Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The Soul

TEAM - WORD WEAVERS
SOUL OF A STAR

Read the next part of the story here
Chapter – 10
 The Soul


“Shakes, where is cuddles?” Tara asked at the breakfast table. Her short-hair was nicely done and she looked elegant in cream cotton sari with maroon border. A simple solitaire rested in her ears and a brilliant diamond bracelet was wrapped around her wrist.

“I don’t know. Since yesterday evening, she is inside her room. Playing her keyboard, I guess. I tried to go inside but she put a note on door” said Shekhar.

“A note? What note?”

“Trespassers will be prosecuted” laughed Shekhar.

“Kids these days. What is she up to?” Tara sighed and gulped the orange juice.

“Amma and Baba, follow me”, said nine year old Roohi, their daughter. Her two ponytails danced as she walked. Tara glanced at the wall clock. She was getting late. But, Roohi forcefully led them to her bedroom. The sticky note was still there.

“Wait” she said with an air of confidence and command. Yet it sounded very sweet, oozing with childish innocence.

She started playing the keyboard and sang:

“Amma and Baba
You are my eyes.
I see the world through you.
You are my teachers.
And my best friends.
You make me smile wider and wider.
You buy me gifts
But how I wish
Amma is less busy.
I miss you, amma.
Amma is working hard for us,
Baba says
And, he plays with me all through the day.
So, it is okay.
Amma and Baba
You are my eyes.
You are my world
Here I am wishing you
A happy-happy marriage anniversary
Let’s cocoon together
And weave happiness!!!”

Shekhar ran towards Roohi and lifted her up in the air. “Did you compose this?” he asked in awe. Roohi nodded shyly and glanced at her mother. Tara was spellbound. Tears were rolling down her cheeks. She was overwhelmed. She wanted to hug Roohi and kiss her lovingly. But, she couldn’t move.

“Amma, why are you crying? Didn’t you like it?” Roohi asked. Tara knelt before her and said, “you are a marvel cuddles. My soul.” She hugged Roohi and cried uncontrollably. It was a very emotional moment for both Tara and Shekhar.

“She writes beautifully. Like you.” Tara told Shekhar as they walked towards her car. The chauffeur was waiting. He looked amused because Tara respects time and that day she was late.

“She sings soulfully. Like you.” Shekhar said.

Mumbai traffic is world famous. Vehicles become snails. They move ahead with a pain. Generally, Tara prepares To-Do list for the day or makes some important business calls. But that day, like the day before, she was lost in thoughts.

She thanked Gods for blessing them with Roohi.

She reminisced that evening when she had broken the pregnancy news to Shekhar.

***

Shekhar looked anxious and preoccupied. But, when he looked at Tara, he fell in love with her. Again. She was wearing a yellow sari and her skin glowed against it. He observed that she looked more beautiful. Beautiful than ever, he corrected himself.

“Hi Shakes”, Tara said as she planted a kiss on both his cheeks. Shekhar was relieved that she called him Shakes. She always used his full name when she was angry. She is not angry, he told himself and smiled back.

Silence followed. But, they did not feel uncomfortable.

When the waiter offered to pour red wine, Tara declined. Shekhar was surprised because Tara always enjoyed wine.

“Tara, why you don’t want wine?” asked Shekhar. “What happened to you?” he looked worried.

“Shakes, I can’t… I mean I should… Ummm... Must not drink alcohol”, said Tara. She was blushing and had a tough time in finding right words to express herself.

“What do you mean?” asked a confused Shekhar.

“I mean... Alcohol is not good for health”

“What? I mean suddenly what happened?” asked Shekhar. Tara always enjoyed drinking. “I love the high it gives. That feeling of flying higher and higher… In the midst of clouds. Even the skies seems to be within reachable limits” she used to say. Tara always knew her limits though and Shekhar never discouraged her. He secretly enjoyed to listen to her random ramblings, which often carried a poetic or philosophical quality. Sometimes, a fierce love-making session would follow.

“Sometimes we have to take care of ourselves for the sake of others”, she said.

“Pari, can you please stop being cryptic? Can you please tell me what happened? Are you sick?” Shekhar was really worried. Her silence and subtle smile started to disturbed Shekhar.

“I am talking to you…” he said visibly losing patience.

“No Shakes. You are not only talking to me… But… But to our baby also”, Tara said it. Finally. Tears started to pour down her cheeks.

Shekhar was taken aback. He couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. It was the happiest day in their life; a day that gave back their lost love and a new soul to love.

The months that followed opened gates to blissfulness.

Shekhar took care of Tara like a mother. He cooked healthiest food for her and accompanied her for strolls.

Modelling and movie contracts were terminated because of Tara’s pregnancy. But, she didn’t feel bad or insecure. She was delighted that she was building a family of her own.

Shekhar, on the other hand, pledged on their unborn baby that he would never touch alcohol. He also made up his mind to have a positive approach towards his attempts to publish books. He apologized Tara almost every day for picking lame fights and for hurting her so badly.

As the delivery date approached, they spent most of the time together. Shekhar took up freelancing and stayed at home most of the times. They read, walked, laughed and talked.

“I am thinking of a career shift”, one day Shekhar said. “I am planning to write about parenting and do research on child psychology” he said. Shekhar wanted to see their baby grow and he wanted to provide everything possible. He wanted to shower the baby with care and love. Tara understood Shekhar very well. She supported his decision.

Tara decided that she should make a career shift too and start earning enough to support a threesome family. But, she didn’t communicate her decision right away. There were better things to do, she concluded.

She enjoyed Shekhar’s company and the way he used to pamper her. Their biggest pastime was deciding the baby name. Tara’s glow and comparatively smaller belly assured them that it would be a girl. Besides, they wanted a girl.

“It is a girl, Shakes” Tara used to say confidently. “But how would you know?”
“Because I am the mum!!!” Tara used to declare.

One afternoon, Tara jumped from her nap and said, “Shakes, how this name is? R-O-O-H-I. Roohi” Tara asked. Delivery date was only a week away. “It means Soul in Urdu. I don’t know how I remembered suddenly” she sounded excited as she continued, “She is the soul of our togetherness and our marriage. She is the soul of our happiness and everything we would ever be.”

“Roohi…” Shekhar was interrupted with Tara’s sudden cry. Her labor pain had begun…

***

The 21 storeyed building came into view. Tara had never imagined that she would have a family of her own. Also, she didn’t know what good she had done to bear a sweetie pie like Roohi.


Slowly, gratitude was washed away by regret. Her eyes lost the sparkle and the color in her face faded.

***                                                                



PS: Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.”


Read the next part of the story here

Cocoon

TEAM - WORD WEAVERS
SOUL OF A STAR

Read the next part of the story here

Chapter – 09
Cocoon

“Here is The Starlet… Finally”, Shekhar exclaimed as he smiled widely and pecked on Tara’s cheeks.

It was almost midnight. But, this wasn’t new to the couple. As Tara climbed up the ambitious career ladder, the time that she could devote to her loving family ebbed. In order to compensate for Tara’s absence, Shekhar took charge of their house and started freelancing.

“Someone looks very happy today. What is the matter?” asked Tara as she walked into the living room.

“I am a happy man Pari. Tell me, how was your day? Asked Shekhar as he led her to the kitchen.

“Long Shakes. Really-really long. I compiled the photos sent by Jeans and presented it to the client. They were impressed. But, the questioning that followed was tiresome” Tara said.

“Isn’t it a long time since meeting Jeans? Time is really flying fast! How is she?” asked Shekhar.

“Um. Good. Not changed a bit. You know what, she has got a tattoo in her right hand - a beaded thread bearing holy cross.”

“Sounds interesting. Yet very painful” Shekhar said as Tara examined the kitchen.

“OH-EM-GEE!!! Are you baking a cake!?” Tara squealed. Shekhar nodded and winked.

“You spoil me Shakes. Always.” Tara teased and took a bowl of grapes. As Tara started munching them, Shekhar hugged her from behind and whispered in her ears,
“A dozen years has passed
Since you and I vowed to be one
To share tears of grief and happiness.
You complete me
You are not only wife, dear lady;
But, also my world.
Thanks for coming as a star;
In my otherwise dark life.
Thank you;
For being the guiding light.
Many-many thanks;
For the dozen happy years and umpteen happy memories.
Let many-many more follow.
Love you…”
Tears of joy started to roll down Tara’s cheek. She closed her eyes and thanked heavens for being so generous towards her. She hugged back and said, “I love you too”. Moments of silence followed.

“I am so sorry that I forgot our anniversary. Sometimes, I wonder whether I deserve so much happiness and love. I am so bad. I take you for granted. I…” Tara was interrupted by Shekar’s kiss on her forehead and then on her quivering lips. He carried her to their bedroom. That night they made love. Unhurriedly, yet passionately.

As always, Shekhar fell asleep in no time. Tara rested on his evenly heaving chest and caressed his balding head. She missed those silky hair he once had.

She couldn’t believe that they were married for twelve years. So much had changed. However, with each passing year, love multiplied. And, his eyes continued to drench her with love and always ushered her to his heart.  

Tara tried to fall asleep. She had another long day at office. Yet, she couldn’t stop herself from thinking about the difficult first two years of marriage was and the magical years that followed. She couldn’t pardon herself that she forgot their wedding anniversary.

Slowly, old memories reeled in the back of her mind.

***
Shekhar’s birthday followed soon after their wedding. Tara was confused. She couldn’t decide about the gift. After a lot of thinking, she decided to sell a land that she owned and to buy a house. She went in search of a perfect house where they could build a nest of their own. A villa near Bandra awed her. It looked perfect. She bought that house and named, “Cocoon”. She personally decorated the interiors and ensured that it looked trendy and cozy at the same time. She adorned the walls with their photographs and Shekhar’s love notes.

On Shekhar’s birthday, she blindfolded him and took him to their new house – their cocoon. When he opened his eyes, he noticed a thoughtfully designed nameplate that read, “Mr & Mrs. Dutta”. He couldn’t believe his own eyes as tears blurred his vision.

Tara hugged him tight and said, “Let’s build a world of our own”. Shekhar, who otherwise expresses poetically, found it difficult to express.

In spite being working for a well-known newspaper, his salary was only handful. Apart from a fixed amount diverted to conservative saving plans like insurance and mutual funds, he could not invest much. Definitely, not in something as magnificent as Cocoon.

That day, he felt small in front of Tara. He was overjoyed. But, he also envied her. As Tara toured him through the home, he was preoccupied. He was thinking of some way to at least equal her, if not outgrow her. He never believed in competition and bank balance. His expectation from life had always been basic – Happiness and Peace. But, that day, he realized that Tara deserved much more. He concluded that he had failed her; failed himself.

***

It was almost dawn and Tara was still awake. Their house, Cocoon, was s storehouse of several memories. “We must weave at least ten memories per brick” a philosophical Shekhar used tell Tara. That night Tara wondered how many bricks they would have covered.

***                                                                

PS: Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.”


Read the next part of the story here

Those Pricey Thakur Girls

From the book blurb
In a sprawling bungalow on New Delhi’s posh Hailey Road, Justice Laxmi Narayan Thakur and his wife Mamta spend their days watching anxiously over their five beautiful (but troublesome) alphabetically named daughters.

Anjini, married but an incorrigible flirt; Binodini, very worried about her childrens hissa in the family property; Chandrakanta, who eloped with a foreigner on the eve of her wedding; Eshwari, who is just a little too popular at Modern School, Barakhamba Road; and the Judges favourite (though fathers shouldnt have favourites): the quietly fiery Debjani, champion of all the stray animals on Hailey Road, who reads the English news on DD and clashes constantly with crusading journalist Dylan Singh Shekhawat, he of shining professional credentials but tarnished personal reputation, crushingly dismissive of her state-sponsored propaganda, but always seeking her out with half-sarcastic, half-intrigued dark eyes.

Spot-on funny and toe-curlingly sexy, Those Pricey Thakur Girls is rom-com specialist Anuja Chauhan writing at her sparkling best.

Author
Anuja Chauhan wrote ads for colas, chips and chocolates for seventeen years before deciding to do something healthier for a living. She now writes novels, movie screenplays, news articles and her children's Hindi essays. Her bestselling novels The Zoya Factor and Battle for Bittora have been optioned by major Bollywood studios. She lives in Gurgaon with her husband Niret Alva, two helpers who bang the doors a lot, a Lhasa Apso who thinks he is a German Shepherd, and three adolescents who give her attitude.


Characters
Retd. Justice Laxmi Narayan Thakur and his wife Mamta Thakur are progressive parents. They are cool and at the same time extensively worry about their daughters.

Anjini, the eldest of five daughters is a flirt though she is married to a widower. She has an opinion in almost everything.

Binodini comes across as a traditional housewife foe whom her husband is God. She cares more about money than anything else.

Chandrakanta is one name that we keep hearing although we never really get a chance to see her in action. 


Debjani is the protagonist here. The story revolves around her, her profession and love life of course. She is funny… confused… egoistic and her father’s favorite.

Eshwari is the youngest of all. She is cool and athletic. She is supportive and understanding. 

Then there is our hero… Dylan. I have no words for him. On a biased note, I am in love with him too! His transformation from an unconcerned lad to a responsible lover who is ready to take up the responsibilities that marriage throws is phenomenal.

There are many others characters. The beauty of this book is each of them, however small they may be, stay in our mind!


What I think
I loved the book. It carries us to that era free from internet, mobile phones and multiple television channels. The plot runs around television channel DD, which happens to be the only television channel at that time.

The story unravels in 1980’s, a decade that saw humongous transformation in India. The change was triggered in that period and it was actually felt in 1990’s until we started approving those changes and decided to live with it in 2000’s.

The narrative is pacey and funny. There are several instances that would either make us laugh or giggle at least. The editing is done well. The cover page acts as that sweet tempting cherry in the cake! 

The love track between Debjani and Dylan steals our heart. It is young and fresh which is full of attitude and ego. And it is a kind of love which tempts you to fall and be in love too!


But...
Towards the end, it becomes a little too nagging. It feels like the end is far away. Excepting that drag towards the end, the book is a delight to read.


Should you read it?
Indeed. You will not regret it. You might as well complete in one sitting!
Go for it!

Rating
4/5



Thank you
The Zoya Factor for being such a marvel. If I had not read that I would never have started reading Indian author books. I thank that cousin for introducing me to Zoya. And finally, I thank another cousin for buying The Pricey Thakur girls, stacking in the rack, thereby tempting me to read it! 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Expectations

Would you agree with me if I say that expectations is a pest that can kill peace, happiness and almost everything? If I say that expectations can even shatter the cherished things?

Or would you say that you already know that?

Wait, can I say that expectations is the mother of dreams. If there are no expectations, why do we weave dreams?

In short, expectations could be a weed that can suck the happiness out of us. But, it also inculcates desires and dreams within us.

Am I confusing you a lot?

Well, all I wanted to tell you is that expectations is not bad, You are free to expect and build dreams around it. But, what is also important is not get shattered when the expectations are not met. Further, always be ready to face the unexpected!

Why am I saying all this now?

Read the below mentioned quote. That is responsible! J

“Life's under no obligation to give us what we expect.”
  ― Margaret Mitchell


Monday, 15 September 2014

I remember you

In the train of thoughts
I travel down the timeline
I remember you
PS: Thanks to Haiku Horizons for the Prompt – Train J

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Dallas from Reunion Tower

And... The Tower on the left is the Reunion Tower


Dallas (Texas, United States of America)…
A busy city…
Wonderfully planned roads…
People religiously following the traffic rules…
Several eateries…
A few skyscrapers…

And….
I have to tell you…
It was really breathtaking, to view this little city from the Reunion Tower!


And, here I am sharing the pictures with you… For you!

Inside it looks like this


A souvenir Vending Machine

Choose the souvenir...
Load two 25 cents coins and a 1 cent coin... 


More Insider's Views...


The Buildings...


The Roads...


There you see the tracks and train?!

Overview of the City



When Building turned Golden!


Sun Kissed Building


The Lovely Sunset...


Dazzling City soon after Sunset



Wow!


Overview of the city after Sunset


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Why Did you Go?


And the Sunsets…
Leaving me in darkness…
Artificial lights surrounds me…
I search for the Sun…
Why did you go?

I wish I was sun kissed again…
Bathed by its mellow rays…
Caressed by its golden hands…
But, the sun has set…
Why did you go?

Leaving me in the darkness…
I am in the dark, without the Sun.
I cry and the tears go unseen in the dark…
Those thousand hands are not there to wipe them off…
Why did you go?

Yet, I feel happy…
That the sun is rising
In another time; another world
It is touching so many other lives…
Spreading happiness; gulping darkness.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Mary Kom

Cast
:
Priyanka Chopra, Sunil Thapa, Darshan Kumar
Director
:
Omung Kumar
Music
:
Shashi-Shivamm
Producer
:
Bhansali Productions
Release Date
:
5th September 2014
Length
:
124 minutes

My Thoughts
May Kom’s obsession with boxing… The fight that Mary picks… The determination with which she wins the confidence of her coach… The choice she makes when she is given with two options – Boxing or her own father… The bold interview that she gives to a magazine… The decision to get married… Her unhappiness on unplanned pregnancy and yet her graceful acceptance… Her comeback and the journey thereafter…

Such heartfelt instances makes Mary Kom an interesting watch. Her hard work, determination and the drive to win makes us pray that she emerge victoriously…

The screenplay is nicely woven; especially the first half. Dialogs are equally good. The second lags a little, but soon catches the pace. The climax is gripping and awakes the patriot within us.

One dialog refuse to leave my mind:
“Kabhi kisi ko ithna bhi math daraao, ki darr hi khatham ho jaaye!”

What makes Mary Kom a breezy watch is Priyanka Chopra’s performance. The vigor of a boxer and the willpower of a sportsman is well portrayed. She has lived as Mary Kom and has done justice to the role. If Mary Kom is the body, Priyanka Chopra is the life of the movie.

In short, this movie is a must-watch. It is a tribute to the power of womanhood and to a great living legend.

Rating
3.5/5

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Tintinnabulation...

Your memories refuse to fade
They continue to echo sweetly
Like the soothing tintinnabulation!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

I Love This One!

Really I do…
Wondering why…
Maybe because it is bright and shines…
Or maybe because it carries an artistic tinge…
Whatever be the reason, this is drawn wonderfully by my ammaji…
And here I am posting it as a proud daughter!


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Battle for Bittora


From the book blurb
Twenty-five-year-old Jinni lives in Mumbai, works in a hip animation studio and is perfectly happy with her carefree and independent existence. Until her bossy grandmother shows up and announces that it is Jinni’s 'duty' to drop everything and come and contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from their sleepy hometown, Bittora. Of course Jinni swears she won't. But she soon ends up swathed in cotton saris and frumpy blouses, battling prickly heat, corruption and accusations of nymphomania as candidate Sarojini Pande, a daughter of the illustrious Pande dynasty of Pavit Pradesh. And if life isn’t fun enough already, her main opposition turns out to be Bittora ex-royal,Zain Altaf Khan – an irritatingly idealistic though undeniably lustworthy individual with whom Jinni shares a complicated history…

Enlivened by Chauhan’s characteristic brand of wicked humour and sexy romanticism, this is a rollicking new tale of young India.


Author
Anuja Chauhan is an Indian author and advertiser. She worked in the advertising agency, JWT India, for over 17 years. She has written 3 novels, The Zoya Factor (2008), Battle For Bittora (October 2010) and Those Pricey Thakur Girls (January 2013). All three books are romances.


Characters
Sarojini aka Jinni – Uncertain, confused and lovelorn.
Zain – Handsome, good-natured and a visionary.
Ammaji – Tactical and a typical politician.
Ma – Mother, which sums it all!

Then there are a many-many others:
Crack team consisting Gudia aunty, Rocket Singh, Munni and Jugatram…. Tawny uncle, Tittu, Rumi, Nawazar, Joline Bhai…

And so many others!!!!


What I think
The cover page is really good. It is apt and vibrant. Then, the book blurb is perfect. It gives an idea of what can be expected and even gives away a few details. I would say that the cover page and the blurb would draw potential readers towards it.

Then, comes the narrative. It is detailed; too detailed rather. You almost feel like you are also with the characters, in the middle of election campaign. I loved the use of Hinglish and liked the English of Ammaji. As a Bollywood buff, I enjoyed the references to Bollywood movies and stars.

Zain is amazing; from the way he looks (handsome) to the way he thinks (good-hearted). Every girl would pine for a Zain. And Sarojini does just that throughout. Wince!

Overall, the book looks more like a screenplay to a blockbuster movie than a good fiction. It is tedious and cumbersome to read; but would be a good treat to watch in the silver screen.


But...
The book is too long. There are too many details than required making it boring and tiresome. You see, too many details can spoil the book!

I missed the wacky and witty Anuja Chauhan and also, her signature romantic scenes were very less. Sigh!

Sarojini comes across as dumb and lovelorn most of the times. Only sometimes, she is bold and determined. She could have been portrayed in a better way.


Should you read it?
Yes,
·         If you have all the time in the world
·         If you have read The Zoya Factor and The Pricey Takur Girls


Rating
2.5/5