FAQ--Sulekha, my writing and one other thing!!

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At least 14 people instant- messaged me and asked me the same set of questions that I felt like making a FAQ!! (Frequently asked questions) Here it is! Please forgive me if it seems presumptuous—It is not intended that way at all. I’m merely clarifying as so many people asked the same things.

1.Why do you write for Sulekha?

I write for Sulekha simply because they are running something in association with Penguin publishers, where 25 best posts will be published in a book. Besides this, every month they pick 8 winners in various categories.(They have certain guidelines for the kind of posts they are looking for) The competition is intense and I love chalenges.

2. Does that mean you won’t write on blogspot?

Blogspot is my first and last love! All my good friends are on blogspot. So I shall continue writing on blogspot, just like I used to.

3. Why am I unable to leave a comment on Sulekha?

Firstly, one has to register on Sulekha to be able to comment on the posts. That takes only two minutes and it is fairly simple. Secondly, Sulekha still seems to be grappling with problems in their comments section. In case you are not able to leave a comment, you can try later—or just tell me in blogspot what you wanted to say!

4. Will my voting for you on Sulekha help you?

Yes, yes and yes!! One of the parameters they judge the post by is the page views it gets and the number of comments, apart from the number of recommendations a particular post gets. So, if you have left a comment, it means a lot to me—especially as not many people know me on Sulekha!

5. Why aren’t you posting what you posted on Sulekha here?

Sulekha has a policy that if it is to be eligible for the contest, it HAS to be posted exclusively there. That is why I am not posting it here.

6.How is it that the pieces you write for Sulekha are better that the ones you write here?

The pieces I write for Sulekha are usually on specific briefs given by the publications they have tied up with. Besides, my posts there are competing with hundreds of other posts, to be chosen. The intention when I write there, is to show case my writing skills. The intention when I write here is simpy to connect to all of you.

7. What are ‘featured posts’?

Everyday, out of hundreds of posts on Sulekha, 8-10 get picked as ‘Featured posts’ for the day. Getting picked as a ‘featured post’ usually means that the piece is a really good one. Once it gets picked, it goes into permanent archives, in the front page and it is an honor. ‘Featured posts’ are chosen by an independent panel of judges (I have no idea how they choose) and they attract a LOT of readers.

One other thing, a piece I wrote yesterday again got picked as a featured post today. This time the challenge was as under:

“I knew this would change everything but as I stood there transfixed, I felt helpless.”
Write a short story that starts with this line and let your creativity flourish!
Are you up for the challenge?

I wrote a story called Freedom’ and I was pleased that it got selected. Yesterday as I was posting it, a friend who knows me well, Instant messaged me and asked me what I was doing. I sent him the link to the story. He read it and was stunned. He said “Jesus—I don’t know how you can write something like this.” I loved his reaction as it meant the story moved him.

It evoked some very strong statements from people who do not know me at all. So much so that I had to tell them this

"Dear all,
This is a short story--an exercise in creative writing--the use of language,metaphors, descriptions etc to convey a scene or a fictional event--if it has evoked strong feelings in you, dear reader, I feel the piece has served its purpose. Thanks people!! "

This was mostly because people who dont even know me were so strongly voicing their opinion and arguing and I was feeling annoyed because of the moral judgements they seemed to be passing on the protagonist in the story.(It is a first person narrative)

It is a sad, moving story. If you want to read it, click on the word ‘Freedom’—and don’t forget to tell me what it made you feel.

If you feel like writing a story beginning with those lines, let me know where you posted it and I shall surely read it.


  1. That was neat and comprehensive...
    I wondered initially why you started out there...then came to the same conclusions..that there is an exclusivity...thank God!!! its just that...and we still figure in the readers category....

    Sulekha or no...it gives us some really good reading!!! Should say some are really very poignant and some so funny.....it gives us a wide range to choose from...
    Read the 'Freedom' but I was so touched by it....that I forgot to leave a comment....now shall go back and do it :)

  2. I shall join Sulekha and be your supporter!!Come on everyone...what are you waiting for?

  3. Peetri You surprise me again and again. What you write and how you write. It is perfectly written and certainly thought provoking.
    I did have troubles commenting but I will do it here if you don't mind.

  4. ur a GREAT writer PS...no wonder it got accepted!

    Keep writing, HUGGGGGGGGZ!

  5. Wow... The Sulekha challenge seems really compelling.....

  6. wish u lot of sucess in teh contest. over to sulekha to read teh story...

  7. - there is some problem with Sulekha - am getting frequent error pages. so, i am posting my comment here.
    A good piece of work, but somehow, it lost the punch towards the middle. May be it is coz the story is too abrupt and small. Or may be the pivot of action of the protagonist doesn’t seem to be riveting, or shall I say - plausible enough - to warrant the action?
    For me, the protagonist doesn’t seems to be rally a protagonist - coz she is acting upon something which is not scaled up enough to be a reason. I am not saying that her reason was not reason enough, but what I think is, you didn’t quite well succeed to make it feel compelling enough for her to take the action. The elements where there, but you could have worked up a bit more to develop the thread more.
    It is good English, as your friend said, but, with a rather weak pivot.
    Looking forward to read more from you.

  8. at last, succeeded in posting teh comment @ sulekha :)

  9. Prats: thanks my friend! Your words really encourage.

    Niall: Thank you! i did get your comment on Sulekha and replied too.

    Marja:Thank you!

    Ritu: It is--if you write I'll surely read!

    Xh: Thank you!And a double thank you for recommending it on Sulekha.I replied to you there too--but let me repeat it here:
    Thanks for the input. This is a very short story--less than 400 words. For her it was compelling enough--her obsession was bordering on insanity.If i were to explain, firstly it would run into pages and pages--secondly I think the beauty of its poignancy would have been lost. Thridly, there are subtle clues--like 'Years of living gone wrong' and Husband who seemed to satisfy every whim-, the lone rat scurrying away, the shrill laughter suggesting madness--These are clues which offer an insight into her distraught life. Maybe like my friend, you did not look hard enough!! (That is exactly what i told my friend when he said there was no story) But thanks for letting me know.I really appreciate it.

  10. Wow! loved the story. Yes, it has a story, its about the daily dilemma most of us face, whether to walk out of a relationship that is dying or carry forward for the sake of society, kids. Your protagonist did what she felt was right for her, she smelled freedom for herself, and in doing so freed her partner from an un-loved relation. A very contemporary, today's story. All the best! :)

    I will replicate this comment once i register in Sulekha.

  11. Hello Ps.

    I loved the last line that wraps your story and i agree with it. I loved the story. Written in such simplicty that speaks towards reality.


    Congrats on it being the featured story!

    woo hoo!

  12. Misti: thank you!!! I just mentioned in reply to a comment in sulekha that i have left a lot of things unsaid in the story.In the story I have not mentioned the children's ages--maybe they are teenagers who do not care about her anymore and think of her as a mad old cow. Maybe her husband never really understood her and she felt confined by his over possesiveness. Maybe he was a psycho, treating her badly.Maybe she had enough and years of tolerating took its toll. I agree--I should have elaborated more. I also agree with you so much that no one has the right to condemn or judge another and the protagonist did what was right for her.

    Sweetsticky: thank you!!

  13. hi ps:

    I read FREEDOM and jus thot of leaving my comment here. Well... as u said, u've not mentioned the kids' age n wot kinda turmoil she was facing (husband being a psycho /treating her badly).

    But then wot do these line say, "How can you tell someone who seems to love you to bits, who seems to worship the ground you walk on, who tries to take care of your every whim and fancy that you were leaving him? There was no logic behind my action. There was no reason". They seem to say a lot.

    Then again, sometimes I think If u feel having children can tie u down, u shouldn have them in te first place. They sure bring a lot of joy to ur life. But parents decide to have kids tos atisfy their own needs. No one's doing a great favour to te kids by giving them the gift of life. Cuz if they weren't born they wudn be even around to complain. So they will definitely not miss being alive.

    I would really like to get ur response on this, esply cuz u are a mother. Pls dont consider this as a personal attack.

  14. hey, well done!! preeti...and yeah commenting here is definitely a lot easier then there...

  15. nice blog... liked the way u write!!
    couldn't read the story though.. soem probs wid teh web filter here at work!! will try my hand at that story... let's c wot i can come up with.. :)

  16. Pointblank: :-) :-) I'm smiling after reading your comment because it meant my story was powerful enough that it disturbed you. No, I don't consider it a personal attack as it is just a story and an exercise in creative writing.But I think, since it is a first person narrative, you seem to think that the character is me!!

    Anybody reading my blog regularly would have figured out that to me, my children are EVERYTHING.I won't even hesitate one moment to sacrifice even my life for my kids. I gave up a corporate career because I WANTED to. I NEED my kids more than they need me.I don't know what other women feel about motherhood--but i LOVE it and I won't trade ti for anything else in the world.Click on the label 'mama moments' under "what i write about" in the right side of this blog and I think you will get your answers.

    By the way, do you have children?

    Thinking aloud: thanks!!

    Sam:Let me know where you wrote--I shall surely read.

  17. Hi PS,
    it's done: The Night

    read your story.. it is short and leaves a lot for the reader to ponder about.... loads of questions arise... and everyone is free to imagine as per their own thought process... and makes me really wonder as to what sort of interesting insights it might throw up about the reader... :)


  18. Sorry to bug you again!!
    But there is another take out there.. thought you might be interested!!

  19. Sulekha is a gr8 platform for creative writers...one of my ex-colleagues who was a content-writer writes there n she published 2 books after that...one of them was "Kite Strings" ... i think you can find her on andaleebwajid.com ...


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