Author is not an alien

Author is not an alien
I write because we had deleted enough

Thursday, December 17, 2015

पेशावर ........एक साल बाद

 I was asked to pen down a memoir for a blogging challenge, i was wondering what to write and suddenly Facebook popped up a memory, memory of 16 december 2014, the day when in Peshawar school children were brutally murdered, a day when we were ashamed to call ourselves human.
So for #Blogchatter weekly challenge on memoirs, i am writing a poem on the #PeshawarAttack.
Never ever forget the small coffins. 




                   सुबह उठते ही कहा था तुझसे अम्मी
                    आज स्कूल नहीं जाऊंगा
                 बहुत ठण्ड है , थोड़ी देर और सोऊंगा
                    अलसाई आँखों को मलते
                    हाँथ में तुमने टूथब्रश क्यूँ पकडाया था
                    मुझे स्कूल भेजने के बदले
                    तूने मेरा फेवरेट टिफ़िन बनाया था
                    अम्मी ने बालों को फेरते हुए कहा था
                     इस जन्मदिन तुझे नया बस्ता दिलवायेंगे
                     और पापा ने डांट कर कहा था
                      बस छूटी तो हम स्कूल छोड़ने नहीं जायेंगे
                      अभी कल ही तो माँ ने नया ब्लेज़र बनवाया था
                      और पापा ने न्यू ईयर पर कराची का प्रोग्राम बनाया था
                      और आज़ छोटे ताबूतों से निकला मेरा एक  मासूम सवाल
                      कि टीचर ने कभी T for Terrorist तो नहीं पढ़ाया था
                      माँ  मैं अब कभी वापस नहीं आऊंगा
                      उस सुबह की आखिरी हंसी में रह जाऊंगा
                      पापा से कहना मेरे स्कूल ना आयें
                      तू देख नहीं पाएगी उन्हें मेरा ताबूत उठाये

“Wordsmiths are beyond words because they paint words and they write colors. Happy to be a part of #Blogbuddy program by @BlogChatter.”

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: BOLTU .........By Debaprasad Mukherjee


Boltu is a debut novel by Debaprasad Mukherjee. A story of friendship, relationships, struggle to survive and remain victorious where the protagonist Boltu transforms himself from a rougue element to a responsible citizen through the driver of Love, care and hard work.

Boltu, the protagonist, lives though different stages and emotions while growing up to be a young man. The neglected teenage in a huge family of so many brothers and sisters, quickly gets addicted to the darker side of life. In the turmoil he faces the malevolent truth of his life…

But, the boy is a dreamer. He still wants to make a name for him but is confused about his goal. In one episode after another, the reader is led into the increasingly desperate plight of Boltu and his enduring effort to overcome it. Finally his integrity and stick-to-it-iveness pay-offs through the respect he earns, the self-esteem he builds, and the knowledge that he could accomplish anything by calling on his inner strength. In this inspiring book, the author provides readers with the insight to put them on the path to discover the inner strength to empower themselves, no matter how great the challenge, no matter how impossible the obstacles.


Why you should read Boltu?

In his debut novel, the author has retained his own identity through his narrative crisp. His hold over the local terrain, local lifestyle comes through his living and working in those areas and he perfectly draws characters around the same. The distinctive literary style of arranging plots, creating suspense and developing the characters mesmerize the reader. It is a literary journey with the author where Boltu markes a milestone.
Read Boltu because it is a book out of the normalcy of life around us, Of love, betrayal, money power and selfless service. There are hundreds of Boltu around us everyday striving hard to make a meaning out of life and the author holds the tight grasp all through the narrative which intrigues the reader about what will happen next.

Excellent presentation by the publishing house “Petals Publishers” including the cover design makes this book a must read.

 Reviewer Rating - 4.5/5 stars.

Buy this book at  :

http://www.infibeam.com/Books/*/9789385440038.html

http://www.amazon.in/Boltu-Debaprasad-Mukherjee/dp/9385440039/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450189893&sr=8-1&keywords=boltu

Debaprasad Mukherjee surely has long way to go.!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A MINI SUN WITH A CLOUD

We are a family with sweet tooth, a huge sweet tooth but ironically diabetes runs in our family which implies NO SUGAR.

So i recreated pumpkin tarts, a favorite in my family with the sugar free natura and we called it “Sun with the cloud” named by my 4 year old niece “Pal”.


Ingredients :

Crushed sugar-free cookies (8-10 cookies)
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon flour
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup evaporated fat-free milk
1/2 cup sugar free Natura
1/2 cup egg
Orange juice
Frozen whipped cream for topping

Preparation:

 Combine cookie crumbs and butter and stir them stirring well.
 Take Tart moulds and Sprinkle flour evenly over base of moulds.
 Press crumb mixture into bottoms and three-fourths way up sides of pans.
 Bake at 375° for 5 minutes.
 Combine pumpkin and rest of the ingredients, whisk them evenly.
 Pour evenly into prepared crusts.
 Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until set.
 Cool completely on a wire rack.
 Top each tart with 1 tablespoon whipped topping.

 So relish these sugar free pumpkin tarts without any guilt feeling and say  hello to your sweet tooth while keeping the sugar in control. 

 To know more about health benefits of Sugar free Natura and the ways to 
 substitute sugar in your deserts with sugar free natura, visit::

     
          http://sugarfree-india.com/

Dilli...........Truly made of great

So the war between the zones is on. When it comes to zones and their respective cities, the city that came to my mind instantly was dilli.

What Drives Dilli...........Obviously its food


Delhites love their food, their street food in particular and the way Delhi has unlimited "the famous ones" to savour, this city is a foodie's delight
Chandni Chowk, often called the food capital of India, is famous for its street food. The variety consists of snacks, especially chaat.
If you wish to enjoy it, shed your high-brow attitude to soak in the flavours and delicacies. 


Refresh yourself with a delicious plate of hot jalebis - a sweet made by deepfrying batter in a kind of pretzel shape and then soaked in syrup. Also, don't miss the Jama Masjid area that buzzes with activity. 









Design of Delhi : Its timeless architecture

As you walk along the narrow bylanes of this city , tread softly. Every wall has a history behind, every chowk has a story to tell. Every yesterday is replete with events. The city has lived through wars and rise and fall of the great empires.

Delhi remains one of the oldest surviving cities in the world today. It is in fact, an amalgam of eight cities, each built in a different era on a different site – each era leaving its mark, and adding character to it – and each ruler leaving a personal layer of architectural identity. I
The old city of Shahjahanabad with the  Red Fort(above) and Jama Masjid (below), and in the bursting business street of Chandni Chowk(left) are witness to the glory of Mughals.


  British architects Sir Edwin  Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker were responsible for the construction of New Delhi as Britain's new imperial capital of India. The challenge they faced was to produce an architecture that successfully combined local traditions with a statement of colonial power. New Delhi's urban plan, with its emphasis on wide, straight roadways radiating like the spokes of a wheel from major imperial landmarks, was a direct expression of British control.




Connect of Delhi : Its Big heart People

Because of its geographical location, its dilliwallas are an impressive blend of tradition and intellect. They are known to welcome modern ideas, they protest any injustice,are modern not just in their style but in their outlook too.People belonging to various religious sects, castes and lingual groups live together, eat together and party together. 

Photo Courtesy-Hindustan Times

Dilliwallahs  rush to their workplace in the morning and return to enjoy their hearts out in bustling malls and colourful bazaars with their loved ones. Late night parties, media goof-ups, fashion fiestas, luxury..and all these blended perfectly with a sincere effort to preserve their rich culture.The best example of connect is that  Delhi portrays a positive kaleidoscope of myriad religions, who dwell in perfect harmony.

So this is what makes my city- Dilli, a truly great city. And does it not remind of the tata motors and their excellence in "Design", "Connect" and "Drive ". 

To know more about #madeofgreat by Tata Motors, Visit

http://madeofgreat.tatamotors.com/

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Death…….And some wandering thoughts

Day before yesterday, my phone rang at 4 am in the morning, I am not a morning person so I didn’t wake up.But the ringing never stopped.

I picked up, it was in fact my father’s cell phone which I had kept with me while sleeping.

My cousin brother’s name flashed.

I was scared, my pessimistic mind took over and the hour of the day signaled bad news.

My chacha ji (Uncle) had passed away.

He was in his fifties.

He was healthy.

He was hearty.

He passed away due to cardiac arrest.

On the other end was a crying son and what was I supposed to say to him: Don’t cry (He should let the pain vent out), Everything will be okay (I knew I would be lying), We are in this together ( In sorrows like this, everyone is a loner, battling alone).

I didn’t say a word.

I could not say a word.

He has gone, never to come back.

Knowing fully well that death is the only thing that will surely happen with us all, we are never ever prepared for it. My chacha belonged to the millions of Indians who spent a major part of life in foreign countries doing a blue collared job sending back money to their family, remittances to their country and surviving out of meager in the place of their work.

They make plans, plans to have their own house, to wed off their sons and daughters, buy a land back in India and retire. And who does not makes plans, We all do, knowing fully well one single thing at that moment- We don’t know what’s gonna happen the very next moment.

Remembering of plans, I too made some

Two Months Before-

In a small diary that I write I had a well thought of story for my novel, novel based on the people like my Chacha, their lives in the foreign lands, their loneliness, their struggle, their songs, their longings and Chacha ji was my only source. I made plans and plans but alas the plans always came with a later tag. Sometimes career stared in my blank face, sometimes nothing came up but I never planned to execute my plan of going to my paternal village, making my chachaji speak and taking notes.

The evening when I finally decided that this is the best time to relocate to my village turned out to be worst time.

He passed away the next morning.

A Day Later

I was looking for solace, for words of support. I had thought that in a tragedy as big as this everything will come to a stand still. People won’t smile, they won’t breathe.

Did it actually happen? No?

Death- the single largest truth that never ceases to snatch away any of our plans.
Do you ever realize what is the most unsettling truth- the mad rush to settle down. The whole propaganda of settling down breeds survival of the fittest or to better sum up elimination of the weaker.

But can you ever call yourself fittest, think twice.

Can you ? You will always be weak in one or the other departments.

Start enjoying it. Death never leaves you any time to mend a mistake, to undo a wrong, to say the unsaid, to cry over a failed exam, to curse over a relationship gone wrong, to even say a goodbye.

Mend your mistakes, if you can’t just apologize.

Say the unspoken, Silence is what death is like: Brutal and mysterious.

Smile over your failures too.

Move out of a relationship gone wrong.

Say “I love You” to the people who care.

Go on a holiday because holidays make memories and memories support the ones left back.

Don’t equate money with life, money with care and money with family (Believe me, if it was possible my dad would have traded all of his life’s earnings for his younger brother).

Date life because like it or not you have to marry death one day.

P.S.-  My words have come out of tears, if it touched you anywhere, go say a “Thank you” to any one person who ever cared for you selflessly. That way share our grief, our pain and this difficult time.



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How the Bihar health sector adopted a strategic Social Brand campaign - Part 1

 I stopped by a small tea shop in Muzaffarpur and nearby is an Anganwadi centre       with   wall paintings of government  schemes for maternal and child health displaying the logo of “Swasthya Bihar, Samridhha Bihar.” Be it in the heart of bustling golambar  chowk of Patna, the rusty lanes of Motihari; a Primary health centre at the far end of  Raxaul or a small village curled up in a corner of Supaul, everywhere Health services,  health policies are seen with a ubiquitous tag line “Swasthya Bihar, Samridhha Bihar”  along with a colorful logo.

 It’s interesting to observe that the state of Bihar which was once considered under the “BIMARU” states and was creeping on the path of development especially the health  sector developed a  powerful social brand worth enough to be emulated by others.
 Here goes the story in the words of the communication team  of State RMNCH+A Unit, Bihar which was instrumental in  getting  the wheels of social branding started with the  support of State  Health Society, Bihar

 “With multiple push from the development partners the  health  service delivery was improving in Bihar. And we  could see the  thirst for high visibility for the improved    service delivery in the  GoB", said Dr Hemant Shah,Director,  SRU

 “We knew what the TSU (technical Support Unit) had to do. We    knew if we need to stay in the state and do our work to bring  change and strengthen the systems, we had to help the government  to give shape to their aspiration. We visualized it in the form of a  Social campaign brand.... and as we work in the field of health – I  thought, let that one social campaign brand be the ‘Health  Initiatives campaign’ in Bihar to start with.” Said Victor Kalyan  Ghoshe ( Senior Advisor, Communication, SRU), he continued,  “and we figured it was all about ‘a new Bihar- which was  developing’, But as mentioned the core of our idea was different –  we still believed through a hidden layer below the Brand promise   if we could shape demands of the communities of Bihar; we would  actually be able to create a dynamics to ‘drive the market’ and  maintain the ‘service delivery’ in a way that will help the future  prosperity of Bihar to sustain (lower Maternal Mortality Ratio  & Infant Mortality Rate, higher rate of Routine Immunization,  effective Family Planning etc.). In a word we wanted to create a  social dynamics through a strategic brand campaign – where  the service delivery is community demand driven.

 We went back to the GOB with a series of Brand campaign names.   The list had:
1.         Swasthya Bihar, Pragatishil Bihar
2.         Swasthya Bihar, Unnatishil Bihar
3.         Swasthya Bihar, Samriddh Bihar

 Slogans which almost had the same meaning – but there was only  one which phonetically had the right zing as it was coined with a  key word with two syllable phrase, viz-a-viz the others which had  four syllables. We knew the third campaign name option was  destined to be the winner.

 We were right – but we didn’t know that within a few days this    idea will be all over Bihar....making its mark on all the leading  news papers, on all the stationeries of concerned government  agency (State Health Society, Bihar), Radio and television. And within a couple of months-the state government would start using  the brand for departments other than the department of Health as  well.
 After a few rounds of Chai and Charcha, the name was finalised and the work for identity (Logo) development took over.

  The most twisted turn in story comes here
  As we worked on developing the brand we started believing this identity should create an added value for not only the GOB, but also for each and every decision making bureaucrat in the  government so that the instruments of the government own it and  eventually turn it into a sustainable campaign brand without any  external support.

 The road map with milestones that we had developed  initially for  this brand development journey, after reaching at the Ideation milestone we decided not to get into the Prototype development  and testing – we should let the State Health Society-IEC division do the job.Which was a milestone decision and which never had  happened in India with any development project (as we have seen -a logo design for a project or a program, is always the first thing  that development partners do for a development program as a  practice).

 SHSB IEC cell finally developed the Swasthya Bihar, Samriddh  Bihar identity with no help from the State RMNCH+A Unit or  from any of the development partners. They added a map of Bihar  along with the mentioned family of four – the end beneficiary – to  develop a face to the first strategic Social Brand campaign from  the GoB.


 This brand eventually became so strong within six months of its  first dissemination that the Govt revamped and reprinted all its  stationary including the SHSB letterheads, envelops and Cover files (which is the highest visibility document in the Indian  Bureaucracy

 The story does not end here, after this successful example of an  interactive social brand development in health sector, many sub- brands were developed following a larger strategy for the GOB and that part of the story too is very interesting….


 To be continued…

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I MUST CONFESS.....................


    I must confess
    Why do i pick up a pen
    and write verses out of nowhere
    I write stories out of experiences
    When the friend list keeps on piling
    and relationships are at a downhill
    when leaders mock limits
    while a debt ends a life
    I must confess
    i pick up my pen to write
    When Aylan is washed up to the shore
    And a girl puts her "Hands up"
    When guns snatch away an innocence
    and a "Gul Makai" is born
    I must confess
    i pick up my pen to write
    when textbooks remain open
    spilled with blood
    and bread is snatched away
    again in the name of blood
    i must confess
    i pick up my pen to write
    for writing is deleting for me.....................SEHAR



The post was written under the #BlogBuddyWordsmith program by @blogchatter for the weekly writing prompt “I must confess” 

Friday, November 6, 2015

GROW TREES………..For a better tomorrow


Deforestation is clearing Earth's forests on a massive scale, often resulting in damage to the quality of the land. Deforestation has many negative effects on the environment. The most dramatic impact is a loss of habitat for millions of species. Seventy percent of Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests, and many cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their homes.
Deforestation also drives climate change. Forest soils are moist, but without protection from sun-blocking tree cover they quickly dry out. Trees also help perpetuate the water cycle by returning water vapor back into the atmosphere. Without trees to fill these roles, many former forest lands can quickly become barren deserts.
Removing trees deprives the forest of portions of its canopy, which blocks the sun’s rays during the day and holds in heat at night. This disruption leads to more extreme temperatures swings that can be harmful to plants and animals.
Trees also play a critical role in absorbing the greenhouse gases that fuel global warming. Fewer forests means larger amounts of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere—and increased speed and severity of global warming.
The task of environmental protection is a universal responsibility of all of us. Al little but significant contribution to the cause is by planting new trees.
Vodafone India, one of India’s leading telecom service providers and Grow-Trees.com, the exclusive Indian Planting Partner for United Nation’s Environment Program’s Billion Tree Campaign, have taken up extensive tree plantation drive for a greener India. Phase 1 and2 of their joint project is already completed to improve the wildlife corridor between Kanha - Pench wildlife reserves by planting 200,000 trees on 200 hectares of forest land. Launched in August 2014, this project will by next year have a total of 300,000 trees planted over 300 hectares of forest land between Kanha Tiger Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh and Pench in Maharashtra.
The successful completion of Phase 1 and 2 was formally announced by Manish Kumar, Business Head – Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh, Vodafone India and Mr. Bikrant Tiwary, CEO,Grow-Trees.com, at a special press meet organised in Jabalpur. 

With this initiative, Vodafone is working towards increasing green cover, support the conservation of flora and fauna and facilitate habitat connectivity in tiger breeding areas. In addition, we will also create livelihood opportunities for local communities, enable reforestation  and offset carbon footprint every year for 3-years.”

This project will create about 25,000 workdays of direct jobs mainly for women and tribals inhabiting the area in addition to supporting several allied livelihood generating activities such as farming, fruit and honey gathering etc. on a sustained basis. The site is in Sijhora Range and would be jointly protected by three villages- Majhipur, Jogisoda and Chandiya. A variety of trees, including Karani, Harra, Baheda, Bamboo, Khamer, Ladiya, Mango and Amla, that are local to the region will be planted. Saplings of these were grown in the special nurseries funded by Grow-Trees.com. 

PLANTING TREES HAS BENEFITS FOR YOU TOO.YOU WILL BE:
* Investing in a sustainable future – profits are no longer the only bottom line for companies. Investing in the future of our planet is an integral part of the triple bottom line for businesses
* Investing in a better future for South Africa – education is key in SA’s ongoing development. Investing in schools and making them more conducive to learning is an investment in the country’s future
* Leaving a lasting legacy
* Its so cool and fun to plant trees together.

So #PledgeATree with Vodafone and http://www.grow-trees.com/ .  You get an e-certificate for reducing carbon footprint and can celebrate any life occasion with Grow Trees ………….how cool is that!!

Watch this video to have a glimpse of the #PledgeATree



Thursday, October 29, 2015

GIRLY PROBLEM.........I MEAN REALLY!!!


Recently twitter saw an ugly spat between actrtess Ameesha Patel and actor Kushal tondon . recalling what happened would not be pleasant, but still for the sake of readers, let's run through what happened. The duo had separately gone to watch a movie in a theater hall in Juhu when Tandon found that Ameesha was not standing up for the national anthem and was fiddling with her phone.

Tandon approached her (not figuring who she was in the dark) and asked her to respect the national anthem. The rest is history with Ameesha getting back with abusive statements on Twitter, calling him 'asshole' and 'jackass' and explaining her 'girly problem at that time of the month'

ameesha patel 
I waited for the film to start so I cud address my GirLY problem in the bathroom. Didn't know that kushal wud make it a national issue


Men like him who have forced a woman 2 speak about her intimate girly problems are jerks .. He is a shame to society


Diyar Ameesha patel

A gold medalist in economics, a known actress , a person who can do those raunchy, double meaning item songs and yet you have to call the “Menstruation” a “Girly Problem”.

Let me tell you a little history. the first commercial sanitary towel, introduced in 1896 by Johnson & Johnson, failed to sell, not because there wasn’t demand for the product but because advertising for sanitary products was thought improper and so no one even knew they existed.

Various campaigns are going on, advocacy is at its peak in the world to call a period  simply a period not some girly problem, red friend, that time of the month, an aunt visiting . Do you even realize that this naming is bercause of shaming.   Shame of accepting that you are menstruating. 

Hey Ameesha, why don’t you bring out a biology book and read about it. And by educated , elite women like you failing to call it by its name you are pushing back the whole movement of breaking taboos around periods.

It’s ironic that so much embarrassment, awkwardness, and shame surround a natural bodily function experienced by half the population at some point in their lives.

The negative consequences of ‘the menstrual taboo’ are felt not just by individuals but by communities and economies as a whole. Over half of girls in East Africa miss important schooling during menstruation because they can’t access pads or the information they need about their own bodies and a recent study in Bangladesh found that 73 per cent of female factory workers were missing 6 days of work a month during menstruation.

And yes its not the problem of our culture to be specific. When you call it “Girly Problem” , you add the embarrassment to the long list of cultural-specific “sequestration rituals, around menstruating women. In Italy, women aren’t meant to make pasta sauce if they’re at that time of the month. In Nepal, women have to sleep in a cattle shed overnight and they aren’t allowed to cook when they’re on their period, so for four days a month the man will take over the cooking. “Until very recently in the UK people believed that dough wouldn’t rise if a woman tried to make bread while menstruating.

Breaking the taboo around menstruation is much more than speaking out. Its biological, its normal and it is associated with Menstrual hygiene it is an opportunity for the global community to say to disadvantaged girls and young women, ‘You Matter. Period.

So next time do not use the world “Girly Problem”……..Period.

With Love

A Girl Herself



Thursday, September 3, 2015

TEN HEART WRENCHING IMAGES THAT WILL PUT US TO SHAME.........AYLAN IS NOT ALONE

I can’t stop thinking about Aylan Kurdi and the collective horror his cold image of being washed ashore generates .We as a human being fail when we see such tragic picture of a 3 year old boy washed away .But he is not alone ,neither our outrage on facebook  and twitter helping. Thousands are making the journey from Turkey to Greece’s easternmost islands each day. The majority are Syrians fleeing the war in their homeland. Others are from Afghanistan or Iraq. So far this year, the number of them crossing the Mediterranean has exceeded 300,000, with 200,000 landing in Greece, the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR said.

Aylan is not alone in this plight The number of people uprooted from their homes by war and persecution in 2014 was larger than in any year The rapidly escalating figures reflect a world of renewed conflict, with wars in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe driving families and individuals from their homes in desperate flights for safety. But the systems for managing those flows are breaking down, with countries and aid agencies unable to handle the strain as an average of nearly 45,000 people a day join the ranks of those either on the move or stranded far from home.


Let me take you through heart wrenching images of refugee crisis  and why we need to correct this ,why we need to ensure these millions of refugees a simple right – Right to Live 

1) A happy Aylan Kurdi before he...........
        (Source-AFP/Getty Images)


2) Displaced children from Congo (Source- congomissionnewswire)


3) A child from Ethiopia ( Source- Rajonews.com)


4) Who can forget this image  of a scared child by Nadia abu shaban

5) Plight of rohingya, Myanmar by Saiful huq omi

6) A Lebanese child (Source- Daily star lebanon)

7) Syrian crisis in pictures
Credits- acelebrationofwomen.org , rescue.org, dailystar



8) Jerusalem (Source- Jerusalem post, kisa.org.cry)


We are sorry Aylan , we failed you and we will continue failing million of children because a millitary might is more important than a lost childhood
Keep Smiling there above......Believe me you are at a better place.