Saturday 6 February 2021

Rosy Rendezvous By The Chilika #StoryTellersBlogHop

Kali Jai Prasad. 

No, not three different names.

It's my name. 

Bapa and Maa had lovingly named me as the offering or gift of Goddess Kalijai.

Kalijai island is located in the Chilika Lake in Odisha. It has a temple dedicated to Goddess Kalijai. 

Not wanting to name me as "Kalijai Prasad", they gave a space between Kali & Jai! 

Isn't it amazing what a little bit of space can do!

However, if you find my name too long or old-fashioned, you can just call me by my nickname- "Jai".

We stay near Lake Chilika. 

Bapa often says that they had nothing before I came into their life.

I brought them luck. His seafood business started flourishing. 

Veeru- Veerendra Prasad- was born five years later. 

Veerendra means 'brave and noble man.'

However, in Veeru's case, Bapa first gave his nickname and then thought of the name- 'Veerendra' to match the nickname- 'Veeru'! 

Bapa loves watching movies. "Sholay" is his favourite. 

'Jai' and 'Veeru' are the screen-names of his favourite heroes, Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra respectively, in that epic Hindi movie. 

It's another story how much of a hero have we both (Veeru & I) been in real-life.

It gives me immense pride to share that Bapa is presently one of the heroes of this area having earned numerous top exporter awards for seafood marine exports from Odisha state. 

Besides, he is also the owner of a hotel by the lake.

Despite this, we still live in the same residence near Asia's largest brackish water lake! 

All of us, except Veeru as he is in the USA for higher studies. 

Heard the Oscar-winning song- "Jai Ho"?

My life has always been upbeat, but more so from the past two weeks.

Living in a Golden cage, rain or shine, I love to spend my free time by the Chilika. 

I have been offering prayers to Goddess Kalijai.

It was a Sunday during sunset, when she walked in to my life like an answer to my prayers.

I had somehow missed her entry to the lake. 

Sensing the movement under the water, I first thought it might be a big fish!

Then, she grandly emerged like a princess...

Her golden hair sparkled and her turquoise eyes shone. 

Seeing me, she was conscious that she was being observed.

As she walked towards me, she smiled like a doll.

"Hello, Kali Jai Prasad! I've heard so much about you!" she greeted me by my name in her cheery voice that touched my soul.

I had seen and met so many people, but this experience was surreal. 

Magic, I have seen it happen.

She seemed to understand. She came close to me and splashed some water from the Chilika.

We sat there without a word simply gazing at the stars.

There was no one around.

She suddenly got up and started walking away from me.

She made her way to Bapa's hotel! That's where she was put up! 

This rendezvous became our evening ritual for two weeks.

I learned her name- Rosy. 

An American citizen, Rosy was researching about the Chilika Lake and the unique products of Ganjam district of Odisha. 

Earlier, this area used to have ports where my ancestors had sailed with merchants from Kalinga (presently Odisha) to distant lands for maritime trade. 

Till now, there are Bali Yatra and Boita Bandana celebrations to commemorate this.

Bapa explained the rich history of our geographical area to Rosy. He showed her the framed Pattachitra, and the antiques and heirlooms in his collection.

Bapa even told her that actress Waheeda Rehman's name was 'Rosy' in the Hindi movie, "Guide"!

Maa looked very happy with Rosy and gifted her a red and black Berhampur Phoda Kumbha Patta Saree.

Rosy seemed to be everyone's favourite!

Have you ever met someone for a brief while and known that you want them to be a part of your life?

This question came to my mind.

I remembered the same question had been asked by Pujari- a temple priest I had travelled with. He had predicted my 'golden' fortune! He had blessed me saying that I would get whatever I desired!

I am sure he was a time traveler.

Wherever Rosy visited, she used to be back for our evening date without fail.

But, the other day, I waited and waited, but Rosy never came...

Seconds ticked. It was getting late. I was worried.

It was a full-moon night.

When I heard her carefree laughter, I was instantly relieved!

She was talking animatedly while snuggling with a man.

The man looked like Veeru... 

Wait! He was Veeru! 

Veeru was back!

No one, not even Veeru, had told me that Veeru was coming. 

Rosy had gone to Bhubaneswar to personally receive him from the Biju Patnaik International Airport. 

Sibling rivalry, how far can it go?

Source: Swosti Hotels

"Jai, you met Rosy, right? How do you like her?" Veeru asked.

"She is perfect to be Bapa and Maa's daughter!" was my opinion.

Bapa and Maa were very fond of girls and had always wanted a daughter. I always knew they would treat their daughter-in-law like their daughter.

From Rosy and Veeru's intimate talks, I could guess that they knew each other very well. They were studying the same course at the US University. Veeru had planned her research trip to our place. Apart from research, Rosy could also get familiarized with our family. 

We seemed to have forged emotional bonds with Rosy. The love was mutual. 

She comfortably fit our family. 

She expressed that she never wants to leave us- "This place feels like home. I want to settle here with you by the Chilika forever!"

Tears rolled down.

I wanted to wipe off Maa's, Bapa's and Rosy's tears, but Veeru gallantly did so. 

I noticed that he spent extra time fondling Rosy's face.

Chilika Lake is a Bird Watcher's Paradise in Odisha

Lakhs of birds visit each year. But, how many stay back?

Today is the wedding day. 

Rosy looks beautiful dressed as an Odia bride. The Tarakasi (Filigree work) traditional gold and silver jewellery suits her perfectly.

Tarakasi - Silver & Gold Filigree Works of Odisha

She has worn a lovely red, blue, and golden Bomkai silk saree (that Maa has gifted her). Odisha has amazing handlooms that have the Geographical Indication tags like Berhampur Patta and Bomkai Sarees.

I am dressed in turquoise blue- my body-suit is the same colour as Rosy's eyes. 

Veeru has worn a blue kurta of the same shade as Rosy's eyes and paired it with a golden dhoti that matches the colour of Rosy's hair. 

The paint on my body has dried and I look like a brand new boat. My name- 'Kali Jai Prasad' is boldly embossed in gold paint on my body.

It was Rosy's idea actually. 

She said the photographs will look lovely as they- the newly-married couple- Veeru and Rosy- pose with me and Bapa and Maa against the backdrop of the blue waters of the Chilika Lake.

The family picture is complete with me. 

Bapa and Maa never let anyone call me "boat"; I am their elder son.

I am geared up to take my favourite couples- Maa and Bapa and Rosy and Veeru- to the Kalijai Temple. May Goddess bless the newly-weds with a happy married life. 

Sunrise on the Chilika

I had always prayed to Goddess Kalijai for a sister. 

I will offer my gratitude to the goddess for gifting us Rosy.

This boat named 'Jai' is always ready to sail especially with my 'rosy' family in the Chilika Lake! 

Jai Ho!

And that’s just the beginning…

This post is written for #StorytellersBlogHop FEB 2021 hosted by Ujjwal and & MeenalSonal.

Did you know about the Chilika Lake? Have you visited it? Please share in the comments below.

We were to weave a story using any of the given 6 prompts.

However, the moment I saw the interesting prompts for the #StoryTellersBlogHop, this story took shape.  Actually, I thought of some more stories, but this is the one that kept coming back. I wrote and pre-scheduled this story post!

Note for the storytellers participating in this Blog Hop- The hosts want us to use only 1 & not all these prompts-

1) Tears rolled down, 2) And that’s just the beginning, 3) Sibling rivalry, how far can it go? 4) Living in a Golden cage,  5) Magic, I have seen it happen, &  6) I am sure he was a time traveler


  1. Very lovely story. And, yes, I really liked the way Jai (boat) has expressed his thoughts. Lovely indeed

    1. Thank you so much for dropping by & for your nice words, Suha. Glad you liked the story :)

  2. I really don't prefer lengthy reads on blog but your this story for the bloghop was something different and trust me the title of this story is just apt with the content. Very interesting and lovely. I learnt many things by your story.

    1. Thanks a lot, Romila. Great that you found this informative & interesting.
      I usually write short stories of 100 words. Have written a long story after a long time :)
      Credit goes to the #StoryTellersBlogHop as the prompts given by the hosts tempted me to get creative and here you have this!

  3. The story was so rich in knowledge about Orissa,and also the idea of boat was unique. Having stayed in Orissa for some years and visiting Chilka, it brought so many memories, the temple the sari, the filigree.loved it completely
    Deepika Sharma

    1. That's great to learn, Deepika. Thank you for sharing your warm views.
      Odisha stays with visitors for long. Glad to have refreshed your memories. Mine were refreshed too while I was writing this.
      The spelling of Orissa has been changed to Odisha in 2011. But, the richness & beauty remains unchanged. You are most welcome to revisit.

  4. Anita, your story has so many shades and I was not seeing the end the way it happened. Your twist was so good in the story and must say the way your story has Odisha popular things ensemble in it is surely worth reading. Thanks for being in the BlogHop.

    1. Thanks you so much for your great feedback, MeenalSonal :)
      As you area aware, the aim of this blog has been to also share about Odisha.
      Just like the Midas touch, the Odisha touch enhances the value!
      Thanks to you & Ujjwal for this initiative, amazing prompts, and for personally reaching out to me to join.
      Great to read some super gripping & emotional stories in the Blog Hop.
      And as 1 of our prompts goes-
      "And that's just the beginning"! :)

  5. Never heard of Chilika Lake, but your post is surreal and informative. Thanks for weaving your thoughts and using all the prompts so aptly :)

    1. Thanks a lot, Priyanka.
      It's been my pleasure to introduce you to the Chilika Lake- Asia's largest brackish water lagoon.
      Please do plan a visit to this avian paradise located in Odisha.

  6. Wow Anita... How nicely you have woven all the uniqueness of Odisha in the story....makes me want to visit Chilika lake and relive childhood moments again. And what a twist... Really didn't think that Kali Jai Prasad was a boat 💕💕

    1. Thanks for your encouraging words, Ira :)
      Happy to have maintained the suspense till the end :)

      Tried to include just a few local products. Odisha has so many unique products, which need to be showcased.
      Even I wish to revisit the Chilika Lake. Many childhood memories are associated.

  7. Wow. Great Story. There is magic in the words. I read it till the end.

    1. Thanks for your appreciation, Jyoti Prakash!
      Words do have magic, but at times words aren't enough to describe the magic.
      When it comes to the Chilika, I always find myself at a loss for words!
      So glad you liked the story and read it completely :) Thanks for visiting!

  8. Loved how you weaved a story and took us on a journey to Orissa. I liked how you mentioned about the boat in the story. The images were well suited and enabled us to picturize the whole scene.

    1. Thanks a lot for your nice words, Alpana.
      Delighted that this story set in Odisha appealed to you. Have added some images as pictures speak more than a thousand words. Always happy to attempt to showcase Odisha :)
      Our state's spelling has been changed to 'Odisha' in 2011.

  9. Wow you had used all prompts of storyteller blog so wisely in this story. what I love most about your story that prefect detailing of setting and characters in each and every scene. I was able to visualize this perfectly and felt that I had seen an amazing movie that has many shades of our life ranging from friendship to love triangle and sibling rivalry. indeed good one!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing such great feedback, Surbhi.
      Touched by your amazing movie experience :) Being a Hindi movies fan, I can understand!
      While writing this story, I really thought I was 'Jai', the boat!
      I want to visit the Chilika Lake & Kalijai island again.
      Jai Ho!

  10. Lovely story captured along side showing the beauty of Orissa. By your post, I surely want yo visit the Chilika lake! How well you po trade these characters!

    1. Thanks for your maiden visit to my blog, Sadvika & for your encouraging words.
      You will love the Chilika Lake!
      We look forward to your visit to Odisha.

  11. Nicely set. The premise is the main highlight for me. Good luck for more such stories.

    1. Thank you so much for your appreciation and wishes.
      Glad you like the setting & premise.

  12. A very unique way of bringing the specialities of the region along the story was a great idea.

    1. Thanks a lot for your maiden visit to my blog & for your kind words, Sivaranjini.
      Could share only a few specialties of Odisha.
      Please do visit Odisha and experience.

  13. You have brought the rich odia culture and traditions to life with this story. Everything is so aptly presented for a traveller. I am sure some people might even find the boat and enjoy this story. Wonderful narration dear.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and maiden visit to my blog, Uru.
      This paradise must be on every traveller's must-visit list.
      Lakhs of birds visit during winter. That's the tourist season.
      Yes, I had seen a blue boat in Chilika Lake :) But, it didn't have its name embossed in gold!

  14. You've expressed your love for Odisha while weaving a story on prompts. Nice one!

    1. Thank you so much for your nice words, Aditi :)

  15. You have given an amazing tour through the culture of odisha. It was surprising to know the narrator is a boat....

    - Ujjwal Mishra MywordsMywisdom

    1. Glad you liked my story, Ujjwal :)
      Thank you for hosting this fiction Blog Hop with MeenaSonal & providing such interesting prompts & giving us an opportunity to share our stories. Great to be a part!

  16. I haven't visited Chilika lake but have heard a lot about it. I loved how you introduced the readers to all things Odia, right from Pattachitra to the jewellery. I hadn't expected Kalijai to be a boat but can understand how deeply the family must be connected to it. Well done!

    1. Thanks a lot. Great to read your views, Varsh.
      Why would a family have an object as part of their family unless it is very dear to them?
      Glad to have been successful in keeping Jai's identity a secret till the end :)

  17. Very interesting form of narration from the eyes of very dearly vehicle of the family Boat! I like Baba's love for Bollywood angle and its very clearly equally rational connection with the names of the characters. The bundle of information regarding Chilika lake and Odia culture were no less than icing on the cake. And revealing jai's identity in the end took all the brownie points. thoroughly enjoyed reading!!!

    1. Thank you for stopping by and for your appreciation, Archana :)
      Glad you found my story informative about Odisha. Have succeeded in my attempt :)
      Jai, the boat is a dear family-member!
      My father is a HUGE Bollywood movies fan & so am I. Hindi movies references do show up pretty often in my blog posts & comments!
      Jai Ho!

  18. I enjoyed the story. Didn't expect Jai to be a boat :) I loved the way you introduced your readers to the culture and heritage of Orissa. I found it very informative.

    1. Thanks for reading & for sharing your views, Neha :)
      Tried exploiting the writer's license and thus Jai's identity is a boat!
      Happy that you found it informative.
      This is just a small story with limited info.

      Orissa's name has been changed to "Odisha" in 2011.
      Please do plan your trip to Odisha to learn more about the culture and heritage.

  19. A well written piece inculcating all the prompts. I enjoyed the story and found it rich in culture and heritage.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words & appreciation, Prerna.
      Glad you enjoyed this story.

  20. it is a lovely story and I learned a lot about Orrisa too by reading it.

    1. Thanks for stopping by & for sharing your kind words, Neha.

      Previously, the name was- Orissa. Now, Odisha is the new name (since 2011).

  21. Hey Anita, I love the way you weave all your stories around Orissa. This story too had almost all shades of emotions with carefully placing the prompts making it more interesting to read.

    1. Thank you so much for forever sharing such encouraging words and kind feedback, Geethica.
      Happy to see that this story set in Odisha also appealed to you, just like my previous ones :)

      Do note that there has been name change of Orissa to "Odisha" in 2011.

  22. Interesting story with a lot of local flavour of Odhisa. The pics are also so on point as well.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and for your maiden comment here on my blog, Vasumathi :)
      Happy that you found my Odisha story interesting.
      Infusing & serving it with local flavour was my aim!

  23. Lovely story. Loves the flow of the story and the way jai expressed his feelings.

    1. Thank you so much for reading & for sharing your views, Shamik.
      Great to hear from you!

  24. Wow!! This felt like a Bollywood flick, shot in Odisha. You’ve brought life to the story with your GI’s of the state and it’s rich cultural heritage. The picture’s supporting each paragraph was the icing in the cake. This story was funny, entertaining and gripping with an unpredictable end!! Well done with including all the prompts and weaving a great writeup!!👍

    1. Thank you so much for your kind & encouraging words, Daisy :)
      You always have such wonderful uplifting words for all!
      Glad you liked this story. Do keep visiting and spreading your refreshing magic.

  25. So nice to see how Jai turns out to be a boat. Also how commendably you have written about Odisha and its vast heritage. I have been to Odisha twice and I loved the state. The story is such a classic piece of work.

    1. That's wonderful to learn, Aakanksha!
      Thank you for your warm words. Happy that this story appealed to you.
      Had you visited the Chilika Lake in your previous trips? Please do visit Odisha again.

    2. Yes yes visited Chilika and done boating too.

  26. Wow Anita! You definitely took your readers by surprise. That was an unexpected twist and I loved who the narrator turned out to be. Also, your pictures made the story even more believable.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your nice words, Nitisha.
      When I think of the Chilika Lake, I think of the temple, islands, birds, and of course- boat. Tried to share. Added pics as they speak more than a thousand words!
      Glad to have succeeded in my attempt to surprise readers :)

  27. Loved how you've written the story with all shades in it and you've used all the prompts from the Storyhop. The end was very surprising

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your appreciation :)
      Glad you loved it.

  28. As always I am yet again a fan of your writing! The end took me by surprise and what a twist it was to the flow of emotion! Kali jai prasad is now a name I will recall whenever I see a boat :-) Lovely presentation and how brilliantly you have portrayed the richness of our Culture and tradition. I get lost in my own world whenever I visit the mesimerising Chilika Lake. Your post rekindled the travel passion in me now 😁

    1. You always have nice & kind words & encouragement, Chinmayee!
      That's so lovely! Thank you so much :)
      Yes, the Chilika is awe-inspiring. We must visit there often to challenge our vocabulary to express her beauty!
      Even I relived my visits to the Chilika Lake while writing this. Truly wish to visit again!

  29. I quite liked the way you have used the knowledge of Orissa's region and culture so well in the story. Loved the happy ending.

    1. Thank you so much for visiting, reading & sharing, Judy :)
      Happy that you loved the happy ending!
      Even I love happy endings! If the end isn't happy, then it isn't the end.

      Odisha is the new name of our state. Orissa was changed to "Odisha" in 2011.

  30. I did not expect that twist in the end! What I loved most about your story was the information you provided about Chilika lake and the traditions from Odisha. I did not know most of these things!
    Noor Anand Chawla

    1. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your valuable comment, Noor.
      Our incredible India is so vast and diverse that it is tough for all of us to know everything.
      We have to keep learning and discovering and re-discovering. It's an unending process...
      Glad to have been able to share a few glimpses of Odisha.

  31. Brilliant! Simply brilliant! Not once did I expect Kali Jai to be a boat! Loved reading this simple and beautiful story. Thanks for sharing about the textiles and traditions of Odisha through it.

    1. Thank you so much for your nice and kind words :)
      The identity of the protagonist has taken many by surprise! That was the objective!
      Happy that you loved it.
      Have been trying to showcase our beautiful heritage. This is everyone's responsibility.

  32. What a brilliant writeup Anita. Not only you have used the prompts cleverly to weave a story but giving us a glimpse of Orissa and its different aspects is definitely a sign of a great writer in making. I loved the twist in the end, where Kali Jai is a boat and not a living person. Absolutely brilliant!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by & for sharing your great feedback & hearty appreciation, Amritha :)
      Glad to have taken you on a virtual Odisha-glimpse trip.
      I do believe that objects have a life of their own. What interesting stories they'd tell us if they weren't mute spectators!

      Orissa name was changed to "Odisha" in 2011. Please do visit Odisha to witness real glimpses of this beautiful land.

  33. through and through, i had a smile pasted across my face. Kali Jai Prasad - the narration from the first 3 words had me in the hook. But he felt like a boat? Legit!! hahahahahaha subtle humor, simple writing, genius masterpiece! <3

    1. Thank you for your warm words and appreciation, Prisha :)
      Happy that this story has appealed to you!
      While writing I was under the spell of Jai- the boat.
      When one writes about the masterpieces of our land, the written work has to reflect some of the beauty!

  34. This is something mind blowing the way you have taken up the prompts ...I never thought Jai to be a boat!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by & sharing your kind words, Ruchi :)
      I love combining multiple prompts. Have done so with some success in the past!
      It was great to express myself as Jai- the boat.

  35. As always, your posts are filled with culture, heritage, and abundant love for Orrisa. Beautiful post

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and appreciation, Dipika :)
      It's a small attempt to showcase our rich and beautiful state.
      Words can never be enough.

      Spelling is "Odisha" now- (changed from Orissa in 2011)

  36. Loved the way you have woven the environment into this fiction piece. Nicely narrated! Glad to connect with you once again, through this blog hop.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, reading and sharing your nice words, Mayura!
      Glad that you loved it.
      This story just has a few glimpses in the given environment. Do visit Odisha to experience the real environment.
      Always great to connect with you.


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