Photoshoot of the Clockmaker

From the pages of my upcoming book The clockmaker. Read excerpts here

 

The Clockmaker

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LOVE UNVEILED – (Hindi Poem)

Below are two stages of love. One when you are looking for love and one when you are waiting for your love.

 

They say age is just a number. So have fun and enjoy no matter what your age is because….

you only LIVE the moment.

 

ishara

During Vrindavan days Radha and Gopis have waited to hear a word from their beloved Kanhiya.

Even today they continue to wait for him…

tamanna

Namm – Tears (Hindi Poem)

I didn’t know it would turn up like this on this day. Today is Border Security Force (BSF) raising day. I am a BSF child. Even my book Grow Up Messy! is the story of a BSF child- growing up with daddy not around. It is something very common in the families of the uniform men in all the spheres. They are missed on many occasions by the family. But sometimes they are just gone forever without even sharing their last message. Leaving behind so many things unsaid.

This poem is dedicated to all the women whose men could not make homewards.

tamanna

Haramkhor : A Cocktail of Emotions

The Diary Of A Rolling Stone

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Movie : Haramkhor 

Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Shweta Tripathi, Mater Irfan Khan, Master Mohammad Samad

Story: Shyam, a married teacher, gets romantically involved with his student Sandhya. However, they find themselves in the middle of a love triangle when Kamal, her classmate, tries to woo her.

Genre: Drama

My Take:

Okay, I intended to watch it at its time of release but destiny chose now. So I watched it alone. A marvelous act from Nawazuddin Siddiqui. I want to say this actor can work wonders with just about anything. A plot like Haramkhor is so beautifully handled by him and the other star cast in the film that it needs to be applauded. The story is from a teenage POV. How certain issues can really affect them and it can cause so much chaos in any relationship.

A teenager is a stage when the person is…

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And The Oscar Goes to …..

The Diary Of A Rolling Stone

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Movie Review : Newton

Starring : Rajkumar Rao, Raghubir Yadav, Pankaj Tripathi, Anjali Patil

Director: Amit Masurkar

Genre : Dark Comedy

Story:  A government clerk on election duty in the conflict ridden jungle of Central India tries his best to conduct free and fair voting despite the apathy of security forces and the looming fear of guerrilla attacks by communist rebels.

My Take:

And I second with the blog post title.

Like many others I pray this movie wins the Oscar 2018. For those who don’t know the movie Newton is the official entry to Oscar 2018 from India under the category of foreign films.

There are many things which makes the film stand out and the foremost is its rawness and simplicity in portraying its characters and their situation. Although its a dark comedy but the plot will make you think hard about our democracy.

Dantewada, the naxal…

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When I Chose Pink…

It’s not easy. Trust me. It’s not. I have seen myself how much difficult it is for them to face the society again. I am talking about breast cancer survivors.

When my Ma was diagnosed with it, for us it was like half the battle lost. We were a family of four, I was too young then even to realize how difficult it would be for my family. But the reports stood bare staring back at us as if it were our fault.

Our fault?? Yeah, sort of. My Ma had observed the lump in her left breast when it was very small. She watched it grow and never disclosed her little secret to anyone in the family. For, two long years she inched towards her death everyday happily serving us and keeping us happy. Definitely, she must have cried alone when no one watched her and that I suppose would have been very often because all her children had left home to seek a career in other cities. So she had ample time to brood over her health and no one to confide to. That was the biggest mistake we did as children. We took our parents for granted. We never took out time from our busy schedule to make her confide in us. It was always she following upon us as we lived a distance apart physically.

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Those were the days when we queued up in front of the telephone booths on Sundays to call up our folks back at home. Even visits to home were more of a celebration in the honor of our homecoming rather than discussing health issues with Ma. Days would pass by just meeting relatives and friends who would come down to meet us. And soon it would be time to return back. So yes the fault was ours.

Ma never had that courage to share her nightmare with us. She had watched her younger sister lose the battle to cancer. So maybe inside she was preparing herself for the worst and praying all the happiness for us in the meantime. That’s how mothers are and shall always be. For them, the family always comes first. But they forget that they are the pillars of the family that holds the walls of the home together.

So coming back to where I had started. Ma’s treatment started. She was operated in one of the renowned medical institutes of India and her left breast was removed. That changed her life forever. She went into hiding completely. She would spend hours sitting alone in the balcony looking down at the street crowd from our Lajpat Nagar flat. She despised meeting anyone, even the family members. Maybe inside she felt she was not the same person anymore. Her mastectomy had shattered her self-confidence completely.

In our country, physical attributes matter a lot, no matter how old you are. If you are beautiful people will love you if you are not they will find reasons to avoid you or mock at you. And mastectomy did exactly that to my Ma. She felt she had lost her identity as a woman and it was killing her inside.

I had seen how the ladies in the hospital ward react after mastectomy. Maybe they all went through the same trauma. But we didn’t know how to react to Ma’s behavior. We had no practical knowledge of actually handling patients leave alone understanding their emotional lows. What mattered, at that moment for us, was that she was alive and still breathing. And that was all we cared for. We never thought she might be in need of a counselor or someone who had undergone the same trauma like her to understand her emotions at that time. We did everything to keep her happy and smiling but we couldn’t connect to that chord which her heart wanted to hear.

We lost her after two years of fight minus the emotions she always sought. And all these thirteen years I had never realized that until today.

I realized it today when I went to attend an event for breast cancer awareness and support, Raipur Pink Marathon.

I got an invite for the event a few days back and I was very determined to attend it. I asked all my female friends out and two showed interest to come along. One of them happened to be breast cancer fighter. I have known her for a couple of months.

A very lively lady about my age, very focused upon her health and all. She practices yoga every morning and went for long walks in the evening. She inspired me to walk in the evenings. Soon after knowing her, I came to know that she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer, of course from other sources. She never hinted anything about it and I never asked her too. We simply joined other ladies in the long evening walks and talked about MILs and other topics females always loved to talk about.index

So here she was with me in the event supporting Breast cancer awareness support initiated by Raipur Pink Marathon at 6:00 am in the morning. We had assembled in a park along with several other people. The hostess initiated the program with yoga followed by two kilometers run. We were pretty happy to participate in the event. It basically focused on women health and exercise to keep fit which Indian women needed to do desperately. Till now we ladies were giggling and enjoying ourselves. It was our morning out without any baggage. Otherwise, we usually met with our kids along.

After the event, our host introduced my friend to a few more members of her team who were breast cancer survivors and fighters. Some of them were too young. My friend greeted the girls with moist eyes and after they left spoke almost in a whisper, “And I thought I was too young for it.”

My friend had been playing brave all these months but her guards were down when she met someone even younger than her who was fighting the same battle as her. And for some reason, my friend felt positive that she wasn’t alone anymore. There was a big support group waiting for her where she could discuss things she was going through without any inhibitions something which she apparently could not discuss with us.

That one line took me back to my past, thirteen years back, to my Ma. I haven’t realized till then that just meeting someone could ease your wound so much. I wish I had taken Ma to such support groups where she would have felt better while fighting the disease alone.

As they say. If you want to empathize you need to get into their shoes. Sympathises doesn’t always work. I appreciate the efforts of such programs that helps women come together for a cause and fight at it together.

 

 

Excerpt: The Clockmaker – A spark in the rain

Here is a small excerpt from my upcoming novel THE CLOCKMAKER. Hope you enjoy it.

***

It had started raining since the evening. A heavy downpour followed by drizzle. With the onset  of the monsoons it was predictable. It was chaos everywhere. The routes were jammed due to water logging on the streets and the traffic came to a standstill in a short while.

Vicky was waiting for Kavya in the parking lot. He knew it would be difficult for her to drive back to her house in her scooty in this weather. So he waited there to help her out.

Kavya came out of the institute in a while. She was very upset to see the chaos on the road. It was already late and she didn’t want to keep her mother worried at home. She called her up to inform that she would be home late due to the traffic.

She pulled her bag above her head and ran to the parking lot. She was almost drenched by the time she reached there.

“Damn. How am I going to make it to Noida in this weather?” She cussed.

“May I help you?”A voice asked from behind. It was Vicky. He had gathered a lot of courage to say those words to her. His heart was racing fast as he waited for her answer.

Kavya turned around and saw a guy standing. His nervous black eyes were the first thing she noticed. It matched his anxious voice. She remembered seeing the guy in the class. One of the back benchers. She dismissed him immediately saying, “No. Thanks,” and turned back. She started her scooty and drove off without giving a second look to him.

Vicky sighed as he watched her go. “Damn! How stupid I looked?”index He said to himself and started laughing. “You need lessons from your old man again,” he reminded himself. His Nanu had been of great help to him when he set out to make his first girlfriend at the age of thirteen. He started his bike and trailed Kavya which he often did without her knowledge.

Kavya couldn’t reached very far. The route she usually took was completely jammed due to the rains and there was no sign of relief any time soon. Most of the people were already reversing their vehicle. So Kavya also thought of doing so.

She took a right turn and didn’t notice the speed bumper ahead. Before she could apply the brakes she lost her balance and bumped into a standing vehicle. The impact threw her out of the bike on the water logged road.

The vehicle was a brand new car and the impact broke one of its tail lights.

Kavya stood up shivering – more from the shock of the accident than her wet clothes. She was drenched completely and her hands and knees were bruised.

Instead of helping her, the driver of the car, she had bumped into, got down and started arguing about the damage done to his vehicle. The poor man was concerned that the car owner will deduct the damage from his salary. People started gathering around and it terrified Kavya more . She was so terrified that she hid her face in her palm.

Vicky reached there in time and found Kavya panic stricken amid the crowd. He didn’t lose a second and took the situation in his hands.

He got down from his bike and yelled at the crowd, “She is with me!” Within a few strides he stood right in front of her.

Kavya heard a familiar voice. She opened her eyes slowly and was curious to find a guy standing in front of her with his back towards her. His broad shoulders shielded her completely from the crowd.

“I will take care of it. Just don’t worry.” He stated.

Kavya remembered the voice. It was of the same guy in the parking she had met a few minutes ago. But his voice sounded so authoritive now.

He spoke something to the driver and he went away without saying  another word. The crowd too disbursed immediately.

He then turned back to face Kavya. “Are you alright?” He looked concerned.

Kavya looked into those eyes once more but could not hold his gaze for more than a few seconds. She was ashamed of her rudeness earlier. She nodded looking down.16445177980_40092b40ae_b

Vicky bent down and picked up her bag from the road. He looked around for her scooty. It stood a few meters away. Someone in the crowd might have picked it up. He went to check it. He started the engine and it roared. He looked at Kavya who was still standing there where he had left her. The rain water washing off the mud stains off her fair skin. He then noticed that she was shivering.

He came over to her and took off his rain jacket and offered it to her.

“Your scooty is fine.” He informed her.

Kavya remained silent. She knew she couldn’t make it home alone but she didn’t have the courage to say it. She started weeping.

“Damn! No! What happened? I am sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you anyway.” He was confused.

Between her sobs Kavya said, “No I am sorry for my rudeness. Please take me home. I can’t ride my scooty.”

There was silence for a moment.

Kavya wasn’t sure anymore what to expect and Vicky was speechless hearing her words. How much he had waited for a moment like this and now he was zapped. He could feel the blood draining his ears and cheeks red as his heart raced.

Then she heard him say. “Don’t worry about your scooty. I will get it picked up by my friend. Come on lets go.”

Kavya followed him quietly to his bike and pillion rode the entire way to her house in Noida. Nobody spoke in between. They spoke only for directions.

Kavya was still in shock and Vicky too cautious of her nearness to him. And it drizzled all the way.

When Vicky stopped the bike in front of her apartment Kavya got down and throwing a small, “Thank you,” behind her ran inside without looking back.

Vicky stood there watching her enter the building. He looked up towards the sky and a smile swept his lips while the rain drops splashed on his face. He started the engine and biked all the way home in super speed.