Bits From Life, Books, Creative Saturdays, fiction, Life is such, March, Publishing, Saturday Specifics, Uncategorized

Special Announcement- Shades Of Life, The Book

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Hello, fellow bloggers. With immense pleasure, I announce a very important news today. A short story anthology which carries a story of mine is all set to release on March 23rd. The book is a well thought out and diligently selected collection of short stories, which mirror a similar theme. The stories focuss on the varied hues of life, whether it be joy, love, sorrow, jubilation, success and the multitude of other emotions the days offer us in the walks of life. The journey from sending my story for the contest to this moment has been eventful with periodic emails from the editor, Sarav, who is also the one at the helm, enlightening me on the progress of the book. I have to confess that this book is close to my heart, as the story I wrote for it is one of those few stories that make me feel proud of my decision to follow my passion as a writer. Rarely is the writer is me completely satiated with my own writing and this story sure speaks volumes about my confidence in my growth as a story teller. Not simply that, there are several reasons that nudge me to vouch for this beautiful book.

1.It contains Guest stories by prolific writers, Namrata Madhira( Author of the highly acclaimed novella- Metro Diaries and Neelam Saxena Chandra, an admirable writer who holds the Limca Book of Records for having published the most number of books in a year)

2.The book is the dream project of blogger friend, Sarav, who has an enviable niche in the field of blogging. Check out his blog here and know for yourself. He is also the editer of this book. He had his stories published in several anthologies before taking up solo projects of his own. 

3.  Most of the authors who form part of the book have been published multiple times and must be familiar to the bibliphiles out there. I feel grateful to know that my story would be published along side such hugely talented personalities. 

4. More importantly, the stories garnered in this book are evocative and are beautifully crafted, which solely stands as a valid reason for anyone to pick this book to read.

The pre-order of the book has already started and you may secure a copy for yourself and your friends from Amazon at this link-   Pre order ‘Shades Of Life’

I am leaving you with the blurb of the book, along with a short excerpt from my story – He Who Loved Her. 

The Blurb

Life is a supernova of emotions, a multi-colored extravaganza and a celebration of colors that carve a way for us to be “expressive”. These colors often vary from situation to situation. They may be vibrant, bright and attractive, or even bland and gloomy. Nevertheless, they invoke the soul from within and portray the various dimensions of life.

Come and explore the various shades of life – from the lighter tones of friendship and love to the murkier hues of revenge and murder – of human beings, of how their personalities and their situations mould them into their real selves – in this anthology of prose and verse, from authors across the world, Shades of Life.

B Malini

Excerpt from my story- He Who Loved Her:

Later that day, after having his dinner, he went up to the terrace to inhale some fresh air and that was when a distressing thought struck him hard.

‘Oh! What if the Father comes to know about this? He is going to be really angry at me!’

A sullen expression spread across his face and he sat munching over the thought for minutes at a stretch. His friends sat playing carom board at the far end of the terrace, oblivious to the turmoil that was creating havoc inside him.

He looked around as a chilling breeze swished past him. The sky was revolting, partly due to the magnanimity of the twinkling stars and partly due to the full moon that adorned it with serenity. The air was calm and he felt as though the atmosphere was nudging him to move ahead with the plan sans hesitation.

“True love happened rarely and standing in the brink of one, it would in all certainty be an act of cowardice to retreat without letting her know his desire,” he thought.

“Nothing in this world can keep me from owning her. She is mine!” A rock-hard decision took form in his mind.

~~

I believe that this book would touch souls the way it aspires to and I would be more than indebted if atleast a few of my readers are inspired to chose this book from the pile of anthologies that are fleshed out in the market. 

~~

Creative Saturdays, Publishing, Saturday Specifics, Uncategorized

Excerpt- Second Chance : Saturday Specifics

So, I thought today I would publish here an excerpt from the manuscript I am working on at present. This would, roughly speaking, be the second or third draft and I feel that I still need to garnish it at places before it is brought out in the truest sense to be devoured. If you have stumbled upon this page, please feel free to go through this and leave behind your feed backs. I would love to hear from you. 

~~~

Second Chance-A short Story

www.malinymohan.net

Kartik worked as an office boy at a software company which was still in its inception stage. The better salary that he was offered, despite the fact that they had just started functioning had lured him into leaving his previous job as a conductor for a private bus owner.

 The office was accommodated in a three bedroom apartment in the heart of Mumbai. The atmosphere inside the office was comfortable and relaxed. There weren’t stringent rules or implicit motives like in many other establishments to disrupt the enviable amount of peace that prevailed inside. In fact, most of the workers in that office considered him as their companion or a confidant in many regards. They helped each other through the vagaries of their lives sans complaints.

 When the officers unexpectedly run out of cigarettes, Kartik made sure that he ran to the nearby shop to buy them fresh packets; he was the one who brought them lunch from the restaurant downstairs; he offered to drop them off at their apartments in his scooter if any of their cars broke down- the list was endless and in return they addressed him affectionately as Bhaiyya and celebrated his birthdays at the office, when there would be a cake cutting ceremony during the office hours and a party at the local pub late at night. They granted him bonus from their pockets during major festivals and once even bought him fresh piece of cloth to stitch a new pair of pants.

Today, as he sat stooped down on his table near the water purifier, Kartik could feel droplets of sweat collecting on his temple. The rumble of the air conditioner resonated with his emotions, lending an unpleasant rhythm to his thoughts.

‘You should try this at least once in your lifetime, Bhaiyya,’ Rakesh, the friendliest one in the pack had whispered it in his ears the previous day. Since then a recurring thought had been meddling with his peace of mind day in and day out for he was tempted enough to give it a try.

He had seen this place where his petulant mind demanded to go. The building was not conspicuous but sandwiched between two hardware shops in the busiest street of the city. People hustled in and out of the street at all times of the day, making the process of insinuating into the building hassle free. There was even a back door, which could be approached if one stepped onto the alley beside the street, although sailing past the same would be the hardest thing anyone could conjure to do for it had constantly kept its repertoire as the ugliest and the most stinking alley of the city, if not the whole world.

‘He would take the alley,’ Karthik decided. He couldn’t pave way for any risk, for he was a middle aged man who had lived a half of his life sans a smudge in his reputation.

~~

The walk through the alley was horrid to say the least. The air was infested with fleas which seemed attracted to him by his mere presence. Mounds of garbage flanked the path, which would be an undeniable source of the many infectious diseases that stifled the people of the city often. The atmosphere was stuffed with a repulsive stench, which started growing unbearable as Kartik moved closer and closer to his destination. Steering free of the fleas and the mosquitoes that yearned to attack him ferociously, he found himself standing at the summit of the tall row of steps that led to the place he was headed to.

~~~~~

 

P.S: This post is tagged with ‘Saturday Specifics’, a sub section of this blog where I put up something creative- a story, poem, haiku, Flash Fiction or a Book Review.

Bits From Life, blogadda, Creative Saturdays, Diary, feelings, fiction, Journey, Life, Life is such, Memory, New life, November, Passion, Thoughts

Saturday Specifics #1: First Post On A Fresh Spot

 

tangytuesday

Hello all. This is my first ever blog post here in this new WordPress domain where I have transferred my blogspot blog to. And frankly speaking, I feel lost. I feel that I am now swimming in the core of a potpourri of emotions. One, of glum for bidding farewell to my writing accomplice of 7 years -Blogger and second, for the excitement that comes with the start of a new journey. Well, truly, the journey is almost the same- writing,reading blogs and replying to comments. But then, it seems refreshing to strike acquaintance with a fresh, more subtle platform like WordPress. I still have a lot to do to bring back the nuances of my previous blog, but I think I should deal with one step at a time.

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Introspecting, I arrived at a conclusion that I write more when I am overpowered by the swell of my mind- be it a misery, or when I am at  crossroads or when I am unusually  jubilant for a reason. Blogging regularly, like churning out a blog a week or even at an interval of two weeks, even after all these years, has not become a goal that could be easily conquered.  I dedicate a major part of the many reasons for that downside to my hectic course and duties that followed the same and the other part to my laziness.  I don’t usually blog to ‘blog’, rather I blog because it is a convenient source to vent my angst. You might ask, why I would want to do that on a public platform  when I can easily do that on a diary, letting out raw emotions unfiltered. Whether it be scribbling discreetly in a diary or it be typing explicitly on to the blank screen, both amount basically to writing, one may wonder. Well, the truth is that I, like any other writer, want to be read. Now that brings the discussion to a complete circle, isn’t it? I want to write,  but at the same time, I want to be read as well. This post, to be frank, has transformed itself to a confession of sorts; a confession which should consolidate my decision to blog regularly, as I see that it is an inevitable deed if I want to call myself a blogger. I can always write outside of this space, but if I intend to let this space flourish, I need to come out her often and mark my presence. I know that the process is a satiating experience and I have had my own share of liebster awards, contest wins, posts with endless comments and a stats exceeding one lakh hits on blogger.  Fortunate enough, right now, I am at a place in my personal life where I am sailing at a steady pace, for the time being, maybe for a few months even. That gives me less excuse to be a redundant blogger, and at the same time, more reasons to be a vivacious and a really creative one at that forte. And I sincerely hope for that to happen.

As this is almost sort of my first leap in to the realm of WordPress and supposedly into the arena of regular blogging,  I would like to flag the journey off with a story. Now, who wouldn’t like to read a story? Hopefully, not you my reader(smiles).

 

 MONOCHROME – (Fiction)

Little Ananya sat huddled in a dark corner of her room, well away from the door. Her palms were pressed tightly against her ears; her face flushed to a bright red shade; her cheeks smeared with wetness; her charcoal black eyes cringed tight, only to open to a narrow slit for tears to extrude whenever the cacophony erupting outside pierced her to leave behind an excruciating pain.

Looking around, she wimpered as her room silently started drowning in a sea of darkness. The sun had sunk beyond the horizon, nevetheless with a display of thoughtfulness to leave behind smatterings of saffron paint amidst the lakes of silent clouds. The night was slowly creeping in, with shadows of fear retreating to their favourite haven -the mind in tumult of a desperate soul.

The raised voice of her parents in the living room sent shivers through her shrivelled self. She couldn’t understand why she felt like she was on her first day at school yet again, as she tried hard to decipher the words her parents were hurling fiercely at each other. They were fighting, that much she could make out, for the tone of their voice was revolting.

Ananya reached for her teddy bear and drew it close to her, as she sat mulling over why her parents were angry. Haven’t they been so for the past one month, with no sign of reconciliation? she wondered. Her mommy had started the fight, Ananya recalled and it had something to do with the fact that her daddy was returning home late those days. She had watched them, everyday without fail, till the last week, keeping the door slightly ajar so that they would have no inkling as to her prying on them. The habit had come to a halt one day last week when her mother, having noticed her peeping on them barged into her room shouting harsh words at her, words she barely recognised as something similar to those used by Tara’s mommy.

“Tara is my best friend, Pinku. And her mommy takes bitter candies whenever she feels sad. You know, Tara has got another mommy too. Her daddy lives with her other mommy”

Ananya kept whispering in her teddy bear’s ear, taking care not to let her voice waver louder.

“They used to take me for picnic to all those beautiful places near the lake, Pinku. We used to sleep hugging each other in those small tents my daddy put up and my mommy used to cook delicious food for us, especially my favourite salad. . .” Her words broke in between, as she reminisced the pleasant times when they used to sit relaxed on the lush greenery lining the lake and savour food, only to be interrupted by frequent outburst of giggles and guffaws.

*******

Ananya listened hard. Her daddy’s voice could be heard outside. Was he crying?! She felt her heart flutter as the vision of her daddy in pain flashed across her mind. Fresh streams of tear rolled down her cheeks. She pressed the back of her hand against her lips so as to muffle her wails.

She sharpened her ears to hear what her father was explaining to her mother. Apprehensive as she was, Ananya couldn’t wait any longer. She slowly stood up and started walking towards the door, tip toed, her teddy bear still clutched strongly in her arms.

The house suddenly fell silent and quite eeringly so. Ananya waited with bated breath behind the door, lacking the courage to peek outside. She might have waited for a few minutes like that when her mother called out to her from the living room.

“Anu!”

Ananya gasped at her mother’s call. She scampered back to her bed, before her mother caught her lending ear to their conversation.

“Anu, bring your homework here!”

********

 

Ananya walked up to her mother who sat, fiddling with her finger nails, chewing them in between. She was annoyed beyond limits, Ananya could see.

Ananya stood near her mother, her head hung low, her lips pursed, her heart pounding loud as her mother quickly ran her eyes through her mathematics home work.

She stole a glance at her mother to guage her reaction. As Ananya watched, streaks of anger began to shadow on her mother’s otherwise angelic face, at the zenith of which she blurted out.

“Do you ever listen to your teacher in class, Ananya? What have you done here?! Twelve by twelve and what do you get? 164? Come on tell me now, what is the answer? Is it 164? Tell me!”

Ananya stared at her mother wide eyed, waves of fear rippling violently through her.

“What were you doing in there? Don’t you have every thing you need right inside your room? Why don’t you sit and learn what is being taught in your class, Ananya?!”

Ananya took a few steps back as her mother, irked to the core, sprang up from her seat. She watched, unblinking, as her mother threw her notebook aside on the floor and walked, huffing, to her bedroom, shutting the door behind with a loud thud.

Ananya stood shattered. She felt guilty for having let her mother down – She, of all people! Suddenly, a weird sense of desperation overtook her and she felt all alone standing there in her own home, which had been, till few days back, a treasure trove of happiness. Her eyes roved in search of her daddy. He was nowhere to be seen.

“Where did he go?” A melange of emotions overpowered her as she found no sign of her father anywhere in the house.

She picked up her notebook from the floor and retraced her steps. Climbing on her bed, she wiped away the damp stains of sorrow from her face and mumbled, “Pinku, mommy is really angry tonight. She just had a fight with daddy. I can’t find him anywhere inside. Maybe he went outside to buy chocolates for mommy. Mommy likes chocolates. She is going to be happy after that. You don’t be sad ok, Pinku. Were you scared when mommy shouted at me? I was, Pinku. A little bit. But that is ok. Mommy is going to be happy as soon as daddy brings her chocolates. You sleep now. She will wake us both up soon to share the chocolate with us, I am sure”

Wistfully, she kissed her teddy bear goodnight and shut her tired eyes. The moon lent her a milky white blanket as she lay on her bed, cocooned by a halo of hope that would guard her wounded soul from dreams echoing wretchedness.

***

The End

 

P.S: Thank you for stopping by on this good day. I would love to hear from you. And do keep coming back.

P.P.S :  This post has been selected by Blogadda as a Tangy Tuesday Post! This post is also tagged with ‘Saturdays Specifics’, a sub section of this blog where I put up something creative- a story, poem, haiku, Flash Fiction or a Book Review. 

~Maliny