Tag Archives: Memoir

Inspired Blog: Hopefully Will Lead to My Next “Memoir”

I published a Memoir, Transplanted 110 degrees from the shade to 10 degrees below zero in the sun, in March 2019.

Around the same time, Corona virus hit us. The pandemic that followed put sudden brakes on my publishing, marketing, selling of that book as well as my previous ones.
The lack of momentum affected my writing skills. Other than messages to family and friends I penned very few words (or rather typed very few words).

The saving grace in the last few years has been the baby boy who Nimmi brought home. Helping to raise the infant, Keshav, kept me physically and mentally active. My writing did not feel was a priority anymore. He is now three years old. I did make progress in my cooking. My older grandson Travis and I cook great meals together. He learned to make chicken curry and chicken biriyani, and many vegetarian dishes. Interestingly I have ventured to make Greek potatoes with him and we make pancakes from scratch, not from a store-bought mix.
Yet, my writing career has not progressed.

Last week I happened to go on Goodreads page and found my books posted on the site by my good friend April. There were two great reviews on the books. It warmed my heart, inspired my mind, and encouraged my brain to go forward with my next memoir. My working title for my book is “Thriving.”

I did thrive in this soil and grown to be strong like an oak tree, yet flexible like a mature bamboo tree and spreading the uplifting perfume of life like a Southern Magnolia. When I speak thus, I think I should be a poet. Thus inspired, I dared to go out and participate in an award ceremony when The Chicago Malayalee Association honored women doctors in our community in connection with Women’s day 2022. My youngest daughter Nimmi, a Family Medicine physician at Cook County Health Systems in Chicago, and myself as a retired Pathologist and Director of Laboratories at a suburban hospital were both honored. The Malayalees come from Kerala, the South Indian State where Malayalam is the main language.

This was a celebration that has now pushed me to seat myself in front of my computer and ‘pen’ the story of what happened to Raj and me after 1970.
I promise to entertain you, please you, make you shed a few tears, and maybe even surprise you with what I will share of my life. Looking forward to facing a few surprises myself, as I recount my story.

Shakuntala Rajagopal.

Nimmi Rajagopal Award
Shakuntala Rajagopal Award

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

The process of getting your book in print is not a very smooth one. Many things I thought were clear got obscured in the final process. Just for example, the font, size and color of the caption for the front of the book had to be looked at, and the photos rescanned and their dpi quality had to be changed, when possible. But I am in the end-stretch of the road and soon I will have a release date for my memoir.

Transplanted, Front cover, 11-21-2018


Christmas this year was special with celebrating my newly-wed grandson and his wife, two high school graduates in the family, a four-month old little princess among us, (my nephew and his wife gave us that one), and the announcement of a new baby coming in the family in June, from my niece.

While all these new memories are being made, we cherished our memories from the past, and the people who have left us after leaving indelible imprints in our hearts and minds. Just talking to each other about those dear ones give us a special strength to carry on what we need to do today and in the days to come.

Happy New year and tons of love to all.
Swamee Rakshikkané “God, keep us safe”
(This is a blessing and a prayer of surrender into God’s hands for safekeeping.)

Restarting My Blog

I disappeared from these pages because I had to immerse myself in the book production site for my upcoming memoir “Transplanted from 100 Degrees in the Shade to 10 Degrees Below Zero in the Sun”:

Transplanted, Front cover, 11-21-2018
Transplanted, Front cover, 11-21-2018

Now that my manuscript has been submitted to the publisher, I can get back to sharing my thoughts and feelings.

When you write a memoir, you start with a conception it is all about you. But as you start writing, you realize it is about the places you lived, your loved ones, the classmates, the colleagues and the mentors in your life. Above all it is about what your relationships and life experiences helped to mold the person you are now.

I understand now that ones who clung on to the past were stuck in the rut and remained unhappy despite their blessings. The people who used past experiences to learn from them and used them as stepping stones to leave them behind and go forward in their lives stayed happy and content.

In the book “Anam Cara, A book of Celtic Wisdom”, John O’Donohue says that some people are born happy. To see a silver lining when dark clouds loom is a special gift some are born with. Yet, we can all cultivate happiness. That is what I learned while writing this memoir.

Good Friends

June 3rd, 2015
A week ago I had the good fortune to spend some time with my classmate from Kindergarten and High School, Ambika Sukumaran. She was an actress, a renowned movie star in Malayalam movies, (Malayalam is Mother tongue). Ambika acted in many award winning movies and was heroine to some famous actors in the sixties and seventies.
We reminisced of our time at the Holy Angels’ Convent High School and laughed at how naïve we were when we came to the U.S.A. We talked about all the years in between when we did not see each other for forty two years, yet we were comfortable sharing stories of our life, of our children and best of all about our grandchildren. We promised to do this again, soon.
I have been told not to be stuck in the past.For the memoirist that I am the past stories did not get me stuck in any place, rather gave me one more stepping stone to write about a few more characters from my past.
A double bonus from a rekindled friendship.