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 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.
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/