January 7 2017

Besties , Billies and Behnas

Well from title you will got that its post on friendship and sisterhood, but what is Billies ? Well it’s the name of my college group. I didn’t have so many friends but I have two girls who made me Billi from studious Nikita. Yes, I am ‘Bhigi billi ‘of my group!

So basically we are three girls Nikey, Rukhma and Nikita (that’s me). I met these girls in Jun 2011, first year and first day of my college. I was scared, shy and I still remember I didn’t speak a word in whole class not even answers (I known it though). In lunch break, I was thinking what to do as I was new to that city I don’t know anything. And suddenly a beautiful girl with mobile in hand a headphone in ears called me, ‘Hey, we share the names , if you don’t mind we can share music too?’ and her smile was so genuine and lovely that I said ‘ yes’ without thinking for moment. From that day onwards we share everything , food , gossips, opinions , vacations , college life , books , cloths to makeup , from a little things to big secrets.  She was Nikey!  The Girl,  who taught me the meaning of friendship.

On the same day I met another blessing of my Life, who looks like me and act totally opposite to me. People usually ask us ‘Are you sisters?’ well we don’t have biological connection but “DNA of nautanki” matches in our case. She is the one who teach me all girlish things from nail polish to eye liner. She is the one at whose home Nikey and Nikita are almost in the category of ‘Satan’ and we did all things to prove that tag right.

This both girls has played important role in my life and my Career too. I never attained any lectures; I didn’t remember a single incident where I need to stand in any queue of college. They have managed from exams to results. They had written assignment for me; from getting study material to parties they managed everything. So they gave feeling of parents too sometimes.

As it happened in every fairy tale, in my case it happened too, separation from them. I had cleared my CA inter examination and I joined office and this golden period ended. I still remember that little fights when I couldn’t manage to be on their birthdays or on result days, as every separation ours was harsh and painful too. But, this time too they showed that bond of understanding is beyond any misunderstanding. They started making sure that I wouldn’t miss any fun.  This much understanding and support is hard to find.

We did lots of outing and 3 picnics together. Shopping to reading, exams to family issues, cooking to food courts, college to marriages our friendship has took shape. Three girls who were enough immature to fight on chocolates are now suggesting each other how to manage relationships and in laws. It says you don’t need hundred of friends, you just need one friend who will stand by your side as ‘karna’ I am blessed to say that I have two “Karna”.

About the Guest blogger – Nikita Dongare

I am a future CA who found peace at words. I am 22 and trying to make own world filled with books and words. Find the real Nikita at Thenikitadongare.wordpress.com and stay connected with me at Twitter – @nikkuuu94

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January 7 2017

The Sun that Rose from the Earth by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi


Dilli ke na the kuche/ Auraq-e-mussavir the, Jo shakl nazar aayi/ Tasveer nazar aayi.

(It wasn’t the lanes and streets of Delhi: It was the pages of an album. Each and every face that one saw was a painting)

-Mir Taqi Mir

Poets and poetry occupy centre stage in this marvellous collection of stories by a celebrated master of Urdu prose. Historical figures such as Ghalib, Mirza Jan-e Janan, Budh Singh Qalandar, Amir Khan Anjam, Mir, Kishan Chand Ikhlas, Haidar Ali Atash and Mushafi compose noteworthy poems, find patrons, make love, fight their enemies, and earn their nourishment. Faruqi has re-imagined these figures as vital, breathing beings, alive in all their flawed splendour.


The Sun that Rose from the Earth was written in 2001 in Urdu, with the English version translated by the author and published in 2014. The book is a collection of five short stories about Urdu and Persian poets and poetry in the age of the Mughals of India (1526-1857). The short stories are long, with each being novellas in their own right, culminating in 610 pages of text. Each story, with different narrators, imagines the conversations of poets at that time.

The first narrator is Mian Beni Madho Singh, born in 1840 in Nizamabad (Telangana), and living in Cawnpore from 1860. He had escaped the conflict against the British from 1856-1858 in which his entire family died. At the time of writing, on 1918 narrator turned 78 years old. He reminisces about his life, love of poetry, inspirations, and his travel in 1862 to Delhi to visit the superlative poet, Mirza Ghalib, the Nightingale of India. The poetry in this section reflects the decimation of his village, and the loss of life.

The second narrator is 50-year-old Khairuddin who suffers years of poverty. He hears that a mighty horse rider will appear in the bazaar the next day. The belief is that whoever stops the rider, even for a second, and asks for something, will have everything granted to him. This inspires Khairuddin’s first lines of poetry at the age of 20: The rider of everlasting prosperity appeared on the highway / None held his reins to stop him. He rode away. He imagines what he would ask of the rider. Perhaps he will ask for a husband for his sister. He does see the rider and his “awe-inspiring face.” What does he do? He can’t spend his life alone, roaming and wandering, seeing Sufi poet Budh Singh Qalander, can he? Then he meets a woman called Ismat Jahan.

Next comes, Labiba Khanam, deaf at birth and unable to talk, and her daughter Nurus Saadat, from Nakhjaran. Labiba has mixed heritage: Iranian Jews of the Levant, the Iranians of Armenistan, and the Jews and Christians of the Balkans. Her father was “an open opium wreck” and died, with her mother, when she was five years old. She was sold to Zohra the Egyptian. At 13 she heard her first lines of poetry, and at 22 she married Bayazid Shauqi who sang Hafiz and Rumi verses. This, I think is the best story in the collection, as they travel circuitously for three weeks to Tabriz in Iran via Turkey, Armenia, and Georgia. Her husband dies when Nurus is three days old, and Labiba moves to Isfahan, where she adopts the singing verses of her late husband, which she knew by heart. She meets the great Hindu poet Kishan Chand Ikhlas. The great Urdu poet Muhammad Taqi Mir falls in love with Nurus. They choose between their lovers and returning to Iran.

Then comes, the title ‘The Sun the Rose from the Earth’ about businessman Darbari Mal Vafa, born in 1793, who moves to Lucknow in 1825 to study under the legendary poet Shaikh Mushafi. His maid Bhoora – with him for almost 30 years – also exchanges poetry with Vafa. He never knows her marital status or her religion and beliefs, which she tells him is not important for poets.

The last story brings women to the fore. Fair, Amazonian-type, strong women from faraway Caucasus or Uzbekistan are the attraction for the 50-year-old narrator Gul Mohammad. He was told he’d never be a poet, so he became a soldier. The time span in this tale is distorted, going from 1521 to 1707 immediately, and is therefore more spiritual and vague.

This is a magnum opus. It is remarkable in fusing poetry from a range of selected Hindu and Muslim Urdu poets with an imagined story by different narrators that bring together their love and learning of poetry with a master poet. The mentor-master relationship is explored, as well as the search for the near-perfect word or phrase that expresses their feelings and emotions.

Judge this book by its cover! At first look, the regal attitude of the handsome Mughal attracts you to the book. One wonders who this person was and what Dastaan defines him. The richness and magnificence of the era bygone is also reflected in the beautiful, intricately woven prose, with its refined language and poetry oozing  with sweetness and sublime joy.

“I am the sun that rose from the earth. But the sky of poetry is bright because of me.”

Shaikh Ghulam Hamadani Mushafi.

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January 7 2017

Reasons I am Thankful for being a Blogger #ThankfulThursdays

I started my blog in June 2004 in Rediff. I decided to start my blog for as I needed a productive hobby. As I was a keen writer with a desire to go into journalism/PR/marketing/publishing, I was always told to start a blog and create a portfolio. I thought a blog would help set me up in good stead for a freelance writing career. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and it was and it remains. I loved reading blogs and magazines, but I was so glad to have my own, and it’s one of the best decisions I ever made! When I started my blog, I didn’t think about it becoming a huge thing. Since then, I’ve had some pretty cool opportunities. I’ve been to blogging meets and I’ve been able to join the blogging community which is full of like-minded bloggers like myself.

All in all, I am Thankful for being a Blogger, because:

  1. I have gradually developed confidence in myself and my abilities since I started blogging. I believe in myself as a writer and I believe I have the potential to go all the way.
  2. Before I started blogging, I didn’t think I had the ability to be creative, but blogging is a creative task in itself. I am always coming up with ideas and figuring out how to put the words down.
  3. I have always been good at writing. I can’t draw, I am not the best with numbers, I don’t like sciences and I am not good at them. Writing seemed to be the perfect fit for me: I’ve always been good at essay-based subjects – which is one of the reasons why I studied journalism and I always loved to write. Since blogging, I have become much more passionate about writing, and I feel like I can totally own my craft: I was born to write and I love what I do.
  4. As a result of my blog, I have been able to attend events and meet fellow bloggers. I have been able to find a place in a community – blogging communities.
  5. Blogging gives me my own space for expression my opinions. I can talk about whatever I want (within reason of course.)
  6. Sometimes life can get a bit too much, so my blog is like a place of escapism for me and writing is a way for me to de-stress.
  7. Devoting myself to my blog has been really challenging. And as of this year I have been trying to blog more consistently which has been really challenging but really rewarding too. I am really grateful that my blog pushes and challenges me, because this helps me grow.
  8. Starting a blog has been the catalyst for me connecting with some really incredible and like-minded humans – who I didn’t even know existed! If it weren’t for this blog I would never have connected with these incredible humans, and for that I am incredibly thankful.
  9. Ever since I started this blog I have been continually called to step up. I launched my free eBook and before I started this blog I didn’t think I would ever do something like create an eBook – but I am really thankful that being a blogger I have been able to do things that I never thought I would ever do.
  10. I love brainstorming blog post ideas, writing and putting together posts, sharing the things I love, creating images, and responding to comments. I love spending time reading other blogs for ‘research’ (and by that I mean my own enjoyment) and bookmarking them.


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