Monday, 1 September 2014

The Blurb:-

Where Even the Present is Ancient: Benaras is a book that seeks to tell the little stories that make us who we are. The author believes that Benaras resides in all of us Indians, in some beautiful often unknown way. The author is the Sutradhar, in that she attempts to connect an India that many do not realize exists, in that it is everybody’s story. Radha, Krishna, Ganga, Benaras and Me are all characters in this deluge of poems.

This attempt at telling the story of the ancient, of love and of faith is to instil the confidence that poetry exists in all of us, everywhere, all that is needed is to smell its fragrance.

To those outside India, the book does not seek to be a representation of what India is or was, but a whiff of what it also can be. It is an attempt to ask people to see the little stories that govern all of our lives, stories that we often don’t see, but those that are important.

The audience for this book might be strewn across the globe, for faith is not religion-centric, it is people-centric and often without dimensions.

In poetry there is no beginning, no middle, nor no end. Like faith it is everywhere, it is omnipresent. The book affords no answers, nor no questions, but if you listen and read carefully you will see new things, a new beauty perhaps, one that has been silent so long.


'Where Even the Present is Ancient: Benaras'  is a collection of fifty vivid poems portraying the city called Benaras; wading through the fragrance of Benarasi Kaththaa to the fisherman's Ganga eventually describing Ganga to the Dashwamedha ghat, Assi ghat, Panchganga ghat and Manikarnika ghat to the various hymns chanted on the banks of the river Ganga to the foreigners and the Benaras market.

The poems are simple yet striking taking you to a journey of a land forgotten and seen mostly through the cinematic lens. Each and every word, the sentences, did strike a chord with me making it a transparent experience of sorts. Also, the little notes at the bottom of the poems makes it easier to understand and interpret the poem thus feeling a sense of belongingness to the city called Benaras.

The author has brilliantly painted a string of emotions attached in her poems through a thorough description of the revered city of Benaras that lingers in your mind for days. 

Few Striking Verses:-

Pg. 45. While the Ganga swelled,
             tousled hair, met wrinkled face.
             They had crossed their own distances,
             To mate philosophy with poetry,
             in a melting pot called Ganga.

Pg. 48. Divinity is cheap, I think
            And so is living-
            It is only the dying and the dead,
            That become priceless. 

Pg. 60. Her waters drown me somehow,
             deep within her.
             She is the beginning and the end,
             She shall wait and stand by me
             And in her I shall be free.

Overall: A rare collection of poems that takes us through the mystic city of Benaras. A must read !!!

Ratings:- 4/5* 

You can buy this wonderful book from Flipkart and Amazon

About the Author

Author: Maitreyee B Chowdhury

Maitreyee B Chowdhury is a web columnist and creative writer. She is author of Reflections on My India, a book of Indian traditions and spirituality in parts. Maitreyee is also author of Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen- Bengali Cinema’s First Couple and Ichhe Holo Tai, a bilingual muti media presentation of poetry. Maitreyee is featured amongst other Indian writers such as Gulzar, Shashi Tharoor and Deepti Naval in an anthology of Indian writers Celebrating India. 

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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

A heart smiled
Upon the butterfly sight;
Serene with self
Vivid from the out;

In liberty to roam,
To dance to its soul;
An exhibit of
Love and happiness;

At long last
Freedom beckoned,
From the gory past
To the reunion,

Of once lost,
A young
And peppy

Word Count: 49

The prompts include:

1) The picture prompt as above.

2) The word prompt: Reunion

3) The phrase prompt: At long last

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Life is routine. You wake up, eat and get back to sleep. And in between you try to be your awesome best to satisfy the people around you. And even while you try satisfying people there will be many who will still expect more from you. So in short life gets routinely monotonous. And when life gets such all you need is a thing or two that zests up your day and enhances you to go through the routine without any fuss.

So here is my list of five things that zests up my life:-

The company of my Spouse: 

Yes, the apple of my eye whose company is what I crave for after the day's end. The talks that we share, sometimes silent lightens the mood, that electric smile which peppers my mood up and that evil grin upon cracking a joke to which we laugh our hearts out are few of the moments that zest up the mundane life.

Reading & Writing: 

This is one of the things that literally takes me to another world. It liberates me into a world full of freedom with no worries at all. Be it a poem or a short fiction or for that matter even a haiku enhances my mood and zests up my life. And writing for some contests and eventually winning it is like icing on the cake.


It is said that our body and heart requires a timely detox so as to be back with a bang. And what better way then having a fun outing with friends and family. Also to take a sabbatical from work and to explore the scenic beauty, capture the beautiful moments and come back charged and refreshed is what zests up my life.

Moments where I can be a child once again: 

We rarely do get some moments or situations where we can be a child once again. Those moments or situations may crop up simply out of the blue or may be even a planned one like celebrating a toddler's birthday. Such moments and situations in life is what makes the life worth living for. Imagine becoming a vehicle where the toddler sits on your back and you roam around or making weird faces and capturing them. 


Listening to music has a therapeutic effect on me. The soulful melody relieves me of all the worries, calms me and takes me into a cinematic world. And listening to the favourite songs composed by favourite composers is the best thing to lighten up the mood and zests up my life.

Life is full of complexities but the pleasure we get is from the small doses of happiness surrounding us. And the above mentioned ones are the ones that I crave for which eventually zests up my life.

This post is a part of the #ZestUpYourLife activity in association with TATA Zest and

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Black. What do I say? Black is omnipresent. Probably as omnipresent as the universe. You open your eyes and you see a thing in the colour black. Think of any single thing that does not possess itself in colour black. Open your wardrobe you have that black dress. That formal black shoes. A black tie that goes for an occasional informal meeting. That lucky black inners. No? Just try it for once. Am sure luck will shine brighter than the sun for you. 

So what does black mean for me? For me black is beautiful in its own mysterious ways.

Behold for the black
Elegant yet stylish
Mysterious charm

Now, the five black things that I desire for are as follows:-

Picture courtesy:
  • A Black linen casual shirt and a Black polo tee is the first of the few things that I desire for. A black linen shirt paired with denims goes best for an evening party which can never go out of fashion. And a black polo tee for that romantic outing. Elegant yet classy. Somethings stay forever just as the bitter-sweet constant bickering between daughter in law and her mother in law. 

  • The Black Maxi dress for her that will make her feel comfortable, elegant and glamorous for that exclusive dinner date and will enhance the ambiance with her killer looks.
    Picture courtesy:

  • The round dial metal strapped Black Watch adds to the feel and a mysterious charm when worn suitably, be it for an official purpose or even an informal meet. One of my most desirous thing.
    Picture courtesy:
Picture courtesy:

  • There are barely a few men who wouldn't be interested in technology. And with me being no different my fourth desire is the newly launched sleek and stylish yet compact The Black coloured Asus Zenphone 6. I think the phone is simply best in design and performance which is a deadly combo.

  • The last but not the least desires is that Black lustrous mane which enhances the look by leaps and bounds. A good crop of hair not only boosts confidence but can lift us along with the chips are down. 

Here are my five Black things that I desire for and till then Love Black and dream for Veni Vida Vici!!
This contest is a part of #WhatTheBlack activity at

Thursday, 5 June 2014

This is a free verse poem. The poem is inspired by Maya Angelou's quote "There is no great agony than bearing an untold story inside you."

Time was fairy and roses
Flowering the heart
Basking in the exuberance
Of Love and ally

Days flew with gusto
Akin to a swarming river
Nights went at an alarming speed
To the analogous heartbeats of presence

Stars glowed radiantly
Came closer to the reality
A 360 degree somersault
Vacating the heart forever

Soul mourned for a soul
Too close to be far
With cherished memories
As heart’s rations

The heart aches
A forcefully ran machine
Of oil and love

Days linger
Heart bleeds
Only time
A catalyst for better

Those three eternal words
Felt from deep within
With agony ballooning
A story left untold

Different would it be
Had I said
The eternal words
I Love You?

How I wish so...
But the reality refuses
To be back to fairy and roses
Now only reminiscences

Nothing would change
The present being
But still my heart fancy writing
An ‘I Love You’ verse 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Author: Jaya Padmanabhan
Published by: Platinum Press (An imprint of Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd.)
Genre: Fiction/ Short Stories
ISBN: 978-93-83562-27-5
No. of Pages: 197
Price: ₹ 145/ $6

On the jacket: The short stories in the collection blend emotion and introspection. Moments of urgency and sweetness are fully canvassed and explored. The stories draw out and examine the texture of emotional belonging. Each story in the collection is a journey of insights. Transactions of Belonging is a unique, intense and gripping work of short fiction.

"In this debut collection, Jaya Padmanabhan has brought together a diverse and memorable group of characters from many kinds of background. With meticulous details and keen observation, she brings them in life and makes us care about them - their poverty, their loneliness, their tragedies and their triumph." - Chitra Divakaruni, author of The Mistress of Spices and Oleander Girl.

Review: There comes a time when you select a book to read just by looking at the cover of the book and desperately wait to find out whether you have made a right choice. This is how I chose this book - A pair of eyes peering over a crumpled/ worn out piece of paper will make an intriguing read and trust me it did make an intriguing read. An anthology of twelve short stories, Transactions of Belonging is a spray of human emotions dipped with a touch of melancholy. 

A debut book with such diverse and unique stories shows the confidence the author has in her work which is evident with each and every story. 

Since this is a collection of stories, it would be apt to review each and every story rather than in entirety as a book. So here it goes:

The Fly Swatter - Rafat, who is the fly swatter to Manu Prasad, Minister of Social Justice, stands before Manu as his obedient bodyguard and comes a time when he falls to his inner desire which changes his course of being. A gripping story told eloquently. Overall - 4/5*

The Blue Arc - This is a story of a young girl who turns into a sex worker despite a strong family and educational background. The way the character of Shona is portrayed, confused on taking a first step towards her future which still stretched ahead is something which I liked. A story well told. Overall: 5/5*

Mustard Seeds - A story of a son labelled as Tamil Rebel who is having his last time before being freed forever to death. Overall: 4/5*

Strapped for Time - This story is about the sexual tension created between an old Mr. Raman and his housemaid, Rekha, for whom he waits expectantly every morning. But fate has something else to narrate. A story told with great subtlety about the sexual desires. Overall - 5/5*

Curtains Drawn - This is a every day story of a man abusing his wife and family in a drunken state. What kept me hooked is the narration. Overall:4/5*

His Curls - This is a story of a mom who feels that his son is a terrorist and her constant fear that he might eventually kill innocent people. A very gripping narration again. Overall: 5/5*

Neyyappams - This story is about a teenager who lands between religious rituals and his ignorance about it thus developing a sense of hatred against his father. A first story in the book which I felt could have been dealt with in a better way. But overall: 3.5/5

The Length of  A Breath - This is a story of a teenage girl having lost both her parents at a very tender age and now surviving with his younger brother under her uncle's supervision. The way in which the issue of puberty in girls is handled makes the story more interesting to read. Overall: 5/5

The Little Matter of Fresh Meadows Feces - This story talks about people living abroad and how their parents back home lead their lives and their children turning foreigners in their own homes. A lovely tale. Overall: 4/5*

The Smell of Jasmine - This is a story of a rich woman who is sex starved. The ending of the story probably is left for the reader to take their cue as per their understandings. A very maturely handled story. 
Overall: 4/5*

Jumble - This is a story of a Muslim boy and a Hindu girl who falls in love. What comes is the struggle that religion attaches with it. A story told in a simple and a mature manner. Overall: 4/5*

Indian Summer - A bittersweet tale of a relation between a teenage daughter and her mother told extremely well. This story by far is my personal favourite. Overall: 5/5*

All the stories are very well written, gripping and leaving the readers for more and to do that in almost all the stories is something that fascinates me and shows the prowess of the author.

Overall: An extremely mature work that should not be missed!

Ratings: 5/5* 

Please Note: This is PR requested review, given for a free copy and not a paid review. All the opinions expressed in the review remain unbiased, unsolicited and my own. 

Friday, 30 May 2014

Source: Google Images

‘You remember the dawn, that day, in which our hearts sang in one tune?’

‘Do you remember the dusk, that day, in which our hearts bonded for eternity?'

They sensed their lips widen to their questions as they sat across the dining table of a plush restaurant with a soulful tune from a violin playing for them.

‘The suit looks good on you’, announced Heer; ‘and so does the sari’, expressed Hari with his eyes fixated on hers.

Standing afar and looking at them express their love for each other, a delighted Amarpreet kissed Boman on his cheek and whispered a ‘thank you’ for coming into her life and agreeing to sponsor and give poor a chance to lead a royal life like ours for a day on our every wedding anniversary.

"Marriage isn't between a man and a woman but between love and love." ~ Frank Ocean

Lillie McFerrin Writes