Ashtami


1947

‘The fire of communal violence was spreading. There existed enough baggage of distrust and enmity between two of the major communities in the country to fan it.

News trickled in about the incendiary speech made by the Bengal Chief Minister Shaheed Suhrawardy and the ensuing cycle of violence which would later come to be known as the Great Calcutta Killings. Since both their larger families were in Bengal, Sujit and Bina were concerned and sent postcards enquiring about the safety and health of everyone. They even offered family members to leave Calcutta for some time and come and stay with them in New Delhi. Mercifully, they got back replies by post that there was nothing to worry about at the moment and all were safe.

But the Calcutta killings and the subsequent incidents of communal violence that followed in several parts of North India were but a trailer of what was to come…………..’

The above is an excerpt from the story Ashtami, part of the Chronicler of the Hooghly.

Book of the Month, Nazm -e- Hayat literary award winner. Available worldwide on Amazon.

www.shaktighosal.com

Authors’ collaboration


Collaboration between two authors can be a virtuous cycle of learning for both.

In her review of ‘The Chronicler of the Hooghly and other stories, author Manali Desai writes:

  • All the stories compare a time in India (especially Kolkata) from pre-independence vs now, making us ponder whether things have really changed and also highlighting the fact that ‘the past repeats itself’ and some actions/decisions have their impacts resonated through ages.
  • The writing style doesn’t always paint a pretty or desolate picture, but in fact, manages to preserve the beauty of simple simplicity by interlinking the heritage of Kolkata with commonality. Though the colours are a bit subdued and faded, but they carry lineage and ancestry.
  •  The most striking feature of the book is how the author has let his creativity rewrite history. It comes out especially well in “The Chronicler of the Hooghly” where the paths have been intertwined with well-known historical figures of Bengal.
  • The writing is simple and yet holds the capacity to make a reader fall in love with old Calcutta making them curious about the city’s past.
  •  The stories are thought-provoking and represent various human nature/emotions like greed, sadness, anger but the most applaud-worthy part about the actions in each story is how they bring home the message of karmic ends.

In my review of Manali’s book, I had said :

 “I was coaxed to read the book by a Facebook friend. I had downloaded it in Kindle a while back but could complete the reading only today.

Author Manali Desai took me on a journey. A journey inhabited by three millennials Ayesha Banerjee, Viren Joshi and Abhi Agrawal. A journey which spanned Mumbai, Kolkata and Chandigarh. A journey  into the mind and the world of the Millennial.  And I have come out enriched!

The prologue containing Ayesha’s poetry recital is at once heart wrenching, as it punches the reader in the guts. Showcase as it does one of the evils of our societal mindset.

Adopting an easy and racy writing style, Manali’s narrative does manage to operate at two levels. At one level, the tale is one of the proverbial romance triangle and what that shows up as in social interactions and conversations – during morning walks, in the college canteen and situations. At another level exists the unsureness and the confusion about making a choice. For me the end was somewhat abrupt. Apart from this a nice read.

I would urge Manali Desai to keep on writing.”

In our author collaborative session, we had an interesting discussion on the above aspects.

#shaktighosal#chroniclerofthehooghly#nazmesahityaaward2021#bookofthemonth#manalidesai

Elokeshi


“Dipen crossed the road to move towards his home in the Bhukailash estate. The narrow winding lane had a few single storied houses on the right. As he moved past the third house, his head turned as if on its own volition to the small verandah on the ground floor. His heart skipped a beat. There she was, the young woman in her twenties. Today in the failing light of dusk she stood, her head bent slightly to one side as she appeared to be combing her long lustrous black hair. Their eyes locked for a moment and then Dipen looked away quickly as he hastened his faltering steps. This had been happening almost every day over the last few months.”

The above is an excerpt from the story Pandemic, part of ‘The Chronicler of the Hooghly and other stories.

Adjudged ‘Book of the Month’ for March 2021 by Booknerds, Professor Gracy Samjetsabam column author in Sunday Guardian Live and copy editor, in her review in Borderless Journal (May 14, 2021), writes:

“….. Ghosal sprinkles confetti of his coaching in life skills into the storytelling to create a set of modern-day tales that are easily relatable and palatable. The style and the settings are like fresh air that enlightens as it entertains. The stories are vibrant and close to current realities, making them a worthy read.”

The full review is available here. https://borderlessjournal.com/…/the-chronicler-of-the…/

On 30th July 2021, the book has received the Nazm-e- Sahitya award 2021 from Nazmehayat, a platform of worthy writers. www.nazmehayat.com

www.shaktighosal.com

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India’s 75th year of Independence


‘Came the partition of the country and the independence speech of the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in which he proclaimed, “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom”.

What followed was something quite the contrary.

Rather than awakening to life, people were awakening to bloodshed, killings, rape and pillage. Rather than awakening to freedom to live where they chose to, people were being forced to leave behind everything they possessed and cross a newly created artificial border, homeless and penniless.

The above is an excerpt from Ashtami, one of the stories in ‘The Chronicler of the Hooghly and other stories’ which recently received the Nazm-e-Sahitya award for 2021.

On this day, as we mark the 75th year of India’s independence, the following excerpt from the section ‘Hebrews’ in the New Testament comes to mind.

“So since we stand surrounded by all those who have gone before, an enormous cloud of witnesses, let us drop every extra weight, every sin that clings to us and slackens our pace, and let us run with endurance the long race set before us.

We may feel alone, but we aren’t. We are surrounded by an army of witnesses. They have run the race of faith and finished well. It is now our turn.

Let us not forget all those who have gone before. Indeed, now it is our turn.

www.shaktighosal.com

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How can I come when I am not even here ?


“Hmm. Yes there is something but I am not sure if I should be speaking about it”, Anjan said. “I have been trying to make sense of an unusual incident that happened just a while back”.

The room quietened as everyone turned towards their host expectantly. Jaya too had come in, poured herself some red wine and sat down.

“Just before all of you came in, I was looking out of these French windows when I was somewhat surprised to see an old school friend of mine Savio on the walkway outside. We had lost touch for over two decades. Suddenly I see him outside my very window”.

“And you recognized him right away?” Akshay asked.

‘Right away, as if the years slipped away and I saw him just as I had last seen him two decades back’.

But when I invited him to join us for dinner tonight, he said something strange and vanished!

As his friends looked at each other in puzzlement, suddenly Anjan could hear shouts of “Anjan! Anjan!” coming from outside, accompanied by loud knocks.

To Anjan it seemed like Savio was calling him; he started getting up to go to the door.

****

The above is an excerpt from the story Faultlines, part of the Chronicler of the Hooghly collection. Emotionally gripping and a psychological page-turner, the book recently received the Nazme Sahitya award for 2021. Available worldwide on Amazon ( 180 excellent ratings and reviews) , Flipkart and select book stores.

www.shaktighosal.com

#shaktighosal#chroniclerofthehooghly#bookofthemonth#bookstagramfeature #booklife #bookaddiction #beautifulbooks #unitedbookstagram #bookishfeatures #bookgeek #bookprojects #readingforfun #addictedtobooks #readabook #becauseofreading #bookloversunite #bookaholic #booksandcoffee #readersgonnaread #booksinstagramindia #writersofinstagram #instaauthor #authorofinstagram

Spanning a century between the Pandemics of 1919 and 2020


Spanning a century between the pandemics of 1919 and 2020, Dipen and Indranil are confronted by tragedies under vastly different societal conditioning and development. What is their link spanning four generations which arises from an old and dilapidated palace and its massive Shiva linga?

Santosh Jami

Santosh Jami from Bengaluru writes……

Amazing book, very easy read.

Honestly I am not much into books lately but when I read the preface and the first few pages, I could not put it down, especially the parts where historical facts were interwoven into stories is real magic. The narration of battle of Plassey, events surrounding fall of Bengal when mixed with the characters in the stories – all of them came alive.And the mix of history with contemporary events is beautiful.

The open ending where the Chronicler slowly fades away is really thought provoking and leaves the reader with self reflection and space for introspection in a very subtle way.

Overall, an excellent read.

The book continues to make emotional waves worldwide with around one hundred and fifty excellent reviews and ratings on Amazon and Good Reads. Available on Amazon, Flipkart and leading bookstores.

www.shaktighosal.com

#chroniclerofthehooghly#shaktighosal#bookofthemonth#returntoreading

What a Master Coach says…..


Frank Marinko is a Leadership and Executive Coach and the Founder & Managing Partner of Empathinko. He resides in Melbourne, Australia.

Frank says this about the ‘Chronicler of the Hooghly and other stories’ :

Reading a Shakti Ghosal story is a thoroughly enjoyable experience. His stories are akin to the gossamer of a fine and delicate spiders web, subtle, alluring and surprisingly clever. The narrative expands with coherence and a subtle obliquity and yet as I read, the feeling is one of being comfortably lost in a vast and sumptuous tale of intrigue and mystery.

The way Shakti writes this story with grace and ease allows the reader to immerse themselves into the main character’s experience. One can easily become that character, plunged into the complexities of the circumstances as the story unfolds.

The book continues to make emotional waves worldwide with close to a hundred and fifty excellent ratings and reviews on Amazon and Good Reads.

www.shaktighosal.com

#chroniclerofthehooghly#shaktighosal#encourageauthorshakti#bookofthemonth#bookcommunity#bookaholic#bibliophile #shelfie#bookshelf#readers#bookoftheday#ilovereading#bookblog#bookgeek#bookalicious#readingforfun#ilovebooks#bookstagramfeature#booklife#bookaddiction#beautifulbooks#unitedbookstagram#bookishfeatures#bookgeek#bookprojects#readingforfun#addictedtobooks#readabook

An Indian Railways professional & the Chronicler


Prem Chandra

Prem Chandra of the Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers (Jamalpur cadre) is a senior professional ( retired) who has seen the world.

This is what he writes about his engagement with the Chronicler.

After a long time, I read a full book, breaking my big inertia. I found your book very enjoyable, at the same time, I travelled in a time capsule few centuries back, living in those times, and had some foreign visits too, of US and Gulf.

Sorrow of Shanti in Ashtami, was very touching. In our society, we need to evolve much more to take proper care of handicapped people. Come to think of it, each one of us, have few major physical and/or mental handicaps, which we are able to hide somehow, or we are not even aware of them.

Pandemic has shown us good mirror. Glimpse of the same a century back, was quite informative and brought good memories of our Calcutta days.

Fault Lines, nicely depicted the hindu karma theory, with a good pinch of mystery.

Finally, The Chronicler…, was superb climax. I learnt lot of our own history in a very interesting manner. Some characters in it like, Joba Sundari, Omichand, Satya and Rani Rashmoni, will remain in my memory for a long time. Effect of mixing supernatural in the story was too good and divine.

Congratulations Shakti, for writing this book so well in your first such attempt. It is of a high standard. Best wishes for your future such endeavours. In fact, now I look forward to your next.”

From Ashtami :

As preparations got underway to take the body for cremation, no one could miss that low pitched moan from the room of the deceased. It emanated from Shanti as he alone held onto his mother’s hand. It seemed disturbingly like a sound from the past trying to come to terms with that of an uncertain future. It ricocheted through the house and beyond, and failing to tug at the heartstrings of the folks around, carried to the heavens the sadness, tiredness and the irrelevance of it all.

Ya Devi sarva bhutesu Shanti rupena samsthita

Namestasyai Namestasyai Namestasyai Namoh Namah

Ashtami, part of the Chronicler of the Hooghly and other stories, continues to make emotional waves around the world with more than a hundred excellent ratings and reviews on Amazon.

Have you engaged with Ashtami yet?

www.shaktighosal.com

#chroniclerofthehooghly#shaktighosal#rediscovergoodread#ashtami#bookcommunity#bookaholic#bibliophile , #shelfie#bookshelf#readers#bookoftheday#ilovereading#bookblog#bookgeek#bookalicious#readingforfun#ilovebooks#booklife#bookaddiction#beautifulbooks#bookishfeatures#bookgeek#bookprojects#readingforfun#addictedtobooks#readabook#becauseofreading#bookloversunite#bookaholic#booksandcoffee#readersgonnaread

Rejuvenate……… your emotions


The Chronicler tales

In our lives, we at times get confronted with intense and traumatic events which force us to question who we are, what really matters to us and what we believe in. In some ways these events alter our sense of reality.

Each of the four stories in this book draw inspiration from such crucible events that I have had to face. The protagonists in that sense carry a bit of my own ‘experience and thought’ genes. As I see them now within the larger fabric of the stories, I do notice shades of myself and others who have been part of my life. Writing the stories has been a personal journey in that sense. At times the stories seemed to write themselves.

Come……….rejuvenate your emotions!

Swastika Bhattacharya

Swastika Bhattacharya has found her life’s calling in supporting children with special needs to take their rightful place in society. A beautiful and empowering profession.

My sense is that Swastika would relate wonderfully with Shanti and the other protagonists in ‘The Chronicler of the Hooghly and other stories’.

The book continues to make emotional waves worldwide with more than a hundred excellent ratings and reviews on Amazon.

www.shaktighosal.com

#chroniclerofthehooghly#shaktighosal#encourageauthorshakti#bookofthemonth,#booklover,#bookworm,#ereader,#kindlebook,#bookrecommendation,#fiction,,#bookloversunite,#booksbooksbooks#booknerd,#bookobsessed,#bookaddict,booksofig,#bookstherapy,#returntoreading,#rediscovergoodread,#happyreading,#bookishlife,#booksbrat

The Muscat connection


Souma Ray

After a successful stint with the Saud Bahwan Group in Muscat, Souma Ray is now the Director, Haulotte operations in India and SAARC. He currently lives in Mumbai.

His response after reading ‘The Chronicler of the Hooghly and other stories’ was,’Loved reading the book. Each story is unique and totally relatable. Kudos to you….

Anantha Narayanan with grand-daughter Jahnvi

Anantha Narayanan hails from Palghat and was a colleague at Muscat for more than two decades. He is the proud grandfather of two beautiful children Jahnvi and Aarav.

He is now left wondering how he would divide the time between the latter two and the Chronicler.

The Chronicler of the Hooghly is making waves worldwide with more than hundred excellent ratings and reviews on Amazon.

www.shaktighosal.com

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