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55 word story: Renewal

55 word story: Renewal

Pune, India

The day was finally here. His face glowed like never before. As he looked out, the sky seemed more beautiful than ever.

55 word story: Renewal

Muscat, Oman

55 word story: Renewal

Muscat, Oman

This lockdown had taught him what it felt like to just walk around peacefully amidst nature be it at a beach or a park. It gave a him a renewed sense of life.

55 word story: Renewal

Muscat, Oman

Linking to Which Way Photo Challenge, Tuesday Photo Challenge: Renewal, Microblog Mondays, Monday Window, Water Water Everywhere, Fandango One Word Challenge: Glow

Microblog Mondays: Global Warming

Global Warming

It’s the same story every year and things seem to be just getting worse as the years pass by. Flooding in India, Nepal and Bangladesh have killed more than a 1000 people already in 2017. With rainfall of 300mm on 29th August 2017, Mumbai, India’s financial capital had its wettest August day in 2 decades. With a recovery cost of more than $ 180bn, Hurricane Harvey is expected to surpass Hurricane Katrina as the worst storm on record in United States.

The carbon dioxide levels are at an all time high. The global sea temperatures are breaking records like never before thus creating even stronger storm events. The extent of ice in Antartica is lower than it has ever been. There have been record heatwaves across Europe and US leading to multiple wildfires.

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In conversation with Ram Sivasankaran – Author of The Peshwa

It's always great to see your work in print isn't it?

It’s always great to see your work in print isn’t it?

Source: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CWgbD5tVEAAtlnY.jpg
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Ram Sivasankaran was born in Madras, India, but has spent most of his life abroad largely in the Middle East and the United States of America. He was brought up with stories from Hindu legend and the great epics and classics of both India and the West. In addition to being a passionate student of history in school, Ram built keen interest in stories of valor, heroism, chivalry, beauty and romance.

A day-dreamer of sorts, Ram believes deeply in the power of imagination – the mind being the canvas on which even the seemingly talent-less can create new universes, resurrect eras long gone, bring the gods to life and even resurrect heroes and damsels of yore. As such, Ram makes his debut with a historical novel on one of the greatest and yet, to an extent, less-known warrior from Indian history – Bajirao Bhat, Peshwa of the Maratha Confederacy.

He joins us for a quick tete-a-tete.

Aseem: When did you first feel that you had it in you to become an author?

Ram: I have always written tiny blog posts across many topics such as politics, religion and ancient science and received decent feedback among close friend and family circles. Many have encouraged me to write in a form that ups the scale of both words communicated and audience reached so I decided to give professional writing a try.

The earliest though when I fell in love with writing and recognized any innate ability to do so was in third grade, when my teacher appreciated me for a little story of Winnie the Pooh I had written in the form of a couple of paragraphs.

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Microblog Mondays: A visit to the Lucknow Gomti Riverfront

Lucknow Gomti Riverfront

These days it’s becoming really difficult to find lush green spaces amidst most overpopulated Indian cities. More and more youngsters of today are spending their time with their gadgets rather than coming out and taking a walk in fresh air. As various kinds of health problems like heart diseases, hypertension, obesity etc. mount, it’s becoming more important than ever to go out for walks if heading to the gym is not your cup of tea.

Lucknow Gomti Riverfront

And that’s where something like the Lucknow Gomti Riverfront comes in. Constantly ranked among the most polluted cities on the planet, Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh in India has been in desperate need for green spaces. And looks like finally a start has been made. This 1500 crore project has involved cleaning up the Gomti river which flows through the city along with ensuring that more than 30 or so nullahs are cleaned and the sewage is not dumped into the river.

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A life event am thankful for..

Events of our lives..

Events of our lives..

Source: http://www.sendwisecards.com/quotecards/events-of-our-lives-quotecard.sized.jpg

We all have many life events which we remember for a long time be it birthdays, anniversaries, the day we marry, the day we fall in love for the first time, the day we have our first breakup, the day we come first in class, the day we make new friends, the day our parents gift us a new laptop or phone  and many more. These are the days when we thank God for keeping us happy and contented. But as is human nature, we also remember the bad times for a variety of reasons as well.

For me, one of the key life events which I have been thankful for is the fact that I got a chance to go out of my comfort zone to complete my graduation and post – graduation in India. I had always lived a sheltered and well protected life while growing up in the Sultanate of Oman. There was almost never a time when I didn’t have AC be it at home, school, malls or in cars. There was almost never a time when my parents weren’t around for their support in anything and everything I wanted. Most importantly, there was no pollution – water, air, noise whatsoever.

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Book Review – My Father is a Hero

My Father Is A Hero

My Father Is A Hero

Source: http://srishtipublishers.com/images/book
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‘My Father is a Hero’ by Srishti Publishers is Nishant Kaushik’s fifth novel after four bestsellers. At it’s core, it is a heartwarming story of the love between a father and his daughter. Does it work? Let’s check it out.

The blurb goes like this –

Vaibhav Kulkarni has had few accomplishments worth boasting about in his modest life and career. Yet, his happy universe lies intact in the love and pride his ten-year-old daughter inspires in him.

Nisha Kulkarni justifies every reason to be the favourite child of Pune’s premier school – be it her academic brilliance, her exceptional facility with music, or simply her unassuming charm. With his daughter showing promising signs of a stellar success story, Vaibhav has made peace with own unrequited dreams of the past.

But when the girl mysteriously starts losing her mojo and spirals into despair and seclusion, Vaibhav faces the toughest test of his life as a single father – to reclaim his child’s trust and happiness. What distance will a middle-class man with limited means go to show his daughter the merit in believing in a dream? Read this gripping tale of love, courage, and of the emergence of an ordinary man as an extraordinary hero.

For starters, the book has a nice cover design which perfectly captures the essence of the story. Everything about it be it the bag or the father and daughter holding hands is so well thought of.

Nishant has a lovely story at hand. The book starts off slowly as it shows the deep bond of love between Vaibhav and Nisha. Along with going out of his way to ensure that the smile never leaves her face, he also makes it a point to instill the right virtues in her despite the challenges of bringing her up as a single parent.

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Microblog Mondays: Can pollution be reversed?

It's becoming difficult to freely breathe in our clogged cities

It’s becoming difficult to freely breathe in our clogged cities

Source: http://i.bnet.com/blogs/india_hyderabad_traffic
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We all keep cribbing about pollution of all kinds from air pollution to noise pollution each and every day of our lives. With many of India’s cities in the top 10 most polluters on the planet, we are used to smoky air for breathing and noise many decibels higher than what our ear drums are generally used to hearing.

There have been numerous awareness campaigns and initiatives to reverse or stop polluting the surroundings. From planting trees to using renewable energy like wind energy, hydroelectric power, solar energy and nuclear power, from using public transport to the odd – even car policy in Delhi, there’s a lot which has been done for our future generations to breathe clean air and live a life free from all the noise around us.

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Half time 2016: The months gone by..

Half time 2016

Half time 2016

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So we have already the crossed the first half of the year. As always, it feels as though the months have passed by quicker than I can even imagine. And soon we will bid goodbye to another year gone by.

January started off with me still dreaming about my trip to Moscow and the lovely winter there. There were travel posts galore of the times in Moscow, Kuwait and Singapore. February and March were all about family and fun. I went home for the first time after coming to Kuwait and it truly felt like those days back in Muscat whenever we used to go home during the school summer vacations. There was also the trip to Dubai which culminated in a number of travel posts as well.

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The journey back home..

British Airways

Fuelled by love

Source: http://theknotstory.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/BA1.jpeg

There are more than 25 million Indians living abroad in more than 160 countries. Interestingly, as per a recent study, there are no Indians in only three countries of the world.

Whilst they may be living or working abroad, a lot many of them are still Indian at heart. Be it the spicy food or the warmth with which they meet our loved ones, the way they celebrate their festivals or their excitement at India winning a cricket match, Indians abroad always connect to India in various ways. And now, there is also the ‘Make in India’ movement which has picked up a lot of pace in the past year.

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Book Review – The Taliban Cricket Club

The Taliban Cricket Club

The Taliban Cricket Club

Source: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71nO3biRspL._SL1500_.jpg

Timeri N Murari has more than 14 published novels to his credit including many bestsellers. He has also written screenplays for various movies and plays. Truth be told, I wasn’t aware of his pedigree when I picked up The Taliban Cricket Club. Instead, I was quite intrigued at reading about cricket in a country which has suffered from wars for years on end. Moreover, the story of the Afghanistan Cricket Team has been a true fairytale even among those who don’t really follow cricket. Is the book as good as it sounds? Let’s check it out.

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