The Technical Pianist (Part 3) by Sayan Bhattacharya

(Continued from Part 2…)

His pianist ‘guru’ from the theatre house came to his help one day. Though he could not offer Ratan-babu any place within his group, he offered him day-jobs to visit the houses of people who had pianos and get to tune and service them. I am sure, this pianist would have had some contacts like these to help for some extra earnings and that is what he offered Ratan-babu, to start with. And you have already seen how much a piano need tuning and servicing to be maintained well. Ratan-babu’s life started anew and gradually his ship began to steady!” My father smiled at me, as we paused to listen to the soft tinkling notes of the piano which wafted in from our drawing room: Ratan-babu at work! I sat thinking in wonder over the story of this quiet lean and thin man whom I had been watching for years, striking away at the piano keys!

“Ever since, Ratan-babu has been busy going from one end of the city to the other, visiting many houses by appointment and ‘tuning’ innumerable pianos to play to the correct tune!” My father continued, but as if to now wind up this marvellous story.

“How and where did you find him?” I asked.

“I first saw him at my own piano teacher’s house. Ratan-babu used to come there to tune the piano and later when I got my own, I had no second thoughts in engaging him. And that is the way that his clientele grew…remember, it’s only word of mouth and references! And once you have seen the quality of his work, you wouldn’t hesitate to engage him again!” It clearly showed that my father was truly happy with Ratan-babu’s services.

“So, why doesn’t he play songs and ‘western classical pieces’ as you do?” I asked my father once again.

He smiled at me and answered, “We all have had formal music training for years and at playing the piano too, but Ratan-babu has learnt it out of his instincts and never had had the exposure to the sophisticated means that we had been privileged with. Moreover, if you listen to his music when he plays to ‘check’ the piano, you will see he does play wonderful ‘pieces’!”

My father looked into my inquisitive eyes and as if read the question behind them. He continued to unravel:

“Do you know what ‘pieces’ they are? They are the various short musicals and background scores that were composed in those theatrical performances, which I am sure he had learnt from the ‘pianist’ of the theatre house! And surprisingly, he still plays them out of memory and practice, perfectly without any notations to rely upon! So, you see, he is a ‘musician’ after all, and without him so many pianos in our city would fall silent!”

I nodded silently and came away from my father’s room. When I entered the drawing room, Ratan-babu was almost done with his day’s work on our piano. I stood rooted beside the curtain, my eyes fixed on this dark and lean man seated on the stool at the piano: his eyes closed, back straight and head tilted slightly; his face bore an expression of trance as his deft fingers danced along softly striking the black and white keys on the long keyboard panel!

The story of his life, his struggle and his determination to fight back, and his passion and love for music, which I just heard from my father was all fresh in my mind and I found it greatly inspiring. My ears caught the lovely melody that he played: the lyrical wafting of some old theatrical background score perhaps, which today seemed to celebrate Ratan-babu’s dream of being a musician…

About the Author/StoryTeller: Born in 1974 in Calcutta and a Post-graduate in English Literature, my career spans twenty years, initially in banking and financial services and presently in the FinTech industry. Having interacted extensively with people from various walks of life, I love to meet and know people; fascinated by life’s experiences and I draw inspiration from them.  An avid traveller and reader, my passion for writing is a hobby and a medium to showcase my own kaleidoscope of life’s stories. In November 2013 I self-published my first novel, “Friendship Calling”, a story based on his own real-life experiences with his friends, a mysterious disappearance of one friend and a search ending in an exceptional outcome. In August 2016, I published my second novel “A Case of Connections”, a story of a family discovery based on true life characters and their experiences.   Both novels are currently available on popular ‘online bookstores’ and have received encouraging reviews from readers, enjoying acclaimed global readership.  In May 2018, after the successful debut in the Blogchatter A2Z challenge, my eBook “Ancient Cities of India” was published by Blogchatter on their website. The eBook has received appreciative reviews from readers and is available for download here. 

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Bombay Heights by Adite Banerjie

 

 

Bombay Heights
by
 
Blurb
 
Small town girl Sanjana Kale wants a fresh start in Mumbai. A challenging job and some much needed distance from her ludicrously over-protective family could get her life under control.

Forced to team up with video game designer Ashwin Deo, who is too attractive for his own good, she finds life becoming a whole lot more complicated when he turns out to be her new neighbour. How can she maintain a professional distance with this charming troublemaker who believes in getting up close and personal?

To make matters worse, her ex tries to manipulate her loved ones to work his way back into her life. Hysterical siblings, a cantankerous client, an ex who will not take no for an answer, and a blow hot blow cold neighbour… Sanjana is sleepless in the City of Dreams! Can she do what Ashwin dares her to–create a few ripples even if it upsets her family?


Adite Banerjie is a published author and screenwriter.
 
Adite Banerjie discovered the wonderful world of books at an early age which sparked her interest in writing. After a fulfilling and exciting career as a business journalist she turned her attention to fiction.
 
Three of her books have been published by Harlequin/Harper Collins India. She is now committed to being an indie author.
 
She also writes screenplays and in 2017 one of her scripts made it to the semi-finals of the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowships.
 
When she is not grappling with her current work-in-progress, she enjoys spending time with her husband and watching back-to-back movies.
 
She loves to connect with her readers and writers. .
 
Twitter: @adite
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Five Reasons you must start a Blog in 2018 by Dr. Amrita Basu Misra

If you hate writing, don’t start a blog. But if you enjoy writing in any form or have a service product or business to promote you can’t ignore   blogging. When I started blogging I had no clue. I knew nothing about writing ,Wordpress, SEO, image optimization ,nothing.

But then one day  something happened and things fell into place .That something was Indiblogger followed soon after by Blogchatter, their contests and challenges, helped me get the much needed push. I believe it’s my moral duty to help all sleeping blogger wake up too .

Once people said newspapers were over .They said paperbacks were over because eBooks are here

People  regularly predict the end of television. Let me tell you a secret ,nothing went away .

Things evolved and become different .Just like that, if someone tells you blogging is so  over believe it at your own peril. If you have a story to share you must start a blog. If you are passionate about a cause start a blog.If you love kitchen gardening, cooking, sewing ,organizing,decorating ,crafting ,DIY , just about anything can be promoted with a blog.

Five reason you must start your own Blog in 2018

It’s your online diary, memories ,workbook, portfolio, secret keeper, book-to- be. Your blog is your pensieve (almost like the one   Dumbledore had)It’s your way to create something .It’s your chance to live a creative life, because that’s the best kind of living.

It’s your chance to give back to Google .The world wide Web and Internet thrives on the Go Giver policy .The more you share the richer you become. If you have lived a little and loved a little and learned something, you are in a perfect position to start your own digital nook. If not anything else daily inspirations can be  what your blog gives.

In this day and age of social isolation, loneliness ,emotional ill health, writing is therapeutic .Since it’s not easy, it makes your brain work a little harder and keeps those old age brain plaques away. Challenge your brain and keep dementia away. If it’s easy ,it’s not exercising the brain.

Blogging will pay its own course.In India Blogging is an unorganized sector. But the good news is, if you are hardworking you can make your blog pay its own way .But it will not be quick or easy .The journey is uphill but fun. It’s like finding an ice cream shop at the top of a hill. As more and more brands discover the power of unique content, blogging in India will only get bigger and better.

Blogging is powerful. It’s your voice .It’s your media house and your chance to lend your support to things bigger than the individual. Wherever you are if after reading this ,you say hi to me on twitter @misra_amita ,I will always reply .Happy blogging.

Want  a list of awesome Blog post ideas to plan your content calendar? Subscribe here .

About the writer: Dr. Amrita Basu (Misra) is an ENT Surgeon, a teacher in a Medical college, Blogger and Author of two books. When she is not writing she can be found gardening or doodling with her daughter. She is a twitter fan and always replies if you say hi to @misra_amrita Her favorite writers are Enid Blyton, Satyajit Ray, Erle Stanley Gardener and Agatha Christie. She can be contacted on iTunes, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, GooglePlus, LinkedIn, Youtube. 

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The Technical Pianist (Part 2) by Sayan Bhattacharya

(Continued from Part 1…)

Standing at the side of the doorway and often looking from behind the curtain, I often found Ratan-babu in those moments, eyes closed, back straight and head slightly tilted; the expression on his face seemed to tell me that he was straining his ears to catch every note and sound emitted by the piano, as his deft fingers danced along the long keyboard panel! What a sight it was: not really one visibly appreciable as Ratan-babu was far from handsome! But it was a picture of a musician in trance, recognizing every note that came out: it often seemed that in those moments the piano was playing to its master!

I had often wondered that for someone to catch the correctness of the notes, their pitch and tenor, the chords on all octaves, one certainly needed to have a fantastic sense of music and a very sharp ear apart from the technical knowledge of the piano. When I had stepped into my teens and the piano had started intriguing me further, I had one day asked my father about it, as Ratan-babu kept working in our drawing room. In reply, what I heard from my father was a surprising and inspiring tale indeed!

Ratan-babu is a gifted man.” my father began, “He holds a great passion of music and his technical knowledge of musical instruments, especially the piano, is deep and sound. I don’t really know where he came from or about his back-ground. I only know that he came from a very poor family and came into this city totally alone in search of a job to make his future. He used to work for a printing press for a long time and used to frequent a theatre house which was situated right next to his workplace. There he used to sit and watch the actors practising and slowly started making rapport with them. But what drew him into it were the musical elements of their plays.

Now, this theatre house had some musical instruments housed with them and gradually Ratan-babu got attracted to them. Fascinated as he was especially with the piano there, he sought and was allowed permission to sit and watch the pianist play, during the shows and even during the practice times. I think it was over the years that this pianist from the theatre house taught Ratan-babu how to play the piano and the technicalities of the instrument. You can say, it was musical knowledge handed down, just as it used to be in earlier times.

Ratan-babu, despite his restricted means never lost his fascination for music and his silent dream of becoming a musician someday! But, in those times, it was considered luxury and certainly not within Ratan-babu’s means. Undeterred, his love for music and hidden talent helped him to learn and grasp more and more. That is how his life moved on for years together, until one day the printing press where he worked for so long, shut shop forever. You may wonder what a calamity that would have meant for someone like Ratan-babu, whose livelihood totally depended on the monthly earnings from the press. Yes, he was quite broken and faced a lot of hardships but began his search for a new means of livelihood once again, and as he had once told me, ‘music was still foremost in my mind’!

So how does Ratan-babu live his dream of becoming the pianist he always wanted to be? Read the third and final part of the story to know about his journey…

The Technical Pianist – Part 3, coming soon right here!

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Spicy Trail by Shipra Trivedi

About the author: Shipra Trivedi is a working mother and has a great interest in reading & writing. As a new age woman, she plays multiple roles in a single day. A family-manager at home, a team lead in the office & a writer of wee hours. She blogs at http://www.vibhuandme.com.

Book Blurb: The intent of this book is to give a brief of 26 different spices in 26 chapters. Each chapter has one spice, its attributes, history, and ayurvedic benefits. Get set go on a spicy trail!

Review: A beautifully illustrated and researched exploration of herbs and spices: their history, cultivation and uses, both familiar and forgotten. The comprehensive modern herbal lists 26 herbs in cooking, natural cosmetics, herbal remedies and other uses. Shipra’s original approach and familiarity with the spices she describes make this a book to be used, enjoyed and treasured. Whether one is wanting to use herbs, spices and learn about delicious ol’ worlde recipes and medical uses of herbs and spices then this book has it all. The book lives up to what you would expect from something that has all about spices. It is well organized, with an alphabetized list of spices and herbs. From Vinegar to cinnamon, from fennel to mustard seeds, no kitchen is complete without spices and herbs…This A-Z reference features 26 such spices and herbs with lots of information with a look inside the world of spices by someone who works with these wonders of nature every day. It is very cleverly organized book, this information is practically helpful for all. While this book is useful if you happen to already own it, if you searching for a good book on spices and herbs, I strongly suggest you pick this book. Not only does this book enable the home cook to identify what a herb or spice is all about but much more to it. Everything you need to know is here. My favorites from this book are – Zafraan, Urad, Basil, Mace, and Chillies.

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An Arranged Love by Rev. Thomas O. Scarborough

About the author: Thomas Scarborough is a Congregational minister and philosophy editor. He holds Master’s degrees from the USA and South Africa, and is journal-published in five fields: philosophy, theology, electronics, gnomonics, and organology.

Blurb: A true story. A dying wife invokes an ancient tradition of the church in Europe, naming her “replacement” before she dies. This is no ordinary replacement, but a rural African woman of royal descent. Her clan, too, has ancient traditions. The author finds himself cold starting an arranged marriage by African custom. In the “new” South Africa. A heart-warming, tumultuous tale.

Review: This book is a sure shot perfect gift idea for any one on anyone’s list, for any occasion or marriage. This beautiful book will transport you to a romantic world with its exquisite photography and lovely content. It is sweet, romantic, and sexy, too. A conversation starter for sure! The pictures will make sure everyone fall in love; and the story will inspire discussion, as well. There is something for everyone in this book, which belongs on everyone’s book collection. The story explores love in many different forms. This book is sized perfectly to fit any living space; and sits nicely on an end table. Every page has a different mood so does every picture. An Arranged love illustrates the synergy between word and image. It captures the universal experience of love, its agony and ecstasy, its profound essence and mystery, and its humor. I liked the variety & insightful photographs, wish I had the color copy. It is all about the joy, humor, & devotion that love brings. What a gift Thomas has in using pictures & story to express love. A warm and engaging presentation invoking Love in it’s diversity–brilliantly aligned in this book. Best wishes in your writings. I highly recommend your book to friends and family. Thank you so much for sharing it with me.

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