September 10, 2014

It's an October baby...

Hello friends,

I bring good news!
But first, a confession. I have been guilty. Guilty of keeping a secret from you guys for way too long. I must confess, I was up to something. While I received emails and pings from readers (that amounted to a decent crowd back then), I was busy tending to a hopeful heart.
Allow me to explain. I know most of you (who are not in my Fb friend list) might have no clue and think that this was a sure case of infidelity towards the pen and the blog, but please hear me out. I am not the cheating kind!

You all are well aware of my love for writing. Blogging for more than twelve years managed to increase it only more. But somewhere, the dream of writing what was asking to be written kept gnawing at me. I just couldn't blog it out of my system. It felt too sacrosanct to be recorded in the temporary memory of cyber space. It had to be more permanent than that. It had to be a bigger platform from where I could be heard. It had to be a book!
And so I got down to do some serious writing....

 If anyone told you that publishing a book was a piece of cake, I would suggest you to go and slap the person on the face. Yes, slap him/her for the blatant lie!
Don't get me wrong. The whole experience of writing a book should never be confused with the journey of publishing. They are a world apart. While the former is a fantastic experience making you feel proud of yourself for pursuing a dream, the latter makes sure it squeezes every bit of that pride and leaves you feeling like you are the scum of the literary world. It's a different story if you belong to the gene pool of published authors, or have a Godfather/Godmother in the publishing world, but for people like me, who always thought writing was all about pouring your heart and soul onto the pages of a book for people to read, it is indeed a journey full of revelations and surprises.

So after going through a lot of depressive phases in between (with each rejection email, the earliest one being exactly fifteen seconds after I emailed it making me wonder if they actually read you if you are a newbie), I finally got lucky.
But it didn't end there. That was just the beginning. The journey that followed was long and tiring. The experience was new and daunting at times. But at the end of the day, I learnt something (mostly patience).

However, now that I am nearing the big day, I brace myself for the long walk to the book store.
And this is where I get hopeful all over again...

I don't know how many of you still read me (the comments seem to have dwindled lately). But if you are reading, please know that this is very important to me. I have dived in hook, line and sinker, and I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that the world will give me a chance to tell a story that longs to be told. 'Twists Of Fate' (Yes, that is the name of my novel) has been occupying every single waking moment these days, and my entire life seems to revolve around it.
I can now understand what a mother would feel when she is about to bring her baby in this world. The nervousness, the anxiety, the last minute panic attacks and not to forget the faith and hope that everything will turn out fine. 'Twists Of Fate' is my October baby!

Here is the book trailer video that offers a sneak peek into the novel. Hope you guys enjoy it!
 

Here is the link to the official facebook page. Please 'like' it to stay updated...
http://facebook.com/TOFthenovel

'Twists Of Fate' is now available for pre-order at an early bird discounted price on Infibeam, Homeshop18 and uRead. Here are the links.

Infibeam:
http://www.infibeam.com/Books/twists-fate-priyanka-naik/9789350881002.html?utm_term=Twists+of+fate+by+priyanka+naik_1_1

Homeshop18:
 http://www.homeshop18.com/twists-fate/author:priyanka-naik/isbn:9789350881002/books/fiction/product:32783669/cid:10916/?pos=1

uRead: 
http://www.uread.com/book/twists-fate-priyanka-naik/9789350881002

The book will be released next month. So watch the (web)space on Facebook and Blogger for more updates in the weeks to come.

I hope you guys are there with me and my October baby all the way to the book store, and even beyond...

Signing off with love,
Yours truly,
Pri :)


P.S: If the book is tempting you to pick it up even before it's out, then maybe, just maybe...you are 'fated' to read it! ;)

September 04, 2014

I 'text' you

With the advent of WhatsApp, FaceBook, Twitter, and so many other social networking sites, we have started paying extra homage to the written word in communication.
Gone is the era when we used to pick up the phone and yap away endlessly with our besties, meet with them over a cup of coffee to discuss the latest gossip, or cry on their shoulders over our latest heart break while they offered us a box of tissues.
Nowadays, we just text message them. Whatsapping is even better. It's cheaper and there is this whole set of emoji's (one for every emotion) so that you don't really miss out on any reaction, be it the angry 'mad-at-you' face, or that cute little 'beating heart' that makes you wonder whether you could really be half as expressive as that.

If your friends are busy, there is always the broadcast option or social networks that you can resort to. These enable your friends to fuss over you as and when they log in, and you can sit back and feel better on counting their 'likes' and comments. So cool, eh?

This post, however, is about texting styles. There are so many different types and yours truly being a big fan of the written word herself, could not help but observe and admire the variety.
I have shortlisted the eight most common ones here.

1) The text-spread-the-love fanatic:
We all know at least one such a friend who keeps adorning her messages with lots of hearts, kisses, and hugs. No text is devoid of 'sweety', 'sweetheart', 'munchkin', 'cupcake' and other such overtly diabetic vocabulary. You might be her ace rival, but she will never miss out on an opportunity to throw in pleasantry.

2) The frozen-text icicle:
This is a person of very few (written) words. Most of the texts include monosyllabic responses. Be happy if you manage to force out a complete sentence from him/her, this species of 'texters' is the happiest when you ask them direct leading questions.
Please note: They tend to use emoji's and reason that they are being neck deep in work, but trust me, these are simply excuses to keep the one-sided conversation going.

3) The text-novelist:
Contrary to the frozen icicle, the novelist (as the name suggests) will go on and on, regardless of whether you reply or not. Ask them a question and they will be happily answering it for the next ten minutes or so, before they realize that you might have fallen asleep.

4) The laughter-text-club member:
We all know that laughter is the best medicine, but these guys just take insanity a notch higher when they begin or end each text with a 'LOL'. What they don't always realize is that the 'hahaha' and 'hihihi' is way more irritating...especially when the guy on the other side doesn't get the joke!
However, when two laughter-club members tend to text each other................well, no! I'm sure they irritate the hell out of each other as well.

5) The emotional-text player:
These are people who propose or break up over texts...enough said!

6) The happy hours text-philosopher:
This is usually someone who would sell his/her pancreas and liver in exchange for some clarity in life. But all of a sudden, he/she starts sending inspirational and philosophical text messages to everyone he/she knows. Ofcourse, if it wasn't for auto correct, we would have a tough time reading these out aloud  when he/she is sober.

7) The text-devdaas:
As quite evident by the nomenclature, this species resorts to an exaggerated version of drunk texting to emotionally blackmail an ex. Most of the times, the text-devdaas is well aware of this shortcoming and keeps his phone switched off during happy hours. However, self control is not usually a virtue of a broken heart and an inebriated mind.

8) The 24/7 active texter:
I don't know how they do it. But these people seem to be active all the time. Text them at 3 am in the morning, and they'd reply. Whatsapp them at any odd time, and whoosh! They appear 'online' immediately. It's nice to have these kind of friends though...they provide you a sort of a security blanket. So what if it's only on texts. You know they are always just a few alphabets away.

Phew! That quite sums up all the major types of texters and their texting habits.

I know what you must be wondering. What category do I fall in, eh?
Well, there is nothing like a little suspense to get this place up and going. So, that, my dear reader, is best kept a secret...for you to figure and me to keep quiet about. *chuckles to herself*

Cheers!!! 

September 02, 2014

The bird who thought he was not...

I have a cousin who (unlike me) is a great lover of animals. Don't get me wrong. I like animals too, but from a safe distance. The moment they are at arms length or closer, I just freeze both physically as well as mentally!
However, what I like doing is listening to their owners speak about them. I would love to know what biscuits you feed your dog or what shampoo you use to bathe him. I would be very much interested in his eccentric quirks and adorable antics, his vet appointments and other stories that you would so excitedly rattle off. But ask me to give him a pat on the head or a rub on his belly, and I'd run for the hills. I guess I'm more theoretical like that.

So when I visited my cousin's place, I had mentally prepared myself to expect a friendly mongrel yapping his tail, trying to chew at my chappals, or a furry feline purring away angrily at me for sitting on its favorite couch. My cousin had recently moved into a new apartment, and being the pet lover that he is, I had braced myself for the terrorizing panic attack I was bound to receive at his place.

But surprise of all surprises, when I entered his house, I was relieved to see no trace of any four legged creature around. I just could not believe it.
Still looking all over (without making it too obvious ofcourse), I confirmed that no one was hiding...no mad scheming cat, no over friendly salivating dog. There was no one. Good sense finally prevailed. My cousin had moved on from his emotional hangover of animal love. God was being kind to me. There was no reason for me to be terrified anymore, I thought.

Just then, I heard a squawk, "Mitthoo". Then another one, this time louder, "Mitthoo Mitthoo,"

My head would have done an almost 360 degree turn (somewhat like the ghost in 'The exorcist') in the direction of the voice, when suddenly I saw my cousin grinning at me, tongue in cheek.

"Meet the recent member of the family," he said, and pointed towards an open drawer.
It took me a while to focus to where he was pointing. He switched on the overhead fluorescent bulb and the corridor lit up revealing a green winged something perched comfortably on an open cabinet drawer.
I screeched, almost twice as loud as the parrot.What if the excited loon flew and perched on my head instead?

It was then that my cousin told me Mitthoo's story. Apparently, there was nothing to worry. Mitthoo was a bird with an identity crisis.
Found almost lifeless under a tree when he was just a baby, my cousin's wife, who was herself a child back then, had given it food and brought him home to shelter it from the predator cobra that had eaten its entire family. Unaware of any kin of its own, poor Mitthoo grew up with humans all his life, not realizing even once that he was any different. Having missed out on the entire stage of fledging, gliding along slopes and walking on two feet was the most natural way of getting from one place to another. He didn't know any better than that.

My cousin's wife told me that Mitthoo would from now on be living with them. I could understand her sentiments. The story, however, had caught my intrigue. Ofcourse I was relieved as well, now there was no need to worry about Mitthoo swooping over my head and scaring the day lights out of me.
But it also got me wondering about him. I felt bad for the poor creature. This silly old bird would not fly away even if his cage door was left wide open...not because he didn't want to...but because he didn't know he could.

On a slightly tangential thought, I could not help compare us humans with Mitthoo.
How many times do we refrain from attempting something only because we are not aware of our capabilities?
How many dreams have we disposed off thinking that it's silly to even hope that big?
Don't we all find it safer to walk in baby steps, even when the truth could perhaps be that we are born to fly?
I looked at the parrot as my cousin carefully picked him up from the perch and placed him in his cage. It was his meal time. The cage was his home, and he felt safe and happy there.

I glanced at the open window and smiled. Mitthoo would never know what he was missing!


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P.S: Hope you all had a very happy Ganesh Chaturthi!! May Ganpati Bappa guide us, protect us and bless us to reach our maximum potential!!

August 01, 2014

Tweet with me!



And why this video?
Because yours truly is now on twitter!!! *drum rolls in the background*

https://twitter.com/Drpriyankanaik

Follow me, everything is alright! ;)

P.s: For all those who are wondering what's keeping me busy these days, I will be updating you with a surprise very soon.

Until then,
Cheers!

July 12, 2014

Book Review: 'Suited Monk Leadership' By Raf Adams & Mike J. Thompson

Title: Suited Monk Leadership

Author: Raf Adams & Mike J. Thompson

Publisher: WOW! Books; 2 edition (February 1, 2013

Price:  $14.36

Now this was a case of perfect timing! In my experience of reading so far, I have come to realize that, there are two types of books. Books that you find, and books that find you. Irrespective of the type, I believe that every small act that you do (this includes reading a book) is decided by some cosmic influence that lead you to the act.

And so I got about reading 'Suited Monk Leadership'. I am not much of a non fiction fan. But the book blurb got me all curious. How does one cope in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world? This felt like the need of the hour, and perhaps a small little dissatisfied (with myself and this VUCA world) voice urged me to read on.

'Suited Monk Leadership' reveals a systematic and simple approach on how to be happy in today's society. The title is aptly explained in the initial few chapters. As we read on, we realize what the author means by saying that happiness can be attained only by aligning our suit with our monk.
With the increasing pressures of today's world, we are pulled away from our inner wisdom. What we stay merely concerned with, is the external 'suit' we donn, a suit that is acceptable to the world around us, and in accordance with our materialistic expectations. We fail to listen to our inner selves, the world within, our 'monk', the voice that demands the life we really want, the realisation of who we really are. Thus, there exists a huge gap between our suit and monk, and it is only when this gap is closed, that we can experience long lasting happiness and inner peace.

The book emphasizes on the importance of self realization, through the art of introspection and mindfulness, that can reduce pressure on your 'suit'. Varied experiences from different people around the globe stand in testimony to the end result of the effort invested in this pursuit of alignment.

"Feelings of failure are part of life's journey. We need to respond to what we may consider failure from our Monk's perspective"
The author has pointed out our flawed education system where we are not taught the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Hence we grow up as confused individuals, often heeding to materialistic expectations, rather than understanding our inner self.
The chapters ahead focus on how we can attempt to close this gap between our Suit and Monk, mainly by optimizing the way we deal with pressures, managing our emotions, measuring our expectations, and last but not the least, embracing our mistakes.
The book is an easy and engaging read. It serves as an eye opener for the wandering soul. It provides a sense of direction to the distressed mind. As you flip through these pages of self discovery, you are enriched by research insights and case stories of leaders, famous as well as unknown, that are easy to relate to. The wonderful visual representations of GAP and the life journey model are easy to understand and enables us to easily identify where we are currently standing on the map of life. 'Suited Monk Leadership' provides brilliant inspiration for people of all ages, especially those who find themselves stuck in the daily grind of a corporate world.

To sum it all, this book is an instruction manual, which if followed, will surely help create a better and a much happier world.
I would recommend it to all those standing at life's crossroads.
Here's hoping we are all able to successfully align our 'Suit' and 'Monk'.

Here is the official book video trailer:


Personal rating: 4 out of 5

June 02, 2014

55 Fiction---'The final goodbye'

The door flung open to his startled face.
He had not expected her to be up this early.

But today, she had decided to put an end to the whole thing.
.
.....
.........
.............
.................
....................
........................
"Kal se doodh nahi chahiye!" she exclaimed coldly at the crestfallen milkman, who knew his diluted milk was no match to her untarnished anger.

May 30, 2014

Parody: 'Date a boy who boozes...'

 A long time ago, I came across this interesting piece written by Rosemarie Urquico, titled 'Date a girl who reads'.  The keen observation about the 'reader' girl got people all over the world smiling and sharing the writeup all over their Facebook walls and MySpace pages. Personally, I was so impressed with the article that I decided to get inspired and invent a small little parody---my evil contribution to the world. Its called "Date a guy who boozes." and should be taken with a bucket load of salt.

Date a guy who drinks...not just socially, but someone who, for lack of a more eloquent word, boozes.
Date a guy who spends his money on alcohol instead of gizmos. He has problems with bar space because he has too many bottles to store-wine, whiskey, rum, cognac, gin-you name it, he has it all stacked neatly in his bar.. Date a guy who has a list of spirits he wants to guzzle, who has had a mean cocktail since he was twelve.

Find a guy who drinks. You’ll know that he does because he will always have that look in his eyes when he spots a lounge or pub. He’s the one lovingly looking over the wine shelves at the shopping mart, the one who quietly cries out when he spots his favorite Bacardi pack of six.

You see the weird dude sniffing the corks of vintage champagne bottles, in a winery? That’s our potential boozer. They can never resist smelling the corks, especially when they are vintage. Find out more about him.
 He's the guy dozing (from last night's hangover) while you try out dress after dress in the changing room. If you take a peek from inside, you would find him patiently sitting on the couch outside with his head in his hands, afraid to stand up from fear that he may throw up from the effort. Lost in the frenzy of an inebriated world. Sit down. He might give you a glare, as most guys who drink do not like to be questioned or reprimanded. Ask him about last night's party instead. Feign enthusiasm. Offer to buy him a espresso.
Let him know what you really think of irresponsible drinking. Check if he is the kind to drink and drive (If he is, dump him ASAP.) Understand that if he says if he loves you more than Jack Daniels, he’s just saying that to sound romantic.  Ask him if to choose between Hoegaarden and Draft, and sit back and watch the confusion..
It’s easy to date a guy who drinks. Refilling his champagne flute with his favorite bubbly would make up for birthday meal you burnt. Accompany him for his biannual LFT's (Liver Function Tests). Hold his hand during an Ascitic tap. Let him know that you understand that booze is love.
Understand that he knows the difference between intoxication and reality but by god, he’s going to try to make his internal system a little like his favorite brewery. It will never be your fault if he does.
He has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to him. Nine times out of ten, you can tell him he imagined it all, and he'd be too stoned to contradict you. Behind booze  are other things: Dope, Charas, Smack, Gaanja. What's a little life anyway? It will definitely not be the end of the world.
Fail him. Because a guy who drinks knows that failure, like hepatic failure which his doctor has warned him about, often leads to the climax, the fall of the curtain, the end of the show. Because guys who understand all this, and still continue to drink nevertheless, should not expect people to improve or learn from mistakes. Moreover, they would hardly notice the break in the continuity of their relationships. Because they take pride in a jilted love affair, after all wasn't it  a broken heart and a drinking problem that turned 'Devdas' into a hero, they think. Because life is meant to have a 'Paro' or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Guys who booze understand that people, like characters, are slandered. Except in the Disney Series.
If you find a guy who boozes, keep him at arms length. When you find him up at 2 AM clutching a bottle in his hand and weeping like a baby, know he has a serious problem and call Rehab.  Institutionalizing him may make you lose him for a couple of months, but he will always come back to you, a reformed man. He would talk as if the lectures in the Alcohol Anonymous sessions he has been attending really help, because for a while, they do.
You will propose to a man who has now started drinking in moderation, or so you would like to think. The experiment is a success.
You will smile at your lucky stars---at least he did not end up like the neighborhood Jake, who was found lying in the gutters, bottle in hand---until you will notice that he is grinning right back at you, for no apparent reason. That is when you will notice his stoned expression, the drool at the corners oh his mouth, the alcohol breath, the dark circles around his eyes, the tremors. But its too late. You are already married to the addict. Then you will join him too, first out of frustration, then for company, then for inspiration. Inspiration will soon change to intoxicating passion, and the next thing you know you will have kids with strange tastes and even stranger addictions. He will introduce your children to Ben and Jerry's and Liqour candy the same day. The rum cake will always have a little extra rum poured in. Nobody will know whether it was you or the kids that consumed the last sip of brandy. But those things wont matter much. Even if they end up as drunks, someone will date them someday. Someone will marry the bummers. You married one, yourself, didn't you? Years from then, you and him will walk the winters of your old age together if you two manage to survive that long.

Date a boy who boozes, because its funnnnn! Who wants a nice little happy life with no squabbles and fights, with lovely well mannered children and a secure future? Nawww! BORING!!
A life with hangovers and nausea, and late nights and insomnia, and espressos that kick in and jobs that kick out, and bruises and needles, and blood tests and hospital beds, and insurance fights and drunken brawls, and brutish kids and unpredictable endings....Boy!!! Now that's Adventure, eh? A man who does not booze will never be able to provide you with the kind of insane instability that a boy who boozes can.
 So, if you want the world and the worlds beyond it, a little sooner than expected and not necessarily in a good way, date a boozer.

Or better yet, you start boozing too!


(Issued in public interest) 

May 10, 2014

Dear Fidato

I will never understand how a distant faded memory sneaks its way into your mind on a perfectly busy day and just refuses to let go.
I will never understand how no matter what the current dynamics of the relationship, glimpses of what 'once had been' visit you especially when you least expect it...sometimes in days, sometimes in months and sometimes in years.

Some emails stayed undeleted...
Some letters remained unburnt...
Some conversations got permanently archived...
Some precious imprints got etched in the memory...
and you and me, I guess in some far away recess of my tired mind, we are always there---loving each other, hating each other, at logger heads with each other...or perhaps in perfect harmony with one another.
 I do not know if memories are excuses to break away from the rest of the world. If they are, then perhaps you are helping me.
Some relations will forever remain inscrutable. Some people, forever indispensable.

Maybe, just maybe, in some parallel universe, you and me are still together. laughing at the confusion between us in the here and now.