#Bubble Wrap unique story of two #FriendsForLife by @kalyanirao09

Hello Readers!

We hope you are enjoying the festivities  – a time of togetherness & fun -a time to rejoice with your family and friends and create memories !

No technology can ever replace the warm circle of family & friends who will see you through your happy and sad moments…they are the ones you can count on when everything turns out wrong and everybody else has turned their backs on you…

They truly are our Bubble Wrap…

We bring you today an excerpt from a suitably named title -Bubble Wrap -a poignant tale of the life of a child bride set in small town Rajasthan. The tale traces the journey of the twelve year old as she negotiates the world she lives in accompanied by Gudiya, the fifteen year old widow of her cousin. The story, while dealing with a difficult subject, is ultimately a celebration of love and friendship.

BUBBLE WRAP FRONT COVER

Synopsis of the book:

Twelve-year-old Krishna Singh who has been married off to Shyam Singh of Rokhagadh, Rajasthan.Before the wedding, Krishna’s grandmother gives her a box filled with exquisite jewellery, telling her to sell it in times of trouble, but otherwise to hide it from her parents and in-laws. Accompanied by Gudiya, the fifteen-year-old widow of her cousin, Krishna realises that her cold marital home is a far cry from the loving one she left behind. The world outside has modernized and is beamed via television into her home. But she is not allowed to go to school; instead a female tutor comes home to teach her. A dubious father-in-law, a husband away at boarding school, and a mousey mother-in-law clearly show Krishna what is a woman’s place in this family. An unfortunate incident leads Krishna and Gudiya headlong into a series of events that change their lives forever. As they deal with one situation after another, the girls discover each other and learn much about the world they live in. Bubble Wrap is a story about their fight for survival against impossible odds in a shallow male-dominated society.

 Excerpt:

The entertainment troupe had come. They were busy settling their musical instruments on the floor. I went to the dancing lady and asked her if she could teach me a few steps. Her kohled black eyes looked at me. “Of course, aren’t you the bride?” I nodded. She turned towards an old man with a big bright orange turban and asked him to play the harmonium. He started playing and singing folklore. The dancing lady started to circle around and her bright pink ghagra started twirling. I followed her and moved my fingers to add some extra charm. The sky looked like a giant spinning umbrella. I liked the sweet clinking sound made by the dancing lady’s glass bangles.

All my merriment came to an end when Gudiya came running towards us and pulled me aside. My head was spinning. Gudiya’s round face looked blurry. Gudiya is the wife of my dead cousin. She is sixteen years old. Her mother-in-law, my aunt, had not spoken to her since the day my cousin died in a freak accident (he was rolling marbles on the street and didn’t see the monster truck coming from the other side and he also rolled along with his marbles under the truck).

“Krishna!! What are you doing? Don’t you know that your mother is looking for you? She wants you to come upstairs right this moment.” Gudiya gave one of her characteristic side-faced dirty looks to the dancing lady (I guess she thought giving a stern sideways look would intimidate the other person but somehow she always failed in her effort as her big round cheeks made her look less intimidating).

Gudiya and I are friends but she is always scolding me and is very protective towards me. Most of the times we like to disagree with each other. I used to think she was jealous of me because I got to wear nice coloured clothes and play with whomsoever I wanted to and she had to wear this thick black ghagra and had to always cover her head with the end of her black stole. She could go out of the house once a day and had to keep away from all the religious functions. She was always grumpy but she played with me. She had made the best doll house for me. Maa had told me that she was sending Gudiya with me to Rokhagadh. She had said that Gudiya will ‘take care’ of me till the day I turned fifteen.

Gudiya dragged me towards the staircase. I slapped her chubby arm to free my hand. I ran to the entertainment troupe and quickly picked up DadhiSaa’s jewellery box and wrapped it in the Pashmina shawl. The dancing lady smiled at me and patted my back. I sneakily looked under the light-weighted Pashmina shawl and held the heavy jewellery box tightly. Gudiya shot one of her side-faced dirty looks towards me. I ran upstairs and shut the door on her face. Maa was inside the room.

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For more  – grab your copy of Bubble Wrap : Flipkart.com ; Amazon.in ; hqnindia.com 

Author of Bubble Wrap – Kalyani Rao

 Meet Kalyani- Author of Bubble Wrap 

Kalyani Rao likes to describe herself as a travel junkie who writes. She believes that she has learned most of her lessons in life while traveling. Kalyani is based out of Pune where she also runs a theme-based Travel Company. A big fan of Haruki Murakami, she also blogs and some of her writing can be found at twinklingpebbles.wordpress.com. Bubble Wrap is the debut novel of this young entrepreneur.

Happy Reading !

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How becoming a Harlequin India® author changed my life – By Reet Singh

I am a doctor. A surgeon. Surgeons are trained to observe, to delve, to record.

When I won the Passions contest in 2013, I was catapulted into, for me, an uncharted part of the cosmos: the world of Harlequin® authors. Authors, too, are known to observe and delve and record, but there is a tangible difference between the two vocations. Doctors focus on people with problems, even on people who don’t want to develop problems; however, authors, because their creativity depends on it, focus on everybody and everything, most, if not all, the time.

 

So that’s one of the first things that changed for me. I began looking speculatively at incidents and people that otherwise I would take in my stride. Who knew when I would need to portray a vegetable seller or a shopkeeper; how they hawk their wares, what they wear? I began looking through the eyes of somebody who hungered for that one story, or a million myriad ones. As a consequence I found inspiration in the oddest of places. When I stumbled on the steps of Pari Mahal in Srinagar, twisting my ankle, feisty Mita (“Scorched by His Fire”) promptly had an accident, knocking her head rather hard in the process! My favorite television channel did a feature on the disappearing trams of Kolkata; before I knew it, my protagonists Tanay and Mita were airborne to Kolkata.

 

Another remarkable change was, I became a more tolerant driver. Delhi has chaotic traffic and I have to negotiate it every day to and from work; ninety minutes on a good day. After Passions, I used those ninety minutes to sort the story out in my head. I thought out some of the dialogues, challenged Tanay and Mita with this or that crisis, conceptualized a few kissing scenes; all this while driving. Thus, when somebody cut into my lane rashly, or harangued me with noisy honking, I was able to smile distractedly instead of showing them the finger or honking back. Never got challan-ed either, since they don’t yet give challans to people who think (of other things) while they drive!

 

Another wonderful change I noticed was that I stopped procrastinating over my share of the family’s routine chores. I stopped thinking ‘Not today’, ‘Later today’, ‘Tonight, just before I turn out the lights’, ‘Sunday’. If it had to be done, I preferred doing it yesterday. Only then could I be mentally free to sit down and write! And write and write!

 

And finally, the best thing of all, I found that I fell in love again! Just as I had succumbed, all those years ago, to the fascination of my field of specialization; then later, been enthralled by my fiance, who went on to became my husband; this time too, I fell in love with my story, and its characters, their idiosyncrasies, my editor, just about everything about the whole process of writing. It is a wonderful thing to be in love. I highly recommend it. “Scorched by His Fire” is my first piece of romantic fiction. By writing it, I am, in fact, strongly endorsing romantic love.being an author

One of the advantages of being an author is the power it gives us to reinvent the wheel. Romance came into being the moment humans came into existence. There are folktales and poems and epics on this emotion, each one as different from the other as can be, even though the guiding genre is the same. That is the beauty of it; as an author, I get to give romance a slightly different flavor, one that stems from my imagination and my perspective.  Becoming an author means that I get to reinvent romance!