Colours of My Dreams.

Reposting my facebook post here…from the 15th Feb.

“Listen to the colour of your dreams.” The Beatles: Even if it means creating two distinct and unique rainbows, that people may see, read, and perceive without the need to compare and contrast our individual glow.

Sometimes a single photo (the one below) speaks a thousand words. Last evening, as usual the black and white newspaper man (husband) was working. He doesn’t like to upkeep frivolous days like the Valentine’s Day. Let alone wishing me or getting me anything, now he even thinks we’re too old.
😊But I love to celebrate every day and if you find me a reason, I will go and paint the town red with it. In fact in all my years in the retail sector, I always encouraged my entire teams to dress up to the occasion. And they happily oblidged. Customers always dropped by to absorb the bonhomie, wherein for Christmas we all wore western clothes, for Diwali or Indian festivals we dressed in our best ethnic outfits and it goes without saying it was Red for Valentine’s Day.
Last evening after the black and white man left for work, I wore a red top with jeans and first went and got myself pampered and styled at my regular hairstylists, chatting up the young man from Darjeeling. I was so enthused to find all the staff there, many from the North East in smart Red T Shirts, jeans, their hair well styled and coloured. They smiled seeing me in Red too and it added to our very own party. Then to celebrate on my own, I watched a movie (Padman, as black and white man refused to watch it) by myself, over a large tub of butter popcorn and frothy coffee…Then wrapped up my evening with steaming Chinese dinner that I enjoyed all by myself.
By the time I was back home at 10pm and the non believer in Valentine’s Day arrived at 11pm from work, I was as cool as the dessert I’d missed. I’d celebrated the day and myself with no compulsion on the man to think it was but any other regular day. Had I stayed home, I might have been tempted to verbally cook him.
So you see, how we play out our individual dreams in the confines of a single home-sky.

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Aspirations: Also On Writing.

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We always tend to equate other people’s aspirations based on our own, and judge their contentment and success by it. As children, we assume everyone wants to come first in academics and sports, then get into the best professional colleges, go on to earn the best pay packets to buy all money can buy, and then predictably aspire to marry the richest guy or the best looking girl and have lovely children for whom we again have the same cycle of aspirations. Why don’t we delve beyond our own dreams and benchmarks for happiness and success to notice some may have different aspirations that do not conform to ours.

A few stimulating quotes on writing that mirror my thoughts and aspirations, also how I choose to write, very precisely:

“When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.”—George Orwell.

“The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written.” — Joyce Carol Oates.

“I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as he finishes the book.”—Roald Dahl.

“People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.” —R.L. Stine,

“Long patience and application saturated with your heart’s blood—you will either write or you will not—and the only way to find out whether you will or not is to try.” —Jim Tully

Many books require no thought from those who read them, and for a very simple reason —they made no such demand on those who wrote them. — Charles Caleb Colton, Lacon.

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‘Fragments’ – My collection of 90 poems.

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Dear friends,
I take great pleasure in raising the curtain to the last of my four books cover, readying for release very shortly.
It is trying to get this book of ninety poems ready that has caused the delay in releasing the other three that I had wished to be launched by last December, the covers of which I have shared earlier. The distributors want all the 4 books together for ease of their supply chain processes, while I just didn’t seem ready to finish with editing, fine tuning this book written over ten years, that took me almost two months, in addition to the others. The reason I have with much thought left it at 90 poems, instead of taking it to a hundred, is that in spite of all the insights of life I’ve collated into this book, at 46 I still have half my life ahead to mature, season and further my poetic journey to share with you. Some wines better with age. 
I sincerely hope that you will continue to love and support my 4 new-born as you have the first — Across Borders, with a quiet and mature love, following my words silently over the years.
Please click on the photo to read the back cover text…my previous post, ‘Poetry in Dressing’ might give you a peek into my poetic thinking process for this book.

Warmly,
Shuvashree.

Poetry in Dressing: Responsible Creativity

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Yesterday afternoon, husband and I went to a house warming party of a longtime couple-friend’s beach villa, off the ECR road, in Chennai. The party was well organized and hosted, in a lawn in front of the villa amidst plenty of palm trees – a beautiful setting. It was well attended by a lot of people, many known to us, as the lady had till a few years back been husband’s colleague, while her husband and I had worked in different divisions of the same HR company, in Chennai, for a few years. There were invitees, both current and past, from both their work places in addition to family and friends.
In dressing up for the party, I decided to keep the location and time of day as my primary theme. As it was a beach house, and there would be plenty of breeze I decided on an ankle length printed blue skirt depicting a sea with swishing colour, that wouldn’t fly up embarrassing me, yet unlike a formal dress or trousers, was not stuffy. I could not take the liberty of landing up in too casual beach wear for it, as I mentioned that the party was to be attended by both husband’s and my ex colleagues. I wore a fitting black top to counter the bulkiness the flared skirt would add, to my not so slim self. I matched my neckwear to my skirt’s colour, but more it had coral and pearl drops at the edges to go with the sea that I’d kept as the concept for the look in my mind. Then I teamed it up with pearl drop earrings and large coral studded open-toe sandals. I opted for a heavy eyeliner and mascara look, though I don’t usually do so during the day, with light lip color, because I knew it would retain my face’s dressed look even after the lip color was long gone – over the cocktails and nibbles, with the house being at a distance to go and refresh, even as people dropped in over the course of a long afternoon. Now the final choice was in the handbag, which instinctively was a blue or pink to go with the skirt, but then even after filling my stuff in a blue, then switching to a pink, both of which went beautifully with my outfit, I dropped them for a Mario Miranda one I’d picked up in Goa, that always reminds me of the sand and the sea – which was the concept I’d chosen for my attire. So in spite of the blue and pink bags making my outfit definitely trendier and aesthetically better coordinated, I stuck with the orange one with a bold Mario Miranda cartoon on the top broad flap.
For me, there’s poetry in everything I like to do😊. Just as I put in all this thought into my outfits, when I step out in public, whether or not you may like them, think they suit me, or would care to laud me on my style and my fashion sense, as with my poetry and prose, I communicate very specifically through it, the statements I decisively intend to make. Now if I go to such lengths with my outfit for a simple lunch party, as with most things in life, and I must admit I also fail often in spite of all good intentions – can you imagine how much thought goes into every poem, short story, leave alone novels that I think, plot and plan. I would take away the beauty of something myself, after having passionately created it, if it struck me that it did not have substantive thoughts, and I would crush all the beauty if it seemed to me socially irresponsible. If you’ve read anything I’ve written so far, you may criticize it for lack of beauty, skills, erudition or anything else, but you will not find the intent to be socially responsible and relevant, missing, to which end I use all the power invested in me and in my words. My four books are due for release in a month or so and it is my responsibility to share with you the working of my mind to get an understanding an insight into my work and motivation.

These thoughts here, are inspired by my Republic Day Facebook post as copied below and the write-up in the link I shared last evening, below that, every point the writer/actor has made on women, I have had the foresight to project in my four upcoming books to be released in a month, with proper study and analysis, especially in the novels Across Borders and Entwined Lives:
Wishing you all a very Happy Republic Day: With an impressive display of woman (all) power, at the parade at Rajpath, New Delhi, in the link here:

I truly believe, there is nothing that we as women cannot do as well as, if not better than men. Then why must we encourage, promote and thrive on art, literature, and a cultural heritage that continues to depict our subjugation from times immemorial.
When are we as women, going to delve into ourselves and find our inherent strength, rather than entertain ourselves and the world with our victimization.
It’s high time to rise and shine with our strengths, not our weaknesses, however pretty and alluring our helplessness seems to make us.
— Shuvashree.
A powerfully profound write-up on the need for social responsibility in creativity: https://thewire.in/218456/end-magnum-opus-i-felt-reduced-vagina/

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‘EXISTENCES’- My collection of 26 short stories: Kindness is not an act, it is a lifestyle.

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These thoughts below, sum up my upcoming collection of 26 short stories titled ‘Existences’ – cover photo above, that have all been well roundedly and strategically thought out — with my varied corporate experiences, however easy going and casual they might read to the uninitiated. But isn’t that the purpose of training and coaching for change, through stories and role plays!
— Shuvashree Chowdhury Ghosh

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” — Kahlil Gibran

“People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centred.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest person with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest person with the smallest mind.
Think big anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack if you help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you might get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.”
–Dr. Kent M. Keith
American Author and Inspirational Speaker

“The Wise Woman’s Stone” : A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveller who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveller saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveller left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.
“I’ve been thinking,” he said, “I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.” — Anonymous

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PS: Read this post,with reference to the article published a few days ago in the link here: https://www.ndtv.com/…/indigo-staff-rude-this-behaviour-sho…

The first page, of the first story of Existences:

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Below is an excerpt from A Writer’s Notebook,  by Somerset Maugham:

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New Year thoughts…Truest to myself!

Wishing you, all my dear friends a very happy and prosperous New Year:
A year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. Your success and happiness lies foremost in you…don’t give the oars of it to others or external factors. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible mast against the strong winds of your difficulties that threaten to drown you. Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year ahead by believing in yourself, those you meet, and in the world we live in…

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Stepping into a bright 2018! Please come along with me… 

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In starting my 2018 today, putting on record a nagging thought…A truth!

When you come across independent women like me, taking leaps of faith so often, as we profess: You can be sure we’ve so often in life, had to choose between the devil (human and situations) and the deep sea, that we prefer the unknown sea intuitively. It’s because we’ve been tested so often with such brutal intensity that we can dare to even choose societal ostracization.

Let me give you a simple example…as a debut/new literary novelist, with 4 upcoming books, wouldn’t I at least try and impress you with a serious demeanour and dress in starched cotton clothes with thick rimmed glasses, if not a traditional sari to create an intellectual impression. 🙂

Instead we do our best on our work, very sincerely from the heart and soul…Leaving you to take us and character assassinate us if you please from our words or actions! We remain truest to ourselves.

Have a great year ahead! And I look forward to your love and continued support with my 4 books (including the new Across Borders), to reach you in another month…with no pretensions on intellectual superiority! 🙂

 


Warmest regards,
Shuvashree.

 

Random Thoughts: My Dire Need.

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Sharing random thoughts from a Facebook post of three years back, and a connected one further below from last night…

December 28, 2014

My Dire Need: My husband often tells me, sometimes embarrassedly, much to my impatience, that friends repeatedly ask him on reading my FB posts, if I’m alright and if all’s well with me. All I wish to convey, to my supposed well wishers out there via this post is, I am just as well, happy, or distressed as you or anyone else in this world. I do not write to vent my feelings, but to hopefully make a little difference to someone out there in the world who might be going through an anguish or experience I might have undergone at some time and am in a better position to appreciate.

Needless to say, I never preach what I have not undergone myself, or at least seriously thought about – thus my accompanying views with every post, however fanciful a quote, picture or words may appear to me. In fact, I never write about what I am going through in the present, but would have had to have that thought or experience at some time to be inspired to write about it. So much so that, I’ve posted on beauty and confidence building, humorous posts, sitting in my mother’s hospital room right after her 3rd stroke, when I was gripped with fear and anguish, that she would not make it through this time. Those who knew my condition then might again have thought I was going crazy to post such frivolity.

Also, after two decades of working and making myself productive every day of my life, now that I’m writing full-time which is a very lonely job and one which would take a long time to show result, I find the need to make myself productive to society in a small way, till I can do so in a larger way through the release of my subsequent book/work.
So my posts are my dire need to be of service to the community, however minutely, to feel useful in some way. But over and above, to keep my thinking cap on all the time and practice my writing skills, through delving into as diverse thoughts as possible, even as I slog page after page on my novel, over a single thought perhaps.

— Shuvashree

Three years later…December 28, 2017:

This Fb memory came up, just when I’m summing up all that I’ve written in the last decade! 😊 For the last 6 months I’ve been repeatedly reading, editing…then proofreading…now finally scanning through the typeset versions of 4 of my books readying for their release shortly.
If you have an inkling of the kind of emotionally intense topics and thoughts my writing/work comprises, you might understand that I’m a bundle of live wire, high strung psychological nerves now. Actors go into severe depression after playing one intense character…or a novelist from few characters in one serious novel. Here I’m living under the skin of several I created in 4 books simultaneously, especially so in the last 6 months.
Yet I have been entertaining you with my numerous photo posts for the last weeks, from my Goa trip, when I feel crazier than I did in my entire life, or like a zombie as I do this morning – staring into space from mental fatigue. I’ve been using photography to distract me from the sea of words I’m floating in and nature is the best healer…That also explains the passion. 😊
Anyways, to sum this up…never try to gauge the current mental and emotional condition of a fiction writer from what they’ve just written🤓…it’s like thinking an actor is reliving his current life for you through his latest film. Yet he has to draw inspiration from lifelong experiences to be any good at what he projects.
–Shuvashree.