Tuesday, August 30, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: ANYA'S LYRIC BY NIKHIL KUMAR


Name of the book: Anya's Lyrics
Author: Nikhil Kumar
Rating: 5 Stars 
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2j9tD0c

SOME SOUL-SEARCHING LYRIC

Have you thought how life comes to a full circle? Most of us are unaware of it – unless, we are witnesses to somebody else's. Mr. Kumar has given us, the readers, this privilege of being that witness. Anya, one of God's special children, experiences many situations which a girl of her age should never face. 

All the short stories are related to Anya and all start with a character from one of the previous stories. Might look random at first but as you go on you can but not admire the author’s mind in weaving such a labyrinth. The characters of the stories, some related to Anya and others leaving their mark on her, are the ones who act as mirrors to our society and make us feel humble as we reflect upon our blessed life.

The story of Anya

The story of Anya does not start with her birth. But it starts when a woman, not at all related to her, is left by her lover. That triggers a chain of reaction which leads to the birth of Anya.

Without a backward glance, she walked away in the darkness to a destination only she knew, unsure of what the next day would bring. At the stroke of midnight, she turned sixteen.

And as she turned sixteen, Anya is born somewhere else.

While reading the story, many things came to my mind. Is Anya just a simple girl or is she the broken representation of our society? Does her experience not relate to our morally dying society which is every day murdered, raped and plundered by many selfish people? Is Anya not in each one of us as we lay whimpering in pain when we are attacked, unable to retaliate or we consider ourselves weak? For me, Anya became our society and each character was someone I knew or may be, to some extent, a part of me.

The journey
Anya must have grown up a bit when she saw her dog lying dead on the driveway, whose life she had chocked out. But her half brain never questions why she and the father both had bloodstains on their hands. She grew up a bit more when her young heart fell in love with the boy with twisted legs. She again grew up when her father died. And again, when she had her first orgasm. She grew up a bit more when she was raped and she reached to her full potential when the responsibility of another life was thrust upon her. A responsibility which she took up willingly. This is the story of Anya for you.

Intrinsically woven characters
Have we not met many strangers in your journeys? All of us, at the same spot, at the same time; and then branching out to different areas of our lives? Do we think of those strangers again? Do they leave an impact in our lives – sometimes knowingly and sometimes fate intervened? Mr.Kumar is a weaver of such strangers who don't know each other yet leave an impact in each of the life. A small pink envelope that started its journey in a small town travels to its destination, without the knowledge of the travelers. That was the best thing I loved about the story. When the pink envelope finally reaches its rightful owner, its empty yet it's so symbolic, like a mockery that life does to people when in pain.

Hard-hitting truth
The author is very adept at using words to bring out some hard-hitting truth. Not a man to mince words definitely. He wants to paint the darker side of life and he has done a wonderful job with this. From shady places to shady characters – he has shown us the true image of humans without even lifting an accusing finger. A man, a loving father of a teenager who goes to the seedy accomplishments to rape a young girl. A man who loves his own child yet has a heart of a demon when he crawls the side lanes of the seedy part of the town.  And he is just one man. God knows how many such men exist in our society.

The Growing of Anya
Not in one place will you find Anya weak. She calls herself half brain and is often shown as a girl in rags. But her spirit is strong and that of a fighter. She won’t let you feel sorry for her yet make you cry at her pain. And laugh at her antics. Every time an irony of life passes her, you want to give her a nudge to go after it and at the same time protect her when she is faced with the masked duplicity.
It was almost evening when I felt a hand on my shoulder and a warm voice talk to me. “Sister,” said the voice. “Are you all right?”

This is what a woman can do to a woman.

The Language and writing of the Author

Is what turns this novel into a page-turner. You can rest assured that this novel will leave an impact on you. One of those novels which deserves a shelf space in your home. The writing is crisp and even while dealing with a very painful subject, the author has not let go of the humor. No characters have been named, (I wonder why) yet you will not confuse the characters. Their traits are their names. A man with a tattoo, the boy with a twisted leg and a woman with a mole. Without even naming them, he has drawn each character, with his words. Only Anya is a name we follow. Like those pictures where everything is black and white and only the main subject is colored. Beautiful.

WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK?
To anyone who loves a bold subject, this book is for you. As I have mentioned before, it truly deserves a shelf place at your house.

THE LINE THAT STAYED WITH ME
She walked with her hand in mine at all times. She rarely spoke, but when she did, I would always be amazed at how sweet her voice was. We would sit on the beach on some days before the sun would rise, and I’d teach her to hum the tune of a song that I’d almost forgotten. I could feel her peace at those times.

A new beginning always touches one's heart.


About the Interviewer: Rubina Ramesh is an erratic writer and a passionate reviewer. Her reviews have found space in international magazines like Global Asia. She has authored two Book- Knitted Tales and Finding The Angel and co-authored three anthologies, Writing from the Heart, Long and Short of It and Marijuana Diaries. Founder of The Book Club, an online publicity group she finds her passion in promotion of books and authors.        

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Friday, August 26, 2016

P. G. VAN, AUTHOR OF DESTINY DECIDES, SPEAKS TO SANCHITA SEN

Interview with author P.G. Van about her romance novel Destiny Decides

This San Francisco based romance novelist enjoys giving her readers an escape to the world of love and romance.  Her first novel was published in October 2015, and since then she has not stopped writing. With two published books, as part of 'The Pure Destiny Series' and another published independent story, she already has a planned pipeline of romance novels. Here she speaks about why love and romance is her genre and as she decodes love, its interesting to know the author who gives life to many love stories.              
Sanchita: Since love and romance is your genre, what is your idea of a perfect date ?

P.G. Van: A date will up being perfect when you are with the right person. The setting, the excitement and the conversation are all secondary but my ideal date is when people connect and have a wonderful time. My preferred location would be by the water and a cool breeze that eases the mind while sparks fly well into the night.

Sanchita: According to you, what's the best part about being a romance writer ?
P.G. Van: Giving the readers a way to escape to a beautiful world of love and romance. The romance genre is all about how love finds its way as a couple go through many different facets of life. The reader is taken into a new world that they can relate to and feel the emotions the characters feel through the story. When readers feel those emotions, feel for the character it gives them a new perspective on things that they have to deal with in life and I feel blessed to be able to do that for my readers.

Sanchita: The endearing tone of your novels does impress readers, what or who has been your inspiration behind this ?

P.G. Van: I feel blessed to have people that care about me and are always watching out for me. I draw my inspiration from every one of my loved ones and I like to portray that in my books. I want my readers to feel the emotion around the simple things that the people in our life do for us. 

Sanchita: Do you believe that love at first sight is still a reality?

P.G. Van: Absolutely!!! I am too much of a romantic to not believe in love at first sight. Unfortunately, in this hi-tech world people form opinions about the person by an online profile or a phone conversation. I am a firm believer in the chemistry that triggers when eyes meet across the room and something tells them the connection is important.

Sanchita: What according to you are the essential ingredients of a perfect relationship?

P.G. Van: Trust is the most essential ingredient for any relationship. A person needs to be in a trusting relationship to be themselves with their partner. Once you trust the person, you know they will be there for you when you need them most and will love you to eternity to make the relationship perfect.

Sanchita: Your take on what goes wrong, where, when two people who had once been deep in love decide to part ways after years of marriage/ relationship?

P.G. Van: Every time I hear about a couple that decided to part ways after being together for many years, I wonder if they gave up too easily. There is no formula for a successful relationship, its what you do to make it work and work well. Any kind of relationship requires attention and nurturing every step of the way and it is sad to see when couples start to drift apart because of the mundane things we need to handle in life.
Granted there are times where it's best for the couple to part ways but every couple needs to give their relationship a chance before giving up on it.

Sanchita: Your favorite romance writer?

P.G. Van: I read a lot of romance novels over the years but I have to say my favorite romance writer is Kay Thorpe. I was an Robin Cook & Jackie Collins addict and never considered Mills & Boons as a substantial read until I read a book by Kay Thorpe. Her stories are interesting, they don't have the regular dominant hero and a damsel in distress but strong characters with a good story line.

Sanchita: What is the next project that your are working on?

P.G. Van: Destiny Decides.. is part one of 'The Pure Destiny Series' and Destiny Embraces.. is part two that was published earlier this year. I anticipate two more books in this series. 
After I released part 2 of The Pure Destiny Series I worked on an independent story 'The Evil Twin?' and it is available in Amazon. The book I am currently working on is also an independent story 'A Reckless Night' and will be published soon. I hope to get back to 'The Pure Destiny Series' right after that.

Rapid fire round (The first thing that comes to mind when you hear these words)
    a. Love - Its all you'll ever need and can never have too much
    b. Coffee - The words flow faster after just one cup
    c. Rain - Smell of the first monsoon rains in India
    d. Sunset - Romantic evening on the beach
    e. Hero - Strong, Caring, Daring & Scorching HOT!!

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About the interviewer Sanchita Sen. . .

Sanchita Sen is a journalist who has worked with several leading national dailies in India. Currently she is finding her space in the world of authors and has co-authored two anthologies named 'Crossed & Knotted' and 'Rudraksha'.


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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Blog Tour: DANGLE by Sutapa Basu



DANGLE 
by 
SUTAPA BASU

         

Blurb

Stunning, svelte, smart Ipshita is a globetrotter. She treks across the world to gather bytes for the travel chats she designs and hosts for TV channels. Despite being a self assured and sophisticated entrepreneur, Ipshita is haunted by a nameless fear. Social interaction with men unleashes psychotic turmoil inside her, making her wary of male attention. Yet, the cold and aloof Ips is inexorably drawn to the three men she meets at different points in her journey. 

Her arousal to the overtures of these men catches her unawares. Well-built defenses break as her dormant sexuality goes into overdrive until she discovers the horrifying truth about them…and herself. 

Life puzzles. Secrets tumble out. Will she be able to reclaim her life or let it dangle?


Read an excerpt from Dangle
  The lilt of a flute fills half shadows. Emerald green silk unfurls to lavender hills. Mist gives way to a golden spectacle. Thickly embroidered into flowing waters are hundreds of lotuses. Sunlight dazzles on ruby, sapphire, turquoise, and amethyst that reluctantly open their layers to reveal honeyed hearts. The humming of multitudes of bees reverberates in the room. Intoxicated by the sun-drenched perfume of blossoms, they weave in and out of the pattern. Sheer colours daze the senses. Drumbeats intrude softly, only to rise to a crescendo.
Another shape enters the frame. Hazy at first, the outlines darken gradually. It is an empty square etched in bold strokes holding within it diagonally a metallic piece curved to the bent of an index finger. The lens zoom out.  The shape takes definition. It is  the trigger of a snub-nosed AK-47. The drums fall silent.
Everybody holds their breath. There is a thud and the face of Beauty is blotted with a gun stamped on it. There is a collective gasp. The screen stills. Strobes pick out a small crowd, including cameras on cantilever arms. Each person in the room is mesmerized…nobody can look away.

Giving a couple of seconds for the impact to sink in, the focus beams on Ipshita, the host. She begins the chat. Microphones pick up frequencies of her voice, enhancing its soft huskiness. Statistics and logistics start appearing on two screens flanking the bigger screen on which images are projected. She proceeds as visions of  paddy fields, streets of Imphal, slim girls in phaneks with long raven-black hair flying, fishermen casting bait, rowing boats, sitting still as rocks for fish to bite fill the screen behind her. She goes on to the fascinating scenes of Loktak, the floating islands, the fisherman’s hut and through her words she builds up a metaphor. It is of Manipur, a dainty nymph struggling to escape rape by Mars, the god of war. She is crushed, yet nothing erodes her indomitable spirit. 



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About the Author



An author, poet and publishing consultant, Sutapa Basu also dabbles in art and trains trainers and is a compulsive bookworm. During a thirty-year old professional career as teacher, editor, and publisher, she travelled the Indian subcontinent, Nepal and Bhutan. She has visited UK, USA, Dubai and Singapore while working with Oxford University Press, India and Encyclopædia Britannica, South Asia until 2013 when she decided to start writing seriously. 

Sutapa is an Honours scholar from Tagore’s Visva-Bharti University, Santiniketan and holds a teaching as well as a masters degree in English Literature. 

As a publisher, Sutapa has developed and published around 400 books. Recently, her short story was awarded the First Prize in the Times of India’s nation-wide WriteIndia Contest, under author, Amish Tripathi. 

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Blog Tour: RIGHTFULLY WRONG, WRONGFULLY RIGHT by Varsha Dixit



RIGHTFULLY WRONG, WRONGFULLY RIGHT
by
Varsha Dixit



Blurb

Love is in the air again…this time it’s steamy, bold and manipulative!

Gayatri and Viraj both are products of childhood trauma. Yet they were able to survive, one because of her shrewdness and the other because of his genius. Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right, the final part in the best selling ‘Right and Wrong’ love trilogy is the story of these two damaged souls.

Gayatri Dutta, the poster child for rich spoiled diva is fighting to escape a life of servitude her tyrant father is hell bent on pushing her into. Her past string of failures have her backed against a wall. Lonely and desperate!

Viraj is a con who uses his genius to perpetuate his isolation. His life once of violence and abuse has left him cynical and cold. He shuns the society and its hypocrisies. 

And then Gayatri and Viraj cross paths. She needs him and he despises her.

To Viraj, Gayatri, is the epitome of all that he despises, shallow, manipulative and the kind who uses her beauty as a weapon. Or is she?

Gayatri sees Viraj only as a means to an end. She is sure that Viraj with his nerdy demeanor, owlish glasses and crude behavior will be easy to manipulate and walk over. Only he isn’t!

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Excerpt from #RWWR
‘I can do this, I can do this, I can...’ Gayatri wound her fingers tightly around her cellphone as she made her way to the cubbyhole Viraj called his office. I did not expect a freaking hug, but a polite ‘how are you’ wouldn’t kill that man. She rapped her knuckles on the door.
Viraj swung the door open. ‘What?’ His brows were furrowed and his lips, pursed.
Gayatri remembered what Nikhil had said to her once. Dr Viraj owns and runs this lab. He was the only one you needed to impress! ‘It’s my first day here!’ Gayatri could hear her voice shake. ‘Could you tell me...
Gayatri scuttled out of Viraj’s way as he leaned out. ‘Find an empty room, do your work there. You are free to leave any time you want. You are free to come or to not come.’ The door shut on her face.
Flabbergasted, Gayatri kept staring at the door. What just happened? She cleared her throat. I should not piss him off anymore. ‘Thank you for this…this job.’ Her voice was as uncertain as the look on her face.
Viraj tugged the door open again. Gayatri flashed a smile at him and opened her mouth to speak but he stopped her short. ‘I don’t like talking. Find a room and stay there.’ He shut the door on her again.
 Asshole! Gayatri fisted her hands and retreated. I can do this! I am doing this! Bigger picture, please! Gayatri paused and peeped inside the first lab that she stumbled upon. The place was quiet except for a low hum of machines. Gayatri pushed the doors open and walked inside the lab. It was empty. ‘Does anyone else work here besides the mad scientist?’ She leaned against one of the steel racks. The door flew open behind her. With a big grin she turned to greet the person coming in. ‘Hi! I’ she froze. It was the mad scientist with a bunch of papers in his hand.
Viraj noticed Gayatri at the same time. A familiar irritation flashed in his eyes. ‘Not this room. Not my lab! Find another room!’ He spoke with cool authority.
‘I was just looking!’ Gayatri smoothed her ponytail trying to mask her nervousness. He had her in knots.
Giving an indifferent shrug, Viraj walked past her. Gayatri got a whiff of his aftershave; it smelled clean and crisp, like water with a twist of lemon. At least he doesn’t stink like his manners! Gayatri stood there quiet and confused.
A loose paper slipped from Viraj’s hand and landed on the floor.
‘You dropped some paper!’ Gayatri said, her voice friendly.
‘Ignore it. Like you, it is not going anywhere.’ Viraj pulled a portable stool and took a seat in front of an electronic panel fixed to a bigger panel.
Gayatri gritted her teeth and grinned with the ferocity of a wild animal that could pounce any moment.
Unknown to her, Viraj gave a similar smile except his was more like the wild animal that had pounced and won.
‘I’ll go and find a room. Thank you!’ Swiveling on her heel, Gayatri headed for the door.
Something stopped herher father’s face and the realization that two weeks ago she had physically fought for herself, and now she had to fight again but with her mind instead of hands. I have to win over Mr Madness. Maybe I could wear a beaker over my head and tattoo the periodic table on my arms!
‘If you are trying to open the door telepathically, let me be the first to tell you it is not working!’ 
Gayatri exhaled noisily. Scathing and sarcastic, what more could a woman ask for? Taking a few calming breaths, she slowly pivoted to face Viraj, specifically his back as he sat hunched fiddling with the panel in front of him.
 ‘I’m sorry if I have offended you somehow. I really need this job. And also, I’m qualified for it. I can show you my degrees. I can really make a difference here.’
Hearing Gayatri’s words and her apologetic tone, something melted inside Viraj...again. But to keep up appearances, he turned rude. ‘I’m busy!’ he barked.
 ‘Please Mr Viraj, give me’ Just then, without warning, someone swung the door open. Gayatri wasn’t prepared for the push. ‘Ouch!’ She toppled. Her desperate hands grabbed the first thing in the vicinitya steel rack. The rack shuddered violently and some of its contents landed on the floor.
‘What the hell!’ Viraj bellowed jumping to his feet.
Gayatri winced. A large electrical component had crashed into her hand ‘The door just opened, pushing me in,’ she said shaking her arm in pain.
 Viraj glared at the door. He instantly lost the frown and his mouth eased at the ends. ‘Oh it’s you! Come inside!’
Huh, Hyde turns Jekyll! Gayatri spun around.
A timid, bespectacled, five-foot-nothing girl, her long hair in a tight braid, clad in a pastel-coloured salwaar kameez, stood at the door. Her skin was smooth and her hands kept tugging at the dupatta around her neck ‘Sorry to interrupt! Dr Kalra wanted to show you some tests he is about to run in lab 2.’ She then glanced at Gayatri. ‘I’m sorry if I hurt you. It was an accident.’
Gayatri was about to speak but Viraj cut her off. ‘She’s fine. Let’s go!’
Viraj went out with the girl, not even sparing a glance at Gayatri.
Astounded, Gayatri watched them leave.

Urghh…the shit-faced scientist actually smiled and that too at that girl! Gayatri kicked the steel rack. It shuddered again! Shoot! Before anything else would fall on her, Gayatri went after the scientist and the simpleton.


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About the author


Varsha Dixit

Varsha Dixit, the bestselling author of four successful contemporary romance books. Her debut book, Right Fit Wrong Shoe was a national bestseller for the year 2010. Varsha was a part of the Indian Television Industry and worked as an assistant director and online editor. She considers herself a dreamer who thinks deep but writes light. Even though creativity is gender free,Varsha feels blessed and enriched to be a woman. Currently, with her family, Varsha resides in CA, USA.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Article by PG Van about the journey of an aspiring writer

The journey of an aspiring writer. From the day you picked up your pen till the day you chose Amazon. Why?

I never in a million years thought I would be a writer. I still remember the moment I decided to write a story. It was a beautiful July morning and I was on my way to work driving on a scenic California highway. I have a good hour drive to work and I spent the time that day thinking about what it would take for someone to find a long lost friend especially in this day and age of social media. I thought about all the friends I was able to get in touch with on Facebook and the ones I could not, no matter how much I searched. That’s when I thought of the story of Nick and Sameera who were friends in high school and lost touch.

I started by literally writing down on a sheet of paper the main aspect of the story, finding lost love. My characters were born and the story started to form. I wanted the characters to be Indian, but living in the beautiful San Francisco bay area. I still have notes from my initial days with the names and characteristics of each character and why I wanted them to have those traits. I wanted my story to be strong and deep so I needed something more than love and friendship and the only thing that gave my story the depth was destiny.

I spent two weeks from the day I thought of the story to figure out if I could really do it and I discussed with a few of my loved ones. In spite of the nagging question around the use of time I told myself I was going to put the story on paper so I can read the story even if no one wants to read it.
Once I started writing, I could not stop. I was writing part time but it took me two months to publish the book. The energy and the enthusiasm I had was just unbelievable. In the two months I spent working on my book the series was born, I carved out what I wanted to write in part two and three and put the outlines aside and focused on getting my thoughts out for the first part.

My family and friends were extremely surprised when I told them I wrote a book and a lot of them asked the standard ‘Who are you?’ question after reading my book. The feedback and comments I received from everyone was extremely encouraging and that’s what keeps me going.

P.G. Van lives in San Francisco and she published her first novel, Destiny Decides… in October 2015 and cannot stop writing. She loves to spend time with family and is a strong believer of retail therapy (mostly shops for boots and purses!!). She enjoys giving her readers an escape to the world of love and romance.
                                 
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Friday, August 19, 2016

Book Blitz: MARRIAGES MADE IN INDIA: BOOK #2: HIS DRUNKEN WIFE by Sundari Venkatraman


Marriages Made in India
Book #2
HIS DRUNKEN WIFE

by
Sundari Venkatraman



Blurb

The badass Shikha is startled when the nerdy Abhimanyu proposes marriage. She loves... herself, and Abhimanyu doesn't figure on her list anywhere. For Abhimanyu, however, it was love at first sight when Shikha walked into RS Software, where the two of them work.

When Abhimanyu shows her that he just might be rich enough for her, a pleasantly surprised Shikha accepts his marriage proposal and moves into his swanky apartment.

But it looks like the love is all from only Abhi’s side as Shikha continues to drink herself crazy. Yeah, even at their wedding party.

And then Abhi sets out on a honeymoon to Thailand with His Drunken Wife...

*MARRIAGES MADE IN INDIA is a five-novella series that revolves around the characters you have met in The Runaway Bridegroom.



About the author


Sundari Venkatraman

His Drunken Wife is the ninth book authored by Sundari Venkatraman. This is a hot romance and is Book #2 of the 5-novella series titled Marriages Made in India; Book #1 being The Smitten Husband. Other published novels by the author are The Malhotra Bride, Meghna, The Runaway Bridegroom, The Madras Affair and An Autograph for Anjali—all romances. She also has a collection of romantic short stories called Matches Made in Heaven; and a collection of human interest stories called Tales of Sunshine. All of Sundari Venkatraman’s books are on Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers in India, USA, UK, Canada & Australia under both #romance & #drama categories.

Other books by the author



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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Blog Tour: DESTINY DECIDES by P.G. Van



DESTINY DECIDES... A tale of two hearts in search of true love
by
P.G. VAN



Blurb

Sameera lives a simple and fun life that she has structured with utmost care ensuring that she was focused on work and also keeps in touch with the classical dancer in her. Sameera has endured tough times in her life at a young age and wonders if she could ever hang on to anything that makes her life perfect.

Nick is a successful businessman who went to high school with Sameera, back when they lived in India. He re-enters her life taking her by surprise and in no time expresses his love for her. He wins her heart with his enigmatic but sweet gestures. He convinces her to move in with him.  Nick gives her the confidence and support that she needs to overcome her doubts.

Sameera starts to feel like Nick is the secret to happiness, she finds out that there is a search underway for her. Nick tells her that an Indian royal family is trying to locate her family. Fully convinced that it was a misunderstanding she ignores Nick’s warnings about the people that were searching for her and travels to India for a family emergency.

A member of the Royal Family that has been searching for her, meets Sameera as soon as she reaches India. Nick follows her to India a short while later and asks her to marry him to which she agrees whole-heartedly. The story ends on a happy note but with an open question around why Nick’s extended family in India is looking for Sameera’s family.


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Excerpt from #DestinyDecides

I was running through this list in my mind when I heard a very soft knock behind me. I turned around and found Nick standing in the doorway in a dark gray suit and his seductive smile on his face.
Not caring about what I had in my hand, I let it drop to the floor and ran into Nick’s arms. His tight hold and the sweet masculine smell were proof that I was not hallucinating.
“Nick,” I said finding my voice and added, “When did you get here?”
He gently put his arms around me and said, “I got here when you were just about to wrap up your lovely dance,” and added, “I am still wondering how you can move your waist so gracefully.”
Nick brushed his lips against my sweaty temple and let out a heavy breath. This simple gesture kick started my heart to a heart rate no amount of workout would give me. Nick moved his arm down my back to the waistband of my capris and expecting him to sneak his fingers in to find my waist chain, I pulled back slightly and said, “Give me fifteen minutes to shower and change,” and asked, “Where are we going for dinner?”
Nick smiled at me and said, “Where we are headed, you are better off not changing now.”
I looked at him suspiciously and asked, “What does that mean?”
“Why don’t you grab your stuff, and I will tell you on our way there,” he teased as I put on my sleeveless vest over my sports bra.
As Nick walked towards the parking lot, I went to the locker to grab my bags and went back into the parking lot to find him standing next to my car. I dished out my keys from my bag, and as I approached him with my car keys in my hand, in a swift move, he grabbed the keys out of my hand and said smiling, “You will not need your car tonight.” As I looked at him in utter confusion, I saw him wave to someone and in the next instance, I saw Mitch, the limo driver, emerge from the darkness and catch my car keys that Nick had tossed to him.
“Mitch, you know where the car needs to go?” Nick asked him, and Mitch replied, “I got it, Nick.”
“Nick, what’s going on?” I asked annoyed with his action.
“We can go in my car, and Mitch will give your car keys to Nethra after he drops it off at your place,” Nick clarified.
“Nate is at home? How do you know that?” I inquired.
“I know because she came to meet Srini at the airport, and they were headed to your place,” he said thoroughly enjoying himself looking at my expression.
Nick signaled to Mitch to give him his car keys and as Mitch tossed the keys, I reached for them and grabbed them mid-air before Nick could get them.
Mitch looked at Nick apologetically, to which Nick said, “No worries, Mitch,” and smiled at me.
“So, will you be driving us to our destination?” he asked, his tone filled with joy.
“Yes, I most definitely can,” I said looking at the keys and realizing that what I had in my hand was a key fob for a Porsche, and the fob was designed to look like a little Porsche car.
“This key fob is so cute, and this is not the car I thought you were driving,” I said confused.
“The Rover is to take my mom around as she refuses to ride in my Porsche,” he said smiling.
I swallowed the lump that formed in my throat as I wondered if I should really drive his car. I saw Nick look at me with a wicked smile on his face. Refusing to chicken out, I held my chin high and said, “Let’s go.” I heard him chuckle behind me as if he knew I was terrified to drive his mean machine to an unknown destination. With a high sense of pride, I clicked the unlock button on the key fob. The car was a few cars away and was a midnight blue Porsche Carrera 911 and looked super sexy in the night lights.
I walked around to the driver’s side and in the dim lights on the inside I saw the sight that made my heart sink. This model was one of the very few cars in its class that still offered a stick shift, and this model pacified the stick shift driving enthusiasts with the seven-speed transmission. I hesitated for a few seconds debating if I should take the risk of driving the car. Nick was observing my reactions to the things that I have been discovering and asked in a soft voice, “Having second thoughts, love?”
“No,” I blurted out with immense pride and opened the door to put my bags in the back seat gracefully sliding into the low slung, deep-pocketed driver’s seat. Nick took off his suit jacket and put it in the back seat. He undid a couple of buttons on his shirt and kicked back into the passenger seat.
Nick looked at me as I sat in silence looking around the interior of the car in awe and very softly said, “Ignition to your left, key fob in there, and I suppose you are familiar with the third pedal down there?”
“Nick, I can’t do this. I just wanted to show you how annoyed I was when you took my keys,” I confessed putting my face in my palms.
‘Sameera, you can do this. I know you learned how to drive a stick shift back in India,” he encouraged.
“Nick, that was ages ago, and this is such a nice car and I am so intimidated by the power of this beauty,” I said my voice trembling.

“Sameera, don’t worry about the car. I know you love fast bikes and cars so enjoy the drive.” 

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About the author

P.G. Van

P.G. Van lives in San Francisco and she published her first novel, Destiny Decides… in October 2015 and cannot stop writing. She loves to spend time with family and is a strong believer of retail therapy (mostly shops for boots and purses!!). She enjoys giving her readers an escape to the world of love and romance.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Independent India and the Karma Code by Karthik KB Rao

On our 70th Independence Day, how relevant is the significance of this day to a common man? Are the citizens of this country independent in the true sense of the term? Do you think Krishna in the kali Yuga is needed to show us the right path? What does your research regarding him tell you about his actions in today's world?

Personally speaking I would rather call Independence Day as 'India Day'. India as a geographical region has existed for 1000s of years even before the British came here and we have been ruled by several others apart from the British. It probably makes sense for newly carved nations like Pakistan and Bangladesh to celebrate independence day but not for us in my opinion. But would still call the day as "India day" as multiple independent kingdoms became unified as one nation soon after August 15 1947.

As far as the definition of independence itself is concerned, I feel its a deep question. How independent are we really? As soon as we were born our religious and caste identity was thrust upon us with us having no say in choosing it. Not just that, for most of us, even our education stream, career choices and life partners are decided by others. How independent are we really? Philosophically speaking, how independent is the soul residing  inside our physical bodies? Why are we made to take birth, live and die on this material planet? Why is this salvation so important? Can't the soul just float around blissfully  by itself doing  nothing, by its own free will?

Regarding Krishna and my research regarding him, from my limited understanding I feel that Krishna knew that him being present just physically on this planet during kali yuga would have been more or less meaningless. Krishna was physically present during the age of dwaparayuga when Mahabharata took place but it did not make any difference to the likes of Duryodhana or Kamsa ,did it? Krishna rather wanted the essence of Bhagwad Gita to survive and be followed during the Kali yuga rather than a personality cult following of him and hero worshiping.

About the Author
Karthik Rao is a 32-year- old software professional based in Bangalore. He lives with his wife Sushma, parents and two little sons Kaustubh Krishna and Raghav Krishna aged 4 and 1, respectively. He says, he gets to meditate close to 3 hours every day on his bike thanks to the notorious Bangalore traffic. His hobbies include following cricket, Indian politics on the social media and Indian mythology. He also plays plastic ball cricket with his sons.

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