Friday, December 20, 2013

A festive note from me with some juicy tidbits thrown in :)

Hi there,

How have you been? Has the festive season brought cheer? It has for me--there is such a lot happening in my life! (which is a good thing I suppose even though I miss my own company which I enjoy a lot)

I have just got back from a WONDERFUL family vacation at Singapore. My mother loved it.

That is my favourite snap from the vacation. Clicked at Orchid Garden, where my mom transformed into a little girl, seeing the orchids in full bloom. I think she is more beautiful than the orchids that she admired.

I haven't forgotten that the results of TOUCH Thursday no.4 had to be announced. It is just that I managed to touch base with Westland (my publishers) only yesterday.
And the winner of TOUCH Thursday No.4 is

Anoptimistic whose winning entry is

Congratulations! (please mail me your postal address on ps(at)preetishenoy(dot)com and Westland will send you the TOUCH mug.

This morning when I was walking my dog, a lady who had moved in recently into a house at the end of the lane started chatting with me.

"Are you working?" she asked.

"I am a writer," I replied.

"What do you write about?" was her next question.

"I write novels," I said.

"Oh, writers are creative folks aren't they?" she continued.

"I guess", I said and smiled.

She wanted to know the names of my books and I told her to google my name and she would get all details. I find it tiresome to explain to people what I write about.

I find it easier to talk to you all, through my blog.

Does that make me a writer? I guess it does :)

Reminds me of the quote from the movie Indie Game.

"It's why a writer writes---because they can. It's the most effective way they can express themselves."

One of my resolutions for the new year is to write more in this blog. I will try and post more often, than I do now.

What has been happening in your lives? Any exciting plans for hols? Any resolutions? What is the thing that you want to change about yourself? Thought about it?

Do think.
And ACT.

And may the festive season bring tonnes of happiness to you!


ps: We set up a Christmas tree even though we do not celebrate Christmas, because I had a lovely tree and it seemed such a shame to do nothing. My mother and my kids decorated it. And I think it looks fabulous! Will post a pic sometime.

Buy 'The One You Cannot Have' :

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A book launch and a note from Singapore.

Hi there.

This is a quick post typed in under ten minutes from Singapore (where I am currently on vacation)  using the complimentary hotel wi-fi with a speed so good, you would think you are in a GTA game, driving a Mc.Laren F1, the scenery whizzing past in a blur, zooming from 0 to 180 in 8 seconds flat, adrenaline coursing through your veins with heart pounding madly. I could shift to Singapore, just for the Internet speeds.

The Book launch of 'The One You Cannot have' (on 6th December at Royal orchid Bangalore) went off marvelously.  It was a memorable event--easily one of the best book launches I have ever had. Every single person who attended it, would agree. There was warmth, camaraderie and a spirit of celebration.

Dr.Shyam Bhat (Psychiatrist and Integrative Medicine specialist)  and Vani Mahesh (founder of Easylib) were in conversation with me, about the book. They were both splendid and gracious.

A few readers, who attended the launch  blogged about it. You can read two of the posts about the launch, in the links below:

This is a picture of me, clicked just before I left home, for the launch.

And here are a few more pictures from the launch

Umesh and Vimala Malhotra (Founders of Hippocampus, Bangalore )

Signing the books, after the event

Shinie Antony (an amazing  author. I totally love her writing style and her books) and Vani Mahesh. We had a GREAT time.

For more pictures from the launch go here

The launch was covered by Bangalore times as well as Deccan Chronicle.

The book has been getting some amazing reviews (you can check them out here and here) , and I was thrilled to see it on number 10 in the Amazon bestseller list.

You also ought to see the book at all the leading book-stores in India. (if you don't find it, please let me know :) ) Some select Cafe Coffee Days too are selling my book!

Pic by Saffin Mathew

All in all, I am glad that my 5th baby, has got a grand welcome into this world.

So a large thank you to every single one who made an effort to attend my launch! And also a big thank you to each and every one who bought my book.

And with that I  sign off. I am heading towards all the fabulous malls in Singapore, planning to shop till I drop!

Ciao! Will write again soon.
Till then--keep that sunny smile.


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Thursday, December 05, 2013

Updates from my end, including Bangalore Launch of 'The One You Cannot Have'

So,  the Forbes India Celebrity 100 Nominees List for 2013 is just out.

 Only 10 authors  have made it to the longlist including, yours truly.

A question I keep getting asked is 'How does it feel'?
I do feel proud and happy and also very grateful to all who read me. I also feel a sense of achievement .That's about it! How else am I supposed to feel ? :)

In the other news, TWO of my titles were in the Nielsen Top ten. The One You Cannot Have opened at No.2 !

The reviews have been fabulous (also read the reviews on goodreads) and the mails praising the book have been pouring in. Many people are telling me that it is a 'must-read' for anyone who has broken up. They tell me that it feels like their story. I am delighted that it has struck a chord.

My publishers came up with this poster!

Indigo 91.9 fm which is Bangalore's only English radio station (I listen to it a lot--they play some awesome music)  are putting me on air tomrrow between 11 and 2. I will be in conversation with RJ Shagufta. If you are in bangalore, tune in. You could even win signed copies of the book. :)

To celebrate the success of the book, we are having a grand launch at The Royal Orchid, Bangalore, tomorrow. (6th december 2013). If you are in Bangalore, I would love it if you join me. Kindly mail me on ps(at)preetishenoy(dot)com and I would be happy to send you an invite with all details!

I am looking forward to it--it is going to be fab! :)

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

From a father to his son.

A Guest Post by Satish

Been a long time since I wrote on Preeti’s blog so thought I would give it a go. I could not have chosen a better day.

It was on this day sixteen years back that he arrived in this world. The Doctor said he would arrive the previous day, but he did not feel like it. Guess it was nice, warm and cozy inside, and our man was in no hurry to exert himself. When he did pop out he was so outraged to have been disturbed that he let out a bellow so loud that the hospital shook. The first couple of months were a nightmare. He would not sleep in the night and wanted attention all the time.  He just would not sleep for more than a few minutes. Preeti and I would grab a few minutes of sleep when we could and it was tiring. He would make some of the most horrible faces but when he smiled or gurgled, it was plain beautiful.

After the initial few months he became a model baby. Would eat on time, sleep on time and shower everyone with wide smiles which would simply charm them. I remember once we went to the nearby grocery store and some of the store boys kept staring at us and giggling. When I looked up I realised he was raising his eyebrows repeatedly at them and flashing smiles. He was such a cute baby.

Atul as a baby

 Total strangers came to talk to him, including once when a pretty lady crossed the road to feed him a marshmallow and grab his cheeks saying ‘what a sweetheart’. Note here that Dad was standing there, in fact carrying him, waiting for someone to offer him a marshmallow but no one even thought of offering let alone feeding me. Imagine!  It’s such a cruel world.

Over the years I remember most incidents in his life. Like when he had a fever or when he fell and hurt himself (and needed six stitches on his head) or when he participated in a school play. My heart always swelled with pride when I saw him and I pushed him harder to get him to excel.

Atul as a child,  in his dad's shoes

 I also worried for him and wanted to protect him from any pain not realizing that I may not have been letting him spread his wings and fly. Maybe a part of me subconsciously did not want him to fly away and I wanted to keep him close to my heart. Hindsight is a great thing and I can think of a million ways in which I could have been a better father. He knows that I love him but at times I realise he gets frustrated with me for being over protective.  I have felt the same way with my Dad.  Whether fear and protectiveness is the generation gap or a part of growing up, I cannot say.

Atul had won the first prize at school for clay modelling. This is what he had made.

He is one of the most intelligent kids I have ever seen and his brilliant questions since he was a little boy have often stumped me. Like when watching TV he asked me why a channel was called Star Plus  (and not just Star) or why shadows are black and not in colour!  A number of times when Preeti and I have been stuck with how to do something with a new gadget, this kid would sort it out in two seconds. Every teacher of his till date has said that he has a razor sharp mind, is charismatic, witty and to boot charms all the ladies.  

He has always been so mature for his age. Like on his 9th birthday when he said he did not want any presents but instead wanted us to sponsor a meal and some gifts for the children at an orphanage. Many people have even called us up and said our kids were extremely well behaved and that he in particular took care of his sister so well during a party. He is also so generous by heart, including as a child giving his school jacket to his sister to avoid her getting punished and taking the punishment on himself (Preeti wrote about this incident in 34 B&C). He is very protective about his sister and my heart swelled with pride when he bashed a bigger kid for picking on her and hitting her. Out aloud I said he should not have hit the other child, but in my mind I did a few high fives and cartwheels with supreme parental pride.  

Atul and Lostris whom he adores.
Years flew and he grew. He’s now taller than me. Earlier my baby used to stand on his toes to be taller than me and still fall short. Suddenly one day he was taller.

Atul and Satish

 Am sure he will grow even more than he is not only in height but also in stature. He is dedicated at what he does. On topics that interest him he does a huge amount of research and knows his stuff inside out. During his boards there were days when he studied late in the night and was up again early morning even though he was exhausted. 

Working out has been his passion and he is on the way to six packs very soon. His latest fancy (and I get nightmares about him driving on the unsafe Bangalore roads) is getting a motor bike. He has been relentlessly pestering Preeti and me and it’s currently been postponed till he turns 18.

I am his father and he will always remain my baby but there are so many things I learn from him. Like how to love unconditionally, being self-confident, how not to be selfish and above all pursuing your interests with passion. 
Happy 16th Birthday, my Darling Atul. 

Atul--clicked today (27th November 2013)

You have turned out to be such a fine young man. My heart bursts with such pride and love for you. I may not express it very often but Son, I adore you. You are my world. As your name suggests may you always be incomparable and continue to be a fantastic human being. Proud of you my darling son.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Signing of 'The One You Cannot Have.'

'Preeti, the books have arrived. Around 3000 copies will reach your home at 5.30 pm. It's a request--could you please sign 1500 copies by tomorrow morning? Because they have to be dispatched to places all across India.'

This was the regional manager of Westland speaking to me, on Monday afternoon.

I was flabbergasted. How in the world would I be able to sign 1500 copies by next morning?
It was excessive pressure on me. It seemed like an inexecutable task.
I told him that I will do as many as is humanly possible.

The boxes arrived. There were about 50 of them.

I called up Satish at work and told him my predicament.

"Don't worry baby. You can do it. I will come and help you,' he said.

He was true to his word. He came early from work to help me unpack the boxes.

"How will I sign so many by tomorrow morning?" I asked, still skeptical.
"If it has to be done, it has to be done. Just think, so many people are waiting to read this. Let's just do it," he said.
We cleared  six seater rectangular dining table .
This is how it looked before we began.

Then Satish started piling up the books in neat piles of 15 books,stacked on top of each other.

I began signing.

And signing

And signing.

It was back-breaking work. After a while my hands hurt, my neck hurt and my vision started blurring.
I took a short break.

 Each time I felt down and out, and felt that i could not go on any more, I recalled a post that I had written-- "Why i sign my books with love." 
(Do read it)

Satish was with me for a huge part of it. As soon as I finished signing he would pack them away and say something encouraging. He was my strength. I  don't think I could have done it without him.

This is what he said on facebook:

By 10.30 PM, I began running a fever. I took a Combiflam and I continued signing. I had given my word that I would complete it.

By 1.00 AM, I asked Satish to go and sleep. The next day was a working day. He left reluctantly.

By  1.30 am, I positively wanted to curl up and go to sleep and never wake up.

I think my dog realised what I was feeling. She kept me company through out.
She put her head on my arms. She could sense my emotions. She knew I was down.

I signed till 2.45 am and then I went out like a light--utterly exhausted.
I had finished about 18 boxes.

I woke up in the morning at 5..45 am.  And began signing again.

 By 11.30 am, I had signed the required number. They were promptly picked up by Westland.

I woke up this morning at 4.45 am. There were still 1500 more copies to be signed. This was my view.

 I continued signing upto about 11.00 am, this morning, and now I am finally done, signing the pre-orders.

 My hands are numb, my neck hurts, my whole body is sore and I am still running a fever.

It is such a mixed feeling--triumph, happiness, pain, exhaustion, a sense of achievement and awe of how much the human spirit is really capable of achieving, even when the odds are against you.

A big thanks to all of you who pre-ordered early. You shall be getting your signed copies soon.

Signed with a lot of care and love.
From my home to yours.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the  book.

With love


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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

How to get a teenager to clean their room.

"Mom, now that I have finished my studies, can I have the i-pad that you put away?"

"I'll just give it to you."

15 minutes later.

"Mom, can i have the i-pad?"

"Yes. Wait."

10 minutes later.

"Mom , you said I could have the i-pad. Can you at least tell me, where you hid it?"

"I will give it to you."

12 minutes later.

"Mom, please can I have the i-pad?"

"Yes. I will. Will do it in a bit."

10 minutes later.

"MOM--are you even listening to me? Or are you in a zombie mode?"

"Shhh..I am reading. Let me finish this"

5 minutes later

"Mom--are you done? I pad please?"

"I am not yet done. 5 minutes. I promise."

5 minutes later.

"Mom--five minutes are over."

"Oh is it?  Just coming."

"MOM- I  want the I-pad. PLEASE!"

"Now you know exactly how I feel when I ask you to clean your room."


teen bedroom photo: Clyde. Orange-teen-bedroom-design.jpg

Round one to preeti shenoy :)

 Stay tuned for further updates :)


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Friday, November 01, 2013

TOUCH Thursdays. Conclusion

Hi all,

Apologies for being unable to update yesterday. There were a couple of personal emergencies which cropped up and had to be taken care of. (and hopefully all will be well soon)

Meanwhile, we have been getting a lot of requests for moving the contests to Facebook--as many people want a chance to win the TOUCH mugs and they find the writing prompts hard.

Since we have already done four Touch Thursdays, by popular demand, the contests for TOUCH mug are now moved to my Facebook Author page.

(Recently we crossed a 20,000 likes. A milestone of sorts)

The results of  TOUCH Thursday number four will be announced soon.
All the winners will get a TOUCH Mug and the winning entries will be showcased on the Westland blog, as well as the links will be tweeted by Westland.

A hearty congrats to not only the winners, but to everyone who took part! I am certain you all had fun. (I sure did, reading all the posts).

I shall write again soon. (The books are to arrive at my home soon! The pre-orders will be signed--and I am getting ready for a lot of signing like the last time!)

Stay tuned--and I shall write again soon!


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Monday, October 28, 2013

Is it okay to wear this?

A little while ago when I was browsing on Facebook, a post titled 'Girl you wear shorts? :-O ' caught my attention. The emoticon at the end of the title struck me as particularly though provoking.

After I read the piece I couldn't resist writing a comment.  (click on the above link to read the piece as well as my comment).

It took me back to a time when I was 23. I had just met Satish. We were to get married soon. Among the many things that I asked him, I remember this the most.
"There is something I want to ask you."
"Do ask," he said. (He would tell me many years later that, by the seriousness  of my tone and demeanor , he presumed I was going to confess that I already had a boyfriend)
 "Is it okay if I wear shorts?"

Reading the post took me back to that time---the time where I was conditioned to think that what I wore had to be *approved* by the guy I was getting married to. It wasn't about my choice--it was about whether he thought it was okay or not. That is what I had been conditioned to believe.

I wonder to this day, how I would have reacted had Satish said that he wasn't okay with it. Would I have stopped wearing shorts? (an attire I was most comfortable in, and which remains my preferred attire to this day)

As women, we all want to look good, attractive, sexy. I guess not just women, even the men want to look great too ( Men as sex objects-- a trend which I saw being reflected  well in a bollywood flick. For once it wasn't about women--I liked that.)

But I don't see too many men asking their wives or girlfriends, "Is it okay if I wear shorts?" It seems to be taken for granted that men  know what to wear, and women have to 'seek approval'. (be it from society or parents or boyfriends or even other women)

I know a lot of married women in India, have to dress in a certain manner (whether it is out of their choice or not) because their  in-laws and husbands will not otherwise approve. This aspect of the Indian society does find it's way into my writing too. In my new book 'The One You Cannot Have', Shruti who is a young urban professional, who wears mostly skirts and trousers to work, faces this issue when her mother-in-law and father-in-law visit her.

I do believe that if you are an adult, living on your own and you are not financially dependent on your parents, you have a right to decide what to wear. You may choose to wear a saree  when you go to a temple and a pair of shorts or a  short dress when you go to a mall. You may decide to wear a salwar kameez when you go and visit an old aunt, and you may decide to wear a short skirt and killer heels, for a night out at the pub. The point I am trying to make it that it is  *Your choice.* You know what is appropriate to wear.

Nobody has the right to tell you what to wear and not wear---not your cousin, not your husband, not your best friend.

And wearing a saree does not make one a great individual, than wearing a pair of shorts makes you 'cheap'. Recently Kim Kardashian faced a lot of flak, for posting a picture of herself in a bikini, after she became a mother.

*Behave like a mother with a baby at home* seemed to be the gist of most criticisms. How does posting a picture of herself in a bikini have anything to do with motherhood?! Does Kim Kardashain become a bad mother because of what she wears? 

Definitely not.

I think it is high time we stop trying to shame people because of their attire. If you don't like it, don't look. And if you think it is cheap or inappropriate, then perhaps it is time to introspect and look within.

Picture clicked yesterday. I am wearing a dress that I like a lot.


I got a mail from a reader which i thought was worth sharing--especially as she talks of women 'Slut shaming' other women. So relevant. So true.  Here is the message I got:

Just read your post "Is it okay to wear this?" Messaging you here as I'm unable to comment from an openid. It really speaks to the double standard that men seldom have to ask themselves that question in the context of moral decency. One particular instance I vividly recall was when I was in high school in and got weird looks and comments for wearing a knee length skirt--from men who were wearing lungis hitched up high and short. This whole chastising people for what they wear thing is just another way of men controlling women, and sadly, women are just as much to blame when they "slut shame" other women. As a friend of mine recently pointed out- there's no male equivalent for "slut". Really appreciate your speaking up on this.


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Thursday, October 24, 2013

TOUCH Thursday No.4 (and results!)

Hi there,

So here are the results of TOUCH  (The One You Cannot Have) Thursday Number 3. If you are new to this blog, check out THIS post which tells you all about Touch Thursdays.

The winning entry which gets the TOUCH mug is

written by Megha Sinha

Hearty congrats Megha! please send me your email id and Westland will get in touch with you.

The other entry which got a special mention (as it came very close to winning)  is

written by Geevika Bhatia.

All the others scored more or less the same marks.

One of the things that the judges (from Westland) observed is that nobody had anything new to say other than trust and unconditional love.(which is what are the foundations of any loving relationship--so I guess all of you were bang on there).

One of the things I observed this time, was that very few men took part. :) I wonder why :)

 In case anyone wants to read what I wrote (some time back) on 5 things women want from men, check out this post of mine.

Anyway, here is the writing prompt for Touch Thursday Number 4. 

Describe your idea of a perfect date. (Who would you date?  You can give a fictional name if you don't want to use the real name. What would you do? How will you make it special? How would it end?)

Go on--let your imaginations run. You can date ANYONE. (yeah, any of these men or any of these women  depending on your sexual orientation ;-)  You can even date your ex.  Or soon to be ex or yet to be Mr. or Ms. Right. You can date a politician or an altruist or a space alien or a character from a  book. ANYONE!)

 Write as much as you want. Or as little as you want.

But write a post that makes us all go awwww and believe in love :)

Leave the entries in the widget below:

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Do not link the whole blog. Give only the link to the relevant post.
 Winners will be announced  next Thursday.

Please carry the TOUCH cover if you want Westland to consider your entries:

Good luck and I am waiting to read your description of the perfect date!

psst: A confession--this prompt is making me want to write my idea of a perfect date!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday 39. That which bring me joy.

Often there are no dramatic moments in life. It is the mundane, the little things, the routines that go on to comprise a patchwork, which knits itself into a day that passed. A date on the calendar.

I like to notice little things that make each day special. I write about them (in a private journal) and sometimes I write posts like these--to share things that are made me happy.

 When the weather is gloomy outside, the best way to spend the day is being curled up on the couch :)

On a gloomy day, red can work wonders :)

And yes--these are growing in my garden. Gives me so much joy.

And finally a walk with my 3rd baby. We walk about 3.5 kms every day. She stops to explore the little things.  I notice so much when i take her for a walk--things that I would have otherwise missed.

I am not sure who enjoys it more--she or me.

And even though this was a Wordless Wednesday post, I had to write a few things.
Sometimes, pictures just don't suffice.

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

A matter of interest.

The last two days, I was single parenting as Satish was travelling on work. Handling a hundred things, I realised that i had forgotten to withdraw money from the ATM and I was now out of cash. Not only that, I had selected a 'Pay cash on delivery option' for an online purchase, which would be delivered in the next half an hour.

I told my daugther that I had to rush to the ATM and was grumbling that I was short of time and really tired.

"Don't worry Mama, I will lend you money and it will save you a trip to the ATM," she said. I had forgotten about her 'secret stash'--the money she has been saving from birthday presents and tooth fairies.

"Oh, thank you. Can you lend me Rs.500/-? I shall give it back to you soon,' I replied, relieved and happy at her offer.

"You will have to pay interest." comes her reply.

"No way, You don't pay interest for such a short period of time. I will return back the money, this evening."

"In that case, there will only be a service tax," she says.

Yes--I know :) I am still smiling :) [ and yes, I  took her permission to share this--and there was no service tax for that ;-) ]


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   photo credit: mynameisharsha via photopin cc

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Touch Thursday No.3 (and results!)

And here it is..TOUCH (The One You Cannot Have) Thursday Number 3.

If you are new and want to know what TOUCH Thursdays are, read this post which has all the details.

First the winner of Touch Thursday Number 2..

The winner is

Sumanth Naik.

Here is the winning entry:

Sumanth gets the TOUCH mug which can be personalised with your picture. Please send me your e-mail and  Westland will get in touch with you.

Special mentions (the people who came very close to winning)

Aayush Goyal (he heft his entry as a comment on the post)

 Ruminating Optimist:

Kavya Mysore:

Thank you all for taking part. I really enjoyed reading ALL the entries. (I even left a comment on a few)

Here is the writing Prompt for TOUCH Thursday Number 3.

Anjali is a character in the book. She has dated 6 men and rejected all of them. She is still looking for Mr.Right. She feels it is hard to get what she is looking for.

Her friend Sriram Surve, would say the same about women--that it is hard to understand women.

If you are a guy, write  3 things (or more!) that you really want from women.

If you are a woman, write 3 things (or more)  that you really want from men.

Please carry the TOUCH banner if you want Westland to consider your entry.

Results will be declared next Thursday.

Leave your entries in the widget below. (Link only the specific post, not the whole blog)

If you don't have a blog, leave your entry as a comment in this post.

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Good luck! I so look forward to reading your entries :) ____________________________________________________________________
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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Aman's Facebook Profile! TOUCH

Download  to enlarge and read :) Or right click--open link in new tab--and click again!
Pre order now!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

TOUCH Thursday No.2 (and also results of TOUCH Thursday No.1 !)

Thursday again!

Yes-- I know, you have been waiting for the winners of TOUCH Thursday No.1. A big thank you to all who took part. I read each single one, and each one was forwarded to Westland.
The ones that did not carry the banner were also forwarded but not considered.

The results have just come in.. And the winner of TOUCH Thursday No.1 is

SEEMA !!  Here is her entry:

Seema--Please send me your email id and Westland will get in touch with you and send you the TOUCH Thursday mug (which can be personalized with your picture).

The following people get a special mention:

Aayush Goyal.   (he had left his entry as a comment on my previous post as he does not have a blog)

Kajol Bramhadande:  ( She has  left her entry  as a comment on my previous post)

Preeti Venugopal :

A big BIG thanks to all who took part! I enjoyed reading your thoughts and I hope you enjoyed taking part.

And now, here is TOUCH Thursday No.2

See the picture above. Mark is one of the characters in the book. He is from UK. He has not been to India yet, but plans to visit. He has lived in UK, all his life.

If you had to tell Mark about India, what would you tell him?

You can write Mark an email or just tell him, like you would tell a friend.
It is your choice!

 (To get you started--where will you take him? What will you show him? What do you want him to know about India?)

(Didn't I tell you, it would be fun? :) )

 Write as much as you want or as little as you want! If you want Westland to consider your entry, please carry the TOUCH banner:

Leave your entries in the widget below:

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If you don't have a blog and want to take part, use my comment box. Entries close on 16th october 9.00PM IST.

The results will be declared next Thursday and one lucky winner gets the TOUCH mug :) !
 Good luck!
I can't wait to read what you  will write :)

You can now pre-order The One You Cannot Have from any of the links below :