Interview with a blogger – Crystal and Candy from The Travelpockets

Welcome once again to the Interview with a blogger series. This post I should call it as interview with bloggers as it features not one but two bloggers – Crystal and Candy – the blogger sister duo from the United States.

Their blog, www.thetravelpockets.com, is a travel and style blog wherein they write about their travel adventures, tips and tricks of a safe travel, style and many more. And yes the icing on the cake is the photographs that they post on their blog.

Thanks to the social media through which I got connected with them and enjoy reading their travel adventures and also like to watch their videos on their YouTube channel.

Now it’s over to Crystal & Candy to hear about them more…

1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

We’re sisters, Crystal and Candy, who grew up as military brats and spent the first half of our lives in Japan. The majority of our family resides in Japan, but we ventured out and have spent the second half of our lives mainly in the United States.

2. What was your inspiration to start your blog www.thetravelpockets.com?

We both love traveling and have always documented our travels mainly with photos and videos. We would often receive questions about the places we stayed, how much things cost, recommendations on what to do, etc. We started noticing that the photos and videos we shared were inspiring people to travel, so we decided to add some context to them.

3. How would you describe/introduce your blog to the new readers?

A fun travel blog created by two sisters who love traveling the world in style and finding the best hidden gems.

4. What do you think as the best and challenging aspects about being a blogger?

The challenging part is capturing as much as we can of our travel experiences for our readers. It’s hard to take pictures AND shoot video everywhere we go but we have adapted and now have the system down.

The best part is that we travel a lot more together now and have more quality sister time. It’s also been wonderful meeting fellow bloggers.

5. How would you describe your blogging style?

We ourselves read a ton of blogs when researching travel destinations and we prefer reading posts that are concise and deliver honest feedback. Since we enjoy this type of writing style we try to keep things fun and to the point. We also prefer blog posts with personal photos rather than stock images. Being able to see a personal photo or video really helps tell the story that is relatable and authentic.

6. What do you think blogging will look like in next 5 years? Will it still be around?

More people are starting to rely on information from bloggers, so yes, we believe it will still be around in 5 years.

7. Which part of blogging excites you the most – post writing or photography?

We enjoy both parts of blogging but photography is probably where we excel the most. We’re also incorporating more videos to our posts, so that’s been fun as well.

8. What is the biggest surprise that you have ever experienced after becoming a blogger?

That people actually read our blog and give us kudos for our posts. We started blogging to have a space to share our content, in one place, mainly for our friends and family. The fact that our audience has expanded outside of our immediate circle truly makes us happy.

9. What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment given to you as a blogger?

Best compliment would be that our posts are really authentic and natural.

Toughest criticism would be that we don’t have the right information. It’s especially hard when we get criticized for content that we know to be true, like our posts on Japan. We grew up in Japan and our mother is Japanese, so when people say we are providing false information, we take it a little harder than normal.

10. Would you like to share some words of wisdom or tips for the aspiring bloggers?

Keep a consistent schedule with your blog and try to keep your posts as simple as possible to help the readers. We find ourselves less focused with posts that have fonts that are difficult to read, tons of pop-ups and ads, and little to no photos.

We also think it’s important to help out other bloggers. We’ve asked fellow bloggers for help and we’ve also helped bloggers who have reached out to us. We really don’t view other bloggers as competition and see everyone as a community of travelers.

It has been great to know more about The Travelpockets. I hope you all enjoyed the interview too. I would like to thank Crystal and Candy for their time in doing this interview and share their thoughts.

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Interview with a blogger – Keerthi Vydyula

Welcome once again to the Interview with a blogger series.

Today we will feature Keerthi Vydyula of thoughtsthrulens.blog. I felt glad when she accepted my invitation to do this feature post for my blog. I met her through the My Friend Alexa campaign.

Keerthi is from Hyderabad, the City of Pearls. She is not just a blogger but a photographer too. She likes to travel and “Kheer” is what her nick name is. It’s a great pleasure interviewing her and knowing more about her.

So over to Keerthi…

 1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Thank you Sham for having me on your blog. I feel happy and excited.

I am Keerthi. I am a photographer and a blogger. I blog at thoughtsthrulens.blog. It is about travel/photography, short stories and personal musings. Photography is my passion and this passion extends to food as well. I enjoy cooking and find joy in tasting new dishes, so I am a foodie as well! I am also an avid reader and love reading.

2. What was your inspiration to start your blog thoughtsthrulens.blog?

I love reading, but never in my life had I thought that I would try my hand in blogging! I had read some outstanding blogs, and they did inspire me to write, but I still couldn’t bring myself to take that next step and start a blog. I underestimated myself. The credit goes to my friend Saumy Nagayach who blogs at saumynagayach.blogspot.in. He encouraged me and literally pushed me to write blogs. It started with a single post last year. This year has seen many more posts than I imagined.

3. How would you describe/introduce your blog to the new readers?

It is a blog where you can find everything from travel stories and collection of my best clicks to life experiences, short stories and personal musings. It is a pinch of everything, as the tagline of my blog states. I’m planning to start a mini food series as well!

4. What do you think as the best and challenging aspects about being a blogger?

The best aspect would certainly be the love we get from fellow bloggers/friends and the virtual connect we form with each and every one of them. That is something that intrigues me.

The most challenging aspect would be the time crunch, I guess, as many a times we find it difficult to manage work, personal life and blogging activities. But at the end of the day, these virtual friends we find out of nowhere keep us going. Personally, my tribe helped me a lot in achieving my goals which I thought I would never complete on time.

5. How would you describe your blogging style?

I try to keep it as simple as possible. My goal is to achieve a certain connect with the reader and I feel it is only possible when I keep it simple and classic.

6. What do you think blogging will look like in next 5 years? Will it still be around?

There is no way that people are going to stop blogging! Blogging/writing is an expression and I feel it is not going to end any time soon. So most certainly not in the next 5 years. I am a hundred percent sure that it will flourish even more in coming years.

7. Which part of blogging excites you the most –post writing or photography?

It depends on my mood. I mostly enjoy photography. These days, I’m trying my hand at writing fiction, and I enjoy doing that. I’m still not confident but I’m trying to write better, and I’m sure I will very soon.

8. What is the biggest surprise that you have ever experienced after becoming a blogger?

Ah! I must say, these wonderful blogger friends for sure surprised me with the love they showed towards me and my blog. They constantly appreciated and encouraged me. Sometimes, they even corrected my mistakes and helped me grow. That is something I never expected from any of them, none of whom I have met till date.

9. What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment given to you as a blogger?

Toughest criticism? Not much actually. It was only on one instance, when an anonymous person felt that my blogs posts are a bit short and it would be good if they’d be a bit long! I was stumped to hear this as I always felt I write lengthy posts. But I took the criticism sportively!

Compliments! I have got many for my photography. I feel overwhelmed at times with the love that my readers show for my clicks.

10. Would you like to share some words of wisdom or tips for the aspiring bloggers?

From my experience, I would say that do not fear to take that step if you’re really passionate about writing and sharing your thoughts. Never forget that writing is an expression and it might well become your best way of expressing thoughts. So be confident and give it a go. In long run you will see the results and your blog will flourish. It is all about one’s determination. So keep the hope high and get going!

 

Thank you Keerthi for your time and sharing your thoughts. It was great to know more about you. I hope our readers too have enjoyed reading this interview.

We will be back again with another blogger in the Interview with a blogger series.

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Interview with a blogger – Ashwini Dodani

Welcome once again to the Interview with a blogger series. For this post I would say a blogger and a poet.

Today, friends, I’ll feature Ashwini Dodani – a blogger, poet, a digital and social media professional from Mumbai. Ashwini is an MBA graduate working in social media and branding domain. He has liking for words and loves to write. I met him through social media through the MyFriendAlexa campaign and became buddies. I like reading his blog and the poetry he writes. When I was planning the Interview with a blogger series his name was there in the list and am glad that he agreed to do it.

Let’s hear it from Ashwini…

1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Somewhere between a creative strategist, poet, blogger and to be better human being, always. I am Ashwini Dodani or Ashu as everyone calls me. I love to write and I write to spread the word of the importance of words and writing. I breathe poetry, for real cannot live without it. Digital Marketing feeds my stomach, writing feeds my soul and takes care of my wishes.

2. What was your inspiration to start your blog ashwinidodani.com?

I started with Blogspot almost 8 years back and my blog was always the same till before 2 years now when I shifted to my own domain and take care of my platform. The need to have your own platform was fascinating because it’s like your own home, you decorate, stay and exist there. ashwinidodani.com is who I am in totality, is where I stay and is who I belong to. Myself.

3. How would you describe/introduce your blog to the new readers?

It’s a personal blog with a variety including Poetry, Reviews, Inspiration, Positivity, Poems (of course ;)), Event Experiences. A wholesome of all the experiences which define my life.

4. What do you think as the best and challenging aspects about being a blogger?

I think being a blogger makes you disciplined if you really are a “Blogger” and taking Blogging seriously. It pushes you to challenge yourself, your hidden potential, be participating and try new things when it comes to writing. It’s like your own high, your own baby you take care of and like your own venture/start up. It fails, you fail. It succeeds, you succeed. There are both bitter and sweet moments but the best part about it is that you learn how to never stop learning.

5. How would you describe your blogging style?

Experiential is the first word which comes to my mind when it is about blogging style. My words are all about my experiences whether it is my opinion on a book I read or a place I have recently visited or an emotional break down or uphill which made me write a poem. Its more experiences and personal.

6. What do you think blogging will look like in next 5 years? Will it still be around?

Blogging, as they say has just found its sweet spot. This generation is all about bloggers, they are the new and more trustworthy journalists. Blogging will only rise in the upcoming years but more to add to this, expertise will weed out all the non-consistent bloggers. It will always be around but the experts and regular bloggers will ace the game better.

7. Which part of blogging excites you the most – post writing or photography?

Both actually. Sharing experiences through visuals is the best way one can write about the feeling. Also, photographs, videos and all the visual content is gaining more traction in this social media generation. I enjoy doing both and recently I have been into clicking more compared to last 2 years.

8. What is the biggest surprise that you have ever experienced after becoming a blogger?

People need a unique identity and a voice and I found one after being a blogger. Surprise you may say that I got recognized by well-known platforms who saw my content worthy, it lead me to be confident about getting published and the most surprising thing is that I grew as a writer who decided to never stop writing. However, intangible this may sound but this confidence as a blogger/writer is very surprising. I love it.

9. What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment given to you as a blogger?

Best compliment as a Blogger/Writer/Poet I have ever got is “Where you get all these things from, you write?” I love it when people think it’s not original or copied or are in an awe of what I write. It gives me a different high. Criticism has always been about a little bit about grammar here and there.

10. Would you like to share some words of wisdom or tips for the aspiring bloggers?

If you have decided to be one, never look back. Take all the criticism positively and put that energy into improving your art. People will come and go. Readers will come and go. Only you will stay with your passion. Never give up for anything or anybody. Success and failures are just phases but consistency is the king. No successful blogger made it in a day or month, it takes years or sometimes decades to make a mark. The timeline doesn’t matter but the passion does. Always stick to it.

This has been a real awesome experience to interview you Ashu. You have been phenomenal. Your words are inspirational and wish you all the very best with your blogging spree.

I hope our readers are inspired too and have enjoyed the interview. Thank you so much for sharing your insight and time with us Ashu!!

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Interview with a blogger – Richa of Savorytales blog

Here is another one in the segment. This is my 3rd in the Interview with a blogger series and this post features Richa from Savorytales.

Richa is a food blogger from Mumbai, the city of dreams, whom I follow very closely and love reading her posts on her blog. It feels good for me to interview her on my blog and sharing the same with you all. Hope you will also enjoy the post.

Over to Richa…

1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Hi, My name is Richa. I am a food enthusiast living in Mumbai. A banker turned food blogger and I blog at http://savorytales.com/. I love travelling and of course food.

2. What was your inspiration to start your blog savorytales.com?

Earlier I used to write reviews of restaurants on Zomato out of interest and for the love of food. I realized that I enjoy doing it, I enjoy clicking pictures of food so thought why not do it in a more organized way. Therefore, I started my blog and started sharing some everyday recipes too on the blog.

3. How would you describe/introduce your blog to the new readers?

My blog is all about food so it is for all the food lovers. Anyone who is interested in reading restaurants reviews of Navi Mumbai or Mumbai is invited to visit my blog. I share simple and everyday recipes on the blog, which can be prepared with the basic ingredients available in any kitchen. So, people interested in cooking will find the blog interesting. Also, I have started to share my travel stories so travel enthusiast will find it interesting too.

4. What do you think as the best and challenging aspects about being a blogger?

Well, the best part about blogging is that it is limitless. There is no end to how creative you can be. You can be experimental, candid, bold and have the freedom to express yourself because it is your space. You can connect with so many like-minded people who share the same interest and passion. And the challenging part, according to me is sticking to a schedule and being regular in blogging. Because regularly posting good content is the key to a successful blog.

5. How would you describe your blogging style?

I still consider myself a newbie as I keep trying new styles to write blog posts. There is no such particular style as of now. (Hopefully I’ll find one soon :))

6. What do you think blogging will look like in next 5 years? Will it still be around?

Blogging is going to be at all new level in next 5 years. I believe it will be much more organized in coming years than today and will develop as an aspiring full-time profession. Even today blogging is not only about blog post, it’s branching into video blogging, micro blogging and so much more.

7. Which part of blogging excites you the most – post writing or photography?

I loveeeeee photography part of blogging. Preparing the dish, styling, clicking pictures, editing is something I enjoy doing. There is so much to learn in photography and you can be as creative and experimental as you want.

8. What is the biggest surprise that you have ever experienced after becoming a blogger?

A post on Instagram surprised me in a pleasant way and that post helped me gain around 200 new followers in a day or two.

9. What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment given to you as a blogger?

I consider myself blessed enough to have received encouraging compliments on my posts. One of the best compliments was from Rashmi Uday Ma’am on one of my pictures. I am yet to receive my toughest criticism, hopefully it will help me improve my work.

10. Would you like to share some words of wisdom or tips for the aspiring bloggers?

It is very important to identify what you are passionate about and blog only about it. Try to be innovative and original, don’t copy paste others work. Keep posting good and regular content on your blog. And yes, good photography is very essential to attract readers to your blog.

It has been a pleasure and great experience to know more about Richa through this interview. I thank her for the time and sharing her thoughts on herself, her blog and much more.

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The Hide and Seek Game – Dream vs. Reality

It’s a cloudy afternoon and it’s going to rain at any moment. Rima, a homemaker, comes to the roof to collect the dried clothes so that they don’t get drenched in the rain.

Her eyes looked at the cloudy sky and see the hide & seek between the white and black clouds. Rima’s mind rewinds back and starts resonating her life with the hide & seek game.

She thinks about her past life, during her school days. Rima used to love dancing and her parents also supported her by going against all odds – especially the relatives. When Rima’s dad enrolled her to the dance school most of the relatives said, what will she do with dancing? If she studies well and scores good marks it will be easy to find a good match for her marriage. But her parents ignored those words and let Rima follow her heart.

But as the days passed and Rima started to progress in her studies her parents also asked her to concentrate more on studies. She then asked herself – why did they went against all odds earlier when they also want her to concentrate on studies and not dancing? Her parents cited that career in dancing is highly difficult compared to studies. Rima thinks it was like those black clouds overlaying the white clouds in the sky – her dreams of becoming a dancer was then overpowered by the studies.

Rima took her studies seriously and completed her college with very good percentage. Her parents were happy and she too. Rima expressed her desire for higher studies and become a Professor. Initially, her parents agreed to her thought but they took a U-turn when they found a nice match for Rima. Again her dreams are on the verge of shattering. Her would-be in-laws informed that the marriage needs to be done as soon as possible since the groom is going for an overseas project for 3 years. And she got married. She thought when marriage was the only destiny for her then why her parents pressurized her for studies and not dancing? It would have been the same either ways – Rima had to leave her dreams and live her life on others’ terms.

Rima is still standing on the roof looking upwards seeing the hide & seek game of the clouds. Tears roll down her cheeks and at the same time it starts to rain as well – it hides Rima’s tears for the moment. She feels so emotional and engrossed in her thoughts that she forgets about the dried clothes she is holding. She thinks this is what was destined for her and looks down.

Her feelings changed in just a moment when she sees her 5-year old daughter playing and dancing in the rain. She feels joyous and happy seeing her daughter. She sees herself in her daughter and a smile appears on her lips. The dark clouds start to fade out and bright white clouds are peeking from the corner. Rima resonates it with her desire to fulfill her unfinished dreams through her daughter…

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Interview with a blogger – Kajal of Missbhukkad Blog

It has been a fabulous experience in featuring my first interview with a blogger post earlier on my blog. It was great to know Romila in the earlier post and hope you all enjoyed reading the interview as well.

Continuing the stint I thought of featuring some of the bloggers whom I closely follow and it is Kajal of missbhukkad.wordpress.com this time whom I’m featuring as a part of my interview with a blogger initiative. Her blog name, Missbhukkad, is not just about food but also displays her passion for travelling. She is an entrepreneur, wife, fashionista, image consultant and aiming to be a restaurateur soon.

I met her through social media and being a fan of her blog posts I thought of reaching her for this interview post. She is a very friendly person. I enjoy reading her posts and am sure you too will like them. Without doing much delay let’s hear it from Kajal… Over to her!!

1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Hi peeps, I am Kajal. I’m an entrepreneur as well as a blogger and content writer. I run 2 different blogs. One is called Missbhukkad which is for food, travel and lifestyle. 2nd one is known as @bewitching.k; for fashion, beauty and lifestyle.

2. What was your inspiration to start your blog missbhukkad.wordpress.com?

Blogging was something that intrigued me for quite a while, but I was unsure of how it works. I used to believe bloggers are people who write about things they like and I was unsure if I could do justice to writing. However, last year in September 2016 I just returned from my road trip to Leh and on my way back I was firm that I wanted to know everything about blogging and start with it. After 7 years of working as Managing Director, Sales with total 9 years of corporate experience I finally, with help of Google, got started purely coz of my passion for food at the time. One of my blogger friend was an inspirational factor since that made me feel I could do it too. Every day since has been a new learning experience.

3. How would you describe/introduce your blog to the new readers?

A blog for best of food, travel and lifestyle, spiked with some personal recipes and health quotient.

4. What do you think as the best and challenging aspects about being a blogger?

Best part is such yummy food, so much love from the people, encouragement by fellow bloggers and lots of new friends bonding over food and sharing the same passion.

Challenging aspect would be making sure you give enough time to write. Being creative and engaging with the audience. Dealing with cheesy messages. Doing something new constantly.

5. How would you describe your blogging style?

Very me….simple and easy to understand, but with a taste and class.

6. What do you think blogging will look like in next 5 years? Will it still be around?

With the way the industry of blogging is going, it’s definitely here to stay. The number of bloggers are constantly on the rise every day. Lot of people have started getting into it. People with actual knowledge of their selected field are definitely here to make a mark for themselves.

7. Which part of blogging excites you the most – post writing or photography?

Photography is super fun, making the pic look tempting and drool worthy is definitely the best part. Post writing is fun in its own way. Describing the dish and giving my honest opinion about the taste helps people decide if they’d like to try it for themselves. More number of people are trying it and messaging me saying how much they loved it is absolute happiness.

8. What is the biggest surprise that you have ever experienced after becoming a blogger?

The number of people interested to get other people’s reviews for food or travelling or anything was a surprise. The biggest thing was it actually opened a whole new world to me which I didn’t know existed which is the social media communities. Before blogging the only thing I ever used was Facebook. Also the surprising part was that this is a recognised way of doing business for so many brands it’s not even funny.

9. What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment given to you as a blogger?

Toughest criticism haven’t got much of it really speaking.

Best compliment was when people started saying we love reading your blogs because it makes the dishes come alive (for food) through description, or we can actually visualize the places described in your travel blog, or when people started saving my home remedy beauty tips more than my make-up reviews for reference and asking me to post more of those (for beauty blog).

10. Would you like to share some words of wisdom or tips for the aspiring bloggers?

Get into blogging only if you are really passionate about what you are writing. Don’t see others and jump in the well. Also it’s not as easy as it looks, there is lot of time and efforts that are put into it every day, so be prepared to give your 100%. Also don’t try taking the shortcuts it’ll make you feel good at the start but won’t last long. Make friends, help each other to grow together and enjoy doing what you are doing with all your heart.

I hope you have enjoyed reading the interview and get to know Kajal more. If you have not visited her blog (missbhukkad.wordpress.com) yet then visit it soon and explore. You can connect with her through her Twitter handle @missbhukkad

Thank you Kajal for spending time with us and sharing your thoughts. It was pleasure having you!!

 

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Hope for the Next

You must be thinking what this “Hope for the Next” title would be like. It is another fiction created by Manasi.

 

This is a story of a small town boy named Mahender. He studies in a school and like every other teenager he has a crush on this girl in his class. But Mahender could never voice it out to let her know about his feelings. The only person who knows about his crush is his classmate and close buddy Satya. Mahender tried many-a-times to convey his feelings to the girl but remained unsuccessful every time.

It was a Monday and Mahender decides to convey his feelings to the girl. He rehearsed a lot on Sunday and gained some courage to perform the act. He reached school and could not suppress his excitement and shared his plan to Satya. Both talked and decided on the time and place. But destiny has decided something different for him. Instead of Mahender going to the girl to propose her, the girl reached out to him with a letter and said “Can you please hand it over to Satya? I’m giving it to you as you are his closest friend.” Mahender did not know what to react. He stood there still and heartbroken!! Maybe something else is written in his destiny – HOPE FOR THE NEXT.

 

Mahender is in college. He is in the final year of his MBA. During his course, he met Shobha, from another stream in his college and they like each other. Their relationship is going smooth and they have done all their future planning like every other couple. In the meanwhile, both Shobha and Mahender have got good job offers during the campus selection. Both of them are happy about it and planned that they are going to settle down in a couple of years.

But destiny has decided something else for Mahender. When he spoke about Shobha to his mom, she upfront rejected his choice citing the reason Shobha belonging to a different community than theirs. Mahender felt heartbroken but he did not stop trying to make his mom agree. Everything went in vain and Mahender had to end up his relationship with Shobha. His relationship of 2 years got ended abruptly. Mahender felt heartbroken and decided to leave the city in order to get rid of Shobha’s memories.

 

Mahender reached a new city taking transfer in his job. He finds a 1 BHK home for him to stay in a society, which fits his budget. He does not have anything else in his life apart from his office and home. He lives a simple life. He rejected taking the office car and commutes on his own in his motorbike. This continues until he meets Shivani, a beautiful girl staying in the same society. Mahender’s heart falls for Shivani and he starts liking her. He changes his lifestyle. He starts using the office car, dresses more elegantly to impress Shivani and grab her attention. He wants to talk to her but cannot make the move.

When Mahender could not do anything about making the move to talk to Shivani, he starts feeling depressed. One morning Mahender is cleaning his home in his towel and a sleeveless t-shirt. And the doorbell rings. He opens the door and to his surprise, it is Shivani standing at the door. He stands still for few seconds seeing her at his door. Shivani asked for his permission to come in. He could not understand what to say. He invited her in. Mahender never expected Shivani to see him like this. What a fate. Shivani asked Mahender if he can receive a courier on her behalf that should arrive that afternoon and she will pick it up from him in the evening. Since Mahender is not going to the office today, he confirms to receive the courier.

Mahender ensured the house looks neat & clean before evening as Shivani is going to come home to pick up the courier. He is waiting for her. The doorbell rings and he is very excited to open the door. But the story on the other side of the door is different. It is Shivani’s mom who has come to take the courier. Mahender felt heartbroken once again. However, he asked Shivani’s mom to step in and handed over the courier. Shivani’s mom speaks to him for some time and invited him for dinner next day as it is Shivani’s birthday. Mahender is in could nine hearing this and gladly accepted the invitation.

Mahender reached Shivani’s house at the said time. He is dressed up elegantly and carrying a gift along with a bouquet of lovely flowers. He rings the doorbell. He has made up his mind to talk directly to Shivani’s parents about his desire to marry Shivani. Shivani’s mom opens the door and asks Mahender to come in. It is not a very busy party. Few people, mostly relatives, are at home. He sees Shivani standing on the balcony with another guy by her side. He goes to the balcony. Shivani greeted Mahender and introduced him to Mohan – her fiancé. Mahender is completely shattered for the third time in a row.

Mahender comes back home after facing a highly unexpected situation. He never expected that something of this sort would ever happen. He feels so disheartened and decided to leave the city. Next morning he goes to the office and visits his boss’s cabin with his resignation letter. But his boss gives him a good news of his promotion and also introduced him to Mohini, the new intern in the office who will work with Mahender in the same department. Mahender could not think much, but one thing he did – and that’s not submitting his resignation.

Is it a new beginning for Mahender or again he has to say HOPE FOR THE NEXT?

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Interview with a blogger – Romila Chitturi

Interviewing someone is not an easy task. But I dared to do that on my blog and this is my first interview post on my blog.

I’m interviewing Romila Chitturi on my blog. I’m glad that she agreed for being interviewed and get featured on my blog. She is an experienced blogger, avid reader, eBook author and a charming personality. She is always ready to help and you cannot ignore her witty tweets and sense of humor. I’m glad to be connected with her through social media.

Without doing much of delay let’s hear it from Romila!!

1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Thank you Shamik for having me on your blog. I am honored and happy.

I am Romila, I blog at Novemberschild.com and can be connected on Twitter @romspeaks. I am a voracious reader, e-books author, devoted coffee-drinker, avid thinker and a fashion lover. I am passionate about music, literature and food. I love travelling. I have been often called as an extremely friendly, helpful and a happy person. My new and third book is a collection of short stories which is out for sale. I have not attempted really big stories. It has been released on Amazon on 25th September 2017. It is titled – Between the pages and other short stories.

2. What is your source of ideas or inspiration for your books and is there any particular process that you follow for your writing?

I believe in planning but all my three books have been just out a plan. I have not followed any process but as I have intentions of writing a full length novel, I am actually now going to follow a complete process right from a central idea, to a mind map, organizing it and planning the chapters in a proper way.  For ideas for my books – the world around me served as inspiration.  My first eBook had me sharing my thoughts on random topics such as antagonists in literature, to blogging, about opportunity doors, greenery to Ghazals. The next eBook had 26 micro poems based on themes very near to me and my new book has stories, where you can learn the strength of emotions between the pages of mixed feelings.

3. If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

As a kid reading was my hobby along with coloring and solving puzzles. As I grew up, I picked up writing alongside reading and it was the most different thing I ever did as a teenager which helped me to become the kind of writer/blogger I am today. My reading and writing side was perfectly in order. As an adult with many easy resources to improve my work has been really helpful.

4. What period of your life do you find you write about most often? (Child, teenager, young adult)?

I have written about my childhood memories, teenage experiences and more on my adulthood. I am in my mid 30’s but I don’t think I will ever write about crisis of this age or that of being in 40’s. I find that concept totally irrelevant.

5. If you could spend time as a character from your book who would it be and why?

I like all the stories from my book but if I had to pick one it has to be ‘The stranger’. The story and the character in it is just me. I have a special liking towards Urdu language and given a chance I would enroll myself to learn this language in the university. The character of this story is truly personal to me.

6. What is the biggest surprise that you have ever experienced after becoming a writer or while creating this book?

I will not call it as a surprise but yes I was happy when I received more than 30 positive reviews on my poetry book from readers, bloggers and non-bloggers who took out time to read my work. I have been accepted as a writer (offline) and a blogger (online) and I was expecting to be accepted as an author and it happened. I thank all my readers, fans and admirers. I am nothing without all of you.

7. What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment given to you as an author?

My toughest literary criticism has been that I received hate messages from few bloggers and people who called themselves as my friends.  It was sheer jealousy and irrelevant to my work. These messages made me realize that there are people around me who don’t like me and I am on the right direction.  As I mentioned earlier I received more than 30 positive and best compliments/feedback as an author from my readers, one of them has been you, who has been too good in giving review of my eBook. I wish I could mention all those good words.

8. Tell us little bit about your latest book “Between The Pages & Other Short Stories” and why is it a must read?

My new book is a collection of short stories. They are not really very big ones. The stories are fictional but somewhere down they are related to real people which I tweaked to a story format. If you love reading and if you like me as an author you should read my book and I bet it will not bore you.

9. What is the next that your readers can expect from you – a poetry book, a short story book or a novel?

I have many ideas buzzing in my mind and few scribbled on paper. I do want to experiment with the 200 pages novel idea. I am concentrating on the current short stories book’s promotion and once this gets going, I will surely work on the next.

10. Would you like to share some words of wisdom or tips for the aspiring bloggers and writers?

There is nothing more confusing than being all over the place with your writing. Find one theme you’re passionate about and stick to it.  Niche is important whether you are a blogger or a writer. Poor writing skills are a major disadvantage. Make sure to produce quality writing and avoid grammar/spelling errors.  You need to work on building a strong and sustainable personal brand in order to increase your visibility online. Let’s face it; you won’t become an A-list blogger/writer overnight. It took me more than 10 years to be on this spot where I am right now and not one but many of my posts were not liked/accepted by readers. Please don’t be discouraged when your blog posts do not receive the attention you think they deserve. Be persevering and consistent and acknowledge slow progress in order to keep the flame alive.

Thank you Romila for the interview and giving us your time. It was great to know more about you and am sure our readers have also enjoyed this connect.

You can connect with Romila through her blog Novemberschild.com and Tweeter @romspeaks.

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Book Review: Between The Pages and Other Short Stories

Book Title: Between The Pages and Other Short Stories

Author: Romila C (www.novemberschild.com)

Theme: Short Stories

Format: eBook

I’m reviewing Between The Pages and Other Short Stories by Romila Chitturi in this post. This is my second book review post on my blog and also of the book by the same author as my first book review post. You can read my first review on her second eBook The Three Flowers: My Blooming Verses here.

I was aware about the fact that Romila is working on her third eBook and it will be out soon. I visited her blog Novemberschild and came to know about the release of the eBook and is available on Amazon. Without making any further delay I downloaded the Kindle version – thanks to my Kindle Unlimited Membership.

Between The Pages and Other Short Stories is an eBook with the collection of 10 short stories that you can finish off in no time. I like reading short stories hence picked up this book. The author has chosen and very carefully hand-picked the stories for this book. Her command over the language is clearly evident in the book. The way of story-telling is nice in the book, which will glued you to the book till the end of each story. While reading the book I could visualize the characters of some of the stories. My personal favorites are Her Touch, The Stranger, Story of My Breakup and Suzanne Villa.

If you like reading short stories and thinking which one to pick, I would suggest this one for sure. She also has included testimonials of her first two eBooks – My Writing Workshop: To share, connect, create and inspire and The Three Flowers: My Blooming Verses. Those would also be nice reads as you can get the feel of what her readers had to say about her books.

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The Unexpected Situation

Young and energetic Anu is very happy to attend her cousin sister Priya’s marriage. She is very enthusiastic and having fun in the function. But she is not aware that the wedding would change her life completely.

The groom has arrived at the wedding venue with all the required arrangements. The arrangements from the bride’s side are also in full swing and all are highly engaged with the environment. As the time for the Muhurat arrived the priest told the bride’s parents to bring her. Bride’s mother discovered that the bride is missing from her room leaving a letter stating she had to choose this path as she can’t marry someone else apart from the love of her life.

The situation and the environment of the house changed within a moment. All the elders – from both bride’s and groom’s side – sat together to discuss as to what could be done to dodge the embarrassment and humiliation both the families would face if the marriage does not happen.

Anu’s mother took her to a room and spilled the beans stating that the elders of the house have taken a decision that she has to marry Vikas, the groom, in place of her sister. Anu was in a shock hearing this. She could not believe her ears. Numerous questions raised in her mind. She feels that all her dream of studying further and making a career as a Chartered Accountant is shattered in a moment. She held her sister responsible for this situation.

Anu could not avoid the situation and marries Vikas. But she has already made up her mind to tell Vikas that this relationship cannot go along as she is not at all ready for marriage yet – that too with a person whom she has already taken as her brother-in-law. She was waiting for Vikas to come and what happens next was completely surprising for her. She heard the exact same thing from Vikas. He told Anu that she is completely free to take a decision to go out of this relationship as he can understand what Anu is currently going through.

Few days passed. Vikas’s parents can sense that the relationship between Vikas and Anu has not yet become smooth. They thought the situation can get smoother if they both go on a honeymoon. Arrangement is made. Both Anu and Vikas knew this would just be a formality. They went to Shimla. Though Vikas was not completely engrossed into the relationship he is very much caring and protective towards Anu. She could notice that. And at the same time there are lot of differences between them – be it choice of food or music or place to travel. She thought is Vikas doing these things to get her attention… actually not. She is discovering Vikas’s nature eventually. Vikas is keeping smallest of the details in mind and ensuring Anu feels comfortable and relaxed. She started to feel respectful towards Vikas.

Her respect for Vikas moved a step ahead after they come back from their so-called honeymoon as he made arrangements for Anu to continue her studies. Slowly and steadily they started to become friends. Anu becomes busy with her studies and Vikas in his office work.

Anu’s father came to invite Vikas’s family for a function. They had to attend a different function that time. But Vikas chose to attend the function at Anu’s maternal home since that will make Anu happy. Anu and Vikas reached her paternal home on the function day. Anu saw her cousin Priya has also come with her husband. Anu felt a jolt of anger seeing Priya. It is because of Priya she is in this situation of life. Anu could not forgive Priya for this and she had decided to curb all contact with her closest cousin.

To her surprise, Anu noticed that Vikas is comfortable with Priya and her husband Sundar. They are talking normally as if nothing has ever happened. Anu felt why is Vikas not angry with Priya and tell her something. On the other side, she thought will she feel good if Vikas behaves rudely with her sister. But it is because of Priya they are in this situation and Priya is happy with her husband. She again thought is Priya really responsible for the current situation. Did Priya ever think anything of this sort would happen when she eloped on the wedding day? Maybe she did not. Many questions and thoughts ran up and down through her mind. She did not have any answer. How is my husband so comfortable with Priya and Sundar? Is it his nature of being polite and humble with others? Wait… Did Anu mention Vikas as her husband? Yes she did! Does Anu started to feel emotional about Vikas? Does she start liking Vikas for his nature, which she actually wanted to see in her husband? Anu is confused.

It’s time for them to return. There was unusually more crowd at the station that day. Vikas asked Anu to be seated in the waiting hall and he should go to check the train timing and their seat reservation status. As Vikas left, Anu, for the first time, felt alone in the crowd. On the other side, Vikas noticed a lot of crowd near the reservation board and it is taking time for him to check their ticket. His mind was in the waiting hall, with Anu. He thinks how Anu is sitting there alone. He started to feel restless and somehow managed to push the crowd to check their ticket.

Vikas started walking back as hurriedly as possible to the waiting hall and saw Anu at the entry of the hall. She is eagerly waiting for Vikas and he too felt happy to see her. They saw each other and felt relieved. It is that day when their eyes and heart met for the first time in an unexpected place and an unexpected situation.

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