A couple of years have passed since I released my debut thriller introducing Detective Raya Ray. While I started writing the next in the series soon after and was signed on by one of India’s leading literary agencies, The Book Bakers, I wanted to create a puzzle to challenge Raya and also the reader’s crime-solving skills. Dissatisfied with two manuscripts, I decided to move away from the book and enrolled for my third master’s, MFA in creative writing, in Nov 2019. Post-completion of the course, I had a fresh perspective of looking at a new Raya Ray story.
‘Diary, Deceit, and Death – Raya Ray Returns’ took shape in the form of a manuscript, which The Book Bakers successfully placed to one of the country’s top publishers Vishwakarma Publications.
I have always been an enthu-cutlet when it comes to birthdays, be it mine, or my close friends’ or family members. Of late, I celebrate it with the same enthusiasm as my son. It wasn’t supposed to be any different this year but like every thriller story that I write, there’s a twist in the tale.
Last Thursday, it started with a fever which led to a sore throat, nasal infection, breathing problems, and many more complications. The husband diagnosed it as a viral infection and medicines were prescribed accordingly. Sunday seemed a little better and I was almost sure that I would rock it as a birthday girl on Monday. I forgot God writes better thrilling stories than humans. The right lower side of my face started swelling on Sunday night and I woke up on my birthday morning with a face that looked stung by bees. Needless to say, I was devastated.
It’s in moments like this that one realizes the importance of close friends and family. It began with one of my son’s closest friends and his mother turning up with a cake to surprise me. They brought unusual happiness to my gloomy mind.
The husband returned with my favorite cake and a bunch of gifts that he and my son had been planning for a week now behind my back. My father was the only one aware of their plan. By then, my face was so swollen that I refused to let them click me while cutting the cake.
With a change of medicines, the swelling was in control by evening, though the face still looked disproportionate. However, when my husband’s colleague and our dear friend surprised me with another cake, I decided to dress up and cut the cake with them.
While most planned outings and adventures had to be postponed, I’m sure they will happen once I recover. Who says birthdays should be celebrated only on the special day? To everyone who wished me here, on any other social media platform, on WhatsApp, through calls, messages, and in person, THANK YOU for making my day extra special.
“The greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy memories.” – Og Mandino. After our trip to Mandarmani in March, we decided to take a road trip to Taki over the Eid weekend.
It took us around two hours from our residence in Kolkata by car to reach Hotel Sonar Bangla, Taki. After checking into our room on the second floor, it was a deja vu moment for us since we had visited the same hotel and stayed in the same block two years ago.
For lunch, we went to the hotel’s in-house restaurant. The mutton rogan josh was to die for though the Paneer makhani gave it serious competition. After exploring the property for a while, we decided to book the steamer ride on the Ichchamati River.