And I came across the king…

Isn’t it strange? I have been watching his movies chewing my nails with my eyes rolling around most of the time to see if there was anyone standing right behind me. Gosh! Scary horror movies have always been my favorite time pass during my school summer vacation. Not that I knew about many English directors or Hollywood actors but they had this thrill in their horror movies which I always found missing in our Bollywood movies. Even the famous  Zee TV show of Ramsay Production didn’t excite as did most of the Hollywood horror movies.

I am more of a visual person and hence what I have seen once in safely saved in my memory. And one such memory is of Pet Sematary. It was the story of a family that had shifted to a new home and just when you thought everything was going perfect all hell broke loose. For weeks I was so disturbed by the movie that I could hardly sleep at night. Even strange was I had picked up the movie just by its title. I had no idea about the actors or director of the movie. It was only the title that drew my attention. Those were the days when we use to watch videos in VCP in our bedroom with all the curtains of the windows drawn in to darken the room when it was broad daylight outside. Most of the times it was me and my sisters insanely staring at the TV screen to see what would be the next scene. A slight knock on the door would startle us like anything and nights use to scare the hell of us.

Today after so many decades, I watched a movie trailer on Facebook that was shared by one of my friends. It was of the upcoming movie “IT” written by Stephen King, The king of horror. I have never read Stephen King but today the trailer made me fall in love with his work. He is a terrific storyteller. And then my search for his other work started  on the internet. I came across Pet Sematary and I remembered how it had left me frightened for weeks. So I may not have read his books but his movies did keep me hitched. Like this time it was the trailer of IT.

I am trying my hands on supernatural, paranormal this time. And sincerely hope that I may  incite similar feelings in my reader with my work. Wish me good luck!

 

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A still from the movie Pet Sematary

The Clock Maker : Excerpt #1 (#paranormal)

the clock Maker

Here is a small #excerpt from my upcoming book

The wind blew and the swaying tree top sang to its tune humming slowly. The temperature had dropped down considerably since the sunset. It was pretty usual in this part due to the rocky terrain of the Aravalis mountain ranges. The days are pretty hotter and the nights colder.

Bauji stretched his hands over fire. The warm of the fire felt very good on his palm. He drew his palm over his face to feel the warmth. It felt like heaven. He was glad that at least he was not going to die of cold in this jungle.

The man got up to put some more wood in the fire. Bauji watched him over the fire flames. He stood pretty tall for a six feet man. His black cloak almost touched the ground as he walked with a long stride towards the pile of woods.  As he tossed the wood in the fire the wind blew, hugging his cloak to his well built physique. The light from the fire brightened up slightly but still wasn’t enough to catch a glimpse of the face that remain hidden within the hood. The aura around him was very mysterious as he sat done on the rock again almost camouflaged to the darkness behind. He just didn’t seem to belong to this world.

Catch me LIVE at 9:30pm (IST)

Hello friends.

I am pretty new to it and I won’t say no I am not nervous. In fact I am very comfortable behind the lens. I feel I can capture more. However, there are times when you need to come out of your shell and share your experiences which can help some one do better.

So here I am associated with the BLOGCHATTER community, which is a blogging community in India and have  lots of aspiring writers and bloggers from various field. You can say its a platform where many can connect and your blog gets visibility.

So this community is organizing three month writing festival starting from March till May with the April participating in the AtoZchallenge 2017 as a host too. So I am very fortunate to be part of this writing festival with eight more buddy authors who have made their mark with their recent releases.

So join me tonight at 9:30pm on facebook live at

https://www.facebook.com/blogchatter/

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A small chat about my writing work and my new book.

This post first appeared in

https://shillonggal.blogspot.in/2017/02/author-interview-paromita-goswami.html

In conversation with Paromita Goswami 

Grow Up Messy is a story of a 5-year-old girl Misry who is called as Messy by everyone because of the mess she creates. Misry father has a job which makes him change cities frequently.

The story is from the point of view of Messy which shows her innocence and guile. Messy is a ball of anxiousness and excitement which causes a ruckus and hence she got coined as Messy.

  • How did you come up with the idea? Were you like Misry as a child?

Throughout the story it is cute and sweet moments of a mother-daughter relationship in which makes the read more enjoyable.

Every child wants to be like Misry, akka Messy. She is free like a bird and curious like a cat. My inspiration of penning down this beautiful story is for the kids of today’s generation. They are so piled up in their studies pressure or are gazette freak that they don’t know what they are missing in life. The story is set in an era, the early eighties, when there was no television set in most of our homes.

Was I like Misry as a child? Misry lives in every adult who had experienced an  adventurous childhood and I am one of them.

  • Are there parenting lessons in Misry’s tale?

She lives with her father Anurag, a paramilitary border security force (B.S.F) personnel, and mother, Madhavi, in the border out post (BOP) camp near Indo-Bangladesh border in West Bengal, India.

Misry’s tale has lots of such moments which a parent can easily relate to. As a Mom I too wondered if it was okay to do that with my child. For example,

Misry’s character in the book Grow Up Messy! is that of an innocent child who depends more on her mother for her smaller needs. The best part is she expects her mother to know everything like a superwoman. She believes there is nothing which her Ma cannot do or hasn’t seen. So when she requests her mother to make Pinjiri, something which she had tasted for the first time elsewhere, it never occurred to her that Ma might not know about its preparation.

You can read more such facts about the book in my website:

https://paromitagoswami.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/fun-facts-about-the-book-grow-up-messy-the-writing-journey/

  • That is an interesting setting. Tell us how you came up with it?

Cramped in two or three bedroom Apartment in a metro city with hardly any space for the children to play outside compelled me to look for an alternate setting. It is the fact today. Children either end up playing in the street or parking areas.

They say playground is the best teacher. So I made the setting of my book vast. And there can be no better way than the villages and the sleepy smaller towns near a metro city.

Since I am Bengali, Kolkata is my first choice of a metro city. And idealizing a place nearby the big city was never a problem as I had been there many times to meet my extended family. So that’s how Misry’s Dadu’s house came into my mind, a sleepy town on the outskirts of Howrah. And the setting of B.S.F campus is also inspired by my real life experience as I grew up in that environment. In both the settings I used the facts more that fantasy as I believe that makes the plot more real.

  • Writing fiction that caters to the children and the young readers is a steep challenge. What made you choose the genre?

“Choose the genre”, a very good question Paulami. Thanks for putting it up. Actually I don’t write genre specific books. I am more inclined towards the story or the plot. So when Messy was penned I had no doubts that it would be equally liked by both children and adult. Something that each of us as adults still remember doing in your childhood.

One happy hilarious moment when we can be a child again – Grow Up Messy!

Yes of course,  when writing for children and young readers there is certain criteria that you have to keep in mind. Although the book, Grow Up Messy! is from a child’s perspective, it has been very much appreciated by the adults too.

  • You also run the Raipur Little Minds Book Reading Club. Tell us something about this.

I started this club to enhance reading habits in children. Print media is one thing today’s kids in our part of world don’t enjoy. Because it takes effort to understand and visualize when you read a book which in case of electronic media is effortless. And mostly kids take that way as they are spending more time getting ready for the rat race in their near future. Courtesy is us , the adults, parents. We want them to do just about everything and that too fast, even gulping a glass of milk. So they take easy when they are left alone. So easy that picking a book and reading for mere pleasure looks very tiring.

I would like to share an incident here. On my son’s birthday, I gave each of the invited child Amar Chitra Katha Comics as return gift. I was very excited when I was distributing it, remembering my childhood times when I use to share it with my friends. But I was in for a surprise. None of children were ready to go home. I told them the birthday party was over. They replied they were waiting for the return gift. I just gave you that I said. Their answer shocked me.

“It’s no gift. It’s a book.”

I had no doubts that I had to start the reading club and it has been an year since then.

  • Your previous book Shamsuddin’s Grave has a very different plotline and is a completely different genre. Tell us something about Shamsuddin’s Grave.

Shamsuddin’s Grave is different zone completely. It’s more of a  tear jerker. A book based on critical issue of illegal migrants from Bangladesh in Assam. The book talks about the scenario of today’s issue in the state of Assam. The setting of the book is in Guwahati and how this issue along with many other is affecting its people. It is a social drama based on the lives of two people – one is Shamsuddin, the daily wager who moved into the city for a better living and another is Latika, the N.G.O activist who is back home after a shattered personal life. How their paths cross and intermingle on the wide canvas where so many shades colours from the palette of today’s life  paint their life, sometimes deep, sometimes light.

You can know more about the book from the goodread reviews.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24923650-shamsuddin-s-grave

  • Tell us about the rebel Paromita Goswami. Something crazy that you have done.

Laughs. Rebel yeah! So here it goes.

One day while returning from office I took a cycle rickshaw to reach home early. Usually I walked home. Certainly not for doing exercise but for saving money. It was a time when I lived on my own and even a single penny counted. My father didn’t approve my decision of moving out of the house and so I knew I had to fend on my own no matter what. So I always kept that in mind.

So that very day, this guy whose cycle rickshaw I had boarded was pissed off for some reason. He was muttering under his breath all the way but brought me safely to my place. It was a fifteen rupees ride.  I gave him a twenty rupees note and waited for him to give me back the five rupees change. But he didn’t. I knew he was overcharging cause I mostly take rickshaw ride while on my way to the office. I asked him and he said the rates had changed. We had an argument. I don’t mind giving tips for good service but this man was trying to steal my money and I couldn’t let him do that. I didn’t get down from the rickshaw. It stood right in front of my gate but I didn’t get down.

Looking at my intentions the man started pulling crowd to gain sympathy saying  how an educated girl like me was ruining his daily business. I saw the crowd looking at me with questioning eyes. But I didn’t get down. When they started asking me I said upfront the man was cheating me. Luckily, most of the people in the crowd were Rickshaw boarders like me and took my side. The man ultimately had to pay me back the extra money he had taken.

Sometimes when I still remember that incident I laugh out loud now.

Message for new writers.

Enjoy your writing. Don’t get influenced by what others are writing. If you have a story inside you then don’t hesitate to bring it out. Someone somewhere is waiting to read it.

Book Review Grow Up Messy! by Kala Ravi Sarathy

The post first appeared on

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1889117796?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

A delightful, heart-warming book that traces the journey of an impish little girl, Misry aka Messy. The stories are set in eastern India and carry a waft of the rural, simple life of an era gone by. Misry is impetuous, curious and often rebellious and one cannot help but fall in love with this adorable child’s antics. The parents have been essayed so realistically, one can readily identify with their dismay, tenderness, annoyance and more in response to their little daughter’s ventures. The language is fluid and the plots are quintessential to an East-Indian setting from the 1980’s. The character portrayals, the vivid narration, the peek into traditional rituals and customs, the overall earthiness and thought-provoking little adventures of little Messy make for a lovely read suitable for both young children and parents. A light-read that makes you go warm, fuzzy and nostalgic! 2

How much transparency is needed for our Armed forces?

The post first appeared on

http://www.ddsreviews.in/2017/01/Transperency-Armed-Forces.html?spref=fb

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost – How much transparency is needed for our Armed forces? by Paromita Goswami

When I wrote the book Grow Up Messy! I mentioned in details about the life of personnel working in Border Security Force. My chest always swells with pride whenever I read the scenes in the book. My father worked in B.S.F and hence I was brought up in that environment. It really helped me in shaping me up as a responsible citizen of my country. I have a special corner in my heart for the people in the armed forces. There was a time when I too wanted to join the uniform cadets however, I was destined to do something else. We will talk about it later.

The recent video of a B.S.F jawan that went viral on the internet and that which has really shaken the faith in the olive and khaki uniforms has really hurt me too. The video was about the quality of the cooked meal supplied to the Jawans at the border. It showed burned Rotis, Dal, without Tadka and all. And in my book, I have a complete chapter how Misry loved the Langar ka Tadka Dal.

Here is the excerpt:

Misry relished food prepared in the langar. First, the food had a manly touch unlike her mother cooking at home, which meant more oil, more spices and “Tadka”. And second, the food was cooked in huge chulha unlike the L.P.G gas cylinder at home and so the food had a different aroma and taste to it.

The Jawans had a special liking for Misry. Her presence and innocent questions reminded them of their children back at home, whom they missed very much. They loved to have her around and treated her like one of their children.

One of the cooks had also made a small bench and table for her to sit and eat with the rest of the platoon. The Head Cook knew about Misry’s love for langar food so he separated a small portion for her and added his special spices to it.

If I have to believe this video then I must say it was never so bad earlier. However, I understand things have changed over the years. The Jawans might be too stressed out defending the peace for our country just as we do while meeting our deadlines. Has life really changed so much? In the Video, Teg Bahadur has blamed his senior officers for selling off the ration that is distributed to them by the government. Can this really happen? Can someone even think of making money in this manner? If it were true then can that person be really termed as a patriot serving the armed forces to serve the nation? I don’t think so.  Such traitors need not be in any armed forces.

Every officer has a big responsibly of motivating his men so that they remain stress-free while standing in the first line of defense.  Every grudge of a Jawan,  no matter how small it maybe, is first dealt with these officers. It is his duty to see that his men are well taken care of unless of course, he is a victim of this bad practice too.

Not all officers are corrupt but those who are, they are really putting the lives of civilians at a big risk. And eventually the security of the country. I have only one question for them –What good is your money earned by corrupt means if the nation does not survive. Of course, India is very strong for this handful of corrupt people for we are the people of the country that has a big history of legends and no one can shake that trust off us be it money or fame.

However,  I do feel there should be more transparency in our armed forces too. With the growing technology, everything is visible now like this viral video. So why not make our procuring system and recruitment in the armed forces more transparent. Let the Jawans know how well they are being treated.

Another Video is of a CRPF Jawan who questions the facilities enjoyed by the paramilitary and the Central Armed police Force. When the risk is same then why not the facility. Let the parameters for selection be the same in both the forces. Earlier, when the Central Armed Police Force was established its main duty of line was restricted to only certain areas just like the B.S.F.

After Chinese aggression in 1962 in India B.S.F was established on 1st December 1965, to safeguard the international land and water borders of the country only. However, over the years their line of duty has changed. The B.S.F personnel is now doing all kinds of other duties besides guarding the international border. So why have their facilities not changed?

My book Grow Up Messy! is dedicated to BSF fathers who crave to watch their child grow.

No child would love to see their father so much in pain due to food condition or due to the lack of facilities. It is at a time when the men working in the forces should be heard.

P.S  To enter the #Giveaway please follow the above mentioned link.

Book Review Grow Up Messy! by Mahima

This post first appeared in

https://incorrigiblemusings.wordpress.com/2017/01/18/grow-up-messy/

The Review:

 

Grow Up Messy is a story of a 5-year-old girl Misry who is called as Messy by everyone because of the mess she creates. Misry father has a job which makes him change cities frequently.

The story is from the point of view of Messy which shows her innocence and guile. Messy is a ball of anxiousness and excitement which causes a ruckus and hence she got coined as Messy.

Throughout the story it is cute and sweet moments of a mother-daughter relationship in which makes the read more enjoyable. Apart from the adventures of Messy, the story depicts the day to day lives and sacrifices of army personnel and their families.

A book worth reading as it gets you to take a trip down the memory lane to your childhood which we often forget when as we get old.

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Book Review Grow Up Messy! by Author Devika Fernando

As posted in Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33089831-grow-up-messy

I don’t often read children’s books, but off and on, I’ll make an exception for a friend. And I’m glad I gave “Grow Up Messy” a chance, because it is a delightful read that manages to capture an adult’s attention and even heart just as easily as a child’s.

The story follows five-year-old Misry alias Messy through her life, giving us glimpses of her daily routine and the family dynamics as well as offering startling and sparkling surprises of a child’s mind. The author manages to make the book entertaining and light-hearted with a tinge of humor on the one hand, and thought-provoking on the other hand. Through the stories with a moral (and with their apt end that fits right in with the title) we learn about society and how it should and should not treat children. We are immersed in how India deals with education and social norms, in what is expected of good little girls, and how far a little imagination can take a child. Misry is adorable and spunky, and I grew to love her mother too. The descriptions make the setting and characters come alive, and there is just the right amount of realistic dialogue.

“Grow Up Messy” would make a lovely read for a mother or even to read out loud to a child in a similar age. I can even imagine some of the chapters being valuable for teaching in schools.
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The inspiration behind my new book Grow Up Messy!

This post originally appeared at
What is the inspiration behind my new book Grow Up Messy!?

I always find my ten years old enjoying the cartoon programs on the television channels. Sometimes I also sit down next to him to watch the show. It is so good to watch him so excited especially when the cartoon characters are out on an adventure. My son would be fidgeting or squealing along with the background music. I wondered what was so special about these stories –  Chota Bheem running in the forest looking for his friends who are abducted or Nobita again stuck up somewhere with Doraemon’s gadgets or Motu and Patlu flying up in the air when kicked by the boxer. If that was not enough there is the Ben10 using all sorts of gadgets to save the alien attack.

No matter what the plot was the children enjoyed it and are glued in front of the television set for hours at stretch. And it is not at all good for their health. It is a very common site to find a very young child in specs due to eyesight problem these days. However, it was a very rare sight a few decades back. Even children sitting indoors at home was a rare sight.

Most of our childhood days were spent outdoors having fun with friends. And even today they are our best memories. There was so much we could do and so much we could see and learn from experience.

However, as parents now, we hardly allow our children to learn from their experience. We are always telling them what is right and what is wrong and on top of that, they have a limited time to do what they actually want to do, play.  Homework, tuitions, curricular activities, swimming session, dance session, karate classes the list is endless. By the end of the day, the child is completely tired, of course with physical exertion, however not because the child had been doing what he or she wanted to do but what we wanted him or her to do.

This is mostly due to two reasons, FEAR and QUALITY TIME. We fear our child will lag behind in the rat race and hence we start equipping the child from an early stage putting in so much pressure on the little mind that they forget what they really want to do. They start looking at us for the next instruction eventually growing up into an adult who is unable to make decisions or take its responsibility. As parents, we are so busy with our career that even though we might be physically present with the child yet our mind wanders elsewhere. We fail to give the quality time. And even if we do, we restrict it to weekends or other holidays not when the child needs it most, when he gets up from sleep, when he comes back from school and when he is put to bed.

In my book, Grow Up Messy! the protagonist, Misry alias Messy, is a naughty five-year-old and she does all that she wants to do. Sometimes it is right sometimes it is wrong but whatever the end result is, she experiences it firsthand. And astonishingly these small experiences actually shape her up as she grows. Each of the chapters is like small stories interwoven which any parent can enjoy reading with their child. It is more like an adult reliving the childhood and sharing with the child. Set in the early eighties West Bengal, the book is truly inspired by the innocence of the childhood. Let them be what they want to be FOR NOW.

You can read more by following the above mentioned link.

Book Review Grow Up Messy! by Mahathi Ramya

As taken from http://www.fantasticfeathers.in/2017/01/grow-up-messy-by-paromita-goswami-book.html

This is the story of a sweet naughty 5-year-old girl Misry who is called as Messy by everyone because of the mess she creates. Misry is the daughter of Anurag who works at Border security force and thus have to move to many places due to his dad’said work assignments.

As expected, the story shows the world in the perspective of a 5-year-old, her naughtiness and her innocence. Like every other parent, her mother Madhavi sometimes says, ‘Grow up Messy’ because of the kids’ naughtiness. Also, she loves the innocence, intelligence and energy of her daughter and prays inside her heart ‘Never grow up, Messy’.

That’s very true of parenting right? Even though kids annoy us with their childish behavior, they are adorable too. We want them to become mature but worry that we miss their innocence and naughtiness. As I am already managing 2 year and 5-year-old boys, I could relate to this feeling.

More than the childhood adventures of Misry, I learned about the lifestyle and sacrifices of the families of army who protect our country day and night to keep us safe. These lines from the book are worth a mention
“Men in uniform have no time to look behind for their family. Restoring peace and harmony had always been foremost for them. Salute to their wives who are so strong willed that even in situations like these they know how to take control of themselves and let their men march away for the nation without any frown on their forehead.”
Misry is adorable and intelligent for her age. Her mother Madhavi shows good patience while managing misry and clarifying her doubts. Anurag is an ideal father and the way he deals the problem when misry stops going to school for a silly reason is very nice. The characters of misry’s dadu and dadi, pallavi mashi, honey etc are portrayed very well and make the story strong. I loved reading this book in a 5 year old perspective and would recommend this to parents as well as children. The ending felt abrupt though it says to read second part of the book series. It might have been better. The book cover and title are apt.
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