Husnabai of faizabad- Book review by Radhika Acharya

Radhika Acharya of the J P family fame had great words to share about Husnabai. She’s chosen succulent words to describe Husnabai aptly and provided the best version of the story!! Kudos to you Radhika ❤️🤞🏻

You can order the book here:-
Author – Daisy Bala
Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

A short but telling tale of a young girl – born Shehzadi to an impoverished family, sold to agents before hitting puberty and mushroomed as Husnabai of Faizabad!
A childhood spent learning dance, music and poetry, Husnabai rises to the top echelons of beauty and sophistication as the most sought-after tawaif in the whole of Awadh, a tawaif exclusively for royal patronage.
Set in the early 19th C. in pre-partition united India, fires of revolution consume a love-lorn Husnabai who later turns conspirator to the freedom struggle.
She and her motherland, both fight to find their true identity.

The tale begins by the protagonist questioning herself in the very first lines – Who am I? What am I seeking in this journey?
Towards the end, she realises her true identity when she declares,
“I was not a fallen woman, I was not an ordinary woman, I lived and fought for my land. I was exemplary. I was the one and only Husnabai who reigned in Faizabad.”

The entire story is told in the 1st person, through the eyes of the protagonist and draws in the reader right from the start with a thought-provoking style of narration. It makes us, the reader to pause and imagine the scenes being drawn so creatively through words.
By the end of the tale which has shades of Umrao Jaan, we are empathetically rooting for Husnabai, who in her own words is ‘a complete woman of substance.’
This short story penned by Daisy Bala, was selected as the winning title of the WriteFluence Singles contest, 2022 and I’m genuinely not surprised. It deserves to be a winner!
Available on Amazon and KU.

Husnabai of faizabad!!

Book cover and synopsis

My 3rd book is here on Amazon kindle!!
“Husnabai of Faizabad”

It’s published by WriteFluence and
selected as a winning entry for WriteFluence singles 2 contest. A short read this historical fiction will keep you glued till the end!!

Catch a glimpse of Husnabai and read to know what all the buzz is about!!

Link of the book –

I am grateful to life for choosing me as a daughter to my mum: The Story of Daisy Bala

Today is Mother’s Day. Today, we have Daisy Bala with us. Daisy will share her fond memories with her mother, and the lessons learned from her. Today…

I am grateful to life for choosing me as a daughter to my mum: The Story of Daisy Bala

….and the winner is …me!!


And here comes the trophy from Women’s Web for the The Orange Flower Awards, 2022 winner in Hindi poetry!! It feels so good to be a winner….I’m basking in the sunshine moment, soaking up the glory ✌️🤞🏻😍 Thankyou once again team Women’s web and the hon’ble jury for my selection!

Here’s the winning entry:-

Thankyou for reading everyone!!

You’re my nucleus Mumma- now and forever!

Desolate, I brood.

The marauding claws

Strangled my nights…unendingly, pervasively

Hyperventilating, I gripped your hand.

Though momentarily assuring…
Deathly Hallows and shadows of pain were burdening my existence

Suddenly heavy gust of turbulence invaded the moment

paralyzing death spread in the yonder

And snatched you away

Shifting from earth’s astral planes

I lost your touch… shrillness and stillness of the cold moment

Froze in time

Bereaved I bellowed, shrinking in agonizing tears.

Groping, I can’t see you around here now

Pouring Condolences don’t soothe me

Mother where are you

Why did you leave me?

I breathe Your reminiscences

guilty of living without you.

This poem conjures up my feelings that have reflected upon me, in this devastating year.

I don’t know how to write this year end blog and how I’ve gathered the strength to summarize my emotions.

The year 2021 when I lost my mum to covid, left me agonizing in pain . The ruthless covid virus who’s marauding claws took my mom away from me in just 12 days. She’s shifted to transcendental realms forever.

In just 12 days I saw her metamorphose from a healthy mum to a terminally ill patient and ultimately death. And what exponentially aggravated my pain was that I couldn’t travel to her from US to India. My pertinent visa issues kept me away from traveling. The second wave of covid caught Delhi unarmed and became Air- borne. My mum immediately caught it and got acute GI complications. It started with acute diarrhea and was confirmed as Covid after the RTPCR test results came in. I was still confirmed that my mum will recover soon because I saw a lot of my close ones recovering. Unfortunately my mum didn’t receive the right medical attention by the doctor and wasn’t even put under the scan. Her lungs soon started crumbling and there was an urgent need for oxygen within 5 days of her catching the ailment and hospitalization. I heard her breaking down day after day on my WhatsApp calls, crushing me from inside.

She wasn’t able to eat, talk and continuously suffered from high fever and extreme weakness. My world was coming crashing down everyday and I was crying helplessly, asking for help through relatives, friends, social media,NGO COVID groups in India and US. Everyone tried but not one lead worked through. I couldn’t get a single ICU bed in a different hospital. The doctor attending mumma at the hospital had told 4 days before her passing that she needed a ventilator but nothing could be arranged.

My father stood besides my mother and stayed there in the covid ward for the last 5 days holding her hands. He serviced her without any help, surviving there with just 2 masks on him. She died 3 hours after her 41st marriage anniversary and papa was beside her when she breathed her last. It was a miracle that kept him afloat in those tumultuous conditions.

I was shattered. I couldn’t control my emotions and pain. My mum was my biggest support and motivation and now she was gone. She inspired me to write better everyday and I couldn’t be by her side when she needed me the most, the care and facilities, that could have been the difference between life and death.

The agony of a bereaved daughter, the guilt of not being able to serve her and letting her go so easily enveloped me completely. The dark hole of grief would have swallowed me had I not turned to writing again. I published my ebook through blogchatter within 18 days of her departure and channelized my pain. I wrote, dedicating my writing to her and sought her blessings which she so lovingly always showered on me. She was a very kind, affectionate, soft spoken mom who mentored me through all my thick and thins. Her sudden demise left me gaping, groping in the vacuum.

Feelings of abomination, rejection, sourness, blankness towards the way the medical facilities deteriorated in Delhi , black marketing of medicines , the way government machinery failed aggravated me. For many days, the haunting moments came creeping back in horror.

I had enough reasons to crib and crumble, break and dissolve, shun the days and bereave in darkness, loose sanity and grope in unknown realms. I did bleed in feelings of guilt, burdened identity, cacophony of bitter tears, gruesome unending grief but I didn’t pause. I still lingered on, continued to cry, continued to write. I don’t know why and how… but I still inked my vulnerabilities and aches, my persistence and my pain. Poetry became my tourniquet and controlled my spills channelizing my thoughts and palpitations. My mum slowly came back to me metamorphosed as my strength and guiding superpower.

Life hasn’t been easy to restore but I’m trying, healing from within, accepting my pain and seeking inspiration from my mother as always. She’s been blessing and guiding me towards goal achievements and prosperity, making sure, I don’t succumb to my pains, rather stand again and walk ahead. In the past 6 months, I’ve moved in my Own house, started studying and got certified, joined a new job and feeling motivated each single day to strive for a better tomorrow. My mum is and will always stay my indomitable source of strength and happiness. I know she’s in a better place now, calm and serene, watching over me. Always!

As they say, once you loose a parent, you gain a god, I’ve got my guardian angel who’s provided me a talisman and figured the charter of my life for me. While I’ve mewled over her loss, she’s sent me letters through the universe that has conspired in my favor to show me guiding light. I now believe that I’m a star born from my mothers wish and I will shine with aplomb under her guiding spirit. I strongly believe the following verses resonate with her message for me and uphold her divine presence in my life, forever!

Never be defeated

Walk and Keep steering ahead with courage

Even if lingering, dark hopelessness abounds you

Even if your only moon dissipates away

Even if the North Star hides in anguished miseries

You walk… persist

Contest all your vanquished foes

In the dim dreariness of the moonless night

Retired, hurt, dismayed, aggrieved, bereaved

Bleeding tears, Alone, you stumble but You still walk

Lamented, deplored, mutilated

deprived, destitute but you must walk

For you have pledged

You can never be defeated, stopped

Because that is not an option for you

Your resilient heart breathes, dogged mind determines

You are alive and hence you have to walk

through this marauding tumultuous gloom

To hear that awaiting ray of light

To seethe and shine with your amorphous moon

In the luminescence of morning.

This piece has been written as a part of blog hop “ Saying Goodbye 2021 & Saying hello 2022” hosted by my dear friend Swarnali from Thankyou Swarna for prompting me to pen my emotions, count my blessings and heal from within!

My Saffron star spangled experience!

I’m planning to rant a little bit here and beware…’s going to be a long one! It’s a kinda autobiography about my constantly evolving life and my ideas and haps( as in happenings) and mishaps. This writeup is precisely what I’ve picked from my life of 3 decades and few single years. So without much further ado…let me begin my raving!
I’m from India and it’s a land of opportunities and growth but It isn’t easy to carve a niche for oneself in a country teeming with 1.3 billion people. It’s bubbling with ideas, dreams, perceptions and skewed perceptions too, bifurcated into middle class and higher class elite populace. I didn’t mention lower middle class because they have a hand to mouth existence and for them 2 square meals a day is an intimate struggle. The middle class is the biggest earning class, the biggest reason India sustains, grows and grows impressively on the world map. Everyone who’s inspired in this class, perspires to get famous and join the elite high class, which is mostly above democracy, law and reach!
Let me tell you that we Indians are pretty emotional about three things:- maa( mother in Hindi), cine- ma(movies in Hindi), and Raj-ma( kidney beans in Hindi). The best ways to get famous is through Bollywood ( India’s cinema and movie industry), being a cricketer or by being an outlaw culprit. Being a celebrity is the ultimate dream of the creative middle class crowd, earn millions overnight, sign autographs, reign the social media and attention of all their followers.
Well, not to sound egoistic, I could have easily managed my entry into Bollywood( you should have seen me in my prime, wink- wink) because I’ve got great acting capabilities ( I give an Oscar winning performance everyday ( read- tantrums)). Otherwise also I’m skillfully talented( I can easily get into a speeding bus and also I can open a nut with my mouth). But personally I, don’t want to be famous in India. It’s a lot of hassle and intrusion into your private space once you’re someone to reckon with.
It’s baffling to learn the changes that might intrude your life and flood you up with emotional crisis. Once you’re famous and prominent, You will have to wear shades, always…. means always, even when you don’t have a pink eye, even when you’re sleeping! Mostly To protect yourself from the glare of the crowd, from your fans, who love you ( because they might love you a little too much and would want to pinch you to realize that you’re real) and from those who hate you, (because they’re tired of trolling you on social media and would want to personally slap you, for the confession you made last night under the liquor effect!!)
So Ironically amongst whom, you wanted to be known, you will have to hide now, to protect yourself from their temperamental love and hate. Such is the sarcasm of famed status!!
This doesn’t stop here! The income tax Dept will follow your income, your returns and tax filing. You will be under the scanner for your hyperbolic money and fame.
Also The mafia underworld is really prominent in their underground existence and they will try to hook you. They will try to merge their black money into your white till the spectrum looks just fine. If you don’t oblige, you might just get killed in an encounter or be in their hassled bad books. You can’t escape the crocodile while you’re in water!
Your social responsibility tag will be upgraded too. Moral lectures and prudence might come uninvited like mushrooms in the backyard. Any act will be scrutinized for hit or mismatch, morally right or disintegrated by the so called keepers of justice!That’s precisely why I don’t wanna be famous in India, I’m happy being a mango man here( mango in Hindi means – aam, which also means common)
So a common man on the street is much blessed to live in his meager means, though deprived and starved, he has his anonymity and liberty in the crowd of billions.
Also, I’m highly impressed with the second thing most prominent in India( the first thing is celebrity Amitabh Bachchan). It’s Jugaad! Meaning invention or discovery( they’re often used interchangeably)!
Jugaad refers to a non-conventional, frugal innovation, often termed a hack!The world’s most trusted English dictionary Oxford has also officially accepted the word ‘Jugaad‘ in their latest update. We Indians have an opinion on everything! Anybody who doesn’t even know the difference between astrology and astronomy, will sound theirs in sheer confidence, that might panic the pragmatics! ( praise hands emoji)!!
We can jugaad for a Mobile barber shop on a two wheeler with the rear seat for the customer, or jugaad for a gas stove through an inverted cloth iron. A commode cover can be fitted on the periphery of a chair frame, to make an Indian style toilet, a western one or a plush car seat can be fixed on the cycle seat for a quick jugaad ! So precisely when the walls of flexibility expand and resources are meager, jugaad offers a Solution Resurrection!

It might be colloquial and frugal, But it’s A Savior with optimum fit in every situation.
We Indians use it in our everyday lives. Not exactly the ones mentioned above but a lot like them to make this harried life a little less stressful, a little more rewarding. Cities have the makeshift urban jugaad with small practical solutions like the makeshift tea stall on the pavement or a temporary ironing and laundry shop on the sidewalk. Of course through encroachments only, what’s the big deal in that?
What else should I tell you?
Wait, did I tell you that now I’m in US since the last 6 years and life here as a h4 visa holder is very different! I’m in a hotspot USA state, rekindling Indian sentiments with a crisp US topping. Being an h4 dependent visa holder, I claim to be an extrovert home maker, preserving Indian sentiments in this foreign land. Here everything’s so indulgent, I’m always confused what to explore next? Let me tell you, what I do everyday!
My daily routine includes a spectrum of activities from mundane to the elite extra ordinaire. In weekdays, I’m consumed by potlucks with my fellow Indian ladies who happily flock places and share common sentiments-sorrows and admirations( of course, everything stopped in Corona,! Blast you corona!!)
I watch telly through sling TV that aptly records every exaggerated act in the Indian serial circuit. Netflix is still not a hot favorite (I read subtitles to understand the slang better: p) I impatiently wait to watch a khan or kumar movie in the nearby Marcus theatre, though they hardly record a houseful sales.
I’m nourishing my taste to dress and have graduated from salwaars to maxis and jumpsuits. Now saris n salwaars are occasional and mostly limited to Indian festivities or a dress code unless otherwise stated. It’s amusing how much indianness overflows once you are in another land. The national oath comes reminiscing our values and culture even though we are struggling to keep up the spirits. I am proud dunno why: P, while visiting the Indian store nearby and find the whole array of MDH masalas stacked up. Sometimes I’ve found the rare stuff that you might not get at a grocery in India. I’m telling you its indianness unplugged here.
Weekends are for shopping through premium brand outlets or a Walmart near you though the online shopping spree might catch you soon if you are still unaffected.Im mostly online with Wi-Fi over speeding and downloading complete Bollywood movies in a wink. Im fully accessible through fb, watsapp, twitter,messenger and what not. India calling is a daily ritual and I can talk till my throat is parched without worrying about that nasty phone bill. Kudos to the telecom revolution. WhatsApp is spanning me all day long, cooking will have to wait :P. I’m catching the accent and the nasal phony’s now and try to flaunt it in my communications but I guess originality resurfaces now and then, sometimes to my embarrassment; P
Visiting a nearby Hindu temple is a must on the to do list where the head priest will enchant you with his pleasing English skills. A gala gathering in Janmastmi or Holi will churn out the remaining Indianess till you are the perfect brimming cocktail. An identity crisis that manifests into spirited thinking. I might sound amateur guniiea pig at the moment but believe me the seasoned ones in my genre do pretty much the same here.So while you earn the greenbacks, ur attitude and lifestyle get a sumptuous dose of America over the Indian nutshell. I guess I’m bipolar; thinking like Indian and behaving like American.
Everything is big from mosquitoes to Shopping marts to shopping carts. Their are aisles dedicated to cornflakes and oats. Can you believe it? I couldn’t rest my eyes on the makeup stuff on the beauty aisle. Options galore! Our home grown and revered tulsi mata ( mother) is the fresh basil here used like cilantro for final garnish and flavoring. Work is as good as play here.
Work is about passion but time bound and pressure is undermined but spirits rise high, always! life is believed to be more about enjoyment than sulking. Most of the household work is DIY stuff and the flair for repair work is rampant . On any given weekend when shoppers flock the high street , everyone is always dressed exquisitely and graciously. Good looks and dressing sense is a by product of American lifestyle..i guess. Goodness gracious! But the people are as warm as the morning sun…bright and soothing. Social cultures, beliefs,livelihoods, foods, standards, living ideologies, pedigree, societal norms everything varies considerably from India!
The boiled eggs are served chilled and burgers are also sold as freezer fresh! Coffee and tea on the go in kingsize cups can exorbitantly evaporate your hunger for the rest of the day. Eating raw or boiled or baked food or eating as fresh as from a garden is the basic ideology that underlines all their eating habits and menu. Early dinner, Early to bed, Early to rise is their fitness funda and no wonder, they stay fresh, all day long!
And what about the daylight savings thingy? That is another feather in America’s cap honey. Here life revolves around the changing seasons. Even time runs according to the spirited sunshine. Daylight savings leave us to deal with the tyranny of changing clock hours.
America celebrates 100 years of this clock shift and must have evaluated pros and cons considerably but I do agree that it throws life in a boomerang.
Uncannily everything’s an hour earlier or an hour later and I’m always running late to catch hold of things!
The pros and cons of this change may outweigh each other and frankly- to each their own. Agreed, It does throw my life out of gear momentarily But kudos to the idea, smart enough to manipulate the same 24 hours to get the optimum sunshine and opportunities for leverage. I’m always happy when the daylight savings time turns off in November because I get to sleep longer ( LoL)
let me know how does this daylight savings affect your life ( that is, if it does at all)!
As I write and gaze through my patio door; the fountains splutter lavishly and the clouds thunder rain, I’m gathering spirits to lurch out n wet myself. After all its America’s rain(;P). That’s lavish too. I go on and indulge.
Wait… wait, I forgot to ask, if you liked my ramblings! If you did, I’m so glad, I wrote it up and if you didn’t like it…. Please improve your tastes and stop being so grumpy!
In Covid, you got to smirk at least! be happy!

माँ, तुम्हारे चले जाने से !

जो किस्से वो सुनाती थी, जो क़द्रें वो सुनाती थी
चन्दन और पानी सी पुष्पित पल्लवित लगती थीं
जो लज़ीज़ बातें वो सुनाती थी, उनकी खुशबू घर कर जाती थीं
उसकी साड़ी का आँचल, मोह ममता का समावेश था
गुलमोहर के पत्तों सी बारीक उसकी गीली हंसी
मेरी आख़री तमन्ना सी अनमोल थी
एक ताज़ा लिपे पुते आँगन की तरह वो धूलि धूलि सी रहती थी
त्रिवेणी सी निर्मल बोली में, जीवन के सारांश समझाती थी
गोधूलि सी घुलती हुई, दिनचर्या सी मुझमें उतर जाती थी
स्नेह और अपनापन तो अब भी मिलता है बेशक, मिलता रहेगा
उसके चले जाने से ज़िन्दगी नहीं रुकी हैं
पर वो जो माँ का प्यार था
उसका क्या होगा, वो अब कभी नहीं मिलेगा !

माँ तुम्हारे चले जाने से

एक अरसा हुआ मुस्कुराये हुए
बीते लम्हों का हिसाब किताब करने में मसरूफ है दिल
बेरुखी मौसम में है जो ज़िन्दगी में उतर आयी है
एक जिल्द चढ़ा ली है मैंने दिखावेपन की
आँखों में नमी जम गयी है बेस्वादी की
बेतरतीब से दिन हैं, उजड़ी हुयी हैं रातें
कांच की खुशियां थीं, अब शीशे चुभते हैं
गले तक भर गयी हूँ, अपने ही इल्ज़ामों में
सर और धड़ के बीच आसमान दिखाई नहीं देता
आइना रूठ गया तुम्हारे चले जाने से, ज़िद्दी कहींका
बारिश अब भी होती है पर मन ठूठ खड़ा है
यादों के साये उजाले में भी अडिग हैं
पलछिन आखों में तैर जाते हैं
मैं भावशून्य होकर टटोलती हूँ पलों को
गुमशुदा आसूं सकरी गली से बह जाते हैं
तुम्हारी साड़ी से उधार लेकर आशा की डोर बांधती हूँ
की कहीं डूब ना जाऊं, इस अनजान शहर में
पहली सी सूरत, खुशनुमा सी सीरत
तुम्हारे कमरे में तलाशती हूँ, नमकीन सासें सिसकती हैं,
खुरदुरी है हक़ीक़त, कितनी जटिल और बोझिल!
कोई अपना नहीं मिला, तो अब बैठ गयी हूँ
सर और धढ़ के बीच में नीला आसमान खोजती हूँ
जो अथाह है, अनंत है तुम्हारी तरह
माँ, तुम्हारे बिना एक अरसा हुआ मुस्कुराये हुए।

Title – You’re a conspiracy of the Cosmos!

You’re made of things, that makes the black hole

You’re dense and immortal, but with the pull of the cosmos

you’re ubiquitous like ether, you shimmer in the snow dust and fireflies

You’re not heavy on the shoulders like the sun heat

You’re guiding like the refulgent glow and the dappled light

You reproduce from your aura and build the atomic and the exponential

You bleed and resurrect, you magnimize divinity

You’re a reincarnation goddess, protector of races

You’re spirit indomitable, soulful and transcendental!

I gaze in your eyes, your quintessence sparkles

Your nub glows in redemptive resurgence

I stare astoundingly

Intimidated at your savage

Your luscious vanities,

you’ve given up on herds

you’re fiercely independent

An embodiment of energies

You’re sensational, a warrior

With instinctive wild spirits

You’re indulgent, you’re decadent

A woman extraordinaire!

Like the lightening subdued… you linger in my consciousness

I’m caught unaware in your reckoning forces

Your brazen magnolias have domesticated the mystic and mundane

Your black lustrous manes have bound a spell in the lame dark night

Stars like sugar on black marbles, embellish your skin

You’re a hunting seductress

With vixen temperaments

Your beady eyes have demanded the moon to shun its sheen

I’m agape in incredulity but a flame of concurrent energy vibrates within me

Your visage tames the vitality of the macrocosm

I believe to have a karmic connection with you from past life

A blessing has been unleashed, the universe has conspired!

Title – Nature and women

Both are ethereal and pristine

Both are impregnated with the power to create

Both bloom in approving environments

Both persevere through trials and tribulations

Odds and prejudices

Both can’t stay contrived and shed layers to refurbish

And evolve with resurgent auras

Both yield and discharge

Both hone and absorb

And absorb till it exudes

Agony and end

Calamity and disasters

Both burn and heal steadily

Restart and weave steadily

Both forgive but don’t forget

And prey on defaulters alike

Both Nature and Women

Are the ultimate quest of life

Both shine in their effulgence, in their prime

And strive for redemption in their last flight !!

Mypoems #mylife #justlikethat #natureandwomen

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