Chains

I sit in my haven and look the sky, it is clear, it is blue.

A few clouds occupy the space where I used to be,

They move freely and I yearn to be with them,

But Alas! I am caged.

I sit in my shelter and look out,

They come and tease me and I roar,

They throw pebbles and garbage at me,

But Alas! I am chained.

I swim in my small tank,

They come and look at me,

They mock at me by knocking at the glass,

But Alas! I am captured.

I look out of the window,

The empty streets, the empty roads,

The place where I used to be,

But alas! I am quarantined.

The thrill and the curse

I look at the empty road outside, my fast car standing there, the clear sky with birds flying around.

The road and my fast car, which was my life till now, it’s all there, standing still, waving at me and asking me to come back.

I knew the warning, the curse was spreading, but I chose to ignore it.

For the thrill of driving my car on a long road, with a can of bear and loud thumping music meant everything to me.

I took the keys, hit the road and went straight to the bar.

Alas! Now I am here! Cursed! Isolated!

A Dream in a Tear


Sarika was going home after buying her daily groceries. There was a crowd gathered outside a particular shop. It was a salon’s opening, and the owners were having a small celebration. The newly opened salon with the latest technology, staff decked up in uniform, the stylish and fashionable owner talking chirpily and smiling at the guests, it all looked perfect.
Sarika quickly finished making her purchases and hurried back home. Back home, it was a typical day for Sarika. She entered the kitchen and started making lunch. She sorted out the groceries and neatly arranged them at their designed place. Soon, it was time for her to pick up her kids from their school. She quickly finished up her work and picked up the house keys.
Looking at her wristwatch, she said to herself, ‘I hope I am not late to pick Samaira.”
She reached the school gate and spotted Samaira glaring at her.
“Mom, why do you always come so late.” Samaira looked upset.
“I am not late, my darling. It’s the right time.” Sarika tried to make her understand.
They reached home, and Sarika changed Samaira’s clothes.
In about an hour, it was time to pick up her elder daughter from school. Sarika and Samaira headed to bring her elder daughter Tia.
“Mom, I had fun today in school. Guess how many marks I got in my Maths test?” Tiara looked excited.
“Umm! May be 15 out of 20?” Sarika pretended to know fully well what the result was.
“No, mom. I have got 20 out of 20. That is full marks.” Tiara replied, jumping with joy.
After lunch, Sarika tugged her kids in bed for their afternoon nap while she got busy with the rest of the housework. Sarika was happy with her life. It was an average middle-class life, and she was pleased with her small family. Her husband was a businessman and had long working hours.
In the evening, the kids got up. Sarika gave them their snacks and sat down with her kids for their studies. Soon, it was time for her to prepare dinner. At 9’0 clock, her husband arrived, and all of them sat and ate their dinner together. Manoj was a nice man. He loved Sarika and his daughters immensely. Caring, loving, smiling, cheerful and friendly. Sarika and Manoj shared a bond of love and friendship, which is why she was happy with her simple life.
At night, Sarika lay in bed. The image of the newly launched salon flashed in her mind. The smartly dressed and fashionable salon owner, her uniform-clad staff and the latest salon, suddenly brought back her old memories and a tear rolled from the end of her eyes.

A few years back, Sarika owned her salon. She was living her dream of being a successful makeup artist. She was at the top of her dream career; glamour, glitz, money, name and fame, she had everything. Her mother-in-law hated her profession and disliked the independence of Sarika. She could not bear the freedom and lifestyle of Sarika.
Sarika’s younger daughter was born, and there was a massive drama in the house.
“Now, we will see how Sarika goes to work in her salon. We can’t let her do all that dirty work of cutting other people’s hair. She is bringing shame to us by working in her parent’s business.” Her sister-in-law had said.
“She works to earn for the sake of her parents. She is not bringing any money to our house; I am not going to allow that. She will sit at home and raise her children. I am going to see how she goes out for work,” her mother-in-law had declared. Nobody in the house dared to speak in front of her. Even Manoj chose to remain quiet at that time.
After a lot of arguments and fights that followed, Manoj and Sarika finally moved out of Manoj’s parents’ house. They started a new life with their kids. Sarika did not dare to go back to her salon and decided to shut it for good.
Time flew by, and she got busy with her house chores and kids. She tried her best to forget her dreams and ambitions. The newly opened salon brought back the memories of her salon, her dreams, and her aspirations. The tear that rolled from her eyes had her broken dreams.

Book Review: Our Song

Genre: Romantic

Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers India

Price: INR 299

Pages: 240

Rating: 4/5

Author: Milan Vohra

About the author: Milan Vohra is an advertising consultant and also Mills & Boon’s first Indian romance author.

Review:

‘Our Song’ is a sweet touching love story that easily touches the heart of the readers. The character of Ragini and Andrew are so realistically portrayed that one can easily connect with them. It’s a modern day love story set in Bangalore. The story traverses through Bangalore, Shimla and London. The traverse is so smooth and son well connected that the reader can also fee connected throughout. The language is simple and flowing. The book is gripping and interesting from the beginning to the end. There is never a dull moment in the book.

The protagonists are real, they have real challenges and conflicts. Andrew belongs to the cold corporate world whereas Ragini has musical background. Andrew is more thoughtful and calculative while Ragini is impulsive. The two are opposite to each other and therefore easily get attracted to each other. The scenes are very well etched out in the novel. It is almost as if one can visualise and “see” what’s happening. Right from the very beginning, the reader becomes a part of the story through its simple and well-paced narrative style.

Milan’s skill of writing clearly comes out in the way she interweaves the two contrasting worlds of corporate and music. The book has the elements of love, humor, drama and sorrow woven beautifully through its tight and gripping narrative style.

This book review is a part of Blogchatter’s book review program.

Once Upon A Crush: Book Review

Author: Kiran Manral

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Jufic Books

Pages: 224

Cover Design: Mistha Roy 

About the Author: Kiran Manral has worked with some of the leading media houses in India as a feature writer and journalist. Her debut novel, The Reluctant Detective, was published in 2012. She lives with her family in Mumbai and puts her current job definition down as school gate mom.

Blurb: The story revolves around the main protagonist, Rayna De, an almost 30-year-old, independent woman who is stuck in a horrible corporate job. Her boss gives her endless tasks making her life hell. Her parents are pestering her for marriage. She is completely stuck in her life where the only person who interests her is Deven Ahuja. Deven Ahuja is much like the character of Mr Darcy, who keeps confusing her. As Rayna is stuck between her job, her crush and the groom of her parents’ choice, Sid Bose, she discovers that life has its plans. 

Review: The cover page of the book, the cream coloured background with red lipstick and the red heart is eye-catching. The cover page immediately hints at the elements of romance and the presence of a female protagonist. The word ‘crush’ in the title captures the interest of the readers and immediately takes them to their college day’s romance. 

The novel is set in present-day Mumbai which takes the reader in the fast-paced city life which the modern reader will find relatable. 

The novel is gripping right from the very beginning. The story begins with the first-person narrative of the female protagonist, Rayna De, herself who tells us about herself her friend whom she calls Pixie. Rayna De talks about her corporate job, which she doesn’t find attractive at all. Even though her parents want her to get married, she is not interested in getting married and calls it a “communicable disease”.

Rayna is someone with whom the women of the present generation can easily relate with. She gets annoyed with her parents, who are nagging her to arrange marriage since she is going to be 30 soon. Rayna has a temper, curses, thinks about sex, keeps her house messy and finds her wardrobe outdated. Don’t you see all these sounding similar!

Kiran uses language intelligently, and we find many interesting quotable lines weaved in beautifully in the novel. The plot has a fast pace, and there is never a dull moment in the book. 

Overall, the novel is a fun read and interesting enough to finish at one go. It’s a speedily read which the reader will find enjoyable. 

P.S.: The review is done as part of the Blogchatter Book Review Program