The Mystery Blogger Award


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This post has been pending for a long time. Thank you, Priya from priyareflects.com for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award. The fact that I have written a detective novella ‘Deal of Death’ in the genre of mystery/thriller makes me feel extremely happy at receiving this award. Love the squirrel for being the cutest presenter of any award ever.

squirrel_play2-srgb-mystery-wb
Mystery Blogger Award

Coming to the award, it was started by Okota Enigma. She had an idea behind this award. “It’s an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.”

So here are the rules of this award –

1. PUT THE AWARD LOGO/IMAGE ON YOUR BLOG. LIST THE RULES.
2. THANK WHOEVER NOMINATED YOU AND PROVIDE A LINK TO THEIR BLOG.
3.MENTION THE CREATOR OF THE AWARD AND PROVIDE A LINK AS WELL
4.TELL YOUR READERS 3 THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF
5. YOU HAVE TO NOMINATE 10 – 20 PEOPLE
6. NOTIFY YOUR NOMINEES BY COMMENTING ON THEIR BLOG
7. ASK YOUR NOMINEES ANY 5 QUESTIONS OF YOUR CHOICE; WITH ONE WEIRD OR FUNNY QUESTION (SPECIFY)
8. SHARE A LINK TO YOUR BEST POST(S).

The first three points are already attended to, so here’s the answer to number 4 –

Three things about me

  1. There are three men in my life who I love the most – my toddler, my husband and my father. There’s nothing that makes me happier than spending time with my Dad, having a heartfelt conversation with my husband and playing with my toddler.
  2. I quit my Banking job to become a writer and it is only recently that I became a published author. I nurture the dream to continue writing Detective thrillers with my protagonist Raya Ray and hope to see my book in the bestseller racks someday.
  3. I am a night owl. I can work till the wee hours of the morning but if you ask me to wake up early, I find it extremely difficult to implement.

Now coming to the five questions that Priya had asked me –

  • If you were to choose a pen name what would it be?

It would be Raya Ray. It would be a lot of fun writing as the protagonist of the detective thriller itself.

  • Share your best memory ever?

There are too many to write especially during those years when my mom was still around. But the one memory is etched in my heart forever was when I held my son for the first time after his birth. 

  • Tell me about your most romantic date

My husband and I have been friends for two decades now. We had lost in touch for a good number of years before meeting each other again in 2010. We met at a restaurant called Casapicola in Bangalore for lunch. When we started talking, it never felt like there was a gap in between. Even without expressing our feelings, we knew that we were meant to be together. 

  • If you were to act in a movie (or play a literary character) which one would you choose and why?

I wish I could play Feluda – the sleuth in Satyajit Ray’s detective novels and essay the role of Vidya Bagchi (played by the super talented Vidya Balan) in Kahani. Both belong to my favorite genre of thrillers and Vidya Balan is a personal favorite.

  • What would be the absolute worst name you could give to a child?

If you have heard Bengali nicknames, you would know that there are quite a few names that could scar the child forever. So Pintu, Ghoton, Babla are just a few among them.

I nominate the following people for this award –

Poonam

Esha

Sona

Suhasini

Maya

Abhijit

Kalpana

Jaya

Maheshwaran Jothi

Aditi

Manas

Rashi

Sudip

Romila

Sanjota

Preeti

I would want them to answer these five questions –

  1. Tell us one thing about yourself that nobody knows.
  2. Which genre of books do you enjoy reading the most and why?
  3. What is the best piece of advice or feedback that you received for your writing?
  4. If you were stranded on an island, what things would you take with you and why?
  5. What is the weirdest or craziest thing that you have ever done?

My best post till date is also a personal favorite –

https://soniasmusings.com/2018/07/22/a-piece-of-my-heart-rests-within-you/

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I had a great time writing it.

Responsibilities beyond grief and pain

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I stood near the door of the ICU gathering my thoughts. I knew that I would be bombarded by questions the moment I walked out. I understood how anxious they had been for the last one week. It was not easy for any family to see their child in a state of coma with little hope for revival immediately after giving birth to a baby.

They had been hesitant to consult me until it became evident that the pregnant girls’ condition was worsening. Her blood pressure refused to come down even as the due date drew nearer. Her body had started swelling up because of fluid accumulation leading to edema. I wonder why her gynecologist didn’t realize the criticality of the situation and insist on a premature delivery!

I took control of the situation despite knowing that I was mostly fighting a lost battle. Getting a team together in a Government hospital of a Tier-2 city wasn’t an easy job. No gynecologist was ready to take her case initially because of the risks involved. So I had no option but to encash on my personal equations within the fraternity to ensure that she gets the best facilities despite limited means.

A week back, her c-section had led to a successful delivery. The families danced with joy as the bundle of happiness arrived in the form of a baby girl. I left the hospital around 2am knowing that God had helped me win a race against life. Both the mother and baby had been doing fine.

But my happiness was short-lived. At 6am in the morning, when my phone screen buzzed with a call from the hospital’s land-line number, I knew there was bad news. My fears were justified as I was told how the new mother had concussions followed by a heart attack. She had slipped into the comatose state. I rushed to see her in the hospital ICU. Except for her eyelids, no part of her body responded.

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Responsibilities beyond grief and pain

For the last one week, she had been on life support system. I saw the families crumbling in front of my eyes, trying to fathom the uncertain future that lay ahead. It pained me the most to think of the plight of the newborn. Every time I saw the baby, I was reminded of my own two-year-old.

Continue reading “Responsibilities beyond grief and pain”

A perfect world by an imperfect individual


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2008 – I was in my first year of B-school. Four of us took an all-girls trip to Chennai followed by Pondicherry. The trip was my first sojourn with my girlfriends and the city mesmerized me with its beauty, cleanliness, and calmness. The sea was both rough and serene here. And the environment of the Aurobindo ashram had a deep impact on my thoughts.

2011 – After the sudden demise of my mother, grief had engulfed my life in a way that rendered me static at Mysore.

2012 – this was the first city that my husband had coaxed me to visit. He insisted that a change of location was needed for my mental health.

Photo prompt – copyright@soniasmusings

This picture was clicked from the room of the hotel in Pondicherry where we had been put up. The balcony had the most gorgeous view of the sea. I sat out for hours gazing at the sea. Probably it was the enormity of the sea here that absorbed some of my pain during that phase.

Today when I look at this picture, I see a perfect frame of a beautiful world captured by a person in the most imperfect state of mind, fighting her inner demons.

(195 words)

This is the twelfth and last post (nonfiction) written as part of the #MyfriendAlexa campaign on the theme ‘Shades of Perception’. You can read the previous eleven posts here.

This post is part of the Tuesday Photo Challenge on the theme ‘Our World’ this week.

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday created by Esha and Natasha.

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter

A new beginning at the seashore

Continued from the previous part here.

The TV channels had been abuzz with Industrialist Ajay Raj’s life imprisonment term. The CBI investigation had revealed a Bank locker in the name of his deceased second wife Nita containing shocking details of Ajay’s illegal dealings. He was arrested with charges of murder of Nita.

Tia sat on the cane chair sipping wine. The gorgeous view of the sea made her nostalgic.

Death in the lap of the sea
Photo prompt – copyright@soniasmusings

“Lawyer Misra has sent across the papers. You’re now the legal owner of your mother’s empire.”

Tia smiled at the lady with gratitude.

Ajay had killed Anu for her property. However, Anu had outsmarted Ajay by naming the then eight-year-old Tia as the official heir to her property. If anything happened to Tia until she turned eighteen, the property was to be handed over to a trust.

Except Anu and lawyer Misra, only Anu’s best friend Nita had known about this will.  Nita had stepped in to protect Tia by marrying Ajay.

Tia had turned eighteen last month. Knowing that Ajay had been planning to get rid of her next, Nita and Tia had devised a plan of faking Nita’s death. It had not only saved Tia but together they had managed to avenge Anu’s murder.

(199 words)

This is the 11th post written as part of the #MyfriendAlexa campaign as per my theme ‘Shades of Perception’. This is a sequel of the 10th post that can be read here. Link to the remaining nine posts is here.

For this challenge, I am using four photos as prompts to weave two flash fiction stories and one real story behind the picture. This is my second picture prompt. 

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter

Death in the lap of the sea

The fishermen had informed the local police on spotting a dead body on the beach. Tia identified it as her stepmother Nita’s body. The preliminary investigation had established death by drowning. It was shocking how Tia had lost her mother Anu exactly in the same location and also by accidental drowning a decade back. Considering that Anu and Nita had been best friends since college, the similarity in the pattern of their deaths was beyond explanation.

Death in the lap of the sea
Photo prompt – copyright@soniasmusings

Tia glanced at her father Ajay with questions running through her mind while pouring him a cup of tea. Did he follow the same modus operandi in getting her out of his way as her mom, she wondered! She was confident about his involvement in this unnatural death but lacked evidence to prove her point.

Ajay had been watching Tia very closely while sipping tea on the portico. Did she kill Nita to avenge the death of her mother Anu, he pondered! He knew that Tia had always held Nita responsible for Anu’s death and his ill-tempered daughter spelled danger during her moments of fury.

Mistrust and suspicion lingered in the air between the father-daughter duo as they watched each other’s next move closely.

 (200 words)

This is the 10th post written as part of the #MyfriendAlexa campaign as per my theme ‘Shades of Perception’. You can read the first nine here.

For this challenge, I am using four photos as prompts to weave two flash fiction stories and one real story behind the picture. This is my fourth and last picture prompt. Stay tuned to read the second flash fiction that I will write around the same picture in my next post. You could also consider subscribing to my blog if you like reading my stories.

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter

Occupying a corner of my heart

Delhi is the first city that gave me a feeling of responsibility that comes along with freedom. I had spent three years at the Presidency College Girls hostel in Kolkata during my graduation. But, in 2002, when I moved out to Delhi for my first post-graduation, it was also for the first time that I realized the state of being very far away from home. During my two-years stay there, I made some wonderful friends and was exposed to multiple cultures, languages, cuisines, and festivals.

My friend Alexa
Photo prompt – copyright@soniasmusings

After moving out to Bangalore in 2004, I never had a chance to return back here. Two months back, my husband had an opportunity to visit the city for his official work. Knowing my attachment to Delhi, he booked tickets for both the toddler and me. When we checked into the Taj hotel property, little did I expect the room to become a personal favorite! It wasn’t just the huge glass window pane that provided a gorgeous view of the Delhi sky but also the corner of the room dedicated as a working space that stole my heart. In the game of peek-a-boo between light and darkness, I sat down to write my second detective thriller.

(199 words)

This is the ninth post (nonfiction) written as part of the #MyfriendAlexa campaign on the theme ‘Shades of Perception’. You can read the seventh flash fiction around this picture prompt here and the eighth one here. For the first six posts, you can click here.

This post is part of the Tuesday Photo Challenge on the theme ‘Light and Dark’ this week.

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday created by Esha and Natasha.

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter

When support comes from unexpected quarters

Suchi fell in love with the hotel room instantly. The glazed window overlooking a lush garden and the skyline filled with high-rise apartments gave her a sense of liberty.

My friend Alexa
Photo prompt – copyright@soniasmusings

Taking out her mobile, she saw that there was no message from her husband Subhash.

She brought out the most cherished possession of her life – a pair of ghungroos from the bag.

‘Girls of respected families don’t become dancers.’ Her father had thrown away her ghungroos after she turned fifteen. She was married into an equally conservative family who didn’t consider dance to befit their families daughter-in-law.

It was her teenager son Trihan who had discovered Suchi’s passion. Last month, he had sent across a video of Suchi’s dance to a national level dancing competition.  Suchi made it to the list of twenty-five shortlisted candidates.

Both the families refused to support her decision. But it was Trihan who stood by her like a rock. He didn’t want his mother to give up another dream for her family. She smiled at the message that he had sent her,

“I believe in you. Win the competition and make me proud.”

Her upbringing had managed to bring a crack in the walls of patriarchy.

(200 words)

This is the 8th post written as part of the #MyfriendAlexa campaign as per my theme ‘Shades of Perception’. You can read the other piece of fiction based on the same photo prompt here and the first six posts here.

For this challenge, I am using four photos as prompts to weave two flash fiction stories and one real story behind the picture. This is my second picture prompt. 

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter