Muse n' Motivation

The Thinking Blog!

Poem 3 for #MayForMotherTongue

Yadon ki Barsaat

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Kuchh galiyaan

yaad aathin nahin.

Kuchh yaaden

bhulaai nahin bhulteen.

                                                                Chod diya tha jisko

Un haseen raahon pur

Aaj bhi pahunch jaathein hain

zahen ki fariyaadon mein.

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Hazaar koshishon

Ke baavajooth

tum zinda rahe

mere dil ke tarannum mein.

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Kise yaad rakhoon,

Kise bhulaaoon.

Aye Parvardigaar,

Ab thoo hi batha.

For My Friends – a Close Translation of the Above Poem in English

Rain of Memories

Some lanes, try as I might

I just don’t remember.

Some thoughts, no matter how hard

I attempt to forget, I still remember.

That someone, who I left stranded

on those beautiful paths

even today, manages

to creep into the pleas of my thoughts.

Despite a thousand endeavors

you stayed

alive

in the melody of my heart.

 

Who do I remember

Who do I forget

Dear Lord

You better tell me now!

Poem 2 for #MayForMotherTongue

Kuchh Tuchh Ishaare128630-thewallpaper

Rishte Ki Kareebee
ho gayee hai dil kee gareebee.
Mukh kee muskaan
bun gayee hai ehsaason ka kabaristaan.

Rooh se tho hum thhey jaane.
Samay ne bana diya unjaane.
Mushkil see bhee baath jo ho jaati hul
aaj ki khushi chund lumhon mein ho gayee hai gul.

Mere bezoobaan ishaare
dikha deinge tujhko din mein taare.
Oopar vaale par chod diya ab sab kuchh.
Yeh berookhi lagthi hai ab tuchh.

English Translation of the Above Poem

A Few Unwarranted Signs

The closeness of a relationship
transformed into poverty of the heart.
The smile of the face
turned into a graveyard of emotions.

United we seemed to be with our souls,
time turned us into strangers.
The problems that got solved in a jiffy until yesterday,
today’s joy vanishes in a moment.

My mute emotional signs
could show you stars in the day.
Leaving all to the Almighty
even this indifference appears naught.

Poem 1 For #MayForMotherTongue

Yeh Maaloom Hi Na Hua

ghar basaane ke liye
nikal pade they hum.
Kab zindagi guzar gayee
yeh maaloom hi na hua.

koshishen kaayum zaroor theen,
iraada bhi bulund tha.
kab apnoney saath chod thiya
yeh maaloom hi na hua.

Nayee munzeelen, nayee umeetheyn
saath lekar nikley tho they.
kab kaarvaan choot gaya
yeh maaloom hi na hua.

Ummeed bhari zindagi mein naya josh bharkar
seeney mein chupaakar raah par chal chukey hein hum.
Daayaron se gherey ab bhi hein hum,
Kab aapki gustaakh nazron nein besharmi sey humaara saath diya,

yeh maaloom hi na hua!

may 1 hindi poem

MMT Challenge – Game For It?

MMT Challenge. Pray, tell me what this may be.

Well, it is an unique venture, a Poetry Challenge actually, wherein one gets to write a poem a day for the whole month of May.

That’s fine. But, don’t we have a similar one in April, the NaPoWriMo?

Well, yes, it is modeled on that but there is a difference.

What is that?

You get to write a poem every day of the month but not in English.

Not in English?

Yeah, you write it in your mother tongue, whichever language that may be. Lovely, isn’t it?

Well, yeah! I haven’t heard of this before.

Exactly.

MMT stands for MAY FOR MOTHER TONGUE!

A lovely initiative started by Sagar Mehta.

And, to be part of this unique challenge submit your name and blog details at :

http://indicpoets.com/category/mmt-challenge/

I am taking part. Why don’t you?

http://‪#‎mayformothertognue‬

The Letter B for Banaras!

Blogging Challenge – Letter B
Banaras. Varanasi. Or, simply Kashi.

Now, why am I talking about these names?

Well, all the names mentioned above refer to one place and I belong to that unique place. Although my parents have lived there more than I have, there is this invisible link that I share with it that just cannot be described in words. I suppose this stands true for all people who have this connection with places that go far to their roots so to say.

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The little hidden lanes, the colorful shops, the cheerful people collide with the serenity of the banks of the Ganges River, the Ghats and the flowing river of renunciation, dirt and faith.

My Mum and Dad met in the well known campus of the BHU (Banaras Hindu University) while they were studying and decided to give their hearts away (to each other) apart from giving their minds away to academics that bloomed in the beautiful territory of the University.

Electrical_Engg_Deptt_IT-BHU

 

The evergreen language of Bhojpuri that overpowers the senses is alive all over the city. Today, it is fun to hear songs and movies made in the language – a great source of enjoyment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlRUKAxoBHE

I can go on and on about the place except for the fact that it tends to find a mention in my vocabulary quite often and I do not want to bore you to death. Just in case, you want to know more about the place through the eyes of a traveler, you can have a read here: Kashi Ketchup

A for Angel

Participating in the Blogging Challenge A to Z (2016)

I first learned of the angel when I was in the first standard. Our early morning assembly had us singing hymns in praise of the Lord. As time passed I came to understand the existence of another God than the one I prayed to at home. And, accompanying this new God I also understood the presence of angels, pretty, beautiful ones who accompanied God whenever He visited earth. Sometimes, he sent them to do the tasks when He was busy attending to other major problems that man so skilfully created.

I longed to be an angel someday. The little innocent dreams of a small girl wanting to be dressed in the beautiful laced white gowns with delicate wings that would make me soar into the skies with a wand to make people happy!angel

It was later, much later after I entered into holy matrimony that I learned of angels that were endowed with the task of being the guides to souls, all kinds of souls. Some heard their voices, many didn’t. Some felt their presence, many did not.

More than that, unlike in the literal sense, I realized how humans could don on the roles of angels as they unconditionally helped people. I have had many such angels in my life and remember them and offer my gratitude to them. Thanks to the realization, I am learning to be a much better person than I was yesterday.

BLOGGING FROM A TO Z CHALLENGE FOR THE YEAR 2016!


I came across the A to Z blogging two years back. And joined it just for the heck of it.
Did I like it?
I loved it!!
From a HESITANT PARTICIPANT in the year 2014 I became SUCCESSFUL SURVIVOR.

https://musenmotivation.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/reflections-blogging-from-a-to-z-april-challenge-2014/

I gave it a miss last year but decided to make a comeback this year.

So, here I am with the blogging challenge.
For those wanting to join, you still have a day to join at

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-z-challenge-sign-up-list-2016.html

For those who might miss out on the signing bit, you can still give it a try separately for each day of the month. Lovely isn’t it? You get to write everyday and just about ANYTHING!!

So, what is the blogging challenge all about?

  • Nothing complicated. Just write something, an article, a story, your view, a poem, just about anything for each alphabet.
    There are themes too where you can write one piece related to that particular theme for all the alphabets.
  • And then, visit at least 5 blogs for every alphabet and make a comment. This way, you get to see what others have written,
    you get to make friends
    and
    you also ensure that people visit your blog too!

             Splendid isn’t it?

Visit those that visit you.

This is really important, people! If someone visits you and leaves a comment, go check out where they came from! It’s common courtesy, and also can take you to blogs that you might have missed otherwise.

Mark the blogs you like.

Click Follow, or bookmark the blogs you especially like, anything you need to do to make sure you will find your way back to them later.

Give some extra love to the smaller blogs!

We have a special list for blogs that have less than 100 followers. Make sure to check it out and help them grow!

Don’t start from the top.

If everyone stars with Blog No. 1, people at the bottom of the list will have a disadvantage, and you might miss some great blogs that have higher numbers. Start at your own name and work your way down. Or, alternately, jump around like a crazy caffeinated frog. Believe me, it is fun.

If you haven’t done so yet, sign up for the A to Z Challenge, trust me, you’ll love it.
A to Z schedule 2

Book Spotlight: ‘VENGEANCE – A STING IN EVERY TALE’

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All that I could feel was a queer emotion of vengeance for the authorities who did this.

I had been living in Chennai for a long time when suddenly, out of the blue, my husband rings me up from work and drops a bombshell.
“Pack your bags Shail. We have been transferred.”
“What? Not yet again. I am not coming. It is the middle of the academic year and Vinod is writing his 10th Public Exams. I am NOT coming.”

Silence from the other end. Those few moments of silence brought to me in flashback, the memories of my husband’s solo stint in another place and the emotional conflict that we all went through bringing forth with it unhappiness, illness and the distance of time and feelings. That decided it. And the next thing I knew was, that I was in Madurai. New place, people, newer mentality, everything.

All that I could then feel was an emotion of vengeance for the authorities who did this.

The first bait was a series of horror tales that I wrote and got published in a book with book launch and all. But, more was coming. After all, how much can a horror story capture? Like Kali Maa killing the demons and drinking their blood non stop, there was no stopping me. I couldn’t kill for real but hey man! my thoughts could, my writing could!
That was when Vengeance from WRIMO INDIA usurped my life – more so because here was a bunch of writers just like me willing to let go off their anger, hurt, frustration (real and imaginary) in the form of stories that stuck to (my loving theme by now) – VENGEANCE!!
I leaped and jumped into this disguised pool of harmony. Weaving a story out of just one emotion isn’t easy. But WRIMO helped me do it. Especially so because, as we advanced into our write-ups we came to the conclusion that the proceeds of this special anthology should go to NaNoWriMo, the mother of all novel writing across the globe!
And, how good it felt! Now, we not only had a theme to weave a dark tale around; we could also do a good deed in the process of writing something evil!! Talk of ironies!
That is how my journey with VENGEANCE began. And what a journey it has turned out to be! Would you believe me if I tell you that Vengeance brought me positivity, Vengeance brought me friendship and Vengeance brought me harmony.

Sonia, the ‘soothradhaar’ of this anthology nudged us 21 writers around whenever we faltered or delayed.

Manasi Saxena helped to filter through the huge lot of entries that were submitted. Trust me, it is not an easy task.
Varun Prabhu and Pritesh Patil helped grade the entries to generate the first shortlist.
Sujata Patnaik took up the challenge of combining her artistry with digital tools to create a cover that is gorgeous and totally apt for the theme of the anthology.
Nikita Azad, with her techno-wizardry and her inputs for the cover made it even more exciting and intriguing.
The Co-Admins of Wrimo India group: Dola Basu Singh, Rubina Ramesh and Neelesh Inamdar have done everything that needed to be done: whether it was shortlisting the stories, editing them and providing initial feedback, helping Sujata get a grip on the digital tools and fine-tuning the cover design.

Disclaimer: All proceeds from the sale of this anthology will be donated to NaNoWriMo
VENGEANCE – A STING IN EVERY TALE
A WRIMO INDIA anthology
Edited by
Sonia Rao
HA HABlurb
A reply to a perceived injustice can take many forms one of which is vengeance. An eye for an eye can only end up making the whole world blind, is what Mahatma Gandhi once said. And it seems to be coming quite true, if latest events world-wide are an indication.Is there any hope or are we hurtling towards extinction?Hopefully, the stories will explore some of these questions. But that is on the macro level. It might be easy to look at things objectively, in black and white, when it is other nations involved. Or even other people. We are able to be more forgiving of transgressions when they don’t involve us personally.But how would one react if they found themselves in the maelstrom of situations that do fall somewhere in the grey area of life? With no definite black and white answers?How would a jilted lover react in face of infidelity? Or how would a friend avenge the murder of her best friend? Or, is it fair to be punished for a crime that you were not brave enough to prevent?These and many more questions connected to vengeance have been grappled with in this anthology.

 

EXCERPT OF FIRST CHAPTER

Bus number 131 whirred away, pulling its own weight unwillingly. It was one of the many buses to pass through the Relief road, a busy road in the old part of Ahmedabad. Shazia had an option, the crowed 88 or the overcrowded 131. She preferred to be 30 minutes before time to board 131. Her choice was motivated by her love for the palindromic 1-3-1. Her undying infatuation with prime numbers was inexplicable. Nineteen year oldShazia loved numbers, and to be more precise, she adored Mathematics in all its form. She also loved the rules, the principles, the working theorems, the equations which tried to make sense of the majestic menagerie of numbers. She was fascinated even by the mere shape of numbers. She did not remember when or even how her romance with Maths began. But in her earliest memories, she preferred practicing her numbers over the alphabet, she remembered that she recited tables better than her nursery rhymes. She was short and a bit stocky. Also, a couple of shades darker than was acceptable in the marriage market. However, her looks never bothered her, nor did she ever yearn for fairer skin, or thinner body. What she craved was a disheveled mass of hair, for some uncanny resemblance to Einstein, the only pop icon modern science managed to have produced. But her mother plaited her hair, dashing her hopes to ground. She also longed for a pair of spectacles with glasses so thick that it blurred her eyeballs, indicating the wearer’s brilliance. But she, despite getting checked for vision from her mother’s ophthalmologist, was denied the hallowed implement. Thrice. Shazia valued her bus ride a lot. She had to convince Papa to allow her to commute to her college on her own. She had concealed her indignation about needing her father’s permission for every little trifle, even after being categorised as an adult by the Government of India. Papa consented only after he was told that Noor too would start using the bus if Shazia were to give her company.

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ABOUT THE EDITOR SONIA RAO

21-Sonia Rao
The editor of the Anthology, Sonia Rao (writer-editor-awardwinningblogger) is the NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison for All-India region. The stories which are part of the anthology are written by Wrimos homed in to Asia::India region. Most of them are also published writers of short fiction and novels.She blogs @ https://soniaraowrites.wordpress.com/

Find out more about Wrimo India @
Wrimo India on FB: https://www.facebook.com/NaNoWriMo.India/
Wrimo India on Twitter: https://twitter.com/wrimosindia
Wrimo India blog: https://wrimoindiawrites.wordpress.com/
NaNoWriMo: http://nanowrimo.org/

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The Woman’s R.K. Laxman!

Foreword by noted author Ravi Subramanian:

“I find it an intriguing story, full of humorous suspense- well worth the read. Go ahead, plunge into India. You are sure to enjoy it as much as I did.”

ambling indian

Blurb:
This book, a fun trip through India- with all the peculiar experiences of the country; has the ingredients to intrigue, the spice to savour, and the nuggets of reflection to delight!
Meet the characters of Chand TV and Changa Times – Madam Chandni, Mr. Chatu, Mr. Raja Chatu, voluptuous Ms. Kitry Kat; and the others – the boyfriend Runny Singh, Tinuji, swashbuckling Mr. Anal Manbee, Jamal and the Mangoman. Watch their lives intertwining with the young and lively Ambling Indians, as they navigate through the lanes, bylanes, gallis and mohallas that make up much of India.

Reviewer’s Reflection:

One’s book is the apple of one’s eye and only the author of the book understands it best. Because, the book is the child, it is the lover, it is the sibling and yes, parent too. No wonder, many authors are misunderstood.

The theme of ‘AMBLING INDIAN’ is impressive as it perceives India and its pet peeves from a woman’s point of view (‘aam aurat’). And because these are personal views resembling occurrences in society, the author reserves the right to be judgemental.
ambling

Issues like unwarranted fat grand weddings, the hula-hoop over the very western concept of Valentine’s Day, the game of buying a house in the city, the bukwaas of Bollywood, numerology and its fan material, etc are all spread over the contents of the book.

Current issues plaguing the society are discussed in a seemingly fictional narrative but the satire inherent in the characters’ names and their actions are a thorough give-away. In fact, the book is less about an amble, it is more about a race against time!

The words in the book move faster than the mind can grasp and, before one can even warm up to a thought, a view or a satirical joke, one is moved away like a gust of wind ( and a stormy one at that!) to the next page, the next thought, a new topic. And, one is left wondering – what was it that one just read? Complimentary in ways but not entirely comfortable at times because, for people like me who need time to warm up to a character or a situation, the amble becomes a speed racing machine and I lose track of the path.

For those with a quick and agile sense of humour that perceives satire in every amble, then, this IS THE BOOK! There is no need to go anywhere else.
But, I recommend caution for the dull-witted (like me) who need some time to come to terms with an idea or an opinion before diving into a pothole of humour.

Disclaimer by the author for the chapter, ‘In the Public Eye, May 2014’
“This is in no way a reflection of any views on any political issues or parties. I have immense love and respect for all people and parties, political or otherwise. Please do not read this seriously.”

Book: Ambling Indian
Publication: Frog Books/Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd
Genre: Fiction
Price: 130/-
Author:
Aina Rao is a silver medallist from IIT Delhi and a topper from IIM Bangalore. She is a financial services professional by training and a singer and writer by passion.

aina rao

Pls. Note: The book has been sent to me for reviewing by the publisher and is NOT a paid review.

Sands Of Time: A Review

TITLE: Sands Of Time
AUTHOR : Neelam Saxena Chandra
PUBLISHER: Panther House Paper & Digital Publication LLP
GENRE: Short Stories/Women/Fiction

sands of time

BLURB
Time is a magician. Sometimes, it acts like a soothing balm for healing the aching hearts of women and at other times, it teaches people living around her to adapt. And at some other times, it teaches people living around her to adapt. And at some other instances, time also brings with it punishments, penances and penalties. The book ‘SANDS OF TIME’ will take you through various such emotions in the twelve stories which it contains: tales that will make you smile, tales that shall raise your hair, tales that will make you hate and tales that will make you fall in love with all the protagonists.

 
DONNING ON THE REVIEWER HAT
Reviewing this particular book of the author was going to be a challenge for me. The reasons were simple. One, the author was a dear friend. Two, I am the editor of the book! I usually never review the books I have either written or edited because there is always the chance of one getting biased. But, this was the publisher’s special request to me and since I only do unpaid reviews he was sure that I would be writing an honest review. So, that sealed the matter temporarily at least!

 
Coming back to the book, what stands out is the theme of ‘women through time’- all kinds of women- happy, sad, abused, loving, married, unmarried, victorious, hopeful. The list is just endless. So, that was a plus point as far as the book theme was concerned.

 
Then, is the author’s genuine attempt at sending across a social message to society via the stories. Each story is a successful endeavour at creating an atmosphere for reform. A book of fictional stories need not be written with a desire to convey anything. After all, all that a writer wants is to pen down her/his thoughts and emotions on paper and weave a string of imagination around it. Why bother to add a message to it? Neelam Saxena Chandra instead, takes this story collection as an opportunity to weave her imagination around society’s latent problems.

 
Each story is different. While In Pursuit Of A Suitable Guy is the look out of a woman for her soul mate, The Coming Of Laxmi is about the rampant abortion of the female foetus and sex determination in today’s society.
“You are having a baby in your stomach and it is hitting you with its legs and hence you are crying!” Revathi exclaimed in one breath.
Vijaya smiled. How innocent and naive was the world of children. Revathi was only three years old and she formed her own theory of why she was crying!”

 
Another Chance is a brilliant attempt at exposing the danger and hypocrisy of child marriage.
“The girls of the family should not argue. Too much of argument is not good for women folk,” stated her ammi.
Reflections From The Past is a lovely combination of single parenthood, child labour and horror. One gets to enjoy this story for the myriad emotions that it portrays.
The Return Of The Daughter is about society’s prejudice against abused women. It is about the deception of marriage in some unfortunate women’s lives.
It is not that the author keeps harping on age old issues. Current problems like sexual abuse by a parent is also incorporated in this collection. Wings Of Hope is one such emotional story.

 
“I have aged now. I really do not know how long I will live. My husband expired a year back. My children often insist that I should go and stay with them. But this home is my world. And when children like Shiya come and ask for my blessings, I feel that I have had life well-lived. When my turn comes to bid adieu to this world, I will not have any regrets.”

 
For parents who have not been blessed with children, adoption is the only beautiful way out. But, what if the person adopting was not at all married and, was not a woman too? Filling In The Blanks is one such beautiful story.
Loving without strings attached is not easy. For most people, you have to get something to give something in return. The Hangover is one such tale where the woman protagonist sets a man thinking about the real meaning of love.
Bolstering Bonds is about physical abuse caused by loved ones and then, overcoming it. It is a story about bravery and courage.
If a story collection can have so many interesting topics can a thriller be far behind. In The Killer’s Hands is one such story about a serial killer and what it means to love such a person.
Sand Clock is about removal of chauvinistic ideas and reform in a couple’s life by way of adoption.
Finally, The American Dreams proves to be the icing on the cake of this unique story collection. Read it to know more.

 
STYLE OF AUTHOR
The author’s style of story-telling is simple and reaches the heart of the readers. No hi-funda, intellectual stuff here. Simple tales of love, abuse and valour narrated well. If you are looking for a small book to warm you up during rainy weather or cold sunshine then, this is the book!

 
INTRODUCTION TO THE AUTHOR

NEELAM
Neelam Saxena Chandra, an Engineer by profession, works for the Indian Railways. She shares a world of word fantasy thanks to her incurable passion of writing poetry and fiction. Around six hundred of her stories/poems have been published in various leading Indian as well as international magazines, anthologies and journals. She has many books to her credit which include novels, poetry anthologies and children’s books. Her stories/poems have been transmitted by Akashwani (Radio) also. Neelam has been nominated by Forbes India Magazine among the 100 most well known authors.

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