A tiny step towards the world of literature

“Your life is enriched with meaning when allow yourself to become inspired, set goals, and charge after them with passion.”
Julie Connor

Its one thing to admire something from a far end, while its totally different thing to enter the long cherished domain and examine things first handily . Being a book lover, it was my long desire to attend a literary festival sometime. The opportunities to do so never came until yesterday. I recently started following a local FM Facebook page as they have started a poetry slam. But I never got any response from them except one asking for my personal number where they never bothered to call.

I knew that around September, a literary festival is conducted in my city, but I never bothered to search for it in details. So day before yesterday, I saw a facebook update on local FM page regarding the ongoing literary festival, I got excited checked the details and realized it was being conducted in a nearby place and 4th September that happens to be yesterday, was the last day of the festival. I checked the program details and got excited by seeing the event list.

I left my home around 1.30 pm and reached the venue by 2pm. I realized the program that I so dearly wanted to attend has already been started, and the auditorium was overcrowded, I persuaded the guy outside the auditorium to let me go in saying I would be occupy so less of a space. He denied at first saying he can’t as other people who were standing out would also like to join me. I made a puppy face and said please, see there is no one around us, so no one will know that you let me in. He looked around for a while and opened the gate stealthy and let me in. Their I entered in the literary world and attended my first ever Literary Festival in Pune called Pune International Literary Festival 2016.

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My Attendee Identity Card

It was a session “Yours truly with Prasoon Joshi(Rajeev Masand in conversation with Prasoon Joshi).” I have admired him a lot specially for his touching poetry. There I was listening live to one of the most famous lyricist , film writer and poet of my country.

I couldn’t click his photograph as I was in standing in crowd where we couldn’t see him bare eye and had to look at the screens for the same. It was one of most beautiful session I attended where he talked about his journey, people who influenced him, gender equality and poetry recital.

The next session was “Roast- Ashwin Sanghi”, though it was never a real roast as the author is not a controversial person. He is one of the best seller of our country belonging to mystery genre. I have read few of his books and they are quite good too. He has often been referred as Dan Brown of India. Nevertheless the session was quite entertaining as the author talked about his 47 rejections by different publication houses until he made it to the best seller list.

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Ashwin sanghi signing his books for fans

The third session was “Crime Time : The will , Thrill and Drill of the author”(with Avirook Sen, Neeraj Kumar, Mark Manuel and Helen Smith, moderated by Piyush Jha).

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All the authors in conversation with piyush jha(from left to right – Neeraj Kumar, Helen Smith, Piyush Jha, Avirook Sen and Mark Manuel)

This was very knowledge enhancing session as three of the authors were somehow related to crime time. Neeraj Kumar was an ex-IAS officer while Avirook and Manuel belonged to crime journalism. On the other hand we had Helen Smith a London based author who writes fictional crime stories while the moderator Piyush Jha is fictional thriller writer who is also a film writer and director.

The session highlighted the difference between the real and fictional crime. How it is solved in real life and what are the challenges the writer faces when they talk about the truth in their books. How cautious they have to be in bringing out the facts in their books. How they have to draw line where they have to put enough on a reader’s plate but not sufficient enough for the people to get the real culprits and identities.

After this session wandered outside for a quick break of snacks and coffee, looking at the book stalls. I didn’t bought any book from their because of two reasons, one I forgot carry enough cash to indulge in it and secondly I am overloaded with my To-Read list.

I also attended last few minutes of a session of “Archie in your life”(Siddhartha Jain in conversation with Co-CEO of Archie Comics – Nancy Silberkleit) where they talked about how the archie comics concept came 77 years ago and how after her husband’s sudden demise she has to take over his role and how fascinated she became with Archie’s world. How Archie has been one of the most famous comic strip and comics of all times in the world.

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Sidhartha Jain with Co-CEO Archie Comic Nancy Silberkleit

The last and the most awaited session of this year’s literary festival was “Yours truly Anupam Kher”.

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Anupam Kher in conversation with Ashok Chopra

Anupam kher is one of the most famous Bollywood actor, theatre artist , motivation speaker and most importantly an author. He is the man who is a born optimist and truly believes in “Kuch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai”(If this can happen then anything can happen) philosophy. He talked about his struggle for niche in Bollywood industry, his humble background , his teachings from his parents and grandparents. His love for his craft and his die hard love for his country.

He ended the session one of my favourite poem by one of most loved poet of our nation Harivansh Rai Bachchan

लहरों से डर कर नौका पार नहीं होती
हिम्मत करने वालों की हार नहीं होती

नन्ही चींटी जब दाना लेकर चलती है
चढ़ती दीवारों पर सौ बार फिसलती है
मन का विश्वास रगों में साहस भरता है
चढ़ कर गिरना, गिर कर चढ़ना न अखरता है
आखिर उसकी मेहनत बेकार नहीं होती
कोशिश करने वालों की हार नहीं होती

The English translation for the same goes by :

The boat that qualms the waves
Never gets across
The mind that dreads and dares
Has never been at loss
The tiny ant, when it carries the grain
Lays it up into the heights of the wall
Falls slipping a hundred times,
Just as it tries again
The faith in the mind
Stirs courage in the nerves
It soars and slips, then slips and soars again
Until its efforts have not been in vain

The one who tries,Never fails.

PS : So tell me when was the first time you attended a literary festival or attended a book launch or joined a community for book lover or anything that marked your first step in getting out of your cocoon.

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The Path To Glory

path to glory

A small step, on a long staircase

Charming red single rose, adding beauty to the vacant vase.

One stick, adding weight to a faggot.

The house fly, trying to come out of a maggot.

A lone candle, tearing the veil of darkness.

Helping us, in clearing all the past murkiness.

A single stitch, saving the grace.

The last-minute entry, can bring you back in the race.

A little finger to hold on to,

Making a dying relationship, fresh and new.

A colourful bead, can beautify the plain necklace.

Just greet people with a warm embrace.

A new spice, can change the taste.

Do something in this life, it’s not to waste.

That’s how dreams turn into wonderful reality.

Just take a simple step, leaving behind all the vanity.

For the man I call… DADY

There’s something like a line of gold thread running through a man’s words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself.
John Gregory Brown

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It’s often said that daughter’s take after their father. I took after mine.

Our story started from the time I was in the making, in my mother’s womb. My father was not in favour of having a second child, he thought that its important to give a single child all they can , rather than dividing that among two. But when my mother decided to go ahead with her pregnancy he didn’t stop her.

Things started changing when my presence became visible to his eyes. The day he laid his eyes on me, I become his favourite.

Our first resemblance is our looks, I had his eyes, his colour, his jaw and his smile. An exact replica of him. People who have never seen me before, recognize me at once as his daughter. I have always been regarded as his daughter.

Our bond doesn’t stop over our looks, it goes much deeper than banyan roots. We agree, we disagree more. We love, we fight a little more. We are funny in our own ways. Two adamant , stubborn duo who love each other immensely and take pride calling each other father and daughter.

My father is an impatient teacher, I am a moody student. So our life has been a sweet and sour tale.

He has a peculiar way of showing his love. And it took me 25 years to understand this love of his.

When I was a little girl, my father’s lap was my second home. I use to eat there, sleep there and laugh there. As I grew up, my habit took a new twist, I started sleeping without dinners. How much, however my mother tried to keep me awake, my sleep didn’t wait for anyone. All those nights when I thought I didn’t have dinner, my father kept feeding me while I was asleep. There was not a single day when my father let me sleep without food.

When I entered my teens, I became stubborn and rebellious child. And all my uncanny desires were fulfilled by my father. Sometimes it was with a fight, sometimes with tears, sometimes by sarcasm, but he made my wishes come true.

My every single achievement brought glitters in his eyes, they spoke of a proud father. He pushed me to get into extra curricular activities. He taught me that life exists outside the academic curriculum. He was my keen listener, for each final debate practice of mine. He was spectator of each final dress rehearsal for my dance competition. He openly supported my reading adventures. He was the first reader for all my writing escapades. My confidence is his bequeath.

Sometimes you never know that unknowingly how much you have learned from your parents. There are so many beautiful lessons and things we unconsciously gather in our system. Its only after years that we realize that we took it from them.

I can’t describe in words how much indebted I am, for all those great advises of yours.

When I was hopeless about my career you said to me “Remember my darling, there is no substitute for hard-work, and it pays off , if not today but sure it will,do,tomorrow.” And this advice of yours has become my holy grail.

We have come a long way, from fighting for reading the newspaper in morning to having same choices in food items and sharing same favourite color.Your love for being on time has been passed on to me. Your vapour like temper has been my genetic gift. Your ambitious nature has been imparted to me.

 But yes I accept that in so many ways that I like and dislike I have taken after you daddy.

But my biggest achievement and gift of all time is “Being your daughter”. Thank you for loving me as and who I am 🙂

Happy Fathers day daddy ❤ Love you ❤

Forever and ever

Your little princess ❤

A journey of a daughter

“Behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begin.”

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Recently we all celebrated Mother’s Day with lot of zest. Making our mother feel special for a day is a great idea. Now, that I am married, I am showered with love of two mothers. I love giving surprises, so for each of my mother I did something different.  For my birth mother, I sent a small gift followed by a small wish call on phone. For my new mother, I was able to do things in much more meaningful way as she was with us on this day.

The day was a full family day. A well spent one.

As I was lying on my bed, calling sleep, I had a thought that struck me hard. We girls often say things like we want to be like our mothers, if we became even 0.1 percent like them, we would be really happy, I have got my strength from my mom, she is the best women I know etc..etc.

Do we always use to thing like this?? Were we always felt so grateful toward our mother’s??  Did we always idolized them?

For me the answer is a big NO!

Those who think that, I am being too rational or rude, I would say wait till you read me completely.

There was a time, I so much wanted, not be to be like my mother. In fact, I never liked the idea when someone compared me to her. I remember when I once said to her, I am so happy that I don’t look like you. I know that statement is such a horror on a mother’s face. When your child make you feel that your partner is superior in looks than you and he/she is grateful that they got superior genes. My mother never replied me back on that statement but years later, I realized how much painful that one statement would have been for her.

My mother is a timid woman when it comes to expressing herself, people relentlessly, dominate her. This attribute of her always irritated me. I have been witness of many such nasty situations where people overlooked her.  I once argued with her after one such bad moment, saying that “How could you allow someone to control you so much “. She was bewildered by my confrontation, but after a long pause she said “I promise you that I will never let that happen to you “. I ignored her remark, and went on with my life carelessly. Until recently, I took pride in being a person whom no one could think of messing up with, never once realizing that the seed of this confidence and belief was instilled by the woman, I called my mother.

Every mother and daughter on this earth have fought once, for reason big and small. Our relation too went through this stage once. Our major opinion difference was our taste in clothing. I always loved having too many clothes that too of latest fashion. I am not makeup or accessory person but I love stylish and fashionable clothing items whereas my mother is a classy dresser. She love simple clothes that are evergreen and don’t bother much about having lot of them. During my teenage and early twenties we never agreed on same clothing’s for me. I always considered my mother’s choice as boring until someone changed my thoughts.

It was my cousin’s wedding and all my aunts were dressed up with makeup and glittery clothes. My mother being her usual self, wore a simple saree with only a single piece of jewellery that she possess. We all were admiring the ones who have all donned up for the occasion. Suddenly my little cousin pointed me towards my mom and said “I loved the way mausi (mom’s sister) is dressed up, so simple and different from all others.” Her words made me think that being peppy and trendy doesn’t make you different, it’s you yourself, your own thoughts and mind, make you different. I realized how my mother was different and unique from all other women of our family.

After the wedding got over, one of my distant relative asked my mother who her daughter was? My mother called me and proudly said “She is my daughter”. I saw the look on the woman’s face, she looked at me with awe. This time I took full pride in being my mother’s daughter and I told her “ I am nothing like my mom, I could never be like her, because no one in the world could be like my mother”.

PS: I took birth from your womb 27 years before but I turned into your daughter the day I realized “You are the best thing that I have”

 

 

 

 

Zoo : Day 26 of A-Z Challenge

Life is a zoo in a jungle.

My first memory of our country’s capital, Delhi, is of visiting National Zoological Park.

Mathur aunty use to live in our building that too on our floor. Mathur uncle use to work with my father, while aunty was a homemaker like my mother.

The sad part of their life was that they didn’t have children. They liked my brother but they loved me more. One summer evening she asked my parents whether she can take us to Delhi for a week. My parents were very apprehensive about it and told her that they will think about it. Meanwhile aunty divulged her plan to us and we got ready to accompany her.

My brother insisted my parents to let us go, so after much persistence, they gave in. Our bags were packed, mom gave a long list of dos and don’t s and we happily left our home to explore a new city.

After resting for a day, we went to see the zoo. I still remember the big stone with an inscribed name of the park.
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The beautiful small lake at the entry where white ducks were playing.
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The different colourful birds sitting on small branches of trees. The hopping monkey’s inside a small cage , where people were offering them bananas from outside. The sleeping crocodile lying in cool pool of water. So many peacocks dancing on the fences together.
PEACOCK

The big black tiger with brown eyes staring right back at me. Seeing big lion called bababar sher( the toughest among the lion clan) roaming inside a big area which also had small lake for him. Big fox inside a room which had a small window for peeking visitors. The big rhinoceroses behind a big wall, for showing them my uncle had to pick me up on his shoulders. The lazy hippopotamus inside a marsh.

It is what all I can remember from my first visit to zoo in Delhi when I was four years old.

This all came flashing back when my four-year old nephew recently visited a zoological park in Mysore and came back with interesting stories for me. We discussed how all animals looked like , to the voices they were making , to the activities they were involved in. It was indeed great to go back down the memory lane, once again.

PS: Share your story of first zoological park visit or wild life century?

This my attempt for the Twenty-sixth day of the A-Z Challenge.

 

Day 26:Z(alphabet)

Z

Yarn: Day 25 of A-Z Challenge

Story of yarns and me

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Beautiful yarns of different colours, is what winter reminds me. The warmth of hand knitted sweaters by my mother in jittery winters was like a covering protecting us from cold and evil eyes.

Those narrow lanes of city market, walking miles holding my mother’s hand, just to get yarns of wool of better quality in a cheaper prize. Selecting one single colour amongst the hundreds of beautiful brightly coloured yarns.

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My mother calculating the quantity required for me, thinking it should be more than what she bought last year,because I was growing like an eucalyptus.

She would put hank of yarn over her knees and would begin wrapping the yarn around her thumb and first three fingers.

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She would she change the  directions every now and then, moving her hands very fast. A nice beautiful even ball of yarn that feeds pleasingly from the centre. I was then asked to bring needle box, which was a white coloured old drinking bottle which served as needle case.

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They were generally white in colour with number written on square part at one end side. The size of needle is very important while knitting because large stitches can be made with large needles, whereas fine knitting requires fine needles.

I use to gather small left out pieces from the yarn and make cat whiskers. It was a fun game to play with.

Sometimes I was asked to hold the yarn from one end so that mom could make the base of the ball, the centre part.

A yarn teaches us so many things in a simple way. Clearly up things before you plunge into something. One wrong move can really make your life bit messy and last but not the least, a beautiful well made ball looks beautiful to others but only the one who made it knows the pain they took, to make it so.

 

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This my attempt for the Twenty-fifth day of the A-Z Challenge.

Day 25:Y(alphabet)

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X-Ray : Day 24 of A-Z Challenge

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I was 11year old when I first saw an X-ray report. My grandfather has injured his spine while traveling in a rickshaw.

One day he came back from market and complained about pain in his lower back. He was quite overweight and we thought may be sitting for too long on rickshaw must have caused it. My father massaged his back with lukewarm mustard oil. But the pain still rmained.

So he was taken to orthopedic surgeon for a check-up and from there he returned with brown paper bag. I waited for everyone to settle down, so that I can peek into the envelope.

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Once mom and dad got busy in discussing what the doctor has advised, I slowly grabbed the envelope and stealthily moved in the next room.

I opened the envelope and saw a black transparent thick sheet with some blurred image on it. It liked what I saw and it created a curiosity to know more about it.

I searched books in library to know more about x-ray, how it worked, and what the machine is called and so on. This how I fall in love with biology and took it up as my main subject in school. Though I never did anything great in that field but I still love to read about human body.

This my attempt for the Twenty-fourth day of the A-Z Challenge.

Day 24:X(alphabet)

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WordPress Anniversary

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Hi Friends, today I completed my one year journey on WP.

Thanks to all the people who helped me to improve , the ones who motivated me through their words , I am grateful to all of you .

Thanks for being a part of my journey.

 

 

Waistline :Day 23 of A-Z Challenge

Today I have very small story to tell, it’s an incident of the time when I use to have a very narrow waistline.

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15th August (Independence Day of India) was approaching and like every year our school was participating in dance competition that was held at district level.

Our music teacher came in our class and selected some student for the competition. It used to take place in a large city stadium, hence 200 students were selected from whole school.

The dance number was an old folk song welcoming the season of rain. In northern India rain arrives in month of July. So the song was totally appropriate.

One day before the final dance competition, we were called out for dress rehearsal. For girls the dress was colorful ghagra and choli and for boys it was dhoti and kurta.

Every group was allotted a particular color and was asked to try on their dresses. My group was given red color bottom and red top. I wore it and tried to tie the side knot. I tried to make it tight as much as possible and ran out for the dress practice.

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Continuous jumping for the dance, loosened the knot and the ghagra started slipping a bit. While everyone was busy in dancing I was busy in holding my ghagra. My math’s teacher saw that someone was causing the problem in the coordination, so she came near us and stood watching me. She smiled and tied my knot, and said “No matter, how tight the knot may be, it will eventually slip, because there is no waist to hold it “.

Next day for the final she checked my knot a few times and for precaution used my school belt to tighten the grip of the dress.

PS: Has your waist ever been a talking point?

This my attempt for the Twenty-third day of the A-Z Challenge.

Day 23:W(alphabet)

 W

 

 

Vaccination: :Day 22 of A-Z Challenge

“Sometimes vaccination can be fun”

Today my story is about vaccination, and a child’s reaction to it.

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It was hot summer noon, she draped her eight month old daughter in a small towel to protect her from loo (a strong, hot and dry summer afternoon wind from the west which blows over the western Indo-Gangetic Plain region of North India and Pakistan).

In a small bag she kept a small water bottle for both of them and a feeding bottle for baby girl. Today for the first time she was taking her daughter out of their home that too alone. She was bit nervous didn’t knew how her baby would react on seeing strangers.  But she can’t post-pone this visit further, her daughter’s BCG (Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine is a vaccine primarily used against tuberculosis) vaccination was long due. She could not further delay after knowing how tuberculosis could be fatal.

She held her daughter one side and the pink baby bag on another. She decided to walk to the hospital instead of taking a rickshaw. The baby was calm but her eyes were exploring, trying to capture all the things around her. The outer world was so lively and full of people that the child was getting more and more excited.

Than they came near a school and the school bell was ringing, and children were rushing out of the school. Some seemed happy to be free, some were dull and sleepy.

Her daughter who till than saw only her brother’s face started smiling at every passing child. Trying to get out of her mother’s arm. She started waving her hands towards all the strangers and loosened her grip on her mother’s saree. She laughed seeing a boy who made a funny face looking at her.

It was getting difficult to hold her but somehow she managed and took her to the hospital. The girl smiled, on seeing her pediatrician. She didn’t wept, when they gave her vaccination, just a little quiver for it.

She knew that day her daughter would grow up to be an extrovert and one without fear of natural fearing things.

PS: Tell me your one interesting vaccination experience ?

This my attempt for the Twenty-second day of the A-Z Challenge.

Day 22:V(alphabet)

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