Monday, December 26, 2011

A rose in december

There is this rose bush in my garden, which I planted with a lot of love. For months and months, I waited. I had no idea what the flower would be like. I would watch it somedays and wonder why it wasn't blooming. I had done everything right--the manure, the watering, the sunlight. I .had done everything I could. There was nothing more I could do really.

After a  few months I gave up thinking about it and it just stood there, sullen , defiant and almost mocking me. There were a few insect eaten leaves and I dutifully sprayed  a herbal bug repellant.

It made me think that sometimes, relationships are like that. You want it so badly but the other person does not respond and there is nothing you can do really. You learn to live with it.

When I left for Bentota (to celebrate my birthday) it did not have a single bud on it. Or if it did, I did not notice. I had nurtured it so much for so many months, and had got nothing in return that I had stopped noticing it even. It was just a part of the foliage in my garden.

But this morning I had a marvelous surprise.  Yes, it had finally bloomed, rewarding my months and months of effort.

And what a magnificent flower at that! A single one. A very large one. it stood proudly, like royalty among the Plebeians.

Of course I had to click a picture.




And here is a close-up.



What a lovely little reward for months of effort! And how fleeting and transient--in a few days the flower will be no more. Yet, the joy it brings.
Teaches you a thing or two about living in the moment, doesn't it?



And this picture below, was clicked on 21st December 2011. (My birthday)  I had uploaded it on my personal  FB account  and Shachi was kind enough to praise everything in the picture--she loved the outfit, the shoes and said I looked fab :)

Of course, the show-off that I am,  I had to share this too ;-)



_______________________________________________________________________________
You can interact with me on my Facebook page if you have something to say and don't want to comment here!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Turning forty

Image from  http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/
 
Why do people feel a need to hide their ages? And why are people so darn apologetic because they are over a certain age? 

There is so much emphasis associated with age and realms have been written about 'turning forty' and 'turning thirty'. 

My age is something I am darn proud of! I proudly tell my age, if anyone asks.I will be turning forty soon :) Funny how I have had thirty-nine birthdays and yet I still look forward to my birthdays with the same childish enthusiasm and I am still excited about birthdays. ( Who can forget the 'aaj mera happy birthday hai' scene from the movie Rangeela.I am a bit like that) :) Of course, I keep asking my family "What will you get for me on my birthday?" :)

The other day I was speaking to a friend and asked him how old he is. He said he is 42 and added that he is 'over the hill'.
I told him "Maybe you are over the hill, but I have not even climbed it yet!" 

And honestly that is what I truly believe.
Another friend of mine, a yoga instructor completely agrees with me. She is 37 and looks so much younger than her age. She says that it really is the attitude and the way you look at life that matters. And of course Yoga helps :). 

One thing that people constantly tell me is that I do not look as old as I am. (click here for photos).

I have been practising yoga since I was 14. Yoga is truly magic. Yoga (traditional yoga--not the hundreds of versions that have sprung up now) if practised right, does work wonders in reversing aging process. Click here to read a nice article about yoga and reversing aging through yoga. Go here to read about a very inspiring 77 year old  yoga pracitioner.

But I digress. We were talking about age.

Age is simply a number. A hype created by media mostly! At forty I am so much more content, happier and so much more surer of myself than I ever was in my twenties or thirties.

My children are now 14 and 10 and boy am I glad that the toddler and baby days are over! ( I did enjoy both my babies a lot but no way do I want to go back to those diaper changing stage!).It is great to have children with whom you can have intelligent discussions about a variety of things and it's great when you learn so many new things from them and they teach you  'to be cool' (pun intended) :D

If one has invested well in fitness and health when you are in your twenties and thirties, then it is time to start reaping the benefits in your forties. If you are in your twenties or thirties, I can't emphasize enough how important it is to take care of your diet, your health and do some amount of physical exercise everyday. (get up an hour earlier if you say you don't have time). Yeah, boring, I know! But anything worth having involves a lot of hard work :) (and a lot of discipline too!) 

This birthday of mine, I will be celebrating on the beaches of Bentota.  (yay! Really looking forward to it):) (yes, I plan to click lots of photos and yes, I will share).

See you when I get back! Enjoy your Christmas hols!
________________________________________________________________________________

You can interact with me on my Facebook page if you have something to say and don't want to comment here!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Random rants--Ten things that annoy me.



Image courtsey:Freedigital photos


Mostly this blog is about positivity, laughter, living life to the fullest and all good things. Rarely, very rarely, do you find rants here.
I am no Buddha even though I have learnt to smile Buddha-like at most things. Yeah, sixteen years of marriage, two kids, one husband and a very large dog does that to you. :)

But myths must be shattered and so I thought I'd post ten of my pet peeves--stuff that makes me see red and takes away that cloak of Buddha-ness and turns me into a shade of the colour you get when you cross a Cruella de Vil with Miranda priestly, mostly in a non-lesbian sense. (Stop salivating, all you men out there and some women too. Heh heh)

Here are ten things that irk me in no particular order really.(but hey, they had to be numbered and arranged in some order). And fortunately for me at no point in time do my one husband, two kids or one very large dog indulge in any of the following :-)


1.People who talk loudly and pass comments while watching a movie at a multiplex.

I told off a burly looking Sardar who couldn’t keep his mouth shut when I watched ‘Ladies versus Ricki behl’ and to my surprise he cowered down and obliged by stuffing his mouth with pop-corn and not speaking for the rest of the duration of the movie. I should have done it sooner. Had the  offender not listened to me, there was nothing I could have done—except maybe put him in a book and killed him.


Ha! I knew it—there has to be some advantage of being a writer.

2.Gluttony and bad table manners

It somehow puts me off. People who eat with their mouths open and some people who eat like there is going to be a famine in the next few hours and some other people who seem to have the appetite of Ghatotkacha and a bulging belly to match are a big turn off for me. Eat to live not live to eat—that is what will score you brownie points—which will be taken away if you gobble all the twelve brownies ;-)

3. SMS lingo

Ppl hu cnt b bthred 2 type prply do nt dsrve 2 be rd.

Aaaaargh! I have worked myself up trying to type the above! Use the T9En option people! I got  mails, full bodied e-mails written in the above lingo. I refuse to even read them. You want to me reply, at least make that effort to write properly.

4. People who say “I have been soooooo busy. Let me see if I can catch up with you in Feb/March or maybe June” (substitute a date which is 3 or more months later) when you invite them over.

If you have been busy, I have been busier! Go take a hike! Fact is all of us are equally busy. If something is important to you, you WILL make time for it, no matter what. If someone does not call you or someone does not want to keep in touch, it is not because they are soooooo busy—it is simply because you aren’t important enough for them to ‘make time’ to talk you. I refuse to buy the “I am too busy” excuse.

 If you are so busy, so be it! There are some of us, less busy folks ;-)

5. People who break promises or do not keep up their word.

Call me childish or old fashioned but I do think keeping up one’s word does mean something. I hate people who promise to be there for you but tuck their tail and run at the first hint of ‘trouble’. I hate people who do not mean what they say and who just say it for the sake of saying it.

6. Bad body odour and personal hygiene.


Gosh! What can I say?  You do not have to use an expensive Versace (ooh, I do love that fragrance) but people who smell are a huge turn off for me. Can’t you bathe (even with an ordinary Hamam soap is ok!) and wear clean clothes? My house help (who is an elderly lady who must be around fifty) turns up everyday for work in pristinely clean clothes and neatly combed hair and a smile on her face. I do appreciate it hugely.
So when I see people who sometimes turn up for work with gunk in the eyes and eye crusties—that is a gigantic YUCK from me. I will definitely run a mile. Actually twenty miles.

7. People who make remarks about my accent or way of speaking and then try to ‘guess’ which part of India I am from.


I constantly moved as a child and have studied in various Kendriya Vidyalayas all over India. I speak seven languages and I can read and write in three of them. When a person listens to me accent and then says ‘Oh, your accent sounds like you are from ___________” (insert whatever state they presume), I truly feel like slapping them hard and telling them that making a personal comment like that is downright rude! Respond to whatever I am saying instead of commenting on my accent! (and yeah if you want to hear what I sound like you can listen to my radio indigo interview)
I am unapologetic about my accent. For the record, I can do a Brit accent and an American accent too but I prefer my own :-) My Brit friends have no problems understanding anything I say in my own accent and I will stick to it till the day I take up a job in a call centre :P :) .


8. People who do not take care of books and people who ask to borrow my books.


I do not lend my books. If I have to borrow books, I borrow only from the library and I have no qualms about refusing to lend. I do take very good care of my books. I value them, I treasure them. I detest people who handle books badly, use their saliva to turn pages (YUCK) and fold the pages instead of using bookmarks. They truly should be banned from reading! How dare they?!

9. People who judge others without ever walking in their shoes.

I know some people who pass judgments on others without ever really trying to look at it from the other person’s point of view. Of course apart from obviously heinous crimes there are so many shades of gray in life. It is never black or white. There is never ‘completely right’ or ‘completely wrong’. No matter how thin you slice it there are always two sides.

10. People who steal and copy and also people pass off good lines as their own on social networking sites.

Some people put famous lines from books without even mentioning the book or author and pretend they made it up. Recently someone used a line from the book Shantaram without mentioning it was by Gregory Davids or without even mentioning the book.
I have a problem with dimwits who do this.I love quotes and I don’t mind someone putting up an inspiring quote provided they mention who said it or which movie it is from.
I also abhor plagiarists and if you say imitation is a form of flattery I would rather not be flattered!

So these are my pet peeves.  What are yours? :)
 ____________________________________________________________________
ps:  My third book will be out in Feb. Follow my FB page for details. 

Addendum: Totally loved this comment by Suma:

Preeti, uff the perks of being an author, people don't want you to have peeves any more...

I see from the comments, that there are a few who don't agree with your rant, but as far i understand, this post was about something which YOU disliked.

it's like saying that you hate the color green and you have 10 people insisting that you should like green because it is such an environmentally cool color!

erm..coming back to the post, most peeves are mine too, I also hate it when i tell people my name and they mostly extend it to more than it is!



Saturday, December 10, 2011

Results of the handmade card giveaway

Here are the results of the handmade card giveaway of my 600th post!

I used  random number generator to pick five 'winners'.

Here are the numbers it threw up--71, 18, 3, 27 and 65.

 Here are the names! (it was fun to put faces to the lucky numbers!)

71.Jaanaki Shanker

18.Trupti

3.Gayu

27. Ramya Ranganathan

65. Soorya

Do send me your postal address and I shall send you the cards!! :)

Thanks all of you for taking part :)
________________________________________________________________
You can interact with me on my Facebook page if you have something to say and don't want to comment here!


Monday, December 05, 2011

This is how I work :)


Yeah, this is how I work! :)This picture was clicked just a few minutes ago.


Am doing some research for my fourth book. Lostris is happy as long as she can stick like a velcro to me :)


She is my shadow. She follows me wherever I go. She hates being away from me and is happiest if I am nuzzling her. Her birthday is on Dec 16th :) She will be One! (yeah she is just a pup)


Isn't she gorgeous?  And we work really well as a team :)


_________________________________________________________________________
ps: My third book will be out in Feb! Follow my Facebook page for release date and details.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Some news and a really difficult tag

First  some nice news from my end. I have been invited for the Jaipur Literary Fest and yes I am attending :) *Big beam on face*
If you happen to be in jaipur on 20th and 21st of Jan, come and say a hello  and tell me you looooove my writing and you will make someone verrrry verrry happy :)

Second the other news from Blogosphere. Reflections, on of my favourite bloggers tagged me, a very very difficult tag. I cannot say no to her. Especially after she said
"She needs no introduction….writer, artist, mom, blogger all rolled into one. I love all her posts except for the ones where she posts her pictures. I tell you nobody has the right to look so sexy when they are touching 40;-(. And nope, before u ask..nope she wont be mad at me for telling her age. Atleast I think she won't. She's not like that. I'm very sure she won't. Oh dear....."
 How can I NOT retaliate now? (and of course I have to show off  too, so Reflections--this picture, clicked in May this year, is just for you!) *posts pic and runs away* :D




Now for the very difficult  tag:

Rules:
1) Blogger is nominated to take part

2) Blogger publishes his/her 7 links on his/her blog – 1 link for each category.
The links are:
- Your most beautiful post
– Your most popular post
– Your most controversial post
– Your most helpful post
– A post whose success surprised you
– A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved
– The post that you are most proud of

3) Blogger nominates up to 5 more bloggers to take part.


4) These bloggers publish their 7 links and nominate another 5 more bloggers

5) And so it goes on!


It's really hard to choose from 600 posts! (and in case you missed it, I am doing a handmade card giveaway for my 600th. Just scroll down and read my previous post.)
But if I have to choose, I'd choose these:

My Most beautiful post:  Well, most of my good posts have already been taken off as they are going into my books and therefore I am not including them. So from the remaining if I had to choose my most beautiful post, it would be  this one: A tribute to one of the coolest people I have ever known
My most popular post: How do I judge which was the most popular--is it by page views or comments left? I am going with the number of comments option because, most bloggers thrive on comments. Comments is our currency :) If you are a true blue blogger you will understand that statement. I am also only counting the posts published in 2011 for this (the rest are so old and besides it will take me forever to go back that long!)My most which got the maximum number of comments in 2011 was my 500th post:

My most controversial post:  Just because I endorsed Steve Pavlina's views, a lot of people were shocked. Then they went on a volley of comments to vociferously say they beg to differ--which is fine for them! I am a total non-conformist and I do think marriages are a LOT of bloody hard work! And honestly if satish wasn't this nice, i would have run away long back!
My most controversial post has to be this one: Marriage and its other implications.
My most helpful post:  All my posts are helpful--don't you agree?  :-) I guess if I had to pick one post I would pick this:  A pencil portrait and what goes into it.
A post whose success surprised you: Whenever I look at which post gets the maximum hits by search terms and maximum traffic, I am so surprised to find that it is this post: Doodle Art
Whoever thought!

A post you feel didn't get the attention it deserved: I truly could not think of any post which went here, but if I had to pick one, I guess I would pick this poem: Slicing the Silence
I guess the suicide reference and chop on the wrist scared away most people :D heh heh.

The post you are most proud of:  I am proud of almost all my posts! (yeah vain me :D ) But I have to pick one and I know this post brought comfort to a lot of people:

Now to tag 5 people;
I tag


He makes even a person who is not the least bit interested in Corporate world, read his blog. He writes a superb business blog and he always does my tags! :P When I was in the UK, whatever I heard on the BBC radio, would coincidentally be the next post on Ramesh's blog. After I moved to India, I stopped listening to the BBC (desi Boyz are better ;-)) . Instead, I just read Ramesh's blog :)


She is just discovering the joys of motherhood and is a working professional based in the US of A. She always comments on my posts and is now a friend too.





Her no holds barred way of writing and expressing her love for me and surprising me with cards and texts--awww..I just had to tag her :)



 She writes well and needs to write more in her blog!



I absolutely love her blog.


__________________________________________________________________________


Ps: My third book will be out in February! (Yay!!) It is being published by Random House! :) Please follow my Facebook page for details!