Monday, September 28, 2009

Cat on the car. Which car?

Everyday I pass him and he sits like a Lord, and surveys all those who pass by as though asking "Halt who goes there? What is your business?"

He guards it like a revered treasure and you can't help but marvel at his dedication and his supine grace as he looks straight at you.

Ok--enough about the cat. You already got the picture. (Pun intended)

A question now for the Car Aficionados amongst you.

Can you tell me the make of the car? I am posting one more photo that gives away the shape and a few more details, to make it a little easier for you.I shall update this post on Wednesday late night (Thursday morning in India) with a picture that I clicked of the car logo.

Let us see how many of you get it right. [ And yes, if you guess it right before I publish the photo of the logo I will send you a handmade card --subject to a maximum of two. I can't make any more than two, as I am really hard pressed for time, these days. I shall tell you all very soon what I am busy with and no it is not what you think or don't think! ;-) :-) ]

Any guesses? Your time starts now.

Update as promised

Oh My God!! All of you are a bunch of real car aficionados! So many of you got it right! I have a really tough time now choosing two people to send the card to!.

First person to guess the manufacturer was Niall. But he got the model only later.
Mihir again got the manufactuer but he wasn't sure of the make either,

Congrats to Swathy , Santosh and to Amit Kumar Das.

Swathy lives in Australia and we connected through our blogs. She has been reading mine for a very long time now.

Santosh, I think, decided to delurk after this post :-) I don't recall seeing him around.

Amit has a very interesting blog named 'The last cigarette'. he connected with me because of my book last year and has been following my blog ever since. More than his blog he is an amazing photographer. This is the link to his photos.(They are really worth seeing) Since I really cannot leave anyone out of these three, I shall send all of you cards.(I am not sure of them being handmade because of lack of time; If you want handmade, let me know but it will take a while) Please send me your postal addresses, three of you!

Thank you to all who took part--it was fun wasn't it?

Also a big thank you to all of you who voted for Prashant because of my special request. He has been shortlisted for Royal challengers Chief blogger out of hundreds of applicants! He would be meeting Anil Kumble and had a day long round of interviews. Hearty congrats Prashant--and best of luck. His comment on this post wasn't the right answer but it sure was witty. He said he felt like calling the cat Honda Kity :-)

See you all soon and I shall tell show you all what I have been busy with in my next post!

Addendum (Posted in a embarrassed manner)

There was one more person who got it right.The person is none other than Shruti a wonderful person and a superb blogger. Shruti has really been encouraging, specially in my early days as a writer. She loves cats too! I have no idea how I missed out her name and saw it only after she left a comment asking why she had been left out! A million apologies Shru :-) [as thought the hundred I offered in chat were not enough! :P] Send me your address also please!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Surprise, surprise!

Most people love surprises.There are a few who consider surprises a great inconvenience and a foolish thing because it makes them deviate from their pre-planned routine which they adhere to, tighter than a lycra skirt worn by a teen at a first date to a disco. Almost all children do. Love surprises that is, not the tight skirt.

A friend of mine used to tell her husband that he has to bring a surprise gift for her when he travelled. Sometimes she would even specify what the surprise gift should be . :-) He always obliged.

What is life if there is no element of surprise? It would be staid, predictable, routine and boring.Of course, the people who hate surprises would argue that there is comfort in familiarity and people like me who detest routines will swear that the opposite is true. Naturally, this way of thinking has passed on to the spouse who surprises me with flowers every now and then and who also surprises me with the delicious meals that he cooks. On days that I am out of the house in the evenings, is when I am surprised the most. The children are fed and tucked into bed long before their bedtimes, a task that I struggle with, routinely. I don't know how he manages it but he does. It is only the danger of my position as chief cook and story reader becoming redundant due to his extreme efficiency which makes me reluctant to outsource this job to him, permanently. Besides, if he did it on a regular basis, it wouldn't be a surprise would it? ;-)

My daughter is the master of surprises. Almost all days she has a surprise for me when she comes home from school. I wait eagerly for the time that she comes out from her class in Pavlovian anticipation of a gift from her. She never disappoints. She usually will have something that she has made in the class.
Her eyes shining and a wide smile spread across her face, she will say " Ma--guess that I made today?"
Each day I think of new things to 'guess' which can be as off track as possible, ranging from flying saucers to mooli paranthas to high heel shoes.

"Ma--how can I make that? Now guess really," she will say.
I will pretend to think really hard and then I say that I give up.
She will usually give me a drawing or a model that she made in class.

"Ma--it is just for you," she will say with all sincerity and hug me tight.
After five minutes she will invariably ask if she can also give it to her dad and her brother and whether I would feel bad as she had given it to me first. :-)

It gives me so much joy to see her face lit up. She will then anxiously ask me if I like it.
How can I not?! My heart fills up with warmth and love, looking at the pictures she makes for me as 'gifts', which usually have innumerable details. (I shall post them on the blog someday)

Yesterday she had a slightly different surprise for me. It was a paper bracelet with a 'gem'. There was only one 'gem' in the box from which the children had to choose the beads and accessories, that they could use. Another girl had chosen the gem but my daughter told her that she very badly wanted it to make something very beautiful for her mother. My daughter says that it was the best day in her life because the other girl agreed to let her have the 'gem'. She made a bracelet for me, which goes around my arm, not my wrist. She was delighted to see me wearing it (see photo).This was one gift she did not want me to share with her brother and father.

Yesterday I too had a surprise for her. A few weeks back, she had taken part in a competition at the Children's library where she had answered a few questions about BFG which is a Roald Dahl book. The prize was tickets to the play which is being staged in an art deco theatre, one of the finest in UK, that can seat 1300 and it stages a high quality mix of comedy, drama, dance, operas and musical shows. The library called me to tell me that she had won four tickets!

Needless to say I had a surprise for her yesterday. :-)

The show is today at 7.00. p.m.

I simply love suprises. What about you?

Ps: A surprise request! :-)

A fellow blogger, now also a friend is taking part in a contest for 'Chief blogger'. His writing is superb as many of you already know (Don't take my word for it. Click here for proof) There are only four days left for voting. It would take only two minutes of your time. Please vote for him by clicking here. I do want him to win as he deserves it totally . Good luck Prashant!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Eight things I learnt from my past and a lot more eights

This morning Sunshine challenged me with a tag of 8's. Not the Sunshine that emanates from the hot ball of fire around which the Earth revolves at 66,000 miles per hour but the blogger Sunshine with random thoughts. She told me it would be hard and I cannot resist a challenge. She was right. It was hard!It really made me think. When I finished I saw no point in not posting it. So here it is:

8 TV shows I like to watch:

I don't watch a single TV show but I know about them as I read about them. I watch only music channels. So I am listing the ones I regularly watch. For added information I am also listing one song that each one regularly plays these days :-) I am sure this more than makes up for the TV shows.

1.VH1: The song I like is 'We are golden' which is climbing the charts these days
2.VH1 Classic: I like almost all songs they play. One which comes to mind is Roxette-Joyride.
3.TMF: Song I like is 'Get sexy' --sugababes
4. 4music: Song I like is Unchained melody--they play all three versions.
5.9xM: I like all songs especially 'Papu can't dance' :-)
6.B4U: I like the Hindi movie trailers
7.Magic: Song I like is 'Now you're gone'- Basshunter
8.MTV dance: Song I like 'She wolf'-shakira

8 favourite places to eat

1. Mom's kitchen
2. My own Kitchen
3. My friend Priya's kitchen
4. Dhabhas in most parts of North india
5. Thatu-kadas in Kerala
6.A small eatery in pondicherry that has only takeaways
7.Shanti Sagar in Bangalore
8. Chillies--an Andhra food joint in Kochi

8 things I look forward to

1.Completing my second book (currently it is 60% done)
2.A holiday in UK (which we would be taking shortly)
3.My visit to India in December
4.Being able to do chakarasan for at least 4 minutes (currently I can do for one minute and ten seconds)
5.Flowers blooming in my garden (The picture at the start of the post is a rose that bloomed under my TLC in my garden)
6.Being able to do at least 25% more than my current set of ab-crunches (Currently I do 3 sets of 30)
7.Buying ans SLR camera which I'd be doing soon
8. My children growing up to be good human beings (Nothing else matters really)

8 things that happened yesterday

1.It was so windy the garden furniture toppled over!
2. I skipped with my daughter all the way home from school because she wanted me to skip and I obliged :-)
3.Played a game of nintendo wii. Sword fighting. I have to add that I won. :-)
4.Helped husband pack his bags as he is travelling today
5.Called up a close friend in India and consoled her as she was very worried about something.
6.Chatted with a good friend and laughed like crazy.
7.An English friend came home.
8. Missed my daily yoga because of all the above.

8 things I love about winter

1.Hot soup
2.Frosty mornings
4.Bare trees
5.Cold winds
6.Cuddling up
8.My birthday

8 things on my wishlist

I am not sure what is meant by a wishlist. If it means I can wish for anything I would wish for the following
1.Time with my dad. Even five minutes and I would be so grateful.
2.Time with my grandmom.I would do anything to be able to hear her laughter again and to hug her.
3.A letter from my grand-dad--something I will never get again.
4.I wish my dad had seen my brother's child
5.I wish I could undo something I did in a close friendship.It is broken now beyond repair.
6.I wish i had broken a fewer hearts when I was younger
7.I wish little things did not matter to me as much as they do at the moment
8.I wish i could care less about some things and say "F*** it all"

8 things I am passionate about

7.Creating things
8 words or phrases I use often

2.You know what
3.Guess what
4.I must tell you this
5.I love you so much
6.I adore you

8 things I learnt from the past

1.Nothing lasts forever. Not a single thing. (Diamonds don't count in my books) :-)
2.Friendship is found in the most unusual places
3.Things change
4.Life goes on despite things changing
5.A hot cup of chocolate will not solve problems but it will sure make you feel better
6. So will wine and Vodka :P
7.Sometimes there comes a point in relationships when what is unsaid becomes more important than what has been said.
8.If you do not want someone in your life it is not worth wasting even a single minute on them. Time is precious. Spend it ONLY with the ones who matter.

8 places I would love to go,visit or see

2.A boating holiday on Norfolk broads (which we will be doing soon)
3.Rajasthan (I have been to almost all States in India except this one)
7.South Africa
8.A place inside my head where only happy memories are stored :)

8 things I currently need of want

1. A cup of coffee
2.A break
3.A shower :P
4.My yoga
5.Lots of time to paint
6.Lots of time to devote to something I have been meaning to make for ages
7.Time to update website which will house everything I do.
8.A baby to hold [I just carried a GORGEOUS 6 month old blue eyed, blonde baby (with two teeth)who jumped into my arms, gave me the widest smile and refused to go back to his mother! I am currently in love with him!]

I would of course read anyone who takes up this tag. But since I have to tag a few I am tagging the following people (in no particular order)as I usually find what they have to say very interesting :-)

1. Niall

2. Ramesh
5.Ajay Chauhan
7.Prashant Dhanke

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Preeti's laws of parenting

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.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Love is in the eyes (wordless wednesday no.12)

Click on image to enlarge. Click on media player to hear a lovely song .
[If you cannot see the media player click on the yellow bar at the top of the page to temporarily allow pop-ups and active-x controls for IE or wait till it loads]

When I saw him I just had to have him. His eyes did me in. I always fall for eyes which look at me with sincerity. These were so alive!

Love is someone looking at you with dog eyes :-)

Of course, he has a permanent place now. :-) With eyes like those, he had to!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Colour your day!

A friend of mine who is based at Mumbai (who also happens to be a smart, young Corporate Banker), sends me two good-morning wishes every single day. Each wish has a beautiful inspirational message and a very appealing graphic. The pictures make all the difference to the messages. I have never asked where he gets it from, but I open my Inbox each morning and it is there.

Sometimes they are perky messages that say someone cares. For example a message he sent today said “Mornings are just like paintings. You need an inspiration to get you going, a smile to brighten it up and a message from someone who cares to colour your day.” Sometimes they are inspirational messages. For example, he sent a message a few days back which was a quote by Swami Vivekananda (who used to be my inspiration in my college days, but my friend didn’t know that) which read “In a day when you don’t come across a problem you can be sure you are travelling in the wrong path.”

I like almost all the messages he sends. More than that, I appreciate the gesture because the messages are marked individually to me (and not a part of a group chain mail which is sent to all).I always reply to every message—a few lines about whether I agreed or disagreed or found nice. He always replies back too.

A few days back he sent a message which said “Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.” Almost as a reflex I dashed off a mail saying “ If both S and I get swine flu will you come here and take care of the kids? Don't worry --even if you say you won't I will still keep in touch :-)” I was half kidding of course but behind every ‘just kidding’ there is always a big patina of truth, perhaps thinly spread, but it is there. He replied back almost instantly saying he surely would. He was dead serious too and wasn't kidding at all.

Today, we spoke for nearly forty minutes on the phone. I had called him up in the morning and he called me back later in the evening. Till then I had been having a day where you feel like you have been through the wash-rinse-dry cycle in the washer, that too on highest temperature and I am not referring to the weather which incidentally was cold and windy today. :-) I later made the water colour painting which you see at the beginning of this post and I will be sending it to him.[ He coloured my day, I had to colour his :-)]

What has been my experience which I learnt rather naively, the hard way ,was that not every friend will offer to help you or even care. The true test of friendship comes only in hard times. It is only when your chips are down that you know who your true friends are.

Fortunately for me, I have been blessed with an ability to really connect to people and I do have some great friends in all corners of the world. Today I spoke for nearly an hour to a very good friend who is in Pondicherry. She happens to be one amazing person, a very astute business woman with one of the sharpest minds I have known and a single mother to two lovely children. I again spoke for about 40 minutes to another very close friend who is a total radiator who sparkles with life, who is in Fiji. (If you don’t know what a radiator is, read my book!) It was time well spent.

The message about staying in touch with those who matter, as cliched as it is, is true. So don’t forget to connect with yours. It is indeed worth the time, effort and the long distance phone bills (if they happen to be in a different corner of the world). Trust me, it will colour your day too even if you don’t paint. :-)

If you have any stories of your friendships to share, I am listening. (and yes --if you humour me and tell me my painting is really great I'll listen with extra attention.) :-) :-)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Little details (Wordless Wednesday no.10)

"It is the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen."
--John Wooden

Added as an afterthought--This little guy seems to be yelling "It is bad enough to be stuck in the kerb and walked over and now you've gone and frozen me forever in this image and everyone is looking at me, you crazy woman"

Wordless wednesday is now wordless all week long. If you want to play too, just click and click:)