I Don’t Feel Like Writing #WeekendCoffeeShare

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If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’ve missed our chats over the past couple of months. Oh, I’ve missed lots of other blogging things, too. But today, I was determined to have our little chat over a cup of coffee at this space.

So, how have you been? Hope you had a wonderful week and are looking forward to a great weekend.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that right now, I am very disappointed with myself. I am observing since the past few months that I just don’t feel like writing. Whatever little I have blogged these past two and a half months, is by forcing myself.

Initially, I believed that it’s just a phase and I would get back into the groove of mindless chatter on my blog in a day or two. But looks like this ‘don’t-feel-like-writing’ feeling has overstayed its welcome.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that it’s not that there is paucity of ideas. Last week I was in Kuwait. I clicked so many amazing sights on my phone with the sole aim of sharing them as a series on my blog here.  At Delhi airport, I was writing a blog post in my head when I observed something interesting. Just yesterday, I came across a beautiful memory lying in my library cupboard and I was so excited to share it with you. And there are so many blogging prompts that I keep seeing all around me. So, you see, I have plenty of ideas, but I am just not able to commit myself to express/write them.

Almost every day, I have opened my Windows Live Writer to write a post, but within few seconds, I just don’t have the drive or energy to write. A big strong voice in my head tells me, “Aah! I don’t feel like writing” and I meekly give in and get back to reading or doing something else. And you know what, this giving up so easily depresses and drains me. Hell, I even feel guilty.

If we were having coffee, I’d like you to know that I am pretty disciplined about my work commitments which involves writing, so, why am I failing at writing on my blog? Am I being plain lazy? Am I lacking discipline? Next month it’s AtoZ challenge and I am wondering should I participate to get into the habit of writing or should I skip it this year for I might just make a mess of it! Should I abandon this blog for a while or may be forever, given the state of mind I am in? I have no answers to these questions that keep popping in my head and this is driving me nuts.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that, on the one hand I want to write on my blog but on the other hand I don’t ‘feel’ like writing. I know this is simply crazy. Can you make sense out of this? Do you have any wise words or suggestions for me?

I wish your coming week is better than the last and that you will stop by the comments and let me know what you’ve been up to!

Until next time… ciao!

Linking this to #WeekendCoffeeShare

Standing Tall – Thursday Tree Love #1

“The true test of a warrior is how your ‘stance’ holds up after any ‘circumstance’. Meaning, even after the stormiest weather, a true warrior will still reflect the brilliant rays of the magnificent sun through both his or her eyes. You may get hit by sudden lightning or take severe beatings from the cruel wind, but you will always get back up and stand strong on your feet again, soak in the sunlight, and be prepared to get hit by even the most merciless hail – time and time again.”

 Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

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I like how this lone barren tree is standing tall among other green leafy trees. There’s a life lesson to be learnt from it. It’s telling us that you may have a miserable day once in a while or may be several in a row, the important thing to do is to stand steady and face them.

Adversity is a fact of life. It can’t be controlled. What you can control is how you react to it. It’s easy to be blinded with thoughts of despair, loneliness, frustration and sadness. There are times when you believe that the depression would never leave you or the pain would never stop. The key is that you should not let these negative thoughts drag you down. Whatever it is, it is essential that you don’t lose hope. You must have hope that you will go through it.

So stay strong, stay positive and stay focused. Keep your head up, believe in yourself, and take life head on.

Linking this to Thursday Tree Love, a photo feature hosted by Parul Thakur. If you would like to play along, post a picture of a tree on your blog and link up using the linky. Let’s come together to appreciate the beautiful nature around us.

The Jeera Packer

Title: The Jeera Packer The Jeera Packer
Author: Prashant Yadav
Publisher: Fingerprint! Publishing
ISBN: 978-81-7599-418-8
Number of Pages: 344
Price [INR] : 295
Genre: Fiction

I once changed the history of Uttar Pradesh state with a gun and a finger. One shot, one man. Right man, wrong man. But that was thirty years ago. I shot people through their heads then. I pack jeera in a basement now.

This is me and here is my story.

He was the best sharpshooter in the state. A true bullet artist. But he gave it all up to lead a happy, normal, stable life . . . with his loving wife and dear son. And that proved to be his undoing.

Resonant and deeply affecting, The Jeera Packer is the gripping tale of a man who after three decades of playing the happy family man returns to his profession of old for one final work—to shoot the chief minister.

Convinced that this is his raison d’être, will he manage to pull off this one last act, as his concluding hat tip to the man he could have been? Will he be able to brush away the jeera dust and rediscover himself? Or has the middle-aged family man already throttled the sharpshooter in him?

I would have read this book in a day, but due to work exigencies, I finished reading The Jeera Packer in two days. Oh, boy! Did I like it? I loved reading this book as I was hooked to it right from the word go!

The main protagonist is an ex-sharpshooter who now lives a clean regular life with his family. He is not happy with his mundane life as something within him has died. He decides to reignite the passion in his life and works on a mission to kill the Chief Minister, who incidentally is his boss from the gangster days. The CM has prime ministerial aspirations and wants his drug-addict son to replace him. His inner circle is certainly not happy with his decision and a few of them plan to kill him as well. Who is successful in killing the CM and what’s the modus operandi… well, to know that you need to read The Jeera Packer.

The Jeera Packer is a contemporary political crime thriller with characters, plot, setting, events, language mirror real life.

The Jeera Packer has multiple characters in multiple settings living out multiple plotlines, as they engage in power, politics, manipulation, violence, betrayal, greed, desires and deceit. All these multiple subplots are interconnected and are woven deftly into the main plot which not only moves the story ahead at a faster pace but also engages the reader.

I liked the way the characters are introduced in the story. There is no information overload about the various characters. It’s interesting to find details of the various characters bit by bit. And all the while the reader in me was trying to figure out who they really are and what makes them tick, what secrets they’re hiding… And that’s certainly stimulating and adds to the intrigue.

The dialogues are smooth and natural and the language is simple and lucid. The book is high on humor, sarcasm and witty one liners. The twists and turns in the story are handled really well. All in all, The Jeera Packer is a perfect balance of action, drama, and intrigue.

If anyone is thinking of making a movie based on The Jeera Packer, I’d vote for it.

The Jeera Packer is a fantastic page turner and is highly recommended.

Well Done, Prashant Yadav! Well Done!!

Should You Expect Privacy in Public Spaces? #MondayMusings

Picture this…

After a tiring day at work with a splitting headache, you board the evening train to go back home, to find your elderly co-passenger listening to some bhajans on his phone at a decent volume. You look at the phone and will it to stop, but alas it keeps playing mata ke bhajans with the same gusto. You are tempted to ask the ‘Uncle ji’ to lower the volume or use ear-phones but his two smart and extra caring sons stop you from taking that ‘mean’ step. The thing is that the old man is not well and his sons are very attentive to his needs and that touches you. Also, one of the sons has helped you with your luggage, so you are kind of indebted. So, you refrain from doing  anything and just bear the annoying music while the pain in your head flashes hard and hot.

Thankfully, the music stops after an hour or so and everybody goes off to sleep. You toss and turn for a major part of the night because your date with the headache is still not over. You sleep for a while and are woken up rudely by the same bhajans of last night. You look at your phone clock and rub your eyes and look at it again. You begin to have trust issues with your phone so you look outside the window to confirm. It’s pitch dark outside and you kind of apologize to your phone and believe that it had shown the right time. It is the ungodly hour of 4.30 am!

You look around with disbelief. Not a single person in your vision area has even turned and everybody is sleeping peacefully. You try to stare in the old man’s direction, but he is busy staring at his phone screen.

Your brain is directing you to speak up and ask him to stop playing the bhajans but your voice refuses to cooperate. You resign yourself to this irritating situation and take out your Kindle to read. But the words do not register as a throbbing headache is developing beneath your temples.

When you reach home early morning, you fume and fret and pour out all your frustration and anger at the events of last night and early morning at your unsuspecting and sleepy husband. You make him listen to the piece of music that you had recorded on your phone.

Your husband, the good man that he is, makes appropriate noises and tries to smoothen your ruffled feathers but not before saying, ‘Your threshold of patience is pretty low.”

Now, I do not agree with his remark completely. But I’d like to ask you that when in a public space, is asking someone to turn their music down a bad idea? Is it ok for people to play virtual games on their devices with game noises kept on? Is it alright for people to play videos on their phones without using the earphones? Should you be listening to halfalogues of people making long personal calls when at a dinner table with friends or in a cinema? Or listening to people taking calls on speakerphone?

I know that these days mobile devices rule our lives but should that let us forget some basic aspects of decency and manners? I believe, playing music or talking loudly shows a certain selfishness and disregard for public spaces. It is being indifferent to the discomfort of people around you. I somehow feel that all this loud music /talks is encroaching your private space in public and it is pretty annoying, irritating and distracting.

Should you expect privacy in public spaces? What do you think?

Linking this to #MondayMusings

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What Happens When You’re Married for 20 Years!

This day, 20 years ago, KG and I, tied the proverbial knot. OMG! We have been married for 20 years!! 20 YEARS!?!ShowImage

No, I am not going to say, “It was just yesterday or that I married by best friend” or “I’d choose him in a hundred lifetimes.” Nah! Not me. I think, these words are perfect for Facebook updates. Oh, don’t get me wrong, we have had a pretty interesting and eventful marriage, so far. Touchwood! I won’t say all those things because I just prefer to avoid flowery and sentimental language. Yeah, that’s the real me.

Today morning, just like every other day, after having our customary tea together, KG and I got busy in the kitchen, preparing breakfast. Aaryan, our 15 year old joined us too. While, KG was making those perfect crispy dosas and Aaryan was shelling peas, I was doing something equally mundane.

Yeah, I agree with you, both KG and AG are poster-boys for domesticated men. It’s been a lot of hard work, but am truly glad to see that all my nagging and cajoling has paid off.

While I am talking about my boys who are a great help with housework, let me share something which I realized a few days ago. You know, there are quite a few things that I have never done in these 20 years of our marriage and making dosas is one of them. My love for South Indian food is legendary and we make dosas pretty frequently at home. And can you believe that I have never made them on my own, not even once. KG makes them, ALWAYS!! And this realization is making my heart go all awww!!

Aah! How much I have digressed. So where were we? Yeah, in the kitchen! So, as KG was spreading the dosa batter on the pan, I told him, “I want a special gift from you today!”

Engrossed with his dosa, he asked nonchalantly, “What do you want?”

As a smile of an imminent victory was beginning to take some shape on my face and words were just about to gush out of my mouth, when he quickly said, “I am not giving you that.”

I should have had that expression of consternation or annoyance for he just dashed my hopes. But no, nothing of that sort happened for we both burst out laughing as Aaryan looked at us with confusion and dismay.

This is what 20 years of marriage does to you. You know each other so well that sometimes you can second guess what the other person is thinking and can finish each other’s sentences. I have lost the count of the number of times we both started to say the exact same thing at the exact same time. It’s like we can read each other’s minds. We know what the other person is going to say.Though, there are times when we just don’t understand each other. The earlier fuming and fretting over the differences has led way to understanding and respect for each other’s individuality.

Yes, that’s what 20 years of marriage does to you.

Oh, by the way, I was asking KG to quit smoking. I am pretty passionate about him chucking that stick and he is equally passionate about smoking that darn stick. *Sigh*

Sustainable Urbanisation through #10YearsofMWCJ

The five day, literary gala aka the kumbh of literary festivals, concluded last month. The 10th edition of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival saw over 400 leading writers and thinkers from across the world, debate and discuss intellectually and impassionedly.

Mahindra World City, Jaipur was the Sessions Partner for three key sessions at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2017.

Sanjoy Roy with Sanjay Srivastava signing the MoU

Eternal Cities: Encounters and Inspirations had Abhay K, Amruta Patil and Marcos Giralt Torrente in conversation with Rob Schmitz. They shared that cities can be a great source of inspiration and are man’s greatest creations. In fact, writers and poets often share about cities that inspire them in their works. The culture makes cities great and brings soul to cities which is in sync with the ethos of MWC.

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Mahindra World City is actively furthering the cause of sustainable urbanisation, through the development of green communities and creating new economic centers of Life-Living-Livelihood and enabling access to quality housing at affordable prices to a larger section of people.

Rajasthani: Bhasha Ki Manyata had C.P. Deval, Geeta Samour and K.C. Maloo in conversation with Nand Bhardwaj where they asked for constitutional status for the Rajasthani language from government.

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Naari Chetna: Naye Swar — Women Voices: New Writing from Rajasthan had Manisha Kulshreshtha, Rajani Morwal, Tasneem Khan and Uma in conversation with Durgaprasad Agarwal. The session shed light on aspects of gender equality and how family support could be a strong base for women empowerment.

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Mahindra World City, Jaipur promotes women empowerment in a big way. MWC believes that for India to maintain its growth trajectory, it is imperative that women have access to education, training programs and support systems. With this they can come out of the veil (parda) and walk the road to prosperity. Unfortunately, this access is not that easily available, especially in rural areas.

From Parda to Prosperity is an ongoing program at MWCJ, which was started 6 years ago for people of all 14 villages neighboring MWC, Jaipur. As they say, educate a woman and you educate a family. With a view to achieve inclusive development, MWCJ took initiative of bring out the talents hidden behind the veils. The idea was to provide vocational/ skill training as this would lead to boarder economic impacts in households.

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The focus areas of this women empowerment program have been – Education, Vocational Training & Socio-Economic empowerment of Women, Community Participation & Development. 

MWCJ has empowered 1125 women till date, 1075 women through 95 Self Help Groups and 50 women are employed at MWCJ and Campus clients.

MWC, Jaipur along with its partner NGO TBI has been conducting various training programs for the benefit of the unemployed youth, faculty members from institutions, and for the engineering students looking to take up entrepreneurship as a career.

Mahindra World City, is truly at the forefront of transforming urban landscapes by creating sustainable communities.

My Anti-Bucket List

Lists are my life-lines. I live my life in lists. To-Do Lists, Grocery Lists, Guests Lists, Wish Lists… and of course the Bucket Lists which has hundreds of things which I have not done and would love to do them before I die!vlsmY7tCuXHe (1) Recently, I came across the concept of Anti-Bucket List!

I liked the idea very much. I am all for exploring and experiencing the thrill and adventure of something different and new. But I am also clear about my likes, my preferences and I know my fears too. And I certainly have overgrown many things. Also I know that there are so many things that just can’t be done. 

So, here’s a list of things I hope to NEVER do before I die.

  • I will never color or dye my hair. I have earlier got my hair highlighted with red, copper and burgundy streaks a couple of times. But no more artificial colors for my hair. I am falling in love with my greys.
  • I will never deceive or hurt others or cheat on any one in any relationship.
  • I will never abandon family and friends during a difficult time in their life. Never ever. Have been there, so I know.
  • I’d never be a doormat in any relationship. I hope never to forget myself and my self-respect in any relationship.
  • I would never want to lose my passion for reading books.
  • I’d never eat any kind of bizarre food, even though I am getting a bit experimental in trying out new foods and flavors. But I’d like to stay clear of those animal brains, tongues, livers, worms etc. Ewwww
  • I’d never smoke or do drugs.
  • I’d prefer not to get addicted to anything. I should be able to stop doing something whenever I want.
  • I will never give up on my dreams. I may get flustered or uninspired at times, but never ever give up.
  • I’d never do extreme sports like sky diving, bungee jumping, para-sailing or ride on a roller coaster though scuba diving and a ride in a hot air balloon are in my bucket list.
  • I will never write a full-length novel.
  • I will never commit suicide. I have always wondered about those who do and it disturbs me to no end that they must be so sad and unhappy from life and its circumstances that ending their lives was the only solution or escape in front of them. No, surviving and then thriving despite the odds ie surthriving would it be for me, always.
  • I’d never learn to drive again. Have failed thrice and I have kind of made peace with this.
  • I’d not go for any body piercings other than my ears. I am indecisive about a tattoo though.

This list is neither comprehensive nor completely serious. I could have probably added more to this list, but a lot of them are things that go without saying, like I will never kill someone!

Now it’s your turn. What will you NEVER do? What would go in your Anti-Bucket List?

The Lost Cause

Drabble

They cried till they could cry no more.

The search for their missing son in the four corners of the earth was fruitless, no suspects were ever identified. patomskycr001-11

Seeing some commotion on their farmland one morning, they pushed their way through the crowd to find a circular spot which had turned barren overnight. In the middle of it lay their son, fast asleep with his head on his arm.

After their fifteen minutes of fame, the return of their son was a fly in the ointment for them.

When asked about his disappearance, he always answered, “I had gone home”.

Linking this to #BARWoWe

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Book Blitz : A Way Back Into Love by Veronica Thatcher

Blurb

Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes, uncertain. People, irrational. But love…well, that makes everything complicated. And when you are caught in a tangled web of secrets, lies, and complex affairs, someone is bound to get burned. 

Emily Stevens is a spunky, spirited college girl whose life gets turned upside-down when she realizes she’s in love with her best friend of fifteen years, Derek Thorpe. As Emily prepares to confess her feelings to Derek, something happens one night which changes her life forever. Five years later, Emily finds herself in Boston, alone and heartbroken. Will she ever be able to forget the past? And what will she find when she returns home…to the man she left behind? 

Grab your copy @ Amazon.in

About the author

Veronica Thatcher is an exciting new contemporary romance author. Ever since she was very young, she’s dreamed of becoming a doctor when she grew up. While still forging ahead with that, majoring in pre-med in college, she unwittingly stumbled upon a new dream—becoming a published author. Some may call her an introvert or a wallflower, but she has always found she could express herself better in written, rather than spoken, words. However, never in her wildest dreams had she envisioned she would pursue writing as a prospective career, not just a hobby. Her love for writing goes hand-in-hand with her love for a good romance novel—whether it be a feel-good, sweet romance or a dark, suspenseful one. 

When she’s not studying, reading, or writing, she is usually found blasting her favourite songs, sometimes singing and dancing along to them. She dabbles in a number of activities, including painting, karate, singing and dancing. She is a huge chocoholic – probably the biggest – and she is an ice-cream junkie too. She considers herself technologically handicapped forever and has no shame in admitting that. She also deems chocolates her boyfriend, Patrick Dempsey the love of her life, and Friends her life!

Her first book, A Way Back Into Love, is slated for release in February 2017, and she hopes readers will enjoy it as much as she enjoyed writing it. 

You can stalk her @

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Ouch! That’s Awkward! Teaser Tuesday #2

After I finish reading my current book, I’ll be picking up Our Socially Awkward Marriage by Tom and Linda Peters. Raw and personal, this book of essays was first inspired by Tom’s challenges with Asperger’s Syndrome, but the humorous bite-sized stories apply to any kind of interpersonal communication.

I’ll be reading this book containing funny and heartfelt true stories from inside an Asperger’s relationship as part of my Humor Reading Challenge.

Our Socially Awkward Marriage

Tom came to the bed fretting.  “What’s wrong?” I said.

“The tile pattern in the bathroom floor.” he said. “I cant figure out where they started it.”

Teaser Tuesday

If you fancy joining in, here’s how…

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
  • Share the title and author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!
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