The Pen Warriors – Post 6

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Too Late For Atonement – Chapter 5

 Read the previous parts of the story here –  Prologue, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 

“Mom are you again not going to attend the sports day?”

“Sorry darling, I can’t leave the photo shoot, something urgent has come up.” said Tara, desperately looking for a way to end this oft repeated drama, without a meltdown. She tried to be free for Roohi’s important day….but….

“Mom are you there?” said Roohi in a flustered tone

“A ….yes, listen Roohi… don’t be sad sweetheart, Daddy is going to be there to cheer you and he will be making a video too, so I won’t miss anything really”

“I am sure, this time too you’ll win the race.”

“Good lu…..”

Just as Tara was about to wish Roohi good luck, she heard the call end. Tara knew Roohi was upset and she will have to make it up to her soon.

Heartbroken, fuming with rage Roohi threw the mobile on the bed and began sobbing on her satin pillow.

Tara reacted no differently. She slammed her phone on her desk almost cracking the glass of her workstation.

It was times like these, when she hated her work the most. What good was this success and money going to yield, when she couldn’t be there with her family when they wanted her around.

A tear formed in the corner of her eye when her phone buzzed and she was back to business.

“Mom loves her work more than me and dad seems to be smitten with his PC. Nobody cares about how I feel, what I want in life.”

Roohi broke into loud sobbing that attracted Shekhar’s attention. He walked up to her room and gently knocked at the half open door, before stepping inside. One look at his princess and he knew what possibly could have gone wrong.

He gently stroked her hair tied in ponytails that eased her sobbing. In no time she hugged Shekhar. An understanding silence filled the air, where the hearts of a doting father and a hurt daughter wished the pain could vanish magically.

Shekhar’s creative mind was frantically looking around the room for inspiration on how to console her daughter, just when the digital photo-frame came to his

“Roohi, you look so pretty in your mom’s shoes.”

Startled, Roohi lifted her head from Shekhar’s chest to follow his gaze and they both burst out laughing. Shekhar had meant it literally, because Roohi and Tara had the same shoe size. It amazed everyone as to how a 9 year old could have a foot as large as her mother. But nature had designed it in her favor. Her shoe size gave Roohi the freedom to flaunt her mom’s  exquisite shoe collection of Jimmy Choo, Caprice, Gerry Weber and more like a diva. While giving them both the liberty to quote that they had walked in each others shoes to know where the other was coming from.

The picture had Roohi crowned ‘Miss Universe’ in the school fashion night, where her beauteous elegance showered her with admiration and compliments galore.

Shekhar suddenly felt in control of the situation, but at the back of his mind he knew, he had to do some serious talking with Roohi to guide her emotions.

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” introspected Shekhar.

“Roohi… why are you so upset? You should be excited for the race later in the day”

“Dad… mom is again not going to make it to school, she keeps finding excuses to not be with me”

Shekhar bit his tongue to resist telling Roohi that it was not the case.

“Roohi, look at those pictures, see Tara is with you in most of them, isn’t she?”

Shrugging off the idea of another long lecture, disapprovingly Roohi muttered, “So what dad?”

“You aren’t getting the depth of what I have been trying to show you. If you look closely at these photographs, you’ll see mom has been with us, with you, as often she could”

“But dad, all my friends have their moms around all the time, they accompany them to school on all PTMs and are there to cheer for all practice sessions, when I am left craving for my mom”

Tears trickled down Roohi’s eyes piercing Shekhar’s heart like spears.

“Honey, if your mom isn’t around, I always am. Ain’t I?”

“Do any of your friend’s dads accompany them for practice sessions? Do they bake yummy cakes like I do? Best of all, does any of your friend’s dads take their daughters for shopping dresses and shoes like I do? Hmmm…?”

Roohi’s face lit up with the mention of cake and shopping, she was already feeling better, but her mind was determined to rebel.

“No dad, that is all that you do for me, how does that bail out mom?” retorted Roohi

Shekhar knew this was the make or break point. He had to score a win today, to have his little darling come to love the life she’d been gifted.

“Haven’t mom always come racing to your rescue when your pranks have led to serious trouble?”

Shekhar could read that Roohi was beginning to make sense of what he was saying, he continued, “Like you crashed Rohan’s computer last week and had pushed Mrs. Juneja in the pool in the party……remember?”

Roohi looked happy reminiscing the joy those pranks had brought to her. Shekhar could see realization dawn on her face.

“Look there Roohi, has any of your friends been to Disneyland for a vacation?”

Shekhar eyed Roohi to read the impact. Her eyes were twinkling with joy as she looked at her picture with Minnie Mouse, but she didn’t look convinced yet.

Without waiting for her to find a way to break the spell, Shekhar continued;

“Does any of your friends have had Ranbir Kapoor….’The’ Ranbir Kapoor wish them personally on their birthday?”

Roohi’s heart melted. The mere mention of Ranbir was enough to make her forget all grudges.

“Dad…” muttered Roohi, blushing and holding Shekhar tight in a bear hug.

“Now… without wasting a moment, get ready for the race. You’ve got to welcome mom home with a medal, don’t you?”

Roohi nodded an enthusiastic yes, before darting to the bathroom.

Shekhar thanked Ranbir for saving his family yet another time. Had Tara not been shooting for an ad film with Ranbir on Roohi’s birthday, this life-saver magical moment wouldn’t have happened.

A smirk rose to Shekhar’s lips, as he thought of the Disneyland vacation he had just mentioned to Roohi. Roohi thought her mom had fixed the trip, Tara thought, Shekhar’s clients in US had organized it, but only he knew where the money flew in from.

The subsequent parts of the story can be found here : Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8 and Chapter 9.

Me and my team, The Pen Warriors, are participating in the ‘Game Of Blogs’ at #CelebrateBlogging with us.

Rediscovering Love

I am aware the title of this post will raise quite a few eyebrows, but I couldn’t think of a better title in the hasty two minutes I spent doing so.

I started blogging in 2007. Have been pretty dedicated to it until everything part of my life started falling apart.My passion for writing too was taken by the blow. In an attempt to gather myself, I started this blog and since then it has been my personal diary with a few cookery posts and handful of book reviews.

In the past 4 years the one thing I felt missing in my life has been ‘my creativity’. Earlier I used to write short stories and many pieces of flash fiction, but in the chaos of the past four years, it hadn’t occurred to me to sit down and try to scribble a proper story. I have been too engrossed dealing with the harsh realities of life that my love for fiction seems to have evaporated.

I have been so cut off from creative writing, that these days, enjoying a good book too takes quite an effort on my part. With the turbulence in my life far from over, I have been brushing off many opportunities to write at many levels that come my way on a daily basis. For the lack of a better word, I have become an escapist. The hardcore romantic in me has died a slow, painful death. But, my love for happy endings has dared to live on.

Recently, Blogadda announced Celebrate Blogging campaign.


As part of the activity there would be ‘Game of Blogs’ where bloggers would be teamed up randomly in groups of 10 to write stories. These stories are to be written as one part by each member of the team. Every blogger writes once a week and there will be eliminations every week.

The activity will be judged by a panel of esteemed writers and the winning story will have the opportunity of getting published.


I had read about the same, the minute it was announced. However, I had been putting off participating on pretext of one excuse or the other. On the last day of registration, while I was still juggling the idea of registering ( I had been to the registration page atleast 10 times in past 72 hours and let it lie open till the page expired) I got a call from the team at Blogadda.

That was the turning point. I decided to give it a try. Today, I am part of the #CelebrateBlogging activity, due to start tomorrow.

I can feel a strange surge of joy fill my heart. Something in the corner of my mind has been screaming, ‘I am happy because I am back to blogging’. In my heart I know, no matter how many excuses I might come up with, but blogging is therapy to me. I have survived life’s fatal blows because of it. I am around because of my love for it and I am sure, blogging back in full swing will do more good to me than what I can imagine at this point of time.

So here I am, all set to embark on a journey of writing fiction with rusted creativity and zero imagination. Loaded with hope of reviving the lost me, the happier me in my quest to scribble a story in the days to come. I do not know if I will be able to stand the test of the campaign, but I am confident, it will ignite the spark to write in me.

I might be gone from your blogs for a long time, but mark my words, I will be back, because blogging is where my heart is.

The song on my mind : Aankhon mein humne aapke ~ Thodi si Bewafai

Time, Value and Wisdom

My home is where my heart is,

It is the origin and destination of all my dreams,

It is the abode of my loved ones,

The kaleidoscope gifting colours to my life.

From the four walls and more,

I wish to create the spectrum,

With freedom to customize every inch with my fantasy,

To paint every moment I spend at home,

Into a valuable lesson,

A treasured memory,

For us to cherish forever.

“Sometimes beautiful things come into our lives out of nowhere.  We can’t always understand them, but we have to trust in them.  I know you want to question everything, but sometimes it pays to just have a little faith.”  ―Lauren Kate

Even though we’ve moved to our new home, decorating every corner of the home is one process that I believe will continue life long. It is the matter of changing tastes, trends, needs and also the desire to welcome change in life.

My quest of finding decor items for my room, that I share with my daughter has finally found a destination. Make my home.

Blogadda recently hosted a contest where participants had to pick three items from the Make My Home site to re-do their home with a creative spin.

It was through this contest I chanced up on this fabulous one stop shop for complete household products that helps transform a house into a home.

After mulling over the splendid collection I decided to gift my world, my room a creative makeover with these:

1. The Gift of Time ~ Painted Peacock Wall Clock :

Like me, Pari too is an early riser. We celebrate our mornings waking up to the call of our friend, Peekoo. Peekoo is the nickname Pari has given to the Peacock who lives on the Palm tree overlooking our balcony. His call is our alarm and we both spend a lot of time watching him dance on our terrace and at play on the palm tree.

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Peekoo – Our Peacock Pal

Our association with Peekoo has grown stronger over time, making Pari enjoy mornings watching the sunrise, dancing peacocks, chirping birds, flying clouds while we plan our day in the lap of nature.

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Marwar Stores Painted Peacock Wall Clock

This beautiful association inspired me to pick a peacock clock to gift Pari a memory in ‘time’ to cherish our mornings and love for nature forever.

“Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you want to treasure and the things that made who you are”

2. The Value of Saving ~ Hand Painted Piggy Bank :

As Pari has stepped in the nursery and slowly beginning to enjoy counting, she’s slowly getting inclined to collecting and counting coins. I am aware she is still too young to understand the concept of money, saving and more, but she has been smitten with the idea of having a little piggy bank of her own.

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Aapno Rajasthan Hand Painted Piggy Bank

Pari is a big fan of Peppa the Pig. She loves learning with the cartoon series and has come to associate the piggy bank concept with Peppa (the pig) taking care of her collection for her.


This inspired me to sow the seeds of ‘money manners’ in my child with this bright and beautiful piggy bank. Adorned in Warli painting with men and women dancing around the fire celebrating an occasion features an ancient style . The smart shape with bright colours would make our room look bright and will help develop the habit of saving in Pari in future.

“A full purse is not as good as an empty one is bad. Saving money from the start is the foundation on which dreams are realized”

3. The Organised Wisdom ~ Globe Bookends : 

I read books as a hobby but I have been blessed with a child who loves books more than food. Even though Pari is too young to read books on her own, but her love for being read stories and reading picture books has gifted a big collection of her own books. More often than to my liking, these books are seen scattered everywhere because Pari likes them to stay within reach.


With 50+ books in her collection that are growing in number everyday, these bookends would make a delightful gift for our room.

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The Yellow Door Globe Bookends

Pari loves to have the books within her reach so that she can read and put them back at her sweet will. Our book shelf being placed at a height isn’t something that she quite likes.

The globe book ends will help Pari explore books at leisure and will make an interesting addition to our room.

I believe, our thoughts about what we are and what we can be, precisely determine what we can be.

With these artistic and useful home decor items I wish to add beauty along with utility in form of instilling lessons of ‘Time, Value and Wisdom’ in my daughter’s life.

This post is a part of Makemyhome activity at

Melting Point

Happiness is an attitude we act upon.  We either make ourselves miserable, or happier and stronger.  The amount of work is the same.

All my life I have been known for my optimistic approach to life and a warm smile. Not anymore. There are days in a row when I haven’t smiled even once. I’d like to clarify, here, by smiling I mean a happy smile and not a courteous one. I shower the latter pretty promptly many times a day.

The dried up smiles sure have been watermarked by tears that flow promptly these days. I dearly miss my lost smiles. No-matter how hard I try, smiling these days takes a conscious effort and I am sure, the effort shows.

When my (apparently) happy life started falling apart like a pack of cards, I had imagined the future to be difficult. I knew times would be trying. But, among every other chaos, deep within my heart, I had felt that with the love of my dear ones, I’ll surely sail through these rough waters.

Time ticked past. Like a journey in train, life, people, memories zipped past me as I struggled, stumbled yet moved on. But, today, while taking stock of my life, I realized, I am still sore deep inside. My cheeks are still water marked and my heart is still aching with raw pain.

It’s rightly said, people who are closest to you always hurt you the most. Something similar has been going on in my life. I am so miserable that I struggle to spend the 24 hour, everyday gifts me. I am growing bitter and brittle with each second. The negativity in my system is flowing above the danger level and my sanity is the long lost item.

* All details and more are coming up in my next post that will be password protected. If you do not receive the password within 6 hours of my publishing it, please drop me an email and I’ll be happy to share the password if you are a regular reader of my blog.

The song on my mind : Mere dukh ki koi dawa na karo ~ Chitra Singh & Jagjit Singh

Bringing life on track

I have had a totally messed up year, where I had no clue what was happening, what lay ahead and how time went past.

The only thing I could feel was being caught in mid-waters of a sea of negativity, pain and hurt. Struggling to swim across,but failing miserably. No, I haven’t yet managed to reach the shore but I have started to see land, though far away.

I initially thought of listing the top issues in my life. I was taken back by the sheer number of the issues I am trying to tackle at any given point of time. So the idea was dumped with the same speed it rose.

One fine day a couple of months ago, when I had a spare minute I decided to put everything aside and give myself a second look.

I was aghast to note that I had suddenly (cause I had not taken any note of it in the past two years) started looking old, sick, depressed, unkempt and overall sad. I was taken aback by my image because everyday when I visit Pari’s school to drop and pick her, I have seen other mothers look way younger, prettier and happier than I ever do.

Not impressed by the findings, I decided to get working on reclaiming myself, wiping off the dust of neglect from myself. It was a tedious task given the depressed state I have been in lately, but i am glad I made a conscious effort to stir up my life.

The work has just started and I am slowly adding tasks to my to-do list of reclaiming myself but the results have been quite encouraging.

A simple change in my lifestyle like sleeping just an hour more than what I have sleeping for years now (4-5 hours daily) has taken care of my dark circles. All disappeared in 15 days flat. Sleeping better has done wonders to my skin, that feels humanly soft as compared to a rag that it had started feeling in the past year or so.

A switch of my face cream has made me look my age again in two months. No, it’s not the miracle of the cream (that’s why I am not mentioning which one it is). It’s the little extra care I have started taking to keep my face clean and regularly moisturize it that has brought about the change.

My health is one of the most neglected areas of my life lately and today I took my first baby step to change it. It sounds ridiculous, that an adrenaline junkie like me who loves the adrenaline rush after a workout, more than most things in life hasn’t had the time / motivation/ mood to workout in the past one year.

It felt like eternity, but finally I worked out today.

It has been a humongous task re-building life, my identity, my self-esteem from scratch after the massive blows life has been giving me repeatedly. But, today, I feel a tiny surge of peace fill me as I write that I have been trying hard to get my life on track and slowly results are beginning to show.

It’s a train of thoughts that’ll need to be continued for a long series of posts to capture all that has been going on in my life that I have missed on recording in this blog. But, I will pick up the loose ends and tie them up in due course of time.

Despite being depressed from a very long time, love for life is the only thing that has kept me trying hard to come back stronger. I am not giving up. Never. And yes, I will be back to rant more.

The song on my mind : Tum ho pass mere ~ Rockstar