Road To Cherry Hills – A novel by Sohini Bagchi

Road To Cherry Hills - A novel by Sohini Bagchi

Road To Cherry Hills – A novel by Sohini Bagchi

Abstract:

‘Road to Cherry Hills’ takes us into the world of Rimjhim, as she walks down the memory lane to her campus days where she meets Ankit, falls head over heels for him and thought her life has changed forever. Of course it did, but in the most unexpected ways, as she soon finds her life taking a completely different turn.

Rimjhim, now a single mother and a successful professional, moves on to fight her own battle. As she explores new places, encounters different people and meets with new experiences, she not only makes a difference to her life, but also touches lives of others in the most positive ways.

What happens to Rimjhim as she narrates her trials and tribulations, her dilemmas and achievements, her darkest fears and her deepest desires? To know more, buy and read the book now on: http://amzn.to/2Ch2n8N

You will also find the book on Flipkart [http://bit.ly/2F5oZLh]

Book enthusiasts staying abroad in the US, Canada and UK, too can now book online: “Road to Cherry Hills”  will be delivered at your doorstep. Click on the link to register:
https://www.dkagencies.com/…/DKC44716276321731…/details.html

About the author:

Sohini Bagchi

Sohini Bagchi

Sohini Bagchi, a professional doctorate in media studies is a journalist by profession and a writer by passion. She has worked for media houses such as The Times Group, IDG Media and Hindustan Times.
Currently, she is working as Chief Editor with an online media house in Bangalore. Sohini has received the National Human Rights Promotion Award 2003 for her work on Child labour in Kolkata.

Sohini blogs during her free time; is trained in karate and loves to read, travel and listen to music.

[Courtesy: Lifi Publications]

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A Midnight Dream

It was almost midnight… the wind and rain intensified the thick black darkness. She was awake, huddled up to keep herself warm. Her long silky hair tied up in a brown satin bow, she stared out of her bedroom window trying to decipher the outer world with her dark, curious eyes.

The magic happens every night at midnight

The magic happens every night at midnight

It was very gloomy and dark, and quite frankly miserable, but then from the corner of her eye, she saw something dancing around on top of the murky water of the canal next to the courtyard that looked truly royal with its silvery glossy finish.

She picked up her orange quilt blanket that her grandmother made her, then sauntered down the staircase, taking great care not to trip and fall or make any unwanted noise. Then she slowly opened the door with the silver engraved handle of the doorknob…

To her surprise, her eyes widened and all she could see was a bright white light all over. Dancing happily on a lily pad, was a water nymph. It waved at her then dove into the water, just like a dolphin she saw at the city water park the other day. But then it swiftly flew away. And before it was completely gone, it gestured at her again. She became curious and naturally started following it.

She soon found herself in the middle of the central park where she plays with her close gang of friends in the day time. But the park somehow felt different.

The faded colors looked freshly painted and the stone steps leading down to the canal were so shiny that she could see her own reflection crystal clear.

The golden winged lions and horses looked as if they were made of solid gold and they were polished to perfection. All of the brickwork was dappled and looked like a rainbow; it was truly a magical sight.

She realized, all of a sudden, it would soon be dawn, but she made a promise to her new friends that she would visit them every midnight so that she could have many more magical adventures.

The nymph on the lily pad

The nymph on the lily pad

She could feel the cold night air against her thin night dress and the breeze of the wind against her face. As she strolled down the alley, she thought how happy it made her feel. She would surely return for another night of adventure, she thought with a smile and by then she had reached the front of her house.

Slowly opening the door, she crept up the staircase and into her small, secluded room. As she fell into her bed and dozed off within seconds.

There were silver lights all over. The charismatic town and it slowly sank into the deepest ocean. The nymphs lay on the lily pads with moss blankets to keep themselves warm and started to snore softly. Soon everything was back to the way it was, the buildings old and dilapidated. The lions and horses began to fade.

But she feels the magic every night… at midnight.

Launch Of My Debut Novel: Road To Cherry Hills

My debut book: Road to Cherry Hills

My debut book: Road to Cherry Hills launched at World Book Fair New Delhi 2018

When I excitedly told a friend that I have written a book and that it will be launched soon, he congratulated me saying, “To have an idea is just about the easiest thing in our lives. To ensure its fruition is indeed both commendable and exciting and more so energizing.”

My friend, being a published author himself must have known the intricacies of writing a book and getting it published. While I’ve heard, it is often troublesome to put our thoughts into action and for a writer this would mean putting ‘ideas’ into ‘paper and pen’, I have always loved reading and penning down my thoughts on paper or notebook.

As a child, I often got scolded by my teachers for being naughty and restless in school. I remember coming back home and scribbled stories on all that happened in school and in my neighborhood. I made picture books portraying simple emotions from everyday events and kept them neatly in my creative file, where I created a world of my own. In writing I found a way of escaping from reality, while positively using my ‘hyper’ energy to deal with my everyday problems with ease.

It was not until my mother – who had this unexplained faith in me – pushed me into writing that changed my thoughts and in some ways, the trajectories of my career.

I got selected from my school to write for The Statesman as a cub reporter along with a bunch of other aspiring writers. It was fun as we were made to attend weekly editorial meetings on Sundays just like seasoned journos. And there was a lot of learning behind those fun and frolic, which I realized later after entering into the realm of journalism.

My book displayed at World Book Fair New Delhi

My book displayed at World Book Fair New Delhi 2018

As years passed by, I had a burning ambition to be a writer, couldn’t see myself doing anything else, so I decided journalism would be a good way of achieving my ambitions while earning a crust.

However, I realized in no time that the disciplines of journalism and creative writing were not as compatible as I had imagined. Moreover being a good writer isn’t something you’re born with, it’s a skill that you continue to hone in over the years, especially through reading. And so, having worked for over one and a half decade, being deeply involved in reporting, editing and feature writing, I also continued to read everything under the sun and penned down my musings in my blog, not letting my creative thirst die.

While the going was good, finally, the much awaited moment came in my life in January 2018, when I announced the launch of my debut book: ‘Road to Cherry Hills: The journey continues…’

With my mom at the book launch event

With my mom at the book launch event

Friends and family, publishing professionals, literary luminaries and journalists gathered at the World Book Fair 2018 at the Pragati Maidan in New Delhi to watch me, along with my fellow authors, release my work to the world.

Published by LiFi Publications, the event was a resounding success and it was an honor for me to release my book among literary luminaries, critics and enthusiasts!

The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly hearing from us, the five debut authors on stage. We introduced ourselves and our book, and even read excerpts from the books, leaving the audience captivated. There was a real eclectic mix of authors and books on offer and those displayed at the publisher’s stall.

It was indeed an occasion to cherish and it drives me to write more and bring out many more books in the days to come.

With Sukrita Paul Kumar, renowned poet, critic and Dr. Moti Lal Pandit, a noted academician

With Sukrita Paul Kumar, renowned poet, critic and Dr. Moti Lal Pandit, a noted academician

The book already available for sale on Amazon and Flipkart and at the publisher’s stall, is earning critical acclaims and excitement from several quarters. But there is one feedback from a very special  person that touched my heart, that’s from my mentor, professor and a father figure, Professor H.S. Eswara, and his words mean a lot to me. Here’s what he has to say:

My dear Sohini,
I finished reading your debut literary piece: Road to Cherry Hills. I found it very pleasant. I am no literary reviewer; nevertheless, I can’t refrain from making some observations.
The novel is a straight narration of Rimjhim story in simple, but elegant language. It is not just a story, but a commentary on the saga of many contemporary educated young women in India. Rimjhim, beautiful young talented girl undaunted by the upheavals of life emerges as a lovable character and provides a role model for girls in similar situations. What makes her so special is her self-confidence, combined with her social etiquette and love for nature. You have shown your literary craftsmanship (or craftswomanship) in the depiction of Rimjhim character.
Srishti is a adorable child and well complements her mother. Bhaskar provides a true representation of techies, experts in their chosen field but miserable failures in real life. Ranga mashi reminds me of the typical Benagali women found in classical writers of Bengal, those humble, devoted, God-fearing and self-sacrificing ones. All these supporting characters have immeasurably added to the success of the novel.
The end of the novel is most appropriate. It tells me the victory of the virtue and the vanquish of the evil. The repentance of Ankit is no compensation for the sufferings underwent by Rimjhim, and that is the hard reality. The message of the novel is clear and loud to me.
This is your first novel and to me it is promising. I wish you will have a very profound literary career in the days to come.
With best wishes,
Affectionately,
HS Eswara
Road To Cherry Hills is about love, betrayal, family, celebrating friendship

Road To Cherry Hills is about love, betrayal, family, celebrating friendship and about moving on…

 

Those who couldn’t make it to the book fair, or haven’t read the book can follow the page on Facebook. Please feel free to ‘like’ ‘comment’ and ‘share’:

https://www.facebook.com/roadtocherryhills/

“Road to Cherry Hills” is now available for sale on Amazon.in [http://amzn.to/2GgMi62] and Flipkart.com[http://bit.ly/2F5oZLh]. Please grab a copy of “Road to Cherry Hills” and do rate/review and give me your thoughts and comments on my book.

Happy reading.

 

New Year Resolutions Are Worth A Rethink

As I sit at my desk to write something on the last day of this year, I realise that I do not care much for New Year’s Eve[s]. Looking around, I see most of the celebrations have boiled down to booze parties and obnoxious dances. These constituents always seem to disturb me a bit, just like the Valentine’s Day, where people are often desperately trying to convince themselves they’re having a good time.

I will be thankful for all the blessings in my life

I will be thankful for all the blessings in my life

I would rather walk a mile out of my way to avoid the company of people who use “party” as a verb.

Also many people attach too much hype and use fancy terms such as ‘new year resolutions’ as if to change their lives for the better.

But change is a constant process and not something that happens overnight. For someone to say that his or her New Year resolution is, for instance, to be a better person is at best hopeful but probably also a bit deceitful.

Many people make New Year’s resolutions ever year but very few stick to them. In fact, within a week or two most people who made the resolution have forgotten what they promised on December 31. However, as the new year is a fresh start [hypothetically], a chance to try something new or give something up, making a resolution could be a sensible way to actually make a change, particularly if realistic goals are set.

Resolutions involve us moving our goals from mere contemplation into more concrete action, my grandfather always said, and hence I am not as averse to new year resolutions, only when I’m convinced I can ‘keep’ them.

So, in 2018, if I have to make a New Year resolution it would be to choose gratitude and happiness over complaining, try reading motivational books, write my blogs, stay away from negative people and thoughts, bring more discipline in my life and work  and experience life as it happens. Most importantly, spend more time with my loved ones.

Which bring me to New Year’s Eve celebrations. I have often wondered why some people are prepared to spend so much money on a celebration. Quite often, the celebration happens in the company of hundreds of strangers and you find yourself, on the stroke of midnight, wishing people you have never seen before or will never see again.

With time, one begins to appreciate true friendship and family a lot more and  enjoys spending time with your loved ones even more. And, in the process, what if we made a resolution to practice more love and kindness to others?

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” While we complain about the hate and violence that occurs every day, let’s do our part. Love more. Judge less.

Happy New Year. May all your best wishes come true in 2018.

Wings of Desire

My son and his friend were playing in the park recently when I heard his friend call out “Eek, there’s a poisonous fly!” My son looking at it replied, “That’s not a fly! It’s a bee – its pretty and harmless.” It was a proud parenting moment. But seeing children playing amidst nature is today a rarity… as our relationship with the natural world has changed.

Are we raising a generation of nature-phobic kids?

Are we raising a generation of nature-phobic kids?

Needless to say, but in an age of cable TV, Nintendos, Facebook and YouTube, it’s obvious that kids are way smarter than the previous generations. But do they catch butterflies, or go on a country walk or visit a farm, or even climb a tree… Like our good old times, how many parents including myself tell them, ‘Go outside and play’?

Kids stay indoors… and that’s a practice. We do not make an effort to expose them to the natural world beyond the screen.

But aren’t modern kids interested in the natural world than ever before? After all, they watch it on TV, visit a nature reserve with their families. But far fewer experience it directly, on their own or with their friends, and that’s what counts: this is more about being with the nature.

Something very profound has happened to children’s relationship with nature over the last two decades, thanks to technology. There’s no time for kicking your heels outdoors. There’s no time called spare time which are spent constructively in after-school activities, coaching and organized sports.

When we [those who are 40 and above] recount our most treasured memories of childhood play, at least a few would be indoors. Fewer still will involve an adult. As a child, I remember being out on my own and with my friends – climbing trees, building dens, collecting birds’ eggs and frogspawn. As things stand, today’s children will be unlikely to treasure memories like that. But the same parent in me don’t even want my kid to get dirty. So, are we raising a generation of nature-phobic kids?

Not that… then? Stranger danger – of course, the fear of child abduction – is another obvious reason; blame it on media or society… Times have changed. It has restricted free or fun play in the natural world, or outdoor.

Even if i write this piece, i may not encourage my child to chase butterflies in the field as I did. For one thing, there are no longer enough butterflies to go round. As a little girl, countryside was more butterfly-friendly, with plenty of wild flowers in the fields. We thought that was normal. Today it survives mainly in nature reserves.

But I’m an optimist. Though most of us do not have our own riverfront land, we can find a nearby park or a trail. Getting outside and breaking the stranglehold of electronics — on ourselves as much as our kids — requires a concerted effort. And yet it’s worth it to make room for nature in our lives, especially as parents. By spending time in nature with our children, we teach them that we value two things – being with them and being with the natural world.

And just as Lord Byron wrote and I believe: “There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.”

Her Inner Voice

The morning sun was dancing off the fresh, green foliage giving it a glow. She leans over the balcony eagerly watching the play of sunlight and shadow. That’s life, often a carnival filled with unique colors and just like the clouds in the autumn sky, these different colors shine and sparkle for a while and then fade away.

Listening to your inner voice

Listening to your inner voice

Looking back she realizes a lot of things. She does not have an answer to most of her questions. But she knows there is nothing called waking and dreaming, real and unreal. What was real yesterday is unreal today, and what is real now will be unreal tomorrow, because tomorrow it will no longer exist.

As she watches the colors that arise and disperse, and looks at the patterns of sun and shadow which form and dissolve she notices how life unfolds from a formless source. It arises from the ocean of bliss, from the joyous swaying of love, and merges back into the space of consciousness.

Will she ever be able to see things as a vast picture composed of countless vessels filled with strange and colorful things, each more fascinating and astounding than the last? What is all this? It is nothing but the dance of your own Self, the supreme actor, says her inner voice.

 

Moon Shadows

The near-full moon shines brightly, bathing the world in a pale unearthly gleam. The village by the lake is a totally different world in the night. Close by, the trees and the huts are covered with a white silvery sheet.

lake drenched in moonlight

The lake drenched in moonlight

All of a sudden a dark big cloud covers the moon and the darkness deepens. The unnerving silence interrupted by the sudden cry of a fox, the hoot of an owl and a rustle in the undergrowth get more intense in the dark. Darkness threw a veil over the village, the lake, the forest and the entire surrounding.

There’s a sweet fragrance in the air. I miss this fragrance often. It takes me back to my grandmother’s courtyard. The moon appears again, making its way through the heavy clouds. Once again the moonbeam falls on the lake, creating reflection in the still water and an unfamiliar magic.

Is this the place where the elves and fairies dance in the midnight? I don’t know yet, but the lake drenched in moonlight has a mystery to it – its unfamiliarity makes it even more magical.