Author is not an alien

Author is not an alien
I write because we had deleted enough

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

One Unforgettable trip..................GO GOA!!!!!!

This blog post is about a journey, a holiday taken after months of hard work ,an escape from the thing called competition, performance ,results   etc etc So we boarded Goa Express (Mind it if you are not in a group or with a romantic partner when days seem into minutes, don’t try this train 38 hours of journey can take your nerves out).

30 of us went to Goa and all credit goes to Ankit sir for handling not some little kids but grown up adults who every passing minute wanted to do something different from the group Amid Aantakshari, dumbshall act, mimicry our journey proceeded disturbing our fellow travelers when cards start world comes to a halt and non players (yeah it was me) look as the most foolish ones .The train journey was a roller coaster one with swords drawn out on the movie names ,enmity feeling which can beat India Pakistan , the ever so pathetic train ka khana ,some facebookites updating every single second and cherry on the cake was ghost stories until midnight.

Goa gives you a liberating experience ,a kind of break free attitude that strikes you the point you deboard the train as we reached ,I was enlightened that “What happens in goa ,stays in goa”(does it remind you of some other place?? Forget it…………J ).

We stayed at South Goa’s Palolem beach and if you are looking for a serene, quiet place, beaches that remind you of a distant island ,a romantic sojourn then South Goa is what you are looking for. The day had already ended when we reached so we just sat on the beach talking, dreaming There is something about beaches that make you dream, dream not of materialistic gains but something deep ,something spiritual.

 Next day was planned a trip to North goa and inspite of waking up the earliest we were late (we means the three girls-Nova, Prema and me) Finally on being threatened that we would be left behind we rushed secret is we always were late because………ha ha ha u actually believed I will split out beans of our girls talks, no way

The bus proceeded to Basilica of Bom Jesus church amid lungi dance and fevicol types item songs and here was Gaurav Agrawal,he never sat on a seat for a minute ,always dancing its people like them who never let the dancing mood die down The church is marvellous, visit it not for the story of a miracle called St Francis and his 400 year old body but for beautiful gothic architecture ,don’t rush, absorb the intricacies of architecture ,its lovely Agauda fort was next stop ,initially used as a water tank the age old walls face sea and I could find some guides telling tourists about the movies being shot there ,we can never come out of bollywood the continuity ,the walls with small windows make Agauda Fort so splendid as if it challenges Sea, questions its mightiness and still stands tall.

Yippee. North Goa and  its water sports ,the fun part actually began I was very terrified about the banana ride and the prospect of being thrown into the mid sea and these friends of mine assured that they will save me if I drown The person   standing at the edge of banana was holding my life jacket and I thought he was such a saint to support me suddenly I saw God in him Mid sea he held my jacket and threw me into sea and took the steamer with the rest of the people along I was like WTF !This demon actually left me here, well life jackets were there and Sid and Vishal screaming that keep cycling and yes inspite of that demon ,I was alive we went deep into sea later for an hour and I know I was a headache by being a non swimmer and always ending up coughing salt water after every wave, my friends never thought of leaving me and made sure someone or the other was always around to hold if I lost balance…..Love you doston for that

The main adventure was not water sports but finding out that we were left behind as we were late after changing and the bus headed to cruise as the tickets were pre booked (We here again refers to the three of us) we called ,bus waited midway and when we reached we could feel whispering and angry eyes penetrating us and then again friends made us feel that”Ho jata hai” nothing to worry ,making us laugh which we did not until we said sorry to sir. While everyone assured us that  nothing to be sad ,sir made it real being the sweetest person .

The late night talks were all full of planning for the next day, a group wanted to explore casinos, we wanted to go to Disco ,someone wanted to have a lone time at the beach and the day dawns ,we all took a boat ride to honeymoon island ,At the middle of the sea was carnatic music with Akshara Damle and when we returned a big wave splashed over all the plans made a night before ,after discussions, road safety ,distance issues, girls safety each and every plan was headed towards a no (he he) and evening was spent in biking ,trying local cuisine, buying cashews and Mallikarjun Temple (Krishna – mere ghar waale bolenge tu Mathura se Goa mandir dekhne gaya hai………;-)  and here came the shocker of the day-Silent disco now I really want to know who came up with this idea ,Dance is a community feeling, to celebrate joy, togetherness ,happiness or just to enjoy ,Keeping headphones on and dancing is something I could not understand and so did others When we perform classical ,it’s said that you have to make the audience believe that he/she is actually Radha and is longing for love and then this silent disco-something very individualistic, very isolated  and very silent.

Well Goa trip came to an end and I was at the beach at 6 in the morning for I knew I will miss the beach ,the splashing sound of waves the most when I reach back to hustle of Delhi and sitting there clicking pictures of couples who were trying after every failed attempt of self clicking, I observed something that I would carry with myself back” A Russian Father and his 2 year old son at the beach, waves come,the boy falls and he puts his hand towards father but the father does not hold, the child walks on hands and legs ,again the wave comes and he fells The father stands there just saying get up and finally the child stands on two feet ,again to be splashed by a wave and again trying ,Father never ever holding his hand and only boosting verbally “……………….so on the southern most end of Goa at sunrise ,I got life’s little lesson-lesson of parenting. 

Back to the train ,everyone was tired, exhausted, sleeping, exchanging numbers and in the process of one or the other person getting down in between at their home towns,almost everyone got down ,hugged, waved goodbye  ,promised to stay in touch ,This made me believe that we may have missed visiting a casino or a beach but we did not miss making new friends

This is for everyone there making it one of the most unforgettable experience:

"I couldn't find the right words
Nothing seemed to rhyme
To write something for you all
I think it will take time

Because when you have friends
That are very hard to find
There's so much to say
Because you make everything alright

So I will tell you right now
exactly what I need to say
To show you how much I appreciate
You all being there everyday

You're worth more than anyone
even a million pounds
Because you always know what to say
When I am feeling down

You made me smile big smiles
And my days so very bright
And when I was sad
we talked the whole night

I sometimes wish I could explain
How much you all mean to me
But its just not possible
To list a billion things

So I just wanted to say
I love you so so much
And I hope you never leave me
promise to stay in touch........

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Go Hug your DADDY

In the mad rush to everything big , we forget life’s little joys – the joy of a bear hug.I look back on father’s day and miss my dad , being away from family for a long time I miss the little joys that filled our childhood. I miss dad when I see a father taking his daughter to park, I miss dad when I see a child throwing tantrums for another ice cream, I want to wrap my arms around my father when I feel low and devastated because I know only he has that magic wand that would make my problems disappear. I want to hug my dad when my driver speaks of working overtime to ensure a good future of his son and I remember my dad working day and night and never saying a no to all our stupid demands. I have been a daddy’s girl , a self declared daddy’s girl when my applications for outings went to mom through dad (I want to hug you dad for always convincing maa for the same ) , for never questioning my decision to take up writing as a career over medical .Today when someone appreciates me of the woman I am , I know its my dad and only my dad behind this , so I want to hug him and say him thank you for making me what I am today.

I love you Daddy………..Happy Father’s Day

Few lines that I wrote for my papa

जब किसी बच्ची को देखती हूँ जिद करते 

बंद जारों में राखी टॉफी के लिए
या फिर उन शैतान निगाहों को 

जो कंधे पर बैठने के लिए रोने का नाटक करती हैं 

जब देखती हूँ आइसक्रीम की ख़ारिज अर्जी
माँ से पापा के पास पहुँचते 

जब बात करती हूँ ऑटो रिक्शा वाले से 

और उसके बोलते सपने 

कि बिटिया को डॉक्टर बनाऊंगा
जब किसी अनपढ़ मजदूर की आँखें चमक उठती हैं
बेटी को अंग्रेजी में बात करते देख कर 

जब किसी बेटी की विदाई में 

डबडबा जाती हैं आंखें पर रोया नहीं जाता 

तो हर उस पल मुझे याद आते हैं पापा 

हर बेटी में दिखता है मुझे मेरा चेहरा 

और हर पिता लगता है एक जैसा 

कुछ अनकहा सा अबोला सा रिश्ता है 

पापा की परी कहूँ या Daddy’s Girl 

शब्दों की परिधि में समेटना मुमकिन नहीं
ये सफ़र है पापा से hero बनने का 

जो होता है सबसे ख़ास 

सबसे अलग 

This father’s day, I am expressing my love towards my dad by participating in the 
#HugYourDad activity at BlogAdda in association with Vicks.I loved this ad of #Vicks which without saying anything says a lot :

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Fighting the everyday blues..............The Ambi Pur way

When it comes to odours I remember an incident which I would like to narrate. It happened such we, a group of 15 friends  used to take a whole day physics tution classes from a teacher  just before our board exams .One day it was Sunday and we were writing tests, suddenly a bad smell crept in. Everyone of us had a nauseating feeling, it was so strong a smell. Suddenly sir came in and happily told us that a relative from Bangladesh had visited them and she was cooking a fish delicacy where fish was soaked overnight in yoghurt, his happy foodie expression showed that he didn’t care about the smell. But we did, it was bad but no one had the guts to say this to a strict sir.After a while when this odour became unbearable a boy stood up and said “ सर! इस बदबू में मछली पकने तक दो –चार लोग मर जायेंगे “(a few people would die till your fish dish is prepared).

Well the class was called off and the moral of the story is –bad odours of home may seem bearable to you but  they surely are one pushing factor for guests. So let me take you to the world of bad odours of home (Keep your handkerchief on nose).

1)   Smelly Socks
The most common cause of bad smell and in most of the cases the originator of the smell is unaware of the torture he/she unleashes on others.
Grand Ma said- Put kapoor in your socks, some people even apply deodorant on their feet.
The School of Smelly to smiley -  Spray Ambi Pur if you plan to wash these genocidal stuff.

2)  Smelly Shoes
Some homes should have a warning sign in front  because the different smelly shoes stacked together can make you puke out.
Grand Ma said- Put teabags overnight
The School of Smelly to smiley – How about a sash of Ambi Pur to make your guests smile.
Copyright- Manhattan Wardrobe Supply

3)  Smelly bathrooms
Ok, we all have witnessed the horror of horribly smelling bathrooms when some guests ,relative or any family member comes out of it, the urge to call a fire brigade is so strong but then we have to fight that odour. Doors are closed ,windows of washroom are opened and all attempts are made to not let that smell creep in our living area. Alas! It does and be equipped with our weapon called Ambi Pur to fight it.

4)  Unwashed Utensils
You had a party at home which crossed pass midnight and you are too lazy to do the utensils. You wake up to a tragic news that your maid has taken a sick leave today. You are late for office so postpone the washing part for evening and when you reach home after a taxing day you are welcomed not only with unwashed cutlery but also a strange smell of stale food all over. Before you put on that apron and ask your hubby to help ,spray Ambi Pur to ease the task.

5)  Rains and the dampness that ensues
Ok ,I love rains ,they all make us romantic, we wish for drives,dance ,full on fat fried foods but with all those Aaww moments rains bring with them the odour of damp walls, seelan ,clothes that refuse to dry spoiling the moment. You can always fight the odours and then take care of the rest.

6)  Clogged Sinks or Pipes
Sinks that are clogged or pipes that fail to succumb to the power of drain it give the most excruciatingly bad smell. Plumber seems like a God’s avatar in those dire times of need and do you realize what tortures us the most till the most revered plumber knocks the door, it’s the smell .Use ambi pur because it makes the odour disappear like it never was.

From Smelly  Disasters to Smiley Dens ,It’s the Ambi Pur that always comes for rescue.
GET AMBI PUR INSTEAD :-)   ,Copyright-

I am blogging for #SmellyToSmiley activity in association with Ambi Pur

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


It’s not about Pride and Prejudice……….Sweetheart

DISCLAIMER- this post is written in honor of the women who text me “Hey whatsup! Looking good yaar! Aur bata shaadi kab kar rahi hai, you are crossing the age dear”

Pride and prejudice – we all loved the classic novel and the movie too ( Even the Aishwarya Rai starrer hindi version was kind of ok), the movie which deals with marriage and happily ever after theory. This theory has been fed, forced fed to us since generations.

Frequently these days I come across friends on whatsapp, we chat, facebook , growing out of the sunny side of Pride &Prejudice phase and though their beautifully photoshopped pictures may say that the metaphorical happiness is actually there. Being together is a bliss and motherhood a blessing but strangely the same species with whom you hanged out as free birds don the cap of a blackmailer from “There would be no one around to take care of you” to counselor you don’t need “At right age , you should be settled”.

This feminism is what we are not able to overcome how many centuries may pass. In India being single by choice is not a choice at all, single may be one who is unmarried, divorced, widowed and let’s not blame any social hierarchy or patriarchal mindset for it ,it’s the females around you and the serial conspiracy to make you one of their own.

This lack of empathy is what throws us away from  the superbly written posts on feminism, who the hell other than we can challenge the notion of a perfect body, perfect shape, perfect color, perfect job and perfect age to marry, to bear child…….etc. This mad race of all things perfect is started by a woman   and the one cheering you up are your girlfriends who have already finished the race.

Marriage is beautiful , it gives you a companion to share- share everything from white and black ,to the gloomy blues to sunny yellow . Children are the ultimate stress buster, their talks, no nonsense love ,their growing up everything is so lively. I love them, my nieces make my life a permanent smiley.I look up to having that companion, to a marriage that is a like chilling out with a buddy to even a child some day, i just don't look up to this constant pricking by the happily married double XX chromosomes 24*7.

Recently I talked to a woman whom I admired for her spontaneous personality and the 10 minute talk that followed she gave me advices about marriageable age, how to balance career with marriage and also the month in which  I should get married  for a decent 9.6 minutes.Women who are on the other side of fence eager to increase their number are the ones who say unpleasant things to the ones who are happily independent, to the ones who are not able to bear child. It is a sad remnant of sexism in its another ugly form when a women’s worth is calculated on the scores of her ability to keep her marriage happy and her ability to bear child at the right age.

I love you girls ,I love your Facebook and Instagram pictures of being “happily married” ,just don’t let your centuries old reflexes of “being perfect” judge other’s lives. Everyone has its own taste of sugar in the coffee or may be someone hates coffee too.

Happy Living ………………Sehar

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

SAKSHAT 3.0 : A talk with an amazing author- JAMES KING........this one is for the beautiful world of words

Here I am with the third post of “SAKSHAT” , Sakshat crosses borders and reaches US where I talk to a magical author and a wonderful human being –James King (Whom I fondly call Jim).

James king is the author of “Bill Warrington’s Last Chance” a moving story of a Bill’s struggle with a diagnosis that will lead him to loose all the memories he has collected, his efforts to keep his falling family together and through his journey full of hiccups, the readers feel the Bill within or someone they knew. Somewhere we all resemble Warrington family when you put down the book and that is the power of writing. ( go order your copy, you can not miss this wonderful novel. You can order at:

Christopher Hitchens in a speech to young writers beautifully sums up how writing is born, he says 

You were fifteen and standing beside a river in wintertime. Ice floes drifted slowly downstream. Your nose was running. Your dog, panting by your side, As you stood there, watching the river, an imperative communicated itself to you. You were being told to pay attention. You, the designated witness, special little teen-age omniscient you, wearing tennis shoes out in the snow, against your mother’s orders. Just then the sun came out from behind the clouds, revealing that every twig on every tree was encased in ice. The entire world a crystal chandelier that might shatter if you made a sound, so you didn’t. And the beauty of the world at that moment, the majestic advance of ice in the river, so like the progress of the thoughts inside your head, overwhelmed you, filling you with one desire and one desire only, which was to go home immediately and write about it.

Before we hear this amazing writer talk about his own journey at Sakshat ,let's hear about Jim in the words of his daughter Katherine :

"My dad worked from home and woke up every morning before sunrise to turn on his computer.Even though he ran his own business, my dad was never too busy for a hug, to give us advice or to edit our papers for school.When we were very little, my Dad would tell my brother and me stories before we went to bed.They were tales he made up on the spot about little kids our age,flying deer and mischievous leprechauns. may be this was how i first fell in love with storytelling.

I grew up wanting to be just like my Dad. Now that i am also a writer, i still send my Dad stories and pitch letters for editing. He is never too busy to correct my commas."

Thank you Katherine for lovely words and Jim that's a surprise for you :-)( i missed my dad)

Here goes SAKSHAT 3.0 with James King:

Q) Thanks a ton Jim for being my guest on this blog column, I knew that you are such a sweetheart that you will not say a no.

I never say no to a doctor, Doc! And how could I refuse one so committed to the health of children? I admire you and your work. Thank you for inviting me here.

Me: How about some words on your journey from a boy to a youngster and now an author?

Sure. As a boy, I was always reading. I thought it would be the coolest thing in the world to someday write a book. I used to write short stories that my father would encourage me to read to my family at the dinner table. I have eight siblings. I don’t know if my brothers and sisters enjoyed the stories—I suspect not—but my father ruled with an iron fist so they had to stay and listen. I would like to now apologize to them for that. J
Anyway, I have a distinct memory of announcing to my mother, at the age of six, that someday I was going to be a “published author.” Little did I know that it would take nearly fifty years and three unpublished novels before I finally realized that dream.

Me: When did you first wrote something or may be scribbled and you thought “Man, I am good at it”

I am still waiting for that moment! But I do remember a couple of times when others, whose opinion I respected, encouraged me. For example, in sixth grade I wrote an essay that caught the attention of my teacher. She suggested that I attend a creative writing class over the summer. Going to summer school was not my idea of a good time—but I took the class and loved it. Much later, during my last year of college, I took a writing course with a professor who was also an ex-literary agent and published novelist. In one of her novels that I asked her to sign (I love collecting author signatures!), she wrote that she had every confidence that one day she would be asking me for my signature on one of my novels. She passed away before that could happen, but her inscription and encouragement continue to inspire me.

Me: It is said that every story ,every novel is inspired, inspired from any experience, inspired from eavesdropping, inspired from grandma’s tales………Do you believe that a work of fiction can be a fiction only?

When I finished “Bill Warrington’s Last Chance,” one of the things that I was most excited about it was that it was, in my estimation, absolutely a pure fiction. It deals with dementia, and nobody in my family, other than my grandmother who had it for a short time before she died, suffered from this cruel disease. But after the book was published and I started doing reading at libraries and bookstores, some of the passages I selected to read made it clear to me that I relied on my past more than I thought. Even if the situations are different, there’s no escaping the “you” in what you write.

Me: How did “Bill Warrington’s last chance” happen? You were confident enough that this book will be such a success?

Bill was inspired by the personality of a neighbor I met when my wife, Joanne, and I moved into our house 30 years ago. He was an older man who had, two weeks earlier, lost his wife. He was a gruff but kind-at-heart sort of guy who was reluctant to accept help from me—even as the house he had built with his own hands as a wedding gift to his wife sort of crumbled down around him. I was hopeful but not entirely confident the novel would be published. In fact, it was rejected by more than 50 literary agents. In fact, the road to publication was via a writing contest. No one was more surprised that I won it than I was.

Me : Jim ,I have found you as one of the coolest human being I have interacted with, a person who can be your best buddy. Writing may be a loner’s job but the people who love you are behind every great piece of art. Tell us about these people in your life that make you such a warm and affectionate person.
(P.S.- We want to hear the love struck stories too)

I’m not sure those adjectives are accurate descriptors of my true personality, but I thank you. I credit my mother with any empathetic characteristics I may have inherited, and my father for my stubborn determination—which I definitely inherited. They are both gone, but remain a very real presence to me.
The people who continue to stand behind me and inspire me are, first and foremost is my wife, Joanne. Nearly thirty years ago, when I told her that I had just quit my job (and steady paycheck) to become a freelance writer, she was just two weeks away from delivering our first child. I was in Chicago on a business trip at the time. Instead of questioning my sanity or hiring a divorce lawyer, she said, “Okay. Come on home, then.”

My daughter, Kate, and son, Dan, continue to motivate me. They provide encouragement when needed and a (verbal) kick-in-the-butt when warranted. They are excellent readers and have provided me with insightful feedback on my work. I’m incredibly proud of both of them, and work hard in hopes that they’ll be proud of me and what I write.

Me: Who is your favorite author? I know you read a lot but when you pick up a book, a completely unknown book, what is your insight in picking up the same?

An impossible question to answer,  Doc. The authors that spring to mind are Philip Roth, John Updike, Richard Russo, Margaret Atwood… I could go on. I do love reading debut novels. I pick books that are more character-driven than plot-driven. I find relationships fascinating: how they develop, how things go awry, and how (and if) they are resolved.

 Me: Have you read any of the Indian writings? Have you visited India? Tell us about your experiences.

I am the proud owner of a signed copy of Jhumpa Lahiri’s “Interpreter of Maladies,” which I loved. Other Indian writers I’ve read and admire include Aravid Adiga, Amitav Ghosh, and Arundhati Roy.

Back in the late 70s, I was one of those skinny, scruffy backpackers wandering around India. I traveled mainly in the north—Amritsar, Delhi, Varanasi, and Calcutta. I also spent two memorable weeks on a houseboat on Dal Lake in Srinigar, up in Jammu and Kashmir. I loved the time I spent in India. The people were warm and friendly. The food didn’t always agree with me, though—hence the two weeks on a houseboat, recovering from an intestinal situation I’ll refrain from describing. My system has since adapted, though. One of my favorite local restaurants is Indian. I’ve gotten very daring with the spice levels—I’m up to a six on a ten-point scale!

Me : With the ubiquitous presence of social media around, there are two schools of thought occupying the centre stage of debate, while one group of writers find them distracting, there are others who are doing it for a wider reach and think that it is a boon for writers. Which School of thought you fall in?

Both. On a personal level, social media is a great way to re-connect and stay in touch with friends and family. It’s also been a great way to meet new friends—such as a certain physician in India. On a professional level, however, I have found it to be terribly distracting. I don’t blame the media; I blame myself. I need to get more disciplined about when and how often I check in. (I have several computer programs designed to keep me off of social media during my writing hours.) I’m also not very good at using social media to promote my book. I think this is common among writers.

Me : Any words of wisdom for struggling writers aspiring to be authors?

Yes: Please quit now—I have enough competition.
On a serious note: Don’t give up. It took me decades to get published. It probably won’t take you as long.

Me: Ok Jim , I would give you a few words, tell me the first word that comes to your mind when you hear these words………..and you don’t have to think. Be spontaneous

Life – a feast; most of us are starving. My father used to say that a lot. (Oops. That’s more than one word. Sorry.)

Love –Yes.

Writing-  Not for the faint of heart. Keep your day job.



Failures-Get used to them. (I keep breaking the one-word rule, don’t I?)

Critics-Everyone’s entitled. Be fair.


Daughter-Truly a gift—as is my son!


Castle –(Drawing a blank on this one, Doc.)


Tears-Good if the result of good writing.

Church-the world.

Blogging-Another writing failure of mine—thanks for the reminder. (Just kidding.)

Me: Thank You Jim for being you. You are a great writer and an amazing person. Lastly any words for the “Sakshat” column on my blog where I write about people who have taken a road less travelled and who live their passion.

Thank you, my friend, for tolerating the American penchant for nicknames and allowing me to address you as “Doc.” Thank you also for this opportunity to participate in your blog. And thanks to all for reading. I wish you the best on your own writing journey.

James is a full time writer based at Wilton,Connecticut with his family. You can connect to him at