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Review for ‘Under The Shade of the Banyan Tree’

Hi friends!

I’m very excited to share with you an excellent review for my new book ‘Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree’ from US review:–

“I am the mistress of my own destiny.”

The author’s unique work takes its audience on a voyage. The journey begins in the banyan tree’s shade, where ‘Gods recline and meditate’ beneath the tree that, in every Indian village, is the center of activity. Then one wanders into loneliness, that ever-present friend who asks, ‘Where would you be without me?’ From there, the reader encounters daughters and strangers, wars and tyrants, until one finds the lone koi who declares defiantly, ‘I am the mistress of my own destiny.’ As the journey ends, one experiences romances and losses, rants and insights, strong women who continue finding their voices and places in their relationships, the conquering of everyday mundanity, the depiction of everyday items, and love that is found in even the smallest actions.

This book propels readers into the philosophical, the social, and the cultural by fusing poetry, art, and short fiction narratives that depict the everyday lives and existence of characters, animals, figures, and objects. In short verses that jar readers to examine their own existences and beliefs, the poems in this book serve as quiet meditations that ease and distract readers from the hectic, workaholic lives so many live. The short fiction narratives interspersed throughout the collection cleanse the palate by offering a small serving of humanity, promise, and hope. The sketch-like artwork incorporated throughout makes one contemplate the ties between art, literature, and life without superimposing an interpretation on the piece accompanying the art. Thus, this unconventional yet intriguing work becomes a meditational reading. Fans of poets like Nefy will truly appreciate this book.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review of Books

All the reason for you to get a copy. Available as both Ebook and Paperback!

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‘Home’ (A Short Story)

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A Life Worth Living 2: When

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1: Turn

When it began, I had no clue what it was or what I was in for.

I’d been up all night running tests on my final solar battery model and getting all excited with the results when a sudden sharp electric pain shot down the outside of my left arm and I yelled out. It was a cry—equally of surprise because I hadn’t done anything to cause it. Instinctively, I rubbed my elbow when I felt a burning sensation. As if I’d stuck my arm inside the fireplace. It was so intense that I burst into a sweat. I cradled my arm and rushed into the kitchen and grabbed one of Ruhi’s readymade ice packs from the freezer (the ones she used for her frequent headaches even though her OB had told her it was okay to take Tylenol in her condition but my darling wife didn’t want to take any chance with the health of our baby). The shock of cold did help ease the agony a slght degree that I was able to examine my arm to see if I’d been bitten by a spider or something else. We were getting an extension built – an extra room and bath for Ruhi’s parents and in the process a lot of the yard had been dug up. Besides, it was summertime, and the bugs were starting to show up everywhere.

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Milan (A Wedding Story) Chap 9: 4 Weeks..

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Chapter 8

Chap 9: 4 Weeks..

—o—

Mili woke up with a start. It took awhile for her to get oriented. Sitting on the bed, her limbs entangled in the mussed up sheets, she waited for her pulse to slow down, while watching the tiny fragments of dust float in the rays of the morning sun.

It had been a restless night; of memories and dreams, real and unreal; of realizations; of flights of fancy, the very notion of which made her burn with mortification.

Why had Ahaan told her all that he had? How would she be able to face him now, without imagining herself in his arms? How would she be able to dispel such thoughts from her head? He had completely upset her equilibrium and she hated him for it!

A loud knock at the door made her jump.

“What is it?” Mili called out irritably. She was just getting settled into an imaginary argument with Ahaan.

Kiran stepped in, “beta (child), what’s going on? Do you have any idea what time it is?”

“Maa…I…I,” Mili’s eyes sought the clock as she tried hard to shield her agitation, “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize…I must have overslept…”

But Kiran was shrewd. Little escaped her doting mother’s eyes, but whatever she saw pleased her. Sitting on the bed, she pulled her daughter gently into her arms, “I have news for you…”

“`
4 weeks…

Mili stood in front of the floor length mirror, and contemplated herself. But instead of an image of a beautiful young woman on the brink of life, she could only see a tangled mess of nerves. With trembling hands she drew her muslin scarf  over her head and was suddenly startled by the sound of something heavy scraping against the window sill.

It was Ahaan holding a medium sized terracotta pot.

“What are you doing here?” She demanded, quite rattled.

“Since I wasn’t able to go hunting for wildflowers today, I chose to pick something from your own garden. I hope you don’t mind,” he said with a rueful grin.

“But why the whole pot and not just a flower?”

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‘None of Your Business’

How many women are around there for who plough through every day with broken hearts? For whom marriage has lost it’s meaning. Many I’d say. But not Ruhi Sharma:)

 

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Like it? Want to read more about what my gutsy heroine did? How did she turn her fortunes around?

Then you better buy a copy of Inconvenient Relations and it’s sequel Now and Forever. Available now on Amazon and Kindle. Links below 🙂

 

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Milan (A Wedding Story) Chap 8: Revelations

Chapter 7

It took some time for Ahaan and Mili to get out of the forest. The dense canopy, which almost completely filtered out the light, impeded their progress considerably, causing Mili to stumble several times. Finally at Ahaan’s insistence she accepted his arm and was nearly carried the rest of the way.

“Thanks.” Mili murmured detaching herself, once back on the road.

“My pleasure. We should do this more often.” he replied, grinning when he saw her cheeks blaze with color.

They strolled back, savoring this new found companionship–the lovely formative phase of a brand new relationship which was supposed to last a lifetime. Mili almost wanted to skip with delight. She curbed the instinct with difficulty. It won’t do for me to appear undignified and childish in front of Ahaan. Though he has probably formed that impression already, she thought, unhappily recalling the events from earlier that afternoon.

On the other hand, Ahaan was pursuing a slightly different theme. Good God! She is proving to be quite a handful; a very beautiful one though. I’ll have to keep my wits around all the time in order to survive.  Still, I bet I’m going to enjoy every single moment!

A surreptitious glance found her aiming a vehement kick at a pebble. His hands itched to reach out and pull her into his arms. He stuck them into his pockets instead. Damn this life!

“Ahaan…!”

Startled, he looked up. The object of his preoccupation was beaming at him.

“Guess where we are…”

His vision followed her outstretched arm. Of their own accord their feet had taken them down a familiar path, one which led to their old Alma Mater.

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Available Now! Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree

The wait is over! My new book Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree–Poems, Rants and Short Stories is Available Now in paperback and eBook.

Synopsis: Life is not about achieving perfection, it’s about reconciling with your imperfections.

Poems are fragments of life. Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree is a unique poetry collection for women, there are blissful moments; deep, invisible wounds; cries for help; declarations of defiance and philosophical observations. The poems and prose pieces compiling the collection are fragments of life elucidating the different phases of the human condition. This book will leave readers wanting for more and have a deep impact on women of all ages.

You will certainly enjoy this book as I’m speak here from the heart. Beautifully illustrated you will find in this book many of life’s truths, in the form of poems and stories. Here I share a piece of me and I’m sure you’ll find in it a piece of you.

Order your copies here!–

The Color of my DNA

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The color of my DNA is brown.  I’m conditioned to despise it and assign labels to it– including but not limited to- low status, bad character, poor hygiene and scant education if any. And this is how it all began.

My mother is fair complexioned while I’m not. ‘Tumhari ladki kaali hai’ or ‘your girl is black or dark’ was a common remark I came across which my mother rushed to correct; ‘no, her color is gehua’ i.e ‘wheatish’ as if to provide me solace. It didn’t. Not really. Because I’d been labelled and it was drilled into me from as long as I can remember. Over and over. not necessarily in an accusatory rather in a matter of fact manner. Yes, my color is dark, meaning I’m not fair, or pretty or beautiful etc. And everyone knows how important it is for a girl to be ‘pretty’ in our society. I don’t think the intention was to put me down as many members of this ‘color’ club were very dear to me including my own mother. But it had its effect. I began to believe I was lacking. That I was inferior to my fair counterparts. I used to compare myself with others all the time. Often, I’d align the back of my arm with my mother’s hoping to see a change. I did try a couple of creams and soaps but gave up soon enough as they had no effect.

Fortunately, this ‘anomaly’ of mine remained a mere irritant. I wanted to make something out of myself. I was good in both academics and extracurricular activities and generally I got my way. So, even though I was insecure about my looks I didn’t let it hinder my progress. I realized very soon that color has nothing to do with beauty or character or competence. Working as a physician in the west I also discovered how color segregates people and turns them against each other and negates all the progress that humankind has made. Today I feel enriched interacting with people from different backgrounds and cultures and I realize how shallow and abhorrent it is to judge someone based simply on their skin color.

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