#TornadoGiveaway – Marijuana Diaries

Name of the Book : MARIJUANA DIARIES

Compiler : Paulami Duttagupta

Edited by : Nethra A.

Read some reviews:

1. Sundari Venkatraman

2. Nikita Jhanglani

3. Ruchi Singh

The Story:

Marijuana Diaries, an anthology on addiction and obsession, has 17 stories by new and established writers. As writers introspect and celebrate addictions of various forms, the pages of this diary fill up.
 
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About The Authors

 

Contributors: Gulzaar, Raghuvir Shekhawat, Deepali Junjappa, Meera Bharadwaj,Priyaa Trippayar Sahasranaman, Subha N Nivedita and Dr. Tahmina Khaleel Rochelle Potkar, Paulami DuttaGupta, Reshma Ranjan, Rubina Ramesh, Nehali Lalwani, Nethra Anjanappa, Janaki Nagaraj, Aparajita Dutta, Brindaa Lakshmi and Ahana Mukherjee.

About the Editor

Paulami DuttaGupta 
 

Born in Shillong, many moons ago, with schooling at Loreto Convent, and an English Honors from St. Edmunds College, Paulami Duttagupta started her career with All India Radio Shillong. She had written and also given her voice to a few shows there. Later she came down to Kolkata and got a post graduate degree in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University. She had also taken up a fancy to learning Spanish, but today confesses that she has forgotten most of it.

She has written for ‘The Times of India’ in the ‘Guwahati-Shillong plus Edition’ and also ‘The Shillong Times’. Television had always attracted her and was connected to the Bangla TV industry for about 6 years. She was associated with ETV- Bangla, Akash Bangla and Sony Aath in this period.

Having left her day job in 2012, Paulami took up full time writing. Her first novel, “Pinjar” released in early 2012.

Her second novel “Unplanned Destiny” released in 2014. She is also the screenplay writer of the national award winning Khasi film – “Ri Homeland of Uncertainty”.

“Ri” has been adapted into a novel and is releasing in Sepember’14.

She is currently working on her next project as movie script writer.

Apart from writing full length novels, she has written several short stories and articles. She has also contributed to the “Minds@work Anthology” and the “Family Matters International Anthology” in 2013.

Recently she has contributed to the “Learning and Creativity Anthology” , “Her Story Anthology”, and “Celebrating India – Love across Borders Anthology”.

When she is not writing or watching movies, Paulami is either reading biographies or classic pieces of literature. Cricket, food, cinema, books and music are an integral part of her life.

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Book Review – Butterfly Season by Natasha Ahmed

ButterflySeason

Blurb: On her first holiday in six years, Rumi is expecting to relax and unwind. But when she is set up by her long-time friend, she doesn’t shy away from the possibilities. Ahad, a charming, independent, self-made man, captures her imagination, drawing her away from her disapproving sister, Juveria.

Faced with sizzling chemistry and a meeting of the minds, Ahad and Rumi find themselves deep in a relationship that moves forward with growing intensity. But as her desire for the self-assured Ahad grows, Rumi struggles with a decision that will impact the rest of her life.

Confronted by her scandalized sister, a forbidding uncle and a society that frowns on pre-marital intimacy, Rumi has to decide whether to shed her middle-class sensibilities, turning her back on her family, or return to her secluded existence as an unmarried woman in Pakistan.

We follow Rumi from rainy London to a sweltering Karachi, as she tries to take control of her own destiny.

 

Buy Links :  Amazon  /  Indireads

 

Review: Do Pakistani women think (and maybe act) like Indian women when it comes to love or are they different? What do the contemporary Pakistani women feel about pre-marital intimacy? These were just some of the questions that came to my mind when I read the blurb of Butterfly Season. Of course I wanted to know whether our sisters from across the border were really so different from us as sometimes we are led to believe. I’m glad I picked up the book because now I feel that Pakistan and India are not so different after all, at least not where we women are concerned.

Rumi and Ahad, the main characters, are easy to fall in love with. Their romance is fun and frothy & they share a great sexual chemistry. I was relieved that Ahmed didn’t fall in the trap of keeping sex-scenes in the book just to get high sales (as is the case nowadays) since so many books I read that try to talk about a woman’s choices/perspective do. Mahira comes across as a great friend, a friend everyone needs in his/her life, a strong pillar of support. Juveria, though easy to dislike, reminds me of so many women that try to guide all their actions and words according to norms set up by the society in order to please it, but turn up making their lives miserable. Ahmed has been able to create a great mix of characters, all taken from our contemporary society. The men folk needed a bit more work IMHO but the female characters all came out strong.

I liked the little glimpses the author has shown of contemporary Pakistan what with Urdu words strewn in, references to the pop culture, the Junoon-Vital signs debate etc. The author has used beautiful language in Butterfly season for example – “…Love and marriage are not synonymous. Every Pakistani girl knows that already.” There are many such ‘quotable quotes’ strewn across the book. I do wish Ahmed had delved a little deeper into Karachi, which was such an intrinsic part of Rumi. I wished to experience the city through its many colors, smells and sights but I felt something missing. I did identify with the heat though coming from Punjab myself.

Butterfly season is a quick read, hardly a hundred pages long and has some great thought provoking moments. I congratulate the author on talking about such a taboo topic like pre-marital sex and not come up as preachy or condescending. I thoroughly enjoyed Ahmed’s debut novella and would recommend it to Romance lovers all over the world. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars 🙂

 

 

 

Who Am I ?

It’s funny that you are asking me who am I because you have met me so many times but hardly ever made an effort to notice or recognize me.

I am the girl you bullied at school, calling me names and making fun of me in public, taking advantage of your being a boy just because I didn’t see eye to eye with you.

I am the girl in college you whistled and groped at while passing by everyday, making me feel afraid, insecure and at risk, trampling my self respect and dignity. And when I resisted your advances the best you could do was throw an acid bulb at my face.

I am that girl friend you took advantage of, making me give you everything that was mine, not only the money but also a part of my body and soul, only to throw me aside later in order to marry someone who offered you a bigger price tag.

I am the co-worker you harassed, sometimes by passing dirty jokes in my presence, at other times by touching my hand while taking a file or bumping into me and feeling me up, never sparing any thought about my rights.

I am the mother you took for granted, ignoring my pleas and concerns, ignoring my emotions and thereby changed me into a monotonic machine that does only two things – work and ramble, until one day you decide that since I am no longer useful I must be sent away to die in anonymity in some God-forsaken old age home.

I am that wife you never took notice of other than in the darkness of night, ignoring all my efforts to please you and grab your attention just because your roving eye and dripping tongue was never satisfied, when one fine day you suddenly realize that I make for a great punching bag – one that never hits you back.

I am the sister you claimed to love deeply, the one you fiercely protected from harm’s way, but when the time came to stand by me and show your support you chose instead to beat me and my lover up and then murder us in cold blood only because we had dared to love.

I am that girl child you killed when I made my presence felt even before I saw the light of day, my only mistake was being a girl and therefore not welcome.

Yes, I tolerated all of this but still gave you a second chance because
I am a Woman.