Thursday, January 31, 2008

Desire

The prompt at Writers Island is Desire.

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Holding Hands

Desire


I desire
A word from you.
Will you oblige?

I desire
To hear your voice again.
Will you speak?

I desire
To feel your hand in mine.
Will you hold it?

I desire
A response.
Will you answer?

I desire
A bit of your time.
Will you grant it?

I desire
To live once more.
Will you free me?

© Ps

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Abracadabra--Turn Lurkers into commenters!

Image Courtesy: http://xkcd.com/369/

A few years back, when I did not have a blog, a friend (actually husband’s friend) came home for dinner. I was super impressed and was in awe, almost reverential when she mentioned that she has a blog. I remember taking down the URL from her and reading what she had written.

More than the content of her blog,I think it was the fact that someone whom I know personally, actually writes regularly and gets responses that fascinated me. Till then, no one in my circle had a blog.

Sometime later, I met a guy at my Salsa class. He too mentioned his blog and wanted me to read it and leave comments. I read it but I was so hesitant to leave any kind of comment. The next day I told him what I felt about his post.

This was a couple of years ago.

Now that I have my own blog, I know how much comments mean to bloggers. When I first started writing, I had no idea that so many would read what I have to say. It was out of desperation that I was reaching out. When I started getting responses, I was delighted.


There is term coined for people who read blogs and don’t leave comments—they are called ‘Lurkers’. Years back, I was a lurker. So I understand well why lurkers do not leave comments. Many of them feel that they may sound foolish—or they may feel that whatever they have to say has been said by others. Or they may just feel that what the blogger said is silly and irrelevant.Or they may be scared to reveal their identity online.(rare--but I know someone who is) Either way—they read and leave. (click on the coloured word to know more)


Since blogging is purely a passion for most of us, I feel the least you can do to reward your favorite blogger is to leave a comment! People—we don’t get paid for blogging.(despite google ad sense.I refuse to install it) We blog to connect. We blog to voice out what we feel. We blog to share. If you read and keep quiet, how will an interaction happen?


If you are shy to leave a comment(but want to) , the best way would be to NOT read other comments before posting. That way you don’t have to worry about what others said or did not say. The very very least you can do is just type “It was an interesting post” (just 22 letters. That isn’t asking for too much, surely!) So, Emerge, all ye who lurk and transform into commenter!! (Touches your head with magic wand)


Of course I subscribe one hundred percent to the dictum that you should leave a comment only if you found the post interesting or ‘comment worthy.’ I also believe in the dictum that if you have nothing to say on your blog, you should be silent! An ‘empty post’, posted just for the sake of posting, is really polluting the blogosphere.


Don’t you agree?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Tag--six inconsequential things.

Mary of Momathon tagged me.

The Rules:
Link to the person that tagged you.
Post the rules on your blog.
Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
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Well—are any habits really non-important? To others of course they will be non important—but to yourself, every little detail, that goes into making YOU, is important. Right? At least it is for me!

Anyway since I have been tagged, I decided to do it—here are 6 things about me—Important or not!

1. Deep Hatred is an alien emotion for me. I can’t ever remain angry with anyone for long. No matter what they have done. I have had some truly God-awful experiences—things which people did or said to me. I remember the incidents—but the people I have forgiven. It is weird because I have tried to make myself hate them —but I don’t. I forgive so easily. I don’t know why I’m like this—but have accepted that this is how I am.
2. I respond to every single mail I get. (Except the forwards—if they are exceptionally good, I respond to them too)
3. I care truly, deeply and passionately for animals. I abhor cruelty and cringe when I see the extent to which some people can go.
4. Intellectual arrogance and considering yourself smarter than others is one thing I can’t stand. I truly believe that we are all gifted in different ways. Some of us are great at writing—some at Math—some at Art—some at being a wonderful human being. I don’t think it makes one any less than the other.
5. I can laugh and laugh even in the most serious of situations. I find humour in almost anything.
6. Fitness is almost an obsession for me. I work out regularly, eat healthy and drink lots of water. I actually enjoy doing my crunches and my weights.
The ones I’m tagging are:
Devil Mood from 'Love is stronger than pride':(I know you must have done similar tags before.But I so love reading what you write!)
Scotty from frog Prince: Your insights are deep.
Prats Retrospections: Would love to know you a bit better
Tys: Waiting to read !Do it NOW!!
Misti from hope : Want to know more about you

Shru from high spot: Reveal!

Hershey from cave of Wonders: Want to know what you have to say, my friend!

(I know that makes it seven--but anothe little quirk I have is that I hate rules!)


Friday, January 25, 2008

Don't you like it?

restaurant
Really sorry--I have had to remove this post as it will soon appear in a book. Making it available online would have been very unfair to my publisher who has placed so much trust in me. I hope you enjoy the other posts as much as you enjoyed this one. A heartfelt thanks for your support and understanding.Thanks for continuing to read what I write.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The power of words

words

When people write to me and tell me how much my words and my posts motivate them, I feel moved. I feel happy. And I feel delighted that what started as a journey to help myself ended up bringing sunshine to many.


Shruti wrote about it in her post 'Blessed with a friend' .I was so moved .(So many people said so many nice things about me in the comments section there--I thank you all) Ajay mentioned it here. Misti wrote a post recently mentioning how my blog inspired her to pursue something she always wanted to. (click on the coloured words)

Rayne of Crunchybits and somanystories.com says “Before you groan and say, “Not another mommy blog.” let me assure you this blog is much, much, more than that. Preeti is an incredible writer whose posts are filled with warmth, humor, compassion and the joy of life and while some of her entries are about her children, after all they are a big part of her life, they aren’t cloying or annoying. She also blogs about so much more. Memories of her past, her travels, her interactions with other people, and the big wide world around her. I envy her ability to travel and see so many interesting places and it always pleases me when she shares her adventures through photos and words. She shares her days with us candidly and in this way invites us into her life. Her blog is one of my daily reads and I believe it will be one of yours, too.”

I don’t forget kind words easily.(They are so hard to come by) It is the same with unkind words. I was hurt and upset sometime back when someone I consider a good friend said that my blog is lousy, he doesn’t like my writing style (yes, he is entitled to his opinion- I know) and most of it is stupid sentimental stuff.(Maybe it is because it is heartfelt) It reminded me of my post on ‘Truth speakers’.

Most of us are so conditioned to condone rudeness. Many of us find it easier to point out that the person being rude has a free right of speech and there might be truth in what he or she says. Many of us question ourselves (Did I over react? Did he/she really mean what he said?) Some of us even sub consciously defend the wrong doer (May be I should have stood up for myself but he/she was right.)

What I firmly believe is that no matter what the person meant (or didn’t mean) if their words hurt you, then your feelings ARE valid. Do not make excuses for them. Tell them how much it hurt you and why. If they really care they will apologise and make an effort to remember it next time.


Some people are so negative. They find it hard to be happy. They find it hard to muster enthusiasm. If you want to do something they will point out reasons why it cannot be done. If you want to write a book, they will tell you that there are hundreds of hopefuls who want to be the next J.K Rowling and publishing houses wont even look at your manuscript. If you want to paint a picture (or pursue your hobby of photography) and if you dare dream of holding your own exhibition they will delight in telling you that it is very difficult, as there are thousands of more talented people out there.

Do not listen to them. I firmly believe that what the human mind can imagine, it can achieve.


Sometimes, I’m grateful to the negative people too. I find that when I am getting too comfortable and laid back in a nice routine, then a sharp jab from someone makes me think. It makes me act—and shakes me out of my comfort zone—making me more determined to pursue my dream and chase my goals.


I felt a sense of satisfaction today when I got my first earning from my writing. (An article I wrote for a local paper was published in December) I have always been interested in writing and really enjoyed it. But I never pursued it as a career or did not even think that I could be earning from it.(Compared to what I earn from my Thinking workshops, it is really a pittance, but still this is the first time I'm getting paid for writing)


Paths always open up. Always. Sometimes unexpectedly, sometimes with relentless pursuit. But they do. Despite the drains, nay-sayers and the negative thinkers—or maybe because of them!


Thursday, January 17, 2008

The right connection


Really sorry--I have had to remove this post as it will soon appear in a book. Making it available online would have been very unfair to my publisher who has placed so much trust in me. I hope you enjoy the other posts as much as you enjoyed this one. A heartfelt thanks for your support and understanding.Thanks for continuing to read what I write.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Treasure. Writers island-8

The prompt at Writers island ' is Treasure'. This is my piece.
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Treasure

Treasure.

Treasure means different things to different people. Something you treasure can be meaningless to someone else. I never realized this simple thing for a long time. I guess it is because, we think that just because we feel about certain things in a certain way, everyone else too feels the same.

When I think of what I really treasure, it is undoubtedly the deep and loving bond that I share with S and with my children. I feel blessed to have a really loving family of my own. (Touch wood!)

I treasure my friends. I feel blessed to have people who really care in my life.

I treasure the huge collection of Children’s books and our books (numbering more than 800) that we have built over the years.

I treasure my ability to paint and express what I feel. I treasure my collection of paintings—the ones I painted as well as the ones Niall gifted me.

I treasure my book of poetry—that I have been writing since I was 17.

I treasure my grandfather’s antique wooden table with beautifully carved legs, that my dad used while growing up, I used while growing up, and my children using it now! The table has moved with me to thirteen different places that I have lived in, in the 36 years of my life.

I treasure the golden, sparkling shiny, tumbler made of an alloy of copper and brass which my grandmother used to have tonnes of black coffee from. My grandmother is no more, but I am so proud of her and her spirit. (shall save that for another post)

I treasure an old old book, with yellowing pages, that my grandfather gave me. It is a childrens book called 'School boys' that won the Stalin prize in 1951. It was printed in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic. U.S.S.R does not exist anymore. Neither does my grandfather.But oh—the memories!

I treasure my ability to connect to people. Really connect.

I treasure happy memories.

I treasure the ability to hope. And the ability to look back without remorse.

But most of all, I think I treasure my ability to laugh heartily and make others laugh.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Over the horizon--writers Island 7

The prompt at Writer's island is 'Over the horizon'. This is what I wrote.The picture I found on photobucket and I loved it as it went so well with what I wrote.

sad turtle
Over the horizon
Over the horizon
Under the sea
The turtle asked the moonfish
“Will you marry me?”
They had known each other
For over an year now
The chemistry was undeniable
Sparks flew and how!

“Unusual I know
For a lady to propose
But if you won’t do it
I must I suppose.”
The moonfish did not answer
Just swam away
Leaving the turtle forlorn
Having nothing to say.
The turtle waited and hoped
And sat by the sea shell phone
Wanting to hear from the moonfish
Feeling unloved and alone.
Moonfish swam away hurriedly
Feeling adult and grown
When the elation gave way
He picked up the phone.
They laughed and they mocked
The Turtle’s tone
While she still sat hoping,
Waiting by the phone.
© Ps

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Who is a GSB Konkani anyway?

This is my 200th post and my first for this year.So, I'm writing about something that is close to my heart.
Who is a Konkani anyway?
Years ago, my brother, while at college, had to write a mid term evaluation paper on “People and Cultures of India”. He wrote a paper called ‘Who is a Konkani anyway?’
It explained beautifully who a Konkani Gaud Saraswath Brahmin is, and how these people came to be associated with Kerala, even though they are not Malayalees. (Malayalam is the language in Kerala.)
A question I am often asked is “Where are you from?”
What I like to say is “How does it matter?”( I really do not know why people want to know where I am from. It irks me most of the time.What difference does it make to them where I am from?)
I usually say “I have never lived in one place for more than three years—so it is difficult to answer where I am from.”
Then the asker becomes a little more curious. “So, what is your mother tongue?”
Konkani
“Oooh. So are you Catholic?” (At this point I am already bristling, trying my best to hide my irritation)
“No I am a Gaud Saraswath Brahmin and a staunch Hindu.”
Most  are confused at this point. Many people are ignorant about History, Culture and Languages about India. (Click on the word 'Konkani' in bold if you wish to know more about Konkani people)

I guess, the confusion about Konkani arises mainly, as it is a language associated with Goa. Originally, my great grandfather lived in Goa.In fact, the family temple is still in Goa. In the 18th Century when the Portuguese invaded India and began converting people forcibly to Christianity, my great grandfather along with many families fled, leaving behind property, ancestral homes, shops---everything they owned. Everything familiar. He carried with him only a small idol of Lord Vishnu. The families who fled settled down along the coast of South of India. That is how you find Konkanis in Karnataka as well as Kerala. (The most conservative fled to the southern parts which were farther away from Goa)
My great grandfather established a temple in a small village in interior Kerala and it still stands.
When I first heard these facts as a child, I was so enraged at the unfairness.
“Why didn’t they fight back?” I remember asking my dad.
“They were helpless. The Portuguese were more powerful.” my dad answered.
“How can they force someone to follow another religion?” I asked. Tolerance is one of the tenets of Hinduism and an act of forcible conversion was truly appalling and beyond my comprehension. I did not understand it as a little girl.(In Hinduism, there is no provision for ‘conversion.’ Hinduism is a way of life.)
I still do not understand it as an adult.
As I grew older, I realized why in the Konkani community, especially among GSB Brahmins, there is such a strict adherence to Tradition and Culture. I understood its richness, its depth, its meaning and the intense need to preserve it. After all, my ancestors were refugees in Kerala, with no belongings, except for an idol and iron hard determination.
Years passed. The next generation was born. And the next. Languages now changed and merged slightly with the local language.(That is the reason why there is a distinct difference in the dialect of Konkani spoken in Karnataka, Kerala and Goa.)
As time went by, people worked hard, progressed, prospered, grew. In 1727 in Ernakulam, a temple was established and it today known as T.D temple, in Ernakulam, Kerala. (The photo above shows the outside gate.When you enter, there is large compound. You cross it and there is the sanctum sanctorum)
The Architecture is amazing.The carvings are so beautiful.(see photo below)
In December 2007, on 23rd to be precise, my Father-in law had organized a grand puja called a ‘Brahmotsav’ in this very temple. The rituals, the grandeur, the splendour, the richness-- all of it was overwhelming. It started at 6:30 am and when it finally finished, it was 10:30 pm in the night. Traditional lunch (served on banana leaves with all the Konkani delicacies) was provided for two thousand people.(and they were all served inside the temple) The logistics, the co-ordination and the execution was amazing and left me stumped.

There were many Pujas. (in case you do not know what a puja is, click on the word)

The grandest amongst them was undoubtedly the ‘Bhangara Garuda Puja.’('Bhangara' in konkani means Gold) Garuda is the vehicle of Lord Vishnu and the one at TD temple is taken out on special occasions. It is made of solid gold. Its beauty and richness left me gaping.
Here are more pictures.

I was so glad that my children got to soak it all in.
We returned home that night, tired and exhausted but very contented, quiet and immersed in our thoughts.