Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ten day Challenge.Post 8. Three movies.

This post is a part of the ten day challenge I started .here.

  For a  huge movie aficionado like me (though I do not claim to be an expert in this field at all!), asking me to choose just three movies is like taking a child to a 10,000 square feet candy store filled with all the imaginable shapes and sizes of colourful, sweet, mouthwatering candies with a variety of flavours and then telling the child that it can choose just one out of these millions of sweets displayed!
I truly found it very very hard to pick just three.There are so many brilliant movies out there ..Life is beautiful is a must watch but I think everyone would have seen it and heard of it (if you haven't, click on the title). I am also not picking 'cult movies' like Matrix, Inception, Fight Club etc.  So I am picking three other movies which I absoutlely loved for what I could take away from them. (okay I picked four!) .

1.Shawshank Redemption

This is  an all time classic. I think everybody would have heard and watched this one too. It's tagline 'Fear can hold you prisoner, hope can set you free' is totally brilliant. I was really inspired after I watched this movie. It is a feeling hard to explain. I was exalted, I was 'wow', I was amazed, speechless and it made me so enthused and so full of spirit. It made me believe that with persistence anything is indeed possible. Watch this movie if you haven't. (Its not suitable for kids). Here is the Trailer.

2.The Bucket List

Sometime back I had gifted this movie to one of my good friends. This is a tale of living life to the fullest and of deep and true bonds that we form and how TRUE friendships can be found in the unlikeliest of places between people who are so different from each other. I loved this movie.

3.Bridge toTerabithia

This  movie just proves Einstien's words--"Imagination is more important than knowledge".This is again a movie of deep friendships. It is one of my all time favourite  movies.

3 :)  Brokeback Mountain

I strongly believe in Gay rights.Each person has a complete right to their own sexuality. I hate how some Bollywood movies ridicule Gays. How crude and insensitive! I am  extremely happy that the DNA newspaper has started an entire page for LGBT articles. I hate how it is still illegal in some countries. I strongly believe that anything is okay between two consenting adults. They do know to live their lives --the law has no business peering into their bedrooms and telling them what is okay and what is not as long as it is between two consenting adults.

This movie stayed with me for very long after I saw it. It is a deep, powerful and moving story--but it is not for everybody. I loved this movie too.

Have you seen any of the above? If you are doing this tag, please do leave me a link. I love to learn about good movies (and what made an impact about that movie on you) and recommendations are always welcome!
ps: tomorrow--two songs :-)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ten day challenge. Post 7. Four books

This is day 7 of the ten day challenge I started here.

Post 7 is Four Books.

It's really hard to choose just four. I love books anddevour them. But if you were to ask me to pick my absolute four favourites from all the books I have read so far (apart from of course '34 bubblegums and cadies' and 'Life is what you make it', I'd pick the following:

1. Time traveller's wife--Audrey Niffeneger

2. The complete collected stories of Roald Dahl. (His Adult fiction). Incidentally my children have read ALL the books he wrote for kids, and I have read ALL the work he wrote for adults.
He is one of my all time favourite authors. I worship his writing skills!

3. Tuesdays with Morrie--Mitch Albom

A truly BRILLIANT book..One of my all time favourites.It was  my dad who had introduced me to this book and he loved it too. I have since then, made all my closest friends read it.

 4.Mistress by Anita Nair OR River God by Wilbur Smith OR Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

I could not choose just one of the above.Actually there are so many many books coming to my mind, but the tag asks to limit to four. (which I already exceeded to 6)

Have any of you read any of the above mentioned books? If so did you like them as much as I did?
ps: Tomo--Three films! (I love movies and watch  a lot--mostly English). I think there is a lot in life you can learn from movies.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ten day challenge. Post 6. Five foods.

This post is a part of the ten day challenge.

Post 6 is Five Foods.

I must confess, I am not a foodie at all. Some time back I had mentioned that if someone invented a pill that gave all nutrition instead of going through the bother of eating, I'd opt for that. A reader had commented on that post saying why can't I indulge in sweets and 'tasty food' once in  way? Why do I have to be so health conscious all the time?
Fact is I do not enjoy food like many people do. Many people find great pleasure in eating 'tasty stuff'. They go 'yum' and they drool and they say certain things are 'mouthwatering'. I truly couldn't care less. I am tired of telling people that I do not enjoy sweets or ice cream(yeah not even ice cream) or fried stuff or paneer or fried chicken or pakodas or things most people go ga-ga over and stuff that people say they cannot resist eating. I guess I am lucky that way--I have no food temptations at all. It is supreme indifference which characterises me when it comes to food. I believe in 'healthy food' (yeah, I am so boring ;-) ) and I abhor gluttony. Gluttons somehow put me off big time.
One other person who I found shared similar thoughts as me on food is Ramesh of Business Musings who writes a brilliant business blog.. I was happy to find a kindred soul. I felt good to find that out about him, as till then, I  thought I was the only one in the world, who did not enjoy food.

But this post has to be about Five foods. (Very hard for me).
If I were forced to choose my five favourite foods, I'd choose the following:

1. Puttu kadala For those interested click on the words to learn how to make it.

2. The humble South Indian Idli: It's an all time favourite food of mine as it's so healthy.

5. Of late, I am into Sattvic food in a big way.

Just before I hit the 'publish post' button, I re-read what I have just written :-) I realised that all those years of living in Chennai seemed to have rubbed off. My taste in food is clearly south Indian and very simple.

I do hate rich food. I must be sounding like a 80 year old here :-)
Maybe  I am growing comfortably old ;-)

Ten day Challenge.Post 5 -Six places.

This post is a part of the ten day challenge I started here.

Post 5 is Six Places.

There are many many places that I have had the privilege of living in. My dad had a transferable job and we kept moving. When I got married too, the same continued. I truly believe that this has helped me grow as a person.

A good friend of mine had once told me "Preeti--you're a true survivor. If we throw you in the North Pole also, you will go and make friends with Polar bears and be happy there." 
Later I thought about what she had said. It was indeed true! How well she had surmised me  and captured a true part of my personality with that statement of hers.

Today I have good friends spread all over the world. If I call them and tell them I am coming over tomorrow to stay with them, they would welcome me with open arms.(I'd do the same for them too) I do feel fortunate to have so many good friends in so many places.

Among all the places I have lived in and travelled to, the following are my absolute favourites:

1. Norwich, UK. Undoubtedly. I so miss living there. I made such good friends there. One of my closest friends lives there and I am so grateful for her presence in my life.There are so many lovely things about Norwich. I could write a whole book! Here is a picture of a Cathedral (St.Peter Mancroft Cathedral) that  I used to often visit when I lived there.

2.Pondicherry,India: Again one of my closest friends lives here. I love her home in Pondicherry.Funny how I associate places with my good friends. If you have not visited Pondicherry, it is an absolute 'must-go' place. The place is divided into white town (where I used to live) and 'rest of the city'. The rest of the city is like any other small south Indian City. But the White town is totally a world of its own. I used to live very close to the Aurobindo Asharam. Oh --the serenity! The french villas, the cobbled streets, the greenery filled paths, the architecture, but most importantly the atmosphere there, is what I miss most.

3. Bangalore India. Love the city, love the language (I can speak Kannada, apart from Tamil, Mallu,Konkani, Hindi, English. I also understand Marathi perfectly), Love the culture, love the people, absolutely LOVE the weather! Once again, one of my closest friends lives here! (I have about 5 people who I can say are my closest friends) :-)
Here is a picture I clicked at Ranga Shankara--which is a superb world class cultural hub and a 'must-do ' place.

4. Kerala--God's own country. (My mom lives in a tiny village in Kerala. I love the place):  If you have never  been to Kerala, you truly ar missing something in Life.

Kerala Tourism's international campaign, Your Moment Is Waiting is a film that goes far beyond the realm of a commercial, to capture the soul of Kerala like no destination hitherto has. Stark Communications, which has been handling the Kerala Tourism brand for almost two decades, conceived, scripted and then assigned the task of creating this film to the renowned ad film maker Prakash Varma

5.  Maldives:
 I went there recently and blogged about it(with lots of photos)  here. Oh--what a DIVINE place! Here is yet another picture of me that satish clicked in this gorgeous, picture-perfect place

6.My Home!

Wherever I may roam.. 
(love this song by Metallica)
No matter where I roam, my favourite favourite place is my home. Home to me is anywhere where my two children and their dad is :-) I do feel blessed. ( touch wood!)

Tomorrow: Five foods (and I am NOT a foodie at all!)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

10 day challenge.Post 4. Seven wants.

This is a part of the 10 day challenge which I started here.

Post 3 is Seven Wants.

  1. 3 holidays in Maldives each year. (Each Holiday lasting for 7 days will do :-))
  2. A  foot and body massager who/which does a super-terrific job.
  3. A Painting holiday in Venice.(Intend doing that in the near future.Satish does not know. Heh heh heh)
  4. Luxurious Spa and beauty treatments every week.(preferably on mondays so i have something to look forward to)
  5. A book writing machine. I just think and it writes out everything without my having to slog.
  6. A robot like Richie Rich’s Irona to take care of all the housework.And oh yes, while I am at it, a Butler like  Cadbury would be nice too. 
  7. A quiet place to which nobody has access but me. I want absolute silence in this space. Not a single sound. Not even a leaf should stir. It should be completely zen like—lots of light, greenery, minimalist furnishing and Ohm symbols and Buddha statues in it.
 Just realised after I wrote out the above that my wants are truly not 'unachievable' --except 5 and 6 perhaps :) 
And I do have a very zen like room full of my books and paintings and my beloved writing desk.Nobody is allowed to enter unless I allow. This is my private study, my sanctuary. Will post pics sometime.

See you tomorrow with 6 places :)

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    10 day challenge.Post 3, Eight fears

    This is a part of the 10 day challenge which I started here

    Post 3 is Eight fears.

    To be very honest, there is very little I fear. I have been thinking and thinking what exactly is it that I fear? I thought hard and failed to come up with eight fears. I truly do not have them.

    Earlier, I was afraid of losing my parents. But now I have lost one and I have coped, even though it has been incredibly hard. (He meant the world to me). In retrospect,  I can see that his passing away has given me the greatest gift--my writing. I'd have never written, had he not passed away (I had started writing to cope with the mind-numbing grief which seemed to never end) and I'd have never become a published author and reached out to thousands  who write to me telling me how much my words move them, inspire them. I was afraid. But I had to face my fears and how well it has all turned out! Touch wood!

    After a while, my biggest fear was losing my closest friendships, but that has happened too. People who meant the world to me have walked away from my life, mainly for their own selfish reasons. I had done everything I could to keep the relationship/friendship going. I was hurt, upset, shattered. Yet, I faced it. I have realised that relationships, much like clutter, need to be cleared once in a way, so that richer, better , deeper, stronger and truer people can enter your life. That too has happened with me. So the once-cherished- and- held-dear-friendships, coming to an end has indeed worked out for the better. There are better and truer people in my life today.It is filled with so much true love, so much genuine care and happiness. I feel thankful for it.

     Death is something I have never been afraid of. If I were to die today, I'd still be content because, to be honest, I have been incredibly fortunate that all my dreams have indeed come true. I am so much at peace with myself. I have everything that I could possibly want, truly!  Of course, I  LOVE life and I believe in living each day fully and completely and expressing to my dearest ones my unconditional love. But I do not fear death. I might be different from most people here--but this is the real me! :-)

    Many people are afraid of heights, of darkness, of drowning. But I am not afraid of any of these either! Some people are afraid of public speaking. But I am not afraid of that too! (have won prizes at University and State levels for Public speaking. Used to be a part of college teams)

    Perhaps the ONLY thing I can think of which I fear, which I am really afraid of, is snakes. They freak me out completely. I am an animal lover and I love nature and all creatures. But Snakes truly scare me. I hate looking at them and in a zoo or an animal sanctuary I will not even go to the part they are housed. I hate seeing them on screen too. (Yet, I have made a painting of a snake in one of my abstract paintings).

     Forbes magazine has a really nice article about most common fears and why we fear them. Click here to read it.

    I think most fears are just because we are so afraid of the worst. Our minds have a way of exaggerating the consequences. I am sure if I try, I can overcome my fear of snakes. But the question here is whether I want to put enough effort into achieving that. I'd rather read or write another book!
    Tomorrow's post:  Seven Wants. (oooh la la!) ;-)

    Friday, June 24, 2011

    Ten Day Challenge. post 2 Nine loves

    This post is a continuation of a nine day series, that I started yesterday. Thanks to all who jumped in with me :) I have read and commented too :)

    Nine loves..Only nine?! I have so many many many loves :)
    Do I pick people or things or activities? I can easily pick 9 in each of the three. But that would make it 27 and the post says 9.

    I am making this a picture post.
    Here are pictures of my Nine Loves (in no specific order)

    1.No prizes for guessing what it is :) The Red tag on top says it all.

    2. He's my biggest asset, my strength, My world and the love of my life. I feel blessed that he adores me.

    And also


    Need I say more?

    3. Lostris. She is indeed my 3rd baby

    4.Books. At any given point of time I am reading at least 3 books. Each room in my home will have a book which I am reading. I have a huge collection. The photo above was clicked one summer afternoon in Norwich,UK, when I had volunteered at a book-stall to sell books. I enjoyed every moment of it :)

    5.Yoga. I have been practising yoga  for the past 22 years or so. Sometimes I slack off and do not do my asanas for 5-6 days. Then I feel all uneasy and start it again.

    6.  My Art. I'd go crazy if my art was taken away from me. For more of my art work and all my other paintings (some of them very bizarre) click here.

    7. My good friend Mayank Mittal whom I might have mentioned before in my blog. He makes me laugh so much and cheers me up.He's a lot of fun. He also mostly understands whatever I am talking about (not bad considering he is only 26 and not even married. He's gonna kill me for saying this. heh heh.). He has made countless International calls to me when I was in the UK and continues to. He also never forgets my birthdays and sends roses and teddybear and wine and cake and other gifts. (Yeah, I know---awwww :-) )The good thing now is that we're in the same time zone and no need of International texts or calls.

    8. I do thoroughly enjoy my cocktails, wine and vodka and martini too. But I strongly feel that to indulge in a drink, one has to be old enough and responsible enough.(I will never drink if I am alone with my two children).  I'll consider you old enough and responsible enough only if you're financially independent and living on your own.If you're a student, you have no business to be drinking. You gotta earn your right to drink. Somehow I don't believe in 'drinking with your parents money'. I am old fashioned that way. I had my first drink only when I started working. There is nothing 'great'  or 'heroic' in indulging in alcohol at all.

    basketball Pictures, Images and Photos
    9. Basketball. Used to play at national level many years back. Whenever I have moved homes, I always choose a home with proximity to a basketball court. I can go and shoot baskets all alone and have done that many times. Sadly no women my age play (except  one of my best friends Jayu but she lives in another city) and so I always end up playing with teenage kids or young men.(and I do not much like the fowl language they use--they think it is cool)

     There you have it..Nine loves of mine. (I don't think there were any surprises there--or were there?)

    Tomorrow's post is going to be eight fears. (That is going to be a tough one!)

    See you tomorrow!

    Ten day you challenge--post 1. Ten secrets.

    Just a little while back, I was going through my old archives and realised that almost all my posts now have evolved and changed into 'writer's posts' or 'Author posts'. There were hardly any "this-is-who-i-am" blogger posts! :-) They used to be such fun when I used to do them, a few years back. I decided to make amends and do some 'true-blue blogger' posts. No sooner had I decided that, I stumbled across this '10 day you challenge'. It was almost as if the Universe was conspiring to make me do some real 'reveal-yourself' blogging posts. I never say no to the Universe :-) And so here I am, taking up this Ten day Challenge. One has to post for ten consecutive days, on the above topics given in the visual.

    So here goes Ten secrets about myself for post 1. (Gosh, this is hard! )

    1.  People who toss away  deep friendships casually, especially for their own selfish reasons,  piss me off big time.

    2. I'm slightly very disdainful of people who give advice about bringing up children when they do not have children of their own.

    3.Possesiveness and jealousy in people is a trait I find very hard to tolerate.

    4. Yoga and physical fitness are my religions. I am a huge fitness buff.

    5. My will power is something I am very proud of. If I say NO to something it would be a NO and I will not give in, no matter what the temptation.

    6.I detest oranges. I will not touch them, I will not peel them and I will not eat them.

    7.Breaking a promise is something I will never do and it is something I can never condone. I do believe in keeping up my word and I expect the same from others. I am still shocked when people break promises or go back on their words.

    8. I am derisive of men who cannot stand up to their wives or girl-friends, especially when the woman is a you-know-what. I am equally derisive of women who do not have the guts to stand up for themselves when their boyfriend or husband is treating them badly.

    9.I am still secretly  very pleased when people are so surprised about my age and tell me I look much much younger than my years. :-) Whenever someone does that, I go and repeat what they say to Satish and seek his approval :-) (yeah, I'm such a kid that way)

    10.My biggest secret is the identity of the characters in my second book 'life is what you make it". I can never reveal who the real life ones are.This is a secret which will go to the grave with me.

    There you have it--ten secrets of mine. :-)
    Just noticed that the author in me had to come out somewhere and it did in point ten. :-)
    Shrug..somethings never change!

    Post 2 (nine loves) tomorrow.

    If anyone wants to join me on this journey of ten day challenge, jump in. Water is warm  and it is a sunny day;-) :-)

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    If you can touch my Doberman, you can take her home

    There are dogs and then there is the Doberman. Doberman has been aptly called the Cadillac of Dogs and deservedly so. They are sleek, elegant and easily among the most intelligent dog breeds. They have also been very aptly named the smartest thing on four feet.

    Most people are terrified of Doberman because of the reputation they have for being among the most dangerous dogs in the world. Also in most movies, the vicious dog attacking someone is most likely to be depicted by a Dobe.(But that is also because they are so smart that they can easily be trained to act in movies)  The fact is  a properly brought up Dobe can be amazingly loyal, great companions and very loving family pets. It is also a big myth that a Doberman is a backyard dog and has to be restricted to a kennel outside. In fact, Dobes love attention and want to be a part of the family.They will be very unhappy to be left alone. They have also been called ‘Velcro’ dogs as they really love physical contact and want to stick to you for every single thing. There is something really cute  and heart-touchingly endearing about a large 80 pound dobe snuggling upto you, to lie in your lap, when you are reading or watching TV or  trying to work.

    You might have guessed by now and yes, you have guessed right. I am the proud owner of an amazing Dobe. Her name is Lostris. Both Satish and I, are big Wilbur Smith fans and Lostris is an Egyptian Queen in one of Wilbur Smith’s series, after whom we have named our Dobe. Most people I have come across find it very hard to get her name right unless of course they have read Wilbur Smith too. 

    She is just five months old and is still a pup but she is so big that when she stands on two legs and raises her head, she can look into my eyes! And my height is 5’4”, so you can imagine how big Lostris must be.
    She was  much smaller when we got her.  She came home in February(on the eve of Valentines day!) when she was just nine weeks old.  She has grown so much in a few months. You can see how small she was  here, in this pic.

     At that time she could easily sit/fit  in my lap:

    And now she is like this:

     When I lie down with her and she stretches out, she can almost cover me entirely .(and she has not reached her maximum growth yet)

    The thing with Doberman is that they are such active and athletic dogs. They can run like the wind. When they move, they are so graceful, it’s sheer poetry in motion. They are completely different from Labradors or Golden retrievers or any other breed. Labradors are really gentle and their mouths have a soft feel. They are not noisy at all and hence may let strangers into the house. But  you can be sure the Doberman would never ever do that. The slightest and tiniest of noise and my Lostris is all alert. Her deep bark is totally loud, fearsome and very intimidating. Someone had once said “If you can touch my Doberman you can take him home.” :-) This is so apt for my Lostris. Unless I tell her that someone is a ‘friend’ and it is okay if they enter, she will not let anybody enter the house. Once she becomes your friend, you can be sure of the most warmest doggy welcome. She will jump up and greet you happily with two paws on your chest and wag her little stump of a tail and actually smile at you.

    Doberman is truly not for everyone.(They are great as Police and Military dogs too) You have to be prepared  to commit a great deal of time in exercising and training , if you want  a nice bond with your Dobe. But once that initial investment is made, the joy and benefits a Dobe gives is truly immeasurable.

    I am truly struggling to carry her :-) She weighs about 26 kilos at the moment! Look at her posing happily :-)

    Lostris is so darn smart that she has learnt how to open a closed door by turning the handle! She stands on two paws and turns the handle and uses her body weight to propel the door open and she is out of the room, in a jiffy. She also know how to switch on the A.C! She knows to switch on the fans and lights too and she does it with her nose.
    She is just like a small baby and she hates me talking on the phone. If I am not on the cordless and if I am using a fixed line, she comes  and disconnects the phone with her paws and look at me cutely with a “I-didn’t-do-anything” look. When she has had enough of me sitting at my laptop and tap-tapping away, she comes and closes the laptop with her paws. She then brings her toy (she has got a several selection of toys which she plays with as she is still a pup) and puts it in my lap and asks me to play with her.

    She is the reason for my current level of fitness too. (This was one of the reasons I got a Dobe as I knew they were very active dogs that require a lot of exercise). She is the reason that I am up at the crack of dawn. I take her (uncomplainingly and happily) for two walks every single day. Each walk would be about thirty to forty  minutes or so. Because of these walks, I am fitter than I have ever been in my whole life—I was never this fit even in my twenties.

    Satish too takes her for two walks. (yes, Dobes need that much exercise! They are a HUGE reservoir of energy that needs to be spent and they love going for walks). He and I compared notes on our dog-walk rounds the other day. To our amusement, we discovered that whenever he takes her for walks  by himself, all the nice looking  women strike up a conversation with him. Whenever I take her for a walk, all the nice looking  (and sometimes not so nice) guys strike up a conversation with me. When we take her for  walk together, nobody talks to us. :-)

    Lostris knows to give a high-five and a shake-hand. (We say shake paw) She will also sit, lie down and assume ‘rest’ position when we ask her to. She knows to roll over too. My son has been training her to leap and it is amazing to see how high she leaps. She is so graceful and can easily jump up five and half feet in the air. She also knows ‘quiet’ and if we want her to stop barking, we just have to say “Quiet Lostris.”(but there is no guarantee of her listening to the quiet command all the time :-) ) She is still a pup and is so darn naughty!

    Lostris and us—we have many adventures each single day. Each day she is up to something new. But I will save that for later posts.

    PS: The video embedded above is a great one if you wish to know more about Doberman as a breed.

    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    Life's laws

    All of us, sooner or later have to face life's blows. Oh ,she hits hard. Sometimes she hits to hurt, sometimes she hits to kill. Sometimes she hits just for the fun of it. You are powerless with her blows, and you never know when the next one is coming. If you survive the blows, you emerge stronger, much stronger than ever before. If you don't survive--well, you cease to exist.

    The thing to remember if you are going through some difficulty is that, five years from now, will this truly matter? Think back how your life was, five years back. For most of us, life would have indeed taken a turn. Five years back, I was totally shattered, broken and a wreck.(I lost the person who meant the world to me). Today, I draw my strength from it, as I know he lives on inside me and I am happy to have got the time I had with him.

    I had read somewhere that when clothes are being washed, they are going through the rough and tumble. They are tossed, spun, drowned in soap suds and water and tossed about again. Then they emerge better than before.Life's troubles are like that. When you go through it, it seems like hell. But when it stops, you realise why it happened and you see what you have gained.

    A good friend of mine battled cancer. During the most testing period of her life (when she did not know whether she would live to tell the tale) she reached out to all her friends scattered all over the globe, to write something on a piece of paper  for her. She wanted to bind it all in a book, to pass it on to her daughter as a precious  heirloom. Somehow a page wasn't enough for me and I made a whole hand-made book for her and filled it with writings of love and hope. She treasured it. It made me realise that what one truly values, when it is time for us to leave the world, is the tokens of love from those who mean something to us. All that matters is the love you have got.

    Whatever you are going through, if it is a hard time, remember, it shall pass. The Ferris wheel of life does take its turns. Some of us are up right now and others are at the bottom. But the wheel will turn and those at the bottom would go up and then come down again. The cycle will continue until it is time to get off permanently.

    Life is indeed unpredictable. But what is in our hands is to live each day to the fullest.
    Connect with people who you love. Let go of the differences.
    Laugh a lot.
    Do what your heart tells you.
    Reach out.
    Forget what happened in the past. (It is gone forever)
    But you can make a change at this very moment.
    Spend time with those who matter.

    Stop what you are doing right now and pause. Go to the widow and look at the world outside.
    We are so insignificant in the larger picture.
    Your presence or absence makes no difference except to your closest ones. Even then, after a while, they forget too.

    Life goes on.
    So LIVE IT today.
    May  happiness and contentment be yours for today.

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    I only get jealous because I love you

    JEALOUSY CUZ I LOVE U Pictures, Images and Photos

    True love is always unconditional. There is no place for jealousy if it's true love. Especially if it is a relationship for life, like a marriage, where you have committed to each other.

    A few weeks back I had written a post "Freedom and marriage' which was appreciated by many and the same sentiments were echoed by a majority of people who read it. One of the worst things that one can do to a spouse is restrict them from doing what brings them joy and then impose conditions on them, just because of your insecurities and jealousies. This in the name of 'protecting your marriage/love/relationship.' 

    One of my friends, a mother of two who has been married for 17 years now, badly wants to go on a trip with her three women friends, without her husband and children. This friend had given up her career after her marriage and is a totally devoted wife and a full time mother.She is aways there for her husband and children and is one of the nicest, warmest individuals I know. But she knows her husband (who has a jealous streak) will never agree and so she 'compromises' and puts away this little dream in her box of unfulfilled wishes and carries on a 'happily married life'.

    Another person I know had to give up his hobby of photography as his spouse did not like him getting involved too much with it. Really sad, as he loved it and was such a creative guy. A third I know, a totally gregarious, outgoing warm person who had tonnes of friends of both sexes, had to fight tooth and nail to be 'allowed' to have friends of the opposite sex, after she got married.

    The words of  a blogger who goes by the name of Gounder Brownie  (loved her tagline--'reality TV without Shilpa') have to be truly FRAMED and displayed on walls of all people who are married or intending to get married. One of the points she makes is this:

     Don't forget that you and your spouse are individuals first. Don't be so self-involved as to believe that you are the whole world for the other person. Nobody is that interesting. Don't get jealous and possessive if s/he wants to spend time by himself/herself or with people other than you.

     And another point she makes is:

    Marriage is a big event in your life, all right, but it isn't your life. Taking time off from stuff to adjust and adapt and all that is fine. But get back to your life at the end of it. Don't change your priorities overnight and so easily.

    She has written a beautiful post after one year of marriage from which the above two points are quoted. To read her whole post click here.

    Every couple who has been married at least for two years or more will know how true the above lines are as they truly know what all a marriage involves. Nothing prepares you for it. Things change so much once people start living together and once the children arrive, it is a totally different ball game altogether. Before I had children, I used to look disdainfully at people who brought babies to movie theatres where the baby bawled its head off. I still do not condone it but I am more tolerant now, as I am raising two children who are 13 and 10.

    There are going to be times in a marriage where you need people other than your spouse.No two people can be an island unto themsleves.And if you have not invested  that time,  in cultivating relationships, it just might be too late. People might have moved on, without your realising and may not be there for you, simply because you were too busy to make time for them.

    So kick out the jealousies and insecurities. Let your spouse do what brings them joy. Do not impose YOUR conditions on them. Let go, if you truly love them. Trust them. They might placate your demands today, but over the years, things you did today indeed have a way of catching up with you.

    Which is why the words of Gounder Brownie ring so true, even after 16 years of  a succesful marirage (touchwood).

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Cold regards

    As I type this, my ten year old daughter is lying next to me. She is slowly recovering from a monstrous attack of wheezing and has just returned from the hospital. (The parents who have experienced their children having this know how hard it is to go through it. It is heart wrenching to see an active child lying quietly next to you, even though you know they will  eventually recover).She is much better today and will be okay in a couple of days more.

    Last night was bad though. Every two hours I was waking up and monitoring her. This morning I was right next to her, doing my work of checking mails and responding and co-ordinating a fifty things related to my books. My work fascinates my daughter and the adulation I get from her is incomparable to anything else in this world. She thinks I am THE best writer in the world. (and that totally makes me feel like an Empress) :)

    There were many fan mails today. I read out a few to her and she said "Wow, mama, you're so lucky! So nice of them to write you such beautiful mails." Then I got busy writing replies.
    I had just signed off a mail with 'Warm regards'.
    She had been watching me intently  and reading every word I wrote and I hadn't realised this.

    Then she says in that bright chirpy voice of hers "Mama--what will happen if you write Cold regards' ?

     I had no answer to her question but it was the first time since she fell ill that I laughed so heartily. :-)
    I am still smiling as I type this.

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Why I cannot stay away from you for long

    How can I be away from you for long? :)
    Especially when you're so responsive and read everything I write! Where else will I get such unconditional and loyal love, but  from you :)

    One of the reasons which kept me away from this space was a new love affair that I started recently. It's Tumblr .This blog (Just a mother of two)  is a happy space and  also this is a space where I do not post short stories or videos. Also many a time there are articles I come across, which strike me as deep and powerful and I want to share them, showcase them and go through them again and again.I find Tumblr ideal for that. In my Tumblr account, I haven't enabled comments as I don't want to interact there. Initially, I wasn't even going to share my Tumblr with anyone, but people discovered it anyway. :) Some affairs cannot be hidden for long, I guess. I now quite like how my Tumblr is shaping up (I have posted some dark short stories written by me, there)  and in case you want to have a look, you'll find a link in the navigation boxes at the top of this blog.

    The other major major news (those who interact with me on FB will already know this) is that 'Life is what you make it' has been declared a National Bestseller! :) It has gone into THIRD impression in record time! It is still topping the Charts on Flipkart   as well as on Hindustan Times Top ten fiction.

    To say that I am elated,overjoyed and ecstatic would be putting it mildly. Congratulations have been pouring in from all quarters. I thank each one of you, who reads this blog and I thank each one of you who has bought the book, written a review, blogged about it and spread the word.
    It is only because of you that it is possible.

    Another fantastic thing which happened is that this blog has now crossed One thousand subscribers. (wow! so much love! I love you too!)

    Now you know why I cannot stay away from you for long ;-) Despite my new love affair with Tumblr! (and I don't know how long that will last) :-)

    Old friends are always the best and I do not let go of old friendships so easily.

    Sunday, June 05, 2011

    Make me an offer I can't refuse--Some awesome bookmark giveaways!!

    One thing which gives me immense joy is creating/making things.Creating stuff is my refuge, my sanctuary, my sanity, my joy and something that keeps me going when life gives me a few knocks (or even when it doesn't). I would go crazy if I did not create things.

    Then comes the question--what do I do with stuff I have created? For me, like all other creative people/artists,a lot of passion goes into each thing I make--be it a painting, be it a poem I am writing or be it a hand-written book I am making. (Most of my closest friends have got hand-written books as gifts from me).Whatever I create is indeed very dear to me and I do value it a lot.So I gift them only to my closest ones--the ones who I feel have 'earned' it and 'deserve it--the ones whom I feel 'connected to'.

    I do feel connected to all the people who read my blog and leave such lovely comments for me! I do wish to give you all something I create. But the numbers are HUGE and it would take me a lifetime to make something for each one of you!

    Over the last two days, I have made some unusual triangular book marks. My children totally loved them! Here is a picture of what I made:

     And  They have this little pocket into which the page will fit--this is how they will hold the page of your book:

    The one which has the letter 'M'  is for one of my very good  friends--Mayank Mittal. The other one is for one of my closest women friends, Shabina. Boy, am I glad and thankful to have these  two people in my life! They are such radiators (What radiators are is mentioned in '34 Bubblegums and Candies') and totally brighten my day.

    I made a few more!

    The one with the golden stars is one which my children wanted me to make for their best friend--Geetika, whom I have mentioned in this post.

    That leaves Four bookmarks as a Giveaway for my blog readers!

    Do you like them? Do you want them? [You know you do!! :) ]

    All you have to do to get two of these book-marks is make me an offer I cannot refuse. (Yeah, The Godfather is indeed one of my favourite books/movies)  :-)

    So go on, and use my comment box. I will pick two people who will get two of these book-marks and update this post with their names on June 14th :)

    Am waiting to see what you come up with! :). (Please remember I am married, folks and also a mother of two--so make only decent offers please ;-)  heh heh heh)
    Update as promised!!

    Hey all,
    I really feel sad that I am not able to make a book mark for each one of you :(

    I was forced to pick two winners..The offers which appealed most to me were Prerna's and Bhavika's! (Do mail me your postal address and keep up your offer! The bookmarks will reach you as promised)

    Thanks to all who left a comment and appreciated the bookmarks! Will make more :)