Wrong for the Right Reasons – Ritu Lalit

ahana mukherjee

The author sent me the pdf of the book ‘Wrong for the Right Reasons’ and from the word go I was hooked onto it. It’s the story of Shyamoli Verma, divorced and saddled with two kids, who decides to face life full on, on her own terms. Ritu Lalit writes a passionate tale about the plight of a woman estranged from her husband, how not just the society but her own flesh and blood stand against her and creates obstacles on her path in every possible way.

The narrative is simple and the characters are very real. This is no flashy tale of an extraordinary woman who wants to fight the wrongs done to her. On the contrary it is a story about quite the ordinary Shyamoli, a self deprecative girl in her late twenties who is led by rather unfortunate circumstances to stand up for her children and intricately…

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Book Review: Wrong, For the Right Reasons by Ritu Lalit

A wonderful review

Any Excuse To Read

I’ve read Ritu Lalit before, and have enjoyed her writing, although all her books I’ve read so far have been of the fantasy genre. ‘Wrong, for the Right Reasons’, sounded very interesting, and luckily for me, the Kindle edition was available on Amazon(UK).

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Shyamoli Verna, a regular young woman, has gone back to her parents’ house. Which wouldn’t have been such a bad thing, had she not had two children in tow, and a broken down marriage with her. Of course, from her mother’s point of view, she had done everything for her daughter, by getting her married. Once married, it was the daughter’s responsibility to stay married. Adjust. Compromise. After all her husband doesn’t ‘beat’ her. A little infidelity? Surely women could overlook that!

Undeterred by her mother’s (and society in general) attitude, Shyamoli sets out to make a life for her and her two children.

It’s a fascinating…

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Book Review: Dinner Date by Ishaan Lalit, Published by Authors Empire Publication

Nice! Great review of Ishaan’s Dinner Date

Books News India by Priyanka Batra Harjai

Title : Dinner Date

Author: Ishaan Lalit

Publisher: Authors Empire Publication

ISBN: 978-81-9264-806-4

Pages: 180

Price: Rs. 140/-

My Review:

‘Dinner Date‘ by Ishaan Lalit is an appealing read full of charm and magnetism and carries a young feeling breeze. The most striking element of the book is its cover page that is, nothing like any other book in same genre or based on similar plot (or theme). The lively colour and an all set dinner table with intriguing blurbs are just faultless ingredients for setting up the mood for a dinner date.

What more could anyone ask for? Without much ado – I was in!

Dinner Date‘ is an interesting narrative from Sam’s (the narrator) perspective with a dinner date ploy – with ‘Malika’. Although, she has come to a date with him but she is not much impressed (or say certain about…

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It’s a Chakras thing

 

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“It’s a Chakra thing,” she said, her calm and serene smile making her look like one of the Mother Mary statuettes placed in various niches of the Catholic school Mama had sent me to as a child.

Our own goddesses looked fierce and had “Don’t mess with me” written all over them.  I wish I had the spunk of the goddesses.  With great effort I brought myself to the present, but tears filled my eyes.  I seemed to weep all the time lately, even into the dough I’d knead for our meals.  The first born kept getting into fights.  The baby tried to wipe my tears away, and failing that, he would sing to me or cuddle.  Just the other day, he had wept with me, scared and confused.  I had to snap out of it, for ther sakes.  This guru was my only hope.  I had heard she was good, but it wasn’t working.  She had told me “I can only help you if you want to be helped.”

Damn her!

“We are all creatures of energy.  We need to find our connection to the primal force, and once we establish the connection, we will shine. We will possess inexhaustible energy.”

I blinked and cast a surreptitious glance at the others sitting cross-legged next to me in our class, trying to visualize them as shiny round bubbles of something bright and pulsating, may be light bulbs on electricity.  Nah!  Too far-fetched.

That fat auntyjee looked like Pillsbury doughboy.  The old fella looked like a  candle with a dull yellow flame, bent, weepy and spent.

Here I was, age 28, mother of two kids, single and jobless.  And I had sold the last gold chain I owned to pay for this very expensive meditation course.  I had to make it work, or else.

“There are seven energy centers in our body. We have to keep them clean, powerful and pure.  They correspond with the seven colours of the rainbow.  They respond to external stimuli like music, simple music, wood sound, string sound.”

“I’m tone deaf “ my mind declared, rebellious and angry.

She continued, “Simple music puts us in a state of harmony, of peace.  Then we can meditate on the colours.  We will start with Red, the colour of the root chakra, and slowly progress upwards to violet, the top of the head.  Breathe deeply, inhale …. Exhale”

My mind was fixated on the colour red …. The colour of a bride’s sari.  Was it because she was stepping into a bloody minefield?  Was it because she was being sacrificed that she was wrapped in the colour of blood?  It was as though a dam had burst, I wept silent gasping sobs.

Somewhere music played, the simple soothing notes of a santoor.

Muscles of my back, neck and shoulders relaxed, the red lightened up, turned into orange, and then faded into yellow, transformed into green, the heart chakra.  I felt love, boundless love, joy, a connectedness.  The universe and I.

I was not alone, I had never been alone, I could never be alone.

The santoor kept weaving its magic.

Blue – communication.  The truth.  If we are brave to hear it, we can be truly free.  Free to understand the wind, the rustle of the leaves, even the blade of grass has a story to tell.

Purple and then Violet

Joy.

I smiled after being in a funk for almost a year.

I was reborn.  My life had begun.

Written for Indiblogeshwari’s That Tuesday Thingy

 

 

 

Catching up with an old friend

Chat with old friend who found me using Facebook Friend Finder ….

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Old Friend : OMG, so you are a hot shot author now.

Me : (Trying to be modest and underplayed) Yeah, I have a couple of books published

O F : Well, you always wanted to be a doctor

Me : Yeah, didn’t everyone else?  It was a done thing those days ….

O F : What?

Me : Adults would ask, “Beta badhe hokar kya banogey?” and we would chant, Doctor, IAS, IPS, Engineer. 

O F : You always said Doctor

Me : The idea of cutting people open must have sounded like fun to me

O F : So how come you’re not one?

Me : (Trying to wriggle out of admitting that I dropped out in the second month of med school) You wanted to be in IAS, and now you’re in marketing.

O F : Well, it pays better and does not get me posted out of Calcutta.  You can’t take a Bong out of Calcutta

Me : So how’s Didi?

Nice try … but he did not take the bait.

O F : (Still persisting) Never thought you’d be working in corporates and writing novels.

Me : (Uncomfortably)  Erm I work in one corporate only.

O F : And your marriage broke

Me : (Wishing I could strangle him through the computer screen) Yes

O F : You are Ritu Jain from Imphal and from Hindu College aren’t you?

Me : (Scowling) Was.  Now I am Ritu Lalit

O F : (I could sense the avid need to learn more gossip) You have changed so much!  How could you?  He was your big romance, how come?

Taking deep breaths, reminding myself that I once actually liked this bloke, and preaching myself tolerance…

Me : That was then, this is now.  You’re right.  I changed a lot.

O F : Like how?

Me : I got infected by Black Spider venom.  So I have this uncontrollable urge to kill or destroy old loves and old friends.  It is a problem but I am learning how to control it, and to live with it.  

O F : You’re not serious?

Me : Try me

Facebook, I owe you big time.  Haven’t had so much fun in ages😛

Livin da vida loca

The Commercial Pilgrimage

A very popular pilgrimage is that to the  four abodes in Himalayas called Chota Char Dham (Chota meaning small):BadrinathKedarnathGangotri and Yamunotri – all of these lie at the foot hills of Himalayas.  It is considered to be a journey that the devout undertake for earning punya … a term I have no English equivalent for – perhaps good deeds?  But then many undertake it in the summers, to escape the heat and placate the Gods at the same time.  Killing two birds with one stone…

Everyone has a personal religious journey to undertake.

There was a time in life when I was overwhelmed with life itself and everyone and everything that was happening to me.  I did what people normally do, when confronted by impossible odds.  I turned to religion.  Since I live life and do everything with passion, when that did not work for me … I went whole hog; I turned to world religions, to occult, to spiritualism and to astrology.  I wanted answers to the question that plagued me, “Why me?”

I did not get the answer to my question, but I got much more.  I got a world view on how human beings made sense of their surroundings, of nature and environment through religion.

In my humble view, all religion stems from one basic fact; it teaches us how to live in harmony with our surroundings, with nature and with each other.  It is a set of rules to live life by.  Rules which, when flouted, have disastrous consequences.

“Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!” [John 2:16]

 The Bible says that Jesus cleaned up the House of God by throwing out the merchants, the money traders and people who were plying their wares.

Matthew 21:12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.

The Koran has very strict rules on attire, behavior and conduct when one visits the mosques.

The Hindu religion, like every pagan religion has its root in nature worship.  We have myths woven around banyan trees, peepul trees, tulsi plants.  We consider our mountains holy.  We have huge temples and shrines built on rocks and hill tops.  Kailash Parbat is the abode of Shiva, the Himalayas are given a religious significance.  We, by rights, should be a very eco-friendly country should we not?

How did commerce get into it?

I went to JagannathTemple in Orissa once and was put off by the rampant commercialism.  I came back upset; there was no sense of piety there.  I visited Vaishno Devi twice and then turned away.  I get more happiness chanting and meditating in the confines of my bedroom sitting on my bed than I get when I go to these places.  But then each to his/her own.  My purpose here is not to upset any one else’s religious sentiment.

Religious tourism is a huge commercial force.  And hotels have been built to cater to pilgrims who can afford to be the religious tourist, afford the Char Dham Yatra.  The priests in the temples almost salivate as they take our donations, by hook or by crook.

Everyone is familiar with the images of the buildings being washed away in those awful floods.  Six floors to a building, or more, and built so close to Kedarnath, that one does not have to walk too far.  Pilgrimage in comfort.

Shiva in water

The images scared me and shocked me.  To me, they seem to be a scary version of our belief of washing our sins away by taking a dip in Ganga.

Are the Gods mocking us?

Are the divine forces sending us a warning?

Our ancients built these shrines with a purpose in mind.  The purpose was that spiritualism stands for harmony with nature.  They were situated far away in the lap of nature, where piety and peace would be found.

Nature is a stern taskmaster.  And a powerful one.  It is sending us a message … those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.  As a Devi worshipper I implore to all …

“Stop turning my Mother’s house into a marketplace!”

 

What’s in it for me?

What’s In It for Me? … another post at Parentous where I talk about my kids when they were teenagers

 

Who but a teenager would think that if he hid his report card the parent would not find out?

And they believe in magic. It is not surprising to me that Harry Potter and Twilight did so well. Who but a teenager would think that if he hid his report card the parent would not find out? And who but a teenager would actually believe changing 30 into 80 on his class test paper (it’s just two deft strokes of the pen) would work?

 

Read the rest here

 

 

7x7x7x7

This post is for the Write Tribe prompt 7x7x7x7 To write a post in 7 lines … for a novelist who writes a story in 80 thousand words, a challenge!

Grab the 7th book from your bookshelf.
Open it up to page 7.
Pinpoint the 7th sentence on the page.
Begin a poem/a piece of prose that begins with that sentence
Limit it in length to 7 lines/7 sentences…. I used the 7th word of the Dr. Suess poem I was reading which is YOUR.

You’re off to great places

Today’s your day

Your mountain is waiting

So … get on your way … Dr. Suess

 

Your lucky number is seven

Oh really, is it like that IndusInd Bank corny ad?

So … should I eat seven chapatis every day?

Or cook seven courses for dinner?

What does lucky mean any way?

Bad luck is also luck, so is normal or indifferent luck, isn’t it?

Ahh, forget it, got too much to do to  think this through.

Write Tribe Prompt

Why do you write?

“Why do you write?”

and

“What do you write?”

 

Common questions all authors face.

I write fiction.
I write adventure – I write of how humans deal with life and death situations.
I write of passion, even love,  but never ever will I write of  ever after, (that is a myth). 
I write stories
 
I write of personal challenges, things I have faced.
I write of the past, the now, and what I think I know about.
I write of family, of love and loss, of failure and successes. 
I write of my small family, of our bonding, of the crazy nutty interactions we have and celebrate the love we share.
 
I blog.
I write pedestrian poetry – totally inane verses

I write …

Because some nutty part of me wants to jumble the alphabets and come out with words that tell a tale

 

I write because there are people inside me

They want to live, they want to breathe, cry, love, fuck, fight and win

If I don’t let them, they’ll drive me nuts.

 

Why do I write?

 

To entertain, of course!

 

It delights me when someone – even a single someone emails me or calls me …

 

And says he or she loved my book or a character in my book

 

My crazy heart goes Whoopie-do-a-do!

 

I have made a connect!

 

Yes, I do something nice.  I write stories

 

Write Tribe Prompt

The Elusive One

Elusive One

The challenge stared at me in the face.

I scowled right back, inwardly intimidated, outwardly in my usual combative mode. I also cursed the person who flung that challenge at me. I am not the one to back down from a challenge. Rrrrrowwwl!

Nah I am not!

But then I am rather proud of my bad habits, I wear them like badges of honour, medals that I have won in my wars, rather like a boxer wears his scars and a soldier his medals.

But the High Priestess of Indiblogeshwaris, Vinita Bahl aka BlogwatiG had spoken.

Turn it or twist it the way you look at it. Take on a challenge. Adopt a good habit. Get rid of a bad one. Change something. Write one new chapter. Read a new book. Listen to a new song. Anything, almost anything singular that you’ve been putting off for too long. You have a month to do it. And then post about it on June 2, 2013 only.

I am bad with rules, ever badder with deadlines – so this is a day late.

First the task was to identify something I want to change …

Now came the big question, what was the elusive one I had to change

My older son spoke : Get rid of your “Main Bechari attitude.”

Of course he spoke it in a completely different context. Of course he did not mean me. Me? If this were ten years ago, I’d have boxed his ears for impertinence. But then I have only myself to blame, I put him into martial arts. And he is bigger, more agile, and kick boxes to pass time.

And the “Main bechari brigade”? I laugh at them, scoff at them, snap my fingers at their nose.

Am I not the person who says “Get rid of the concept that the world owes you. It owes you nothing, it was here first.” Eh?

“It’s crept into your way of thinking,” the second born said sagely nodding his head.

Ouch! That hurt!

So I started watching what I said, how I thought.

And sure enough, the elusive one surfaced when I saw paani pooris. I squashed it like a bug!

Me and my body have made a deal, I shall eat right, and it shall loose the flab and keep the sugar level down.

Wow! Look at my saintly halo!

Only to have it surface when that *&^%% flaunted her absolutely obscene diamond solitaire in my face. I stared at it and resolved never to even acknowledge her existence again, EVER! No ma’am, I will not. You are bad for my mental peace.

Besides I do not like diamonds.

Sniff!

It resurfaced again when I saw Deepika Padukone’s absolutely flat stomach, enlarged to a godawful number of pixels on the big screen! She never gave birth, did she? No wonder she has this absolutely unnaturally flat stomach, don’t you think?

If only … sigh!

Backtracked again. I am not giving in to self pity.

And then I read a chapter from Daphne Du Maurier’s Frenchman’s Creek. Taut, well written and absolutely engrossing.

This writer lived long before I was born!

She still lives – through time! She is immortal.

And I love her!

Will I ever be remembered like that?

Sob sob!

Main Bechari