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A little note from me to you about a not so little thing.

We were expecting a good friend for dinner that evening. Satish and I had finished all the preparation for it. I had rushed upstairs to my bedroom to change, when I  saw my laptop lying open and I could not resist checking my twitter stream. A tweet I got in my timeline, made me sit up and take notice. It was from someone I do not even know.Someone whose twitter id is  @Ronald_3847  had tweeted that my second book 'Life is what you make it' has made it to the longlist of Vodafone-Crossword Book awards! It was announced on IBN Live . He had even given the link. I was so excited I could barely speak. With a pounding heart, I opened the link and sure enough, my book was there on the long list. 

I flew down the stairs (yes, really flew) and hugged Satish and I started crying. I was so emotional. He had no clue what had happened. "My book is in the longlist, it is mentioned in the longlist," was all I could manage to utter.A few minutes later, I had calmed down and the the first thing I did was ask Ronald for his phone number which he immediately messaged me. I called him and thanked him.
He was so amazed that I actually bothered to. This is what he tweeted:

"Wow!! just got a call from the author of the best selling book@preetishenoy herself..thank u so much M'am. It means so much!! "


To me, it seemed the most natural thing to do. I never even thought I had done a 'big thing' by calling him up and thanking him. The way I saw it, he was kind enough to care to inform me. He had read my book and had loved it and he was genuinely thrilled for me. For me, that was all that mattered.

I also expressed a heartfelt thanks to two of my closest pals who had helped while writing the book. Then I promptly burst into tears and cried some more. Forunately  the friend who came for dinner provided enough distraction  and he was overjoyed to hear the news too. This is what he tweeted:

My friend @preetishenoy's novel topping all charts. Its called 'Life is what  you make it'. Way to go Preeti! Proud of you :)
How much I wish  my dad was alive to see this day. He would have been ecstatic and I can picture him proudly telling his friends about this achievement of mine. It would have meant a great great deal to him.

The best was yet to come though.There was another surprise in store for me. A week back, the book made it to the best seller list on Flip-kart and yesterday, it made it to Number three position where it currently stands.

The mails that I get praising the book have now increased threefold. I am so overwhelmed with the response this book is getting and I am humbled and moved by how much it touches people. A large number of people ask me if Ankita (the protagonist of the book) really exists. As is mentioned in the "Author's note" which appears at the end of the book, the answer to the question is 'Yes'. Real life Ankita indeed exists and her story is a true one. It was a story which I simply had to write, as it was a powerful and a deeply moving tale and a very inspiring one at that. Even as I write this, the real life Ankita leads a full and complete life, despite her Bipolar Disorder (BPD).
 
 In India and China alone more than 10-15 million people have Bipolar disorder. The saddest part is there is no awareness at all about it, in India. For more information  on bipolar disorder and all about it, click here.



There is no cure for Bipolar disorder but it can be managed and what is needed is people (family and friends)  closest to those having BPD need to be aware about the dos and don'ts  (a really useful link worth reading) if someone close to them  has it. BPD is also associated with a high degree of creativity. Several celebrities have it (recently Catherine Zeta Jones was admitted to the hospital for it) and it has also ended up taking lives of those who have it. I have spoken about it in my radio indigo interview here.



Among the tonnes  of mails that I have got so far, I am reproducing below  a mail from Varsha Tiwari  (with her permission of course). which kind of sums up so well what most people say in their mails to me. This is what Varsha said:

Hey Preeti,
Firstly, congratulations on your second book. I finished reading it yesterday. Liked it. Loved  it. One really weird thing happened while I was reading it. I cried. I don’t cry watching movies!!! I didn’t cry watching Titanic or Taare Zameen Par either! (Don’t worry, I am not stone cold :-):-)) .. Just that while I am watching a movie , or reading a book somewhere in the back of my mind I know that all this is not real. But I do not know what happened while I was reading 'Life is what you make it'.
                Actually, I’ll tell you what happened. I felt Ankita was actually telling me her story. I forgot I was reading a book. What I want to say is that so genuine were the words and the way they were expressed, that it didn’t feel they were words on paper. They felt like the voice of a girl really talking to me.  I was so identifying with her in the beginning (especially the part where she says that there is a liberating feeling being in an all girls’ environment .. me being from an all girls’ school myself!) that it felt I already knew her.
                Somewhere I also realized that if you have made her sound so genuine, then writing her inner most feelings would have definitely taken a toll on you. Did you feel a slight heaviness after you would intensely write the suffering part ? I am sure you must have. But a good good job!!
                I somehow did not really agree with the title of the book considering the story. I mean please don’t mind but Ankita was extremely helpless when she was suffering. Yes, she did later do what she felt was her true calling ,but for that tough phase , life was not what she wanted to make it. Just a small thought I wanted to tell you. You don’t really have to consider it :-)
                But, I loved your writing style and thank you for not writing a silly chick lit or a story about IITians or corporate ppl. Thank you for sharing a lovely story with all of us. God bless you :-)
Varsha
               

Well, to Varsha and to everyone of you who has read the book, I do want to say that it felt so real, simply because it was!

I do feel very grateful about the adulation and love I receive from all of you. Writing is a very solitary occupation and one has to travel to that dark place inside one's own head even when one does not want to go there.

Your words, your praise, your comments do matter and they mean such a lot.They make me want to write more and more and they really do keep me going.(I have started working on my 3rd book now)

Thank you so very much. 

With love
Preeti

Comments

  1. Many Congratulations Preeti. It must be truely amazing getting such responses from your readers. I have a smile on my face and I can kind of feel the warmth of your happiness right now :) Cheers!
    ~Tara

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  2. I can almost feel the excitement and the happiness. It is wonderful when you manage that connect with your readers, but then i think that is why many like your writing.

    Here's to so much more!

    Suma

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  3. Hey Tara and Suma,
    Thank you thank you thak you :)

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  4. I remember telling Shail that I was so moved by Life is What you make it that it took me a few days to get my emotions under control so that I could write a balanced and intelligent review on it ! I can very well imagine and understand the emotional toll writing the book must have taken on you.
    Congrats! The success couldn’t have come to a better person or a better writer. Am really happy for you ! Hugs Preeti

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  5. Congratulations Preeti!

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  6. Atfer Blogathon i missed this space badly, now really happy to read a good news, congratulation seems a very little word for me to say here, you deserve more and lot more to come on your way. when this begining gives u encouragement and happiness i dont want to be away from congratulating. many congrats.

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  7. Congrats Preeti :)
    I actually want to say a lot but somehow the words are choked just like how my throat feels right now.... full of emotions... will write you a long letter :D
    huggss

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  8. Congratulations Preeti :)

    Have your both books and half way done with 34 bubblegums and just enjoying reading it..... will soon finish both and write a detailed mail :P

    BTW what about a treat for this great news :P haha

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  9. Many congrats!!

    "Life is what you make it" is a lovely lovely story and we could never forget ankita.

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  10. Many Congrats... and wish you many more awards and success!

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  11. Congratulation Preeti.. :) The excitement, the happiness all comes right through this post:) And you deserve all of it :) Great Going Preeti . May you be blessed with many such days of love , Happiness , success and Peace :)

    And I just missed a chance of being 'Phamous' by being mentioned in ur blog :p !!! Note To self - Chase(Threaten) the IT people in Office to let me access Gmail !!!!!

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  12. Congratulations! Very happy for your success and wishing you much more.

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  13. You deserve every bit of the love :-)
    So much more respect for you today: doing things not because they are big or small, but because they are the right thing to do.

    Real pleasure knowing you. Speaking from the heart.

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  14. wow...this is great news...congratulations!

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  15. Cheers Dear, long way to go....

    Have a nice week ahead.

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  16. Congratulations Preeti!! Can't wait to get your two books when I'm in India. Look forward to reading them..

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  17. Sheila:Thank you :) My books are available all over the world too.

    Anish:Thanks :) you too.

    Varsha:Thnk you :)

    Sucheta:And a real pleasure knowing you too.Me too speaking from the heart :))

    Shachi:Thanks a million.You have always been really supportive!

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  18. Mridula: got your mail! I should have asked you when you pinged. But anyway, post would have become really long had I pblished two letters. Thanks a lot for your encouragement and kind words! Much appreciate.

    Nishana:Thanks a lot! and wlecome to my blog:)

    Sundari: Thank you so very much!

    Mohammaed:Thanks :) :)

    Eve-O-lution: I do look forward to your letter :-) Thanks!

    Venkat:Thank you so very much!!Nice to be missed :)

    Caterpillar:Thanks!! :)

    Ruch:Yes, i remember your phone call! You should have written immediately :) As soon as you finished reading--I would have loved to read that bit :) Thanks a million Ruch.Hugs! :)

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  19. Really, truly happy for you Preeti!

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  20. Preeti, many many hearty Congrats...and you deserve all of it! The best and the cutest things about you that stand out are your 'feet-on-the-ground' attitude and the 'warmth' in your writing that comes straight from the heart.
    What seems so natural to you as calling/thanking the person who tweeted you may not appear so natural to many others...and thats where you make a difference.
    Happy for you and cheers to many many more!! Congrats again!!:))))

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  21. Congratulations. I am in the middle of it, it is a book written from the heart. It has me close to tears often

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  22. Lovely post!!!! So so SO happy for U Preeti:-))!!!!
    Wishing U more and more!!!!!

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  23. Congratulations Preeti. I've to get your books when I come to India.

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  24. Congrats and glad to see u back. The blogosphere can use your positivity.. too many "dark and bleak" bloggers out there bitching about Indian society all the time.

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  25. woppiiee.. Congratulations Preeti !!!!!! you deserved it..

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  26. Congradulations preeti last time i went to shop - odessey i checked for ur book, its not on shelf yet. Will buy a copy soon.

    Proud to be on ur blog list :)

    Wishes to ur family and u

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  27. Very very Happy for you Preeti. Wish you many more success to come.

    --Seema

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  28. Hi.....
    There was big smile on my face when I saw an updated post....
    You deserve all this and more....!!!!
    My friends stare at me in amusement when I say I know Preeti Shenoy...and have talked with her....

    It makes me feel proud....:)

    Thanks for being there always...for everyone...and replying to each and every mail..patiently...listening to their problems...giving your advice...
    All the best.....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  29. Love and Hugs:)

    Gayu

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  30. Congratulations! May you continue to top all the book lists with your books and wisdom. :-)

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  31. There were 25 odd comments when I last checked..I did not delete any! I have no idea why they arent showing!

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  32. Preeti there was some problem with google. The comments and posts published on the 12thand 13th were deleted. Fortunately I got my post back but not the comment.

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  33. Congratulations!!!
    I haven't read your book yet but would definitely grab a copy soon...

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  34. you deserve every bit of appreciation .. and some more, for all the writing! :) Haven't managed to get a copy yet, and cant wait! Congratulations and all the best for the next one!

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  35. Congratulations Preeti!Hope you win many awards! Eagerly waiting for the third book! :)

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  36. Many congratulations ! I gifted your book to my Maa on Mothers Day. I haven't read it yet, but I'm sure I'll do it soon.

    ReplyDelete

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