Tuesday, 30 May 2017

My short story "Her favorite pupil" is a part of Writersmelon's Jukebox!

How does it feel when one of your favorite authors writes the foreword of the book that you are a part of? How does it feel to be one of the 15 winners of a nationwide writing competition? Fascinating. Exciting. Fabulous. 

That's what I felt when I saw that Preeti Shenoy has written the foreword of Jukebox, a collection of 15 winning short stories of Melonade, a nationwide writing competition organized by WritersMelon. Melonade, 2016 was judged by a panel of eminent writers, one of them was Preeti Shenoy.  

My association with WritersMelon is a long one. I have been reviewing books for them since 2015. I appreciate the wonderful platform that they provide to authors and bibliophiles to showcase their talent and promote their work. 

When WritersMelon announced their nationwide writing competition "Melonade" in 2016, I couldn't stop myself from taking part in it. I wrote a short story titled Her favorite pupil which is about the relationship that a speech-impaired student shares with his mentor. It is about the teacher's unwavering faith in her student and how the student restores that faith after fifteen long years.

Sometimes all we need in life is a person who has faith in our potential and talent much more than we have in ourselves. Faith is truly magical. It can move mountains. 

This short story is very close to me as I have seen such a relationship between a teacher and a student where the teacher's faith gave the student the courage to chase his dreams. My paternal uncle runs a deaf and dumb school. I have seen him working day and night on speech impaired children and change some of their lives. 

I was thrilled when I learned that my short story Her favorite pupil is one of the 15 short stories that will feature in the anthology by WritersMelon. The book is edited deftly by Priyanka Roy Banerjee and it was amazing ti share writing space with some very talented writers. Jukebox is the 10th anthology that I am a part of. 

Jukebox is divided into 3 sections: 
-Spine Chilling Drama and Suspense
-Quirky, funny and awkward moments
-Poetic love of hopeless romantics

As a reader, I am having a great time savoring these winning stories. I am sure you will have a great time reading this book too. As WritersMelon say, it is a book about life choices that will compel you to think about the choices that you have made in your life. 

Check out the trailer and grab your copy! I am sure you will enjoy the reading experience. 

"The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words."~William H. Gass

Friday, 26 May 2017

Azure or Grey: The two opposite colors of life

The beautiful, azure butterfly
Frisky and agile
Flutters over the bougainvillea tree
Oblivious of the gloom around.

The grey, cloudy sky
Which was beautifully blue 
Some time back,
Threatens to breakdown anytime. 

Sitting on the rusty bench,
She silently observes both:
The azure butterfly 
and the grey sky
The two opposite colors of life
In the presence of one, 
we forget the other. 

Her heart was once 
an azure butterfly
Today, it is like the grey sky
Achromatic and burdened
With the weight of her tears
That threatens 
of a relentless downpour.

As the blanket of thoughts 
wrap her tight,
The azure butterfly come flying,
Sits on her hand, 
wait for a few seconds and go away
Perhaps, letting her know
'This too shall pass'. 

-Purba Chakraborty

Linking this poem with Poetry Pantry # 355

Indian Bloggers

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

On loss, changes and adapting to them

Indian Bloggers

Isn't life a series of painful losses? We lose some people to death and some people to life (misunderstandings, ego, destiny). 

The more we love a person, the more the loss affects us. The pain becomes so unbearable at times that life seems like a merciless struggle to cope up with the losses that life throws at us in the most unexpected times. 

Yes, there are gains too. There are blissful moments of togetherness and love when we laugh so loudly that tears roll down our eyes.

There are cuddles that are so tight that the feeling lingers on long after. Within the blinking of eyes, those moments become memories of beautiful moments spend with our loved ones. And I believe only those memories prevent us from drowning in the sea of life. We stay afloat, clinging to the memories in our heart and believing that our loved ones are there with us, even if we can't see them. We can still feel them even when they are not around. 

Life is unpredictable and changes are an uninvited visitor 

Last month, my life changed completely as I lost someone whom I had loved more than my mother. In fact, she was the mother figure of my life. My grandmother, my darling Dida, who had loved me unconditionally and had raised me after my mother passed away when I was twelve. She was my mom, my granny, my sister and my best friend. Yes, she played all these roles in my life with deftness. And losing her was like losing a huge piece of my heart. 

The only consolation that I could give myself was that she got relief from the unbearable pain. It was arduous to see her every day writhing in pain in front of my eyes. She suffered for one whole month. She had a brain stroke. It was heart wrenching to see her battling with the loss of memory and tremendous pain due to secondary infections. She was at home for the last 14 days and I feel blessed that I could care for her like a baby. I got the chance to mother her for those 14 days. 

My grandmother was a very fit lady who did all her tasks herself. She made tea for me whenever she made tea for herself. Last year, she went with Dad and me on a trip to Darjeeling. The manager of our hotel was surprised to see an old lady like her bubbling with enthusiasm. Despite getting much less than what she deserved in life, she was so full of life. She was the epitome of goodness and cheerfulness. 

Adapting to changes because life goes on...

Now when I have to spend every single day of my life without this magical person who was my mother, grandmother, best friend, and sister rolled into one, I feel lonely beyond words. When I lost my mother, I had a mother figure in my life. But with the loss of Dida, I am completely motherless in this huge world. 

There are days when I cry, scream and feel that I can't take it anymore. But thankfully my habit of writing saves me in those times. I record all the beautiful memories with Dida in my journal. It feels great to relive those moments in the white pages on those dark nights. I am planning to start a memoir section on my blog too. 

We, human beings are great at adapting to changes. No matter how painful the change is, we ultimately find a way to adapt and start again. And when I get drowned in the overwhelming emotions, I feel Dida is telling me how much she misses that twinkling smile on my face. She hated my tears and always blackmailed me emotionally by crying more than I cried. 

This is the last picture that I had clicked with Dida before she had the stroke. It was taken in March, this year and how crazily we were laughing our hearts out that day. I had no idea that after two months, I will be writing this post about losing her.

Dear Dida, 
My moonshine,
I will always look for you
In the starry nights,
In the goodness of the world;
I will always feel you
In the autumn breeze,
The cardigan you had woven for me;
I will always remember you
While having tea, 
And listening to old Bengali songs.
I will always miss you,
Cherish you, admire you
And love you!

Monday, 8 May 2017

Adventure to Mt. Kilimanjaro

If you are an adventurous soul who seeks adventure constantly, the Mt. Kilimanjaro trek might be on your bucket list. Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa (19,340) that soars above the verdant tea plantations and the low hills of Tanzania. This once-in-a-lifetime trek will reward you with extraordinary views and breathtaking sunrises that you won’t be able to forget as long as you live.

Highlights of the Mt. Kilimanjaro Trek

Doesn’t it sound absolutely thrilling to climb the tallest mountain in the world once in your life? If you take the Mt. Kilimanjaro trek, you will be able to climb the world’s tallest mountain and sleep on its floor. You will be able to explore the beautiful rain forests, lava formations, heather moor and glaciers. You can also know about the unique fauna and flora of the mountain from the local guides.

Preparing for the trek

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro requires physical fitness. You need to be physically fit to climb the tallest mountain in the world. If you have a fit body, you can definitely withstand the stress of hiking and camping for days. If you have hiked before, it will be easier for you to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. It is recommended by experts to train yourself for climbing the mountain at least two months before your departure. If you have never gone hiking, you can train yourself by going for brisk walks and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

Planning your Mt. Kilimanjaro trek

Planning an adventure to Mount Kilimanjaro sounds like a daunting task, but Mojhi is there to solve all your problems. Once you decide to fulfill your dream of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, you need to send all your details to Mojhi and they will take care of the arrangements of Kilimanjaro climbing.

At first, you need to select the route that you have chosen for climbing the mountain. If you are unable to decide the route, Mojhi will suggest the best possible route after studying all your requirements. Next, you have to tell them how big your group is or if you are going single. Then, you have to mention the dates between which you can go for the trek. Finally, you need to drop your email ID and phone number so that they can contact you with the best quotes.Follow the Facebook Page of Mojhi for regular updates.

Live the adventure!

Your adventure to Mount Kilimanjaro will be perfect when you plan it with Mojhi. They will arrange everything for you in the best possible manner. They have an awesome customer service that is there to answer all your queries. Their quick and professional response will let you go on your dream trek without any hassle.

The snow-capped summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and the spectacular views will mesmerize you and make you see life from a fresh perspective. There is so much to see and explore while climbing the highest mountain in the world. Live the adventure and give wings to your dreams.