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.

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.