Monday, September 27, 2010

Recharge your soul.

No matter how old you are, no matter what you do for a living, no matter what place you are in, right now, I am sure you have that little problem, that little thing which needs to be taken care of, that small (or big) problem which needs to be sorted. Sometimes, we get so busy focussing on doing that we forget on just being. Sometimes we get so caught up in the journey and  reaching the final destination that we forget that the journey and how one enjoys it, is what matters more than the destination.

Life always throws us challenges. Just when we think we have it all figured out-- POW, there comes a knock and you don't know what hit you. Sometimes, there is no time even duck.

We all need a little special something, every now and then, to keep us going. We need that little pampering. We need that time out. We need to recharge our souls with what makes us truly happy. We owe it to ourselves. Only if you are happy, will you make your loved ones happy. If you are empty within, you have no love to give. Like my friend Gillian says "Everybody needs a cup of love, every single day:".

One of the things that makes me truly happy is being with Nature. The other is being with friends who are radiators of positive vibes and who being you joy. So it was a double treat for me when Tony, a friend of mine (an amazing person and a great guy) , took me to Fairhaven  (the website describes it as woodland and  water garden, a secret hideaway waiting to be discovered) and spent the day with me.

We talked, laughed and felt recharged. It was food for our souls.

It was magical.
Thank you Tony!

I am sharing some memories here with you and I know you will like looking at these pictures.(and hopefully they will recharge your soul too or at least transport you for a few moments to a magical place?)

I wish you peace and tranquillity in your life.








 













Sunday, September 19, 2010

Yet another pencil portrait



This is a portrait I completed today. It took me about three hours to make this. The paper is an A3 size. He is one of  our closest friends. He is a remarkable and an extremely smart person and he was featured in Outlook Business for his niche business of parking management. Click here to read the article.

But to us, times with Sathya are always  GREAT times (oh, the amount of crazy things that  Sathya and Satish have done together! I will have to write a whole book about it :))  and one of his lesser known skills is bar-tending. :-) (He makes some amazing cocktails)

It is his birthday next week  and this portrait is an early b'day gift.
Happy birthday Sathya and here is wishing you  all success and  knowing you will reach even greater heights!
________________________________________________________________
ps: To know more about how I make these portraits and the techniques I use go here

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The best certificate in the world.

How the children address me and their dad, depends entirely on their mood.
If it is urgent, they call me "MAAAAA..." .
If they are with their friends (and they always talk in a Brit accent if they are) then it is "Mum" ( with stress on the right syllables the way a native English speaker would say it)
If they are feeling very affectionate, it is "Mommini", a word they made up.
They even call me "Cutie-pie Mommy" :) Sometimes even "cutie."

It's the same for their dad. They call him "Pa" or "Papa" or even "Poppet" or "Poppy" and sometimes even "poppy doopy doo" :-)

One of the things their dad does particulary well with them is baking a cake. (Yeah, he bakes and he bakes well) They love helping him to bake while I watch them, the two little helpers scampering about, carrying out the instructions of the Master Chef. :-)


The other day , for a change, I  baked a lovely chocolate cake for them, instead of them doing it with their dad. The kids  (my 12 year old son and 9 year old daughter) loved it and said (as usual) that I am the best mummy in the world. I revelled in the adulation.

A few days later when I went to my daughter's room, I discovered a 'certificate' that she had made which was hidden under a pack of crayons. The crayons were covering the middle part of the certificate. I saw the title and I saw  P------- Shenoy and I presumed she had made a certificate for me.

"Thaaaank you Purvi. This is so sweet of you ", I called out.

She looked puzzled for a few seconds. then she said sheepishly "Oh Mummy.Please don't feel bad that I  made only for papa and  I didn't write your name. I will add it now."

That was when I noticed that the certificate had been made out for "Poppet Shenoy" and not Preeti Shenoy :-) My daughter quickly made amends, by grabbing the nearest pen and adding my name as well.

Over the years, I have  collected several academic degree certificates (including an all India first rank) and several certificates in Sports (at National level) and extra curricular activities too.

But honestly nothing beats this one that I got.

You really have to earn this certificate and no amount of studying or practice can get you this one. It is truly priceless and I so cherish it. :-) Isn't this the best certificate in the world? :-)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Vive La friendships!

There are friends who you may have known for 23 years, yet never got really close to, if you know what I mean.
Then there are friends to whom you have never spoken for 23 years, but when you do, it is as though the years have vanished like vapour and there is your bond, just as strong, just as good, just where you left it.


When the latter happens, it is indeed magic  and I have just received a large dose of magic just now and I am still floating in air with silly grin on my face, smiling at it all. I have just reconnected with a friend who was my classmate and with whom I had lost touch for 23 years. Last time I saw Ilakshee was in 1987. She gave me a little card then. There was no Internet those days and partings meant you had to write by snail mail if you wanted to keep in touch.




We never kept in touch but I treasured the card  (click on the above pictures to enlarge and read) . I am so glad I am a memory keeper that way. Everything that I treasure, and anything that moves me deeply, I keep carefully. I must have moved at least 20 times since 1987. But everywhere I went, my little collection travelled with me. One of it was the card which Ilakshi gave me.  Over the years, I used to read the card once in a way.I used to wonder what happened to her. Now I know :) She has turned out to be a smart, great looking, enthusiastic, vibrant and very positive person apart from being a mummy to two lovely girls. (don't go by the words on the card on her description of herself--that was just an over critical 15 year old talking :) ) This  her recent  pic on the left.


Today I spoke to her on the phone. We giggled and laughed and guffawed over our school memories, especially about our Yoga teacher. One of our friends had yanked his hair to see if it was a wig as he had really long and very straight hair  (yeah he could have modelled for sunsilk ad if he had been a woman. His hair was that good! ) and our point of perpetual debate used to be his hair. One fine day, our doubts were put to rest when his hair was yanked and we were all punished for the rest of the period. :-) It was completely worth it, the punishment :-)

We talked about many other things as well. I can't wait to meet her now. She hasn't changed even one bit. She is the same Illu I knew.

It is indeed amazing how time makes absolutely no difference to some things.
Vive la friendships! They bring so much joy to life :)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A tribute to one of the coolest people I have known

He was a real cool guy, you know, my dad. I mean really cool.

He used to drive really well. He loved it. It was his passion. At that time (and this was a long time ago when we were little children) , his job involved a lot of travel around Karnataka and you bet, he drove. When we had summer holidays, those were the best times. My brother, my mum and I would travel with him.The part I remember most was how expertly he used to navigate the hair-pin bends in the Western Ghats which can be treacherous if you have no expertise. My brother and I would slide in the back seat from one end of the seat to the other (whoever heard of seat belts, back then :-)) , as the car swerved and we would shout "Whooooo..Daddy another hair-pin bend coming. Once more, daddy once more!"

When I was 16 or maybe 17, he taught me how to drive, in an Ambassador car. He was a tough teacher. The slightest of noise while changing the gear and 'thwack' there would be a sharp twang across my forearm. He expected nothing less than perfection. The first time he did it, I threw a tantrum and got out of the car and said "I don't want to learn to drive." He got out and made me get right back in and said "You will bloody well learn it and learn it well." Of course I learnt it and learnt it well. He would accept no less.

I remember how he used to play with us on the beach. He would play Frisbee with us. He would also play 'running and catching' and he would run so fast that my brother and I would never be able to catch him. But how we loved trying!

And then the swimming in the sea and the river. Oh the memories, it evokes! He was an excellent swimmer (too), my dad. He taught me (and my brother) how to swim and we learnt in the river with a strong current. Later the swimming pools seemed so tame, in comparison.

Dad was very sportive and he was also a lot of fun. One time, as a child, when I was heavily into reading Enid Blytons, I badly wanted to find an 'old treasure map' like the Famous Fives. So I drew my own map and soaked it in tea, to make it look old and burnt the edges. (yeah, I was an innovative little devil :)) Then I buried it in sand in our garden and pretended to find it and showed it to my dad. He played right along and I was so delighted that he did  not call my bluff.  "That is indeed exciting. Let us go look for the treasure," he had said.

He really has given me a treasure--a lifetime of  truly treasured memories.

When I was in college, he coached me in a supposedly difficult subject--Mercantile Law. He made it so easy for me. He predicted the questions that would come and he was astoundingly right. I topped the University in the subject that year. He was so proud of me.(but then he was proud of anything I did)

And then, after I got married (too) the conversations and discussions we used to have. My dad loved books and I inherit that from him. I also could discuss anything under the sun with him. Almost every single day I used to speak to him on the phone. He was so much fun, my dad.

He passed away this day four years ago. The way he died was as unexpected and dramatic as the way he lived. He went sitting down in his favourite arm chair, in the middle of a conversation. One minute he was watching TV and talking to my mother and the next minute, he had closed his eyes and he was gone. He was so fit, agile and had absolutely no illnesses. He was just 64.

Those of you who have read my book, know all this ( and probably in detail too). But today I had to say it all again.

I cried today for almost an hour.I missed him so badly.

Most days I am fine, but some days,the aching just does not stop.


                                                             Picture clicked in 1974. My dad and and I

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Music connects

There is something so deep, so primal and so uplifting in music that it is hard to pour into words, the emotions they evoke. Someone had said "Music is what feelings sound like". Oh how true!

Rabindranath Tagore had said " Music fills the infinite between two souls". If you have connected with someone over music, if you have liked the songs they have or if someone has sent you a song, and you loved it, then I am sure you will agree with Tagore.

One of my favourite and most inspiring movies, to this day remains ' The Shawshank redemption'  which is an uplifting tale of triumph over adversity and also about deep friendships.( It is a must watch if you haven't seen it). The Opera scene in the movie, is one which I can watch over and over again.




I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don't want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I'd like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can't be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free.

These lines from the above scene still move me each time I hear them. That is the power of music.

I re-connected on a new plane through music with someone special last night--my 12 year old son.

We  usually have our 'mother-son' talks but yesterday for the first time, it was a 'friend-friend' talk.
He told me about the music he likes and we heard them together on you tube. They were all the new Gen Y (or maybe Gen Z! ) 'teen sensation' bands, very different from what I  was used to listening. But when I heard them,  strangely, I totally loved them too. He introduced me to Pendulum and we found ourselves nodding our heads in unison to their song watercolour. He also showed me Iyaz's  replay which too I totally loved :) (I also have it in my phone now :) ) Then my daughter (who is 9) wanted to show me Katy Perry's hot n Cold.  
(I couldn't believe I liked that as well! :-))

Then I asked my children if they would like to hear the music which I used to listen to when I was in school/college.  Both nodded eagerly. So i introduced them to GnR's November rain. I was delighted that my son loved it. Then I showed them ' Tears for Fears -Everybody wants to rule the world." 
I love that song and oh they loved it too! :-)


To my surprise (and  delight) they also loved Bon Jovi's Its my life  and Aerosmith's Amazing.

Like I was saying, it is indeed great to connect with another through music. But when they happen to be your children, it is like a whole new door has opened.

It is indeed amazing how music even bridges  age  gaps!
________________________________________________________

PS: All the above links in colour point to the videos of the songs mentioned.Enjoy! :-)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Measured Love


Measured Love

Measured Love
Doled out in doses
The exact prescribed amount
To keep a relationship from dying

It is only enough
To sustain the bare bones
The flesh has long withered
Dried up, an unused abandoned well

Where there was life once
Not even death wants to visit now

All that exists
Is the skeleton,
Protruding  bones
Hollow cheeks and eyes that haunt
Still subsisting
On measured love

Starved  now
There is not an ounce
Of energy or inclination left
To even beg
For a scrap of affection.

It is raining elsewhere though
It floods and drowns
At all the wrong places
Where it's not even appreciated

Yet the skeleton still stands
Blending in well
With the famine drenched land
Waiting patiently
For its daily dose
Of measured love.

© 2010 Preeti Shenoy

For more poems click here. Some poems have already appeared in print. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.