I could wrap up 2022 with joy and satisfaction as I hit the send button for book no. 2 (the second in the Detective Raya Ray series) to my publisher. Unfortunately, 2023 began with a shock as my father-in-law had a nasty fall. He underwent surgery for a broken bone. By God’s grace, he’s better now and recovering well. In January, we celebrated Saraswati puja and explored some delectable cuisines at different restaurants.
A month into 2023, I was chasing the deadline for book no. 3, my first commissioned project for a true crime story from the past. It was also the month my seven-and-a-half-year-old was due for his final assessment. Kolkata was under the grip of a deadly virus, and almost everyone I know, including me, was grappling with a weird kind of flu that just refused to go away.
By the beginning of March, things started looking better as I delivered the manuscript within the deadline, and we showed signs of recovery from the flu. The son finished his exams on the 6th of March, and we took off for a mini vacation to Mandarmani the next day.
Since the 7th of March was Holi, we played with colors before diving into the Mandarmani sea. Three days of a beach holiday rejuvenated our minds and bodies as we explored Tajpur Beach and Mohana near Digha Beach, experimented with local cuisine, and spent hours at Mandarmani beach. Of course, we didn’t want to return as the break got over.
The kid has his session break; I have taken another week off to spend time and play various indoor games with him. After three years of working non-stop on both books, writing and editing them, I decided to take time off before getting involved in the prepublication stages of my upcoming books. So, here we are, watching children’s movies like Sonar Kella, reading story books, playing puzzles and brain games, and squeezing out every minute to enjoy to the fullest.
I hope you had a great start to 2023 and that the year is treating you kindly so far.
I’m not quite fond of March; the reason is linked to my earlier profession as a banking branch head. March meant meeting year-end targets, hectic schedules, and no holidays. However, life as a writer gives me an option to choose what I want to make of any month. Though it comes with the difficulty of not knowing when to stop and take a break, it also means that I hold the power to decide if I can balance my deliverables and afford to take a mini-vacation.
I remember blogging about my intention of writing consistently. Since this is my first post in March, it looks like I didn’t keep my promise. But hold on! I’ve not only been consistently writing for forty days unmanaged to churn out until today, but I’ve also managed to churn out 93k plus words for my second novel. Ideally, I should be able to finish it by this month and work on the editing process next month. As of now, it looks like I’ll end the book at a little over lac words, though I hope to cut it down once I start editing and rewriting.
Despite such a hectic schedule, a vacation was long due. The kid finished his Prep 2 assessment, the husband who’s been on duty since last March faced a high risk of burn-out and my eyes were aching from the number of hours I spent working on my laptop. So, we took off on a beach vacation to Mandarmani for three days after a year, and I’m falling short of words to express how special this holiday was. To see the kid running on the beach, playing football with his father, letting the waves splash against him was sheer delight. However, we maintained every safety protocol from wearing masks to sanitizing our hands at all steps.
We returned feeling rejuvenated. The kid is enjoying his session break, the husband is back on duty and I’m clocking an average of three-thousand words per day as I work towards the finishing line of Raya Ray’s second case.
Amidst all this, I thought of grabbing the opportunity of doing the Blogchatter A2Z challenge 2021 in April for the fourth consecutive year. In the first year, I wrote about Bengal as ‘A dollop of Bengal’ series. In the second year, I wrote about our pathetically ridiculous experiences related to Tuneer’s school admission process. Last year, I tried to bring humor into our grim lives by writing about stand-up comedians and YouTube creators in the genre of comedy. Like every year, I’m yet to decide on the theme this year. However, the thrill of getting back to daily blogging is unparalleled. Wish me luck as I conclude my second novel and take the plunge with the A2Z challenge next month.
Sharing one more gorgeous picture from the sun, sand, and sea vacation this month. Stay safe and take care.
I have enjoyed getting into this throwback mode and pulling out the best moments of 2018. In the last post of both the recap series and this year, I talk about December – the month of joy and holidays and bring forth my goals for 2019. The previous posts related to this series is available here.
Orange Flower Award shortlist – Category :Humor
Orange Flower Award shortlist – Category :Travel writing
In this month, I was delighted to have made it to the list of top twenty writers in the categories of Travel Writing and Humor at the Orange Flower Awards conducted by Women’s Web. To be shortlisted among 1600 writers was nothing short of a dream come true moment for me. While I might not have won the award this year, it gave me the right kind of boost and motivation to stay focused and work harder.
This was also the month when the Indiblogger #TheBlindList contest winners were announced and I was pleasantly surprised to find my name and post in the list of winners.
It has been quite an incredible experience to capture the best moments from January, February and March, April, May, June and July, August and September. In today’s post, I write about the most cherished memories from October – a month filled with festivals and November – a month I wish I could delete from the calendar every year.
October holds a special place in my heart because of my fond memories of Durga Puja. While I have never been very keen on celebrating this festival after losing my mother, last year I made a conscious choice to let my toddler understand the significance and joy associated with this festival by helping him be a part of it. And this year, the unofficial childhood club formed by my husband and his friends began its first-year journey of conducting Durga Puja. A group of people with a strong sense of belonging to the took everyone by surprise as the festival turned out to be a grand success with everyone soaking in the emotions of joy and bliss.