Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Return

Finally! After two months, my new short story 'The Return' finally made it to the premium catalog on Smashwords. I've never had problems getting it published before, but this time I couldn't imagine what was wrong with the document that was stopping it from getting a tick of approval.

Anyway, yesterday I formatted the whole thing and finally, finally, finally! It was approved for Premium!

So relieved that my story will be available on other platforms.

It's not exactly a horror story, rather a thriller and a window to inner conflicts within a person that can make them question what is moral and what is not.

Check it out here: THE RETURN 

Imaginary conversations

The best conversations I've had so far, have been with myself. I can talk about everything and anything. I have the liberty to be assertive and argue, then be acquiescent. There are times when my ponderings take me to places I've never set foot on. Sunsets turn into nights and I'm still wandering and wondering. Lost in my thoughts, and sorting out all the tangles, I sometimes forget that I've also subconsciously observed my surroundings. Its such a complex process getting lost in thoughts and ideas. As for the colorful conversations, sometimes I wonder if writers have the minds of amad person. They are after all writing imaginary conversations of two or more characters, but they all come from the same mind. So are writers continuously and relentlessly, having imaginary conversations with themselves? One agrees, one disagrees, the other remains quiet, trying to decide which side to take. It's exactly how discussions happen in our minds when we have to make a decision. I guess what is said about writers putting their souls into their work, is true. There is a little bit of our crazy magic in every book we write.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Don't Breathe- My take on the movie with spoilers

How complicated are human beings! There are so many layers, good between the bad. Greed intertwined with kindness. Bravery, when we thought we were cowards.

Our own emotions and reactions can surprise us. In fiction however, as an audience we expect characters to behave in a certain way, once their nature is established beforehand.
The introduction of each character is portrayed in such a way that we immediately decide to either support the character or boo him whenever he's on screen.

So when a movie such as Don't Breathe comes along, it shakes up all archetypical notions we have about watching fiction.

At first glance, watching three thieves rob a blind veteran's compensation money, seems really mean. How awful it seems that people can stoop to such a level. The poor guy was blinded in the army, then has his daughter killed in an accident. He receives compensation for that only for him to turn into a target for robbers.

Except, this guy isn't what he seems. Not only does he adeptly defend himself, he also shows his taste of vengeance and madness by kidnapping and impregnating the girl who was responsible for his daughter's death.
When one of the robbers tries to free the poor tied up girl, you are left to rethink your loyalties towards the characters.
Now the blind guy, doesn't seem like such a victim and you don't feel sorry for him.
What follows is a chilling twist where the robbers have to fight to survive.
As with all slasher/hunted movies- the hunter doesn't die. He survives the attack from the robber, is portrayed as the poor victim who was terrorized and receives pity.
The sole robber who survived is on the run. She wants to escape into a new life with the money she stole. But can she, now that she knows that the man she thought she had killed in self-defense is still alive?

Don't breathe is one of those movies that challenges all your preconceived notions. You will not know who to survive with but you will be on the edge of your seat, wondering what is going to happen next.
In this cat and mouse game, the winner is the one watching them chase each other.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Just a thought

Sometimes I wonder if I've chosen the right titles for my books...

Hmm.. then I think that no other title could justify the content of my stories.

Just thoughts passing through my idle mind today.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Author's Note

I'm a writer and therefore, the itch to write is persistent. My fingers long to dance over the keyboard and form words that create meaningful sentences. My mind is frustrated when I have a story to write but my body aches from fatigue.

So what should I have done in the past few months?


Sometimes, it feels just fine to sit and do nothing but observe the world around. Watching people go about their daily lives, seeing how troubled they are, what joy they procure from the simplest things- all these are just fodder for the imagination so that it can run and create.

Then there are times, when it isn't the body that aches, but the mind that tires. There is so much going on, so many problems to deal with. There is that consuming anguish that overwhelms and defeats. Those times, giving up on your dreams is not even a question. It is something that though supports and nurtures the mind, can easily be given away.

It is those trying times when a choice is to be made and the answer is always obvious. Love and loyalty above everything else- even myself.

I'll admit, it has been a tough time. One that feels scary, heartless and permanent.

Nothing is permanent, of course. Like changing seasons, everything modifies and everything simplifies or complicates. It is a time when confusion seems larger than solution. This is also when life's most difficult lessons are learned.

This is definitely not the easiest time to go through, but it has to be done. The hurdles must be crossed. The obstacles must be overcome. There must be victory at the end of the ordeal. Even if it is small, even if it takes a long time, some sort of triumph is imminent.

In the meantime, time passes, my fingers ache to touch the keyboard once again and write a brand new story. A tale so fantastic that I wouldn't mind getting lost in it and live with characters that I pull the strings of. It will be a world I control, one where things are not hurtful nor filled with sorrow.

That will be soon. 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Forest of the Dark - Chapter Three

Chapter Three

From the very beginning, Dhiraj was used to a strict regime set by his authoritarian parents. He was to wake up at five in the morning and made to take a lap around the whole garden ten times, after which his Father would make him do cardio exercises for half an hour followed by a healthy breakfast of fruits and milk. Only then, he would be sent off to school.

In the weekends his parents would take him to a multi-sport club, where he would be exposed to various games. His parents were both tennis players and wished for their son to master any that would take him to the world championships.

Dhiraj never knew if he ever wanted to be someone else. He tried tennis, hoping he would be a natural at it like his parents, but somehow his skills felt lacking. He tried football and basketball, but nothing drew his interest until one day he played badminton in school. He took an instant liking to it and when he told his parents they seemed a tad disappointed but also relieved that he had finally picked something.

Dhiraj practiced every day in the evenings after his studies. His parents didn’t seem to mind that he brought only average marks in his tests and exams; all they wanted for him was to be a sportsman. He went on to win school tournaments and then club tournaments. He was finally selected for the national team—a day Dhiraj thought would never come.

His coach made his train every day and Dhiraj defeated his opponents effortlessly. Then a week ago, while performing a serve, he twisted his wrist. He had ignored the pain at the time; he had been so close to winning. But later, after the adrenaline rush of victory had waned, he had been in unbearable agony.

The doctors advised him complete rest after informing him that he had severely sprained his wrist. Dhiraj was in dire pain, but he hid it well from his parents by continuing to perform his usual training activities. Then yesterday, the doctor told him what he had feared- he had torn a ligament in his wrist and would be unable to play for the championships.

Dhiraj tried to persuade the doctor to do something about it and administer some medicines, but the doctor had refused and advised him to put no more pressure on the hand or else it would cause further injury, which could require surgery.

Replacing his wrist band, Dhiraj had left the doctor’s office feeling dejected. Not only would his career suffer but his parents would be so disappointed in him. They had persevered with him and he had nothing to fall back on. His grade reports in college were dismal and he had never wanted to work in a cubicle anyway.

It was over.

Aksh’s message couldn’t have come at a better moment. He told them about the get together and Dhiraj decided that before he would tell his parents, he would spend one weekend, enjoying the few moments of his life, before he decided to deal with his problems.

He had been leaving the club when he had run into Sumit—his opponent. His injury was no secret to him and much to his chagrin, Sumit began taunting him, reminding him that his position in the team was replaceable and he was next in line to claim it.

Dhiraj wanted to ignore him; he really did try to, but when Sumit kept prodding him something inside him snapped and he punched the bully hard on his face. Sumit suffered a broken nose and needed stitches on his upper lip.

Assault charges had been pressed and he had to call his family lawyer for help. Mr. Mathur was asked to be discreet and not reveal this to Dhiraj’s parents. Mr. Mathur complied and Dhiraj was released on bail. This was yet another secret he would have to keep from his parents.

His wrist hurt as did his pride, but nothing hurt worse than the thought of his career going down the drain. As he left the police station, Sumit taunted him some more. He was one hell of a relentless bastard, he thought abysmally.

When he met his friends, he pushed away every one of his troubled thoughts and greeted them with the same friendliness they were accustomed to. It didn’t take him long to notice how withdrawn each of them looked. Upon Maya’s insistence, they had decided to not discuss their problems this weekend, but looking at his friend, Dhiraj wondered what Aksh was hiding in the first place.

They hadn’t talked about the incident at the hospital and Dhiraj wasn’t sure he wanted to bring it up. He had just gone there to get his wrist checked on. He hadn’t expected to see what he had and encouraged himself not to let his thoughts run amok especially when he didn’t know the whole story.

Nevertheless, he promised himself to enjoy the weekend. Preeti thought he was listening to music; he wasn’t. He was listening to a meditation tape that helped his relax before his matches. Right now he needed it more than ever considering the bubbling anger inside him.

He hated his injury, he loathed Sumit and he despised his luck. He had been immersed in his gloomy thoughts when the car had screeched to a halt and he had heard Aksh’s voice interrupt his tape. Pulling out the headphones, he heard Aksh scream at the old man.

After that bizarre encounter, he found himself relax a bit as his friends returned to their normal selves by talking about the horror stories of Darkwood Road. He had a few to share too.

Then suddenly Aksh turned moody again and before he knew it, Preeti was screaming.

“Look out Aksh!”

There was a strange blinding white light that enveloped him. He covered his eyes with his hands and then all of a sudden, the air around him started to get thicker. He pushed against the side door, dimly aware that the car had stopped.

He heard someone cry out and before he could reach out to his friends, the door had opened and he fell out. The smoke dissipated and he crawled blindly to the side of the road, gasping for breath. His lungs seemed to be full of smoke and he coughed hard.

After a few moments, when his breathing became easier, he looked up to see that he was leaning against the tree and that the car had gone.

“Hey!” he called. Using the tree trunk for support, he staggered to his feet and coughed again.

“Guys? Where are you?”

Had they left him?

“Hey! Aksh! Rudra!” He coughed again. “Preeti? Maya! Where are you all?”

He turned around to see an empty road on one side and the dense woods on the other. He saw someone running behind a tree and raised his hand.

“Who’s there? Hey!” he called, but received no response. He ran into the woods, seeing the figure duck under a branch as he ran. “Aksh?”

The figure clearly belonged to a man he determined. He ran behind him as fast as his legs could carry him, keeping his eye on the flitting figure, hidden behind a veil of fog.

“Stop!” Dhiraj called. He grabbed a tree branch and panted for breath. He had run faster and run miles ever since he was a kid, but tonight it was as if the energy had been zapped away from him. He started to feel dizzy as he tried to catch his breath.

The fog was making it impossible for him to breathe. He saw the dark figure make a jump and then disappear behind some undergrowth.

He was about to chase after him, when he heard a loud click behind him. His feet froze as he felt a twig snap. Then cool metal pressed against the back of his neck.

“Make one move and I’ll kill you,” A hoarse voice whispered.

Read more HERE 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Free EBOOKS on Smashwords!

Read these two stories for free on Smashwords: 

The Return: Going back is never that easy. 

What Happened to Jasmine?: Three murder mystery writers speculate about who killed their colleague, Jasmine.