn this festive season. Accessorize the look with beautiful danglers. For a boho-chic look, you can experiment by teaming it with a flared long skirt.

Embroidered short kurtis are available in a variety of colors and designs. The material is a blend of cotton and polyester. 

Floral print short kurtis

Floral print looks good on all women. It looks feminine and lovely. If you love floral prints, you can add a beautiful floral print short Indian tunic to your wardrobe. They are available in both bright and pastel shades on Myntra, the best destination for the fashionista in you. You will definitely have a great time online shopping with Myntra this festive season.

The mandarin collar, three-quarter sleeves and the short button placket give these floral print short kurtis a stylish look. Team it up with palazzos of your choice and oversized earrings to look gorgeous.

Printed layered A-Line short kurtis

If you are looking to wear something that will make heads turn, you can opt for printed layered A-Line short kurtis. They look unique, trendy and extremely fashionable. The sleeveless beige-printed tunic has a short button-and-loop placket and an asymmetrical hem. It is accompanied with a green round neck inner.

This layered tunic will definitely grab attention of people when you hit the streets. The material is polyester. Team it up with ankle-length jeans, high heels and over-sized earrings to look gorgeous this festive season. 

Printed short kurtis

You can find a wide collection of beautiful printed short kurtis in Myntra. They are available in such beautiful colors and prints that you can’t resist adding them to your wardrobe. Printed short kurtis in bright colors like royal blue will make you look stunning. The blue-woven printed tunic with small embroidered detailing, side slits and three-quarter sleeves will give you a charming look this festive season.

Team it with your favorite denims, wedges and jhumkis to make a fashion statement.

Printed high-low short kurtis

Printed high-low short kurtis look extremely trendy and fashionable. It will enhance your fashion quotient and make heads turn. The mandarin collar, full button placket and three quarter sleeves give it a fashionable look. However, the thing that makes this kurti stand apart is the slit on the front.

Team this stylish apparel with your favorite palazzos, high heels and gorgeous earrings to make a great fashion statement this festive season. 

These are just a few recommendations. Head over to Myntra to explore a wide collection of short kurtis that will make you look chic and fashionable. Enjoy online shopping today with Myntra and give your wardrobe a new makeover. 

Note: The images have been sourced from the website of Myntra
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Friday, 15 September 2017

The book that I have always wanted to write

I was in my sweet slumber
A stranger to myself in this world;
Your fateful golden touch
Awakened me like rare bliss
I discovered myself.

For me, there is no joy greater than writing a novel. A story that I conceive from nowhere in my subconscious mind and see it developing on the white pages give me a sense of thrill and excitement. The characters that become an inseparable part of my life help me to see myself in a new light. I believe each time I write a story and create a character, I rediscover myself in a new way.

I have always wanted to write a novel that has a lot of poetry in it. When I saw this exciting “Get Published with Story Mirror” contest on Indiblogger, I thought about the book that I have always wanted to write, but for some reason or the other couldn’t do it.

The book tells the story of a young, beautiful girl who is a successful television actor, but suffers from depression since her teenage days. A very disturbing childhood along with failed relationships had made her a victim of chronic depression. She tries to cope with it by keeping herself busy at work, but she cannot come out of the clutches of depression no matter how hard she tries. She finds it extremely difficult to love and accept herself the way she is.

Although she has a smiling countenance, she knows how broken she is from within. During one of her shoots at a hill station, she comes across a man who is a brilliant poet. They meet each other at such a juncture when both of them want to give up on their lives. But as they talk to each other, they find comfort. It feels like home. There is an instant connection between the two of them.

The more she spends time with him, the more she realizes how similar their life experiences and nature are. She finds an enormous freedom in the knowledge that she is not alone in the world. There is someone who has gone through equally tormenting things that she has gone through in her own life.

For the first time in her life, she confides to someone all her deepest fears, insecurities and anguish. He teaches her to see life in a new light: to love and accept herself. She slowly starts seeing life in a different way, where she refuses to be the victim of her own story. As she falls in love with her own self, she realizes that somewhere, down the line, she has also fallen in love with the man who has helped her win in her battle against depression.

When she decides to confess her feelings to him, she realizes that he is a poet whose occupation is to weave beautiful words. She realizes he might never be able to return the love that she has for him. The mission of his life is to pacify every hurting soul. He finds salvation in providing peace to other aching hearts through his poetry. It breaks her heart as she realizes she can never get him all of her own, but she is indebted to him for teaching her how to love herself. No one has taught her that in the 25 years of her life.

This novel will also have a lot of poetry along with prose. I remember reading Rabindranath Tagore’s “The Last Poem” which is a beautiful amalgamation of prose and poem. I had always wanted to write a novel like that. If Story Mirror gives me the opportunity, I would put all my heart and soul in writing this book.

You are there,
Sparkling in every verse
That I write;
Sometimes, as a romantic muse
Other times, as a painful memory
You make me a poet
Because you are my poetry.

I only miss you
When I am not writing;
You dwell in the crevices of letters
And in the intricacies of my words
I only miss you
When words fail me
As you are my poetry
I am your moonstruck poet.
 (From “The Heart Listens to No One by Purba Chakraborty) 

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

The 5 most influential teachers of my life

Today is Teacher's Day. In the journey of my life, I have met many wonderful mentors who have taught me something valuable, whether directly or indirectly. Today I am going to talk about the 5 teachers who have been the most instrumental in shaping my life. All of them have inspired me and made me the person I am today. 

My Grandmother

My maternal grandmother taught me to never give up on love and kindness, even if people have been cruel to you. Kindness and love are universal languages that even a deaf person can hear. There have been so many times when I felt the world is such a bad place and I should stop being kind and generous to people. But it is because of her that I follow~
Let love be the lyrics,
 let kindness be the music
Let your heart sing forever.

My Father

Now, my father teaches me something beautiful every single day. He is my role model and someone who inspires me all the time.
But the most important thing that he taught me in life is the value of patience and hard work

I was a very impatient girl who always wanted fast results. It is my Dad who taught me that hard work never goes in vain. But wanting immediate results take away the joy of a work well done. He taught me to find joy in working hard and to be patient with the outcome. 

Rina Ma'am

She was my class teacher in Class 9. Having lost my mother a year back, I was cocooned inside my own shell. I was unable to make any friends and was an extreme introvert. I used to cry at the drop of a hat and often felt pity for myself. 

Rina Ma'am was the angel who understood what I was going through at that time. She was very empathetic towards me. She taught me not to ever take sympathy of anyone and to stop feeling like a victim. She said that the world is my oyster and I should conquer it. 

So many things have happened in my life after I left school, but I had never forgotten her words. Till date, I don't take sympathy of anyone and I don't play the victim, even if I am going through the most difficult circumstances. 

Mallika Miss

Mallika Miss was my teacher from Class 4 to Class 7. I used to take English tuitions from her. She also taught English at our school. She was the person who instated my love for English Literature. It's because of her my favorite subject has always been English. Therefore, I am forever grateful to her. It's my dream to meet her some day and gift her all my novels.

When I was in Class 7, I was not good at sports. I was such a nerd that I used to prefer all my time reading. My classmates were making fun of me, saying that I did not win anything in the annual sports. Mallika Miss heard their conversation and seeing me upset, told me "Purba, it's not necessary to be good in each and everything. You need to choose your passion and be faithful to it forever. That will be more than enough." I had never forgotten her words. 


How can books not feature in the list of 5 most influential teachers of my life? The person who introduced me to books was my mother. When I was five, she started gifting me beautiful story books in every occasion. She told me that books will never abandon me and will teach me the most important things of life. 

I cannot explain the massive role that books have played in my life. From Bhagavad Gita to The Alchemist, books have always guided me and showed me the right path. Without them, I cannot imagine my life. 

"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." ~ William Arthur Ward

Here's wishing all the wonderful teachers a very Happy Teacher's Day! 

Who is that teacher in your life who has inspired you the most?


Thursday, 31 August 2017

Launch of WritersMelon's Jukebox at Kolkata

I am thrilled to be a part of Writersmelon's Jukebox, an anthology of 15 winning short stories of Melonade, a nationwide writing competition. Jukebox was officially launched in Kolkata on August 19, 2017. The launch was successful, despite heavy rainfall. The book launch took place in the Doodle Room, which is a cozy corner for all art, music and literature lovers of the city. 

It was great to meet Pooja, who represented Writersmelon. Deepti (my coauthor of Jukebox) and I quickly clicked a selfie with Pooja before the launch. 

As Deepti and I were discussing the topics that we will discuss in the book launch, Pooja clicked some of our candid pictures. 

A post shared by writersmelon (@writersmelon) on

The event started with our brilliant host, Rei, who introduced us and the book, Jukebox to the audience. 

She invited me to talk about my story in Jukebox after the introduction. My short story "Her Favorite Pupil" is about the relationship between a teacher and a speech-impaired student. It is a story about faith and love. Sometimes, all we need in life is a person who has faith in our potential more than we have on our own selves.

I said how a visit to my paternal uncle's deaf and dumb school gave birth to the idea of this story. It was a very special story for me as I understand how a good mentor can shape up the life of a person. During my school days, I was a very shy and introvert child. I remember there was a teacher who was ruthlessly harsh with me whenever I expressed the desire of taking part in extra-curricular activities. And in the same school, I also had a teacher who inspired me a lot. 

Next, my coauthors, Deepti and Uttiya talked about their short stories in Jukebox. 

Deepti's story "A deep fried love story" is a quirky love story of a woman on diet and a man on Alur chop whose paths cross in the Metro station. They see each other every day in the Metro Station, without speaking a word, but acknowledging each other's presence. 

Uttiya's story "Marital Chains" is a dark story about marital rape. Usnis and Ankita's marriage seems ideal, but is far from perfect. Uttiya explained why he had chosen this subject for his story. He explained that he had seen his friends stuck in abusive and disturbing relationships. This is the reason why he chose to write this story as he believes that victims must speak up.

After we talked about our stories, we formally posed with the book for shutterbugs. It was a moment of pride for all of us. All the 15 stories of Jukebox deal with an interesting subject that makes this anthology a treat for book lovers. 

After the formal launch of the book, we read a few passages from our stories for the audience. The book reading session was a lot of fun. 

Although it was raining heavily that evening, the launch of Jukebox in Kolkata was a success. We wrapped up the event by signing books for our enthusiastic readers who love reading short stories. 

Buy Jukebox here! 

Monday, 28 August 2017

5 types of comfortable and stylish footwear for women

Wearing a beautiful outfit with uncomfortable footwear can totally spoil your day. Have you ever been in such a situation when your footwear was so uncomfortable that it was taking away all your confidence and making you grumpy? Well, I can remember two such circumstances, which I will talk about on some other blog post.

Women are obsessed with shoes. Whenever they see some beautiful, fancy footwear, they cannot resist buying it despite the fact that they already have so many shoes in the shoe rack of their homes. As the festive season is almost here with Ganesh Chaturthi, which will be soon followed by Durga Puja and Diwali, we are on a shopping spree- buying outfits, footwear and accessories.

If you want to look stunning and have a great time during the festive season, you must choose footwear that is both comfortable and stylish. Here are 5 types of shoes that every woman must have in her wardrobe as they are both stylish and comfortable:

1.     Sneakers

Sneakers are extremely comfortable. Sneakers are light and colorful shoes that are perfect for an adventurous day outside. They look great with jeans, shorts and any other casual clothes.

2.     Ballet Flats

Ballet flats are super comfortable. They are available in a wide variety of colors and styles. A pair of ballet flats is perfect for the working woman who is looking for comfortable footwear. You can wear them with jeans or dresses when you are going out for lunch with your friends.

3.     Wedges

Wedges are a favorite of many women because they symbolize class and elegance. They go well with both western and Indian outfits. The high heels of wedges will give you a great posture. At the same time, the comfortable sole will prevent any ache, keeping you comfortable all day.

4.     Black pumps

Every woman must have black pumps in her wardrobe. A pair of black pumps makes a great style statement. It will make heads turn when you wear it with your favorite LBD. If you have a party, then this is the footwear you should pick. They are comfortable to wear.

5.     Flat sandals

If you are tired wearing heels, you should buy a pair of flat sandals. They are chic and super comfortable. As flat sandals are available in a wide variety of colors and styles, you can choose the one that goes perfectly with your outfit. They go well with all kinds of outfit, so you don’t need to worry.

So, if you are thinking of donning a nice pair of footwears this festive season, you must think about shopping online from Amazon, Flipkart etc. With the festivities around, these mega stores are all offering discounts and deals. Have a look at some of the major footwear offers that these mega sites provide their respective customers during the festive season, with the help of which, you can shop for footwear at a cheaper price and save some money.

So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy your online shopping experience.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

A Letter to Poetry

Dear Poetry, 
           If you wouldn't have been there in my life, I would have probably gone insane. Yes, I might have survived even then, but living would surely be difficult. The emotional and deep person that I am, it's hard to find someone who understands me or values my emotions. But I have found you and so, no regrets.

           You are the one who calm my 3 am tears and help me find beauty in chaos. You help me make sense of my overwhelming emotions. You convince me that pain and separation can be romantic too, just like togetherness. You help me look beyond the ordinary. You make me feel life is hard but interesting as there is so much to write about.

            I was reminiscing the day I fell in love with you. I think I was ten. I took part in the elocution competition in school, where I was told to recite "The Hero" by Rabindranath Tagore. It was a long poem and at first, I was annoyed that I had to memorize it. But then slowly, I started enjoying reading the poem. I still remember those opening lines "Mother, let us imagine we are travelling, and passing through a strange and dangerous country". 

        That poem had built my confidence then and inspired me to be brave. Back then, I didn't know that I will have no choice apart from being brave in life. I was not born strong, but life sculpted me to be as strong as a warrior in order to survive. And you have been inspiring me all the way to be brave, kind and never give up on dreams.

         When I tasted pain, one after the other as I grew up, you became my source of solace. It's in your arms I could reconstruct myself. I like the fact that it's always so easy to bare my heart out, by using a metaphor. I could express everything, and yet not reveal anything. And when people read my poems and relate to them, it makes me euphoric. 

            The best thing is you connect me to people I love deeply. No matter whether they are with me in the present moment, I can always reach out to them through you. You help me dwell in the parallel universe, where I am with my soulmate. You help me relive the moments I had spent with my mother and grandmother. You nourish and water the love in my heart, not letting it perish. You capture the hope in my heart, not letting it fly away.

          Whenever I feel overwhelmed with the injustice happening around me, I can always calm my raging thoughts in your embrace. I wonder had I not found you, how would I have been able to control my rage, pain and fear?

          My dear poetry, I will be indebted to you forever. You add so much meaning to the simple, mundane things of life. You make life an enigma and nature a magician. No wonder I fall in your love every time I read some mesmerizing poem or write a poem to soothe my heart. 

         Thank you for giving me the chance to love you wholeheartedly in this lifetime. And I hope, you love me too. 

                                                                                         ~A poet

If you like reading my blog, you will like my books too. My latest novel, "Canvas of a Mind", a psychological mystery is out! If you like thrillers and mysteries, it will appeal to you.
Grab your copy now!



Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Canvas of a Mind : Kalimpong Diaries #2

In my latest novel, "Canvas of a Mind", the backdrop plays a very crucial role. The psychological mystery novel is set against the backdrop of Kalimpong, a remote hill station in West Bengal. It traces the lives of two sisters, Akashi and Ipsha and how their lives change when a stranger mysteriously appears in the town and starts stalking the younger sister desperately.

In Canvas of a Mind: Kalimpong Diaries #1, I shared about the beautiful Kalimpong golf course where one of the most important scenes of the novel takes place. In this post, I am going to talk about another beautiful place of Kalimpong, the Deolo Hill which I have captured in the novel. 

Kalimpong is situated on a ridge that connects the two hills, Deolo and Durpin. Deolo is the highest point of Kalimpong town that attracts plenty of tourists. It is also renowned for paragliding. 

I went to Kalimpong in 2015 with the rough idea of "Canvas of a Mind". Spending half a day in Deolo helped me visualize my characters there. 

The turning point of Canvas of a mind takes place here in the form of a catastrophe, which changes the lives of Ipsha and Akashi. When you will read the novel, you can surely relate. 

When I was writing the scene, I could easily visualize my characters in this beautiful place. Since childhood, I had read so many mysteries and thrillers of Satyajit Ray and Ruskin Bond, set against the backdrop of hills. I have noticed that hills beautify and intensify mysteries in such a beautiful manner.

When I was trying to do the same with Canvas of a Mind, I absolutely enjoyed the process. It was wonderful observing how the hills of Kalimpong helped me develop the story. 

If you want to read my novel, here's your chance to win a signed copy. All you need to do is click on the following link and participate in the rafflecopter giveaway, in association with Writer's Ezine.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

My third novel "Canvas of a Mind" is now available!


What lies within?

Akashi lives with her younger sister, Ipsha in Kalimpong, a remote hill station. Their tranquil life turns upside down with the arrival of a stranger in the town, who stalks Ipsha desperately. He tries to lure her by sending love notes and playing a haunting tune on his harmonica, without revealing his identity and showing his face. 

As Ipsha gets bewitched by him, Akashi tries to protect her from the creepy stalker. She tries to solve the mystery of the stranger and gets shocked by certain revelations. Meanwhile, she realizes that her sister has been deceiving her at every turn of the road.

Why is Ipsha deceiving Akashi? And, what does the stranger exactly want from the two sisters? Will Akashi be able to save her sister from the darkness she is walking into? Or will she be shattered, knowing certain things about her sister that she had no idea about?

Taut with suspense, "Canvas of a Mind" will take you on a riveting ride. Are you eager to know what lies within?

I am so happy to announce that my third novel, Canvas of a Mind is now available worldwide at Amazon, both in Paperback and Kindle. 

Click for paperback:

Click for Kindle:

The book is also available at Barnes & Noble

Here is a quote from the book:

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Yajnaseni Draupadi

I am the chosen one;
Chosen to be at the receiving end
Of every injustice.
Devoid of a childhood,
Despised by my own father
And humiliated by one and all
For no fault of mine
I'm tired of asking why and why.

I am the chosen one;
Chosen to endure pain and suffering
From the moment I stepped onto this earth
I loved him dearly,
But had to marry five men
To save his family from shattering
Due to one mistake by Kunti Ma
I awaited her blessings with Arjun,
My coy smile unable to conceal my love;
I was weaving dreams of a paradise,
But instead of blessings,
Why did my life change to one full of ridicule?

I am the chosen one;
Chosen to have the strongest mind
And self-protect my honor
Despite having five valiant husbands.
How cruelly they failed me on that fateful day
When I needed them the most!
I may be battered,
I may be tired of fighting
Yet, I am fiery and opinionated
Beautiful and compassionate,
Because I have the Lord by my side
As my friend, Govind.

-Purba Chakraborty 

This is a persona poem, a form that I recently started enjoying a lot while pursuing an online poetry and play writing course from the University of Iowa. I chose the character of Draupadi and gave her a voice as I find Draupadi as one of the most fascinating characters in Indian mythology. 

Note: Draupadi is one of the most important female characters in the Hindu epic, Mahabharata. According to the epic, she is the daughter of Drupada, King of Panchala and is married to the five Pandavas. You can know more about her here.

Image Source: Here