Want to Break Free?

Hello! Time’s flying and yet we often feel as if we are stuck in a rut. Are you one of them?

Do you ever feel like breaking free? If you had a chance, what would you break free from?

Me?

If I could, I would break free from the shackles of my own restrictive thoughts!

Look forward to reading your thoughts on this 🙂

Thanks Sohinee for the detailed review!

Have a great weekend

Thought for the day

That’s all it takes to find happiness – gratitude…

by anonymous

Breaking Free: Book Review by Asha Seth

Asha Seth

Author: Mohua Malik |Genre:Short Stories |Pages: 264 |Publisher: Buuks

logo header (2)

Breaking Free: A Novella & Other Stories is a collection of forty micro-fiction and short stories, portraying different aspects of life crafted from everyday happenings. Breaking Free dives into the depths of a patriarchal society that turns a blind eye to sexism that is all pervasive. A disillusioned and embittered protagonist meets a determined suitor. Can he accept her reality? Can she break free and come into her own?

Vacations are on everyone’s bucket list but they often don’t turn out quite as one expects. This theme is explored in a few shorts – Holidays! The Perfect Getaway, The Last Fling and The Vacation. Other shorts – The Murderer, Yesterday Once More, Of Men and Monsters, Brothers in Arms – explore the theme of love and betrayal, be it lovers, parents or siblings. My…

View original post 544 more words

A Hopeful Eye on One

Life, as we knew it, changed forever in 2020 with millions suffering personal loss and suffering. Yet I, at least, have much to be grateful for and send out a big thank you to the Universe for being able to bid adieu to 2020 with equanimity. A quick look at the little lessons and happenings from a year that the entire world (including yours truly) is fed up of.

Be careful of what you ask for!

I began 2020 with resignation from my day job. Why? Well because I wanted to – work from home. Honest! I am not kidding. My request and resignation were both denied. You’ll never guess what happened soon afterwards! 😀

I have to confess, I enjoy WFH (just not the means I got my wish) and quite dread the thought of going back to traffic battles and regular office schedules. But then again, at home, there is no off office hours. And that’s another take home message – can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Shedding baggage

After decades of vacillating, I had just set in motion a workout plan and intermittent fasting schedule when lock down was imposed. With no distractions or excuses, in a first, I lost 5 kg. Close encounters with the coronavirus helped me lose another 2.5 kg which, I have since re-appropriated. I just hope I don’t catch the virus again for although the first one was a mild infection, the post-covid phase weakness, fatigue and muscle pain took over four months to resolve. Makes me wonder how the other survivors are faring – get well soon!

And Breaking Free

I broke free of the self-imposed shackles of anonymity and apprehensions of being a pretentious story teller and took the plunge. I self-published a collection of my short stories and despite misgivings and dropped the pseudonym too. I learned that I had needlessly worried the fall out of coming out as a fiction writer. Nobody even blinked! Ah well such is life.

I am grateful that despite everything, friends and family have bought the book (and waited endlessly for the paperback). I am particularly grateful to all those who took the pains to leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. I was very touched with their kindness and generosity, particularly from my little ones (when did they grow up so much!!!) and couldn’t help creating a little slideshow. Thank you for making me believe, keeping my spirits up and not regret breaking free.

Yep, that’s moi – Mohua aka Dahlia 😀 If you would also like to also see the face behind the ramblings click here

Que sera sera

As an indie author, there have been phases where I felt stuck and boxed in as I struggled to showcase Breaking Free and was met with high flying assurances but no action. It is interesting that the negative reinforcements were more powerful and overwhelming than the positive ones. But I have since made my peace with it and have no resentment, only gratefulness. Whatever will be, will be. As the Bhagwad Gita says, “You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of actions.” Released, I have found a new (well, actually the original) obsession – watch this space!

Predictions do come true!

According to ancient Maya predictions dated more than 2,200 years ago that the world, as we know it would end on December 21, 2012. According to this vision (and/or imaginings), there would be fires and floods, planetary collisions, extreme global warming and mass extinction, and explosions large and small. But, of course, the world didn’t end then, did it? Yet now, I can’t help think that perhaps that prediction did have some basis to it as the world as we know it has ended and there is now a buzz of the new normal. Besides, it was probably a miscalculation (or misinterpretation) of just 8 years. Interestingly, a friend accurately predicted I would break free this year, right down to the month!

Frippery apart, I am keenly aware and deeply grateful that I am among the blessed ones in these pandemic times with its uncountable deaths and immeasurable misery and suffering. For those who have suffered and lost, allow me to offer you my heartfelt condolences and hope that we all find peace and have a healthy 2021.

Here’s hoping for a happy, healthy, safe, enjoyable, productive and happening 2021 🙂

A Book Update

Hello! Hope you had a wonderful festive season 🙂 Although, it’s been less than a month since my book (ahem) was published, I thought of sharing the few early reviews. To be honest, nobody wants to read an unrated book. I am hoping these, albeit few, reviews, will help to nudge you in that direction.

A self-published author, especially so late in life, relies heavily on word of mouth to spread the word. So, if you have ever enjoyed reading my work, or just want to do a good deed, please do read Breaking Free: A Novella and Other Stories by Mohua Maulik (whom you know as Dahlia) and leave a review – even a single line or word with a rating would do! By the way the book is free on Kindle Unlimited (at least in India).

Thank you in advance.

Cheers!

Breaking Free

Hello! Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a safe, healthy, happy and prosperous Diwali. In case you hadn’t noticed, I have been off posting on my blog for quite a while now. Although I have been posting on the Pages section (which for some strange reason doesnt lead to a notification to blog followers – sigh). Anyway, coming back to the point, I utilized the extra time on my hands during the lockdown to compile my (choice) of the better short stories into a book. This is out in virtual stores now (links below). A fair warning though, these stories have been published on my blog and if you have been following my stories, you can safely skip this book. But then you would never know what you missed. 😉

Or you could share with your friends and family.

I know it’s a long shot but then nothing ventured, nothing gained, so here goes:

If perchance, you do purchase the book, read it and like it, I would very much appreciate if you could leave your comments on Amazon/Flipkart/Goodreads or wherever you are comfortable.

And the good news is that it is free on Kindle Unlimited!

Thanks!

Oh and yes, while the world’s population has been advised to mask up, I have opted to break free of my self-imposed anonymity and unmask myself, albeit in the virtual world.

That name on the book cover is my given name. 🙂

PAN India Distribution:
 Amazon : https://www.amazon.in/dp/9390507006

Flipkart : https://www.flipkart.com/breaking-free-novella-other-stories/p/itm4fa0943f76872

International Distribution:

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/9390507006
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/9390507006
Germany: https://www.amazon.de/dp/9390507006
France: https://www.amazon.fr/dp/9390507006
Spain: https://www.amazon.es/dp/9390507006
Italy: https://www.amazon.it/dp/9390507006
Japan: https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/9390507006
Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/9390507006
The eBook is now available on Amazon KDP.

India – https://www.amazon.in/dp/B08N56MDFD

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08N56MDFD

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08N56MDFD

Germany – https://www.amazon.de/dp/B08N56MDFD

France – https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B08N56MDFD

Spain – https://www.amazon.es/dp/B08N56MDFD

Italy – https://www.amazon.it/dp/B08N56MDFD

Netherlands – https://www.amazon.nl/dp/B08N56MDFD

Japan – https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B08N56MDFD

Brazil – https://www.amazon.com.br/dp/B08N56MDFD

Canada – https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08N56MDFD

Mexico – https://www.amazon.com.mx/dp/B08N56MDFD

Australia – https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B08N56MDFD

SPF: The Christmas Gift

Hello and here’s hoping you are doing well in these difficult times. I am trying to get back to blogging but nothing new as of now. Unless you are into #IPKKND and Silver Streaks. In which case, Season 2 is now underway. See you there 🙂

SPF (2 of 2)
Photo (c) Susan Spaulding

The Christmas Gift

Words 200

“I wonder what Santa will gift me this year.” Rimi mused.

“Lucky you,” Rimi’s grandfather was jealous, “In my time there was no Santa.”

“That’s not possible!” Rimi protested. “Perhaps you were a bad boy.”

“I was always a good boy.” Huffed Dadu. “It’s not fair that I didn’t get any toys. Not even on my birthday.”

“Aww.” Rimi commiserated. “I’ll ask Santa!”

“As if he’ll agree.” Dadu snorted.

The next morning, Rimi ran to Dadu. “Guess what I saw last night?”

“What?”

“A thick blanket of snow covered the garden…”

“But it never snows here!”

She stamped her foot. “It did last night.”

“Fine!”

“Elves sat around the stumps talking when a sleigh drew up in a shower of snow. I jumped out and asked Santa why he didn’t give you gifts.”

“What did he say?”

“He said his GPS wasn’t as advanced then.”

Dadu coughed.

“I said, why not gift him now? But Santa said he brought gifts for only children.”

“I told you so!” Dadu grumbled.

“But I managed to convince him!” Rimi was triumphant.

“How?”

“I said what about those in their second childhood?”

Dadu laughed and enfolded Rimi in his arms. “My best gift ever!”

***

Written (after ages) for the Sunday Photo Fiction – a story in 200 words or less. Thanks to Susan Spaulding for hosting the challenge and for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

His First Pair

My second submission (first one here) this week after my ‘inspirational’ walk 😀 Would love to know which one you think is better. Thanks!

adamickes-childsboots
Photo (c) Adam Ickes

 

His First Pair

Words 102

“Dadu you came!” Rimi ran to hug her grandfather.

“Soon our village will get electricity…”

“Great! Dad will have no choice but to take me.” Rimi pulled him.

“Wait. Let me wash my feet first.”

“Why are you bare feet?!”

“I couldn’t wear leather on my feet!”

“But Dadu shoes are also made of synthetic material.”

“Really?”

“Yes! Let me buy you a pair of shoes.”

 

“I love my new shoes.” He carefully tucked them into his bag. “Thank you.”

“Aren’t you going to wear them?”

“Oh but I couldn’t!”

“Why not? They aren’t leather…”

“They’ll get dirty and frayed.”

***

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting the challenge and Adam Ickes for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt (and showcase your story) click here.

 

 

 

 

A Shoddy Job

adamickes-childsboots
Photo (c) Adam Ickes

A Shoddy Job

97 Words

 

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn” 

She sighed. Another blank. Why did she even try?

She frowned and stared at the prompt.

A sturdy pair of shoes.

Just like the ones she needed to fulfill her New Year resolution.

Perhaps she could buy one before the year ended. At least it would be a step in the right direction. The shoes looked comfortable, not something that would give shoe bite. But probably beyond her shoestring budget, she sighed.

Perhaps she would dig out an old pair, go for a walk, and find some inspiration on the way.

***

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting the challenge and Adam Ickes for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt (and showcase your story) click here.

Something is better than nothing right? Or not? Go on say it!

Thanks for reading and (hopefully) commenting.

And a second submission here after the ‘inspirational’ walk 😀

Aligned

And here I am with some more photos for another challenge hosted by Debbie at Travel with Intent. The prompt this week is Lines

So let’s see what I can cull from my collection – are you game 😉

IMG_0328Don’t you think it is appropriate to start this journey at the airport with its numerous airlines? 😀 Especially as the possibilities are endless. Care to join me and check out some noteworthy lines? After all someone has to make sure I stay in line 😉

IMG_0135A house arrested in time.

Once upon a time, I lived in one such home, just two doors away…

IMG_0164…where the once irrepressible dancing gushing Ganga now flows dull disapproving and unsmiling.

IMG_0377I am trying to convince myself that these trees were past their safety date…

IMG_0287The world’s largest sundial at Jaipur – the famous Jantar Mantar. I have always wondered about the steps leading to nowhere. Perhaps they were used by the astronomers to touch the sky to set the time. What do you think?

IMG_0206At the Amer Fort, Jaipur, even the mountains are aligned 😀

IMG_0525From the deserts of Rajasthan I now take you to the shore line 😀 I have almost grown up with this textbook image of the Shore Temple in my history books.

IMG_0679Since Indian weddings are quite in the fashion these days, a glimpse into the intricate mehendi lines. The neat orderly lines are in contrast to the…

IMG_0300Bindaas crazy lines 😀

Thanks for visiting and do let me know your favorite snap. Surely you liked one?