Category Archives: Reflections

The Woes of a Fiction Writer

Last week I met a guy. He asked me if I ever had my heart-broken. I said no. Then, he hinted it’s alright if that’s the case. He even used astrology (my palm lines) to prove that I was nursing a broken heart from the past.
Now, I was perplexed. I have never been through a heartbreak. I’m a happy-go-lucky girl. Not the weepy, depressed kind. Why would anyone think that I was hiding a heartache?
The mystery remained till I checked my last post—the beating heart complete with a haiku on heartbreak. And that’s why I don’t share blog links with my acquaintances.
Well, to give the guy his due, he had asked me before why I haven’t written any posts last few months. My answer: “I wasn’t in the mood. I just don’t want to talk about it.” So I can understand if he thought no writing equals to depressed. The truth is I was being dramatic. I didn’t write because I was busy with clinic and other stuff related to dentistry.
To come back to my point, my writing is not all about me. I’m a fiction writer. We fiction writers have very high imagination and empathy. If I watch an episode of saas-bahu, I can write a whole story about the tortures of a daughter-in-law. If I talk to my pregnant friend, I can write about the troubles of pregnancy without ever becoming pregnant. A child misbehaving in a supermarket—a parenting article is born.
My fiction, and even non-fiction articles are not about my life. They are about people I encounter in my life. So, if I met you somewhere my story might be about you, but not me. Unless I specifically write that the post is about me, it is never me.
But people assume that my writing is me. That, I have gone through everything which they find in my writings. Most of the time, this confuses me because I have no idea what they’re talking about, and sometimes, it irritates me.
fiction writing
Fiction is just fiction. It’s a fantasy about how I wish the world was, or how I perceive the world. It’s to entertain you, to make you think, to make you feel better. The poem, stories are not real. Even the non-fiction (unless autobiographical) is my opinion about the world, not about my life.
We writers are great people to know. We’re as much fun as our writings. If you assume that our writings are us, then you’re losing out on knowing a wonderful person, because you assume you already know everything about us.
Have you recently met a fiction writer? Beware, you might appear in their story with all your traits, and a completely different life/scenario 😉  And you should be happy if it happens. Interesting people fire our imagination, the rest are forgotten.
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Because she is a woman

As women’s day approached, I debated over the possibilities of topics for the post—woman achievers, gender discrimination, female foeticide, and so on. Then, I recollected the INKLive 2014, where I heard Shravani Hagargi’s talk. Shravani co-founded Safe Hands 24×7, a security agency which employs women security guards. The main obstacle she had at the beginning was to gain client’s trust. They had difficulty believing her guards could provide good security. The reason—because they were women.

Because I'm a woman

This got me thinking. What are the assumptions/expectations of people from a woman? How does she react to this stereotyping? Does she accept, reject or ignore them? Instead of answering these questions myself, I asked them to my fellow blogger friends.

Kokila, who blogs at Sunshine n Blue Clouds aptly describes the position of woman in ancient texts. “She is either a Goddess—the pious and the giving one, benign, patient and forgiving Or a witch—the bloodthirsty one, selfish, conniving, sly and scheming. Nowhere is she accepted as Manvi.. the Human.” Continue reading Because she is a woman

Birth of a flower

Birth of a flower
Flower in our garden.

When the first rays of the sun reached the earth this morning, I was born. I know, you are thinking it’s a lie. How can I be born today when you have been watching me grow all this time? Continue reading Birth of a flower

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” – William Shakespeare

Everyone quotes The Bard to undermine the significance of names. I feel names are important. How would you like it, if you asked me to order roses for you, and I called them chrysanthemum while ordering? You may not consider names as your identity, but they are used for identification. No one likes to be called that pie-faced boy/girl; they prefer names. Continue reading What’s in a name?

Orange in my life

Today is Holi- a festival of colours in India. I hope everyone has a colourful life full of joy, and love.

This week’s  weekly photo challenge is orange. For the challenge, I decided to portray three of my favourite things: Food, nature, and books.  😀

Orange- Meetha khaja
Khaja- Goan dessert made from jaggery.

Khaja is my favourite dessert. It is an Indian sweet prepared from jaggery. It is a delicacy available in Goa, and Konkan region of Maharashtra.

Orange- sunset shades
Sunset at Miramar beach, Goa.

Continue reading Orange in my life

A long way to Swachh Bharat

A long way to swachh India
Littered Road-side, Karjat

Swachh Bharat campaign is getting a momentum. It has become a trend talking about cleanliness and hygiene. That is about the only thing most of the people do. Sadly, everyone isn’t ready to act for the cause. Taking a broom for a day isn’t going to achieve clean India, or if it does achieve it, it’ll be for a day.

Maybe we should have a clean India day. On that day, we all can clean the streets, and the country will sparkle if only for a day. And the rest of the year we can go back to our regular irresponsible self.

If we want something permanent, we have to try and break the habit of considering the streets our personal trash can. After about three months of the campaign, the streets are still littered with trash, and the trash cans when present are still never maintained. 😦

As to the stray animals, I personally feel it’s cruelty to animals letting them loose on the streets, prone to accidents. Many a times, poor dogs meet with a horrible fate under some fast moving wheels. But then, in a country which can’t care for half of its people, it’s useless to expect the authorities to bother about caring for stray animals.

The way to Swachh India

Can you guess the location of the picture? Filthy

Frankly, it could be any place in India. Filthy road-side habits coupled with piles of garbage littered around has become a trademark of our country. It is sad that India, who invented flush toilets is the same country where most people have no toilets in their house. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Sanitation is more important than political independence.” Then why, even after 68 years of independence is clean India still a dream? The irony is everyone wants to see a clean India, the people, the government…but everyone expects others to do it. So, when our prime minister, Narendra Modi took it upon himself to pick a broom, and start a campaign for swachh Bharat, he was considered a pioneer. It triggered an enthusiasm among the people.

Banega Swachh India

RB and NDTV partnered to launch a five year ambitious programme, Banega Swachh India to address the sanitation and hygiene needs in India. The campaign aims at promoting awareness about sanitation and hygiene, and also team up with NGO’s to build infra-structure and toilets in India. This is an alarming task considering the nature of the campaign, and the current state of the country.

As a part of this campaign, swachh express was flagged off, which aimed to create awareness among the people by interactive videos, distributing flyer, hand-washing sessions, etc. Swachh India is not just about taking a broom and cleaning up your area, but maintaining good sanitation practices like not littering the streets with garbage,avoiding defecating in the open, and also includes  personal hygiene like washing hands. In short, it is a campaign to promote a healthy India along with Swachh India.

When Nihal from Indiblogger called to inform me, that I could join the swachh express during their journey in Maharashtra state, I was jubilant. Thus, I got to experience the live working of the campaign, and record how it affected/influenced the people. Continue reading The way to Swachh India

Hungry for education

Scene-1

Nima looked longingly at the school building, the kids rushing inside with their coloured backpacks. Her feet automaticaly moved in the direction of the school gate. She couldn’t decide between going to school, and to her mistress’s house. She wanted to study, to learn to read the books which told countless stories of great men of the world. However, she needed the work, her father was always ill, and mom couldn’t afford to feed their whole family. Her stomach growled, and the decision was made. Cleaning her mistress’s house might be exhaustive; it was a big house. There were many dishes she had to wash too, but there was leftover there, and she didn’t have to worry about food.

All through the washing, Nima dreamt that she was in her school with Lata playing, and talking about how she would be a Doctor when she would grew up. Then, she would treat people like her papa who didn’t have much money. The crash of the plate broke her reverie. She picked up the pieces, and tried to fix it. The glass cut through her little fingers, but she was worried more about how her mistress would react. She shivered at an earlier memory… Continue reading Hungry for education

Two kids playing in the park

Inblogger top postThe park seemed empty, he was early. He pulled down his cap to shield his eyes from the afternoon sun, as he looked around the park for a familiar face. Not finding anyone in the quiet park, he bounced his ball on the ground and tried to catch it. He missed it many times, and the ball rose high above his head; he jumped and still missed.

On the edge of the bench, not very far, sat another kid. When the first kid entered, it looked for a moment, this one would join him to play. He glanced at the other’s spotless blue shirt, pants, and matching shoes. He shook his head, and went back to digging the ground with his toe. He had dug a nice hole when a ball rolled near his toe. He hesitated, afraid of spoiling the smooth exterior of the ball with his rough, cracked hands. He saw suspicious eyes staring at him, and bent to pick the ball. Continue reading Two kids playing in the park

A child who reads

235x96_top-indivine-post“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”- Albert Einstein

fairy tale
Image Courtesy: A glimpse of Paradise

Does your child love to read? Are you surprised that your child has an aversion to reading even though books are your life? It isn’t surprising that kids don’t get attracted towards words when you consider other options like playing. As a child I loved playing with other kids than being cooped in a house with a book. My transformation from indifference to books to loving to read was a miracle devised by parents’ careful planning. My parents inclined me towards reading without forcing me or putting a stop to my outdoor activities. Continue reading A child who reads