Co-writing a novel for Team ‘Bards of the Blogosphere’ #CelebrateBlogging

So this BlogAdda came up with this novel idea of writing a novel as teamwork. Pretty usual for them to harp on unusual ideas and throw them at us, bloggers. This is definitely a challenge to the blogging community, co-writing a whole novel with 8-9 strangers. But it is indeed a great idea to bring the community together, let bloggers from all over the country know each other, support and co-work as teams.

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

They have provided us with five core characters to build our story upon. We can and will add three more to spice up the story. They will be judged by a jury panel every week and they will keep eliminating teams. At the end of three weeks, three teams will survive. The best one will be published as a book by BlogAdda. Isn’t it great?

Our team is ‘Bards of the Blogosphere’, comprising  DivyakshiPriyanka VictorArpitaDattaNupurSulekhaMariaRoshan and Priyanka Roy Banerjee. 

Image Courtesy: Roshan Radhakrishnan

Image Courtesy: Roshan Radhakrishnan

Though we have come together by sheer luck and BlogAdda’s permutation, we have gelled so well as a team that I don’t recall not knowing these people a week ago. We have brainstormed, argued politely, given each other space, stood by when any of us is busy and working, helped each other with blogging technicalities as well as nitty-gritties of writing.

I believe we can make it to the top, so does my team. Do read all our chapters, follow our Facebook page and show us some love!

Week 1: 
Chapter 1 – Princess’ Day Out
Chapter 2 – The Weekend Brunch
Chapter 3 – The Journey
Chapter 4 – The Phone Call
Chapter 5 – Through the Eyes of a Stranger
Chapter 6 – The Princess and her Pied Piper
Chapter 7 – Shadow play turns real
Chapter 8 – Mysterious Tattoo
Chapter 9 – The Confrontation

Week 2:
Chapter 1 – I’m coming to get you, Princess
Chapter 2 – The evening before
Chapter 3 – A Good morning
Chapter 4 – Trigger happy
Chapter 5 – The Calm before the storm
Chapter 6 – What lies beneath
Chapter 7 – Pandemonium
Chapter 8 – Whodunit?
Chapter 9 – Divulgence

Week 3:
Chapter 1 – Shadows in the Night
Chapter 2 – Taken
Chapter 3 – Truth and Pretence
Chapter 4 – The Perfect Crime
Chapter 5 – Standoff
Chapter 6 – The Return
Chapter 7 – Catharsis
Chapter 8 – The Reunion
Chapter 9 – Epilogue

  • You can tell Blogadda what you think of our story directly here. Best comment wins a prize from them, we believe 🙂

 

Image Courtesy: Divyakshi Gupta

Image Courtesy: Divyakshi Gupta

Our Facebook Page is here

Love Thy Neighbour!

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine

True. Having been taught the gospels of Saint Augustine in a school named after him, this is one of his teachings I believe in. You cannot discover more than half of yourself unless you have travelled. Each new sight and sound, flora and fauna unravels a part of you hidden hitherto from your own soul.

Image Courtesy: Google

Image Courtesy: Google

I have travelled in India, yes. As a family, we’ve done the usual ‘South India’ tours, the ‘Bombay-Goa’, ‘Rajasthan’, and the shorter ‘Puri’, ‘Darjeeling’ ones. There’s one more tour that people from Calcutta usually cover early in their life – Nepal, our beautiful neighbouring country. My parents had missed it, somehow. My in-laws have visited there recently. It seems we’re one of the few couples in our family not having been there. I’ve always longed to visit Nepal as I primarily adore mountains. The alluring chill of the hills, the tranquility that is hard to find in the plains, and the familiarity of the people in language and habits are reason enough for a visit or two. So I had planned a Nepal trip long ago including places to visit, food to eat, adventure, religious shrines, national parks and lakes. The itinerary got easier with Skyscanner providing a credit of 1 lakh rupees to accommodate all my plans. Here’s the plan all chalked out for any one to have a great trip in Nepal. I have pointed the key places I’d like to visit in the map here – Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Patan (5 km from Kathmandu), Royal Chitwan National Park, Pokhara and Lumbini. Each has it’s own significance in my trip, read further to know how they fit.

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She Works in Beauty

This post is written for thAs Beautiful As Your Work contest at Women’s Web in association with Tanishq. Watch the Mia video for more information. 

There are women all around us, and then, there are women who inspire us. I will not write about myself or any urbane woman who is erudite enough to make herself and her work beautiful. I feel it would be injustice if I don’t write about the most hard working woman I have seen till now. No, she is not my mother, but my maid or ‘domestic help’ as she would be called these days. I have been witness to her strength, both physical and mental, for the past seven months now.

When we arrived at this apartment in a new city earlier this year, I was looking for a maid. She knocked on the door one fine morning and appointed herself. We got introduced to each other – she said she’s married, has two kids, lives somewhat nearby, has a mobile phone and drives a scooter to work. I was impressed at the advancement of women in Maharashtra, their hard work and determination to save money and buy their own vehicles. She started working and I observed her in awe, as she works nearly twelve hours each day at about seven-eight households. She cooks, cleans, washes, babysits and massages old women in various families. We keep discussing her strength and dedication to work as she doesn’t waste a single moment at work. Always clean and neatly dressed, she comes prepared with a smile and some chit-chat for everyone she meets.

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Learn to Live, Live to Learn

I am sharing what ‘I Saw and I Learnt’ at BlogAdda.com in association with DoRight.in.

doright-bloggers-contest-blogadda

At the commencement of this year around six months ago, I was travelling back to Hyderabad from Calcutta. As always with that route of travel, I was a little depressed to leave home and loved ones again toward a city I didn’t like. Thankfully the feeling didn’t last long because it were the ultimate time I would be travelling on that route. We were scheduled to move from Hyderabad to Pune in a few days upon our return from Calcutta, and that at least brought a streak of joy inside me. Normally when I travel by Indian Railways, I pray silently for a lower berth after booking the ticket. The God of Railways doesn’t like me much though. It has been a middle or upper berth for me each time I have travelled in the last three years. This last time turned out to be different, as the Gods were moved by my sufferings and I was granted a lower berth. A happy me arrived at the station for boarding and checked the passenger list, just in case. To my disappointment, the co-passengers in my coupe were three elderly people, an octogenarian gentleman, a septuagenarian lady and another gentleman just shy of being a senior citizen.

I was a little upset, yes. At the same time I and my husband prepared ourselves to offer the comfort to them. Being in my thirties, I am still capable of keeping my claustrophobia (of middle berth) in control than forcing the elderly into discomfort. We enjoyed the limited sprawl of lower berths for about two hours until the train reached Jamshedpur and our senior co-passengers boarded the coupe. I was half expecting a frail couple considering their ages on the chart, but was greeted with amazing smiles from two surprisingly agile people. The gentleman was the quintessential Bengali silver-haired grandpa with a permanent smile in his eyes, and the lady resembled my mother more than grandma. We promptly offered them both the lower berths that we had, as they panted for breath after running a long way to board the correct coupe. Their companion for the journey was a distant relative who was evidently very fond of them. It didn’t take much time to strike a conversation in Bengali, and then there was no dam to hold the free-flowing adda.

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Dasvidaniya

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Arriverderci

“I have something to tell you.”

Tony muttered as Marc bent to pick an Edelweiss for him.

His words lingered in the thin air of Swiss Alps.

It was fourth day of the trek and they had climbed high.

The tone of his lover surprised Marc as he felt the downhill thrust.

“Arriverderci.”

Auf Wiedersehen

“I have something to tell you.”

Mark didn’t look at her. His eyes were still shut softly.

Toni repeated the words to her twin brother.

Mark still lay lifeless. He is in coma for the past ten years.

Toni severed all medical ties that kept him alive.

Now she could finally bid him , “Auf Wiedersehen.”

Sayonara

“I have something to tell you.”

He said apologetically before she could undress him.

Nahoko couldn’t wait any longer. He was a rare Italian gigolo in Tokyo.

As she opened his shirt, she was shocked by the full-body tattoos.

“Sayonara,” he whispered while slashing her throat.

She was the wife of a Triad lord.

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda – See more at: http://blog.blogadda.com/2013/06/21/weekend-creative-writing-india-bloggers#comments

Conjoined By Distance

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Image Courtesy: Google

Image Courtesy: Google

I met her for the first time fifteen years ago. Both of us had travelled from our respective suburbs to the huge city of Calcutta to appear for admission tests and interviews after our secondary board exams. We faced each other for the first time during one of such admission tests. Our parents were waiting outside as we were writing our tests in a classroom. I still remember the room, though later we couldn’t locate it anymore. We didn’t pay attention to each other, neither to the other girls. Yes, it was a girls’ school. Some of them knew each other and chatted gleefully. I knew none, and was silent as a wall, the way I was back then. The first time I actually noticed her was on the day of the interview. A tiny, thin girl with curly cropped hair like a halo around her head. Her parents were probably a little tensed about the interview, and kept talking to my parents but she was cool and chirping her way with all her certificates, academic and extra-curricular – drama, elocution. I was quite nervous, with exclusively academic credentials and being already rejected from another school for not being a Calcatian, or Calcuttan, whatever they meant. My parents were trying to boost my confidence and she was calming down her parents with confidence. I guess neither of us paid attention to each other, we were busy with our own chores and let the parents chat their way.

The third time I saw her was our first day in the new school. Both of us had been admitted there and were about to enter the school gate at the same time. My father came with me as I knew nothing of that part of the city. He was immensely relieved to see the ‘acquainted’ girl and felt that I would be comfortable with her. I was apprehensive though, not very much encouraging the idea since I had been a loner and never really tried to befriend somebody on my own. Our fathers introduced us to each other and went back. We were introduced formally and walked through the entrance of the school towards the classroom.
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Fine Line of Desire

110 Creative Challenge

Ira was not feeling guilty being caressed by another man. He was an old friend she had always liked. He might become her soul mate with time, who knows!

The husband had blasted her with the fact that he liked another man. After six months of marriage.

Ira felt her friend come closer, wanting to make a move. She too was aroused, by the scent of his presence.

Something metallic fell off the inside pocket of his jacket with a clang as he pondered over.

Ira picked it up. It was her husband’s silver tie-pin.

She had lost track of the cheat sheet. The vicious cycle was up and running.

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