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Showing posts from 2017

Poem: Crumble

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It always begins with a hello, And not being able to turn down the temptation to reply. It always begins with conversations, The sweet nothings when time seems to standstill. Until reality seeps in.
Every good morning gets replaced with ‘I am running late for work’, And every goodnight seems like a forced duty. And in between the stray text messages The calls that used to last hours Turning into fleeting nanoseconds, We realize this is the beginning of the end.
Only we wish this wasn’t happening again. And again, and again, and again.
Because I’m tired of the pretty little lies, I’m tried of letting people in. For people keep leaving, with only the Trails of dust and destruction As the stamps to remember them by.
The only marks human beings leave on each other Are scars. And sometimes, sometimes they run too deep. You can try your hardest but once you’re hurt, You really don’t want to let anyone in.
For it always starts the same way. Every “why can’t you understand?” “Why do you need to be su…

Musings: Learn to Love Again

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The first thought that crosses my mind as I look at the title of this blog post is – why? Why am I even writing this? But as I calm down and let the words flow through the tips of my fingers, I realize that this has always been how I function. Whenever my world stops making sense I run into the safe embrace of writing. Because this is the only place where I feel sheltered, the only place where I am invincible. No matter how badly this world might break me I am convinced that I can put myself back again, one word at a time.
The second thought that comes into my mind as I gulp down the last bit of tea is that this is my favourite time of the year. It always has been ever since I was a child. My mother always told me to write letters to Santa Claus because he would be there on Christmas, exactly when the clock struck midnight, carrying the presents I had requested. But apparently with every passing year I began to ask for things that Santa Claus couldn’t really bring me. Of course like e…

Musings: Of Monologues and Fidget Spinners

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I am watching the fidget spinner spin on the tip of my fingers. It is supposed to help me. It’s supposed to calm my mind down. It’s supposed to help me focus. The speed slows down until it comes to a dead stop.
I exhale.
I cannot let my mind wander again. I spin it again. Hoping with the whirring, my mind too can be muted.
Why is it so difficult to make people understand? Why has it been so fucking difficult to make people understand...?
Stop. I move it again. It spins again, merrily. Oblivious to the fact as long as it spins, it keeps my mind from wandering into dark places.
I am not broken. People go through things. People become the sum of their beliefs. People also leave. That has been the constant in life. People leaving, but sometimes they also stay. And we are blessed. We consider ourselves lucky when they stay.  We –
Damn it. How many times would I need to keep spinning this thing on the tip of my fingers, between my forefinger and thumb, how many times would I have to spin thi…

Musings: Musings On Music

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Do you ever listen to a song and remember exactly what life was like when you first heard it? -Anonymous “You don’t have good taste when it comes to music,” he says.
“I don’t have a good taste when it comes to anything,” I reply, looking pointedly at him.
But I wonder now why do we judge each other over the choice of their music. My playlist is weird. I have the trashiest of songs on it, and the most soulful ones. And there are songs that I don’t want to listen to because it hurts a little too much. There are songs I want to listen to – because it takes away the pain for some time. Some songs I keep listening to on loop because it reminds me of the times gone by. Incidents that have now become merely memories, that stays right below the surface of my consciousness.
My childhood is collection of every Beatles song, ABBA songs, Simon and Garfunkel, John Denver and whatever other cassettes were lying around the house that was played in our old tape recorder punctuated with nursery rhymes a…

Musings: Thank You Note

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It is so easy to forget those who helped you achieve your dreams when the spotlight is shining brightly on you. It is quite possible to get blinded by the bright lights. Because you want to believe that everything that you’re holding so closely to your heart was achieved because of your hard work. Yes, you did work really hard to get where you are now. However, you have to acknowledge the fact you did have a lot of help along the way.
I remember when I was in the eighth standard we were discussing being arrogant in class. Or something about climbing up the ladder – I don’t remember which. But I remember feeling irritated with the teacher for choosing me as an example. What she said is still burned into my memory. “Now, suppose when Aniesha becomes a very famous author and she’s asked how did she realize her dream and who helped her, and she says ‘Oh, I did everything by myself. I didn’t get help from anyone.’ That would be her looking down at everyone who helped her climb up the ladder …

The Writing Desk: Writer's Block

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Stephen King was once asked how does he write to which he replied, “Oh, usually one word at a time.” It’s a funny answer but if you really think about it then writers for the most part are divided into two categories:
i.Those who believe in writer’s block ii.Those who dismiss it.
For my part, I have both believed and not believed in writer’s block for a number of reasons. There’s a rather funny definition of writer’s block wherein one believes it occurs when your imaginary friends refuse to talk to you. Because let’s face it all our ideas and stories seem to come from this mysterious Source. Maybe this Source is the imaginary friends that we joke about. You could be sitting at your work desk and be hit by an idea suddenly. Or you could be in a crowded metro trying your best to keep yourself from falling on the next person when suddenly a brand new idea dawns on you. It is unbearable if you are unable to get to your phone and type out a hasty note. Because the biggest lie we tell ourse…

Travel: Happiness at the End of the Lane

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It was all thanks to the invitation we got to be part of a panel at the Hay Festival 2017, that I got a chance to meet Mr. Neil Gaiman and happened to get my copy of  The Ocean at the End of the Lane signed too. Wait, but I am getting ahead of myself.

Stories like these need to be savoured. Stories like these cannot be completed in hasty sentences. I am sure you want to know the how, the when, the what, the who...and the endless stream of questions that has definitely crossed your mind as soon as you saw the name of this post!

So let me start by telling you how I came across this fantastic storyteller named Neil Gaiman.

Well, it started when I was trying to find the perfect quote for a story I was writing which had (believe it or not) my cat, Pippo, as its protagonist. Now, because I just have to start all my stories with quotes, I looked for one that would be cat appropriate. And I found a perfect quote from his novel, Coraline:

'What's your name,' Coraline asked the cat.…

Poem: Can You Hear My Voice This Time?

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“But we are looking for the same thing, At the end of the day – we are all…” You cannot finish your sentence, because You’re too terrified of what you’ll hear now. You worry about the next words that will greet you Because it could the soft balm that would heal your aching soul Or the harshest ones that will rip your heart into pieces again! You can never be sure about where you stand, Because this ground that you stand so firmly on – It could be taken away from you in the blink of an eye! You’re too scared to reach out your hand, to even touch  You’re too afraid that to give that hug because you cannot be sure Of what could happen next.
What could happen next ranges from the fairy tale ending To the harsh reality where no one ends up together! But you’re too terrified to speak, you cannot speak. You open your mouth to let out a whisper, and to your surprise Comes out this blood churning scream And the broken girl who could never speak out before asks – Well, can you hear my voice this time?…

Poem: Alone by the Riverside

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"Have you written anything yet?" "I don't feel inspired." "I think you need to be alone." So alone I was,  for an hour and half. Walking around.  Everything had closed down.  For a city girl, this was a shock. I finally went down to the riverside,  And stood there listening to the silence.
I remembered a story I heard of the  maiden who rode her horse down the mountain,  Who rode quite slowly but no one could catch up to her. I remembered how a Prince had chased her,  Until he got her.  In the story I heard, he had called out to her, "Stop!" She did.  When he asked her why she hadn't stopped before, She replied, "Well, you never asked."
I had laughed when I first heard the story.  I laughed again, Remembering it now. 
Can everything life really be that simple? All you need to do is just ask? 
Or are things just simpler in stories  Because they always need to make sense? And life, well life never really does! 
I sat down by the riverside and watched the su…

Musings: 5 Things That Brought Me Story Ideas

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People: According to both Boy Meets World and Girl Meets World sitcoms, the secret of life is that people change people which are absolutely true! The world would have been a sad, lonely place to live in if we had to stay here all by ourselves. It is essential to have relationships in order to draw our experiences from there. Most of the characters I have written have been inspired from real life. Sometimes the fictional versions become the paler realities. So people have definitely brought me story ideas.
Places: The other thing that has always intrigued me are places. I started saving up money and travelling in the last few years because I just wanted to write about different places. Because all my novels, novellas, short stories always had Kolkata as a backdrop. Even though I haven’t used any of the locations that I had gone to in the recent past in my stories, I have made sure that I remember every single detail from the trips. Because you never know when a story might hit you!
Inci…

Musings: All Signs Lead to Wales

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Well, it started with a story. 
To be precise it was Ashwin and Diya’s story. I was managing the BEE Books stall (Hall 2, Stall 627), like I had been asked to for the International Kolkata Book Fair 2017 and in walked our in-house editor, Sugandha along with the delegates all the way from Wales.
She was coordinator of the Valley, the City and the Village Project. (In office, we started referring to it as the VCV Project.) I remembered meeting the publisher of Parthian Books, Richard Davis, a few months before. And I remembered having met Gary Raymond. I was delighted that they remembered me too. When asked what I had been up to lately, I told Richard that I’d written a new novel and it had been published by BEE Books. It was called AllSigns Lead Back to You. He was delighted, bought a copy promptly and asked me to sign it for him. Needless to say I was delighted too.
What I never anticipated was that he would finish reading the book during the length of his stay in Kolkata and be impres…

Writer Wednesday: Writer Fashion

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You’re probably wondering what on Earth does one mean by Writer Fashion? As in, what would writers wear to their book launches? Or would they wear if they got invited to Book Award ceremonies? Or is it something else? Well, no.
Writer fashion is what you wear when you’re writing. Usually, I like wearing my lose pajamas and baggy t-shirts. But sometimes because I am so annoyed or just cannot calm down my mind enough to write, I dress up. It’s a good way to make yourself realize you need to start working. And maybe it’s psychological but if you are dressed up enough you tend to want to work more. Your brain snaps out of the lazy mode and begins working. So I am either dressed to the nines when I am writing my stories or I am not. There’s no in between for me. Because when I am feeling utterly lazy, getting dressed up is a good way to trick my brain into thinking that I am about to go out and I really need to be at the top of my game. So, sometimes I will wear the fanciest of clothes and …