Breaking Free: Book Review by Asha Seth

Asha Seth

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

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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…

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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

CFFC: Fun Fotos

Hello people! Cee’s put up a wonderful funny foto challenge this week, one that has dragged me out of my boring uninspiring world. Besides who can resist an opportunity to laugh or smile – well how about baring the teeth then?

At an outdoor event while the participants were readying, thise mom and child duo had a blast. It brought a huge smile to my face as they dashed about frolicking, jumping and generally freaking out without a care in the world. The little one was so quick on its feet that I could only manage a blur. The next one is a bit better.

20181005_175910Cute huh? That reminds me…

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That’s a Minion! No it’s Superman err Superdog Scoobie Dooby Doo 😀 Dont miss the Royal Ignore pose.

20171128_173848What’s so funny you ask? Well how about you tell me the time?

20181031_085037A scarecrow in the garden but the gophers aren’t impressed. After all they aren’t crows 😉

20181118_144240As usual I left my favorite for the last. Take your time and read it carefully. Or at least until you find tomato sauce. And then turn the page

20181118_144301And marvel at the meal that echoes but most of all salute the spirit and the determination to survive despite all odds.

Have a wonderful weekend and do share your favorite foto or menu 😀

A Roast

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

A Roast

Words 100

 

Drip drip drip 

He couldn’t breathe because of the all-pervading stench that seeped into his bones.

To make it worse, it was cold and dark.

He squirmed and shuddered as something brushed his leg.

He wouldn’t scream.

He just wouldn’t.

That would spoil his chances.

A crackle and grunt

He held his breath. Was that…?

The darkness vanished.

“What are you doing here?”

“Mom!” He protested, “I was about the catch the alien.”

“Don’t worry darling, they are waiting for you at the dining table.”

“Yay!” He jumped up. “What did you make? Baked or stew…?”

“Earthlings are best roasted.”

***

A/N Yahoo! Finally managed to contribute to FF after a long time 🙂

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting the challenge and for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by the photo prompt or join in click here.

 

Just 4 Fun #88

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So even if I did miss this post last week I believe we are still together 😛

 

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Ergo – let us all go ego-less 😀

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Too much gyan kya? Let’s see what I else I can find…

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Did you do that? Not me – I was a very good girl!

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Not me… at least not then. But have been in similar situations while going into the boss’ room 😀

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Yes! I will admit to this – you?

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Heheh

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I have to confess, the cat is cuter! Moving on

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Flexibility is key to survival.

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Hmm I hope he didnt really die for then she would have had the last laugh – just kidding 😀

 

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What’s your excuse? Mine is that it’s all those burgers and fries Mabel has been teasing me to drool about 😉

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Seriously!

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Extremely seriously!!!!

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So how many you identify with Aunty Acid? Oh that reminds of a joke where this guy was moaning to his friend, “I dont think my wife is ever going to die. She has nothing but clothes, she wouldnt be caught dead in.”

That’s all folks – have a great week and as usual none of this stuff is mine, I aim to keep the laughter going 🙂

Just 4 Fun #87

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Now if only i could learn to be silent…but then again half my troubles would have been non-existent if i had spoken up in the first place. Darn it! To speak or not to speak is the question – any answers?

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I beg to differ I am neither old nor restless I just young and senseless. What about you? 😀

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Questions questions and no answers. Hmm well on second thoughts it could be a typo after all s and d are right next to each other on the keyboard 😛

 

IMG-20180511-WA0015Finally somebody got it right!

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Mother’s day has just come and gone and this was a lovely piece as were a couple of others

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But my personal favorite was this one

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which just goes on and on and on 😀

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Hahahave a wonderful week and just want to stress none of this stuff is mine and I am just keeping the fun going – Cheers

Just 4 Fun #86

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Well that’s an optimist speaking – if you speak to a pessimist, guess what he or she would say?

“Cheer up! The worst is yet to come” 😉

Moving on here are some wonderful definitions:-

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Which one is your favorite? Mine is the Nurse one 😀

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My question is why did he purchase one in the first place? Similarly I’m pretty sure he went after her in the first place… 😀

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Moral of the story: Be careful of what you ask for you may get it 😀

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I wonder where these cards are available….

I recently received a forwarded message on Workplace rules for a happy life credited to WHO. Although I couldn’t find it on their page I thought the suggestions were pretty neat and worth sharing

1. Trust no one but respect  everyone.
2. What happens in office, remains office. Never take office gossip home and vice versa.
3. Enter office on time, leave on time. Your desktop is not helping to improve your health.
4. Never make Relationships in the work place. It will always backfire.
5. Expect nothing. If somebody helps, feel thankful. If not, you will learn to know things on your own.
6. Never rush for a position. If you get promoted, congrats. If not, it doesn’t matter. You will always be remembered for your knowledge and politeness, not for your designation.
7. Never run behind office stuff. You have better things to do in life.
8. Avoid taking everything on your ego. Your salary matters. You are being paid. Use your assets to get happiness.
9. It doesn’t matter how people treat you. Be humble. You are not everyone’s cup of tea.
10. In the end nothing matters except family, friends, home, and Inner peace.
Actually, if you ask me, nothing matters except inner peace – so at the next Miss World/Universe contest let the winner be the one who wishes for inner peace instead of world peace 😀
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To receive good luck and happiness always, just share your joy and inner peace
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Happy Living and wish you all a wonderful week. Please note that none of this stuff is mine, I am just keeping the fun going 🙂

Grounded

A massive beauty for Becca’s Sunday Trees.The lady gives a perspective of size.

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“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky, we fell them down and turn them into paper, that we may record our emptiness.” Khalil Gibran