19

A – Anti-National…???

A – Anti-National…??? #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

The General Elections of India 2019 have arrived and wherever you go around people are discussing about it. The floodgates of atrocious amounts of spending have been opened. The political parties are working on war mode trying to convince every voter to vote for them. It is something that touches everyone’s lives whether he/she is a voter or not.

The main reason why I chose this theme because this is the first time in independent India’s history that a PM and his office hasn’t organized an open press conference in his entire term of five years. Now I believe that is completely against being democratic.

I wrote two articles one before the General elections of 2014 and one after Demonetization. Both were well received and those gave me the confidence that I should go ahead with the theme of IPL – Indian Parliamentary League and try to highlight some topics relevant to the elections.

Let’s begin with some stats:

General Elections 2014 saw a record voter turnout at about 66.3% with the leading party BJP getting around 31% of the vote share. If the maths is correct that is just under 21% of all the eligible voters i.e. 79% of the voters didn’t vote in favor of them. But sadly that is how democracy works.

The majority party forms the government and whatever policy and decision-making they do affects the life of each and every citizen of the country even if you aren’t of the voting age. The beauty of democracy does not lie in this – it lies in the fact that every citizen gets the right to question the government of the day.

There is a reason why elections happen every five years. For that same very reason, the parties in power should fight on their performance of the tenure and oppositions can either counter that or make newer promises. In any case, the citizens should ask the right questions on issues that affect their lives directly.

If the ‘hand’ has the blood from 1984 then the lotus is also stained by the pogrom of 2002. Nobody is spared – it is the common people that suffer and die. But if the people of the country voted them, again and again, that means they forgave them. Just ask yourself who is in power in Punjab today. Similarly, when the current PM got voted to power that means the population forgave him for his deeds. Simple.

Now move on and find the issues that are really important and directly concerning the people rather than just using your machinery of propaganda to win elections.

When you question anything they begin with reminding the deeds of the past. To the credit of the current govt. in power, they have been successful in setting the narrative and anyone who either questions the government or doesn’t agree with them is tagged ‘Anti-National’.

The most overused word from the past five years without even understanding the gravity of it. The British used it against freedom fighters, in fact, they brought a sedition law in place as a countermeasure and harass Indians. Today the sedition charges are being slapped upon as if distributing candies.

Let’s assume that 50% of the people are with you and don’t want to question but the rest 50% still have their rights – you can’t go ahead naming everyone as Anti National.

After the recent ghastly Pulwana attack and on the question of whether the country should play cricket with the neighboring enemy, the insanity went to unprecedented levels. The followers went on to even tag people like Sachin Tendulkar and Kapil Dev as anti-nationals. Can you believe that? They wouldn’t have contributed to the national cause in their whole how much people like Tendulkar have done in a day.

I never like to publicize but since the atmosphere is such that I know I might also be tagged as one. Hence would like to highlight what I do as my bit to contribute to the nation. I, along with my mother, run an NGO where we donate medicine, food, and water to the patients of Leprosy on a monthly basis. We have supported and facilitated the marriage of unprivileged girls in every possible way including complete financial support. This number runs in double figures. For the past couple of years, we have started planting trees as well. I can go on and on but that’s not the point.

All this work is done without even taking a single penny as a donation for my organization. The sad thing is that the pervading tone is such that if one doesn’t highlight then he risks being Anti-National.

Even most of the media houses that are responsible for raising these questions are being abused as presstitutes. The irony is that 90% of that media corroborates and bow down to the current dispensation itself.

My father always encouraged us to ask more and more questions since we were 3-4 years old. Remember how in our school days during every lecture the teacher will push us to ask more questions. Sarcastically, the ones daring and asking don’t know that when they grow up there is a high probability of them being declared Anti Nationals.

I believe it is setting a really negative dangerous trend for the future governments and democracy will become a joke. In fact, I was warned not to write on this theme considering the aggressive aura that is prevailing at this moment.

Hopefully, I will survive to see it through the month and the challenge and will finally be able to vote.

A hopeful National.

For all those who believe in voting,

For all those who believe in democracy,

For all those who believe in elections,

And

For all those who believe they have the right to question…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

See you tomorrow.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul.

This is the first post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Politics Category is ‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’, where I would be covering some relevant issues with the General Elections 2019 through the course of 26 posts.

‘A – Anti-National’

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with letter ‘B’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘Dubai – City of Gold‘. If you love travel head over to the Travel Theme and share your feedback.

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4

#AtoZChallenge 2019 – Theme Reveal #BlogchatterA2Z

#AtoZChallenge 2019 – Theme Reveal #BlogchatterA2Z

The month April gets its name from the Greek Goddess of love, Aphrodite. The Roman calendar also spells it as ‘Aprilis’, which means ‘to open.’ People in Northern Hemisphere usually associate April with spring, which suits it perfectly as it is the season when new flowers and plants bloom. I, being the Joker, associate it with fun since it begins with the April Fool’s Day.

The blogging community for the past decade celebrates it for the A to Z Challenge. This year celebrating its 10th anniversary, it is a global blogging challenge scheduled for the month of April.

About the Challenge

One is supposed to post on each and every day of April, except Sundays i.e. 26 posts for 26 days. Each post should have a title highlighting the alphabets from A to Z. For example post 1 should have ‘A’ as its hero, post 2 should have ‘B’ as its hero and so on. There are no strict rules how you want to use the word in the title – it can be anything, from a name to a place…from a noun to a verb. Everything is fine until the Alphabet compliments the day and is in continuous order.

Blogchatter has soon become the home of all the major blogging campaigns and challenges in India. A to Z Challenge, in India, is also orchestrated primarily by them. These challenges and campaigns are a perfect way to explore, meet and build on your reading fraternity. It, not only, exposes you to the community but helps you build an international audience too. I got associated with them last year during the Blogchatter Ebook carnival and since then have participated in most of their online events.

These carnivals have definitely increased my reader base, along with improving my Alexa rank dramatically. It has egged me on to be more consistent in writing and form newer bonds, which contribute in so many ways.

I want to keep it short and head straight to the Challenge.

So finally, going to reveal my theme. Ohh! I wish I could have some background music.

I guess I am the last person who would be unveiling his theme for the #AtoZChallenge. Nonetheless, would be still giving it my best shot. Do remember this is my first attempt at the A to Z Challenge.

I have decided to go ahead with not one but two themes. Yeah! You read it right. I am going ahead with two themes. Considering this is my first attempt at the A to Z Challenge, I might be overestimating.

I believe the Joker just needed this sort of push to spread its Jokerophilia and create its own CirqueDuJoker.

The THEME

The themes are:- Travel and Politics.

Why these themes:

I was confused till today morning with which one I should go ahead. I even did a small poll with my friends and got blurring replies. Hence, finally decided to go ahead with both of them. (At least will be able to come up with one post 😉 )

For Travel theme: I choose ‘Dubai – the city of Gold’ as the location I would be posting about. It is only place apart from India that I have stayed for a year and have visited it most number of times.

For Politics theme: IPL is on and just like before the 2014 General Elections of India I think it would be appropriate if I will be able to contribute my bit before the 2019 General Elections. For me; IPL carries two meanings – Indian Premier League and Indian Parliamentary League.

Do let me know what you think about my themes?

Now, all I need is support and encouragement from you all so that I can successfully survive the #AtoZchallenge. Keep me in your prayers 🙂

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

 

 

22

Cirque Du Joker

Its a WOW post

Once upon a time in a far far land,

It was unique, as it was known as TEDDYLAND.

 

There lived a Mr Joker,

He was no ordinary card…he was the hero of his own Poker

One by one they came and broke his heart,

Though smiling through the pain was his art

 

They love their Jager bombs and Jagermeister,

He would honor them with his own JOKERMEISTER

 

They would cuddle and lay on his chest,

The funny stories he told were his best

 

In his genre, he was a rocker

He brought to the town his own CIRQUEDUJOKER

 

Each had a Paraphilia that brought them to orgasm,

He had his JOKEROPHILIA hat created a lot of LAUGHGASM

 

His art was to touch women’s heart,

All they would do is break his apart

 

So many stories and so many happy endings,

He was a storyteller whose JOKERTALE was never ending

 

They say, Jack-of-all-trades master of none,

For him, it was Joker of all trades and master of some

 

He faded with time, but his stories remained,

The Contemplation of a Joker forever entertained.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

Tell me which one did you like the most of all the new words.

 

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

The New invented Made up words:

TeddyLand – A place where every inhabitant is a Teddy bear.

Jokermeister – A potion of the Joker

Cirque Du Joker – Circus of Joker (inspired from cirque du soleil)

Jokerophilia – Love of Joker

Laughgasm – orgasm experienced with laughter

Jokertale – A tale of Joker

 

12

Through the Mist – Book Review


Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Cover Page

Through the Mist – Book Review

Book: Through the Mist

Author: Sona Grover, Abirami,

Adhithya, Nimitha & Rupali

Reviewed By: Manas Mukul

Publisher: Jimpify Publishing (29 Aug 2017)

Price: Rs 99

Pages: 92 (pdf)

Language: English

My rating: 3/5

One picture – Five Authors – Five stories – One Book. This in itself is an interesting premise for anyone to enlist ‘Through The Mist’ in his or her reading list.

About four years back I took part in a collaborative effort to come up with content worthy of publishing. Collaborative writing can sometimes turn out to be very tricky. It can be less writing ‘effort’ but it can surely be more ‘headaches’. When too many heads collide taking a story in a definite direction then sometimes the story takes the back seat and ego begins to power the engine. Anyway, let’s not digress.

Sona Grover, one of the five authors of the book, to do a review for them, approached me. My bargain was; an honest review in exchange for a free copy.

I found the overall premise very intriguing. A picture, which is also the cover page, was shared with the authors and each was expected to start with their version of the story keep the picture as the pivotal point.

Usually when authors collaborate the book turns out to be an anthology but what makes ‘Through the Mist’ interestingly unique is that each author will share their unfinished draft with other authors in a sequential manner and after all the authors have written on every story then only it will be considered complete. So that means each author will contribute to every story.

It is like a relay race of writers. You don’t know how the next is going to imagine and write or how good the outcome would be; all you could manage is your own leg.

The Motivation

The team:

Jithin, who provided the inspiration for the book. He blogs at www.trablogger.com

Abirami, the teenager who’s obsessed with writing and blogs at www.theobsessivewriter.com

Adhithya, the youngest teenager of the team who blogs at www.wordstuggedatheartstrings.wordpress.com

Nimitha, the writer who finds time to write between her busy work schedule. She blogs at www.nimzrevealed.wordpress.com 

Rupali, the teenager studying maths and writing poems at www.literatureismyporn.wordpress.com

Sona, an avid reader and the resource person to lend any help. She blogs at www.sonaonline.wordpress.com

Aadhira, the in-house editor who pushed everyone to write this book, blogs at www.aadhira.me

The five stories are:

‘A Middle Class‘ story brings us Pari, the independent, headstrong girl whose parents want her to marry and settle down. Love has other views and comes unexpectedly through Rehan. In this comedy of errors, blunders pile on and the protagonists head a laugh riot.

In ‘A strange Life‘, Aarya, bored with her profession and disappointed with her personal life, finds an unexpected adventure that is a little too much for her to comprehend. Can she manifest the life she has wanted to have, by reclaiming her power?

Aakash cannot forget Anavya, the love of his life. His longing turns him into a poet and he hopes and waits for her, years later. ‘Languish in Love‘ is a delicate story that explores love, longing, pain.

‘The Lone Man‘ is hard-hitting. All John wants is to forget his wife Sarah’s death and get on with his life. But his nightmares and visions would not let go of him.

‘Turn of the Tides‘ is set at sea and the men who have lived with the sea and loved her are the ones who fear her now. Can they conquer their dread and have the sea lose her power over them?

PROS:

What surely works for the book is the diversity that each of writer brings to the table. With their experiences and thought processes that vary from a teenager to a mom, it definitely adds on to the flavor. The love of writing is what makes this a ‘team’ irrespective of the difference in their culture, language, preferences, age groups and perspectives.

The standout thing in the book is that each story is completely different from each other and do not belong to a single genre. That is very refreshing, as it doesn’t overdo a single theme or genre.

One thing which I would like to highlight since each story exchanged hands five times that there was consistency in the storyline and the theme in all five stories. It is a swift read with only 92 pages.

CONS:

The role of an editor in such a collaborative effort becomes crucial and critical. I felt that the authors were let down by average editing, judging by how the stories were stitched.

The other thing, which I believe, could have been a bit better is the vocabulary. There are far too many grammatical errors. So the onus lies with each author as well as the editor. I can understand the flow of the stories not being smooth because of the format but still, that’s no excuse for the grammatical errors.

How it came about:

My favorite story:

The last story how it personifies the sea. I like it for its poetic and metrical tone and how expressively it gives ‘Sea’ a voice.

The pros definitely outweigh the cons in ‘Through the mist’. It’s definitely worth a read once. I give two and half stars for the stories and another half a star for the concept. It’s 3 out of 5 for the unique collaboration i.e. ‘Through the Mist’.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

Grab a copy here: Amazon

19

The Mystery Blogger Award

The Mystery Blogger Award

To begin with let me express my immense gratitude towards Sonia Chatterjee for trusting me as a worthy nominee for the Mystery blogger award. I have been blogging for the past eight years (yeah its true) but always treated it as a hobby until this year’s blogchatter’s ebook carnival where I published a compilation of my top posts and stories and started seriously putting efforts in blogging too. My father always wanted me to pursue my passion but unfortunately he isn’t around to see me pursuing it.

Thank you again Sonia – I accept the award with all humbleness and would treat it as fuel to weave more words. I am beginning to learn how to take compliments.

Mystery behind Mystery Blogger Award

Okota Enigma started this award with the underlying theme being, “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.”

Every award is preceded by some rules and mystery blogger award is no different. 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 Mystery Blogger Award

The first three already taken care of, lets begin with the fourth one.

Three things about me:

I was born dead and am not kidding. I have even written a post on the same. You can read it here.

Why I chose the name ‘The Contemplation of a Joker’?

Jostein Gaarder said, “A joker is a little fool who is different from everyone else, he is not a club, a diamond or a spade, he is not an eight or a nine or a king or a jack. He is an outsider”. Here I have tried to be a Joker in everyone’s lives, bringing them bits of stories and laughter from all corners of life. As is the case with a Joker, they might not remember my name, they might not even know the real me, but I will always be glad that I was, am and will always be a part of the readers lives. I touched without actually being in their lives…just like a joker is in the stack with other cards without actually belonging there.

Some unique features:

You will be surprised to know that WWE (earlier WWF) played an important part in me improving my English. I am a good cook – I can actually prepare a whole meal – my father couldn’t even light up a stove, hence my mom made sure that her son turns out to be better at household chores. Few lucky ones have had the privilege of being hosted by me. I am a great relationship advisor too. Over the years many people and close friends have approached me and hopefully they received the right advice. I have been a sportsperson all my life, involved with some or the other at any given time – currently preparing for the Delhi Half Marathon.

Moving on to the questions Sonia put across:
Tell us one thing about yourself that nobody knows.

The actual question should be could I tell you something that no one knows, there is a reason that no one knows it but let me still surprise you. I don’t eat ice creams. I know I know.

Which genre of books do you enjoy reading the most and why?

Anything, which has the potential to stir emotions within a soul, that emotion can be any, the genre isn’t important. My personal favorite being George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal farm and most of Dan Brown and Paulo Coelho’s work.

What is the best piece of advice or feedback that you received for your writing?

That “Don’t struggle to be a writer, that you become the day you hold a pen and scribble your thoughts. Focus on being an honest and relatable writer. Its like, “dance like no one is watching and write like everyone is living your words.”

If you were stranded on an island, what things would you take with you and why?

Few good books, descent supply of my favorite food and a solar powered satellite phone (inspiration cast away) – so that when I am done being in solitude I shall call for help. In all seriousness a book on how to survive when you are stranded on an island. 😀

What is the weirdest or craziest thing that you have ever done?

My weird might not be your crazy, though if you have read my ‘Death on Karnataka express’ you should know that’s as weird as a person can get. Since we are talking about food here I once ate a cockroach. Yeah go faint.

I nominate:

Arjun Gupta – https://knightofsteel.com/

Anshu Bhojnagarwala – https://anshubhojnagarwala.wordpress.com/

Ashwini Menon – https://ashwinisperceptions.com/

Deepti Verma – https://nationalviews.com

Dipali Bhasin – https://www.spoonsandsneakers.com

Huma Masood – https://www.silkenscribblings.com/

Jyotsna Sharma – https://bhaatdaal.wordpress.com/

Kadambari Singh – http://thevibrantdiaries.blogspot.com/

Lavanya Srinivasan – https://thelavmuse.com/

Leha Divakar – https://theliteraryaffairblog.wordpress.com/

MsArora – https://education17048.wordpress.com/

Nidhi R Gautam – https://theprivatesocialite.wordpress.com/

Nupur Maskara – http://www.nutatut.com/

Prerna Wahi – https://prernawahi.com/

Priyal Poddar – http://parilifestyle.com/

Riddhi Sharma – http://riddhiculous.com/

Richa S Mukherjee – https://richasmukherjee.com/

Shalini Nair – https://kohleyedme.com/

Shivangi Srivastava – https://myketosutra.wordpress.com/

I know everyone has their commitments so don’t feel you have to participate just because I nominated you but I would definitely love you to, and if you want to take part and I haven’t nominated you consider yourself nominated.

Five questions for my nominations:
  • What’s your superpower?
  • What do you want to be engraved on your tombstone?
  • What’s that one advice you give to everyone?
  • What’s your take on soul mate
  • Weird one – What do you love more – Cockroach or lizard?
My personal favorite:

The Alien Bridge – sometimes when I read it – I get surprised that I wrote this.

Read it here: The Alien Bridge

For all those who love recognitions,

For all those who love competitions,

For all those who are mysterious,

For all those who are nominated

And

For all those who have received Mystery Blogger Award

It’s not a Goodbye,

But It’s a GOOD BYE…

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

20

Interview with Manas #AuthorChatter #anshuasks

Anshu Bhojnagarwala

Manas Mukul is human – an MBA, a Business Consultant, Actor, Software Engineer, Writer, Blogger, Joker.

authorchatter, author interview, contemplation of a joker, ebook, blogchatter, blogger Manas loves Sports, Travel and Dance. He is humorous and fun loving.

‘The Contemplation of a Joker’ is the child of his pen!! Excited to know him!

Which is your favourite story in the collection ‘The Contemplation of a Joker’?

Can a mother differentiate among her children? No. Right. But I would still say ‘Made for each other’ is the most complete and elaborate of all the stories in The Contemplation of a Joker.

What does joker stand for in this book? Is it your alter ego?

Jostein Gaarder said, “A joker is a little fool who is different from everyone else, he is not a club, a diamond or a spade, he is not an eight or a nine or a king or a jack. He is an outsider”. Here I…

View original post 912 more words

1

A Carnival of Life

I take on the Baton of Blogchatter EBook Carnival from Nausheen whose ebook ‘Blogging Basics 1.0’ is also part of the mix. 
About Nausheen’s ebook: Blogging Basics 1.0 gives basic insights about blogging. It includes topics that bloggers struggle with. It is based on Dr Bushra’s 2 years blogging experience and tries to keep it simple and give clear ideas. It is the first part of a Blogging Basics series.

 

A CARNIVAL of LIFE

Our lives are sometimes marked by events that literally alter the course of its journey. For some people such moments are blessings like your first job, first love, marriage, birth of your child and many more. I am of a little unfortunate kind. August of 2017 made the biggest impact in my life. It took my first coach, my lifelong friend, my mentor, my biggest critic…my father away from me.

My father always wanted me to pursue my passion, something, which brings happiness to me. Till his last I knew, he was unhappy with the fact that I hadn’t figured out my path. Six months down the line and I was still busy with the things left scattered after his sudden demise. Innumerous visits to government offices, banks, court, etc. had started taking its toll on me and more so on my creative abilities. The fear had started surfacing that I would never be able to write again.

Then something happened which gave a new leash of life to my writing. I got an email from Blogchatter for an Ebook carnival, where one was supposed to come up with a book for self-publishing on their platform. I had previously given self publishing a lot of thought, but sometimes because of lack of conviction, sometimes content, sometimes simply the ‘will’ it never saw the light of the day.

This time, with a more resolute will, I had to do it for my father and more importantly for me. I knew I had to take the plunge come what may. But the bigger question that loomed was where is the content and on top of that I had only twenty days for submission. I knew I wouldn’t be able to come up with something afresh. Finally, I decided to edit and compile the existing top blog posts from my blog ‘The contemplation of a Joker’ and give this activity a real chance.

Today I can proudly say I am an author of a ‘self-published’ book. I get goosebumps every time I remember the emotions and the sensations that ran through me when the cover page was unveiled. It got an unimagined overwhelming reaction. I know there are, many loved ones out there who have urged me on to take this step from a really long…long time.

There are a few people without whom this compilation wouldn’t have come through. They have been duly acknowledged in the book and for that you have to download a copy 😀 .

Blogchatter Feature – Click to download my ebook

I would definitely want to take this moment to thank Blogchatter for giving me this delightful opportunity with all the blogging community and marketing magic to go along with it.

I want to highlight a definite change that this carnival has brought in me. For the first time in my life I am reading as much as I am writing, and to my surprise and benefit, I am relishing this change. This activity gave my writing a good exposure and helped me in forging new friendships along the way. The journey from a blogger to a published author has been a real rewarding one. I got some great reviews along with constructive feedback for me to work on and improve my writing. The value of which is immeasurable.

No amount of words can express my gratitude towards my Sister who has been involved with my writing long before this blog was even conceived. From every critical review to hearing my point of view patiently, from grammatical corrections to helping me with vocabulary she has been there in every inch of the stride that I took and it would have been impossible without her.

For all those who have read my blog,

For all those who have downloaded my book,

For all those who have read my words,

For all those who have reviewed my work,

For all those who urged me to publish,

For all those who gave me a platform,

And

For all those who are yet to download and read,

Its not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE…aur han… Keep downloading, Keep reading, Keep reviewing and Keep sharing the Love.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

You can download my book HERE

Some of the reviews:

From Sona Grover: read here

Sitharaam Jayakumar: read here

Souravi Paul: read here

I pass on the Baton of Blogchatter EBook Carnival to Mahak whose ebook ‘Diary of a Baby’ is also part of the mix. 
About Mahak’s ebook: Have you ever wondered what goes on inside your baby’s mind? “Diary of a Baby” is a candid, witty take on life from a baby’s perspective written as diary entries, followed by an interpretation phase of baby’s life from the author’s own parenting experience