Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Getting to Know You…Author, poet and book reviewer Balroop Singh


Welcome to this week’s Getting to Know you interview and this week my special guest is author, poet, book reviewer and blogger Balroop Singh.  Balroop is a wonderful supporter of other writers and I have been delighted to share her insightful and constructive reviews for authors in the Cafe and Bookstore. Balroop has also shared some of her wonderful poetry here over the last two years.

Before we discover which five questions Balroop has opted to answer, here is a little more about her… and I will share details of her books at the end of the post.

About Balroop Singh

Balroop Singh, a former teacher, an educationalist, a blogger, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart.

She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in Danville, California.

Welcome to Getting to Know You Balroop and perhap you could let us know if you prefer the big city or country life?

I have lived in a big city all my life and therefore seem to be tired of it. I chose a big city due to good schools, competitive class spirit and better learning opportunities for my children and have no regrets for having spent more than half of my life in a big city. Once again, when choices were thrown open to me I chose a big city, this time again for my own selfish reasons – to stay in the same vicinity, to remain in touch with my children and grandchildren. I love country life as it has its own charm but it wears off after a few days just like the grandeur of staying near a ski spot wanes.

What does it take to make you angry?

Anger has been my closest companion; I have seen it unfold before my eyes… sometimes admiring it silently when I saw how much power it could unleash! I don’t believe in suppressing anger as my culture advocates, especially for women because nobody could ever explain to me why men have all the freedom to be angry and why women are expected to be calm.

Each ounce of my blood revolts against injustice, gender bias, discrimination, diktats of tradition, human apathy towards intolerance and I had impulsively learnt to vent my anger…giving it back instantly. I have mellowed down with time and age.

What do you consider to be the best dish that you prepare – and have you the recipe?

One of my friends gave me this recipe and I am proud of this dish because each time I had to host a party or contribute a dish to pot luck, everybody expected me to cook this dish till it became ‘Aunt’s special chicken,’ as children nicknamed it and devoured it fondly.

Nobody knew how easy it was! I have never used any measuring cups or spoons. So I am sharing it without professional details.

  • Cut 1 pound of chicken into small pieces.
  • Make a puree of 5 tomatoes, one green chillie, some garlic and ginger according to your taste and dip the chicken in it.
  • Sprinkle cumin, black pepper and salt.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook in its own juices for half an hour on medium heat.
  • If you want a little curry, switch the gas off when tender or let it simmer till it is dry.
  • You can add some yoghurt to make a rich curry and cook it for five more minutes.

No oil or water required! No frying! Most healthy!

Where is your favourite holiday destination and why?

One of the finest heritage hotels in Himachal Pradesh, (India) The Palace Hotel in Chail, surrounded by the forests of chir pine and gigantic deodars has been our holiday destination for almost 30 years.

This palace was built as a summer retreat by the Maharaja of Patiala but is now is a dream resort, where one can relax in the elegant lawns and just look at the majestic peaks of mountains, listen to the whisper of pines, go for romantic walks, sit at the ‘lover’s hill,’ enjoy a glass of wine at the royal bar and eat at their finest dining room.

The splendour of the royal rooms has been maintained quite well. We have been missing our destination holdays since we came here.

Sally here:  I have found a video on Chail and its amazing surroundings and I can understand why Balroop enjoyed her visits so much.

Describe the strangest dream you’ve ever had.

I am sharing a poem that I had written about my strangest dream:

THE DELUGE

The stage was set…in the house of my dreams
All of us dressed in our finery
Around the stage…some celebrations…
Happy faced gleamed
Echoing excitement of meeting each other

Suddenly, water gushed towards me
And I was alone… safe though
I knew I could escape this deluge
Taking a new route
Cycling my way out

The path seemed endless…
Waiting for the water to recede
I found some new friends
Making merry at a strange place
Some faces seemed familiar

Old secrets were shared
But I couldn’t understand a word
Am I in an alien land?
Is it my imagination?
Or my soul wandering to new places?

Why am I here?
Water drowned us all
Oh no! I was marooned
All alone but awake and comforted
By the thought – what a weird dream!
© Balroop Singh.

Books by Balroop Singh

A review for Emerging from the Shadows

In a topsy-turvy world where people grapple to make sense of the events around them, they look to literature for a moment of reflection. Poetry by Balroop Singh helps clear the chaos by making life easier to navigate, find, and feel cheerful about.

In The Secret of Being Alive, she writes, “sharp shards of shattered emotions, pierce as I try to gather those sensations, wilderness walks with me; yet a dim, discrete light beckons” – has such spunk, that last shred commanding us to hang on to hope, not rope, as the first step. And, no matter how glossy the outside world looks, there’s always a struggle “beneath that beauty lie broken dreams, beneath that smile recline unspoken words,” which she pens in When Darkness Deepens. What she does in How Can I Thank You? “The dazzling rays of sun, had to pierce through you, to reach me, while the moonlight was all mine,” is pure enchantment.

So many pearls of unalloyed magic glisten in Emerging from Shadows, worth visiting and revisiting. Anyone can externalize, but if one wishes to internalize in a world where emotions are fast dying, grab a copy of this book. Now.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

Connect to Balroop Singh.

Blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BalroopShado
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emotional-Shadows/151387075057971
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BalroopSinghsrao/posts
Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/balroops/

My thanks to Balroop for sharing her poetry, favourite holiday destination, love of the city, delicious recipe.. and what makes her angry. It has been fascinating to find out more about this lovely supportive writer. I am sure she would love to answer your questions..

If you would like to participate in this series of the Sunday shows.. here are the details and also my efforts at answering five questions. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/the-new-series-of-the-smorgasbord-sunday-interview-geting-to-know-you-and-i-will-go-first/

Smorgasbord Christmas Posts from Your Archives – The Magic of Gifts by Balroop Singh


It can be very hard on children living within a multi-cultural society to participate in all the activities that others take for granted. Christmas is one of those festivals that has become more than a Christian celebration, and whilst some may say it is far too commercialised these days, the slackening of the rules around it, does mean that others of different faiths can join in. But it has not always been so, and in some families today it is still the case.

 The Magic of Gifts by Balroop Singh

This little girl didn’t know anything about Santa. She didn’t even know children could request him to bring exquisite presents of their choice. The magic of gifts or Christmas was never real for her…it existed only in the stories.

She could not visit a single day in her memory when she had received a gift. She lived in a small town, oblivious of any such festivities. The cocoon in which she existed was just wide enough to peep outside and see the commotion of people, wearing new dresses and going somewhere.

The magic of gifts:

Gifts can be so magical and so loving was revealed to her through a story, which she happened to read in one of her schoolbooks. For the first time she could experience the joy of receiving gifts just by reading that story.

She always wanted to know more…why gifts are given…how could she get one and when would she get it!

She could never get an answer for her questions, so she had become quieter but the stormy thoughts in her mind didn’t subside.

Till she saw Santa!

She couldn’t believe that he actually existed. She went closer to touch him and all her friends laughed. But she was now grown up enough to understand all!

Trust in this mystical figure can only be created at a very young age when children look up to their parents and believe all they say, when they learn to be good for the sake of Santa, when they can smile at the make believe world created for them, just for fun! She had missed that stage of her life.

How she yearned to grow up again, to be loved, to be heard, to be understood!

Not just for the gifts she had never received.

But to grow up with that magic, which is renewed each year, to wait for the gifts which were lovingly left under the tree, to look in awe at such a dazzling Christmas tree, to nurture the faith in Santa that comes naturally… to grow up with the feeling of belongingness…to fit into the multi-cultural society that looks down upon certain people.

The lessons:

Emotional affliction

As an adult, she refused to live according to the expectations of the society. She crawled out of that cocoon, which had made her reclusive. She chose her friends very carefully. She abandoned certain people she didn’t like.

She found great satisfaction in giving. All the gifts that she had not received were given. She started with her own children but her range was much wider than her surroundings.

Christmas was not the only time to create the magic of gifts. Now she knew how to create magical moments of fun… her efforts were just a grain of sand; a drop in the ocean but that thought didn’t deter her efforts.

The blessings:

The innumerable blessings that she continues to receive have steered her towards the path of humility, forgiveness and spirituality. She wonders how she gets the resilience and which force is guiding her trail. The travails of childhood have contributed to her growth in a huge way, she knows that. She doesn’t hold any grudges. She expresses gratitude to all those who neglected her and provided her with the invaluable lessons of care and affection.

These emotions have evolved with time and age. Forgiveness and gratitude were the most hard and arduous to cultivate. She spoke to her inner voice thousands of times; she calmed its shouts as many times and has succeeded in convincing herself that life is content and peaceful if we accept it as it comes.

Thank you for reading this. I am sure you have some thoughts to share. Please do so.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Thank you for your support. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

© 2014 Balroop Singh.

First image credit

About Balroop Singh.

61ebbw1tqhl-_ux250_Balroop Singh, a former teacher, an educationalist, a blogger, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart.

She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in Danville, California.

Books by Balroop Singh

A recent review for Emerging from the Shadows.

Cathleen Townsend Reflections of an emotionally mature writer November 18, 2017

Emerging from Shadows is no callow compilation of a lovestruck young adult’s first sonnets. Rather, it’s the reflections of an emotionally mature writer who has faced life’s stings with a determination to grow from them in an honest and healthy way.

This is a verse from my favorite poem in the collection, Sound that Resounds.

“I can no longer remain insignificant
Your harrowing hauteur is oppressive
Forgive me for finding my own avenues
My gratitude goes to my spirit.”

It’s an excellent read for anyone recovering from emotional trauma, especially those who would rather eschew bitterness, and instead be at peace with how they respond to life’s trials.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

Connect to Balroop Singh.

Blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BalroopShado
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emotional-Shadows/151387075057971
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BalroopSinghsrao/posts
Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/balroops/

Thank you for dropping in today and I am sure that Balroop would love to receive your feedback… Thanks Sally