Book Trailer Coming Soon : The Clockmaker

While my book is with the editor I have something to share with you all.

Book Trailer COMING SOON!

Book Title: The Clockmaker (The Jungle Series Book 1)

Genre: #Paranormal #Supernatural

Releasing date:  Sep 2018

Follow the book facebook page for updates

 

 

the clock Maker

 

The Clockmaker

Read an excerpt

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Excerpt: The Wedding Gift (A short story)

She stood in front of her murderer, a lifeless body, listening to every word he spoke with utter attention. As if he was chanting some mantra of her destruction. When he finally ended, Nirmala couldn’t feel the ground beneath her feet. The world spun in front of her eyes and she tried to hold on to something, probably his arms, to stop her from falling down. But then, he had already turned his back towards her and was moving towards the door. She couldn’t let him just go. The act was not yet over. It was her turn now.

Nobody walks away with murder.

Releasing on      5th Feb 2018, on Amazon, Kindle Unlimited, KU.

Mark your calendar.

 

The Wedding Gift-2

My Year Round Up 2017

And this is what I have been doing the year through.

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January

My new release book Grow Up Messy is showered with love from readers and critics alike. Especial mention here would be for Ahana, my youngest reader so far. She disliked my cover instantly saying its very childish (Considering herself quite grown up for a ten year old) but loved the adventures Misry went through in the book. Although the character Misry is a naughty five year old yet her thoughts are more of a ten year old child. Hence the book is targeted for the middle grade and young adults. The book was loved by the parents and kids alike.

Watched  Poorna, a film by Rahul Bose with the kids of my kids club. They had a fantastic time in the Inox theater with popcorn cold drinks and a very inspiring story of Poorna, an underprivileged girl who became the youngest girl to scale the mount Everest.

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February

A family reunion time. Had been to a wedding at my hometown and was nostalgic as always. Memories freshened up visiting all the old folks and cousins. How can one stay away from family for sooo long I still wonder? Family is the pillar of strength for many of us yet work keep us moving to new places. Sigh!

A short trip to Sunderban was a big surprise packet. Sunderban trip was a very different experience. Chilly winds in the morning didn’t stop us from traveling in a mid-sized trawler boat in the cold water of the Sunderban delta that comprises of confluence of Padma, Meghna and Brahmaputra river right before the Bay of Bengal sea. The mangroves which is the natural habitat of the Royal Bengal Tigers were the biggest attraction for us. Throughout the time we were on the boat our eyes were on the lookout for the King of this land. However, we were not that fortunate. We spent the entire day on the cruise eating lavish food like crabs, prawns and other sea fish prepared in the boat itself. Bengalis need nothing more in life after that.

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Tribal girls ready for Jhumar dance

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PS I still have to document my trip on my YouTube and blog. Sigh!

Valentine Day gave me a new surprise. No not my husband. But my son and his pranks. The Day of Love celebrated in a different way. You can read it here.

March

With school holidays set in I didn’t have time for myself anymore. My life and time devoted to the kid’s demand. What a hectic month it had been. With almost all his friends taking examinations D had nobody but me to give him company. I literally had to hunt play mates for him. Finally got him enrolled in badminton classes. And I was stuck with his schedule. While waiting for his training class to be over I made couple of new friends and discovered many new things this small city offered. Especially trips to Malviya Road increased and window shopping turned out to be our favorite pastime. Learning new recipes and bitching about other girlfriends turned out to be another favorite timepass we  women loved to indulge in.

Had been part of writing festival organized by Blogchatter. It was three months of interaction online interaction with aspiring writers and bloggers through twitter chat and facebook live. Here is one of my articles on How to write your first novel.

April

With the temperature raising every single day the thoughts never got a chance to evolve in the mind. I started with the other stories of the Jungle Series besides The Clockmaker. For some reason this series was taking forever to be published. Initially I had ten short story collection and that’s how I promoted my upcoming book. I approached the publishing houses. But nobody was interested to pick up short stories collection from a not so well known author like me.  So I indulged myself in redrafting my stories into a full fledged novel. And it took me another six to eight months to actually finish it.

the clock Maker

 

May

Again a busy month with the kids. My Kids Club had Summer Camp and the days were pretty adventurous. We had a visit to the Post Office, Space Mission, best out of waste and even had a lemonade stall in the busy market place run by the kids. It had been a freaky month with temperature outside reaching 46 degrees centigrade and inside almost touching 50 degrees centigrade with the kids laughter.

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Kids posting handwritten letters to their grandparents

A few things in life has changed me completely and Aakaar, an initiative by the sanskriti department in my part of world is one of them. I got the privileged of learning Madhubani Art from the renowned artist Shrimati Shanti Devi, who has represeImage may contain: 3 people, people sittingnted India in my countries regarding this Indian art form. I am in the kindergarten again and playing with brush after almost thirty years and its like homecoming for me. As a guru she passed on her passion to all of us however we could absorb just a tinge of it. We are all praise for her and her passion for bringing her imagination on the canvas. She says every art has a story. Madhubani or Mithila art was started by Raja Janak to document his daughter Sita’s wedding on the canvas and later the Ramayana. It is a rural art form and was hidden from the world all those years until Bihar was struck with massive earthquake and the paintings were revealed. Keeping up the tradition alive is this acclaimed artist whose wall art has been Image may contain: one or more people and people sittingincorporated on the national museum Delhi. However, it is really painful to see an artist of this caliber being deprived of the samman, respect, which she deserves. She has been part of the project for the last ten years yet few students know her name or even bother to know more about her as an artist. Being a rural woman she doesn’t know internet and hence is not aware of promoting her work on online platforms. She also shared that folk artists are not treated well within the country whereas outside India, people really appreciate their work and give the due respect. I have been offline for a almost twenty days now and she had transferred me to a magical world. A world of gobar handmade canvas over which one takes the flight of imagination and imprints the lines with brush and colorful pallets. Sharing some of her renowned work.

June

Had a two days story telling session with the school kids. I narrated two stories from my new release Grow Up Messy! The students enjoyed the stories very much or maybe they enjoyed the story telling more. They were pretty surprised to know about ebook. Most didn’t like reading books and those who did knew about paperbacks only. However, I was more surprised to know that the kids knew nothing about the armed forces of our country. Since Grow Up Messy! has a military background I had to explain them the basics first. Due to time crunch it was very difficult to make them understand the nature of job these people do. I wish school had a few more sessions where the children could know more about these organizations in our country. Unfortunately, we emphasize more on the career prospects rather than learning.
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Students enjoying after the session

With the arrival of the monsoons we had a short summer retreat to Kanha National Park to meet the Royal Bengal Tiger. We were unfortunate again. We didn’t get a glimpse of the tiger. However, we learned a lot of things about the area. Kanha is situated in Madhya Pradesh and is one of the first Tiger projects in the country started here in 1974.

 

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Jeep Safari at Kanha National Park

July

Watched Lipstic Under my Burkha.This is the first movie I watched with my friends after marriage. Otherwise I would always end up watching Rowdy Rathore or Wonder girl in the theater with my family. Movies of my choice was seldom chosen by family and finally when they did, they slept off while I watched. So LUMB was kind of special for me. Firstly, because of its theme and secondly because of my daring. lol
You can read about my movie moments here.
Our anniversary month. after leading a nomadic life we finally took a step together in settling down eventually.

August

My music lessons started. It was so refreshing to be back in college feeling like a new adult again. Gazals, poems and geet took most part of my day. I also got a chance to perform on stage in chorus in Saraswati vandana too on one occasion occupying the last corner place in the crowd of singers. It was fun. My love for Urdu poetry was rejuvenated here.  I was once more smitten by Urdu Shayars and one of them is the poet Bashir Bhardra. Once again I started writing Hindi poems.  You can read my poems here.
My kids club got a chance to perform on occasion of Independence Day in the most happening place of the city. The kids staged a Hindi drama, Aazadi- Ek Ehsaaas, written and directed by me. And also show themselves in various avatars of the patriotic personalities in fancy dress program. Thankfully all went well and we got covered in various newspaper as one of the fabulous event of the city on the occasion.
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Had a small trip to Chitrakoot water falls, the Nigra falls of India. With the monsoons in full swing it was a spectacular sight.
Had an opportunity to trek to the tribal goddess cave of Gond tribe in a remote village in Rajim.
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Gond Tribe worship place

September

Full fledged preparations for Durga Puja celebrations. For the first

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Bengali comedy Drama

time I was directing a Bengali Natak, Sashi Babur Biyer Swopno, (Shashi Babu’s wedding dreams) written by me.

I had an amateur team of adults to play the roles. And it was not easy to handle them because they all considered me as amateur which I certainly was. However, after working with kids I found it very difficult to work with adults. They had huge ego which got crushed on a slightest budge. Sigh! Nevertheless we staged the show on the specified date and thankfully got appreciated too. All well that ends well. So this drama gave me lots of confidence to stage more shows like this. A city which is very culturally thrived a comedy drama like this one is always appreciated.

October

My first self edit was doing better now. My thoughts were much clearer and my work crispier than before. Meanwhile I also penned couple of Hindi micro poems that had been appreciated by the Hindi speaking community here. October was a month of self discovery for me. I had shut myself off from everything both online and offline. Book ideas and music were the only two things that stayed with me in a positive way. It was a very stressful month for me otherwise.

November

Was more of a socializing month for me. Got an opportunity to see stage performance of Chhattisgarhi lokgeet artists, LokChaya. It was an altogether new experience for me.
Had an opportunity to be part of a Inter school  literary fest held in one of the renowned schools of the city.

December

My birthday month and I share it with my book baby Grow Up Messy! A delight to be loved by kids and parents alike. Misry gathered rave reviews from her readers throughout the year. The second part, The Sibling Saga, is awaited eagerly.
We had a cricket match in our kids club. The parents also joined in and spent a beautiful Sunday morning fielding or bowling in the ground while the kids slashed fours and sixers. Our umpire a newly retired director of the state health department did full justice to his role.
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Posing after the match

Christmas is again being a Santa and bring a smile on people’s face. Collecting unused and old clothes, books, toys and other essentials and distributing to the needy is what our kids club has been doing on regular basis. Visiting oldage homes, orphanage, missionaries is what we have been doing consecutively the last three years. Glad to share that more people are joining hands for this cause.
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Kids interacting with the seniors in the OldAge Home

In the end, I would like to thank all my readers, followers, critics, reviewers, author friends, buddy writers and well wishers and also those who haven’t read me yet, someday you will.  You guys have encouraged me to write more and try new things in the world of fantasy and fiction. Without your support the journey would  not have been possible at all.
This year ends with a beginning for a new year with lots of hopes for all of us. Wish all your dreams come true and mine too.
2017 has been an year of  self discovery for me. Hopefully 2018 shall be one of implementation.

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

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.