Agnishatdal Jyeshtha, May critique by Troy David Loy

Agnijaat Critique for Jyeshtha 1424
By Troy David Loy

Nazrul Birthday: as someone who suffered tremendously, while producing such wonderful songs, Kazi was quite accomplished in a tragic way. Yet he brought forth such amazing music, some of which may be found on this playlist: watch?v=a9Vsdd9DIZI&list=RDa9Vsdd9DIZI#t=0

M.S. Subbulaxmi: I’ve listened to her music while reviewing the twins, and she was quite talented. I should watch a few of her earlier movies, and see her acting talents i full. Quite the songbird, this one!

Budapest Missives 2: Thoughts of a Budding Artist: Juliette here expresses misgivings that many artists have toward their own work. It’s called Imposter Syndrome, but as she suggests here, it can be overcome.

6 gateways to a worth reading article: Sweta offers some sound ideas for good articles, of the sort that sometimes ‘goes viral.’ My favorite, of course, is Catchy Title, as that’s the first part of any article that people see. But the others are no less important!

Red Heels Pt. 3: The story continues as the heroine encounters a photography aficionado with cameras older than hers!

Need Again: Eleanor offers an evocative image and missive on her photography work.

In disguise: Swati gives an account of her father, with a poem expressing her admiration and gratitude.

A cure for baldness: Horrors! A raja is going bald, so what is he to do? A clever young man enters the picture with an eye toward curing the potentate’s malady in a most unexpected way!

Twisting by the pool: Dom gives a short verse on the heat of summer, and the wonders of swimming pools.
A happy belated birthday for Swati and Sweta, and I hope it was glorious!

So too, a wonderful belated birthday to Juliette! May it have

Diva Dev interviews Sharmishtha Basu: an interesting talk, in which Diva shows her interview-fu with insights into the writing processes of the Twins creator.

Bhupinder Singh: too bad that he’s distanced himself from music, but as I listen as I write this, he’s got an amazing voice. Here’s a collection:

Jyeshtha Recipe: Machher Jhaal – Spicy Fish: sounds tasty, looks tasty in my mind’s eye. I’ll have to give this one a try when friends are over for a gathering.

The bottle: a cute story, and a warning on taking extraordinary claims at face value; when it sounds too good to be what it says, it probably is!

Bhandananda Uvach 2: Some good commentary in verse, on the things said by authoritarian politicians to stir up discontent and nationalist fervor.

Bengal This Month: So, the birthday of a famous poet is celebrated this month, as is the festival of Jamaishashthi for those guys lucky enough to be sons-in-law – getting treated like a king by your bride’s family, what could be cooler!

India this month: With two more festivals celebrated this month, and this time throughout India no less!
Pieces of Past: Mahaveer: a fascinating link in the history of religion in India. The Jains stand out as a religion by reason of their code of strict nonviolence.

That’s it for this month, and I’ll see you once again in Ashar!

Agnijaat Boisakh, April critique by Troy David Loy

Agnijaat Boisakh 1424 Review by Troy David Loy,

Indian Raga Now:
Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui… here are two actors worth watching. The four others noted are more established, but worth checking out just the same! Good stuff, as I’ve seen some of their movies on YouTube.

Spotlight On Shivkumar Sharma:
This is…cool! I’m listening to recordings of his as I write this. His santoor playing is absolutely marvelous! I must also check out his partner’s music! I’ll make that tonight while writing.

This woman, who reined in, possibly being one of the factors the brought about the end of the Mughal empire. What a remarkable human being!

Other side of the **** world:
Bloodhounds: Privacy is a big issue in today’s Internet, and so is the intrusiveness of editing programs. Some good warnings of what to expect when interacting online.

Caste System 4:
Offering government stipends to the socio-economically disadvantaged sounds like a good idea, along with better educational opportunities without quotas. This I think is worth considering, at least trying out to see if it works, though my hopes aren’t high that it will be implemented!

Nature @Kolkata in Biosakh:
From dangerous storms to sweltering heat, summer is NOT a good season there, even dangerous without air conditioning or a sturdy constitution.

Clear your attic:
An uncluttered, clear, and healthy mind is a good one, and much more useful than when it’s filled with detritus. Maintain it well, and it will serve you well.

Bhakti Saints: Madhavacharya:
born in medieval India during the 13th century, this man had some interesting views on the nature of souls and God. I’ll have to pour through my podcasts on Indian philosophy to get a more thorough look at them.

Story Time:
Unique rebellion:
This is a fun one that I’ll enjoy reading in its entirety. Humorous, with commentary of human exploitation of our own private moments on film!

Jewels of Madhulipi:
A really cool ghost story, with a surprisingly happy ending! excellent!

With the onset of the new year in Bengal, there is much to celebrate and many ways for celebration. Much more colorful and interesting than New Year’s Day in the West!

Let us begin:
I loved the images and verse of this section! Among my favorites are One, Three, Four, Six, while the image for Two, the story from Five and the narrative from Seven: ‘To stay or to leave’ stood out as well. I love it when an artist evolves her craft!

Thus Spake Hypocritananda:
Good commentary in verse form!

I look forward to the Jyeshtha issue of Agnijaat!

Agnishatdal Boisakh, April critique by Troy David Loy

Agnishatdal Boisakh 1424 Review by Troy David Loy,

Rabindrajayanti 9.5.17:
So, the 9th of May (Indian date) is the iconic polymath’s birthday! I have a few Ingreji
translations of his works, and know of his famous meeting with Einstein when the two
discussed science, philosophy and spirituality, a true meeting of minds! May the great
scholar remain always in the hearts and minds of those around the world as a tribute to

Jamini Roy:
Now here was a painter of some note. His innovations on traditional art styles make his
work especially interesting!

Budapest Missives:
Juliette here gives an account of her youth in Hungary. How fascinating to those of us
unlucky enough never to leave their country of origin, at least in their early years!

Dear Zindagi:
Sweta writes a letter of thanks and appreciation for the meaningful things in life, that
made and make it worth living indeed for her.

I Am Watching. I Am Citizen Null:
Our new arrival, Citizen Null, offers a stern commentary on the state of his country. I’m
interested to see what more he has to say.

Red Heels Pt. 2:
Brieue continues from last issue with this narrative tour of the bright side of life in smalltown America from a shoe aficionado.

A notably interesting image and missive by Eleanor Leonne Bennett –
fascinating work!

Excellent food for thought by Swati on the power of thoughts over perceptions, selfperceptions, and suffering.

Wendell offers a paean to devotion. Good use of form. Excellent phrasing, and without
use of rhyme; that would have hindered the message.

Tenali Raman And The Vidooshak:
Raghunandan tells the story of a plot to bring down a wise man using a king’s court
jester. I love that Raman so easily bested them despite being forced by circumstances
to play along!

Lost outside looking in:
Dom offers some brief but poignant verse.

Treats of the Month:
The Rainbow Horizon – Karen S. Cole:
Here, Karen talks about her book, with an interesting cast of characters and lots of

Hemdiva Dev’s interview was illuminating, showing her talent for prolific storytelling. Her energy for writing is to be admired!

KJ. Yesudas: The Celestial Singer:
A remarkable voice this man has! I’m listening to one of his songs as I write this. I could
never match this level of vocal skill!

This month’s recipe should be a quick preparation once I can get the ingredients. I have a friend who knows how to make it, has made it, and has all of the needed spices to boot! This will be tasty!

Creator’s Quill:
The rookie:
A cute story about a young spider learning the ropes to proper spiderin’.

Thus Spake Hypocritananda:
An enjoyable new installment. Especially so, as the worst evils often get free rein, not by the actions of evil people, but by the silence of good ones!

India This Month – Biosakh 1424
And so, the new year begins! May it be better than the last (and fewer good people die,
too)! With both poila boisakh and Rabindrajayanti to celebrate this month, Bongs have
much to keep busy! With Buddhapurnima falling afterwards, and then…May Day
followed by the hot, sweltering doomy doom of summer!

Pieces of Past: Gautam Buddha:
The life of the founder of Buddhism, both in history and shrouded by legend, happened
in an interesting time, when new movements and philosophical awakenings were going
on around the world. It’s no surprise to me that many of Buddhism’s mindfulness
techniques are used today, and adapted for modern life.

That’s it for now! I await the Jyeshtha issue!

We Have Something Nice To Say!

ABC of Spirit Talk with Carolyn Page

Well, well, well; so you’d like for us to have something nice to say. Yes?


So be it, dearest. This we will.

To begin: For all those open to this suggestion we invite you to read on, as we have something nice to say!

The world is changing, dear friends; this it is. All around the globe there are a good deal of problems. Yes, I believe we can all agree upon that. However, Dear Ones, for those within the Light Worker brigade those problems will not touch your sphere of life, unless you allow it to be so. This is right, Dear Ones. Unless you deliberately place yourself in harms way, harm cannot touch you. This is a guarantee.

This is as it is planned and is spoken of within our published book ‘Bringing of Light’.

(For those who prefer to hold their reading matter it is also…

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Brian Dean Powers, Spring•Summer 2017

David J. Bauman

Vincent van Gogh's Bedroom in Arles. Vincent van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles. 

Be sure to follow the links to get a print copy with the gorgeous cover design (The Bees!) by Erin Mazzoni. We’ll also be including some bonus audio/visual content in the online version again this time. Here’s the first sample from Brian Dean Powers, including his poem “Van Gogh’s Bedroom.”

Source: Brian Dean Powers, Spring•Summer 2017

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A riddle, a silent castle and a green globe …

sounds like an amazing story! hope all is well there Freya!

Dragonscale Clippings

The Essence of Thyme was my first e-publication!

It is a short story about Dracomagan and her friend Parsley. In truth, it’s a re-telling of Sleeping Beauty, but with a twist. Well, quite a feminist-y twist really!

So, if you don’t like strong female characters or fantasy and don’t have a sense of humour, please DON’T buy this book!

However, you like a good laugh, enjoy tales set in a realistic, yet fantastical setting and love strong female warriors, this may be the story for you!

Travel with Dracomagan and Parsley into a forest where the thorns accept only blood as the passport to safe passage. Discover a silent castle filled with petrified statues. Agonise with Parsley over the best way to wake the handsome man asleep in the four-poster bed. And hear Dracomagan talk her way out of a compromising situation…

This is such a delightful series to read…

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Author Interview: Sharmishtha Basu

thanks a ton!

Hemdiva Dev

Sharmishtha Basu is creator editor of twin ezines Agnishatdal and Agnijaat. She is also a self-published author in Amazon, an avid blogger, digital artist, bookworm. She lives in Kolkata, and dreams of building her home by ocean, preferably in her own island!

She spends most of her time writing these days, honestly, this year she is rewriting her five storybooks (two has already been rewritten and published- five left), so she is spending long hours writing! Ha! Her other hobby takes more time, digital paintings, they take hours often. So you can see both her hands are full and ears too are filled with music mostly, she loves to play music when she is painting, when writing music is turned off.

Her social media nitty gritty for you:









Email id,


Diva DevTell us about your books. 

Sharmishtha Basu: Well, there is quite a set of books I have self-published in  Amazon, poetry, story both mostly fully illustrated by my own digital paintings.
Diva DevThe day you decided you will be a writer?

Sharmishtha Basu: I am an accidental writer! Ever since I remember I was a bookworm, I needed books like people need food, I can’t recollect a single day till I joined my first job which I passed without reading anything, excluding Saraswatipuja, on that day many Bengali families ban reading, I don’t know why but they do, and being a devoted worshipper of Goddess Saraswati I obeyed! But not after graduation! These days I read blogs mostly, and quite a bit. But before 2007 I did not even dreamt I will be writing! Ha!

The office in which I worked back then was in a factory, surrounded by factories, and my bosses – well, they were never around, they mostly were out in their Kolkata central office while I sat there in their factory office doing nothing. So one fine day I noticed that MSN allows readers to share their words in its website and I mustered up my courage and started babbling! My first try was accepted and after that they pampered me silly! I got addicted to writing. Next level of encouragement came from my readers of wordpress and they are still very much with me. So I will say one fine day MSN made me a writer by accepting my first attempt on writing (outside school/college notes). I have never even tried writing anything other than answers to questions or essays in school curriculum. I will say I am quite grateful to my readers for giving me a wonderful passion and full time occupation (of my time not livelihood yet)!

Diva Dev: Who helped you with your dream? Your support?

Sharmishtha Basu: My readers… my friends… MSN, Wordpress and Amazon.

Diva DevDo you think the process of writing (Typing/Handwriting) is tiring? How do you deal with it?

Sharmishtha Basu: Not at all!  I get tired with editing though, especially the second edit which I earlier skipped but these days do, quite seriously sometimes. But to be honest I very often am too bored to do it. It is a habit I will have to change! Ask me to write and I will go on and on, ask me to edit and it gives me heebie jeebies! Honestly! That is why you will see my earlier works are full of silly typos, especially in blogs because wordpress often edits on its own, repeatedly!

Diva Dev: What profession you’d choose if not an author?

Sharmishtha Basu: At first I will sheepishly say I don’t earn anything from my writings, not yet, very few of my books have been sold till date. So I am still trying to make it my profession. Hopefully I will some day! When I was a child I wanted to become a doctor or pilot. Unfortunately when I was growing up women could rarely join airways as pilots, then I don’t have perfect eyesight… as for becoming a doctor well that is a raw nerve, let us say I tried my best sometimes best is not enough.  After that I became quite docile and started trying to make my own living in any honest, dignified way. Writing stirred up my dreams after quite long time and they are not going to die ever, even if my books don’t sell ha ha! I am smug with the attention I am getting through them.

Diva DevWhy did you choose this particular genre/s?

Sharmishtha Basu: You will see apart from “The charons” almost all my book are fantasy or paranormal/chillers- I love these two genres, “The charons” is a chapter of my own life, the book that made me a writer I will say. Apart from that I love to imagine and love to scare myself too! Ha ha… so you will read chillers and fairytales again and again. Just can’t have enough of them! Reading or writing. I still love fairytale stories and movies! As for horror/chillers they are almost my daily diets!

Diva DevHave you ever met a fan/reader?

Sharmishtha Basu: Never came across anyone who has read my works or knows who I am in cyberspace! I never tell anyone about my online life. Till date only one pried out about it and after that some bad changes happened. Unwelcome changes in my wordpress circle! That clearly hinted that she orchestrated that. So… I keep my writerdom hidden! And I will be very tongue-tied to anyone in real life… so can’t say I will love to meet my readers, fans? Ha! Do I have one? Oh boy! Won’t that be cool!!!!!! Yum yum!

Diva DevWould you ever go for traditional publishing? (If you’re a self published author)

Sharmishtha Basu: I will absolutely love it! You know it is sort of very ego satiating! Someone else thinks your work is worth a try! I will also love if “The charons” is turned into a movie with Jodie Foster as lead actress, playing Urna (me).
Diva Dev: Do you interact with other authors? Do you think it’s important?

Sharmishtha Basu: I firmly believe that we should regularly interact with other authors unselfishly, without being jealous, trying them to help them in any rational way we can. Even if we don’t understand or deny, we LEARN A LOT from others, their styles, their works, their ways of tackling things! Will I say we develop each other knowingly or unknowingly? But don’t be nasty, don’t steal works of others. I have met these characters again and again in wordpress they are disgrace to humanity! Act dignified and you will only benefit!
Diva DevYour favorite food/dish/cuisine?

Sharmishtha Basu: You may laugh but I just love south Indian dishes- four in specific- dosa, idli, vada and sambhar. Just love them. Apart from that I love simple rice and any curry to go with it, not very spicy though! But tasty must!

Diva DevYour favorite place on earth? Why?

Sharmishtha Basu: Any place on beach! I will so love to live right by the ocean! I have never lived in one but I love ocean. Period!

Diva DevYour hobbies other than writing? Do you find time for it?

Sharmishtha Basu: I love to paint digitally, apart from that listening to music of all types, watching movies and reading (mostly blogs these days) and I being unemployed can manage my time to do these things. If not everyday then frequent enough to keep me happy.

Diva DevYour thoughts on life? What helps you to deal with ups and downs of life?

Sharmishtha Basu: Life to me is unpredictable, and never think that world is ultimately good to good people- that is a lie fed by crooks mostly I think. So when things are good enjoy them to the best and when they are bad remember one thing they will pass, all you have to do is keep yourself as intact as you can, if possible use that bad thing to make a better of yourself! Tough but not totally impossible, that is a very good way of settling score too!

Diva DevYour favorite quote?

Sharmishtha Basu: “There is no use worrying, it was never worth-while, so pack your worries in your old gummy bag and smile, smile, smile.” This quote has always made me smile!
Diva DevIf you become a billionaire overnight, what would be your reaction? What will you do with the money?

Sharmishtha Basu: I will buy an island, preferably with an old house in it as my home, castle will be best! I will buy a fort/castle too, in case I get tired of island life. I will save enough for a decent life and enjoy the rest! But a dream home will certainly be my first step! The rest will depend on how much money will be left after buying my dream home and keeping aside money for rest of my life! Sorry I won’t be spending money on world peace!

Thank You So much Sharmishtha!

Download Info about Sharmishtha Basu’s books

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