Friday, June 7, 2019

The Two Women

They were two women. Who would have thought of comparing them if they were not living in the same house, eating the same food, breathing in the same air?

The younger one was prettier. Wasn't it always so? Besides, she had style, an air of sophistication. Long-limbed and graceful, her dancing eyes and gay laughter filled the house. She had not a care in the world.

The older woman was the serious one. She had a boniness about her which was etched into her very if it were going to haunt her for the rest of her life, no matter if she decided to gorge on sweets and cream (as if she would).

The eyes were deeper-set and the hollows in her cheeks lent her...what was it? A hidden depth, perhaps? Surely, her lack of good looks gave her an individuality that she would never have had if she had been pretty? Perhaps the responsibilities weighed her down and made her that way.

Photo from Pixabay
It was certainly not the baby. The baby, in fact, seemed to lift her spirits, carrying her into a different world. Caring for him was hard work, what with the countless nappies to be changed, innumerable feeds and nights of disturbed sleep. Yet, she seemed to enjoy it all. I could see that when I visited their house. It was she who let me in, the baby clinging to her, both very much a part of each other. Like a mother and her baby should be.

I went there to meet the younger one. She was out so I sat in the hall and waited. As I waited, I could not help watching the woman and the child. They laughed together, speaking a language I could not understand. Their words, gestures and expressions seemed perfectly synchronised. She responded to every inflection in the baby's voice, every cry, every smile. Surely, this was love. The baby was secure, free from fears and anxieties.

Lucky baby, I thought, as I gave him my key-chain to play with. The baby looked up at me with his trusting eyes and said 'Dadaada.' The woman smiled proudly at this achievement.

At that moment the key turned in the lock. The younger woman stepped in, her presence filling the room, changing it. The baby looked up briefly from the key-chain in his hand before becoming engrossed in it again.

'I've been admiring your baby, Sheila,' I said to the newcomer. 'He's such a happy baby. You are lucky to have such a good helper.'

(This was published in Deccan Herald, Bangalore)

Related Reading: A Real Lady (Flash Fiction).

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Why Blogger is better than Wordpress for people like me

Image from Pixabay
The web is bursting at the seams with positive reviews of Wordpress, many of which compare WP with Blogger. But Blogger is more suitable for people like me.

I still have four blogs at WP (free ones), although only one is being updated currently, as of June 2019. Two of these used to have paid hosting at WP with bought domain names. I went for it because everyone said WP is the best. Now I work with blogger custom domains. But that's another story.

I wrote my first blog ( from Sep 2006 to Jan 2010. It did great, probably because there was less competition then. I have almost 1000 posts there, and scores of comments on each post, at times hundreds. I had followers in thousands. I stopped blogging because it was becoming a full-time job with zero revenue. Despite working so hard, with thousands of page views per day (684,047 views in 2010, although I stopped blogging in January of that year!), I was unable to monetize the blog on a free WordPress platform. It was too late to switch to a paid version because I would have lost my page rank.

That's a lot of views I think, although they were probably from feeds. The views continued to be quite good for several years although I abandoned the blog.

Wordpress did publish ads on my site but I got nothing. Later Wordpress started paying bloggers but it was too late for me. I had moved on.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

A gentle and gutsy girl – a short story for children.

Rinky was a fun-loving ten-year-old with short hair and a pug nose. She lived in a very tall building in the heart of Bombay. Rinky could skate really fast, turn cartwheels and somersaults, run the fastest, and swing higher than anybody else. She always wore jeans and T-shirts (except in school of course) and played only with the boys. In her heart of hearts, she wished she was a boy too.

In the same apartment building where she lived, there lived another girl called Shobha. Shobha was a soft-spoken, gentle girl. Rinky found her very "girlish" and "silly" and refused to talk to her. If her mother even suggested that she should become friends with Shobha, Rinky would get upset.

‘Shobha is a stupid girl,’ she would say. If her mother disagreed, Rinky would

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Teenage Love

I discovered this little poem tucked away in a diary I wrote when I was a teenager. There are scores of other poems but for now, I am publishing just this one. It sounds silly to me now because after all, I wrote it aeons ago but it is a reminder to me that I was always a writer.

I shouldn't have held your hand,
when you asked me;
because you didn't really love me.
You warned me of the consequences,
admitted your faithlessness,
even mentioned my worthlessness.
I let you.

I shouldn't have let you kiss me,
When you held me;
Because for you it was a game
You emphasised its lightness,
stressed its momentariness,
specified its meaninglessness.
I gave in.

© Nita Jatar Kulkarni

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The time it takes to publish a book

Most writers know the difference between paying to get your book published and getting a publisher to invest in your work. The publishers who do the latter are called traditional publishers. But people don't always know the difference.

This didn't matter to me until I got into the game. Now that I've been telling people about my soon-to-be-published novel for over a year...two years, people ask questions. The novel is still not published (although it will be at the end of the year) and people want to know why.

Every time I meet someone who knows I have written a book, I get asked the same questions again and again, in different ways.

What? Your book is still not published?
Why is your book taking so long?
Where is this book you've been talking about? 
When will your book be published?

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The grey area between a pantser and a plotter

I am neither a pantser nor a plotter. I have my own method. It's worked for me so far.

Pantsers write without a structure in mind and plotters outline and then fill in the blanks. The pantsers and the plotters. I never really got this distinction. The grey area between these two extremes is just too huge. Experts tell you to do what suits you best. I figured it out, for me.

I wrote my first crime thriller (to be published in September 2019) as a pantser. It took several rewrites and several years and a lot of muddling about. I want a better method. Fun as it was.

The second time around (I am working on my second novel, a sequel) I thought I would try the plotting method. Total Fail. Got writer's block. So that's out of the window.

What I did next was