Meditate and Heal

20141022_104732I am a fifty year young woman; married to an officer and a gentleman, we have two beautiful kids in their early to mid twenties and a baby Dalmatian at home, her name is Sparky. My health troubles started when I entered the dreaded mid forties, when I turned 45. It was the perimenopausal period and the most disturbing time of my life, I suffered a major personal loss during this period and as a result my health issues multiplied.

Along with the hot flashes, irritability, depression and other physical discomforts, I was dealing with a host of other hormonal problems due to my association with Hypothyroidism. My under-active thyroid was adding to my menopausal symptoms and making life a living hell for me. The icing on the cake was the multi-nodular growth in my Thyroid gland which needed constant monitoring and observation. An ultrasound every six months, a complete checkup every three years, 8 biopsies in 10 years, FNAC (Fine –needle aspiration cytology- a diagnostic procedure used to investigate lumps or masses under the skin)

But I was fine, or I appeared so to the world but I wasn’t anywhere near being sane and normal. As a result of these emotional issues I started feeling hollow inside and tried to make myself feel better by gorging on food. The temporary satiation helped me feel good for a while and to keep this feeling permanent, I started binge-eating. As long as the sweets and the savory snacks made me feel happy and stress-free, I was okay. This emotional over-eating led to my excessive weight gain; I went from sixty-eight to eighty kg in four years.

The final blow came when I turned fifty and my heels started hurting. Another specialist was added to the list of doctors treating me. Along with the Endocrinologist and Gynecologist there was now an orthopedic surgeon I had to go visit . He diagnosed my condition as plantar fasciitis I was given some pills to dull the pain and was advised steroid injections in my heel to give me the desired relief but before I could go for this scary treatment I was back in Peri-menopausal stage from Post-menopausal, after a long and deceiving gap of fourteen months.

The gynecologist suggested an ultrasound of the pelvis, a mammogram and blood tests. The ultrasound revealed a lesion in the lower uterine wall and the mammogram showed a lymph node in the left breast. A Pap smear test was added to the list to check for malignancy. My doctor referred me to the Oncologist for further investigations. The casual reference to this deadly disease and the matter of fact way they spoke in made me feel even more scared. I was a mess before the consultation with the Oncologist and didn’t want to go into his consulting room, ever.

My husband had to literally push me into the room when my name was called as I was rooted to the spot. The doctor understood my fear and spoke reassuringly about the findings of the mammogram report. He didn’t find the lymph node alarming and dismissed it for the moment but asked me to come for a follow-up visit after six months. He also told me that I was at risk because of my weight and that I needed to lose some ASAP :)

I thanked him profusely and ran out of his cabin, while making mental note to join a yoga class and try to lose some weight. I did join a class and am keeping my fingers crossed that after six months when I go to my doctor, he tells me that all is well.

Until then, I meditate and heal :)

meditationBy Sulekha Rawat

World Kindness Day

Today is World Kindness Day, we all know what kindness means and what we can do to make others feel happy and good.When we help others, we feel good too. I loved the kindness ideas shared on this site http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas

KindnessI was diagnosed with hypothyroidism 10 odd years ago and am a regular at the hospital for my routine blood tests and ultrasound of the thyroid gland to keep a check on the multiple nodules present within my thyroid gland. I go through this procedure twice a year, now after 10 years I don’t fear the test results. I know all will be okay as long as I am regular in my hospital visits and checkups; life is too short to be wasted worrying and fretting.

Today was no different; I sat in the waiting room and observed the patients walking by my chair. I love watching people and making up stories in my head about their lives, what they do and what they are like. Just as I was getting warmed up and ready to write a story in my head about two women complaining about their doctors, the lady next to me happened to look my way. I smiled at her; I like breaking the ice with a smile, she smiled back although hesitatingly.

I made polite talk with her, told her I was there for my routine check up and asked her if she was also suffering from hypothyroidism. She started telling me about her ear-ache and one thing led to another, before I knew it she had told me all about her husband’s death nearly twenty years ago. What she said after that made me realize the importance of listening to others. She confessed that she had never spoken about her past with anybody in all these years, “I don’t know how and why I am telling you all this”, she said. All I did throughout our conversation was listen; I gave her my complete attention and let her talk to her heart’s content. I guess we all need someone who doesn’t judge or interrupt us but just listens. Also speaking with strangers is easier than with friends and family members.

After she bid me a smiling goodbye I walked into the doctor’s room for my appointment, my date with strangers wasn’t over yet. A middle-aged couple walked in looking very stressed, the lady requested me to let her jump the queue and meet the doctor as she was concerned about her husband’s health. Even though I had been waiting for nearly an hour and a half, I let her go ahead of me to meet the doctor. Why? You ask me?… because she looked really worried and also because when I see an old couple, I am reminded of my parents. The couple apologized profusely while exiting the doctor’s cabin and thanked me for letting them speak to the doctor and allay their fears.

Both these instances made me realize one thing, I felt good afterwards; I wasn’t bitter or angry but happy to have helped those in need, in whatever negligible way I could, I felt good.

I don’t think I was being kind, I was just being human. Maybe when I become old, I might be seated next to someone who would be interested in my story. Maybe they’d get to hear about my battle with hypothyroidism, multi nodular growth in my thyroid gland and my fear of needle biopsies.

   flowers

Liking it to World Kindness Day 2014 posts at Write Tribe

By Sulekha Rawat

Creativity

This Wednesday prompt at Write Tribe is a quote on Creativity: write a post inspired by this quote

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties ~ Erich Fromm

I loved reading the 20 amazing creativity quotes at Write Tribe and have written a few of my own in this post :)

20141020_184050Creativity nurtures souls

Ignites minds

Charms the hearts of millions

Who witness it – Lucks

MiracleThere was a young woman who had a hard time concentrating on what was happening in her life because her head was forever in the clouds. She felt more real in her dream world than in the physical one she resided in. When she wrote about her fantasy land, she was diagnosed with a deadly disease, Creativity.

GrowingCreativity cannot be hidden, stolen or damaged by insensitive people. It keeps growing in the face of adversity – Lucks

Creativity teaches us to make our own impressions of the world. The sky need not always be blue or gray. It might look better, green and the water, pink. The burning rain could spurt out of the ground and reach up for the purple clouds, the sea-bed could be the sea-roof and vice versa.

Maybe the roots of the blue trees could blossom and grow on the top most branches and the black flowers be buried deep in the soil. May the one-eyed artists write with their five hands and smell the perfume of the rooting roots with their couple of noses :)

CreativityCreativity raises its eccentric head when someone challenges the easygoing artist with mundane tasks – Lucks

By Sulekha Rawat aka Lucks

Linking it to http://writetribe.com/creativity-quotes/

Book Review – Social Potpourri – An Anthology II

Book Review of Social Potpourri – An Anthology II

Title: Social Potpourri – An Anthology II

Authors: Arvind Passey, Bushra Alvi, Dayeeta, Deviyani Pathak, Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan, Joslyne Decker, Meenakshi M Singh, Namrata, Nupur Govila, Prachi Priyanka, Priscilla Prerna Rai, Rishabh Malik, Ron Reed, Sukhvinder Kaur, Sulekha Rawat, Tapas Mukherjee, Willow Rose

Publishing Facilitation:AuthorsUpFront

ISBN No:9789384439064

Price: INR 260/- (Paperback)

Book Blurb -

Social Potpourri continues to promote new and talented authors by providing them a platform for showcasing their creativity. This is our second anthology of short stories and poems with contributions by some very fine writers in their own right. With Anthology II, we have brought yet another group of unnoticed yet brilliant writers to you. The hopes, aspirations, thoughts and emotions, of the writers of this anthology will move you beyond words. When you open this book and turn the pages, you will see their flights of imagination take wing.
We dedicate this book to our dear friend, Lona Pradhan, her memory lives on.
Lona PicsBook Review -

I am thrilled to share the review of our new book, this is the second book by members of our website, www.socialpotpourri.com ( Co-Founders Kriti Mukherjee and Sulekha Rawat). The first book was titled; Social Potpourri – An Anthology

Social Potpourri – An Anthology II is a brilliant collection of inspirational and humorous short stories and soulful poems by Social Potpourrians. Each and every story and poem in this book makes its way into the heart of the reader with interesting plots and memorable characters: their sensitivity and complexity and the heights and depths of their emotions. My humorous story is also included in this anthology. We are so proud to present this collection of short stories and poems to you.

The poems are an interesting mix of our versatile writers’ imaginations and reflections. They are about the interesting journey of life, perseverance and inner strength, traditions kept alive and old ways of life, the monotony of falling prey to destinies… and many other things.

The short stories stay with you for a long time, each one for a different reason:

The simple old man Sebas in the story, The Visit, reminds me of my grandfather, and ‘Chosen by the Infinite’ is a true to life account of Deepak’s cosmic pilgrimage into upper celestial worlds through transcendental meditation… Read all about these endearing characters and more in this anthology.

I love all the stories and poems in this book and give it a rating of 5.

Happy Reading :)

The ebook is available on -
Amazon:
US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OELQ0JG
India – https://www.amazon.in/dp/B00OELQ0JG
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00OELQ0JG

Kobo:
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/social-potpourri-an-anthology-ii
Itunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/social-potpourri-anthology/id928846186?ls=1&mt=11
Print and Ebooks in India
http://www.authorsupfront.com/social-potpourri.htm
http://www.amazon.in/dp/9384439061
http://www.flipkart.com/social-potpourri-anthology-ii-english/p/itmeyx4bg3pfzmzc?pid=9789384439064

By Sulekha Rawat

Goa with In-Laws :)

Hello friends,

I have traveled a lot in the past month or so, three cities in three weeks to be precise:  Goa, Mumbai and Udaipur, I have been the constant in all these travels while my traveling companions have changed each time :)

My first trip was to my most favorite place ever, Goa. My In-laws had accompanied me on this memorable trip and I had a wonderful time showing them around and taking them to my old haunts, like the Seagull at Bogmalo beach, where we had beer followed by a yummy dinner consisting of seafood.

We also visited the tourist spots near-by, Miramar, Panjim and Old Goa church. My mother-in-law was a real sport and not once did she complain of fatigue despite her leg pain and that she had to walk with the help of a walking stick. My 85-year-old father-in-law was equally game for all outings and adventures :)

20140929_18054420140929_21145720140930_093748 20140930_09585620140930_11005620140930_07375420140930_07370420140930_10570820140930_12411120140930_11092220140930_150719Goodbye Goa, thank you for the lovely memories.

 

By Sulekha Rawat

 

 

Book Review and Author Interview – Collection of Chaos by Tikuli

Collection of Chaos by Tikuli

Blurb:

(From the foreword by Kris Saknussemm) As with all the poets I most
admire, words are living things for Tikuli. But as you will come to
discover, they are never deployed for their own sake. She uses them to
tell stories. The images, scenes, characters and fragments of visionary
empathy that you will find in this book are all rooted in her native
India-and yet they reach out far beyond national and cultural
boundaries. They do so because they have an interior cohesion of spirit.
Her subjects are often the dispossessed, the lost…the abused. There
are undercurrents of sorrow and anger. And yet love shines through, even
when it seems to be fading away. Above all, there’s a powerful sense of
hope at work-a conviction in the redemptive strength of poetry.

Book Review by @sulekkha

Review

It was a pleasure reading Tikuli’s lovely collection of poems, they tell a story of a poet’s inner turmoil and emotional journey. Though there are sad undertones in a few of them, they are lovely to read. Some poems about silence are heartbreaking.

Reading her poems is sometimes an intrusion into her mind and heart, makes one feel like a peeping tom peering into her soul.

Tikuli takes inspiration from life and strings together its different emotions and experiences to make a beautiful garland of fragrant words. The depth of her words and her versatile writing elicits admiration from the readers, and her poems satiate their hunger while leaving them wanting more.

Author Interview

1. Why do you write poems? When did you start writing poetry?

You can say a lot in a few lines , you can play around with words and have a finished piece in a short time. That’s what I love about poems and that’s the reason I write them. One of the other reasons is that poetry flushes out a feeling, an emotion, a thought, a question that you never knew lay buried inside you. A little arrangement and rearrangement of words opens up a lot of possibilities. I think for me writing poems is like striking a balance between inner and outer world. Writing poetry helped me change the old order. I find it more intimate and tender to express in the form of a poem. When I read a good poem by someone I feel it in my pulse. I see my own face in their experience and that is why I write. To be this connect is very important.

I must have been in my teens when I started penning down short poems, they were actually observations, on pieces of paper anything I could get hold of and then I would transfer them in a notebook. I actually began to learn the art of writing good poetry some five – six years back. I have been fortunate to find great mentors who nurtured me selflessly and helped me in my learning. They still do.

2. What inspires you to write poems? Do you have to be hurting to write sad/tragic/dark poems and happy while writing romantic/humorous poems?

I can answer that in one word ‘Life’. Music also plays an important role when I write.

Emotional state does play a role especially in my writing but there have been times I have written happy poems during days of deepest sorrow and vice a versa. I do agree however that most of my poems especially the personal ones have been influenced by my state of mind at that moment. Life events do affect my writing.

3. I found this poem to be very moving. Which is your favorite and why?

Your silence

Cold, razor-sharp

My words

A shredded tapestry

I also liked the heartbreaking poem about a boy with red hand-prints.

Thank you. This one and a few others are very personal. There was a lot of turmoil when I wrote this. Yes, the one with red hand-prints is my elder son’s favorite too. It was written long back. I think after the Mumbai terrorist attack. I am glad it connects with you.

You are asking me to choose between my children. It is tough but this one is special for me

I am attracted by your  unavailability

the half-shut windows where

we sometime connect..

It’s called ‘yearnings’ and is on my blog too. It was part of a series called ‘You and Me’. A very personal poem written with a purpose. Sometimes being a poet helps to say what you want so effortlessly. There are times when in real life situation one is unable to put the feelings in a way one desires. This one was written on one such occasion and is close to my heart.

 4. Do you decide to write poems on a particular topic for your book or do they just randomly write themselves in your mind?

I usually don’t plan and write. Very few poems in this collection were specifically written keeping in mind the theme etc. They are all random poems brought together as a bouquet.

5) Do you write every day? Do you shut yourself in your study and write or prefer to be inspired by nature?

I am not a very disciplined writer unfortunately though I am trying to mend my ways. It is very important to have a professional framework along with the ability to express oneself. Working with deadlines, writing for a theme or a topic has helped me discipline myself and polished my writing too. I do try to write something everyday . A story, a blog post or a poem. Sometimes just some thoughts just to keep the flow. There have been times stories or poems have emerged from these scribbling. I am not bound by my environment. I can write anywhere. I just need some quiet place.

6) Any favorite poets? Who is your Inspiration?

Byron, Milton, e.e.cummings, Neruda, Octavio Paz, Longfellow Walt Whitman, Emily Dickenson, Amrita Pritam, Jayanta Mahapatra, Kamla Das, Keki Daruwala. The list is never ending. I love so many of them and each one has inspired me in some way or the other.

Facebook brought me in contact with many poet friends who write exquisite poetry. Just reading them has helped me improve on my writing style. Each day is a learning and some of these excellent poets Seb Doubinsky, Cynthia Atkins, James Goddard, Matthew Bailer, Praneta Jha, Tim Buck, Uma Gowrishankar have been instrumental in my poetry evolution. These are the people who are still part of my journey as a writer. Here we are just talking about the poets. There are some more very fine writers who have been a driving force in my evolution as poet/ writer.

7) Do you agree with the statement that those who have suffered a loss write better? Is a broken heart an essential prerequisite for a successful poet?

No. here are many examples of poets who had bad relationships, unhappy lives, broken hearts…. difficult to say; but there are many, many more examples of poets who didn’t suffer these things. At the end of the day poetry is a form of fiction, and like all good fiction it will be informed by personal experience.

8) There are a lot of poems on silence, in your book. Are poets lonely people or do they like to be alone?

I won’t say poets are lonely people or they like to be alone but we all have our reflective moments. Times when we want to be alone but that doesn’t mean we are lonely.

In my case the poems on silence were born from a deep feeling of aloneness and loneliness. They reflect the chaos I was experiencing in my personal life . I think it was cathartic for me.

9) Does writing help people heal?

Yes, it does. I have experienced it myself. As a young girl writing helped me cleanse my inner. I would sometimes just pen down whatever came to my mind and then tear the pages or burn them. I wrote for myself at this time. Writing helped me find answers, clarity, calm. It does it even now. My blog proved a great healing tool for me in the worse times of my life. It helped me get my stilled voice back, gave me courage and made me who I am right now. I know many people who have healed by writing. Friends fighting cancer, people in relationship problems or those who were trying to help others heal.

10) Any writing tips/advice for your readers.

Remain a student. Enjoy the mess of the process of writing. I guess the best works are born from the chaos that is in your heart and in your mind. Let it guide you. Writing is a constant work, a discipline. Enjoy it. It may seem clumsy or foolish in the beginning but there is nothing that can’t get better with training, by working hard, by learning. Be ready for rejections, failures, disappointments, they are great teachers. Embrace yourself as you are, seek connection and self-awareness, be open to learning. Write, rewrite, reject, edit , write again.. keep the process going.

Buy this book from:

About the Author:

 

Brought up in Delhi in a family of liberal educationists
Tikuli is a mother of two sons. She is also a blogger and author. Some
of her short stories and poems have appeared in print and in online
journals and literary magazines including Le Zaparougue, MiCROW 8,
Troubadour21, The Smoking Book (Poets Wear Prada Press, US), The
Enchanting Verses Literary Review, Mnemosyne Literary Journal, Women’s
Web.
Some of her print publications include poems in
Guntur National Poetry Festival Anthology and much acclaimed Chicken
Soup For The Indian Romantic Soul(Westland). Her work has also been
featured on websites related to gender issues and child sexual abuse.
She blogs at
Stalk her @


THIS TOUR IS HOSTED BY:

 

 

 

By Sulekha Rawat

Bards of The Blogosphere – Stand-off – Week 3- Chapter 5

Authors note: This is the Fifth chapter of week 3 in the “Game of Blogs” for the team “Bards of the Blogosphere.” #CelebrateBlogging To read the previous chapter, click here

#Bards of the Blogosphere

#Bards of the Blogosphere Pic credit Roshan Radhakrishnan

“Ha! As if! No, Roohi has to die”, his voice was as steady as his hand holding the gun. “And so do you”, he looked over his shoulder at Jenny, his eyes daring her to shoot him.

Roohi gasped in fear and covered her mouth with her trembling hands; she first stared at the gun pointing at her, and then at the man’s face. Why was he trying to hurt her?

It was as if he had heard her unspoken thoughts, for his next sentence seemed to answer her baffled question.

“You are just an unlucky little girl, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don’t have any enmity with you, but you have seen me, and so I cannot let you live to identify me. You are an innocent bystander who will have to pay with her life for the cruel joke that life has played on you. Both you and your photographer friend face a similar fate; I have to kill you both in order to survive.”

The intruder went on with his monologue, unmindful of the effect his words had on his listeners. It was as if he was in a state of suspended reality. He casually waved Roohi towards her parents’ room and smiled when she scurried past him and into the waiting arms of her mother.

“Isn’t it the best feeling in the world, holding your child close to your heart?”, he smiled wistfully and pointed the gun at Tara as he waited for her to answer. Jenny still had her gun trained on Ahuja, she hadn’t moved a muscle ever since she had seen Ahuja standing in front of Roohi, scaring the kid nearly to death.

Tara and Roohi grasped each other’s hands involuntarily upon hearing his threatening and spine chilling question, while Shekhar put his arms around them. Their daughter was in grave danger unless he came up with a plan to save her.

“Roohi, why did you sit next to me at the conference at Kochi? You recognized me, we had met at the park where my Dragonfly used to play with her friends.” He swallowed shakily before continuing, “Do you… remember my Priya? Why did you wander off in to the grounds later and see me escaping out of the window, with the minister’s blood on my clothes?”

Aryan Ahuja walked around the room while recounting his story, lost in his thoughts, and confident in the knowledge that Jenny would never put Roohi’s life at risk by shooting at him. As long as he had the Duttas in his firing range, Jenny’s hands were tied. They all held their breaths and looked at Ahuja and each other with fearful eyes.

“And Jennifer, you are a thorn in my side. Your friend Cyrus was stupid enough to trust the snake of a minister and didn’t think twice before handing over all the evidence to him. The human trafficking organization is not a small operation; it is a well planned, deep-rooted and politically controlled one. Now you are also involved in this mess, your persistence and dogged pursuit of the truth has led you to Dutta’s house and their daughter Roohi. I am sorry but I have to wipe out all evidence and get away from here, your lives will mean my death and I am not ready to die, yet.”

Aryan Ahuja sounded more sad than angry; with his soft and cultured voice. He didn’t speak like a hardened criminal, more like an anguished man, and that piqued Jenny’s interest. The journalist in her wanted answers; he was an unsolved puzzle and she momentarily forgot her fears while trying to think of reasons for his behavior. Why was this polite and sophisticated man talking about killing innocent people so casually? What had led him to this state?

“You know, I had a daughter, her name was Anupriya.” His voice broke while speaking about his daughter, “I have been running from pillar to post, looking for her but haven’t found a tiny clue to her whereabouts. She was taken from me when she was just 10 years old. My baby was kidnapped from school and I fear that she was sold by human traffickers into some brothel in the red light area. My Priya… my little dragonfly.”

His voice trailed off, almost like he had fallen asleep recounting his heartbreaking tale.

“Papa, have I told you lately how much I love you?”, Priya’s smiling face was turned towards him and her eyes were twinkling with mischief and affection.

“No, my dear, you haven’t. Come to think of it, it has been a while since you baked a cake for your poor old father”, he had quipped.

“Okay, from now on, I promise to bake you a cake every Sunday and go for a morning walk with you on holidays too”, she had a hidden agenda and he was determined to get to the bottom of this puzzle as soon as possible.

“What do I have to give you in return for these favors? Is it more pocket money that you are after?”, he had smiled and ruffled her hair.

“No, I am perfectly happy with the pocket money you give me every week. I just wanted to get a dragonfly tattoo on my hand, my friends have got tattoos and they say it doesn’t hurt much.”

He had stared at Priya; she was a ten year old little girl. When did she become interested in tattoos? And who had taught the finer nuances of negotiation? She gave him imploring looks and there was a hint of moisture in her pretty eyes. He didn’t have the heart to say no to her, but he made her promise something in lieu of allowing her to get the tattoo.

“I will let you get a tattoo only if you promise to study hard and attend school regularly, no more French holidays, okay?”

“Thank you papa, I promise to do that. I love you so much, thank you, thank you, thank you….”, her profuse thanks had elicited a laugh out of him and he had driven her to the tattoo parlour to get a dragonfly tattoo inked on her delicate hand.

He remembered the impromptu poem they had written about the dragonfly tattoo and how they had danced around singing it, waving their arms and shaking their heads.

Glowing wings of fire

Reaching high for the sky

My golden dragonfly.

The ringing of the phone brought him back to the present; and he was startled to find himself amongst three frightened Duttas’ in their living room. He quickly turned towards the kitchen where the phone was ringing and stumbled in the dark.

Tara had fished out Shekhar’s cell from his jacket’s pocket when Ahuja had been engrossed in telling them about his daughter, his anguish had made him lose sight of the fact that his hostages were more in number and desperate enough to try anything to save their child . Tara had called up their landline and had anticipated Ahuja’s momentary confusion at the sudden ringing sound coming from the kitchen.

She saw her chance to escape and save her daughter when Ahuja was staggering about trying to get his bearings; she pushed Roohi towards the main door and yelled ‘Run’. Jenny picked up Roohi and ran out of the room, Shekhar and Tara followed closely on the girls’ heels and tried to get out of the house and away from Ahuja but he recovered quickly and grabbed Tara’s arm as she ran past him.

Shekhar heard her scream and tried to help her get away from Ahuja but even before he could open his mouth to reason with him, felt a sharp pain in his stomach. It felt like someone had poured hot lava on him and he fell to the floor.

Ahuja stood over him with a smoking gun and Shekhar realized the searing pain was the wound inflicted by the bullet. Thankfully, Tara, Jenny and Roohi had run out of the house and were safe. He clutched his stomach and lay writhing on the floor, his blood slowly seeping out of his body…

To read the next chapter, click here

By Sulekha Rawat

“Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.”

The team Bards of the Blogosphere comprises of MariaPRBPeeVeeArpitaDatta Nupur,SulekhaMaria and Roshan.

 Collages1

 Our Facebook page is here

The Story so far

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 – Stand-Off

Chapter 6 – The Return

Chapter 7 – The Catharsis

Chapter 8 – The Reunion

Chapter 9 – Epilogue

 

Bards of The Blogosphere – Whodunit? Week 2- Chapter 8

Authors note: This is the Eighth chapter of week 2 in the “Game of Blogs” for the team “Bards of the Blogosphere.” #CelebrateBlogging To read the previous chapter, click here

#Bards of the Blogosphere @sulekkha

#Bards of the Blogosphere Pic Credit Roshan Radhakrishnan

Unaware of the impending doom, Shekhar and Tara took their darling daughter back to their hotel room. Kochi, the queen of the Arabian Sea, had lost all its charm for this nuclear family from Mumbai and they made arrangements to fly back home to safety and sanctuary, away from this danger and chaos.

“Shekhar, Roohi hasn’t spoken a word since you found her lost in the crowd at the conference hall”, Tara’s normally stoic demeanor was shattered and she was almost wailing with concern for her daughter’s well being. Her hands trembled while packing Roohi’s clothes in their overnight bag, a pink scarf fell on to the carpet.

Shekhar bent to pick it up and tried to compose his features before straightening; he had to be strong for his family’s sake, Tara shouldn’t see him looking worried and almost on the verge of panic.

“Please stop making such a fuss, Tara. You are making her even more anxious with your hysterical behavior. She is scared because she was separated from us for a while back at the conference hall, she will become normal in some time. Children are very resilient, they bounce back faster than a rubber ball”, Shekhar tried to inject some humor in to this terrifying scenario. He didn’t let on but he was equally concerned about his little princess and her stricken face was driving daggers into his heart.

What had happened out there to make her this terrified? What had she seen? What was in store for his precious family?

vcm_s_kf_repr_832x624The plane took off from Kochi airport and the Dutta family heaved a sigh of relief, Roohi looked relieved and more like her old self while tugging at Tara’s sleeve,

“Mummy, I am thirsty”, these were the sweetest words Tara had heard since the incident at the hotel.

“Darling, what do you want to drink? Should I ask for a juice for you?”, Tara pressed the switch overhead to call the airhostess to their seat.

“I want orange juice and I’d like some chips too, I am suddenly so hungry”, there was a hint of a smile on Roohi’s lips and Tara smiled back involuntarily, her eyes seeking Shekhar’s over Roohi’s head. The relief reflected clearly for him to see and reciprocate.

Maybe all was going to be okay now that they had left the traumatic events and the place behind. Maybe Roohi will tell them one day, what she had seen and why she had been so scared.

Meanwhile in Kochi a distraught and bewildered Jenny sat holding her head in her hands, spent after a good cry, and muttering to herself,

“Cyrus cannot kill anyone; he is not capable of harming another human being. I know my CY. He is innocent; I know he is not the killer as the cops are making him out to be.”

She remembered how just yesterday she had walked with him on the beach, the dinner in his hotel room, the kiss and the night of passion. His softly uttered “I love you”, the next morning. How happy she had been on seeing him after so many years and how his nearness had affected her senses, brought her back to life. She’d wanted nothing more than his nearness, his loving gaze on her face and the warmth of his affection thawing her dormant emotions, she loved him. And now he was in danger, falsely accused of a murder he didn’t commit. She had to help him! At any cost.

Another thought crossed her mind, an image flashed before her eyes; it was the screen of his laptop with TMJ displayed on it. Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya, wasn’t it Cy’s blog? She remembered Cy telling her about it,

“TMJ stands for Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya. You know Jenny what it means. It means lead me from darkness to light. I have worked very hard on it for last two years- a lot of primary research, investigations and interviews have gone into it. It’s like my field diary.”

Cyrus had spoken about a meeting with the minister after his speech at the conference, he had some proof he’d wanted to show the minister. Maybe those who had a lot to lose by Cy’s disclosure silenced the minister and pinned the blame on poor unsuspecting Cy.

Maybe someone didn’t want this information to exchange hands – maybe they were unable to stop it – then there would be no choice but to make sure the minster would not interfere – he had to be silenced – perhaps even taken out of the equation entirely. Murder! The motive! It had to be! This only left one loose end. Cyrus! Her poor innocent well-intentioned Cyrus! She had to save him.

Jenny flipped open her phone and called a number she knew by heart, “Uncle, I need a favor”, she then went on to explain to him about Cyrus and everything he had told her the previous day. By the time she disconnected the call, she was smiling, slightly, and there was a glimmer of hope in her sad eyes.

The next day she reached the jail and the Inspector in charge escorted her courteously to Cyrus’s cell. Jenny’s heart went out to Cy, his hair was disheveled, shirt crumpled and eyes red with lack of sleep and worry. His eyes lit up on seeing Jenny and he rushed to the bars of his holding cell, “Jenny, I’m being framed”.

Jenny tried to tell him that she believed him but Cy didn’t give her a chance to speak and continued with his frantic explanation.

“ I swear I didn’t kill the minister, when I left the room he was alive and I heard him scream so I went back in and found him lying on the floor, dead.”

Jenny’s eyes brimmed over listening to him plead his innocence, Cyrus couldn’t tell whether she believed him or not but the fear of losing her again made him continue trying to explain his innocence.

“I know Cy, you don’t have to defend yourself to me. I love you and know you very well; you can’t even hurt a fly. I am sure someone who was involved with the human trafficking organization felt you were zeroing in on them and wanted to escape getting caught, has committed this crime.”

A thoughtful look crossed Cy’s face.

“There was a man in there who ran off on seeing me.. .Oh my god, Jenny! I am sure he is the killer and I know I have seen him somewhere before today.”

It was just as Jenny had suspected! “You were cleverly framed but don’t you worry, I will do everything in my power to get you out of here and also have these charges dropped.”

“But Jenny, how did you manage to meet me without bringing in a lawyer and why did the Inspector himself escort you in here? Are you some sort of Secret spy or working for the CID?” he said incredulously.

“I wish”, said Jenny ruefully, “It’s all thanks to Menon uncle, I will tell you all about him once you are out of jail and the real killer is caught. Our top priority now is to get you out of here, so let us revisit the conference in our heads and see if something strikes a chord. Better still, I have hundreds of pictures I clicked at the venue; maybe the killer is in one of them.”

“Jenny, I am sure I have seen that man earlier too. Do me a favor and go to my room and check my laptop, search in my blog TMJ’s drafts for the blog post about busting a human trafficking organization, where I have posted some photos and videos of interviews from brothels, police remand home etc. That man’s picture is in one of them, not alone but in a crowd”

As Cyrus had suspected, there was a picture of a crowd at an event a couple of months back and a man’s face held Jenny’s attention, she couldn’t breathe. She froze with shock momentarily but then frantically started going over the pictures she had clicked at the conference just before the minister had been murdered. She stared at a picture for a long time and whispered one word

“Roohi”

Somewhere faraway, deep in the woods, sat a man rocking himself to sleep, his soft voice echoing in the dark

Forgive me, I have failed you.

You singed your wings,

Flying too close to the flame,  

and I wasn’t there to protect you.

 

 

I heard your laughter fade away

Imagining your eyes dull with pain

I long to hold my dragonfly

Safe in my aching arms again.

 

By Sulekha Rawat

To read the next part of the story click here

The team Bards of the Blogosphere comprises of DivyakshiPriyanka RoyPriyanka Victor,ArpitaDattaNupurSulekhaMaria and Roshan.

“Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.”

The Story so far-

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 – The Divulgence

I Am Grateful For You

World Gratitude Day

World-Gratitude-Day-Greetings-WishesSome quotes on gratitude

memory of the heartGratitude is the memory of the heart. ~Jean Baptiste Massieu, translated from French

scenery1Gratitude is an art of painting an adversity into a lovely picture. ~Kak Sri

Pink flowersGratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul. ~Henry Ward Beecher

night time

Gratitude is the music of the heart, when its chords are swept by the breeze of kindness.

~Author Unknown

Parrot

With arms outstretched I thank.
With heart beating gratefully I love.
With body in health I jump for joy.
With spirit full I live.
~Terri Guillemets

 

By Sulekha Rawat

Linking this post to Write Tribe’s World Gratitude Day post