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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Dots And Streaks | Author Interviews & Coverage

While in one side of the world businesses are thriving on "what to speak in an interview " some other plane of the same world there exists a place where you can just be yourself... And yes, that too in an interview :)

Here goes my interview with Blogchatter.... The place and point from where it all started... The journey of 'Dots & Streaks'

Here goes another interview with Chinmayee on her blog

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Addition Of Another Feather!

My first attempt at short fiction that won as a featured writing in Writer's Melon. My story along with the other winners will get featured in an anthology e-book which will be published by Writer's Melon eventually. 

Till then do read up the story at the below link and provide your valuable feedback so that I can improve my narrations.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Happiness & Me!

Sometimes when I type the word happiness I wonder if the spelling has two P's or one... Well don't blame me.. Isn't this the world of auto-corrects ! So, well coming to the topic... Happiness and me... I guess we are like those two naughty kids who love to play hide and seek with each other ! Not only that, we also love to hide behind the door and scare the other from the back with a loud noise at times followed by the evil laughter! We may not be the best of friends but we definitely are not foes till now....touch wood! 

So, what really is happiness... And again we are back to that million dollar question. While we read ways and means to achieve it or let me say reach near to that coveted and much sought after feeling.... What is it really? Now let me think, when all.. As in, in which all moments I might have caught up with my happiness in hiding.... 

Was it when I used to top in some subject or some class? - Not really, that felt like more of a sense of relief... But OK why waste the adjectives and make them cry ! So, let's call what it is usually termed as (although not sure if the meaning of that is proper either)  achievement not really happiness. No wonder when I look back I don't remember the dates or the exact times when any of that happened! OK, so did happiness visit me when I bagged any of the degrees or jobs.... As I remember the timing of those! But no, they are all termed under achievement, ambition, success and the likes isn't it! 

OK so let's move to the non-materialistic world... Maybe happiness resides there! So, did happiness visit me when I got married... was blessed with our Son etc... Wait, but all that comes under the fold of another word called love and it's different forms! 

Then which event can we club only under that elusive word 'happiness' or is it really elusive?! Or is it really as easy as waking up in the morning and telling yourself "Today, is a happy day and I will be positive and happy"...doesnt really work that way does it?! OK I know there are techniques these days (yes, shortcuts to success... That way shortcuts to happiness!) I am not ridiculing.. I do understand the positive effects of yoga and meditation etc on our mind and body. But I am just wondering if that's the means to happiness or peace?! 

Fine, so I thought we anyway are confused souls and although we have all these words in our dictionary with our own meanings attached to it.....let me ask my five year old. What does he think what happiness is? Also, as kids are such pure souls maybe their meanings of these words are purer too! And this is what my Son had to say when I asked him... How do you get to know when you are happy?! 

Muma, it's very simple. Whenever there are no wrinkles on the forehead or whenever there is no frown on the face or whenever my nostrils are not flaring....I am happy and I can clap as I know it! 

So, well then, that's what happiness is.... As simple as that... Whenever you aren't busy with all the other emotions or let's say any of the negative emotions... At all other times you are happy. You just don't know it and are not clapping! :)

PS : A post in response to the prompt 'Happiness'. Sorry Dipika and Ruchi I couldn't sign up for the blog hop as I wasn't sure I can keep up to the commitment. But nevertheless, nothing goes in spreading the joy that you guys started with :)

Friday, July 10, 2020

In Wonderland!!

Alice : So this is how cloud 9 feels...
White Rabbit : Didn't you feel it while racing with me all this while? 
Alice : Those were all races.... Thus felt like one too! cloud 9!

Link to the cover story is here

Link to The Literary Mirror Magazine July, 2020 edition is here

Monday, July 06, 2020

A Rendezvous With Serendipity | Dots And Streaks

It's an irony how life operates. Somehow it never fails to make you believe in lots of things that you might have read heard but never truly believed. Like this time it made me believe in the theory that 'universe does and can really conspire'. 

Not that life has not thrown me surprises before. Ofcouse there have been many but this time it's the stroke of serendipity which over weighed and made its dominance felt loud and clear. 

It only makes me ponder and believe (again!)  that heart's calling can also and does also provide you with a glimpse of that world of wonder. 

While with a heavy heart I took down my posts today of all the poems that I had poured my soul into and spread it over this canvas of mine.....I can only hope and wish that they spread their warmth in this flight of theirs taking their bouquet of emotions along scattering them in the canvas of the wide sky. 

To all those people who made this dream (I don't even know if I had ever dared to dream this way too!) a reality today.....As a journey or an event becomes memorable only because of the people who came along to walk beside holding your hand and helping you walk into those little triumphs .....I owe this and always will to you all. 

Do take out a few minutes and spread the love.... While my book 'Dots And Streaks' goes to get published with Author's Ink as a part of the winning deal... Do provide your feedback and rating on goodreads at this link

You can also find more information and further updates on my book 'Dots And Streaks' on it's  Facebook Page. Do like and follow. 

Below are some of the kind words and accolades that came in the path of 'Dots And Streaks' 

"After an exhaustive evaluation of the various manuscripts in the coveted The LIT Digital Awards 2020, the masterpiece which could stand true to its potential in front of the renowned jury members was Dots & Streaks by Ellora Mishra. 

The debut poetess had made a huge shout out to the literary fraternity by grabbing the coveted award."
The Literary Mirror Author's Ink Publications

"You point where you exactly want the reader to see!
One gets to experience this voyage of discovery!

Like an effortless charioteer, the author steers the readers through the 104 pages of Dots & Streaks."

-Book Review by Dr. Anita Sabat (Author, Blogger, columnist, Odisha GI ambassador) 

"She probably has the key to the time machine as she enables it for the readers to pause and capture the fleeting emotions that usually go unnoticed on our day to day lives. Pause, Ponder and develop a perception is the right way to indulge in this poetic extravaganza. "

- Book Review & Author Interview By Chinmayee Gayatree Sahu (Author, Blogger) 

"Poetry by its very nature tries to capture the elusive elements of life. In fact the intricate and elusive elements of of life which are felt but can never be precisely expressed are best expressed in poetry. Ellora’s poems provide us the insights without themselves being too elusive to our understanding.

True to its claim in the blurb that these are short poetic tales of life’s musings, the poems are full of such ruminations. "

-Book Review By Durga Dash (Author, Blogger) 

"The book is a terrific, succulent piece of poetry written with golden threads of dreams, memories, thoughtful verses that vibe with your inner self. 

Its like wine, it grows on you slowly and tastefully; intoxicates you, leaving you asking for more!"

- Book Review By Daisy Bala (Poet, Author, Blogger) 

"Philosophical and artistic, the verses linger like the petrichor!"

-Book Review By Purba Chakraborty (Poet, Author, Blogger) 

"Without using too many words or explanations, Ellora paints scenes, settings and situations through her poems. Her words transport the reader to exactly where she wants them to be. 

Ellora is the puppeteer, and the reader turns into an audience that thoroughly enjoys the journey full of surprises."

Book Review By Mayura Amarkant (Writer, Freelance Journalist & Digital Consultant, Blogger, Author) 

Life’s principles are subjective. Yet, if viewed stoically, the philosophies of life apply to all and sundry. However, it needs the heart of a poet and a great emotional connect to visit life the way Ellora Mishra does in her debut book of poetry, ‘Dots and Streaks’

‘Dots and Streaks’ is definitely more than just a few ellipses from the pages of life. These poems are a metaphorical journey into everyday living that trickle like music in the ears. 

- Book review by Sonia Dogra Author, Blogger, Teacher, Reporter, Freelance Proof Reader

Gratitude is a very small word and just not enough sometimes. 

My heartfelt gratitude to each and everyone who filled this journey with cherishable memories! 

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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Blossoms & Foliages | Trapped In Heaven | See Through Words - Book Reviews

Today I am attempting to review three different books of three different genres... God bless me! First things first... Disclaimers. So, why three reviews clubbed in one? Why not individual book reviews? Etc etc... For the barrage of questions here go the disclaimers!

1. Considering my own laziness in reading all the book reviews coming through... Well, I am just not able to. So, if I extrapolate my laziness (shamelessly) to others... Most of them are reading just their own book's review. So, in clubbing three book reviews in one post.. May be you get introduced to two more books :)!

2. My blog my rules !! (someone had once told me this line... badly wanted to say this sometime or the other... Wasn't getting the chance ever... So, well one bizzare wish fulfilled  :)!)

So, here we go :)! Just posting the reviews in the order in which I had read the books (you can chalk out the disclaimer in this yourself :))

Blossoms And Foliages (Genre Poetry) 

Even though the book's cover page says it all.... Let me still elaborate.... Are you a nature lover? Even if you are the kind that just feel fresh taking a stroll in the nearby park or woods amidst the greenery...this book describes that surreal experience in the form of poetic verses. You might be surprised that how such a surreal experience can be even described... But you read the poems in the book and you will know... Yes, someone has that god gifted talent to actually be able to word them.

Till date I always felt that photographs do more justice in capturing nature's beauty than words but after reading this book I really couldn't decide which did more justice. The photographs are as beautiful as the imagery created by the poems. You just get transfixed and transferred to that very place in the lap of nature and enjoy drinking it sip by sip through the poetic words woven around them. The author has painstakingly even described each of the pictures for the visually impaired.

My favourite poem is 'Walk your path'...quoting a few lines

"A wise soul has quoted
A journey of thousand miles
Begins with a single step
Determined, Walk the less trodden path
And walk alone if no one else follows you"

And last but not the least... When I picked up this book and started reading... I just couldn't help marvel at the literary richness of the poems. What beautiful usage of words. I would really want the author to guide me as to how can I improve my English to such an international level! 

The link to download the book is here (free for limited period). 

Trapped In Heaven And Other Stories ( Genre Fiction Short Stories - Romance) 

I generally tend to pick up books on romance when I want a light read. When I don't have too much time and still want to do some time pass reading types. And that was precisely my thought before I picked up this book of short stories on romance... But I was in for a pleasant surprise. 

This isn't such a book like the lovey dovey types which you can read and forget with time. The stories are deep and some of them explore some deep rooted vices in our society. And the way the stories bring them out is hard hitting and leaves you touched and thinking. 

My favourite two stories from the book are '#No Filter' which just left me teary eyed and 'The Devil's Bride' for which I am short of words and can only applaud. 

Erotica as a genre is niche in itself and it requires great amount of talent and craft to make it aesthetically tasteful. And this author has this brilliant ability to do so. The way she has narrated the stories and woven erotica with romance and explored the depths of relationships is simply amazing. 

Somewhere, while reading I also felt that the book even subtly explored through the portrayal of the relationships the various aspects of womanhood.... Her weaknesses, gullibility, strength, girlishness, vices etc. The book even has a dash of humour... 'Bullet in the heart'...such a hilarious story!

And the narrative skills of the author is definitely going to leave you spellbound. It makes you feel like you are reading some international bestseller. I remember when I was reading this book I had actually pinged the author and told her specifically that I can't believe that my debut book is actually placed along with a master piece like yours that too of such a talented author. 

Link to download the book is here (free for limited period). 

See Through Words (Genre Spirituality/Philosophy) 

There are very few books which you tumble upon and keep them aside to read and re-read and re-re-read multiple times. This is one such brilliant book. 

I had picked up this book to read because of it's cover. I had read a bit about Zen philosophy earlier but had read only in bits and pieces and was very happy to find a book on this in the carnival. This book came to me just when I had lined up to read the book 'Siddhartha' by Hermann Hesse. You can say I was in that phase when I needed such a book and I am so glad I found this one :).

The very first thing that really grasped me was the 'uncopyright' in this book which gives the permission to anyone and everyone to copy or use the contents of the book in any manner. And it leaves the decision on you if you want to give the credit to the author or not as it says 'morality cannot be forced'. 

The book beautifully delves into the world of Zen and imparts subtly the knowledge on Zen way of living which in the author's words isn't about 'What you do' but about 'How you do'. 

Apart from speaking about the origin of Zen 'the artless art of living' and difference between 'Dhyana' and 'Meditation' (which was an eye opener to me!)  the book touches upon various other aspects like 'state of no mind', ' Experiencing nothingness', 'language of mindlessness', 'accepting polarities' in which the mind is restricted, 'Conscious state','unattachment vs detachment','state of no thought', 'state of egolessness', 'state of desirelessness' etc. The book also gives examples in the form of stories explaining the meaning of these states and on how to reach these states... Through laughter, sudden jerks, emptying of the mind, surprising the mind.

Some of my favourite lines from the book are:

"One who chooses will always be incomplete , less than the whole because the part he chooses will continue to delude him and the part he denies  will continue to pursue and haunt him. "

"A door is always in the middle, between the opposites - the extremes"

"Ever desireless, one can see the mystery. Ever desiring,  one sees only the manifestations"

This is one such book where every line of the book leaves you in a multitude of thoughts that linger on. And my review in words just can't do justice to that feeling. 

Link to download the book is here (free for a limited period). 

Link to my own book 'Dots And Streaks' is here (free for limited period).

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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

His eyes loved the disarray
While her mind couldn't see anything astray
The break of the dawn was his solace
Whereas, into the night's silence she loved to gaze
His taste buds yearned for the bland or something sweet
While her taste always lied in the spices
His love for music resided in the instrument beats
And her heart went for the lyrical pieces
Mindless comedy was his source of entertainment
Realistic films were her penchant
Their only common thread
Were the words in writing which had led
Twelve years gone past
In a blink of an eye
And if you still ask
What's that's common between them
They can only laugh together
At the years that have sped

PS : Happy Anniversary S :)