Tale of a tailor bird

Tailor bird -by Sumita Tah

The lil’ tailor bird ,
Was quite wayward;
She didn’t like making a nest,
And rather preferred to rest.

“Tweet tweet,” said she,
“Will someone help me?”
“Caw caw,” said the crow,
“What help,May I know ?”

“I need a comfy nest,
But it should be the best.”
“Well you’re a tailor bird,
for you it oughtn’t be hard.”

Advised the wise old crow,
And the bird felt really low.
“You’re so big and strong,
A li’ll nest won’t take you long.”

Said the bird to the crow,
with a curt li’ll bow.
“But your nest’s made of leaves,
which only you can weave.”

“Any nest will do
as long as it’s made by you,”
Said the lazy tailor bird.
Building a nest was hard.

The crow went to work,
picking sticks and twigs.
Hey Presto! a nest was made.
But it was a thorny little bed.

Twisting and turning all night,
In her coarse thorny bed;
She wondered what buffoon ,
That torture chamber made.

Next morn she collected leaves,
Others could hardly believe;
And stitched a comfy nest,
Which undoubtedly was the best.

That night the tailor bird,
Had sound sleep as her award;
For the hard work called for rest,
Next morning she felt refreshed.

She had learnt her lesson well,
So, she then went on to tell;
To those who chose to be losers
That,’Beggars cannot be choosers’.

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The Best Ways to Use Metaphors and Other Literary Devices — A Writer’s Path — Novel Writing Festival

by Jordan Jolley Literary devices are the paintbrush. The story is the painting. We’ve all been taught this ever since we learned how to read. Letters build words. Words build stories. Most of us have also been taught how to make our writing come to life, how to add texture and all that. […] via The […]

The Best Ways to Use Metaphors and Other Literary Devices — A Writer’s Path — Novel Writing Festival

The Terrifying Trailer

Too much greed and irresponsible behaviour can prove disastrous for mankind.
☆☆☆

You think it’s a disaster…
This COVID -19 Flu?
Well it’s just the trailer;
That our kids’ll be going through.

Lack of food is worrying?
Afraid of losing jobs?
But we still have air to breathe,
And water we still don’t rob.

Isolated in your houses?
Feeling bored and low?
When cities become poisoned,
Our kids will have nowhere to go.

Melting glaciers are far off things,
We needn’t take seriously?
Well, nature is yelling out its hints,
High time we act promptly.

Even mothers get angry, when children act irresponsibly.

Free Writing Course by Rayne Hall

Nicholas C. Rossis

Writing | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

You may recall how I recently followed a great workshop by Rayne Hall organized by OIRWA.

Now, Rayne is offering a special free seminar aimed at self-isolating writers who wish to take advantage of the pandemic downtime to hone their writing skills.

Course description: Power up your Fiction

The pandemic crisis creates intense emotions and magnifies character traits. Use your observations, feelings, and experiences to enrich your works in progress, deepen characterization, intensify conflicts, and add realism to tense situations.

The assignments in this course will make you a better writer, and at the same time, you’ll reap the therapeutic benefits.

We will not write about the pandemic. Once this is all over, and the last thing people want to read and buy is pandemic stories. Instead, we’ll extrapolate your observations and apply them to the kind of fiction you write.

This is an intensive four-week seminar, with…

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Importance of Sports

“Sports serve society by providing vivid examples of excellence.”– George F. Will

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Sports and games play an essential role in building up a person’s character and physic. In a sound mind resides a sound body.  A person who is involved in sports is bound to have huge levels of energy and strength; on the other hand a person who abstains from sports will suffer from tiredness and lethargy. Playing a game or being involved in sports helps in enhancing blood circulation and improves physical and mental well being of a person.

An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head.”– Emil Zatopek

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There are numerous benefits of sports in a person’s life. Sports generate team spirit and develops leadership qualities. Playing a sport teaches us to take victory and defeat in the same stride.  A child who stays indoors and simply strives for a series of academic achievements, is seen to develop adjustment problems later in life. Constant academic achievement does not teach them to handle defeat and drawbacks in life. When they face failures, they tend to get shattered and take drastic steps. In sports you have to encounter both failure and success. No matter how good you are at a sport you are bound to lose at some point of time or other and learn to improve yourself. Sports teach us to adjust, work hard, be humble and open minded.     

“Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.”– Marv Levy

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Children who are involved in sports have better memory and improved levels of concentration. They are able to focus on a job more clearly and get things done on time. The brain gets more oxygen supply and is able to perform better. Those who are involved in sports do not feel lethargic and remain active for most of the day. It is natural that these children will have a better quality of life than those who abstain from sports.

“Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.”– Mike Singletary

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Sports help a person in numerous ways; it reduces stress and helps to control emotions and posess a strong mind in a strong body. It also keeps obesity at bay and develops a competitive mindset which helps people to achieve their goals in life. The benefits of sports are many, so every person must indulge in some kind of sport, to emerge a winner in life.

“Champions keep playing until they get it right.”– Billie Jean King

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“The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.”– Pele

Netarhat -The Queen of Chhotanagpur Plateau

One of the few places on earth that has not been influenced by the so-called human development is Netarhat. It has remained unchanged in spite of the rapid changes that have affected humankind over the past few decades. As a kid I had toured lots of places (one of which was Netarhat), but now when I visit the same places a few decades later, I usually find them totally changed. I had expected the same when I decided to take my kids to Netarhat, but I was pleasantly surprised to see it unspoilt by the ravages of change. Netarhat is a beautiful hill station in Chhotanagpur plateau in Jharkhand. This small hill station in Latehar district is called the “Queen of Chhotanagpur.”

It is indeed a place right out of the past; amidst dense forests of pine, cypress, sal, mahua and palash. We started off at noon from Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand. The distance is 144 kms from Ranchi, and it takes approximately 3 hrs to reach Netarhat. After stopping for tea midway, we reached Netarhat at about 5pm.

The hills began just after crossing the North Koel River; the dense forest along the stretch of the hilly road assured us that nature is not totally destroyed yet. It is the same for most of Jharkhand, where people dare not tread into the jungles due to Maoist threats. It is for this reason that nature has not fallen prey in the hands of land mafias and constructors. Jharkhand’s green cover soothes the eyes once a person enters the state.

Netarhat Dak bungalow

As we reached Netarhat Dak Bungalow; I was thrilled to see it so well maintained after all these years. It is a heritage site which has retained its ambience and surroundings over the years. The spacious rooms and delicious food are a treat for the tourists.

Sunrise in Netarhat

We got up in the dark and went to Hotel Prabhat Vihar for a splendid view of the sun- blooming like a flower in all its glory. The chirping of birds added to the beauty of the morning. As the sky turned from red to blue we returned to the Dak-bungalow for a quick breakfast; before taking a tour of the quaint hill station.  We first visited the Netarhat Vidyalaya, spread over 780 acres. Established in 1954, the school has a record of producing toppers and has a list of illustrious alumni. It is a boarding school, and is one of the few modern gurukuls left in India.

We went to the Netarhat dam whose crystal clear lake acts as a mirror of its surroundings. The calm and soothing water reflects the greenery, creating mesmerizing scenery.

Netarhat Dam

Our next stop was Koel view point from where nature lovers can have their fill of the exquisite view of the silver ribbon of Koel River from the hill top. The glade is surrounded by pine and cedar forests whose silence is broken by the chirping of crickets or the occasional song of a bird.

Koel View Point

The pear gardens were interesting to see as the locals gathered pears on a safety net, made by humans holding a net on four sides while a person climbed the tree to shake off the ripened pears.

We decided to proceed to Betla National Park and return back to Netarhat the next day. On reaching Betla national park; I was a bit disappointed. The place had entirely changed and had become a congested tourist spot. The last time I had visited the place as a little girl, we stayed atop a real tree house which was inside the national park, with little or no human habitation around. The stay at the tree house had been one of my most memorable ones, as we heard tigers roaring during the night and saw deer grazing underneath the tree house throughout the day. Now that very tree house has been burnt down and re-built into a concrete tree house, standing amidst busy hotels and noisy restaurants.

We availed a jeep with a guide to visit the park. The park is home to a variety of animals like panthers, sloth bears, elephants, wolf, jackal, hyena, gaur, chital, langurs, neelgai etc. along with a wide variety of birds. We spotted some bison, chital and wild boar in the jungle. However, we saw most of the chital near the entrance as they are provided food there; people took selfies with Chitals at the background.

After touring the national park we visited the Betla fort built by Chero kings in the 16th century. The fort is almost in ruins and is situated deep within the Betla national park. We stayed at Betla tourist lodge for the night.

Betla Fort

Early next morning we drove towards Suga Band – a picnic spot for the locals. River Koel flowed with its crystal clear water among long stretches of rocks with amazing designs in them. The pristine beauty of the landscape is a feast for eyes.

Suga Bandh

Our next stop was Lodh falls, which is the highest waterfall in Jharkhand. The road to the falls is through the forest and is a pleasant one .The 143 meters waterfall drops in several tires over the river Burha, nestled in the dense woods of Jharkhand.

Lodh falls

On reaching Netarhat in the afternoon we went to Magnolia Point for viewing sunset. The story of Magnolia point was interesting. A British girl named Magnolia fell in love with a local boy. As the relationship was disapproved by her parents, she decided to end her life by jumping into the gorge along with her horse. The sunset point is well maintained with seating arrangements and sculptures of the lovers.  We witnessed a beautiful sunset; as the sun painted the sky red, orange and pink. The sun seemed to hide behind the mighty mountains telling people that it was time to bid goodbye for the day.

 We returned to Ranchi the next day descending down the winding road, running through the dense forest; inhaling the fresh cool mountain breeze. Happy that there are still places like Netarhat- where we can still enjoy the beauty of unspoilt nature.

Pine trees of Netarhat

The Writer’s Workout

A Writer's Path

Workout

by Vincent Mars

As writers, we may be writing blog posts, articles, stories, schoolwork, research papers, or sales reports constantly, but that doesn’t mean we have to stay glued to our desks all day. Writing may be a sedentary activity that ties us to a desk most of the time, but at the same time it can offer us plenty of opportunities to be active, and often, even give us the rare benefit of a flexible schedule into which we can easily integrate exercising. In between writing sessions, as well as before and after them, we should make an effort to stay active.

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Inconspicuous Existence

‘Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature. ‘

The little flower bloomed,
A pretty sight to see;
For those who had eyes to see it,
Amidst the emerald leaves.

It smiled at the sky brightly,
The sun a reflection of its hue.
It Swayed in jubilation,
Stroked by loving breeze.

Wondrous thoughts filled it,
As the canvas of the sky;
Changed from soothing blue,
To a riot of colours wild.

The sun from yellow to orange,
And then to a vibrant red;
Bade goodbye for the day,
It was time for scene to change.

The twinkling stars took stage,
Then the pleasant moon arrived;
To entertain the little flower,
And take her to land of dreams.

The brilliant white moon,
Filled the little flower’s heart;
With untold thrill and bliss.
Lullaby of leaves lulled it to sleep.

Such were the merry days,
Followed by serene nights;
That helped the flower bloom,
And lead a fruitful life.

It added to the beauty,
Of the graceful earth.
It led a life worth living,
And left the world in mirth.

If you look the right way you can see that the whole world is a garden.

Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Caged World

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The world is in a lockdown, its impact felt by all especially the kids, their moms the elderly and the ailing. It is really a difficult time for all without any sign of immediate respite. We all wish to go back to our normal lives and the worries related to it. The question that arises in all our minds is – When will this pandemic end?  We all want it to go away, simply vanish overnight. But logical thinking will tell us that; Wuhan which was the epicentre of the pandemic is still under partial lock down after 12 weeks. The only thing that we can do in this situation is being prepared and stop panicking unnecessarily. Try to enjoy and make the best use of this unwarranted leisure. We all hope that summer is going to bring the virus under control. I’m sure that it will.

The doctors and nurses and all those who are in the frontline services are acting as God’s own hands in their service to mankind. We, the people who can afford to stay at home must do our bit in preventing the spread; so that these angles may have lesser load. Our thoughtless acts can multiply their problems, which is already too much to handle. A little restrain and thoughtfulness on our part can do a world of good for others. Such situations call for actions and inactions which can do a world of good for others.

We must be considerate in dealing with people with whom we live. Each and every one of us is under stress, bored and worried. We must remember that we cannot change others, but we can solve many problems through our own actions. Positivity has a domino effect just like negativity; let us stay positive and spread positivity around us.  Happiness is internal and can be achieved if we really try. For people, who are grieving the loss of their dear ones, or facing sickness must take heart- for time will heal. We must give Time – time to heal our wounds.

In times of crisis we must focus on the positive outcomes. Everything has its positive and negative side. It has been a long time since the world got a chance to cure itself. The world as we are all aware is reeling under the pressure of human activities. Thoughtless acts of humans have harmed the earth and every species including humans. The world needs time to heal itself; we must let it do so, otherwise it will not let us live on earth and supply us with our wants. The ozone layer is mending itself. The wind patterns are trying to be normal. The forests, animals are happy to have the world on their own. Everything related to nature is happy. It is we humans who are in misery. We ought to be happy that after several years some cities have had pollution levels under control.

Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.

Paulo Cohelo

The truth is we are dependent on mother earth for our existence and we should not take her for granted. Mother Nature is our provider and we must worship her and show our reverence for being provided for. The pandemic is considerate towards the young ones. It is important for humanity to put a curb on their greed. The so called economic development, infrastructure, bank balances can be nullified by one stroke of nature. Every action of ours is fine as long as we think long term; for all kinds of species and preserve nature, otherwise nature will take her own course, which will make us miserable and sad.

Let us pledge to put a curb on our greed and take care of nature in future. No matter what we think, we are not smarter than our creator. If our creator has created nature for our survival it wouldn’t be wise of us to move too far away from nature’s own ways.

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The planet was here before we arrived, and will kick us out if we do not respect it.

Paulo Cohelo