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The Diary Of A Rolling Stone

Let's Talk books, places and more

Date

August 5, 2015

I am very happy to welcome Mrs. Iyenger to my newly added chat session. Throughout her life, the sweet old lady, had only books and TV as her companion. Today she shares with us some moments of her life.

Tell us something about yourself: Mrs. Iyenger

My name is Lakshmi Iyenger. I am 75 years old mother, grandmother, sister and a wife. I hail from a Tambrah family in Chennai. Being the eldest of my siblings, seven sisters and six brothers I have seen life at its best. I was born in 1940 in a small town in Jharkhand where my father worked in the Indian Railways. After travelling in various places we eventually settled in Bilaspur where I met my husband. About my marriage? We have spent fifty beautiful years together until last year when he parted with us for his heavenly abode. Ours was a love marriage. My husband belongs to a well to do family in Chennai. He ran off from his house to do something of his own. He travelled almost all the corners of the country but could not find anything suitable. Finally, when he was in Kolkata, he met one of my brothers who suggested him to write a letter to my father regarding job. My father had never written letter to anyone before. But fate has it that he answered this young man’s letter. Not only did my father get him a job in Indian Railways he also allowed the young man to stay in our house as a paying guest. We all were almost same age and I would always fight with him or call him names. But he wouldn’t mind. One day I went to pluck flowers in our backyard for puja. He was already waiting for me with a packet of sweet in his hand. He proposed to me. At first I could not understand while he waited for my answer eagerly with the packet of sweet still open in his hand. I started crying. Tears were rolling down my cheeks smearing my kajal. He got nervous and popped the sweet into my mouth saying, “Ok don’t marry but at least eat the mithai”.

We didn’t talk for several days. He went back to Chennai shortly after that and persuaded his family to send marriage proposal to my father. His brother-in-law was against the alliance as we were a big family and I being the eldest, had my sibling’s responsibility on my shoulders which will eventually land up in my better half’s kitty. There was a big no- no from his sister’s side. But somehowOur 50th Aniversary he persuaded them to agree on the alliance. When my parents came to know about it they too tried to convince me but I was dead against marriage. Not because I disliked him but because I did not want to burden him with my family troubles. I had seen my father working very hard. He was the only earning member and there were so many mouths to feed. However, even with so much consideration I could not stay put for very long and finally gave my consent. We got married in 1964 and spent fifty long years together, parenting four daughters and two sons. Today I feel proud to see my children settled in their life married to partner of their choice.

How would you describe your better half?

My husband passed away in 2014. He was 75. I miss him but no qualms. He took care of everything for me, even the smallest. You see he did most of the talking at home while I was the listener. I loved keeping to myself but surprisingly he would always know what’s going on in my head. Books and TV had been my best friend for years. He always ensured that I never had a problem with that. I love reading Tamil books but you hardly get them in this part of the country. But he would always order some for me at that time. Mind it there was no internet at that time.

Any turning point in your life?

Tuning point? Definitely not? Not after he proposed me. But I want to share this experience with you. One day I made Lal Bhaji (red spinach) and served my husband at lunch. He liked it so much that he handed a one hundred rupee note. Till date I could not figure out what was so special about the dish because it was the simplest dish that I had ever cooked.

Given a chance, what would you love to change in your life?

I have lived my life to the fullest. I have nothing to wish for. I have everything. However, I would like to live with my daughter till my last breath. You see my eldest daughter didn’t marry. She had selected a partner but my husband had objection. Today, even after two decades, both of them are unmarried and very good friends. I wish my husband had shown some leniency towards their relationship. Whereas my son didn’t wait to take our approval for his marriage and they make a wonderful couple. I wish my daughter tie the knot now but I know she won’t.

Any message you would like to give to the youngsters?

Of course. Life has changed so much since I can remember now. Today’s generation is very powerful and can make a big difference in any field. I only wish that they use it wisely. Every family has their own code of conduct and it is by default that a girl after marriage finds it very easy to follow the rules of her parent’s house. There is nothing wrong in it but it usually cause rift in a joint family. I wish every family understand this rather than say anything to the daughter-in-law. This will give the newlywed a space to grow and will bind the family better.

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Name of the Book: MATCHES MADE IN HEAVEN

Author: Sundari Venkatraman

Read some reviews:

1. Rubina Ramesh

2. Swathi Shenoy

3. Usha Narayanan

The Story:

A collection of 13 romantic short stories based in India; a culture rich country steeped in tradition. Inspiration struck me from newspaper articles, TV shows and hearing people talk. The short stories are based on that fact that arranged marriages thrive right alongside love matches in India.

1. Groomnapped is Ameya-Surekha’s story as a light romantic take on the serious issue of groom kidnappings.

2. Dark skin on a woman puts off men in general or so says the society. Beauty Is But Skin Deep is Nitin-Simran’s story that proves it wrong!

3. Ritu is twenty-five and wants to wait for her Prince Charming but her parents are desperate to arrange her wedding. Does she find her prince in An Arranged Match?

4. Dating Agencies are doing their best to get young people together to tie the knot. My friend Diti runs an informal one; inspiring the Red Rose Dating Agency.

5. A guy’s complaint about his fiancée of a few years dumping him after becoming successful in her film career felt like a rant to me. Chahti Hoon Tumhe is an ode to the successful actress.

6. Soumya actually lives life like Soul Mates but how many have the guts to? This, incidentally, is the first short story that I ever wrote.

7. Does Madeinheaven.com help bring Menka & Jeetu together with technology driven Matchmaking website?

8. I originally wrote Rahat Mili for an anthology; Rahat means ‘relief’ and is a name too. Read the story with the word in mind and it will fall in place.

9. Reema’s Matchmakers brings Arjun and Prisha together at a get-together through a matchmaking network. But will they get married?

10. Nikita wants Krish for a friend and not her husband. As The Reluctant Bride she manages to have her cake and eat it too.

11. Shweta Ka Swayamvar is inspired by the practice of Swayamwar in ancient India of choosing a husband, from among a list of suitors, by a girl of marriageable age.

12. Pappa’s Girl is about daughters of Industrialists taking over fathers’ businesses.

13. Mythology romances intrigue me; Love Match For Velan is my take on Lord Murugan falling in love with his consort Valli.

You can also buy @
 
About The Author 
 
Sundari Venkatraman 
 

Even as a kid, Sundari absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as she grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end.Soon, into her teens, Sundari switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine. Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years.Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! She could never string two sentences together. While her spoken English had always been excellent – thanks to her Grandpa – she couldn’t write to save her life.All this changed suddenly one fine day in the year 2000. She had just quit her job as a school admin and didn’t know what to do with her life. She was saturated with simply reading books. That’s when she returned home one evening after her walk, took some sheets of paper and began writing. It was like watching a movie that was running in her head – all those years of visualising Indian heroes and heroines needed an outlet and had to be put into words. That’s how her first novel, The Malhotra Bride, took shape. While she felt discouraged when publishing didn’t happen, it was her husband who kept encouraging her not to give up.

In the meanwhile, she landed a job as Copy Editor with Mumbai Mirror. After working there for two years, she moved to the Network 18 Group and worked with two of their websites over the next six years, as Content Editor.

Despite her work schedule, she continued to write novels and then short stories and had them published in her blogs. She also blogs voraciously, writing on many different topics – travel, book reviews, film reviews, restaurant reviews, spirituality, alternative health and more.

Her first eBook Double Jeopardy – a romance novella – was published by Indireads and has been very well received by readers of romance.

In 2014, Sundari self-published The Malhotra Bride (2nd Edition); Meghna; The Runaway Bridegroom; Flaming Sun Collection 1: Happily Ever Afters From India (Box Set) and Matches Made In Heaven (a collection of romantic short stories).

2015 brought yet another opportunity. Readomania came forward to traditionally publish this book – The Madras Affair – a mature romance set in Madras.

Stalk her @Website | Twitter | Facebook
 

Now for the Rafflecopter: Gather as many points as you want to. The more points you get, the more you have a chance to win it all. Show your love for books.. Tweet, Like and Spread the Word… Thank you for being a Reader… You keep the Authors motivated… This is our way of saying a Thank you 🙂 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#TornadoGiveaway is an initiative of The Book Club. Click on the icon to go to the event page of the Tornado .. Lots of fun awaits you 🙂

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