Toilet for Babli: An initiative


Toilet for Babli InitiativeSource: https://www.indiblogger.in/images/happyhours/domex1/brandcover.png

Open defecation is a huge problem in the developing world. But in India, this problem has reached alarming levels. From diseases & conditions like typhoid, malaria, measles, cholera and others to rapes and sexual assaults on women, open defecation is impacting our society in a big way. More than 600 million people (about half our population) defecate openly in India every day. So why is this the case? Let’s check it out.

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100 word fiction – Lost in the sea of humanity


hollywood crowd
Copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Jack wanted to meet and greet all the cartoon characters who had come to the square as part of the Children’s Day celebrations. We reached the venue half an hour in advance keeping the crowds in mind. But little were we to know that the swarm of people would multiply as the minutes go by. As I stood on my toes trying to look around, I realized that Jack was nowhere to be seen. Inquiring with everyone around and searching every nook and corner didn’t yield anything. I was quite literally lost in the sea of humanity which surrounded me.

Written for the photo prompt and you can read other entries here.

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Five Sentence Fiction: Flight


Birds flying high

“I wish I was a bird who could fly away leaving all my worries behind.”

Anna prayed to God everyday to make her a successful sportsman so that she could give her family a better life far from the conflicts they had grown used to. Though they struggled to make ends meet, her parents wanted Anna to live her dream of becoming a top squash player.

God seemed to listen to her prayers as she slowly but surely began to rise up higher and higher in her sporting career. The joy her parents felt seeing their daughter flying high knew no bounds.

Written for Five Sentence Fiction prompt: Flight

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Book Review – 7 Secrets of the Goddess


7 Secrets of the Goddess

Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik is a doctor who has followed his passion for mythology by penning down more than 20 books in the field of mythology and the way they impact our lives in various ways. ’7 Secrets of the Goddess” is the fourth book in the ’7 Secrets’ series after ‘7 Secrets of Shiva‘, ‘7 Secrets of Vishnu‘ and ’7Secrets from Hindu Calendar Art’. Personally for me, this was Devdutt’s first book which I was about to read. Does it work? Let’s check it out.

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Five Sentence Fiction: The helpless girl


Helpless GirlSource: http://aliciabritton.theworldrace.org/blogphotos/theworldrace/aliciabritton/crying_girl.jpg

She loved sketching and her room full of sketches of famous personalities was proof of her passion. Seeing this, her friends had gifted her the Natraj dark pencils so that she could go on to live her dream of becoming an artist.

But her father who spent all his money in drinking and energy in thrashing his wife had a different opinion.

“If I knew that you would waste all your time in sketching, eating Parle G biscuits and watching Alif Laila on Doordarshan all day long, I would have sold you to your uncle long back.”

She had grown tired seeing the troubles in her house day in and day out but could only cry thinking about her helpless state.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

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In conversation with Shobhan Bantwal


Shobhan Bantwal
Source: http://www.shobhanbantwal.com/Media/Shobhan_Bantwal-300ppi.jpg

Shobhan Bantwal is the author of six novels and co-author of two anthologies. Her books combine contemporary women’s issues with romantic elements. Her articles have appeared in The Writer, Romantic Times, India Abroad, Little India, New Woman and India Currents. Her short fiction has won her honours & awards in contests sponsored by Writer’s Digest and New York Stories. She won the First Place Award in New Woman magazine’s 2005 Short Fiction Competition for her story, Lingering Doubts. Her debut book, The Dowry Bride, won the 2008 Golden Leaf Award. The Unexpected Son won the 2012 National Indie Excellence Award. Shobhan lives in Arizona, USA.

And today, we have her here for a short tete-a-tete -

Aseem: What does writing mean to you?
Shobhan: Writing is almost a spiritual experience for me because I put my heart and soul into each story. The characters I create for each book temporarily come into my life like family, friends, or neighbours. Many of my characters also possess the traits of people I know, some of them intimately. The wonderful thing about fiction is that one can express just about anything via one’s characters that would not go over as well in non-fiction or speech.

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Oman Diaries: The journey to Jebel Shams


The journey begins!

On the way..

Rugged mountains, smooth winding roads, chilly breeze and a Land Cruiser Prado to boot – The ride to Jebel Shams was an adventure in every way. Located about 2-3 hours by road from Muscat – the capital of Sultanate of Oman and an hour away from the town of Nizwa, Jebel Shams (Sun Mountain) is the tallest point in the Hajar Mountains and at a height of more than 3000m, it is regarded as the tallest point in eastern Arabia. The beautiful village of Al Hamra stands at the base of this mountain peak.

The winding roads leading to the top

The winding roads uphill

Though its said that the journey is more important than the destination, in the case of Jebel Shams, both the journey to the top and the views from the top are nothing short of spectacular. As our driver cum guide Majid drove up the winding roads, we observed that the temperature fell from around 30 degrees to just about 12 degrees.

Rugged mountains as far as the eyes can see

We move further into mountainous territory

In a matter of about 25 minutes, the heat was replaced by chilly winds hitting all our faces.

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