Tag Archives: guest post

Fear: My bae (A guest post)

This Saturday I bring you the second post of the series of guest posts on Fear that will be published on this blog through this month. Today’s contributor is Rachana, a very special friend. She reviewed the ARC of my second book, How I tamed the dragon named fear and called me up at 11.20 PM in the night to tell me how the book made her feel. It was the first time I was talking to her on phone and we ended up chatting past 12.30 AM. Both of us are wannabe authors – so the connect is natural. Thank you Rachana for the simplicity and honesty with which you wrote this post. May you conquer your fears over the course of time.


||Guest Post||

Contributor: Rachana Sita

Fear: My bae

img-20170113-wa0000I feel privileged to talk about fear that I have known since childhood, more anything else.  It’s like a mole or scar on the face, which always exists and which will create unnecessary insecurity if given importance.

Even our shadow will leave us alone in the darkness but fear never had and never will. Of course, it’s like a possessive boyfriend who always claims to be with you but only triggers you, provides you insecurity and who only brings out the worst version of you.

And we get easily caught up in it – sometimes without even realizing and sometimes without knowing it and sometimes not knowing how to walk out of it.

I had many fears and I still have many. Fears also get upgraded with time. The older we get, the bigger fears we face.

I fear darkness.

I fear rejections.

I fear relationships.

I fear the unknown future.

And many other fears which will pop out anytime like an uninvited pimple.

If I were to pick, I can’t single out one particular incident when I was afraid. Fear has been a part of my everyday life. I am afraid of waking up late, getting late to work, not bringing the proper output which will please the boss, not being truthful to myself.

Fear suffocates me and sweats me while my heart starts racing like a sports car and I will blindly follow the orders of the fear.

No matter where I am whether – in the middle of traffic or a concert or in a meeting or on the stage hosting something or talking about something, if fear arises and takes charge- I’ll be doomed for that day making myself a clown and bagging some embarrassment or regrets. I even started rejecting many things because of this oh-so-normal fear.

And fear never comes alone. It always brings its best friend anxiety which would be the origin for many bad decisions. I don’t even want to talk about anxiety; it almost convinced me to go a psychiatrist.

Lately I realized that I was the one giving it so much importance. I was one letting it to take over my brain. I was the only one allowing it to me make stupid decisions.

And I strongly decided that I will recognize what sort of fear or anxiety I am facing and slam a door right on its face. I didn’t want to make it a friend or an enemy as both requires attention. It should be like spam message which will be deleted even without opening.

On an important note, I also used to be insecure to talk about my fears- I had a fear of being made fun of. But then I realized that talking about fears will only help to sweep them off with the broomstick just like cobwebs.

Finding the right problem will only helps to find the right solution as every problem comes with its own solution.

I believe that the pivotal thing which can be done is firstly to discover the existence of fear and then not giving it much importance and ignoring it like an ex-boyfriend.

Having fear is completely okay.

Everyone experience some kind of fears and it’s okay to have them unless you get steered blindly by the fear.

I congratulate Arpita on her second book which is also about fear (My favourite topic though). It is so wonderful and awesome to write about something which bugs everyone.  To share something which we learnt in our life and to spread positivity is very motivating. I wish you all the very best girl! Keep writing!


About Rachana

Rachana did Electrical Engineering. She worked in Wipro as a VLSI project engineer which rewired her brain and she decided to flourish her dream to be a writer. She writes short stories of fiction and fantasy. She is a newbie reader and loves the smell of the books. She loves coffee and always wanders in her fantasy-world where she finds many fascinating characters and stories. Her dream is to get identified by her fictional characters. She also loves travelling to new places.

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Disclaimer: The thoughts and opinions expressed in the guest post are solely the guest’s. The owner of this blog makes no representation as to the originality, accuracy or completeness of any information in this post.

Celebrating a year of Bound by Life with Guest Post by Shilpa Niraj

Hello there everyone!

This day last year I published my first (and so far only) ebook, Bound by Life, on Amazon. It has been quite an eventful year since. The book has sold 14 paid copies and over a hundred free copies. It has also being downloaded at least fifty times via Kindle Unlimited/Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. For a beginning author as myself, I consider it an achievement!

To celebrate one-year anniversary of Bound by Life, I am publishing a guest post by Shilpa Niraj, blogger at Femme Time. Shilpa is set to publish her first novella, A Murder Gone Wrong, on Amazon soon. Today, she shares with you ten tips to write short fiction.

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 Ten Tips to Write Flash Fiction

By Shilpa Niraj

We all know that any story should have a beginning, middle and an end. Also, it should have three basic elements, the character, the setting and the plot. But how about when we try to cram up all the elements in an insanely short fiction?

Flash Fiction is a disciplined genre, which helps writers’ to hone their skills. It is an art form that takes ability and effort to fit a good story within the small framework.

To submit a flash fiction online, stories must be between 500 and 1000 words. Brevity is the key. This leads to lot of constraints and restrictions while writing a story that is succinct. Here are some tips that will help in writing ultra-short stories.

  1. Select a single theme for your story.
  2. More than two characters are not advised.
  3. Start at the middle of the story, not the beginning.
  4. Keep the story as a single plot. Sub-plots may not fit into the word count limit.
  5. Do not have multiple scenes.
  6. Unnecessary adverbs and adjectives are not advised.
  7. Remember that flash fiction is not a narrative or an essay.
  8. Create an impact with a twist at the end.
  9. Know when to show and when to tell. You need to select it wisely.
  10. Entice the reader with a great title.

About the Author

Shilpa Niraj has been reading mysteries ever since she first discovered Nancy Drew. An ardent fan of mysteries, she can still go back and reread her favorite books of Agatha Christie and Erle Stanley Gardner. An avid reader and a blogger, she is now eagerly awaiting for the release of her debut mystery novella, A Murder Gone Wrong.

Shilpa holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a master’s degree in Information Management from Mumbai University. She lives with her husband in Mumbai, India. 

When she is not reading or plotting murders for her next story, she is busy exploring new destinations.

Author Links: 

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The thoughts and opinions expressed in the guest post are solely the guest’s. The owner of this blog makes no representation as to the originality, accuracy or completeness of any information in this post.

 

 

 

Culebrita – A Guest Post

Hello Blogoworld!

Some of you might remember me introducing my blogging partner, Marquessa Matthews from Blogging 201 course. As part of the course, we decided to guest post on each other blog’s today! 

Today’s post is an excerpt from a novel that Marquessa is presently working on. The main character of the novel is a young woman called Delaney who decides to ditch the responsibilities of her “regular” life, throw caution to the wind by taking a work assignment in Puerto Rico and embraces her new found freedom of putting herself first

Please head on to Marquess’a blog for other excerpts of the novel.

Wish you a happy read! Also, don’t forget to check out my story, Rosenberg on Marquessa’s blog which is my guest post for today.


Culebrita

Guest Post by Marquessa Matthews

“I think I’m going to be sick.”

As soon as I took one look at that tiny plane, I stopped dead in my tracks. My feet were cemented to the ground.

“Isn’t there a ferry or a boat we could take instead?”

Alejandro strategically placed his hand on my lower back to keep propelling me in a forward motion. “We could but in the time it would take to get to Fajardo, with traffic, and charter a boat, we could already be at Ric and Emme’s. Are you afraid of flying?”

I shook my head as the three of us walked up to the foot of the plane, Nate pulling on Aleja’s hand to hurry us up.

“Under normal circumstances, no. But this plane has propellers.” As soon as the words left my mouth, my stomach started to do little somersaults.

“Taking a plane from Isla Grande is the best and quickest option. Don’t worry. You’ll be fine.” Alejandro leaned into me, kissed my forehead and took hold of my sweaty hand. “And it’ll give me an excuse to hold your hand the entire way,” he reassured me.

“Me too! I’ll hold your hand.” Nate bolted around us and grabbed hold of my other hand. Even if I wanted to change my mind, I couldn’t.

The pilot ushered us into the plane and helped us to get settled in. Alejandro teased me about my quickness to buckle up. I rolled my eyes at him. In such a small plane, I needed to mentally prepare myself for every bump and bit of turbulence we could encounter.

“How long is the flight to Culebra?” I tried to make my question sound cool and nonchalant but I wasn’t fooling anyone, including myself.

The pilot turned his head to respond but Alejandro cut him off.  “About 15 minutes.”

“Oh, that’s not so bad.”

As we taxied off, I held my breath, waiting for take-off. As promised, Alejandro kept hold of my hand to reassure me but Nate had totally forgotten his promise. Completely distracted with peering out the window, Nate had his nose smudged up against the window. The warmth of Aleja’s hand calmed my nerves. I had no idea what Aleja and I were doing as a “we” but it felt good. For once, I was determined to just go with the flow and not overanalyze the situation.

Before I knew it, I soon found myself doing the same thing as Nate. I was in amazement of the beautiful view below. The white sands and the turquoise blue and green water were absolutely breathtaking. Picture postcard perfection.

mm

Photo credit: S F photographs / Foter / CC BY-ND

Nate chattered away as he always did, pointing out of the window for me to look at this cloud and that boat. Alejandro wasn’t saying anything and when I turned to him, I caught him simply smiling at us.

“What?”

“Nothing,” he said and continued smiling. That smile that gave me butterflies.

I relaxed into the ride enough to let go of his hand, pull out my cell to snap a few photos of the scenery below.

“How are you feeling?” Alejandro was always so laid back. If he could bottle the Zen-vibe he always gave off, I would be the first one to buy it online. He always had a softness to his tone that stripped away any temptation I could have had to be anything but myself with him. And I liked that – a lot. Down to earth, intelligent, authentic and a surprisingly semi-introvert. For someone in his position, how could that be?

I could feel the plane descending. “Most of my nerves are gone, thanks to you.” I reached out and touched his thigh, probably lingering a little longer than necessary. I looked at the time on my cell. “Wait, this has been more than 15 minutes.”

Alejandro’s eyes twinkled and he grinned sheepishly. “I lied. It’s more like 30…”

With a grin like that, what else could I do but smile? “Don’t make it a habit. I don’t do well with lies.”

The touchdown was smooth and before I knew it, we were off the plane and into a town car that Ric had sent for us.

As we drove, my nerves began acting up again.

The first time Alejandro had invited me to Ric’s place, I had declined. But this time, Nate had begged me to go and the kid never took no for an answer without a valid reason. Alejandro hadn’t needed to convince me – his mini advocate had done all the work for him.

Sure, the three of us had been spending a lot of time together in our own little bubble but an entire weekend at his cousin’s place made whatever it was that we were doing a little more palpable.  I was more than a little nervous hanging out with part of his family in such close proximity for an extended weekend. Somewhere between “friends with no benefits” and an “intimate couple”, I wondered what Alejandro had told Ric and Emme about me tagging along.

It wasn’t long before we pulled up to a three storey house perched on a hillside not too far from the beach. The intoxicating views of Luis Pena Cay and the warm breeziness of the air, I had never imagined that life could get any better than my little beach house.  But it did get better. And it was stunning.

Ric and Emme were waiting outside for us and a little boy around Nate’s age was jumping around anxiously. We got out of the car and Nate rushed over to the little boy.

“It’s great that you decided to spend a few days with us.” Ric gave me a two-sided kiss and gave Alejandro a quick hug.

Emme’s face showed her surprise at seeing me. She quickly approached showering us both with kisses. “It’s nice to see you again Delaney. No one told me that Aleja was bringing a guest.”

No one meant Ric. Emme turned and gave him the eye.

Ric shrugged, looking guilty with his palms upturned to the sky. “Sorry, I didn’t think of it.”

Awkward.

“I apologize and hope that it isn’t a problem Emme. It was kind of last minute.”

Emme shook her head fervently, her smile genuine. “Of course it isn’t a problem. Any friend of Aleja’s is welcome in our home. It’ll be great to get to know you better. I just wish my absent-minded husband would remember to tell me these things.” She summoned the little boy forward. “Adrian, say hello to Delaney. Delaney is Alejandro’s friend.”

The little boy came forward, extended his hand and said, “Hello.” He was a cutie. It was obvious that looks ran in the family. I shook his little hand and almost immediately, he looked up at Emme. “Can Nate and I go play now?”

Emme gave him a nod of approval and the two little boys ran off towards the housekeeper who stood in the doorway.

“Why don’t we head inside too?”

As Ric and Aleja handled our bags, I saw Emme raise her eyebrows at Ric and he nodded to respond to some sort of secret code they had. I wondered what she was thinking.

The house had a beachy Zen feel to it much like Aleja’s but with a more open concept. Off-white walls, pastel accents to compliment the earthy toned furniture. Everything was simple, light and airy.

“Guys, why don’t you leave the bags at the bottom of the stairs while I give Delaney a tour of the house? Then we can all have a late lunch. Ric, keep an eye on Adrian and Nate before they get into too much trouble.”

Emme was definitely the boss of the house. Ric nodded and led Aleja away but not before he winked at me. Emme caught our exchange.

“Let me show you where you’ll be staying.”

The way Emme glided so gracefully up the stairs, there was no doubt in my mind that she was a dancer or ballerina. Or at least, she used to be.

“This section of the house is where our guests always stay. It’s pretty private.” She opened the door to a beautifully laid out bedroom that could have been featured in Coastal Living magazine.

A king-sized canopied bed filled one corner and the rest of the room was basically a living room equipped with two sofas, a mini bar and a flat screen mounted to the opposite wall. The French doors to the balcony teased a spectacular view of the cay behind the voile sheer curtains.

“Aleja usually stays in here and Nate always sleeps in Adrian’s room. If you haven’t noticed, those two little boys are inseparable, kind of like the two big boys. Then again, you and Aleja seem to be as thick as thieves too, no?” Emme smiled widely. She was reminding me so much of my straight talking Ella who I missed having around.

I couldn’t help but laugh. “Subtlety is not your strong suit, is it?”

We both laughed and I was glad. I could tell that I wouldn’t need to stand on ceremony with her.

“I can surely say that I have never, ever been accused of being subtle. That’s for sure. Will you and Aleja be sharing this room?” She looked me straight in the eye for a reaction.

My hesitation to respond was reaction enough for her. What was I supposed to say? I didn’t even know the answer for myself.

“I’m sorry for being so curious. It’s just that Aleja never visits with, uh, women friends. He only visits with Nate.”

“Oh.” I was the one surprised.

“That says a lot, you know. I mean the fact that he doesn’t make it a habit of bringing women here.” Were her words a warning more than a mere statement, I didn’t know but it didn’t matter – I got the message loud and clear.

Emme led me through the balcony doors and to the balcony doors of the room next door. The room was a smaller version of the room we had just left.

“If you’d be more comfortable in here, you could stay in this room. As you can see, this room shares the same balcony so the two of you could have some…privacy.”

“Thanks for the offer Emme. I wouldn’t mind taking this room.”

She looked at me for a long moment and absorbed what I had said. Without coming right out and asking the question she was curious about, I had given her the answer to what she wanted to know.

“You know, what I’m going to say is going to sound very “high school” but Aleja bringing you here, it shows that he’s comfortable with you – like family. It’s obvious that he likes you.”

And don’t mess with that, right?

“Well, Aleja’s a good man and we are … enjoying each other’s company.” I was hoping that we could we finish this conversation and head back downstairs soon.

Emme read my mind and led me back into the hallway where we had started. “Have you met anyone else in the family?”

“No, just you two and those other friends when we all had dinner at his place that time a few weeks ago. I also met a few people at that music event the other night but there was no family there.”

I was right! I told Ric that thought it was you in those photos I saw online.”

“Aleja did invite me to his parent’s anniversary party. A barbecue with his family and extended family next week?”

Emme’s mouth fell open. “Really? Well, well, well…That says it all. This is a really close knit family, Delaney. It felt like forever before Ric took me to a family function. Have you met Marisol yet?”

“Alejandro’s sister? No, not yet. Why?”

“Just asking.” Emme didn’t sound very enthused.  “Are you hungry? Let’s go eat. Then, we can relax for the rest of the afternoon by the pool or go to the beach. I’ll give you the rest of the tour later.” It was obvious that she was changing the subject.

We headed back downstairs and we did, my brain went into overdrive. Curiosity got the better of me and I couldn’t help myself.

“Emme, why did you specifically ask about Marisol?”

Emme waited until we were almost in the kitchen before turning to me. The patio doors off of the kitchen were wide open and I could see Aleja and Ric outside on the patio with bottle of Medalla in hand while the two little boys had their feet dangled into the pool, trying to kick splash each other.

“I’ll let you make your own impression of Marisol. That’s all I’ll say for now.”

Carefully chosen words from an outspoken woman who had no problem speaking her mind?

That couldn’t be a good sign.

©2015 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Review of Little Women – A Guest Post

Write me           aGuest PostOn the third Saturday in July, I bring you another guest post in the Re-living the Classics series. In Re-living the Classics, you send me your reviews of your favourite classic which I publish as guest posts.

Today’s post is contributed by Debolina. She is an enthusiastic blogger and freelance writer. Don’t forget to check out her blog and leave a comment for her!


Review of Little Women

Guest Post by Debolina

Do you remember what we did when we were young and did not have the likes of mobile phone, Facebook, iPads and others modern gadgets…we READ!

We still read, but somehow I feel the charm of reading evergreen classics like The Tale of Two Cities, Treasure Island, Pride and Prejudice, Gone with the Wind and others, will never stimulate a young reader’s mind today like it used to do for us. Reading books back then, was like creating a universe of imagination around us. The words were like moving pictures, which created and left memories and emotions in our hearts.

lwOne such classic novel, which still lingers in my mind is the Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Four sisters, a mother, a backdrop of the Civil War and their relationships and dreams made a unique plot, depicting a modern-day woman, at least back in those times. It was like the first look at a ‘new woman’, who is ready to  break free of the shackles of social prejudices and gender discrimination to make a mark for herself.

What is it about: The plot involves four sisters and their mother during the Civil War. The March family consists of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, Mr. and Mrs. March. Mr. March is off to serve the nation as a war hero. Mrs. March also visits him once in a while. The story deals with the lives of the four sisters- Meg, the beautiful eldest sister ad her admirers, who used to teach children in a family; Jo, the tomboy of the family and a talented writer, who helped her wealthy grandaunt; Beth, the musician, who meets a tragic end and Amy, the youngest with curly hair and a charming character. The author has beautifully crafted each and every character. As the story advances, new characters come into their lives- how they influence them and how they interact with them. As the story comes to an end, it summerizes the lives of the characters and where they stand at the end of the novel. This is based on the author’s real life and her family to a certain extent.

What I liked about it: I might have read the abridged version of the novel, but the first thing, which touched my heart is the simplicity of the characters and the story. It felt so familiar as if I knew the March family. There was no royalty or fantasy. It beautifully brought out the nuances of the life of a family torn between war and reality. It talked about love, passion, struggles, devotion, death, happiness and emotions. Being a single child, it brought forth the picture of siblings and their relationships. I imagined how would it feel to be part of the March family. It also spoke about the socio-political environment and the stature of women in the society, which was about to change. It was overwhelming to read about simple emotions of simple characters that I could relate to as a child. I was very fond of Jo in particular, because of her bold personality and of course her flair for writing. I remember this as one of my inspirations  for writing. It left me with lovely memories of the characters, yet a desire to read about the next generation.

What it led to: The popularity of the book, encouraged the author to pen down sequels like Little Men,  Jo’s Boys and How They Turned Out (a sequel to Little Men). Little Women and Little Men have been made into several movies and television series. A 1994 flick starring Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder and Kirsten Dunst was a wonderful adaptation of the book.

About the Author: Born in 1832, Louisa May Alcott became famous as an American novelist. She was a support for her family, who had gone though several financial difficulties. She has also written under the pet name, A. M. Barnard. Some of her other works include A Long Fatal Love Chase, The Mysterious Key and What It Opened, Under The Lilacs, to mention a few. Her commemorative stamp was released by the United States in 1940.

Final Verdict: A lovely saga of sisterhood, womanhood, society and relationships. It is like a well-knit tale of loved ones and how family sticks together and help each other through happiness and hardships. A simple illustration of the tides and times through the eyes of an ‘all-woman’ family. A nice read for those, who like to read about family ties and chemistry among women, bonded by the love of sisterhood. Readers will surely love the flow of emotions and situations, which makes it an engaging storyline. Probably, one of those books, which a mother can handover to a daughter or a sister can gift her sibling or a woman can share with another.

Review of To Kill a Mockingbird – A Guest Post

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Today’s guest post in Re-living the Classics is a review of To Kill a Mockingbird by the wonderful Belinda. I love reading her beautiful personal anecdotes! Be sure to check out her site!

Would you like to have your review of your favourite classic featured on this blog? To do that, contact me through the form given after today’s post. Be sure to mention your name, email and the name of the book you wish to review. Thank you!


Review of To Kill a Mockingbird

Guest Post by Belinda

First, thanks to Arpita for this opportunity to review one of my all-time favorite books. While I originally had planned to take a look at Madame Bovary, current events and the imminent release of Harper Lee’s second book (Go Set a Watchman, July 14, 2015) compelled me to change my mind.

to-kill-a-mockingbird2To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960) is a story of a small town in the southern U.S., where things move slowly but certainly, and a small spark of hope for the future exists. It’s a tale of friendships, family and the forgotten, and how in the end they all fight for each other.

It’s also a story of vast racial injustice and a man not willing to be resigned to it until he’s forced to be. Mostly, it’s the tale of girl growing up and learning about all that happens and all who live in this small town she calls home.

Jean Louise Finch, who goes by Scout, lives with her brother, Jem, and father, Atticus, in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama.  Scout and Jem befriend a boy named Dill, who visits his aunt each year during the summer months.

Scout, Jem and Dill are fascinated by their reclusive and ostensibly frightening neighboring, Boo Radley. For two summers they watch and wait for him to appear. The third year, they’re bewildered to find small gestures of friendship seemingly from the shy man, yet still don’t catch sight of him.

That same year Atticus is appointed to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman. The entire town becomes captivated by the trial, and the consequences of the outcome shape events for months to come in a dramatic and poignant way.

The children’s fascination with Boo and the unfolding of events that follow the trial come together in the final pages in a way true to the rest of the story, the town and its characters.  This type of ending to such a complex story is rare. So often the plot line becomes convoluted or melodramatic.  Not the case here.

 The books narrative style is fluid, with bits of irony used to communicate the complex issues it covers. It’s a story you can read time and again, always with a different perspective: once with a look at racial injustice, another with an eye to class and culture in the American South of the early 20th century. It addresses human nature on a broader scale in the character of Boo Radley and how the town dealt with him in their words and actions.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It captivates me from the first sentence every time I read it, which is about once every three or four years. I couldn’t wait to read it again for this review, and look forward already to the next time.


Would you like to have your review of your favourite classic featured on this blog? To do that contact me through the form given below. Be sure to mention your name, email and the name of the book you wish to review. Thank you!

Thoughts on ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ – Guest post by Shreedeep Gangopadhyay

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Today’s guest post, as part of the Saturday Specials feature in July, is contributed by Mr. Shreedeep Gangopadhyay. He has previously contributed a few pieces of flash fiction for his earlier guest post in May. This month in Re-living the Classics, Mr. Gangopadhyay deconstructs the classic American novella, The Old man and the Sea.

As I have mentioned in my previous post, this month I am looking for volunteers to review the classics. I still have two spots open, so please feel free to contact me to contribute your piece. To do this, use the contact form given below today’s post, clearly mentioning your name, email and the name of the book that you wish to review.

For next week’s guest post we’ll have Belinda share her thoughts on Madame Bovary. Stay tuned, folks and keep blogging!


Thoughts on The Old Man and the Sea

Guest post by Shreedeep Gangopadhyay

old_man_and_the_sea

Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”: Never accept defeat in life, we can be spifflicated but not defeated. 

The novella The Old Man and The Sea’ is the last major work of fiction to be written by Hemingway in 1952 which ultimately helped to regenerate the author’s wilting career and prompted a reexamination of his entire body of work. Hemingway was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953 and the Nobel Prize in 1954 for this book. The book was featured in Life magazine on September 1, 1952, and five million copies of the magazine were sold in two days!

It depicts an epic struggle between an old, doyen fisherman and his biggest achievement as a fisherman.  The story begins with the aged Cuban fisherman playing the central character named Santiago who goes on fishing in Gulf Stream with his skiff alone. For the last 84 days, he set out to sea to catch fish only to return empty handed. A boy named Manolin was with him in the first forty days to learn the tricks of fishing. But when the parents of that boy observed the utter failure of the old man in catching fish then they refused him to let fish with the old man as they believed the old man became impoverished and salao (which means the extreme form of unlucky) facing his mortality. So the boy was constrained to fish in another more productive boat which caught three good fishes in the very first week.

The old man wakes before sunrise and does what fishermen do—get in his boat and head out to fish. Every evening, under any pretext, Manolin rushes to the old man when he returns from another unsuccessful fish hunting and helps carry home the old man’s harpoon, sail, accompanies him and brings him food. The old man looks sick and very thin, especially from hunger. The torn sail of his skiff is patched with flour sacks bearing the evidence of the permanent defeat of him. Both of his hands are full of old lacerates and scars created while dragging the heavy fish over the harpoon. ‘But these scars are as old as erosions in a fishless desert’. Everything of Santiago reflects the infirmity and impoverishment lacking the real zeal to live his life to the fullest.

Only his eyes are the exception reflecting the deep blue sea – glittering and invincible too. Just few of these lines can clearly illustrate us a picture of a society. This minute but subtle shade of the lives of the fishermen makes the egoistical interests and inclination clearly visible as motives of their actions and omissions. The central character of the story, battling with the time, has reached to the age of frailty. Yes he struggles for survival, sets out to the Gulf Stream to catch fish. It deftly portrays how the people become isolated from each other when they don’t benefit from someone while struggling to live every day’s life in this capitalist world. At the same time the deep affection and compassion of the boy to the old man establishes firmly that the infinitude of profit and greed never severs immortal bond of humanity among the people.  And as the humanity still refuses to elude, may be people would remain steadfast in fulfilling their dream even in scorching heat and torrential rain. Maybe we keep dreaming of our unfinished dream-even in the feeble hope of reaching the pantheon of the success.  We all can relive the joy of achieving our goal as it is only the humanity and fellow-feeling that serves to play the most crucial role in building up the character, neither profit and neither greed nor the prolonged reign of capitalism does that. The story tells us about a true friendship evolved between two persons having a vast generation gap. We see the boy trying to help the old man regain his confidence and finally, after couple of failed attempts make him agree to hunt for the big Marlin fish. On the morning of the 85th day, Santiago does as promised, sailing his skiff far before dawn on a three-day odyssey that takes him far out to sea.

The story captures the true pictures of the fishermen colony in Kohima which is at 12 mile north from Havana, the capital of Cuba. The fishermen are determining the relations among them according to the financial status. It becomes evident when Manolin is forced to leave Santiago’s boat for his relentless failure.  However what we have witnessed the social and marital life of fishermen and that of the others in Bengali writer Manik Bandyopadhyay’s, Padma Nadir Majhi, is not seen here. In this novella, the character of the society is not nearly as important as the character of the person.  As I’ve already mentioned, this classic is about the story of a person and his indomitable optimism and can-do-spirit. He struggles and dreams of his youth—of lions on an African beach. Literally, Hemingway himself reached his last days when he wrote this novel, last of his four novels in 1952. But that doesn’t make us believe that his age (he was 53 then) stirred up to pen such a globally accepted novel. It was the immense experience that he earned for a long duration helped him illustrate this novel. And finally the story transforms into a metaphorical piece. We have reached near, very near the supreme truth of life sailing aboard Santiago’s skiff.

Finally all his hard work pays off when he snags the ridiculously big fish, bearing tremendous hardship to hook and land that great fish. The story mostly deals with all this struggles of Santiago that lasted for three days. He took the fish as his brother but it didn’t waver his determination to kill the fish after an earth-shattering battle of strength and of will power. Unfortunately the story ends without a happy ending. On the way home, the old man lashes the fish to one side of the boat which is attacked by a Mako shark followed by a group of sharks tearing away lumps of the fish’s flesh. But he fought tooth and nail with his harpoon, club and finally nothing but a simple knife beating them off. However by the time he anchors the boat at the shore, sharks have almost devoured the marlin’s entire carcass, leaving a skeleton. However the old man has regained his lost pride of being a doyen among the fishermen.

Hemingway, in his illustrious life, engaged with the first and second world war including the military insurgence of Spain in 1936. He had been maimed severely multiple times straddling from being hit with mortar shell to plane accidents but still he survived at the end with his sheer perseverance and will power. And that’s why most of his characters were portrayed with this magical power of keeping hope alive even in the extreme adversity. We can think of Santiago as a character whom Hemingway had built with all those qualities to believe his strength and never say die attitude evoking wondrous feeling to the readers.

The first and last word of this novella is all about not giving up the hope of accomplishing goal. We got to keep our hope alive while struggling for survival and struggling for supremacy. The author makes the old man Santiago tell a very witty but thoughtful quote: ‘Man is not made for defeat. Man can be destroyed, but not defeated!’

Last but not the least, I must thank Arpita for giving me this classic novella.


I hope you have enjoyed this piece by Mr. Gangopadhyay. If you’d like your review featured, don’t forget to contact me!