Friday, November 27, 2009

A special day

Like all men, he thinks his mother is the best cook in the world.
Like all most men he also thinks his mother is the most beautiful woman on this planet.

He loves bikes and cars and can identify a lot of cars as soon as he sees them.

He loves Call of duty and is really good at it.He also likes to play Chess.

He plays Football. He also paints pictures.

He loves to read and has read all the Harry Potter books, all the Roald Dahls, most of the Cornelia Funkes. He loves Paul Jennings too.

He also likes doing Science experiments and he finds Math fun.

He clicks the most amazing photographs. I am almost always, delighted with his pictures. See for yourself--I have put together a small selection of pictures that he has clicked. (His favourite subject in people, is me :-) )

He teases his sister mercilessly and also fights with her but will fly like a lion to her defence if anyone dares mess with her. He is fiercely protective of her and 'watches out' for her.

He brings me so much joy when he is around. He explains eagerly to me about 'cool stuff' and about 'guy stuff' that he thinks I haven't understood. He treats me like a buddy, a pal and even teases me. He can carry me too--he lifts me right off the ground and I squeal and tell him to put me down. :-)

Today is a very special day because he is a very very special person--and birthdays are only as special as the people who have them. He turns 12 today.

Happy Birthday Atul!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Jack Sparrow -Acrylic on canvas . Wordless Wednesday No.17

This is the very first time I am using Acrylic in my life!

This is Acrylic on Canvas. Size: 12"x 16" (30.4 cms x 40.6 cms)

ps: Also see current mood video on right (scroll down)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Let them live

Like life mocking death
Water droplets on a dead leaf
Once green, proud and vibrant
Now discarded, replaced with no fuss or grief

Reminding you of outgrown relationships
That soared at their peak
No longer possible to retrieve
But just like the droplets, memories seek

A niche to stand out, a place to exist
Tear them not to shreds
Let them live out their old splendour
At least inside your heads.

© 2009 Preeti Shenoy

For more poems click here. Some poems have already appeared in print.

Yesterday I saw this leaf lying on the side of the road and it made me want to click this photo.(Please enlarge and view it to see its full beauty) It inspired me to write the above poem too.
It is a simple (but deep) poem that speaks for itself. Think about the message in it.

Once you let someone into your heart, a part of them becomes a part of you. Like the line from the song Hotel California goes "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."(See my current mood video on the right)

We can kill a relationship but we cannot delete it. We really cannot kill all our memories, can we?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Doodle art

Doodling is something everybody can do. But doodle art is taking it to a higher level, really.
I loved both these pictures that my children created. The one above was done by my son who will soon be 12 and one below was done by my daughter aged 8. Both are done on a A4 size paper.

Winter has set in and it gets dark these days in the evenings at 4.30 itself. It is pitch black and biting-freezing cold.
But things like doodle art is indeed time creatively spent instead of being parked in front of televisions and PSPs and X boxes. [Somehow I am partial to Wii :)]

All you need is a blank paper, sketch pens and some imagination.

Want to do doodle art? Tempting, isn't it? :-)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Do not cry because it is over. Smile because it happened.

My dad would have celebrated his 69th birthday tomorrow. Actually, that is not true. We would have celebrated. He would have just played along good naturedly.

He was the kind who celebrated life every single day.

"Thaaank you my dear," I can hear him say in his deep voice, as I call to wish him.

His positive attitude, zest for life, his deep empathy for others , his ability to be like a rock, his tall stature (he was 6 feet), his love for driving, the superb way he could handle a car, a bike and finances too, his ability to laugh with us, even when we pulled his leg, his love for long walks , fitness and exercise, the endless debates and discussions I had with him, his teaching me to skim throw a stone, his teaching me and my brother to swim, his playing frisbee with my brother and me on the beach, the 'general knowledge' quiz questions he used to ask us , his love for western movies, his very practical nature, his go-getting ability, his genuine love for people and his ability to make good friends with every single person he met (and the way they confided in him and opened up to him), his uncanny sense of knowing what I was feeling even when I was hundreds of miles away from him, his love for the occasional whisky (and he never once got drunk) and occasional cigarette too, the marvellous way he could write (yes, my dad has written many short stories ), his love for nature and dogs and above all, the way he so effortlessly became the best dad a daughter could ask for--these are the things I remember most about him. They are fresh in my mind as though they happened yesterday. And yes--the photos are of me as a child and him.

It has been three years now but I still miss him deeply. You would think it gets easier with time. It doesn't. You just learn to hide it better.

Happy birthday to my dad. In me, he lives. His spirit, I celebrate.

I know this poem would have immensely appealed to him too.

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

---Mary Elizabeth Fraye

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Can I have a Fosters, Mom ?



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, November 10, 2009

A tag--7 secrets confessed :)

Rohit from "The journey" tagged me with this one and gave me an award too! How can I refuse now? :-) This is a really hard one because actually it would be a lie if I confessed 7 things that NO ONE knows about me. Come on! How can no one not know? Someone would have known but might have chosen to keep quiet or might have forgotten, isn’t it? I have blogged so much now, for the last three years that I honestly do not remember exactly what I have written. So with that concession in place, here goes my post:

1. I can write legibly with my left hand. When I was a child I fell down and fractured my right hand. I had to go to school though with a cast. I was so bored in class, of sitting still ,that I began writing with my left.

2. I cannot cook and talk on the phone. Yeah I know, women are supposed to be good at multi-tasking. But for some reason, I can’t cook and talk at the same the time. If I am cooking I hang up.

3. I know to handle an Air Rifle and my aim is good. My brother owned one and we used to take turns shooting, as teenagers. No—we didn’t kill any living things. (except a snake once) He did shoot a cockroach though :-) Recently at a fair, I used a ‘tommy gun’ which had a laser aim .It was much heavier than the ones I was used to but I really enjoyed it.(yes that is me in the picture)

4. I Love basket ball. I used to play National level basketball once upon a time when I was in school/college. I still play as there is a basketball court near my house.

5. I have received a certificate for being in top 2 percent of academic performers in the country in CBSE exams in both class 10 and class 12. I have several academic degrees/diplomas and I stood first all India, in the P.R and Advertising exam (which is one of my Post graduate qualifications). But I usually never mention this to anyone, as I always feel academic achievements really do not matter. I am truly not impressed by anyone’s academic achievements either, even if they have done a doctorate from the world’s top universities. The best teacher is indeed the school called LIFE.

6. I cannot sing to save my life. If I start singing my children and husband ask me to shut up. Despite this, I sing the song Chanda hai tu to my children with full and complete maternal emotions substituting the words, adding my own words. They quickly tell me that yes, they get the gist. :-)

7. I can skim throw a stone. I learnt it as a child. If you do not know what skim throwing is watch this video.

Now I am supposed to tag seven people. I am picking the first seven people who had left a comment on my last post .(All the names and descriptions are links to their blogs)

You are tagged and you have been given an award! (para-ra para-para..trumpets, bugles) :-)

1.Ayush: (I don't think you have a blog but you can write in my comment box)

2.Vinoo John:. I went to college with Vinoo. We used to be very close in college and now by a strange twist of fate we are both in UK. We plan to meet soon.

3.Gayathri :A lovely person a mother and a green thumber who makes wonderful pictures and cards

4.Laksh: She writes about daily life and her posts make me ponder.

5.Thoughtful train: We discovered that we are related too! True to her name she is really thoughtful and a genuinely nice person!

6.Chandni: A superb cook, one od my greatest motivators, a warm friendly person who has tonnes of friends

7.Mindspace: She writes a personal blog,A simple, kind and striaght forward person who finds joy in the smallest things of life

If anyone else wants to do the tag (and trust me it is very hard) I would be more than happy to read and surely will leave a comment if you let me know you have done it.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Pencil Portraits

Many of you have mailed me asking me about my Portraits, and so I thought I'd do a post to answer all the FAQs. (That way, I can point those who really want to know to this post and save the trouble of explaining same thing each time) :-)

These are the last three portraits that I did and I am very pleased with them. (I have done about 21 so far) . [Click to enlarge] Some of you must have already seen these portraits on my Facebook account and on my Art site. To many others these must be new :-) Click here if you want to see all the portraits I have done so far.

Most people who draw agree that Human body (Life drawings) is one of the most difficult things to draw, followed by Human Portraits. In a human body, it is indeed hard to draw a realistic figure. In a human portrait it is hard to get a good likeness.

Portraits have always fascinated me because everyone has 2 eyebrows, 2 eyes, a nose and a mouth. The combinations of these shapes produce millions and millions of different faces! The art of Portraiture is as old as Human civilization itself. As a child I used to find it amazing. As an adult, faces still fascinate me.

I use mostly pencils for my portraits. Yes, the very same pencils that you used in school for writing! :-) You get pencils with darker leads like 2B, 4B and 6B . I have a collection of these. I work mostly from Photographs. In my portraiture course, we use live models. This means a person is posing for you and you have to sketch that person live. I find this slightly hard because the time available is limited, as the duration of the class is just two hours. The models take a break every twenty minutes. Within two hours, one has to complete the portrait and I always find myself needing more time. In a photo, I can use the grid method. I would recommend this method to anyone who wants to learn how to draw or sketch.

It takes me about 4-5 hours to complete a portrait. Yes, it is a lot of hard work but I enjoy it so much. The biggest I have done is the first one that you see above, which is Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra. That is an A3 size (29.7 cms by 42 cms). In the second photo you can see how small the reference photo is and how I have enlarged it.

When I drew my first portrait which was a sketch of Satish, there was hardly any resemblance to the original photo. I was so disappointed. Satish was one person who told me not to give up and that I can do it. He reminded me of my earlier sketches and said he did not have the slightest doubt that my pictures would surely improve. So did a good friend. (The third portrait is him). So did my children! They said " Mummy, you can do it. Try mama, that is what you tell us to do." :-) I felt they were all just saying it to assure me and it seemed impossible to me to get a likeness. But gradually, as I worked really hard, my pictures started improving and I began getting stunning likenesses as I practised more and more.

Now I can get a really good likeness from any photo and people have been asking me if I would do it professionally. (And yes I indeed am!)

The key to learning anything is simply hard work, practice and determination, once you read up or study or observe the basic techniques. One should never give up. Also it is never too late to learn anything if you have set your mind to it.

H.W Longfellow had said so beautifully,

"The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they while their companions slept
Were toiling upward in the night."

It is a quote which is very true. There is indeed no substitute for hard work.

In case you have any more questions about the portraits that I have not answered in this post, I'd be happy to answer them in my comment box :-)

Even if you have no questions I'd be happy to hear what you have to say too :-)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Cherish those small moments (wordless wednesday No.16)

Hello everybody,

hello, hello hello! (waving hand in the air. Everyone applauds. Thank you!) :-)

Yes, I am alive. Yes, I am well.

Thank you so much to all who called, to all who mailed and to all who asked. I haven’t been online at all as I wasn’t well for a few days (horrible flu but not the swine) and then as soon as I recovered I went to Derby to visit Niall. It was awesome! (Picture clicked in Niall’s drawing room. You can see his brilliant work on the wall. It was a privilege for me to see his pictures which I am so familiar with.)

My portraiture course is really intensive and it takes up almost all my time. Add to that writing my second book and of course, the famous housework which I mentioned in my previous post , precious time with my darling babies and you can see why it took me so long to even reply to my blog comments. I am sure you will understand.

This morning I got a request in my mail box (request ho tho aisi!) from Ruch of Nirjharini. This is what she wrote:

The Lament of a Blog Reader

No new poems and no world less Wednesdays

No new musings and nothing amusing

No mama moments and no blog marathons

Nothing new to ponder or dwell on

I know you are busy sketching

And those portraits look so very fetching

But please do write a line

Coz its for a new post that we pine!

Ok I know this is very lousy poetry and written in great haste, but can I please please have a new blog post :-)

I so look fwd to them.

BTW I hope you are doing well and are in good health.

Take care


I Loved her poem! She is being very humble to call it lousy. It might have been written in haste but what made it special for me was the thoughtfulness behind it. I immediately mailed her back and this was my reply:

How can I this request deny?

Promptly I shall comply.

You will see a new post at the end of the day.

Will reproduce your poem on my blog with credit to you, If I may? :)

She again replied back in verse granting permission :-)

So here is my post for today. It is really not wordless but I am filing it under Wordless Wednesday as it has a lot of photos which is what Wordless Wednesdays are about.

Often in life, we forget the small things. We are so busy in the mornings that we see but we don’t notice, we listen but we don’t hear, we glance but we don’t absorb, we eat but we don’t savour.

Last night I had a very bad nightmare. It was depressing, vivid and worst of all it felt so real and it was a possibility which I would not wish even on my worst enemies. I cried this morning as I narrated my nightmare to my husband –they were tears of relief that it was only a nightmare. But it did teach me a lesson—it reminded me to be grateful for good health, to be grateful for food on the table, to be grateful for friends who care and most of all, to really live each day, not merely exist dragging a weary soul behind you.

We don’t have to wait for marvellous things to happen to enjoy life. Life is mostly small moments strung together like beads in a necklace. Some are beads of happiness, some are beads of laughter, some are beads of disappointment—they are all there, but they fit marvellously to make life beautiful. It is up to you to notice the beads and savour the ones that make you feel good and quickly passing over the ones that don’t.

I clicked a few pictures this morning—all clicked in my kitchen and one in my drawing room. These are the things that I was truly grateful for this morning.

I hope you find your moments too!



Flowers in my drawing room. I love flowers.

Flowers on my kitchen window sill too. I did mean it when I said I love flowers :-)

Burgers I made for lunch that I packed for Satish and the kids, this morning. (There are aloo tikkis inside! Yum!) :-)

Soft spongy ildis (Yes I make good idlis and sambar and I painstakingly grind my own batter too. Not readymade mix) and steaming hot sambar that we had for breakfast :-) (yeah I am showing off now. heh heh.)

And finally a cup of tea that I did not have to make myself :-) Ah! Bliss!