I sit here trying to write something. As I look to my right I have stack of books I need to read for my masters but all I want to do is work on my film and re-live every moment of the last 35 days! It’s been a while since I wrote something. I know there was a big gap from then and now and I apologize, let’s just say film making takes away every minute of your day and night!
Last time I wrote I had spoken about how I was excited to go and film these amazing women and spend 35 days with them and make this into a documentary. It gives me great pride to say we shot it and it’s currently in post production.
It’s weird I guess I had not really been involved in a group of people’s lives so much as I had for those 35 days and I have to say I loved every minute of it. I went from day one an awkward handshake to day 35 hugging and crying because we are going to miss each other.
People say to me “wow you had a 35 day holiday”. I guess you can call it that, I learned so much about myself, the world and it’s people. I had gone to prove myself wrong about these women and what had been written about them and all I can say is how shocking it is how people are so naïve. These women are so much fun, even Fiza can tell you about them. They are loving, caring, have a number of emotions but man are they confident. They showed me how not to be scared, laugh at fear in its face and smile because secretly the world is beautiful no matter what situation you are in. They have sorrows, pain and anger that I saw, it did not make them any different from me – what did stand out about them is how their final destination is about being happy and succeeding to that objective in life. They took my hand and showed me how worrying about bills, cars, houses are so materialistic but support, friendship and love is once in a lifetime.
This film does not follow me observing their lives, it shows me being accepted into their lives, letting me be part of their world and becoming their dear friend. This film is not showing them as transgenders; it is showing them as people, wives, friends, mothers and inspirations. The film shows a friendship growing, that’s it.
When I came back I was rather in a daze – it’s not easy to digest how you had been wanting the wrong things in life – of course I still want the big house, the lovely cars, the American express card but before all of that what I want is true happiness, to smile because I believe in every muscle of that smile being pulled and that what I am fighting for is right – the other stuff is secondary. Anyway as I was saying when I got back someone asked me “so how are they?” the only thing I could answer “they are more of my friends, then the friends I currently have”. Even though I am miles away from them, don’t see them everyday or even speak to them- I have cried with them, celebrated with them and laughed with them – they are more friends to me then any others. I didn’t just go and shoot my first feature film, I made life long friends and sisters, and something no film can give you. When I look at them I don’t see transgenders- I see a bunch of women I look up to and proud to call my confidant.
Here is to making a film that will give these women justice both in India and internationally – how? It’s easy by being their friends – there is no rocket science behind it, just emotions, trust and a true smile.
I will start posting again so keep tuned!
Copyright Reshel Shah
Originally posted on Suffolk Scribblings:
A couple of weeks ago the Alliance of Independent Authors announced the establishment of an Ethical Author Code in response to a general concern about the behaviour of some authors, both self-published and traditionally published. Like the vast majority of authors I know, I already follow the principles behind this code but I believe there is a real value in stating this more explicitly.
I would encourage any of my author friends to also publicly commit to this code. It doesn’t cost you anything, you aren’t signing up to an organisation, it is just a public declaration to behave responsibly and ethically in all aspects of your writing career.
To find out more, please either click on the image above or click on the link here.
Ethical Author Code
Guiding principle: Putting the reader first
When I market my books, I put my readers first. This means that I…
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Originally posted on M.S. Fowle:
There aren’t many in this world who hasn’t been touched by cancer in some way. This book may very well help others…
Genre(s): Self-Help, Non-Fiction
Description:“Kristin Kula’s story about her aunt’s Cancer that has come back, and how she and her family are coping with the realization that she won’t be making it this time around.”
Get it on Amazon >> http://www.amazon.com/dp/1503041379
About the Author
Kristin Kula was born on December 11th 1996. She spent her first few years of life growing up in Merrionette Park Illinois. But then after repeating first grade, her family moved to Bourbonnais Illinois. Where she currently lives. Kristin’s parents divorced a couple of years after the move, and now Kristin lives with her mom Lois Kula, and her older sister Katie Kula.
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Originally posted on Fortune:
Facebook Inc. [fortune-stock symbol=”FB”] is planning a new product aimed at professionals, in an effort to compete with Google Drive, LinkedIn and Microsoft Office (and maybe end the stigma of being seen as nothing more than a distraction at the workplace).
Citing people familiar with the matter, The Financial Times said the new ‘Facebook at Work’ would allow users to chat with colleagues, build catalogs of contacts and collaborate on documents–core functions of LinkedIn and Google Drive.
It said Facebook had begun testing the product with companies as its launch approaches, after more than a year of development.
The company will have some headwinds to work against: many employers ban its social network at the workplace due to concerns about lost productivity. It will also have to persuade corporate customers that it can be trusted with their data, after a series of damaging revelations about its policy towards…
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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
Nirmala: The Mud Blossom is realistic fiction written by Fiza Pathan, set in the reclamation area of Mumbai, India. When the reader first meets Nirmala, she’s being beaten with a belt by her mother for reading a library copy of a Dickens novel, when she should have been washing dishes. Nirmala is the oldest child in the family, and her parents had placed her in a dustbin when she was a baby. A group of NGO workers discovered the baby and returned her to her family, who thereupon bestowed on her the nickname of Mud Blossom. Nirmala cleans, cooks and tutors her younger brothers, and she dreams of the future when she’ll become a doctor. She’s a good student, especially in mathematics, even if her fellow students and teachers make it obvious that her dirty clothes and unwashed state are offensive.
Fiza Pathan’s realistic novel, Nirmala: The Mud Blossom is a heart-wrenching and powerful indictment of the treatment of women in India. While I’ve read countless articles and reports about the wife-burning and other abusive practices, this novel brought it home to me as never before, and I was in tears as I finished Nirmala’s story. Pathan’s writing is starkly beautiful as we watch the young girl search for trinkets and treasures in the waste and share her finds with the poorer children. Any justifications for such a disparity in treatment based on gender sound hollow at best, and the reader cannot help but share Nirmala’s dismay at the change in her placid and kind husband when she cannot produce a male heir. Nirmala: The Mud Blossom is painful to read, but it carries a stunning and a essential message. It’s most highly recommended.
Review of NIRMALA: The Mud Blossom
by The US Review of Books – reviewed by Anita Lock
“Eye-opening, riveting, and not for the faint of heart, Nirmala: The Mud Blossom is very much a must read for all.”
Nirmala: The Mud Blossom is a harrowing account of one girl’s life in Mumbai, India. While there are a variety of themes befitting minority issues that run throughout Pathan’s short novel, high on that list is survival.
In her fifth book, rising author Fiza Pathan has crafted a story that is more factual than fiction. Based on a fictional character, Nirmala Acharya, Pathan narrates how Nirmala’s life is no different than many Indian girls today. Earmarked as worthless at the time of her birth, Nirmala is an incredibly intelligent girl. Yet since she is not only female, but also the first born in her family, her parents only see her as a burden. According to ancient Indian custom and tradition, boys continue the family name, bring in money to the family when they are old enough to work, and are the recipients of their future wife’s dowries, as well as an image of pride to their mothers for producing sons. Girls, on the contrary, offer to parents “a state worse than barrenness.” Parents fear that their daughters will be raped and pregnant before marriage and that their futures will be riddled with bride burnings and possible widowhood. …
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