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Time for registered authors to start submitting their chapters for our unique e-book!
  • Category: Reward Programs

    Diwali Books - 2020 ebook contest begins!

    It's time to publish our Diwali e-book! Those keen on participating should first register in this thread. Queries related to the contest should also be put in that thread. In this contest announcement thread, registered participants will each submit a chapter as per the Chapter number assigned to them.

    The theme of this e-book challenge is 'Diwali Books'.

    1. Each author must submit his/her chapter within 24hrs. of the time stamp of the previous chapter.
    2. The text should be in English only, but if you are using traditional Indian words related to the festival in a regional language, you need to explain its meaning at the end of the text. Remember to use the word assigned to you. The word should be used at least once and can be used more than once also as long as it is relevant to your text. Do not give any links.
    3. The text should be minimum 300 words and maximum 400 words and the chapter should be given a title that is suitable for the text you submitted.
    4. Do not set the story with any pandemic background. Avoid flashbacks, because in earlier contests this has created a problem, creating meandering tracks and taking the story off-track from the core theme. However, you can make a reference to some past incident, like 'She recalled the time when together they ....'
    5. Do not include any aspects of smoking, drugs, alcohol, weapons and the like.

    General Instructions:
    1. Put the chapter in a response in this thread only and mention the chapter number at the start of the text, as well as mention the word assigned to you, like this-
    Chapter 1 - [Title]
    Word challenge -
    2. If you fail to submit the chapter within 24hrs., then you will not be allowed to write that particular chapter later. You may get a second chance to participate later in the contest if registrations are still open, but you will be ineligible for the main prizes.
    3. You can include any number of new characters other than those mentioned in previous chapters and of different ages, even pets, and put in an element of mystery, humour, etc. Conversations/dialogues can be included wherever required.
    4. We will trust the authors not to change the text. So do not edit your chapter once submitted, as it will create confusion for the next author if you change the story. However, you can correct a typo.
    5. Although it will be a challenge for the next author to pick up the story from where you ended your chapter, do try to end it in a way that it will not be like 'The End' and it is possible to continue the flow of the story.

    Since there were no winners for the the contest on college clubs, we will give more prizes for valid and worthy entries as adjudged by the jury panel as follows-
    1. Instead of just one or two, up to maximum three authors will each receive a cash prize of Rs.125/- and a virtual gift of the certificate of creativity.
    2. Second prizes (up to two maximum ) - Rs.100/- + virtual gift of appreciation.
    3. Consolation prize of Rs.75/- may be given (up to one maximum)
    4. Each author may get enhanced points and cash credits as per the quality of the entry. Also, using the word assigned to you in a unique way will get you a bonus of two additional points and cc.
    5. The winning authors will get 10 points to their entry, but no cc for it as their main prizes will be credited to their profile account.
    6. There will be a surprise additional contest (one that has never been held before!) as an offshoot of this contest, with a cash prize for one or two winners, but that will be announced only after this e-book is completed. Only participants of this contest will be allowed to participate in that one.
  • #714278
    All participants are expected to follow not just this thread for the story, but also the thread for registrations for instructions that were given prior to the announcement of this thread. However, for covenience, I am repeating only the list of words assigned to you-
    1. Sharada - you can use up to three of the words assigned to the other authors.
    2. Dr Dipali - sparkle.
    3. Gouranga Kumar Basistha - cracker.
    4. Dr Rao - pattern
    5. Varghese - diya
    6. Shampa - gift
    7. Sun - puja
    8. Sanjeev Gupta - wealth
    9. Umesh - savoury
    10. Hakimuddin Kuwakhedawala - greeting

    Sharada - Your time to submit the first chapter begins from the time of this response of mine.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #714354
    Chapter 1 - Flash of Twilight
    Word Challenge - diya, gift, greeting

    The sun was about to set, while the clouds still unclutching him. It was a mesmerising view loved by Amith, who stood watching in silence. The clock struck 6 'o clock, his grand pa called him "Amith, where are you? Are you ready with tomorrow's schedule", this voice moved him back with the promise that he had made, to accompany his grand pa for shopping. Amith said "yes grand pa, I will be ready on time! Don't worry". Now Amith starting to plan his agenda as diwali was just a week ahead. Amith's grand pa would always buy gifts for the children at the orphanage. This year he planned to gift them with books. "Oh! I have to be quick to make a list of books to be purchased at ABC book store tomorrow" murmered Amith to himself as he started fiddling his mobile. He made a short list but fell asleep soon.

    Next morning, Amith was early from his bed but he mutterred to himself, "I will take help from the sales girl, Seetha at that bookstore who is known to me for quiet sometime". He got ready after a quick breakfast and moved in a car along with grandpa to the book store.

    At the book store, Seetha welcomed them. Grand pa sat on a chair and started reading newspaper as he said "Amith, I hope you will manage collecting books written by various authors in different genre". Amith nodded his head to say "yes". He started speaking to Seetha "Could you guide me, where are the story books written by famous authors for children?".
    Seetha moved forward and guided him to the various sections of books like fiction, non-fiction including fantasy, adventure, thriller. Amith followed to collect a few books from each section. As he was searching the books he saw a few colourful greetings which dragged his looks. Grand pa was a silent observer too, he said "Amith, you can pick two or three greeting cards too". On hearing this, Amith's face was filled with happiness as he had to send it to his friends. After all the selection, he came to the billing section. A surprise awaited them. Seetha came forward saying "Amith, here's your diwali special bonanza". Amith asked anxiously "What's that?". It was two pairs of diyas for purchases more than Rs.5,000/-. Amith was excited. Grandpa and Amith left from the book store with a smile on their face.

    They returned back home safely and planned to give it on diwali day. It was 5:30 pm when they reached. He was waiting for the sunset which was marking it's foot prints. He took his mobile and captured the sunset with the clouds in his camera.

    [Second prize joint winner]

    Lead the leader

  • #714398
    Chapter 2- Sparkles of the divine flame
    Word Challenge- Sparkle

    In the night at the dinner table, Amith and Grandpa were again busy in planning for Diwali Celebration and their visit to the Orphanage. When they both were discussing whole planning, Lavanya, Amith's wife, was eyeing on them and hearing everything silently. Suddenly, Amith said, Lavanya, What are you doing? Tell us, what are your views?

    Lavanya said, "You both have gone planning very well. You have shopped books and took greetings. But I feel that we should do something new. Why don't we celebrate Diwali at the orphanage with children? We always buy things for orphan children and gift them, but I think it would be better if we spent some quality time with the children at the orphanage, because many people will send many items to them but spending quality time with them will be more important than any gift.

    We can spend some time at the orphanage on Diwali and can celebrate Diwali to make it memorable for them and us. Lavanya's idea was enough to strike strong sparkles in his mind. Amith and Grandpa both appreciated her and said, why we had not thought about it?

    With a deep smile on her face, Lavanya added further, we can also organise some contest for the children which motivate them and at the end, we will present the gifts to them.

    Amith told Grandpa, tomorrow I will go to the orphanage and meet the manager and discuss our planning with him.
    Grandpa nodded his head and said that would be great. And Lavanya, what's your planning?

    Lavanya said curiously, I will also plan the whole contest for the Diwali. I think that during our visit to orphanage first, we will gift the books to the children at the orphanage which you bought for them yesterday. Then, we will conduct a book-reading and story-telling competition. A craft activity can be held like either Diya decoration or Diwali greeting card making activity. We will also distribute prizes to the contest winners and also distribute sweets among children. Tomorrow I will plan all these things.

    Saying so, after dinner Lavanya went to finish kitchen work. Amith and Grandpa also went for walking in Park.

    [Tip - henceforth read carefully preceding chapter(s) and understand what is indicated in terms of the characters, likely age, relationships, etc.]

  • #714457
    Chapter 3 - A Family
    Word Challenge - Cracker

    As planned, Amith went to meet the manager of the orphanage the next day. The manager, Shashikant, was a good-natured man in his early fifties. Hearing Amith's proposal, his face beamed with joy. He said enthusiastically, "The children will be very happy to hear this." Shashikant's smile, brimming with happiness, reassured Amith that he was an honest caregiver.

    The usual routine on Diwali at Amith's house involved decorating the house and then visiting the neighbors to exchange greetings. After this, they would go for charity activities. It was a custom, passed down the generations, from Amith's grandfather onwards. For them, festivals became sweeter on sharing generously.

    Today as they returned from their neighbor's and were about to start packing the gifts, Amith asked Lavanya, as if to make sure, "So what contests were we going to organize? Book reading, storytelling, and a craft contest, right?" "Yeah", Lavanya answered.

    Lavanya's one-word answer made Amith a bit concerned. This was the festival of lights. The sound of crackers and the splendid multi-colored lights made a contrasting picture with Lavanya's face, which was somehow sorrowful. "Are you alright?", Amith asked.

    "Yeah, I'm fine. It's just that whenever I think of these children in the orphanage, I think of my childhood and how fortunate I was to have such a caring family. But these children… No matter how many gifts we gift or how good the caregivers are, can we substitute the love and affection of a family?"

    Amith was surprised, but at the very next moment, he smiled. Lavanya's concern for the children made him feel fortunate to have such a wife. "At least for an evening, we are going to be their parents. We are going to help in our own small way. If you want, we can also visit on New year's eve", Amith said, embracing Lavanya.

    "Come on, the two of you, wipe the tears off your faces. How can you make the children happy if you yourself are crying like a child!", Grandpa gently teased the couple. Amith and Lavanya began hurriedly packing the gifts feeling slightly embarrassed while Grandpa looked on contentedly.

    The orphanage wasn't that far. Approaching the orphanage, they saw Shashikant leading a group of kids who quickly huddled around the car. As Amith's family descended, the children greeted them in a chorus of 'Happy Diwali'. The three of them smiled at each other.

    [Tip - as a writer of an early chapter, henceforth read opening chapter more carefully and attempt to get the plot's characters in sync with what was mentioned in that chapter.]

  • #714530
    Chapter 4:The welcome.
    Word Challenge: Pattern.

    The manager, Shashikant, received three of them and told them,
    "Deepawali, the festival of lights, will be celebrated with traditional fervour by all the people. But unfortunately, a number of orphans living in orphanages cannot celebrate the festive occasion due to lack of resources. It is good that you have decided to share some time with them here on this occasion. I convey my gratitude to you for this nice gesture."

    The three with a smile on their faces followed him and said, "it is our pleasure to spend some time with these children. It will make us feel that we are with our family members. We decorate our homes, wear new clothes, eat good food and spend lots of time with family and friends. But we feel that the celebrations are not complete unless otherwise, we bring a smile on the face of at least some orphan children".

    The Rangoli pattern at the entrance of the orphanage is very attractive and showing the love and affection of the children there towards their guests. Lavanya, Amith and his grandfather delighted to have such a warm welcome from them and walked inside with the manager.

    As already Shashikant and Amith had a discussion about the various activities to be organised, a plan has been made by the manager and he discussed the same with Amith and took his consent.

    All the children gathered near the office room in a systematic pattern. Lakshmi pooja is performed. All prayed Goddess Lakshmi together. They hugged each other. They wished each other "Happy Diwali". Then, the sweets brought by them were distributed. Shashikant explained the details of the contests and asked the children to get ready for the contests in another 15 minutes.

    Then he took the guests around the building. The building is very neat. All the children are dressed very nicely and their faces are sparkling with happiness and very eager to participate in the contests. Lavanya felt emotional seeing the children so happy. She felt that she should visit this place regularly and spend some time with them. She is also thinking that she should render some service to these children regularly. She is sharing her views with Amith. Meanwhile, Shashikant reminded them that it is time to start the contests.

    [Tip - try to bring in uniqueness henceforth.]

    always confident

  • #714602
    Chapter 5: The rendezvous of the Family on Diwali
    Word challenge: Diya

    The children gathered in the recreation hall for the games. Amith, Lavanya and manager conducted the games while Ajoba (Grandpa) was the judge for the games. Winners were selected and awarded with the gifts. It was noon and time for lunch, Children left to the dining hall while others left for their home to make other preparations for the evening.

    After reaching home, they had their lunch and Amith in haste started the decoration. Ajoba looked at him and inquired, "What happened? Why do you look so tensed?" He rejoined, Aaba (Papa) and Aai (Mama) will be coming in the evening and I need to make all the arrangements before they reach. He put on the decorations, lanterns and then asked Lavanya to bring the box which was kept under the bed. She bought it and opened it, they were surprised to see beautiful rustic and arcadia Diya's. When delved, he told that he had ordered from the Diya foundation that works for the underprivileged children.

    It was 5 pm and Amith kept the door open waiting patiently for his parents and was placing the Diya's on the windows, entrance and prepared the aarti thali(plate) for the evening. Abba and aai arrived and they were very pleased to see their father, son and daughter-in-law waiting for them. Amith and Lavanya took blessing from and them and brought water for them. Lavanya went to the kitchen to make tea for everyone while aai went behind to help her. Ajoba, aaba and Amith were sitting in the hall and sharing their thoughts. Amith suddenly stood and went to the bedroom and brought packets which had new dresses for them. He handed them to the respective person and asked them to wear it for the evening puja. They all sat together and had their tea and chit-chatted for some time and they went to their rooms.

    Aaba but had a gloomy face. Ajoba went to him and questioned about his gloominess. Aaba responded with a heavy heart, it's being 4 years that Amol ran away and we don't know his whereabouts. Had I not shouted at him, he too would have been with us today? Ajoba reassured and told him that everything will be fine. Amith got ready and was asked everyone to gather in the hall. He lit the Diya's and opened the door for Amol was at the doorstep.

    [Consolation prize joint winner. +2 bonus]

    “The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in." — Morrie Schwartz

  • #714706
    Chapter 6: Hoping to be blessed
    Word Challenge: Gift

    "See who is at the doorstep," Amith exclaims loudly. All four Ajoba, Aaba, Aai and Lavanya come running, and their faces brighten up with joy. Amol, Amith's younger brother, looks straight at his Aaba's eyes from the doorstep and finds them twinkling, also notices his wide-open arms welcoming him. Without wasting a minute, Amol runs to his father then both embrace each other with the joy of tears in their eyes.

    After a while, Amol touches the feet of all the elders for blessings. Ajoba then smilingly says to his son that Amol is now a renowned name in the writer's world. Aaba and Aai both look at each other, and in one voice both enquire how come he knows about Amol so much.

    Amol then describes the incident to his parents that happened four years ago. He explains that he had a plan to publish a novel which he was writing at that time about which Ajoba knew. He further states that when Aaba screamed and scolded him for not joining college after twelfth, he ran away from home. Next day I rang up Ajoba and told him my desire, and wished not to come back until success. Ajoba supported me emotionally and financially. He even discloses that in the last four years he remained connected with Amith and Lavanya also. They encouraged him to follow his dream and establish his name. Now that my book has got published almost two months ago and is receiving good reviews, Ajoba wanted me to come back home and meet Aaba and Aai. With tears in his eyes, he says "I was desperately waiting for this moment", and hugs his parents tightly. Both the parents shower love upon their youngest son and gratefully glance at the rest.

    Amol then hands over his novel, Suitably Yours, to his parents, who are avid readers. They get excited and happily exclaims, "We have already read and loved it too". Out of curiosity, they ask Amol why he used a pen name. Amol shrugs his shoulder and says, "To give you a surprise, but won't use it from the next".

    Family reuniting this Diwali makes all happy, although Lavanya seems a little unmindful. She is unable to forget the one-month-old baby whom she saw in the orphanage today. With a plan in her mind, she wishes her family would gift her the joy of a lifetime.

    [First prize winner. +2 bonus.]


  • #714725
    Chapter 7: Puja performed and surprise awaited
    Word Challenge: Puja

    The sun had set and it was time to worship and pray to God. Lavanya with her mother-in-law started preparing the hot dishes required to be placed during the puja. Her mother-in-law, sensing the mood of Lavanya said," Lavanya, I can understand your feeling that reflects on your face. You know, we went to an astrologer last week and showed the horoscope of yours and Amith to know the future, especially to know about an addition to our family. The astrologer said that I would be a fortunate grandma to swing the cradle very soon. And he suggested a puja in a famous temple of Lord Shani at Thirunallaru. I have decided to perform the puja next month. Lavanya smiled and said," Good Ma, Puja and rituals help us to achieve that we want."

    Meanwhile, Amith and Amol got the Puja room ready, decorated with flowers and garlands, and switched on their audio system playing devotional music at low volume. They spread all the puja items, the sweets procured from the sweet shops, the home-made sweets and dishes. All the family members wore their newly bought dresses and assembled in the puja room.

    At about 2000 hrs, Lavanya led the pooja, by doing aarthi to the deities. All the family members fell at the feet of Ajoba and took his blessings. Ajoba blessed them and offered them sweets. Amol stopped the audio player and requested Lavanya to sing a devotional song. Lavanya agreed and sang the song 'Satyam Shivam Sundaram'. All were stunned to hear the melodious voice of Lavanya. Her voice was similar to Lata Mangeskar's voice. Ajoba said," Okay, It is time to burst crackers. Let us have some fireworks now." All were given a few sparklers and they enjoyed lighting it. Amol used his mobile in camera mode and captured the event.

    After a while, Amith and Amol visited their close neighbours Ibrahim and Joseph and handed over Diwali gift packets. They were pleased and blessed the boys.

    It was time for dinner. All were seated in the dining hall. Lavanya was busy serving the food. Suddenly, Lavanya's phone rang. She answered the call. After listening for a while, she said," Oh My God, It is a great surprise."

    All were looking at Lavanya to know what was the great surprise!

    [Second prize joint winner.]

    No life without Sun

  • #714850
    Chapter-8 : Sweet and savoury party
    Word challenge : Savoury

    Everyone was looking to Lavanya. The way she was beaming. Amith was guessing who it could be. Lavanya told smilingly, "Papa (father) and Amma (mother) are coming day after tomorrow." Amith was surprised. They always informed beforehand.
    "It seems they wanted to surprise all of us but then they changed their mind and just now told me to convey." Lavanya continued. Suddenly, Grandpa announced, "We would have a savoury and sweet party in Paradise restaurant after they reach here." Everyone was happy to hear that.
    After dinner Amith viewed TV for a while and then left for the bed room when Lavanya followed him quickly. Amith guessed that she was having something in her mind to share with him.
    "Lavanya, something to say?" He asked.
    "Amith, I want to talk to you about some important matter."
    Amith was surprised. Lavanya never talked in such a way earlier. He was alarmed.
    "Amith, do not be angry with me if you do not like it." Lavanya continued.
    Amith was impatient now, "Tell me Lavanya, what is in your mind?"
    "Amith, do you remember the small baby that we saw in the orphanage." Lavanya asked.
    Amith tried to remember and recollected that there was a small baby and a staff was taking care of it. "Yes, I remember now. Then what? "
    "Can we adopt it?" Lavanya asked directly but in a humble way.
    Oh, that was what going in her mind, Amith now realised that Lavanya had gone too far and now asking for adoting the baby. It was a bit difficult for Amith to decide as his parents would not like to adopt a child from the orphanage and moreover they are going to have a big Puja and hopefully then Amith and Lavanya will be blessed with a child.
    "Lavanya, do not be in a hurry. We are going for a big Puja and after that you are going to conceive. Moreover, no one in the family will approve that. We will discuss it later. Go to sleep." Amith in fact wanted to avoid further dscussion in the matter.
    Lavanya knew that no one was going to agree with her proposition but the baby was sitting in her mind.

    [Tip - henceforth try to put in an interesting narration perhaps with something that is unique.]

    Knowledge is power.

  • #714886
    Chapter 9: Planning to adopt an orphanage child

    Word challenge: Greeting

    Lavanya could not sleep all night. The baby was in her mind. Amith awoke at 2.30 AM and saw that Lavanya has tears in her eyes. Now, Amith realized that Lavanya has a great affection for that baby and wanted to do something. But the task was very difficult. Amith took the head of Lavanya in his lap and asked her that he will do something to adopt the baby.

    Next day morning, Amith went for a morning walk but his face looking worried as he could not find a solution to the problem so far. He met his best friend Dinesh who is a psychologist in Mumbai. Both hugged each other and after exchanging greeting, both sat on a bench of the park. Dinesh asked Amith about the tension which was indicating on his face. The Amith asked about the problem and has no solution so far.

    Dinesh suggested to him that his grandpa also has affection with the children at the orphanage for a long time. If you would be able to convince him, nobody would disagree with him.

    After returning home, Amith and Lavanya went to the Grandpa's room. Grandpa was surprised as he saw both of them early in the morning. Both took the blessing of grandpa and told about the baby of the orphanage. He was shocked. Lavanya requested him that she has great affection with that baby and wanted to adopt that baby boy. Ultimately, they were able to convince the grandpa.

    On the time of lunch, grandpa told to arrange big pooja as soon as possible as the mother and father of Lavanya are also coming the next day. He also told about the baby boy of the orphanage and about adopting that baby boy.

    Everyone was shocked. Aaba and Aai opposed that we are going to conduct a big pooja then why should we adopt a child from the orphanage. Amol agreed with the suggestion of grandpa. Grandpa told that if we would adopt that baby boy and look after him, God will also bless us with a new child in the home. After a long discussion, Aaba and Aai agreed to adopt the child.

    Grandpa asked Amith to go to the market to purchase sweets and Cartoon greeting cards for the children of the orphanage. Lavanya was very happy.

    [Tip - henceforth try to make the narrative interesting, especially when you have brought in a new interesting character.]

    Honesty is the best policy.

  • #714931
    Chapter - 10 : A twist in the tale
    Challenge : Sweet

    Once grandpa agreed for the adoption, the other members of the family willingly or reluctantly agreed for it and Grandpa advised Amith and Lavanya that they can go to the orphanage after 3-4 days and meanwhile he would find from his lawyer friend as what are the formalities required in the adoption process so that there is no legal hassle later.

    Lavanya's parent reached next day and there was an atmosphere of a function in the house. The news of the adoption was released to them also but they did not appear to be happy. Lavanya was a bit surprised by their attitude in this matter. Were they not happy about their own daughter's wish and desire. She thought that she would talk to them in private and they would also be convinced.

    Lavanya's parents had brought many gifts and eatables with them and one of the sweet items they offered to all was Angoori Petha which was very delicious and after eating it everyone appreciated their choice of sweets. After dinner, Lavnaya sat with her parents in her bed room and initiated talks about the matter of adoption. They told Lavanya that she was going for a grave mistake and a sort of blunder as life was not based on the sentimental decisions. We have to be practical in our lives. Lavanya could not understand as what they were driving at. She was irritated. She asked them whether they can't see their daughter happy. Just then Amith came inside the room and sat along them. Lavanya's father told him that they were telling about the adoption and in their view it was not a correct thing to do. Amith was also surprised. He could not understand what they meant. Lavanya's father clearly told that tomorrow when they will have their own children then they will start differentiating between this baby and their children and in the society some people will tell that baby one day when it grows up that he was an orphan. Amith never thought in that direction as he thought that adoption was a simple process. Now after hearing them he was feeling confused. He looked towards Lvanya. Her face was saddened.

    [Tip - content could have reflected what the reader would expect through the title.]

    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • #714994
    Chapter 11 – A messenger who brought relief
    Word challenge - Decoration

    Lavanya couldn't sleep properly that night and the face of the baby in the orphanage kept flashing in her mind. The next morning everyone in the family was a bit tensed though they behaved normally with each other.

    Lavanya prepared Uttapam for breakfast but Grandpa couldn't enjoy the food as the taste was quite different and not like what she used to prepare at other times. Grandpa understood after the disagreement between the family members regarding the adoption, Lavanya is not in her usual mood which affected the taste of the food. Grandpa thought of making the atmosphere lighter and said to all "You know, every problem has a solution. I talked to my friend Ramanujam, who is a well-known lawyer and today he is going to send his son, a lawyer too, to talk to us regarding the adoption".

    The family members looked at Grandpa and Lavanya'a parents shook their heads as if they never expected this.

    After breakfast, Lavanya returned to her room and looked around. She thought of decorating her room earlier since she has a knack for interior decoration but in this situation, she is unable to think of anything. She thought of calling her friend and suddenly the doorbell rang. Lavanya guessed it to be the lawyer-son of Grandpa's friend and it was proved correct.

    Ramanujam's son Srinivas entered the house with a packet of gifts. He handed over the packet to Grandpa and wished everyone. The family members reciprocated.

    Srinivas started the conversation and said to Lavanya "I am so happy to know that you have planned to adopt a baby from the orphanage". For the first time, somebody praised Lavanya for her decision and there were tears in her eyes. Srinivas continued, "I have heard from my Dad that all of you are planning for a Puja next month and it must be to seek the divine blessings. Don't you think that the baby in the orphanage is also blessed to get good parents? When you think that God created humans, the baby in the orphanage is also a creature of God". On hearing this, everybody nodded in appreciation.

    Srinivas continued, "Along with the legal formalities I am here to tell you how good it would be if you adopt the baby. See, everyone talks about spreading love but not many are willing to take responsibilities associated with love".

    [Consolation prize joint winner.]


    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

  • #715034
    Chapter 12 – Grandpa's final decision
    Word challenge – Glow

    People usually support the orphanages occasionally by donations but that is obviously a time being happiness that does not solve the lifelong problems of orphans and they have to fight for their survival. In such a situation, if families like yours adopt a small kid; it is really a good example for those who donate big money just to have fame. Srinivas had explained a lot but he was still having a lot more to say but Lavanya's mother interrupted him in-between saying, "We understand the pain of poor kids and do whatever we can for them but being a mother, I have a fear that Lavanya will not be able to love her both kids equally without discrimination. Once she will have her own child, she won't be able to love the adopted one."

    Srinivas took a deep breath and said, "Do you think that Lavanya should try for a baby? I learned about her medical complications and in fact, her gynecologist has advised her not to conceive. It will be a high risk for her and her baby's life due to her weak uterus. I such situations, it is a great thought to adopt a baby and fulfill her motherhood."

    After listening to this, Amith's grandfather got furious and said, "What? Why all did not disclose it to me? If Lavanya's pregnancy can be this much risky, we will not go further for the same." After a silence of a few seconds, he said, "Now, adopting the child is my final decision and nobody will object to that."

    Lavanya's face was glowing with happiness. Everyone accepted the decision of Grandpa and learned about all the formalities to be done for adoption from Srinivas.
    In the evening, Lavanya got ready for Deepak lighting. She was looking beautiful and it was the glow of her inner peace and happiness that her grandpa gifted her on this Diwali.

    During the dinner, Lavanya's parents said that they will be leaving tomorrow morning as now there are no plans for big puja now. Then Amith said, "We will have a big puja for the good fortune of our son whom we will be bringing home soon." Listening to this, his Grandpa nodded his face in agreement but marks of some running thoughts in his mind were visible on his forehead.

    [Tip - even though in a story anything can be imaginative and surprising, the surprise element could be something that is somewhat believable. +2 bonus]


    Living & Learning- simultaneous processes!

  • #715185
    Chapter 13 – Wealth cannot buy happiness.
    Word challenge – Wealth

    Worries on the forehead of Grandpa is visible. He went to his room and whole night he could not sleep as the thought that Lavanya cannot conceive had made him upset and more saddening was everyone hide it from him.

    And now he was firm that he is going to have this little boy adopted. And here Lavanya was persuading her parents. Her parents were still having in their mind that Lavanya should not go for adoption but should give a try as the technology these days is so advanced. She can have a surrogate mother. Lavanya was knowing that what is going on in their mind but she did not want to discuss this matter for a long with her parents as she knew that Grandpa decision will be the final decision.

    Her parents also were willing to go along with her as they wanted to see the baby. Sriniwas already had prepared the documents and had confirmed that he too will reach there in the orphanage on time.

    Shashikant welcomed them in the orphanage. Lavanya could not wait and straightly told him the motive of their coming to the orphanage . Shashikant took them to the room where that baby was sleeping. Shashikant asked them why they are enquiring about this baby. Lavanya told that they want to adopt him. Shashikant was surprised and told that they should not adopt this baby because he is blind by birth and that may be the reason why this baby was left here. Lavanya after knowing it got emotional and tears came from her eyes and now she was adamant on adopting this child. Her mother Aarthi denied and asked not to adaopt this child as there are lots of other kids too but Lavanya was firm to have this kid adopted.

    Meanwhile Ajoba interfered and asked Aarthi that there is no harm in adopting this kid when Lavanya is taking responsibilty of him and God may also be pleased.

    Shashikant was very happy as now this poor child will get a family. He thanked Ajoba for his kindness and said he knows no wealth can fulfill the deficiency of the family as he himself is an orphan.

    After doing all the formalities they took this baby to their home and named him " Ramanuj" as he came on the occassion of Diwali.

    [Second prize joint winner. +2 bonus.]


    " The two most important days in your life are the day when you are born and the day you find out why? "
    – Mark Twain

  • #715223
    Chapter Fourteen - A night to remember
    Word challenge - Lights

    The boy Ramanuj has his share of sweets which are bought in by the family, he is a little shy too as he is still getting familiar with the traditions which he will grow up accustomed to. He falls asleep in a corner although a cot was prepared for him by Lavanaya. It's evening and the sun is closing down in the distance sound of crackers can be heard. The entire home is filled with a sweet scent to which Rama's nose responds and he wakes up only to find that everywhere he looks he finds diyas being lit. The entire house is alit like a giant latern in in the night. As he gazes skyward he sees firecrackers burstling heavenwards. He is delighted, he tries to catch those twinkling lights which make funny noises as he tries to capture these small shooting stars. Lavanya comes along and shows him a small light stick but dosn't let him handle it since he's too small. The sticks splurts stars everywhefe as it burns . That night he was offered such things as might a prince have on his very first birthday. That was ofcourse the ceremony or the puja for that the couple had decided beforehand that grand priest of a nearby temple would perform. Rama was ofcourse deattached to such formal stuff and was more interested in the kind of sweets that kept coming his way. His teeths were still forming but he had no difficulty in biting the softer sweets. It was a night to remember for the boy.

    [Tip - henceforth please read instructions and follow the story's characters carefully. Points given for participation as a fairly good piece of writing.]

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