Swachh Bharat? Swachh Nothing #2

compound

The Secrets In The Compound

Be careful when you walk in our compound
There’s no telling what you will find.
You will see so many things
You’ll find secrets of every kind

As I walk my dog around,
Without having snooped,
I know what my neighbours have been up to.
I know someone’s baby has pooped!

It’s all there in the open.
Someone had sex last night.
Someone didn’t sleep coz the mosquito bat was broken.
And someone didn’t like that pair of  lycra tights.

I warn my dog as I walk her around,
“Don’t sniff that condom you might get aids;
And that diaper will give you diarrhoea;
The broken mosquito bat is not a toy,
In fact you might get malaria.”

So be careful when you walk in our compound,
There’s no telling what you will find.
You will see so many things.
You’ll find secrets of every kind.

P.S. If you have missed the first post in this series, you will find it here: http://sunitasaldhana.com/life/swachh-bharat-swachh-nothing

Swachh Bharat? Swachh nothing!

roadside croppedThey say the tone of your day is set by what you do the first thing in the morning! The first thing that I do, through no fault of mine, is to smell the garbage! The minute I set foot out of the house to walk my dog, the stench hits. The sight of garbage piled up everywhere greets me. Yes, this is how my morning begins.
garbageI live at Kasarvadavali in Thane. The garbage in our area gets cleared only every 4th day. When asked, the TMC oficial said that it is the job of the Ghanta gadi to do it. When the ghanta gadi contractor was queried, he said that he does not have enough trucks to do the work. So we have to suffer.
gutterIn all the time I have lived here, never once have the drains been cleaned. The garbage piled on the sides of the road resides there permanently and no one, no one is willing to take the responsibility of having it cleaned. In a few days, the monsoons will hopefully be upon us. I dread to think of the garbage we will be walking through each time we leave the house. Little kids walking to school, maids coming to work, office goers will all drag the garbage home. And then we will wonder how we keep falling ill.
And now I have to pay a cess for keeping Bharat Swacch? Will it really make a difference I wonder?

Interview with Kiran Manral

kiran manralOn the 15th of May, Just Books Library, Thane had organised a book reading and signing of Kiran Manral’s latest book, “The Face At The Window”.  I had the privilege of interviewing  Ms. Kiran Manral on this occassion. The cosy atmosphere of the library set the tone for a friendly chat rather than a formal interview. Kiran’s demeanor too made it very difficult to be all stiff and business like.

Me: “A Face at the Window ” is your 5th book to be published, isn’t it? So how did you start writing? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

Kiran: (laughing): Not at all. It was my mother. She kept asking me, “When are you going to write your book?” In college. After I got married, “When are you going to write your book?” When I became a mother, “When are you going to write your book?” When I was forty. And then I gave in and decided that if I have to do it now is the time, and that is how “The Reluctant Detective” was born.

Me: Every book of yours has been a different genre; from humour to romance to horror. How do you come up with your plots?download ftw

Kiran: Some of my plots are organic. They come to me fully developed. Some I consciously plan out and work out every detail. But it all hinges around the character. It is the character who dictates the plot.

Me: Coming to the main character in your books. Each one of them is so different. From Kay who was a bored housewife in The Reluctant Detective, to Mrs. McNally, an old Anglo Indian woman who is haunted by her past. How do you find your characters. Are they someone you know or just a figment of your imagination.

Kiran: I think they are a combination of both. You meet people, you hear about people, you add a bit, and a character gets created.

Me. When “The Reluctant Detective” was released it received mixed reviews. How did you deal with it?

Kiran: I realize that no matter how well  you write there will be people who won’t like your work. And that is okay. Also, I do not write for others. i write for myself. At the end of the day, I have to like what I write. So I ask myself. Do I like what I have written? Does it satisfy the level I set for myself. If yes, it is good, if not, I need to do something about it.

Me: Why did you choose to write a horror story this time?

Kiran: (laughing) Because I like to scare people. I wanted to write a story that had people asking “why?” as they read the book and even when they finished they had to ask more whys. It had to stay with them like a thorn in their side, niggling and worrying them.

Me: ‘A face in the Window ” certainly does that. I kept agonizing over the end and wanting more!

Me: Before we wind up, any advice to the aspiring writers here?

Kiran: Write, every day. At least 500 words. Get your presence out there. On Facebook, on twitter, let people know who you are but more importantly do not wait for the muse. Just write.

Me: Thank you so much Kiran. Are we expecting any more books soon?

Kiran: Well, I have had 3 releases in the last six months, and there are a couple of works in progress …so…..

Me: Definitely looking forward to reading them, Kiran. Thank you so much for your time and advice!

Kiran: The pleasure was mine!

And with that she sat down to meet her fans and sign copies of her book for them.

You can read the review on her book on my blog here 

You can buy the book on Amazon.in through my affiliate link here .

Maya Angelou

This year is a very special year for me. I call it  “my year of awesomeness”  and one of the things that I have done to make it really awesome, is to surround myself with things and people that really mean something to me and rid my life of things that take away from my happiness. So it was no wonder that one of the books that got added to my library was “The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou.”maya angelou

I remember the first time I came across a poem of hers, “And still I rise” I just sat transfixed, taking in the poem. While reading it, the poem became me and I became the poem. I became a die hard fan ever since.

I read about all the talks she was invited to, I read about how famous she was. I read about the people who admired her.

And then I read her poems.

And her poems took me to the person she was. I came to know her, to love her, to cry with her, to hope with her, to feel her strength in me.

Through her poems I saw the 7 year old child, who was abused and who blamed herself for the death of the man who abused her; who punished herself by losing her voice. I saw the woman she grew up to be, strong, even a bit defiant, but not scared to be totally herself as she found her voice back through her poems and her writings. The day she died, I cried, as if I had lost a friend,a very close friend. I was devastated that I would never hear her through her poems again.

Today as I read her, I realize I do not want the fame and admiration she had. What I want is that when someone is sitting alone and quietly reading what I have written, my poem, my writing should enter their heart and soul and help them to heal the way Maya Angelou’s poems helped me.

You can get the book for your self through my affiliate link here.

 

 

Happy Reading!