Friday 30 October 2020

Good news comes in twos

Dear Friends and Readers,

I hope you've been well and healthy. 

The year 2020 seems to have played a trick on us. Every time I write a blog post, it feels like I'm near April somewhere. How could I be looking at the beginning of November already? I'm not complaining. As a matter of fact, I'm here to share two tasty pieces of treat i.e. good news with you. But before I do, a little preamble to how the news came about.

As you may recall, this year's A to Z Blogging Challenge took me down memory lane where I met my grandparents: Beji and Papaji. Some of the posts I wrote introduced you to them and their love of land and food and their devotion to us, their grandchildren. I chose to call myself a princess in one post and Artemis in another. What they call pride/hubris in the real world is known as imagination in the land of stories, right? Those posts were received with so much love and appreciation that when a call for stories for an anthology of feel good stories rang out in these parts, I rewrote a post into a short story and sent it.

Guess what? It got picked! And the book was launched on the 28th of October 2020! Miracles do happen. I'm sharing all the links. I'm not getting paid or anything but half the money raised from the sale of the book will be used to support an animal charity called 'Prani, The Pet Sanctuary' in Bangalore. I think it's a win win. My dream of seeing my work in print is helping to support a charity. What more could I ask for? I'm happy:) 

You can read 'Kingdom of Kitchen' and 27 other stories in the collection.

Presenting: Tea With a Drop of Honey by the Hive

Please leave helpful reviews if you can.

Covidkaal (the Covid Times) brought out another passion of mine to the fore. It happened by chance. And once again, it's thanks to the A to Z Challenge of 2020 where I met a kind soul and my namesake, Arti of my space who introduced me to online open mic sessions. One thing led to another and I found myself reading out my stories on zoom calls and Insta live sessions in June and July. By the time August rolled in, I had even started 'performing' poetry! It felt like I was back in school, on stage, debating and reciting. The thrills and chills felt exactly like they'd done more than 3 decades ago.

Then, last week, someone I'd met online on one such session asked me to send him some of my work and informed me that he hosts Mirchi Scribbled, a poetry/spoken word/storytelling platform affiliated to a well known radio channel in India called Radio Mirchi. He liked the pieces I'd sent him.

Artemis was back -- she even did a little victory dance to celebrate:)

When a piece was picked and okayed, I took it with me on my morning walks, sat with it under our neem tree and let the words that were written on a laptop screen become one with me.

Then last Friday, the husband and I teamed up to shoot a video of my poetry recital. I wore a grey Coimbatore cotton saree with a gorgeous black and mustard border, my favourite Kali locket, a pair of jhumkas and a big red bindi. I was ready.

We should be done in an hour, tops. I figured. We'll eat lunch after.

Two and a half hours of forgetting a line, knocking the phone off its stand, forgetting to push the record button, loo breaks, umpteen emptying of full glasses of water in single gulps followed by more loo breaks later, we agreed to stop and send the best recording we'd managed thus far. Lunch couldn't wait any longer.

Thanks to Parth Vasani of Mirchi Scribbled who did a stellar editing job, our amateur attempts at recording look pretty neat.

Presenting, my debut performance:
So, that's all folks.

I know Covid Times have been tough but all this sequestering has been like a hatching for me. I'm the egg that's had enough time and warmth over the last six months to crack open tiny parts of my creative spirit from the safety of my nest and peek out a little.

Wishing you a wonderful Halloween if you celebrate and a magical weekend if you don't.

It's a very special full moon tonight. Do go out (if it's possible and if the skies are clear) and let the Moon bathe you in her moonlight.

I owe all the above to the world of blogging and to the A to Z Challenge this year. And to you my dear friends and readers.

Thank you.

Love and prayers,