What happens when a character from a book grows on you gradually and you begin to feel its pain. You somehow know intuitively how the next turn of events will affect the character you are now almost breathing with. That's exactly how this story wraps around you and fogs your thoughts completely.

Her Resurrection is the story of Maya and the battles she fought trying to fend for herself. The battles were imposed and none of them chosen by her. Yet, she had to live through them while she dies a little every moment. What she clings on to is a rare kind of hope and her zest to keep fighting out every battle thrown at her.

The story engulfs you word by word. The characters slide in smoothly and good or bad, you can feel their presence around. There is no wordplay when introducing new characters and it's their thoughts, deeds and dialog that provide the reader an insight to their personality. As the scenes and the story unfold, you can feel the agony and anger of the protagonist, who fights nail and tooth and survives. The characters seem very real while the background gels in too. The flow of the story is smooth with the turn of events keeping you on the edge. 

 This story isn't merely about Maya's survival.  It's about her never ending battle with the demons present in our society and how she manages to save her soul from them. This is a story that haunts and inspires you at the same time. This one is a must read,  if it's a story with an edginess that you're looking for!
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A teenage romance (if you may call it so), this book is an ideal read for youngsters in high school or early college years.

Ashwin, our young school-going hero is smitten with love at first sight. Thereafter begins his pursuit to gain the attention and consequently the friendship of his love interest. While working towards that, he also gets over several of his own inhibitions. The love story, however, ends even before it begins due to a misunderstanding. To get over all the pain and trauma, he decides to go to another town for a while where he falls in love, all over again. This time, the love story does take off but again ends sordidly, much to the pain of our hero. Amid all this, he has a friend who steadfastly stands by him, assuring and helping him all along. And as he tries to pick the pieces of his broken relationships, he discovers a big secret, revealing how all along his life had been played with and smeared with jealousy and one-sided love.

A typical teenage crush story we all would have either gone through or read and heard about numerable times. The writers have built a story around what one would call a regular teenager's life. While the characters have been briefed well, a few descriptions do seem inspired from a typical Bollywood movie script. The settings are etched out well, though rather lengthy at several places. However,  few characters seem out of place due to lack of proper introduction while others have been dealt with a little better. 

All in all,  this would appeal to young readers and those who like quick reads with no heavy baggage to keep after reading. I'd not say that the story lingers for long in your mind after reading, but it is a good effort nevertheless. 

The Ribbon Trap is a story of a young and promising girl who becomes a victim of a political conspiracy. As her entire life, as well as her mental wellbeing, is trapped in this intricately woven political ribbon, her fiance stands by her throughout her ordeal and refuses to give up, either on her or life.

The novel begins on a rather slow note,  but builds up word by word. The female protagonist, Smita, becomes a victim to a huge political controversy and loses not only her job, but even her reputation as well as af good years of her life. When she regains her strength,  both mentally and physically,  she ventures to find the culprit and that's how layers of conspiracies are peeled, leaving her astounded and stunned. Amid all this is her fiance who covers and protects her and never leaves her side.

The author has etched each character with authenticity. While the turns are quick and keep you engrossed, there is a good number of surprises thrown in that come in time to time. If one knows Indian bureaucracy and politics well, the story and the setting will be more relatable. With a rather engaging plot, the story moves with adequate pace. While the descriptions are not as good and do not really evoke the required atmosphere, the balance is maintained by ensuring there's no laxity in the twists and turns as every chapter reveals something. On the other hand, there are a few characters that could have been highlighted a bit more and a couple others that needn't have as much space.

The female protagonist in the novel is strong. The twists may be predictable at times, but the climax is dramatic and not what a reader might predict. While the reader may feel for the characters,  there is a little void that doesn't allow you to empathise completely with the protagonist. An out and out commercial thriller,   what stands out in this story is how our protagonist makes her way in the political arena and confronts those who messed up her life. Breaking the stereotype to an extent, this novel is a good read.

We, Prabir and I, were at a store looking at backpacks. While I was busy looking at the designs being shown by a salesman, Prabir was exploring the suitcases and bags kept nearby.

Suddenly, I heard Prabir say 'NO' pretty loudly. I turned towards him and he told me that the uncle was touching his cheeks and so he said 'No'. I immediately asked the salesman not to do it and picked Prabir and made him sit near me. Meanwhile, I also told him that he did a good job saying 'No' to that uncle.

If you ask me, I am a very proud mother since this incident. And I am happy that my son knows that he can say 'No' and that it's alright and that we have his back always.

This incident has also reaffirmed my belief that it is never too soon or early to teach a child about good touch and bad touch. I have always taught him the real names of all his body parts and keep telling him what is good touch and what is not and what he needs to do if anyone touches him where he doesn't like or any other place. We also have a little quiz session time to time where he asks me as to who all can touch or kiss him and I tell him a yes or a no plainly.

Call me paranoid, but I know that I cannot be with my son 24*7 always. I know that he will have to go out and meet new people and not everyone will be good, so to say. And I know that if my son knows how to deal with such situations, I will have to worry a little less probably.

On the other hand, I also do not like complete strangers pulling his cheeks and neither does he. Saying no to them probably sounds rude, but I'd rather be rude than polite at the cost of the comfort of my little one. Better still, I carry him. So, the closer he is to me, lesser chances of strangers walking up to harass him (Yes, I call this harassment! Would an adult like getting their cheeks pulled by a stranger? No. Then why a little child who can barely express their likes and dislikes?)

So, yes, when my son stood up for himself and said "No", all at 2.5 years of age, I was a happy mother. And I know that all those conversations between us, mostly one-sided, have been of use.

So, all parents reading this, teach your little ones about their bodies with the real names. Tell them about good and bad touch and teach them how to say No. Most importantly, respect them for saying it and listen to them.

It is one of the biggest life lessons we need to teach and learn too :)


When what would seem like regular mundane details of life are interwoven with fine words, stories come alive. Rukhsat is one such collection of stories. Whether it is the characters portrayed so intricately in each story or the plots, there awaits a surprise in each.

Moreover, many stories are linked together in a beautiful way. It's like reading another perspective of the same story. The tales revolve around life and death, love and loss, and friendship and jealousy.  One story would take you to a point in time in the life of the respective character and then another will tell the same tale, albeit from the perspective of another character from the previous story.

Every story is told in a mystical and yet evocative manner, which would leave the readers looking for more. Whether it is Varun, Lotika, Manu, Siraj or Zayan, every character grows on you. They don't seem to be from another world, but someone living next door, people we see and may be acknowledge every day, and yet wouldn't expect that they'd have a story to tell.

Rukhsat leaves you looking for answers as you dwell deeper in the messages it conveys in an ever so subtle manner. It makes you think and introspect. In one word, it's unputdownable!


Why do we compare? Who do we compare with? What are the standards? Who set those standards?

No, there's so definite definition to being a mother. If there is any, that's being the best mother. Because all mothers are the best. None can be any less. We all fight for our children and love them to bits.

Can love be measured? No. 
Can our struggles be less than someone else's? No.

Each one loves. Each one fights.

Then why put yourself up against standards that don't exist? Why think that what you've done may not be enough? You're doing the best you can. And only you know the best for your child.

So, sit back. Take a break from judging yourself. Look at the awesome marvels you've created. Aren't they just perfect? Yes. Because you created them. Because you're the best. The best mother for your children.

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When I quit my full time job, over four year ago, everyone had some advice for me. No, no baby was on the cards then and I had done it simply because I felt it was time to test new waters and tread forbidden paths. Of course, none of that was possible without the support of my husband, who stood by my decision.

Meanwhile, I completed another Post Graduation course and started a little venture in writing. At any given day, I was working at least 10-12 hours. Work flourished and time flew. Almost 2 years later, we were blessed with Prabir. However, I continued working. I have changed gears since and started another retail venture too. Yet, my primary responsibility is my son, with whom I stay 24x7.

While, I have the luxury to stay at home, look after my son and work as well, many others do not. After a stipulated maternity break, most have to join back work. You are ridden with fear, guilt and may be remorse. Yet, quitting your job may not be an option for various reasons.

To say that working mothers are not involved with their children completely would be unfair. I have seen mothers, and fathers, keeping a check on their children while at work. They ensure their children eat and sleep on time and even take leaves to be with them during exams etc.

With nuclear families on the rise, the most worrisome issue that remains is who to leave the child with, when you have to join back. A friend had asked me to venture on this topic a couple of months back. And after a lot of reading and discussions with friends in different situations, here is what I could come up with.

The options are immense:

  • With either grandparent(s)
  • At home, with a full time maid/nanny
  • Enrol in a creche or daycare
Each one comes with their pros and cons.

  • With grandparents
  1. Your child is in loving and caring hands.
  2. You can be rest assured they are fed well and a routine is followed.
  3. This also ensures a lot of quality time as children learn from their grandparents.
  4. It is financially beneficial too.
  1. Generation gap 
  2. Difference in parenting styles may lead to stress and conflict.
  3. Over-caring attitude may lead to discipline issues later.
  4. The child may be plonked in front of the TV, longer that you'd like.
  5. They may not have the energy and stamina to take care of a growing toddler.
What you can do:
  1. Have an open discussion before you embark on this arrangement on what is okay. Sleep schedule, food menu etc can be given in written so that there's no confusion.
  2. Grandparents love pampering and feeding little ones. However, occasional treats is different from giving candies or a piece of cake during lunch time.
  3. Most importantly, respect each other. Instead of telling them what not to do, you can always tell them how to do it differently. 
  4. Let the grandparent take care of the child while you're home so that they get a fair idea about the routine of the baby.
  5. Call often to check how things are. That gives you an idea how much the baby and the grandparent are able to cope with. You can even then think of hiring a part timer to help, without really offending the grandparents. Taking care of a baby is an exhausting job!
  6. Be flexible and take it easy. You might feel bad when the grandparent knows exactly what to do to soothe your little one when they throw a tantrum at dinner time or bed time. But then, that's because they are spending more waking hours with the baby.
  7. Have a consistent set of rules that everyone follows. This way, the child will not get confused either.
  • At home, with a full time maid or nanny
  1. Your child stays in the comfort of home.
  2. You are able to monitor their meals.
  3. There's more sense of control
  1. You may be left in the lurch if and when the nanny calls in sick or takes leave.
  2. They are usually not educated. They could know the basics of child care, but may be adamant on following practices that may be harmful for the baby.
  3. Supervision may be difficult, despite installing nanny cameras.
What you can do:
  1. Hire a nanny with very strong reference credentials.
  2. Try and work out some arrangement where a family member is home with the child and nanny.
  3. Do a very strong background check.
  4. Train the nanny for at least a month under your supervision.
  • A creche or daycare
  1. These are regulated and a bit more accountable.
  2. You can monitor activities through CCTV cameras now.
  3. The caregivers are usually educated and trained.
  4. Children get to socialize with other kids.
  1. Divided attention as there are more children to take care of.
  2. It is difficult to find day cares that would take infants as little as 6 months old.
  3. Children tend to get sick often in a daycare.
  4. The pick and drop timings can be pretty rigid.
What you can do:
  1. Look for a facility closer to your home or workplace, whichever is more feasible.
  2. Check the safety standards before finalizing. The place should be child friendly. You must also want to have a detailed discussion about meals, milk, naps, toilet training, screen time, play time, medical emergency etc.
  3. Again, look for a reputed place, based on feedback from friends/peers/colleagues who are or have taken their services.
Caring for a child is an exhaustive job. I know as I have been at it for a little over 2.5 years with not a single day leave as yet. Yet, I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to spend all my time with my little one.

Leaving your little one in another person's care is a difficult decision to take, and unavoidable to. But, if we consider our situation with the pros and cons, we will be better equipped to take the most suitable decision that will work for both the baby and the parents.

Hope, I have been able to help a bit here :)
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