Versatile Blogger Award

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Subha nominated me for the ‘Versatile Blogger Award’, surprising me and thrilling me, both! Thank you, Subha, I hope to live upto this honor!:)

Here are the rules for this award:

The recipient is supposed to

– display the award on their blog
– Thank the person who has nominated them
– Share 7 different facts about themselves
– Nominate 15 blogs of their choice
– Link their nominees and let them know of their nomination

So here goes; 7 Different Facts About Me;

1)When I first started writing, I could ONLY write with a Natraj Pencil, on white A4 paper. Habit, quirk, superstition, whatever you call it, it was a routine that continued for 2 long years.

2)I have 2 half-finished books written, and waiting to be completed, in the word folder in my computer

3) Writing a good piece gives me a high that lasts for days!

4) Stephen King is one of my favorite Writers. I learnt to hone my writing by reading his books.

5) I detach myself from my work before I share it with anyone. I am no longer ‘touchy’ about anyone’s views on it.

6) I suffered a Writer’s Block for 4 long years. It was a terrible phase and just when I thought I would never write again, I started writing once more!

7) When an idea strikes me and the laptop or pen and paper are not handy, I write behind bills, envelopes, on tissue paper and on my hands too. I have used my lip pencil and eye pencil to jot down ideas when nothing else was around 🙂

 

Nominating the following Bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award;

Pushpa, for Poetry, Recipes, Fiction and lots more

Aarti , for Reviews, Travel Stories, Fiction and more

Shilpa Gupte  Flash-fiction, Fiction,Pep-talk and more

Ameeta Travel, Food, Reviews and more

Dr Amrita Medical articles, Entrepreneur Tips , Parenting and more

Deepa Nutrition, Parenting, Fiction and more

Tina BlogBeautiful posts, Fiction, Cooking and more

Manisha Product Reviews, Shopping Tips, Fiction, Poetry and more

Ruchie Fiction, Recipes, Contests and more

Romila Reviews, Views, and more

Menaka Parenting, Health, Beauty, Organic food and more

Saumy Travel, Poetry, PhotoBlog and lots more

Dr Anshul Reviews, Fiction, Medical articles and more

Aseem Travel, Reviews, Micro-fiction and lots more

Rohan Reviews, Fiction, 55 Word Stories, and more

 

Dear Blogchatter

Dear Team Blogchatter,

I had so much to share with you that I decided to write you a letter.

Let me start with a heartfelt Thank You.

I have been blogging since 2004 and all that mattered to me was writing a post and putting it up. That is it.

I have been part of a few writing groups and they were helpful yes, but after the initial euphoria, the enthusiasm lagged and mini subgroups were formed. Everything happened in those groups, except writing. That is when I lost the will to be part of any group.

When the name Blogchatter first popped up on my Twitter feed, my personal interpretation of it put a smile on my face.
Blogchatter: Blogging and Chatting, both online and offline! I could see myself doing both!

It helped that your Half Marathon campaign had started, just as I had begun to crawl out from being buried under a Writer’s Block for the last 4 years! And I wrote, not for the entire 2 weeks, but I did write! And I was elated to!

Then I saw your campaign, #MyFriendAlexa and, hand on my heart, signed up for it without knowing or finding out a thing about it. I just wanted to write. Period!

Writing is what I did. But it was a miniscule bit of what you had mapped out for us. The learning has been staggering!

Through the campaign, I’ve gained
1)Discipline: Writing and scheduling 8 blogposts delighted the OCD persona in me. I hope to follow this routine.
2)Knowledge: Reading posts, by others just opened up my mind to a whole of perspectives that lay unexplored!
3)Faith: There are so many wonderful people out there willing to help you, that it has begun to restore my, somewhat jaded, faith in humanity!
4)Insight: Blogging is not just about writing, posting and forgetting about it. There is so much more to it!
5)Experience: Because of your campaign, after 12 loyal years with Blogspot I graduated to a self-hosted blog, and I didn’t imagine what a huge difference that would make!
6)Friends: Having met so many wonderful people through this campaign, I hope to stay in touch with all of them.

And YOU Blogchatter!

Ufffff, everything that I wish to say reads like a cliché, but YOU truly are a wonderful team! In today’s times, when everything comes for a price and most people are busy trying to pull others down, you are selflessly encouraging, guiding and helping out a random bunch of people. And being patient with all our quirks while you go about it! If that isn’t awe-inspiring, I truly don’t know what is!

I don’t think I would be wrong in assuming that a lot of people reading this would find themselves nodding in agreement too.

I am so glad we met, Blogchatter and a big thank you, once again.
God Bless you and may your tribe increase!

Slainte!
Mayuri!

The Empty Train

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This story has won 1st prize in this Challenge!😊

This week’s WOW prompt is – “The Empty Train”

A train rolls into a station, you get on and see that is completely empty. What do you do? What goes on in your mind? Does it ring an alarm of suspicion or give you a special solitary ride on the rails? Do you think an empty train can lead to a full story? We want you to buy a ticket and get on this empty train, and write a wonderful blogpost as this empty train meanders through the tracks on its journey. Where will your empty train lead you? Well, this friday give us a glimpse of the destination you are on and the beautiful journey the empty train takes you through.

Rashi slung her purse over her shoulder, picked up her lunch bag and walked out of her office cubicle.

She was exhausted.

She couldn’t wait to get home, put her feet up and sip on a cup of tea as she mindlessly changed T V channels.
As she walked towards the Train Station, she mentally cringed at what lay ahead. Fighting for enough space to stand. Being crushed between sweating bodies. Keeping your belongings close to your body, or within visible distance.

When the government introduced a ‘Ladies Special’ train for the peak hours in the morning and evening, all the ladies had been joyous, thinking they would now travel comfortably, what with an entire train to themselves. But their happiness was short lived, as the Ladies Special filled up as quickly as her Ladies Compartment would.

Rashi sighed.

She crossed the road and entered the Terminal, her right hand moving automatically to the little pocket outside her purse, and fishing out her train pass. She touched the card to the red eye of the machine which let out a soft click and the barrier snapped up to let Rashi walk through it.

She wrapped her dupatta around her waist, clutched her bag tightly under her arm and holding her lunch bag like a shield walked towards her regular place on the bustling Platform No 3. As she squinted towards the distance she could make out the outline of her train approaching. She waited for it to groan to a stop at the station, with her compartment door right in front of her. When it did, out of habit, Rashi looked down and swiftly walked inside. When she looked up she blinked.

The train was empty.

Completely empty.

She shut her eyes tight and opened them again. Yes. Still empty.
Rashi pinched herself. Hard.
Ouch!
That hurt!
She looked around once more, but the train was still empty.
The train moved forward with a lurch and Rashi sat down with a thud. Then immediately got up.
What was happening? What was wrong? Where were her usual fellow passengers and other women? Had there been an epidemic? A terrorist attack?

But the station was bustling as usual. As was the traffic, when she walked from her office.
Then what was the explanation for this eerie emptiness?
Rashi gulped, and reached into her bag for her water bottle. She glugged down the liquid till the bottle was empty.
Who would tell her what was happening? Whom should she call?
She rummaged through her purse for her mobile and gratefully fished it out. A blank screen greeted her. Damn! She had forgotten to charge it again!

Rashi didn’t know what to do.

She looked out of the barred window to see people outside carrying on as usual. The T V hooked high up near the ceiling of the train compartment played the local news, without tickers announcing Breaking News.

Should she get off at the next platform?
She would, Rashi decided.
This empty train was creeping her out.
She walked towards the door and stood by it, too nervous to sit comfortably. The breeze fanned her face and Rashi closed her eyes to this pleasant feeling.

The train started slowing down as the next platform approached and before she could step out, as decided, she saw a well-dressed woman get in, through the other door.
Her foot hovered uncertainly at the threshold of the compartment and in the next instant she had both feet inside as the train started.
She walked toward the woman, who was standing in the other compartment. Coming closer she realized it wasn’t a woman, but a Hijra (eunuch) who flashed her a dazzling smile.
‘Why is the train empty? Where is everybody?’ Rashi shot the questions without returning the smile.
The Hijra looked at her like she was crazy, ‘What do you mean by ‘where is everybody?’ he mocked ‘which world are you living in?’
A frown creased Rashi’s face, ‘What do you mean?’
‘Arre! The year’s biggest sale at ‘EmptyMyPocket’ has started today. All the women are there!’

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Movie Review – Pink

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#MovieReview #Pink

Pink is the color of a blush.
A blush that blooms on your face from embarrassment and shame.

The shame when you realise that the prejudices shown in the film could be yours.
The embarrassment which makes you cringe for keeping quiet when you shouldn’t have.
The shame, remembering when you judged something you shouldn’t have.

Watch #Pink for the 3 girls, who shine despite the muck splashed upon them.
Watch Pink to see fine film making.
Watch Pink to see a film that dared to be made.
Watch Pink for Amitabh Bachchan, who proves that a Lion may get old but it takes just a single roar to remind you who was, is and always will be the King of the Jungle.

#Audacity #August2015 #WordyWednesday

Tom peeked out from behind the wall; to find the imposter catching a peek at that exact moment. Tom withdrew instantly, fuming as he did so!  After catching his breath he tried peeking out again, slowly this time. And found the imposter staring right back at him! Tom was supremely irritated! This guy was following him everywhere! He wondered what to do next. After giving it some thought,Tom crouched low and belly crawled forward slowly, hoping to take the imposter by surprise. It was going good, till they bumped heads! Ouch!
Enough was enough, decided Tom! He would take theimposter head on and show him who was the boss here. Tom squared his shoulders and walked out and stood proud and tall. As did the imposter. Tom couldn’t take the audacity of the imposter anymore and started barking. Once again at his reflection in the newly installed mirror in the house

Sometimes…


Sometimes I reek of stale dreams
and shards of splintered vows pierce my hopes
The horizon is tinged with hues of regret
As reminiscences of a promised happiness take me to places I don’t want to go
That’s when I shrug off my cape of despair
As I inhale lungfuls of faith
And hem my blessings with gratitude
And begin to rewrite my fate

(C) M*S*N 28/10/2014

Sisters

 

As girls we grew up hearing, ‘There is safety in numbers’.

We started believing it when we were whistled at, or followed, or deliberately brushed against, or had filmy songs sung loudly for us as we walked the streets alone.

We protested, we raged, we swore to change things when one of our ilk was molested or abused. But we were told to shut up and live with it.

By our mothers, sisters, aunts, friends and other women. And we did.

We cringed inside, carried compasses or safety pins on public transport, discussed it, were angered by it, and learnt to live with it. Incidents of rapes angered us, drove us to protests, inspired candle-lit silent marches, and a primetime slot in news channels for a day or three, and soon became a memory. We blamed the Government, the Male species, the lack of empathy, and raged and ranted. And then we were silent.

The degradation of a woman’s honor continued, as did our rants.

When will we realize that no one will do a thing. Not the government, nor the media, nor the protestors.

No one, except us.

As a woman, it’s time to stop looking outside for help.  It’s time to start reaching out with a helping hand instead. When you see a deliberate brushing past, a grope, a leer, which brings fear into a Sisters eye, stand beside her and watch that fear become a fearsome look. Any action or word that violates a woman’s safety and honor, come together as one and help bring about a change. Be a silent supporter, and a violent one if need be.

Believe, reassure and be there for a Sister who has been through it. Teach your Daughters to be brave, to take care of themselves, to hold their head high, and lash out fearlessly. Be there for your Sisters so no one can get away with scarring her with a horrible memory.
Not because we are weak, but because we must.

After all didn’t we all grow up hearing, ‘There is safety in numbers’.

Movie Review – Ek Tha Tiger

Ek Tha Tiger – – – Jo nikla Billi!
Star Rating   *
Salman Khan (Tiger), looking stressed, depressed but still well dressed, beats up and breaks more than his usual share of bones and furniture, but takes off his shirt just once.
Katrina Kaif(Zoya), botox-ed to stretched perfection and collagen-ed to acquire lips as full as Mick Jagger’s, breezes through the script togged out stylishly and emotes effortlessly, and she isn’t around when he takes his shirt off, just once.
Audience, goes with great expectations, drags reluctant Husband promising him a blockbuster film and performances, waits for both, and for Tiger to bare it all.
Movie starts, audience travels through picturesque, well shot locales of Iran, Delhi, Istanbul and Havana, and realizes that Tiger still hasn’t taken off his shirt, in a single country.
As a RAW officer, Tiger effortlessly climbs buildings, swings for one to the other, stops trams, dances, sings, falls in love, but STILL doesn’t remove his shirt.
Zoya, our friendly neighborhood ISI officer accompanies him in most of his escapades, calling him a ‘Kaddu’, perhaps because he hasn’t removed his shirt.
Love happens, followed by heartbreak, when they realize their respective professions *psssssstttttt, shirt still on! *stamping feet on ground!*
Enter hirsute, fellow RAW officer, Gopi (Ranvir Sheory) who chides Tiger, then helps him plan an escape with ‘Bhabhiji’ *Finally removes shirt in a blink and you miss it moment. Audience blinked*
Tiger realizes that he hasn’t ever climbed into an ascending aircraft from a speeding motorcycle and does just that and Zoya and Tiger escape into oblivion, leaving the chance of a sequel to be filmed.
Audience hides face at choice of films, directs a sideways glance at Husband who sarcastically calls film a blockbuster and laments the fact that Tiger removed his shirt, just bleddy once! 
Star

Star Rating Chart.

* I want my money back + a fully booked and paid 3 month trip to _________(please fill in a destination of choice)

** I don’t want my money back even though I didn’t like the movie, but director/producer may please pay for my popcorn/samosa/parking.

*** Time and money both well spent!

**** Loved it!

***** Whistle, clap, even smile at irritating neighbor-who-kept-talking-on-cell phone, queue up to buy tickets again, and extol virtues of the movie.y booked and paid 3 month trip to _________(please fill in a destination of choice)e, but director/producer may please pay for my popcorn/samosa/parking.

*** Time and money both well spent!

**** Loved it! irritating neighbor-who-kept-talking-on-cell phone, queue up to buy tickets again and extol