soniaraowrites

about writing and other such passionate matters

Claustrophobia

It’s Day 3 of the A-Z Blogging Challenge! What is this A-Z Blogging Challenge all about? An Aries new moon always inspires disruptive action of sorts. And A – Z Blogging Challenge was staring me in the face. As it is, it’s been a long time since I’ve really written fiction. I was missing my true love *wink,wink*. I attempted & completed A-Z Blogging Challenge in 2013 and partly, the following year (check out the A-Z posts by clicking on the A-Z in the category cloud). The past 2 years, I’ve been traveling up and down by the Mumbai local, 5 days a week. So, it’s inevitable that most of these stories – flash fiction – will be inspired by that daily commute. Drop in here, then, for your daily fix of sweet&spicy stories (from different genres) based on the 26 letters of the English Alphabet.

Read the previous stories here and here.

Read Claustrophobia below:

AtoZ2019C

CLAUSTROPHOBIA

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Hugging the doorway pole tight, she stood on the footboard of the Mumbai local which was her favourite place inside the train. Like the breeze that blew her hair all over her face, the train rushed forward, carrying its load of busy people.

She looked down. The adjoining track sped along in the opposite direction. Clumps of dried grass, bleached in the sun, dotted the ground between the tracks.

The strip of dry mud called out to her in tune with the wheels. Clang, clang, come, come, clang, clang, come, come. It looked so inviting: to just jump out and fall splat on the ground. The euphoria of freedom. All ties broken and unbroken, now redundant. Just one step forward.

She looked up. A fleet of birds fluttered upwards breaking free into the sky. The train slowed down as it entered into the station.

Women, keen to be an entrepreneur? My friend Cashmere has broken down the entire process into easy steps. Helpful for all. Check out her blog https://cashlash.blogspot.com/

Advertisements

Binary Of Pain

It’s Day 2 of the A-Z Blogging Challenge! What is this A-Z Blogging Challenge all about? An Aries new moon always inspires disruptive action of sorts. And A – Z Blogging Challenge was staring me in the face. As it is, it’s been a long time since I’ve really written fiction. I was missing my true love *wink,wink*. I attempted & completed A-Z Blogging Challenge in 2013 and partly, the following year (check out the A-Z posts by clicking on the A-Z in the category cloud). The past 2 years, I’ve been traveling up and down by the Mumbai local, 5 days a week. So, it’s inevitable that most of these stories – flash fiction – will be inspired by that daily commute. Drop in here, then, for your daily fix of sweet&spicy stories (from different genres) based on the next 24 letters of the English Alphabet.

Read the previous story here.

Read the Binary Of Pain below:

AtoZ2019B

BINARY OF PAIN

GENRE: DRAMA

Vedana expertly patted the Avon concealer on the blueish red spot under her eye. Next, she applied it on the dark blue coin shape on her upper arm. Thank God for Nirmala, her trainmate, who kept up a regular supply of this natural-hued cream.

Sometimes, she felt like taking the knife from the kitchen and plunging it into her husband’s heart. Often, she fantasized about smashing his head in with the stone mortar. She fingered the black-beaded necklace she wore around her neck. A thread stronger than the Polycab wires in the ads on TV.

Almost impossible to snap.

Her marriage had begun with a hard slap and cut lip. The burden of young age and tradition had kept her tongue-tied at the pain. It moved from lip to eyes to arm to burns and whippings. In the other room, her in-laws listened but pretended not to. They’d rather have a home than be thrown out for speaking up for her.

She wanted to hate them for it but weren’t her own parents sailing the same sea with her brother?

She sought refuge in her job though her boss was less devilish than her husband by only a degree or two. A quick glance at the clock made her hurry. She picked up her bag and the S-hook.

In the tightly-packed-with-ladies compartment, Vedana sat in her usual seat next to the window, still fuming inside. Her bag hung down from the steel hook which she had suspended from the luggage carrier above. It swung sideways with every jerk of the train, hitting a standing girl on her cheek. Vedana day-dreamed about escape, oblivious to the wounded glances the young girl threw at her.

Add to your knowledge of foreign phrases & also read some beautiful poetry along with it, on my friend Prakash Hegade’s blog: https://itsphblog.wordpress.com/ 

 

Anahata – the Chakra of Love

What is this A-Z Blogging Challenge all about? An Aries new moon always inspires a disruptive action of sorts. And A – Z Blogging Challenge was staring me in the face. As it is, it has been a long time since I’ve really written fiction. I was missing my true love *wink,wink*. I attempted & completed A-Z Blogging Challenge in 2013 and partly, the following year (check out the A-Z posts by clicking on the A-Z in the category cloud). The past 2 years, I’ve been traveling up and down by the Mumbai local, 5 days a week. Most of these stories – flash fiction – are inspired by that daily commute. So, drop in here for your daily fix of sweet&spicy stories (from different genres) based on the next 25 letters of the English Alphabet. 

AtoZ2019A

ANAHATA – THE CHAKRA OF LOVE

Genre: Memoir

One is not at the railway station at this hour except as part of the usual crush to reach home after a travel that has taken up a better part of the day. So, here I am, sitting squashed, back to a stranger on the opposite end of a narrow stone bench that can barely hold one in comfort.

Interspersed with the local trains are the outstation trains. They hurtle past the local stations, carrying thrilling expectation of a faraway destination. The local-train-warriors, waiting on the platform for their ride, eye with disguised envy those long-distance travellers. Munching on Mumbai’s second staple – roasted peanuts – vadapav being the first, their ears are perked for the announcement of their train, their minds already having raced home.

I am going against the tide, against the peak hours. Responding to the call of a friend. There’s an air of excitement about our first meeting. We met online and our energies jelled. When it was time to meet, a book launch seemed the best site. After all, weren’t we ardent readers and writers?

We are just a train ride away from each other. The distance seems never-ending. The train chugs along, carrying me to meet my destiny.

Yes, our friendship is not long but it is deep.

Or so I thought.

Also check out my friend Dola’s blog where she is writing about the art of self-editing (you’ll find amazing gems there): http://shiuli.com/blog/ 

 

Book Blitz: SNOWBOUND by Olivier Lafont

 

Print Length: 339 pages
Publication Date: May 18, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Genre: Young Adult Adventure/Fantasy

 

 

Christmas is dying.

The last Santa Claus had triplets who each inherited a portion of his father’s power, and that split is now tearing apart the soul of Christmas.

Niccolo Vecchio, the eldest, has fortified the North Pole into a citadel of ice and metal.

Santini, the middle brother, is in hiding somewhere in the Mediterranean.

The youngest brother, Niccolo Piccolo, is raising legions to reclaim his inheritance.

Two of the triplets will have to renounce their claim in the next forty-eight hours, or this Christmas will be the last one ever.

And it’s up to Adam, underachieving teenager sub-ordinaire, and his brand new jock bully Zach to make that happen…

It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR


Olivier Lafont is a French author, screenplay writer, and actor. His novel ‘Warrior’ was published by Penguin Random House, and was shortlisted for the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize. He has just released his new contemporary romance novel ‘Sweet Revenge’ exclusively on Kindle. ‘Purgatory: The Gun of God’ is a fantasy novelette published in South Africa.
Lafont has written a number of feature film scripts before. The first film he wrote opened at the Toronto Film Festival and went on to win seven awards at film festivals worldwide.
As an actor Lafont has acted in Hollywood and Indian films, in TV serials, and in over 80 television commercials. He acted in ‘3 Idiots’, one of India’s all-time blockbuster hits, the critically-acclaimed ‘Guzaarish’, and the Lifetime film ‘Baby Sellers’, amongst other films.
Lafont graduated with two degrees in acting and writing from Colgate University, USA, with academic distinction.

Click here to check out all the titles by the author…

 
You can stalk him @

       

Grab Your Copy From


This Tour is Hosted by 

We Promote So That You Can Write 



 

Finding The Angel: Interview with the author, Rubina Ramesh

It is always a thrilling experience to come across an author with a refreshingly bold voice. Rubina Ramesh is one such author and I have always loved reading her stories. Getting the opportunity to edit her very first novel was the icing on the delicious book-cake.

Having worked closely with Rubina, I thought I knew everything there was to know about  “Finding The Angel” but then I got the chance to interview her and I surprised myself with the questions and Rubina did with her answers.

Let’s just say we bring out the best in each other 😉

Over to the interview…

Sonia Rao (SR): Hi Rubina, thank you for agreeing to this interview. I’d really love to know how was this experience of writing “Finding The Angel (FTA)” different from writing Knitted Tales, your anthology of short stories? 

Rubina Ramesh (RR): Hi, Sonia. Thank you so much for these lovely questions. For Finding the Angel – the credit goes entirely to you. Your support meant a LOT to me during that time.  I wrote Finding The Angel when I was at my lowest point. I had lost the one person who meant the world to me. I think I created my escape world in FTA. I wrote the first draft in 3 days. Nonstop. I don’t think I can do it ever again. People often ask me whether I am a serious writer or a writer of sweet romances. I only know I am a writer. I really don’t care about the genre when I am writing.  I write Romance to spread the cheer that will make even a cynic’s lips curve upwards in a smile. Love to me is a powerful emotion which can never be trifled with.  So while FTA is my escapism, Knitted Tales is my facing realities with events either experienced or heard from others. Which one is which, I am not telling ..haha haha.

SR: Which format do you prefer working on: short or long fiction?

RR: Short as of now. Something that can be finished in one go, yet remembered for some time. In this digital world, we have access to so many books. To make the readers pick it up and read it is a challenge every writer faces. Moreover, these reads are for those moments of relaxation when one needs to unwind after a hard day’s work. So I want my stories to always have a happy ending. I love to imagine the smile that must be spreading on the faces of my readers as they reach towards the end of my story.

SR: How important was research for this book and how did you go about doing it?

RR: For FTA, I had to do a lot of research for the Fabergé Egg that I was planning to use. I needed something with a history. It had to be something so important that would keep my protagonists apart yet would help destiny to bring them closer. Not many have touched the rich history of Fabergé Egg, so I took my chance.

SR: Why do people prefer reading romances so much? 

RR: For the simple reason why we need to breathe. How can our world go on without love? When you say the word love, your face automatically lights up in a  smile. Try it sometime in front of the mirror. Each one of us wants to believe that true love, soul mate, finding that moment in your life, is true. The cynical ones are cynical because they didn’t find it or it did not meet their expectations. To me, love is not about a man or a woman loving you. It’s about love. My love. My heart. My emotions. So how can it not be beautiful?

SR: What advice would you give about publishing to someone whose MS is publishing-ready?

RR: Do not wait for a publisher to knock on your door and request for the MS. Do not wait for the moment when someone will discover you. Today the publishing world is very dynamic. Every writer’s future lies in their own hand.

********

Learn more about Rubina Ramesh and ‘Finding the Angel’  below (psst psst, you can win chocolates and gift vouchers):

tour with Pinterest

FINDING THE ANGEL
by
Rubina Ramesh
 
 
 
Blurb
 
All She wanted was love…
Shefali is a die-hard romantic. Having lost her parents at a very tender age, she is in search of a place which she can call home. Her passion for Art lands her a job as an art curator to the famous artifacts of the Ranaut Dynasty. When she meets the scion, Aryan Ranaut, she feels that her dream might come true until…
All He wanted was to trust…
Living the life of a modern day Prince is no easy task for the young and dashing Aryan Ranaut. Having lost his father to a rapacious woman, Aryan has severe trust issues. But upon meeting Shefali, he feels he could let down his guard. Until…
All They need is to find The Angel…
Just as Aryan realizes his love for Shefali, one of the most precious artifacts, The Angel, goes missing from the Ranaut collection. All fingers point towards Shefali—more so because she leaves the palace without telling anyone on the very night of the theft.
Finding the Angel is a story where duty clashes with love and lack of trust overrides passion. Under these circumstances, can The Angel bring the star-crossed lovers together?
Grab your copy @
 

Amazon.com.au | Amazon.ca

Follow the tour of Finding The Angel on Pinterest

 
About the author
 

Rubina Ramesh is an avid reader, writer, blogger, book reviewer, and marketer. She is the founder of The Book Club, an online book publicity group. Her first literary work was published in her school magazine. It gave her immense pride to see her own name at the bottom of the article. She was about 8 years old at that time. She then went to complete her MBA and after her marriage to her childhood friend, her travel saga started. From The Netherlands to the British Isles she lived her life like an adventure. After a short stint in Malaysia, she finally settled down in the desert state of USA, Arizona. Living with her DH and two human kids and one doggie kid, Rubina has finally started living the life she had always dreamed about – that of a writer.

 
You can stalk her @

Play the game of Raffelcopter to win chocolates and amazon gift cards

This Tour is Hosted by 

We Promote So That You Can Write 



SPOTLIGHT:A WAY BACK INTO LOVE by Veronica Thatcher

 

 
 
Blurb
 
Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes, uncertain.People, irrational. But love…well, that makes everything complicated. And when you are caught in a tangled web of secrets, lies, and complex affairs, someone is bound to get burned. 
Emily Stevens is a spunky, spirited college girl whose life gets turned upside-down when she realizes she’s in love with her best friend of fifteen years, Derek Thorpe. As Emily prepares to confess her feelings to Derek, something happens one night which changes her life forever. Five years later, Emily finds herself in Boston, alone and heartbroken. Will she ever be able to forget the past? And what will she find when she returns home…to the man she left behind? 
 
Grab your copy @
 
About the author
 
 
Veronica Thatcher is an exciting new contemporary romance author. Ever since she was very young, she’s dreamed of becoming a doctor when she grew up. While still forging ahead with that, majoring in pre-med in college, she unwittingly stumbled upon a new dream—becoming a published author. Some may call her an introvert or a wallflower, but she has always found she could express herself better in written, rather than spoken, words. However, never in her wildest dreams had she envisioned she would pursue writing as a prospective career, not just a hobby. Her love for writing goes hand-in-hand with her love for a good romance novel—whether it be a feel-good, sweet romance or a dark, suspenseful one. 
 
When she’s not studying, reading, or writing, she is usually found blasting her favourite songs, sometimes singing and dancing along to them. She dabbles in a number of activities, including painting, karate, singing and dancing. She is a huge chocoholic – probably the biggest – and she is an ice-cream junkie too. She considers herself technologically handicapped forever and has no shame in admitting that. She also deems chocolates her boyfriend, Patrick Dempsey the love of her life, and Friends her life!
Her first book, A Way Back Into Love, is slated for release in February 2017, and she hopes readers will enjoy it as much as she enjoyed writing it. 
 
You can stalk her @ 

      

   This Tour is Hosted by 
We Promote So That You Can Write 



 

3 important things your kids (and perhaps even you) didn’t know about Republic Day: My post on Mumbai Mom

As a nation we talk about patriotism and nationalistic fervour but we do not hesitate to club Republic Day, Independence Day and even Election Day with weekdays and enjoy an extended weekend holiday. So, we cannot blame the kids for their ignorance about such matters when their only exposure tends to be badly-taught Civics subject in school and  a detached viewing of the Republic Day Parade on TV.

Children have the delightful habit of asking questions most of which the adults find difficult to answer. Since it is Republic Day tomorrow we, at Mumbai Mom, have collated some interesting facts about the national festival which you can share with your children even if they are engrossed in their iPads (though some aspects can make delightful viewing on the iPad – check out the Original Calligraphed and Illuminated Version of the Constitution).

Here are the three important things about Republic Day:

  1. The difference between Republic Day and Independence Day

    The British had ruled over India for almost a hundred years (200 if you include the activities of the East India Company) before they finally handed over control to India on 15th August, 1947. Since this  is the day we got freedom from the British, 15th August is … (read the rest of the post here on Mumbai Mom).

No Safe Zone: Shining the light on it

When my bank opened a branch closer to where I live I was quite happy. I could multi-task. I could go to the bank later in the evening, walking. This would take care of both my fiscal and physical being.

It went well the few times I went to the bank. The road to the bank included one long lonely stretch.I found it  wonderful for ambling, mind free to travel wherever it wanted to. (I think every writer needs those stretches of time).

No Safe Zone

But one day, I went to the bank a little later than my usual time. By the time I finished, it was dark. As usual I started walking back home. I reached the lonely stretch and I stopped short. This road which had been my “day-dreaming” stretch was now a “No Safe Zone”. It was dark. No street lights. One side of the road was a very high wall in front of which broken-down, rusted cars lay abandoned. On the other side were buildings in various stages of construction. The weak glimmers of light came from a couple of bulbs hung from the rafters of the buildings.

My mental antennae tuned up and I started walking briskly along that stretch. Every person coming from the opposite side was a potential danger. My mind firmly on a leash I completed the stretch without any untoward episode. But it was an unpleasant experience. I realised if the road had been well-lighted there would have been nothing to fear.

Shining The Light

It is the same with life. We encounter many “No Safe Zones” aka obstacles in our life paths, but by shining the light of understanding (through reading and deep thinking) and faith (through meditation and prayers) we can navigate them safely.

book-cover-no-safe-zone

WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT. . .

Qiara Rana will do anything to save her mentor and their non-government organization from ruin. Even if it means visiting the city she had vowed never to return to. But within a few hours of landing in New Delhi, she is being chased by a gunman and is a potential suspect in the murder of a high-profile businessman. 

The only person she can turn to for help is Kabir Shorey, the man who stood her up ten years ago. Past and present collide in a deadly plot of crime and greed that moves from the cosmopolitan streets of Delhi to the bazaars and villages of Rajasthan. 

Business-journalist turned fiction-writer, Adite Banerjie’s latest book is a romantic-thriller No Safe Zone, published by Harper Collins India. She has penned two books for Mills & Boon (The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal and Trouble Has a New Name) and written several screenplays.

You can grab a copy of No Safe Zone at Amazon.in by clicking HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn the truth about the Flying Jatt in the next two minutes

If you’ve loved Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Ironman and the pantheon of superheroes you are going to be taken aback by Flying Jatt. But then you are just going to love him when I tell you his truth. And, confirm it by watching the film on Zee Cinema on 22 Oct@8PM.

The Truth about the Flying Jatt (A two minute read, including ogling the pics):

fjatt-1

THE LOVABLE SUPERHERO – THE FLYING JATT

  1. India’s first superhero:

    This incredibly brave superhero who can fly (Flying Jatt, see?) is also the master of martial art moves.

  2. Mom knows best:

    Boys in India share a special relationship with their moms. So does our superhero. His mom is the wind beneath his wings and the constant push to his reluctance to bear the mantle. In short, she’s SUPERMOM.

  3. The SUPERPOWER COMBO – Killer moves on the dance floor.

    Yes, Ironman and Superman hounded villains. Our chap does too, but he also boasts an arsenal of dance moves that’ll have you searching for the nearest dance floor.

  4. Ofcourse he flies

    What is a superhero without flying abilities? Our Superhero flies too (hey, he’s called ‘FLYING’ Jatt). But the real strength of his power comes from the Divine Source. From his faith.

  5. Courage is not absence of fear

    Yes, even our desi superhero became one by accident (though through no insect or animal bite) but even when he is scared he never moves back from fulfilling his superhero duties.Which is what true superheroes do. Right?

  6. Chores before ‘chors’

    Hey! Even superheroes gotta live. And with your mom around you gotta do all the errands and the cleaning and the helping out before you flex your superhero muscles. Even Superman was Clark Kent.

  7. Saving the Earth is part of the Superhero agenda

    Did you read about the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef? Our hero makes sure such things won’t happen again. Mother Earth is being abused and misused by the BIG CORPORATES (We are guilty too if we are not disposing of garbage responsibly). Our environment needs protection and our superhero rises to the occasion again and again (which ofcourse does not mean that we don’t need to do our bit).

  8. Keep your inner child happy

    He does serious good, the Flying Jatt. But he does not take himself so seriously. In fact, he’s a fun-loving guy and his inner child is truly alive and kicking.

  9. The youngest Superhero

    Hrithik Roshan and Shah Rukh Khan also had special powers in movies like Krrish and Ra.One respectively. But what sets Tiger Shroff apart is his age. At 26, he bagged a superhero movie as his third film while the others have had a longer run in films before had a long career preceding their superhero ventures.

flying-jatt

Doesn’t he sound so scintillating? Catch THE FLYING JATT doing superpowerly things as well as those killer dance moves (and ofcourse ROMANCING (heck, this is our beloved Bollywood)) on ZEE CINEMA at 8PM TONIGHT. Make a note of the date: Saturday 22nd October.

(All pics courtesy: Zee Cinema FB page)

 

Janmashtami and Lessons learned from Lord Krishna

Today is Janmashtami and as most of you must be aware, it is the birth celebrations of one of the rockstar deities of the pantheon of Hindu Gods aka Lord Krishna.

Krishna is a fascinating figure and adored and reviled (for apparently playing politics during the Great War) in equal measure.

It would be naive to think one can understand him in just one reading of his life and his exploits  but there are always lessons one can learn from the reading.

Come over to Mumbai Mom where my post, ‘Lord Krishna: 5 unsurprising reasons why he’s my idol’ is published.

A small excerpt is given below:

Dairy product junkie. Lover par excellence. Management guru. Aka Lord Krishna.

Why does Krishna ignite our imagination? Among the supposedly 33crore Hindu gods, Krishna has staked his claim as the rockstar of Hindu deitydom. Almost like a Global Idol.

Born in dire circumstances. Saved from sure death by being substituted with Ma Durga (in baby form) at birth.  Naughty child. The imparter of the ultimate spiritual wisdom.  His entire life is full of surprising lessons which we can imbibe to improve our own lives.

Dairy product junkie:

Young Krishna was a handful. Read the rest here.

 

 

Post Navigation