Thursday, November 27, 2008

Unforgettable

Photo taken by Atul Shenoy at age 10. River Nile. Egypt. (click to enlarge)


Eleven years ago, you came into my life and nothing was the same again.
Ten years ago, you smiled at me and I thought my heart could not hold any more happiness.
Nine years ago, you said “I love you” and I knew my heart could hold more joy.
Eight years ago, you wrote me your first letter and I preserved it with care.
Seven years ago you made a clay sculpture and said it was for me.
Six years ago you gave your first solo stage performance and I cheered like crazy.
Five years ago you started showing great interest in sketching and they turned out real good.
Four years ago I got you a pair of hamsters and you said you adored me for it.
Three years ago you wrote a poem just for me.
Two years ago you started showing an interest in photography and the pictures you captured were brilliant.
A year ago you wanted to give gifts to all the children at the orphanage and we did it together.
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Ever since you came into our life you’ve given it a meaning, lit it up brighter than sunshine, and made it warmer than love, and given it more depth than a bottomless pit.

You mean the world to us.
Happy birthday our darling son.

With love
Dad and Mom.
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Addendum: My heart bleeds for India. I feel so strongly about it. Have expressed my emotions HERE.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Win-Win!

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Apologies if you have come here looking for a post to read. This will soon appear in my 3rd book called 'A 2nd Jar of Bubblegums and Candies'. I had to remove it as making it available online would be very unfair to my publishers who have placed so much trust in me.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Niall

It was on 14 of November 2006 that I met someone called Niall Young. It was a virtual meeting. I was new to blogging and had been browsing the Internet by clicking ‘next blog’ and suddenly a poetry blog caught my eye. The writing was heart-warming, different and unique. The blog belonged to someone called Tim Young. I found the writing beautiful and so I left a comment.

And the next thing I know, I get a comment from Tim’s brother, Niall. Those days hardly anyone read my blog. I was delighted when Niall left a comment on this post of mine saying “I discovered your Blog after reading your comments on my Brother's site (Forever England).You have such a deep an special heart. You have obviously known pain, and because of that, you feel that of others too. Love yourself, care for yourself and lift your hands to the sky in the mornings rising sun. You are here for a purpose! Keep writing”

Then a few more posts and a few more comments later, we exchanged email ids. We started writing to each other and became great friends.

I am a big fan of Niall’s work and I couldn’t believe the photograph like pictures he churns out. It is hard to believe that some of his pictures are not photos—they are so brilliant. I have written about it in a post called Each dot matters’ (click on it to read it –its worth your time)

Once Niall did not update his blog for four days. There was no mail from him too. I was worried and I called him up.(By now we had exchanged phone numbers too) That was the first time we were speaking on the phone to each other and he sounded ‘oh-so-charming’ with a wonderful deep voice and an English accent to match. He was happy that I had called.

After that we spoke on and off and we continued writing regularly.


Then when I traveled to UK we met in London. It was really memorable for me as well as him. (yes—that’s him and me in the picture you see. I had cut my hair really short in October 2007) I have blogged about the meeting HERE and so has he, HERE.


Niall gifted me an original painting of his —something that very few people have had the privilege of! I really treasure his pictures and count them among the few valuable things I have. He gave me many prints too. I was overwhelmed. The picture you see at the start of this post is one of the pictures which he gifted me, which I really liked.


So why am I telling you all this today, again?

Because it’s Niall’s birthday today.


I am very glad that a random click on the Internet led to an enriching friendship.

I am happy that blogging has widened my world.

I am delighted that I got a chance to meet him and Jan his wife and his daughter Annie.

I am happy that my kids got on so well with Annie.

But most of all I am so glad that I have a truly dependable friend for life.

Happy birthday Niall— May your amazing talent for churning out pictures that are so alive continue to delight thousands more!

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Niall’s official site:

http://nialleyoung.com/

Niall’s blog:

http://dancing-for-beginers.blogspot.com/

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A grandmother's wise words

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Said a granny to her grand-daughter
Who has just turned sixteen,
Child, this is a story I do not usually share,
So listen well, and listen with care.

Many years ago, I fell in love
With a lonely lost sad soul
Who took away so much from me
That nothing still fills the hole.

It gets covered well
When I laugh for a while, I forget
But it comes back to haunt
The agony, the memories, the regret.

Sad souls are like that
They take, never give and then leave,
They devour, they consume and gobble
And once eaten ,never can you retrieve

What hurts most
Is that the love still remains
It gnaws you silently like a termite
Leaving you empty,broken and in chains

So stay away from the vampirish sad souls
Let them find someone else to eat
Cover your heart, protect it, nourish it
And you’ll know when to give love and when to retreat.


© Preeti Shenoy
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Kindly do not reproduce without permission

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday No.8

A long time since I did a Wordless Wednesday. This pic was clicked by me,when I was at my dining table. I interrupted my meal as I just had to capture the moment.


© Preeti Shenoy

Monday, November 10, 2008

Make somebody happy today

Rainbow. Pictures, Images and Photos

When was the last time you used a box of colours? Yes—those little sticks called crayons—either wax or plastic that come in little boxes, meant for little children? Or Sketch pens? Or colourful markers? If you don’t have children, chances are you have used them in your childhood. Most adults have happy memories associated with crayons or colours.

Speaking for myself, I simply love colours. Just looking at them gives me so much joy. As children, we all have the same ability to express ourselves through pictures. Having worked with children for many years, I have noticed that at age 3 or 4, most of their pictures are mostly alike. (Except maybe one or two exceptionally talented ones). By the age of 10-12, there is a marked difference in abilities. As adults, there are ‘Artists’ and ‘I-can’t-even-draw-a straight-line’ kinds. It is sad that our education system takes away so much creativity in an attempt to churn out ‘Achievers’ usually judged by how well you do academically.

Yet in most of us, there is that little child, who still loves colours, and who finds immense joy in creating. A friend of mine, a CEO of a large organization, who has a very high pressure job, that involves a lot of travel, had a fantastic way to de-stress. He would colour pictures in printed colouring books with his six year old daughter. Side by side, they would sit, working on adjacent pages, silently, sharing a bond, sharing love, sharing happiness in a quiet contented way. He loved it. When I went to visit him once, he showed me proudly how well he had coloured, and he told me how good it made him feel as he cannot draw at all, but this gave him a nice chance to dabble with colours.

Years later, when I worked with street children (I had been volunteering with an NGO that works with under-privileged children, teaching them English and Math) I thought of my friend. These children had taught me a wonderful pattern, which was so simple, yet so beautiful. My CEO friend would have loved to make it.

Whenever I feel down, creating something perks me up instantly. This weekend I showed my seven year old daughter how to make that same pattern and stick it on handmade paper, (I love handmade paper—it makes anything look so pretty) and make a wonderful card. Her brother was in a school camp, and her dad is travelling. So she made it for both of them. (Yes ,the card you see was completely made by her) I am going to share it with you, step by step.

Step 1: Use a black marker or sketch pen and make a grid of dots--8X8 (Use a scale if you want to space them perfectly.We did not bother to)

Step 2: Make crosses as shown above.

Step 3. Complete the pattern as shown below

Step 4: (This is the best part) Add colour!! Stick it on handmade paper (which you have cut and folded to make a card) and trim the edges with a craft scissors if you like...and Voila--you have your own hand made card! :-)


Tempting, right? Buy yourself a packet of sketch-pens or marker pens and let your creativity go wild .You can fill the pattern in any way you can think of—with hearts, dots, squiggles or even glitter, if you like to jazz it up. You can even cut and paste photos in the little squares in the centre or around it. Just add imagination and see how it takes shape. Write a personalized message inside. Give it to that special someone and tell them that you made it for them. It will make them really happy and put a big smile on your face. (For those who don't have a special someone give it to your parents or anyone who means a lot to you. They will be delighted.)

Oh yes—and don’t forget to thank me for sharing.:-)

It will put a big smile on my face too :-)

Monday, November 03, 2008

What’s your indulgence?



A couple of years ago, I was spring cleaning my wardrobe, when my good friend and next door neighbour rang my bell. I had emptied the entire contents of my cupboard-- clothes, makeup, jewellery, jackets, handbags and many other things on my bed and was sorting and re arranging them. Since we are really close, I didn’t mind her seeing the contents of my wardrobe or my mess and so invited her right into my bedroom.

She sat cross-legged on my bed while I put away my stuff neatly. It reminded me a bit of my college days—I don’t think I have shared the contents of my wardrobe with anyone since those days.

As I was putting away each one, she was looking at them and we were talking about clothes like only two women can.

“So where are the rest of your pairs of jeans?” she asked

“These are it” I said. I had only two—blue and black.

She could not believe it.

“You have ONLY two pairs?” she asked , incredulous.

I had only two. "How can a woman live with just two pairs of Jeans?!" She asked

“How many do you have?” I asked her

I could not believe when she said she has seventeen!

Seventeen!! I don’t think I have ever had seventeen even if you counted the ones I have worn and outgrown my entire life starting from the time I was a little girl!

Then we compared notes about our clothes and make up and other stuff.

I had just four skirts (Two knee length, two short ones) two trousers, three formal shirts, twelve casual tees, two lipsticks (yes, I still have ONLY two) and ONE eye liner, no belts and no scarves.(I don’t use both) I had lots of sarees. (very expensive ones gifted to me at the time of my wedding--all packed away neatly in a suitcase on top of my wardrobe as these are all heavy silk that cannot be worn on a daily basis.I wear them only for special occasions)

She simply could not believe it. She found my wardrobe bordering on the frugal. She, I think must have had more than 20 of each item. Except the eye-liner. She had about seven of those. :-)

One thing I hate shopping for, is clothes. This same friend LOVED shopping for clothes and would drag me on her shopping sprees. I would be totally bored while she looked at clothes. I shop for clothes only when it’s absolutely necessary. I hate browsing through racks and racks of clothes. I’m extremely choosy when it comes to buying clothes. I am very hard to please. I also buy quickly as I know exactly what I want.[and I usually don’t find it :-) ]

Maybe my hatred for clothes shopping stems back to those days when all I could afford was cheap imitations of top of the end brands, bought off fashion street in Mumbai—they looked good—but a fake is a fake. I hated it and swore that when I could afford, I’d buy only the real thing.

Today almost all my clothes are branded ones--really nice higher end brands. I value them because it reminds me of those days when I could not afford them. And it’s rarely that I really like something in clothes—when I do, I buy two or three in the same style in different colours. (Most of my women friends say that in clothes, I shop like a guy—why buy three of the same style in different colours, they ask. It saves me the trouble of shopping for at least a year, I answer.)

But there are some things that I completely indulge in –Books (we have a collection of more than 400 books and it keeps growing), Long distance phone calls (to good friends), Art material and Expensive perfumes and not in that order necessarily. [So there, now you know what to gift me on my birthday--heh heh] I can spend hours in a book store or browsing through stationery section even in a super market. I simply love looking at different kinds of paper---water colour paper, handmade paper, quilling paper, craft paper origami paper, oil-paints, acrylic tubes, poster colours, brushes, craft material, erasers, tools, palettes, easels –all of it interests me.

But ask me to spend time looking at clothes and to be honest, I’d rather run on a treadmill for half an hour.(which is exactly what I am going to do just now--all this clothes talk itself makes me want to run) :-)

To each their own, I guess. That’s what makes each one of us unique. We all have our eccentricities, indulgences, fancies, whims, likes and dislikes.

So what is your indulgence? What do you spend on?