Uncategorized

Superbottoms – A boon indeed!

I feel ashamed to confess that I had never heard about modern, sustainable cloth diapers until recently. My son is three months old now and I came across Superbottoms through the Instagram account of a friend. Hearing rave reviews about their eco friendly, yet comfortable and leak proof cloth diapers, I decided to give it a try, although apprehensive and dubious about the claims they put forward. I tried a basic version of their cloth diaper at first, but suffered leak issues in the beginning. Talking to their every friendly and supportive customer care, I realised there could be fit issues in my case. They were kind enough to send me few demo videos, studying which I made a few tweaks to the way I fixed the diaper on my baby. Also, I came to know that if my baby was a heavy wetter, I could need a booster along with the insert, and that especially for those babies a Superbottoms Uno would be a better option. Even a basic diaper lasted me for 1. 5 to 2 hours which was really good when compared to the langots. Nevertheless, I switched to the AIO Uno diapers and I feel as if I have done something noble now! Let me get into the details:

Efficiency:

Superbottoms Uno lasts me for a good 5 hours during the day time with the booster on and a good 10 hours during the night. It also deserves to be said that the absorbency increased after two washes for me. And this kind of performance from a cloth diaper is exemplary!

Wash routine :

I wash the used diapers every day and hang them to sun dry. The inserts take longer to dry when compared to the shell. For me, it takes almost a day for the inserts to dry and hence, I would advise any new customer to buy extra soakers/boosters so that you could have the baby on cloth diapers every day. Hemp boosters are a worthy option for super wetters as they last longer. A boon for mothers like me I say! You may either hand wash or machine wash the diapers. I do both as and when I feel like. But I think, machine wash would be easier as it requires good agitation to completely remove the pee/poo and also to prevent detergent build up which might bring down the efficiency of the cotton inserts in the future.

Comfort :

My baby seems comfortable in the diaper and he sleeps as usual with cloth diaper on. With the booster on, I feel the diaper looks a little bulky, but I guess that couldn’t be rectified in my case as having a dry diaper on my baby is far more important than how it looks on him. Moreover, the super cool prints on the diaper shells more than make up for the bulkiness. I can’t seem to control myself from clicking pictures of him in their diapers. Seriously, such a beauty they are! Kudos to their designers!
Being an organic product, it causes no rash/Allergic reaction, which in itself is a worthy reason to invest your money in their diapers.

Cost:

The cost of an individual diaper is more than a pack of disposible diapers. But you need only a maximum of 14 cloth diapers (according to their advertisement) to go through the entire diapering stage of your baby (till 3 years) as they are washable and reusable upto 300 times. You do the math and see how pocket-friendly they are.

Customer care:

The best I have ever come across! They reached out to me once I had made my order and kept in touch, solving one doubt after the other, until I got the hang of it. I would ask any new customer to not be disheartened if it does not go according to the plan in the beginning. Making that much needed shift from disposibles to cloth diaper is not easy and it takes time to get used to it. But be patient. It is definitely worth it.

Social media group:

They have a cool, fun Facebook page, scrolling through which is surely an entertainment. Also, you can discuss your issues and queries with the members who would come to your rescue in no time.

In addition to the aforementioned reasons, most importantly, Superbottoms cloth diaper is a sustainable and eco-friendly product, which is indeed the need of the hour. Just think of it, a disposible diaper that we use and throw remains in the earth for around 500 years! To add to the agony, our oceans and the ecosystem that survives there suffer a lot from the plastic waste that find their way to them. Why would we as mothers contribute to the destruction of Mother earth?

To put it in one line, go buy a Superbottoms diaper and be the change that the world so badly needs now!

Bits From Life, Uncategorized

The Prologue of ‘The Inimitable Chaos Of Life’

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‘I was in a dilemma when the time to fix a suitable title for this short story collection arrived. I narrowed down the list I had written down to a few titles, out of which I finally selected ‘The Inimitable Chaos Of Life’, for when I pondered deep, I came to the conclusion that life was indeed a turbulent vortex of chaos. Each day we spend in this world is an amalgamation of the multifarious emotions that flow through us as undercurrents. We laugh, we cry, we fear, we smile. The reactions are innumerable. ‘The Inimitable Chaos Of Life’ is a collection of fourteen heart rending stories, which bring to life the intensity, complexity and sheer beauty of human emotions.

The stories are varied; delving mostly in to the vagaries of life and the many tricky circumstances that life throws at us unexpectedly. Each individual reacts to those situations in a different manner. During times of happiness, one may shriek out of joy; another may erupt in to bouts of soulful tears. Similarly, during times of sorrow, one may be numb out of despair, another may spend long hours wailing and lamenting, whereas some others may even find themselves entrapped in the clutches of psychosis.

The trail that is life is not entirely laden with velvety petals. We encounter stumps, thorns and shards along the way, which breathe life into the moments that form our days. The depressing taste of tear makes a sip of happiness worthwhile. Therein resides the unerring magic of life.

Here, through these stories I have made an attempt in dissecting the shreds of human mind to the best of my ability. One factor that is ubiquitous throughout the book is an implicit stress on the subtlety of human emotions. There are two other factors as well which are interlaced inseparably in to most of the stories- the worth of hopefulness and the magnanimity of compassion. There are stories that are smeared with melancholy too, which would touch your heart and soul, for there is no human being who hasn’t come across the darker facet of life. I hope the readers would savor each story with equal engagement. If the stories linger in your minds a little while longer than you expect them to do, then I would consider my job well done.

Finally, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for picking this book up. We are connected by an invisible, albeit strong bond from this moment on. I wish you a good time reading my book.’

~ Maliny Mohan

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Uncategorized

My Publishing Journey – The Way TICOL Happened

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I never thought I would write a book, well not at least till five years back. The thought of writing a book took inception in my mind around then, when I was preparing for my PG Entrance examination. The fact that I would end up craving the outflow of my creative juice exactly at a time when my hands are tied with academic responsibilities is something that has been happening to me for quite a long time now. I had this strange temptation, which descended on me out of the blue, to sit down and write a book. I used to blog back then, but it wasn’t about writing anything, it was about giving birth to a form of writing which would be receive proper acknowledgement.

The decision had to be put on hold, as I had one of the most important exams of my life to give. I continued to blog in the meantime. I should thank blogging for making me a better writer. I saw many of my blogger friends getting published and realised that with a little effort I could get published too ( only that it was not that little an effort in hindsight)

Even after my exams I wasn’t in the right mood to dedicate myself to writing a book. I let the dream hang tight while I pursued my higher studies. After giving my final PG exams, I took a break for a few months. I was intentionally jobless. That was when the spark grew once again in me. I decided to start thinking of writing seriously. Like many of my author friends, I let my publishing journey start by contributing stories to short story anthologies brought out by publishers. Few stories and few poems into the run, I realised something important. If I could write six or seven stories in total and contribute it to multiple anthologies, why couldn’t I sit down and write around ten stories and compile then to form a single book, that was penned entirely by me, that would belong to me and me alone. The though hit the right targets and that was how, I started compiling stories for a short story collection of my own.

I wouldn’t consider myself grown enough to write a full fledged novel yet. People say writing short stories is harder than writing a novel, but yes, I am comfortable writing short stories more than considering writing a novel. I believe I am at my creative best when I write short stories. It is important that we as writers know our creative strengths. It would be a folly to jump onto the bandwagon and write romance simply because it sells well. If you are not comfortable writing it, if you cannot write something/ a genre from your heart, there is no use writing it at all, for however hard you try, the result would appear half baked. Well, if you take enough effort to excel in it that is another matter altogether, but then that would seem you are genuinely interested in or even fine with the genre and are ready to find success in it no matter what.

I wrote 13 stories in a period of one month and wrote one more sometime after that. Editing took two more months, for which I approached the professional editing service ‘Pen Paper Coffee’ and then I started pitching the manuscript to traditional publishers. I was adamant that I wouldn’t spend unnecessarily in the name of publishing, and I had little belief in my marketing skills. Self publishing was not an option with these rules. I received rejection letters from all the major publishing houses, but I was secretely happy that they atleast bothered to reply. More than one publisher asked me help from my side to publish my book, as they didn’t believe short stories would sell on their own. Few publishers were more interested in knowing about my marketing skills and how many copies I would be able to sell. Another publishing house asked me to wait for a few months if I wanted traditional publishing as they had a vanity publishing wing as well, which would publish books in a matter of few weeks. I was stuck onto traditional publishing and I decided to wait.

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Several months passed and there was no positive news from them. That was when I decided to pitch my proposal to Story Mirror, an upcoming, yet promising publishing house then. For that I contacted Sulaiman Sait, a fellow blogger who was about to be published by Story Mirror. He had only good things to say about the publisher and that inspired me and consolidated my decision to move forward with them. They replied in a few weeks’ time and I was elated to say the least. Right then, I sent out mails to a couple of publishing houses who had expressed interest in my manuscript saying that I was accepted elsewhere ( You have no idea how jubilant I felt doing that, for once to be not on the receiving end!) and all of them replied back wishing me good luck.

From there began the joyous journey of seeing my dream take form, slowly but alluringly. I have a lot more to say on the rest of the journey, but that would form a new post altogether. Do wait for that 🙂

 

P.S : The book is slated to release in a few weeks’ time. Be ready for it 🙂

 

Bits From Life, Uncategorized

Book Cover Release! – TICOL

When the designer at Story Mirror asked me to provide inputs to work on the cover of my book, I remember telling her that even though the title of the book screamed chaos, I would rather not have a cover which looked bizarre or outright. The stories in this book deal with human emotions, but they are portrayed with a definite tinge of subtlety and are not displayed in a pompous, explicit manner. Sneha Jolly at Story Mirror absorbed this and drew a design co operating her designs and voila, the book cover of TICOL was ready. I would like to thank her from the bottom of my heart for giving her best shot in creating this cover, which I am sure is sure to steal hearts. 

Why The Title?

Human minds are chaotic; there is resilience, there is weakness; there is passion, there is vulnerability; there is joy, there is sorrow; there is ecstasy, there is despair.

‘The Inimitable Chaos Of Life’ is a celebration of those emotions, which are craftily ingrained in human lives. Through this book, I have tried to illustrate them with a veritable tinge of subtlety, not overplaying their effects for the sake of it. There are undercurrents of intensity, but they are not displayed in an outright manner akin to creating pandemonium. It is true that no two situations in life are similiar. No two incidents are an exact reflection of each other. They are but as deep and scarring as blazing fire. They are but as exhilarating and enthralling as that one piece of good news you have been awaiting for long.There in lies the inimitability of life. There in lies the inimitability of its chaos.

So here it is! The book cover of TICOL!

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It is beautiful, isn’t it? Do leave behind your feedbacks before you go 🙂

Author Talk, Uncategorized

Author Talk – Ruchi Singh

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Today, at ‘Author Talk’, we have an interesting and equally enlightening column on the writing process of one of my favourite authors – Ruchi Singh. Ruchi Singh is the author of multiple books, the Winner of TOI Write India Contest, who writes in two genres – romance and romantic thrillers. Her latest book, a short story collection, titled ‘Hearts and Hots’ released few months back and has been gathering rave reviews. If you haven’t read the book, you should be reading the same today, for the book is a heart-warming, nerve soothing collection of stories, which is sure to transform your Sunday for the best. 

Ruchi Singh

Read my review of Hearts and Hots – Here

Read on to know what the author has to say :

 

            My Writing Process vis-a-vis Published Works

                                          – Ruchi Singh

Thank you Maliny for having me on your blog and giving me the choice to choose the subject for this post. Having published two books, I thought it would be interesting to introspect on the writing process for each of them.

In my twenty years of experience in the corporate world and three years in the creative field I have realized that nothing remains same. No two moments are the same. No two projects are similar. Life, people, habits, keep evolving and become better over time. The same have been reiterated during the writing of my two books; the novel ‘Take 2’ and the short story collection ‘Hearts & Hots’

While Take 2 has been my debut effort published in 2015, and I panstered (wrote without an outline, keeping only the characters in mind). As the story took shape I wanted a nice twist at the end which would entertain the readers. But, since it was not a planned endeavor it took me awhile to come up with a scenario which would tie up all the loose ends. It was then I decided that the next one I will outline to the last scene and then write.

To an extent, I followed my resolution with novel-2, but fate always has something else planned. My next wasn’t getting anywhere near my satisfaction level, and the year 2016 was just drifting by. I was desperate to release at least one book in 2016.

Along with the novel, I was also working leisurely on a short story collection and had planned to release at least ten short stories in the collection. I had thought each of them would be around 2k to 2.5k word count, bringing the collection to a decent 25k. These stories too were planned well in advance but somehow I wasn’t able to finish writing them because each of them was hell-bent on expanding themselves.

So, in order to have at least one release in 2016, I switched my attention to this collection. I selected five stories from the ten, which concentrated on issues faced by women in our society. I tried to give them different flavors by focusing on different stages of love, varying age of the protagonists, changing the locational setting and even varying the writing voice. Thus ‘Hearts & Hots’ came into existence.

Now as I have released the two, my writing process can be broadly classified into five phases:

  • inception,
  • planning,
  • execution or writing,
  • editing.

 The sequence of stages of working on short stories is iterative. For a novel, all the phases are sequential while for a collection each of the stories will span the first four stages and then publishing can be together. The short stories are written in a standalone mode unrelated to each other, which is easier in execution. But the difficult part is to come up with different plots and stick to short story format without losing the essence of the story, hence the inception phase becomes long drawn.

Having said that my current WIP has been outlined as planned, but I am not able to write the scenes sequentially. The creative juices are scene-hopping.

All in all I have understood that there are no rules in this field. Every project has to be treated as a unique miracle and should be nurtured along with its own whims and fancies. I have learnt to respect the blessings of Creative God or Goddess, as the faith may be. 🙂

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THE BLURB OF HEARTS AND HOTS :

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Love, what is it?
A casual glance, and the heart skips a beat…
Or A chance meet and that tug of an inexplicable connection…

Love… a baffling attraction so potent that one becomes blind to entire world, or is it that unbridled passion which threatens to drown every time you see the one, or a protective urge which forces you to realize that life is not worth living without that special someone…

‘Hearts and Hots’ a collection of five short stories riding on first love, passion, and romance.

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Buy the book from : AMAZON

Contact the author at : Facebook Page

Tweet to her at : Twitter Handle

The author’s official website : Here

Buy her books from : Amazon Author Page

Know more about her books at : Goodreads

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