Thursday, June 28, 2012

Not Yankee doodle but babushka lass.

Didn't I tell you you will see me more often?

See, I turned up today! I do keep up my word.  Most people don't. That irks me. Or makes me trust them a little less. Mostly the latter. In rare times the former. Most people are not even worth your ire.

There is this person on my BBM (Black-berry messenger for the uninitiated) for instance. I had pinged him and he said "I am driving and I will get back to you in an hour." Nothing wrong with that. Except that the hour has stretched to more than two weeks now.
See what I mean? There are so many like that. I bet you know people like that too.

I think it's rather cool to say what you mean and mean what you say. More importantly to do what you say you will do. (or not do). And since I like to be a rather cool person, I always keep up my word.  Yeah, I am old fashioned like that.

Of late I have been really working hard on my fourth book. I do not know where the hours vanish. I sit down to write around 9.00 a.m and before I realise it is 2.00 PM and I haven't even eaten my lunch. There are endless cups of tea though. Always.

I also always have a notebook next to me on which I make notes. They are usually, unusually quirky notebooks and journals that I pick up on my travels. I need them like shoes need laces. Somehow I am incomplete without them.
 For instance the one I am using at present has this picture of a woman dressed to kill, in a business suit and it says "Commander-in-Chief". Whoo! Makes me feel powerful just looking at it. And on each page on the inside, it says  "What a town. You can't even trust the back-stabbers."

I love such quirky things. It nudges my creative side. Actually gives it a sharp hard kick.

Anyway, the endless cups of tea I consume in the course of writing, always rest on this journal as I work lying in bed (yes, I am lucky, I know! I can work in bed :) ) and I do not want the tea to topple over my lovely 10" mattress. So the journal comes in handy in more ways than one.

Needless to say it is full of tea-stains. And doodles. I usually doodle when I am thinking hard about the plot. I doodle unaware of what I am doing. Sometimes, when I look at it  later, I am surprised seeing the doodle I created and  I wonder 'where did that come from'.

Today was one such day.
A tea stain turned into a pretty girl wearing a babushka. That does not happen often.




































And  I just had to share it with you.
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Ps: If you still don't know about my Ted talk, go watch!
If you like my blog, you might enjoy my books :) Grab them here. (You don't need a credit card. You can pay cash on delivery) or if you are an Amazon Fan, you can grab them here
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A love letter straight from the heart :)

My dearest darling,
 
Even though I have my family (my husband, my two children and my dog!) I still need you as much as I need them.
  
I am so glad you are in my life. I am so happy we found each other. I feel so blessed to have you through all my ups and downs.
You have  given me so much love. You have helped me grow.
You have taken me places. You really have you know.

You listen so patiently when I have something to say--and so I am drawn toward you. And while we see others parting ways,  you and I have lasted 5 years, eight months and five days.  And we're still going strong. Aren't we awesome? I must say it is largely because of you.

No matter what I am going through you always understand. You are patient when i have nothing to say. And you are so darn receptive when I do!

 And so there are these phases or days that I go through when more begets more. I get into these 'very productive' days (like today which is a super writing day for me as I wrote 3100 words for my fourth book which I am currently working on) when I write and write. And then I want to write some more.

And you understand!

No matter how many ever days I take to get back to you, you still wait patiently and you are happy to see me.

What a sweetheart you are. You change according to my needs. You are forever obliging. Sometimes I neglect you, I am mean to you.  Sometimes I don't even look at you for weeks.  Yet you never complain.
 
 
I feel guilty now. I promise you you will see a lot more of me.

 I will make time for you.

You deserve it.

I love you so much, my blog :) :-*

Much love!

Preeti 

Ps: If you still don't know about my Ted talk, go watch!
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If you like my blog, you might enjoy my books :) Grab them here. (You don't need a credit card. You can pay cash on delivery) or if you are an Amazon Fan, you can grab them here
 And you can interact with me on my FB page. I always reply :)

 
 



 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I'm always here for you.

For a long time I stared at this photo of my son and me, clicked a day after my Ted talk.




Then I just had to write this poem:
 
It seems like just yesterday
You hung on to every word I said,
Your world revolved around me
Your every need, I lovingly fed.

You show me the world through your eyes
Through you I learn such a whole lot.
Kindness, patience, tolerance
Are some of the things you unknowingly taught.

And then before my very eyes,
You change in ways I never know
You stop needing me like before
In so many ways you grow

I watch with pride laced with fear
This little one, not so little any more
A young man seeking his path,
Going out, carving out his own road.

I let go gently knowing
That the mistakes he makes will help him learn
But sometimes watching is so hard
To protect him forever, I deeply yearn

No matter how big you become
To me you’re always my sonny boy
God bless you, I cover you with prayers
May you have every happiness, every joy.

 © 2012 Preeti Shenoy
 

For more poems click here. Some poems have already appeared in print. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.
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If you like my blog, you might enjoy my books :) Grab them here. (You don't need a credit card. You can pay cash on delivery) or if you are an Amazon Fan, you can grab them here
 And you can interact with me on my FB page. I always reply :)


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ted X talk . Preeti Shenoy . 5 lessons for growth.

Some time back I had blogged about 'all this celebrity business' and said I would share the video of my Ted Talk as soon as it was up.

Here it is.





Have a great weekend! _______________________________________________________________________________


If you like my blog, you might enjoy my books :) Grab them here. (You don't need a credit card. You can pay cash on delivery) or if you are an Amazon Fan, you can grab them here
 And you can interact with me on my FB page. I always reply :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Busy Elf--Some lovely crocheted handmade stuff.

Keshrie (pronounced Kesri) is a mother to two boys aged 9 and 7. Her home town is Darjeeling and she speaks fondly of the memories it holds. She moved to Bangalore along with her husband, nine months back, leaving her two sons with her mother. She works part-time as a house-help in my home.

Keshrie is extremely good at her work, very efficient and always goes the extra mile. Even though she really misses her sons (she talks to them on the phone every single day) she is cheerful and pleasant. She is also very punctual.

Some weeks back Suma of Aalochane had gifted me some lovely crocheted stuff that she had hand-made.  I totally loved them and felt so honoured to receive such a gift.When I brought them home, Keshrie saw them and her eyes lit up. She said she knows how to crochet and has fond memories of a herself as a little girl, sitting at her mother's knee, watching her mother crochet. She added (a bit wistfully) that if only she could get hold of some thread and  crochet needle, she could make them. She has not been around much in Bangalore (She works as a house-help at another home too so her days are really busy) and had no clue where to buy yarn and needles.

When I went out the next day, I decided to buy some yarn and crochet needles for her. She was delighted with it.

When I saw the stuff that she began making, I was so totally blown away by her talent. Every single day, she had a hand-made gift for me or my daughter!

She works  late at night, after all her chores are done and her happiest times are when she is crocheting. Like a true artist, she forgets everything else when she crochets. I started giving her ideas and suggestions as to what she could make next.  I would suggest it and lo behold the next day it was made!

Here are some of her lovely creations.


Tea coasters for making tea times warm and cozy :)

Hair clips.
Draw string purse

Book marks for that friend of yours who loves to read! or gift them to yourself!
A small purse for the little knick-knacks

Crocheted outfits for your daughter's dolls.

A mobile phone pouch.
A red bow sits prettily on a white hair-band
Another hair band made by her

Isn't the stuff she made really pretty?

Moved  by her creativity, talent and hard-work, I decided that she really deserves a wider audience and she needs to sell her stuff.
So, I created a Facebook page for her a few minutes ago.

I named her store The Busy Elf'. I felt it suited her products and her personality. Here is the link to her Facebook page (which obviously I manage for her) :  

https://www.facebook.com/TheBusyElf

All the money from sale proceeds of her products will go entirely to her and she plans to use it on her sons' education.

Today was a happy day for Keshrie and me as she made her first sale.  (Rs.1000/-! Four Barbie doll outfits and two hair bands). While a rupees thousand may not sound much, it does make a  huge difference to her.

Keshrie was really delighted. She told me several times that she couldn't believe it and it was like a dream come true.

If you like the products she makes and you  want to be a part of Keshrie's journey then do have a look at her Facebook page  (which has all the products and prices) and please order stuff from her. Shipping charges will be extra. (perhaps Rs.100). You can mail me your orders on ps(at)preetishenoy.com and I shall do the needful on her behalf.

Do 'like' her page if you are on Facebook. (I explained the concept of ' Facebook 'like'  to her , a little while back.She didn't even know what Facebook was!) 
  
Even though I barely have time for myself,  (I amworking on my fourth book among a whole hoard of other things) I badly wanted to do this for her.

She totally deserves it, don't you think?
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If you like my blog, you might enjoy my books :) Grab them here. (You don't need a credit card. You can pay cash on delivery) or if you are an Amazon Fan, you can grab them here
 And you can interact with me on my FB page. I always reply :)


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lilies from my garden. Wordless Wednesday no.30















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If you like my blog, you might enjoy my books :) Grab them here. (You don't need a credit card. You can pay cash on delivery) or if you are an Amazon Fan, you can grab them here
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Monday, June 11, 2012

A few thoughts about all this celebrity business

We got back from Salem last evening after the TED X event where I had been invited a speaker. The drive from Salem to Bangalore was awesome.Beautiful roads indeed.

 I hadn't been well for almost four whole days--bad body pain, sore throat, exhaustion and mild fever. I somehow managed to pop in medication and delivered my talk.



I was told by many that I spoke really well and that my talk was inspiring. I spoke from the heart. I shall share the link to the video of the talk as soon as it is uploaded. Meanwhile you can view the pictures here, if you want to see :)

This is what Saffin Mathew  (Organiser and licensee of the Ted X event) said about me

Preeti Shenoy - A lady whom I admire a lot. Well after reading her 2nd book (I still haven't read her 1st), I was not a big fan of her's. Not that the book was bad, just that it had a dark side to it that I am not very fond of. But i liked the writing style. Then came her 3rd book. I pre-ordered the book after thinking twice. But once I started reading it, I couldn't keep it down. Man! What a book. The life of the lead character in the book was well portrayed. Since then I am all praise for this author. She has 220v smile. Then when I got the chance to meet her and hear her speak at TEDxSonaCollege, my admiration just grew. But in all the excitement, I forgot to get the book autographed by her.What energy and what talent she has. She is truly blessed. I guess the support from her lovely family plays a big role. May God bless this family.
Ma'am you truly are an amazing person. A big salute to you!!!



One thing which I have been wanting to speak out about for long, (but kept putting off) is this whole set of expectations that people have from other people they term 'celebrities' and 'successful people in their chosen fields'.

After my talk at Ted X, during the break, I was surrounded by people who wanted my autograph.



I was somehow surprised, touched and humbled.
In that single gesture by a group of people, I had been elevated to the status of a ' real celebrity'. It set me thinking as to how people treat celebrities differently.



For instance, many think it is okay to make any kind of demand. A few days back, someone said to me on Twitter-- "Don't you care about the country? Why can't you write about serious issues like Chetan Bhagat?" I honestly wanted to reply to that someone and say "Look, I have worked with slum children for two whole years teaching them English and math. I used to leave home at SEVEN A.M in the morning, travel a distance of fifteen kilometres just to be with them. The results we got  with these kids I worked with were amazing. Many of them invited me home and I will never forget the love they showered on me and the change I was able to bring to their lives."
But I did not reply to this person, simply because she was rude, she knew nothing about me and I don't think she cared either. I also wanted to ask her what SHE had done for the country! But I chose to let it go.

In another incident, I was recognized by a reader/fan,  when I was having a cup of coffee with  a friend (who happens to be a guy). Next thing I know, there is a post on my FB wall, saying that he spotted me at Bangalore Central. He even mentioned a few snippets of the conversation I was having!  I now know how hard it must be  for 'celebrities' to even have a cup of coffee with a 'good friend'. ;-)

I ,of course, do feel happy when I am recognised when i walk into Crossword or Landmark.

But there are the pitfalls too.

There are these people who bombard me with pieces of their writing. They want me to read and review their books or something they have written. I get at least a fifty requests in  a week, to read stuff people have written. I truly do not have the time to oblige. I do manage to reply to almost all mails personally. But to expect me to offer my opinion on writing, is expecting a lot! Firstly I would have to devote a lot of time to 'critiquing'. I will have to study it and offer constructive advice. I do not have that kind of time really. Secondly it is just plain rude to flood someone's inbox with a whole lot of things you wrote, demanding that they read it!

Then there was this person who sent me a long mail some months back, praising me to the skies saying how much he admired my writing and me as a person. He then said that he is saddened that I have not even responded to his friend request on FB. To be honest I get about forty requests a day. I do accept almost all, as and when I get time to get around to them. I apologized and said that I get many requests and his must have got buried. I added him as a 'friend'.
He later sent me a request for a book review which I refused.
This person must have irked me at some point or flooded my timeline (I truly do not remember even!) and I must have 'unfriended' him. (He claims I blocked him and the fact is, I don't even remember this guy!)

A few days back, this person wrote all kinds of nasty things about me on my FB wall, calling me vain, proud and boastful about my looks (am smiling now), accusing me of wanting only praise and saying I am harsh and egotistic and so full of myself. I replied saying that I know what I am and so do the people who truly know me.
Next thing I know, he has pulled out the private messages exchanged between him and me (where he has praised me to the skies and I have said a polite thank you) and posted them publicly in three places on my FB wall!  Then he has said that success has gone to my head and not everyone is humble and kind like ______________. (he has named another author).

At this point I could only do one thing. I deleted all of the above nonsense. (Of course he is entitled to his opinion. But please not my FB page!) and blocked him promptly. He came back three more times with three different ids just to post some more nasty stuff on my wall!

I do follow a simple policy when it comes to my Blog as well as my FB page. I do not like negativity, mud-slinging or accusing. My blog is a happy place! So is my FB page!

And happy it shall stay.
 
What astounds me is that the very same people who praise the 'celebrities'  and elevate them and place them on a pedestal are so quick to push them down and squish them under their feet too when they do not behave as per what they expect.

How much they judge, condemn and form opinions without ever meeting or interacting.

Says a lot about all the adulation and  the whole business  of 'celebritydom', doesn't it? :)

Addendum: After reading one comment I am hastening to add, I truly do not mind signing books at all! I do think it is a honour that you respect and like me so much and I will happily sign books (or autographs for you!) I don't mind being approached for a chat too. What I do not appreciate is mud-slinging if I am unable to respond!
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If you like my blog, you might enjoy my books :) Grab them here. (You don't need a credit card. You can pay cash on delivery) or if you are an Amazon Fan, you can grab them here
 And you can interact with me on my FB page. I always reply :)

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

A story behind a quilled card

Time and again I have posted pictures of the cards I make. The cards I make have been so widely appreciated and I have been flooded with so many orders now that I have to now refuse some orders!
The thing is I make these cards in between the breaks I take from writing my fourth book.

The book-writing pays me one thousand times (yes--really a thousand times) more than card-making does. But the joy that the card making brings is unmatched, because it is a joy which is shared by the giver (the person who ordered the card) and the recipient.

Some days back I had posted a picture on FB of a personalised card (which said 'dodda'). Someone named Astha had ordered it and I have interacted with her only on mail. I wondered what kind of a name 'Dodda' was. But since I did not know Astha at all, I kept the writer in me, in check and made the card and sent it to her.

She was overjoyed with the card. She absolutely loved it.




Later she shared the story with me. The card was for her dad's brother ('bade papa' whom she calls 'dodda') . This is what Astha wrote. (Yes, she does not mind me sharing on this blog. Have taken her permission to do so.)

My dodda (bade papa) loved the card.. He has been ill since a long time, so when I went to meet him after a long time with this card, he was delighted! He loved the design & the message that I'd written inside.
Will never forget that sign of joy on his face...Thank you so much! :) :)



I felt elated that my work brought so much joy to someone. When I asked her if I could share her mail on my blog, she said she did not mind at all, and asked if I wanted to know what she wrote inside. She said she wanted the message inside to match the beauty of the card. Of course I wanted to know.
She was kind enough to share that as well. It really brought a lump to my throat when I read it. This is what she had written inside.

My Dearest Dodda,
Has anyone ever told you what a wonderful person you are?
I hope so! I hope you've been told dozens of times...
Because you are really amazing!
And, just in case you haven't heard those words in a while,
I want you to hear them now.
You deserve to know that.


It takes someone special to do what you do.. It takes someone rare and remarkable around them.. Nicer, brighter and more beautiful.. It takes someone who has a big heart and a caring soul.. It takes someone who's a living proof of how precious a person can be.. It takes someone...just like You!
Thank you for being so wonderful ! I feel blessed to have you in my life!


Your presence in my life brings wonderful smiles and loving thoughts within my heart.

You have inspired me to a degree which can't be expressed in words. You've taught me to enjoy the little things in life and live every moment to the fullest.


You are the most joyful and determined person I've ever come across.Your will-power and zest for life serves as my guiding light and helps me get back up even if I keep falling at every hurdle!


Inspite of everything that has happened, you've got to believe that you can handle it.. You've got what it takes! Keep fighting back and keep smiling so that life gets tired of upsetting you...Let the difficulty also know how difficult you are!


And, always remember, the will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you!

Love you loads,
Yours Rani Maa
"




What a magnificent message!
For me, being a part of something like this through my work, is truly beyond belief. I feel  so wonderful to be a part of someone's life, in such a close and positive way.

Here is another personalised card I made for a friend's wife. He too LOVED the card and he said his wife is going to love it too. :)




A close up showing how raised the quilled letters are.

A close up of the roses. Each rose was made individually by hand.




Bessie Stanley had said (and this is often wrongly attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson)


To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.



For me, I touch people's lives though my work which I totally love doing. I am passionate about it.
And I feel so darn fortunate and blessed to have succeeded. 

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If you like my blog, you might enjoy my books :) Grab them here. (You don't need a credit card. You can pay cash on delivery) or if you are an Amazon Fan, you can grab them here
 And you can interact with me on my FB page. I always reply :)



 

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Some talks to remember

If you haven't heard of Ted talks, you have been missing a lot! They are described as 'riveting talks by remarkable people' free to the world. I have enjoyed a lot of these amazing talks, the most recent one I watched being this amazing talk by David Blaine on how he held his breath for seventeen minutes under water.

Ted X are created in the spirit of Ted's mission and they are independently organised Ted event. They happen all over the world.You can find a Ted X event near you, and attend it. You could use this link to know more.

I have been invited as a Ted X speaker for an event happening on 9th June. All details  are here:

                               http://www.tedxsonacollege.in/
 



The talk I will be giving is called '5 lessons for growth or in other words, 5 important lessons life has taught me'.  I would be sharing 5 important rules one needs to follow if one has to grow. I would be peppering it with all that I have learnt in my life's journey --right from school, to where I am today, how I grew, the mistakes I made, the failures I faced, the defeats I had to accept and the sacrifices I had to make to reach where I am today. It would be a honest, straight from the heart talk.
Once the event is over, the talk would be freely available on the Internet. I am indeed looking forward to this as much as I am looking forward to hear what the other speakers have to say and share.

I think there is a LOT one can learn from talks like these. A talk which particularly impressed me was a recent one by Neil Gaiman.

If you haven't yet seen it, stop what you are doing right now and watch this:



Neil Gaiman Addresses the University of the Arts Class of 2012 .






And remember, never ever give up. Yes--you CAN achieve anything that you have set your heart on. Do not be disheartened if the goal seems far. You will definitely get there--keep striving! ______________________________________________________________________

If you like my blog, you might enjoy my books :) Grab them here. (You don't need a credit card. You can pay cash on delivery) or if you are an Amazon Fan, you can grab them here
 And you can interact with me on my FB page. I always reply :)