Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why I sign 'with love'


If you have ever got a signed copy of my books, you would notice that I always sign the books the same way. ‘With love, Preeti Shenoy’. I do not know why most people shy away from expressing love. For me, when I say ‘with love’ I do mean it. Always.

 I have put in my best efforts in my book. I have told a story that is close to my heart in the best possible way that I can. You as a reader are spending time and money to read my story. For me, it is an honour. And when you ask me to sign a book, how can it be with anything other than love? For me it is so important to express it. And it is sincere and from the heart. I get tonnes of mails expressing gratitude. I reproduce one such (with the permission of the writer of course) that moved me deeply.

(I had blogged about how I had signed a 3000 books. And of course, they were all signed 'With love'.)

Here is the that mail which made me feel that my efforts--they are all worth it:


Hi Preeti 

I am Rachesh. I work for an IT company and I am on deputation in US now. 

Birthdays are special days for each one of us. And I take pleasure in being with my family during that day (mine is on 22-January) and make it a point that whichever part of the world that I am in, I be home on my Birthday. What makes it more special is that my sister has her Birthday, a day before mine, which is 21-January.
 This year, unfortunately, I just could not be at home. This assignment had to be extended (it was till December-2012, initially) and I cannot make it home. I really did not have a choice, felt helpless and more than any, sadness spread over since last week. I had to get out of this and I went ahead and ordered a gift for my little sister (she is doing her 2nd semester at a Chennai based Engineering college). I wanted the gift to be special and I ordered "The Secret Wish List" for her. It was gift wrapped and delivered to her, today and do you know what she found on the main page - your sign "With Love". Trust me, it made her day and mine too. Your pain is warranted but the happiness that you have passed on to my sister and me, who is so far away from her, cannot account within our limited vocabulary. 

Thank you! I still remember that blog entry where you had mentioned the pain that you had gone through in signing them (http://justamotheroftwo.blogspot.com/2012/12/how-i-signed-three-thousand-books.html). It’s like eating gooseberry and then drinking water – the sweetness just spreads all over. I have been silently following your blog since 2007 (we used to have blog access in office during those times) and I have read every single blog entry of yours.

 I have read all your 3 books except “The Secret Wish List”. There is so much to say about each blog entry of yours that if I start, pages wont suffice. But, they have made an impact to me. I am an amateur photographer and your entry on Manjadikuru had prompted me to take snaps of them and add them as my cover photo snap in FB. After reading your entry on how to say No, I have found difference in life. Above are just few examples, there are many more throughout these 6 years that I have followed. I check your page everyday, whichever part of the world that I have been to. You are special, your gift and talent is special. I secretly wished, long back, that you would collate your thoughts into a book and trust me when “34 Bubblegum’s and Candies” was released, my happiness had no bounds.

 Please do write more because you really do not know, whom you are changing in what part of the world because they always say one thing – Pen is mightier than the Sword. I wish you the best in life. May Satish be happy, always and Purvi & Atul taste the best of flavours in their lives. 

Sign,
Rachesh 


 So, the next time you see my book signed 'with love', please know that I mean it. From the heart.

And yes--thank you for reading me :)
________________________________________________________________


 Check out my latest book here where it has been getting some fabulous reviews. You don't need a credit card. You can even pay cash on delivery. It has a whopping discount too :)

And hey--If you like my blog, you might enjoy my books :) Grab them here. :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A perfect fairy tale life



 Today I  was featured in this list of 'world class women achievers'. (along with the likes of Kiran Bedi and Anoushka Sharma).

It was indeed a pleasure and an honour to have been chosen.

 I do get many mails from many women who tell me they find my life inspirational. My life does sound like a 'perfect-fairy tale' to so many people out there. So  I  thought I will write a post to tell you about the grit behind the glamour, about the struggle to get where I am today. This article is mainly for the women readers out there. (though men are welcome to read and/or comment too!).

Several years back, I made a conscious  choice to quit my  corporate career and be a stay-at-home mom. It was indeed a very difficult choice because, ever since I was a child, it was my dream to be financially independent. I was certain I would have a corporate career and rise to the top. That was all I ever wanted.  But when I became a mother, I changed in ways that I never thought possible. I wanted to be there for my children and no way was I leaving them in someone else's care. So I had to kill that dream (of a corporate career with financial independence) , because I couldn't have both--I couldn't have a career as well as be a full time mom.

'Nothing but the best for both my children. after all if I have quit my career, I am going to be the best mother that I can be,' I had decided. But it wasn't that easy. (I made a choice and I  breastfed both my children for one and a half years each. I had read up several studies and articles about how breastfeeding increases children's IQ by several notches. Click here to read one such from the Scientific American.) Firstly the demands of a baby are  round the clock. You get no respite, no off, no free-time. Also, if you are breast-feeding, your diet has to be adequate. You have to eat enough and very nutritious food in order to be able to produce the required quantity. And oh--the pain! Breast-feeding is bloody hard! You have to be there all the time, around the baby. For me it was very hard. But I stuck to the decision because that was what I wanted at that point in time.

In  the initial five years of both of our children's lives, I don't think Satish and I have ever eaten a meal together. We have raised our children, all by ourselves--with no help from anyone. (Satish had lost his mom long before I got married to him and my mom's health did not permit her to stay with us to help look after). Also Satish had a job which involved a lot of travel and so most of the time I was alone. While I did enjoy my children immensely, any parent knows how demanding child care can be. You have to be alert 24x7. You have to be there all the time. There are so many days when I wouldn't even have had time to have a bath till late evening, and sometimes only when Satish came from work would I even have time to shower.

I read to my children a LOT. (It has paid rich dividends now. Both are avid readers). I did a lot of 'brain games' with them. I did a lot of  activities, which required them to be creative and required them to think. I discovered that I was naturally good with children. When my son was one and a half, I got an offer to teach in a pre-school. My condition to them, was that my son should be allowed to join me. They had no issues with that and I used to take him with me and drive to work. I really enjoyed my job and the stimulation my son recieved from so many children was something fantastic. When he was two and a half, I shifted him to another pre-school (as I didn't want him becoming too dependent on me) and I continued to teach there, till I had my daughter.

Once I gave birth to my daughter, I teamed up with a good friend and we started running 'thinking workshops' for kids, twice a week as an after-school acitivity. There was nothing of the kind at that time, and the parents as well as the children absolutely loved it. The children who used to attend our workshops didn't want to go home! They were that much fun and the amount of stuff they learnt and were exposed to was phenomenal.

Satish's job was a transferable  one and soon we moved to Pondicherry. Again, they saw how good I was with children and they offered me a teaching job in my children's school which I accepted. Then we moved cities again.

After we settled down, I started Art classes for children and they were really well received. There used to be a long wait-list to join my classes. I also used to do my own 'summer camps' for children, offering them experiences which they never had before.

I also did several workshops for children for some international schools. One of the International schools offered me a teaching job (with excellent pay) but before I could accept, Satish's career required us to move again, this time to Pune.

So I had to again give up my dreams and put whatever I wanted to do, on hold. I felt very bad about it. But again made a choice to put my family before my career.

I was the rock for my family.Satish will happily admit that his career would never be where it is today (he is in the senior management in an MNC) had it not been for my  full and complete support. (His job involved a LOT of travel and I managed the home and both kids always, all on my own--never have I grumbled as it was a choice I made). I was always there for the children when they came back from school. I have never employed a cook, as I am finicky about cooking for my family. Satish and I cook all the meals together.

Was all this difficult? Yes--it was very very hard to be the 'good corporate wife'. The problem with Indian society is that if you are a 'stay-at home' mom, you are never treated on par with 'working mothers'. Somehow in India, stay-at-home moms are truly not given the importance they deserve, as the work they do has no 'economic significance'.  I faced my share too. In fact, I remember after one of the office parties, I had cried and cried because of an insensitive remark by one of the 'working women' about 'housewives'. (and years later, it is so darn satisfying to have 'made it big' :-))

To this day I have a problem with the term 'housewives'. They are definitely not 'house-wives' they are home-makers.

Anyway, my life changed dramatically when I lost my father all of a sudden. For those interested, I have blogged about my journey as a writer in my 500th post which I wrote when my second book came out. (I wrote that book when I was in the UK. We had again shifted countries by then)

That book (Life is what you make it) continues to be in top ten on the Nielsen list.  
  
After that I wrote ' tea for two and a piece of cake'. That book was among the top five best-selling Indian fiction of 2012.

My fourth book 'The secret wishlist' has broken all records. It is just three months since it has been released. It finds a mention in the latest issue of Business World.





For me, what it means more than anything else, is that my words reach thousands and thousands of people and have an impact on their lives. I get mails from thousands of people telling me how my writing has changed their lives. I feel grateful for the gift.

My children are now 15 and 12 (nearly). I am able to work  really hard at my writing as they are pretty independent. Now I am able to travel for my events, as they can manage well without me. They are so darn proud of all that I have achieved, as is Satish who is one of my biggest supporters and he will happily declare that he is my biggest fan.


Now finally, my long cherished dream  of being financially independent  (which I thought I would never be able to achieve) has come true too. 

So, if you are a stay-at-home mom, feeling bad about giving up your dreams, your interests, have hope.
Children grow up. The time that you spend with them will never come back. Nurture your interests side-by-side and do not quit doing that one little thing which you do for yourself, which gives you joy. (In my case it was working with children initially, and later writing).  Hold on to it. Nurture it. Protect it. It is easy to forget it in the daily rigours and demands of parenting and running a home.

Have hope and believe in your dreams.
They do come true.

I can vouch for this  :-) After all I  lead a  perfect fairy-tale life  ;-)
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Check out my latest book here where it has been getting some fabulous reviews. You don't need a credit card. You can even pay cash on delivery. It has a whopping 41 percent discount too :)


And hey--If you like my blog, you might enjoy my books :) Grab them here. :)




Thursday, March 21, 2013

Three handmade cards--a giveaway

Most of you know (or at least I presume, the regular readers) would know that I make cards (and have sold so many by now too!) in between writing books.  (Have even been featured in The Indian Express for my cards!) :)

Over the last two days, my creativity has been on an overdrive :-) I didn't want to quill but wanted to make something pretty and nice. Something connected to wishes coming true. (My book The secret wish list is a story about finding the courage to manifest your wishes and it is also a contemporary romance :-) What is life without love, after all!)

I made one card but I wasn't satisfied with it at all. So I destroyed it. Yeah--I am like that :-) if something doesn't make me happy, I get rid of it!

Then I made these three cards--which I am super pleased with.





 








I am hosting a blog giveaway for these three cards.
 They are blank inside and  they come with matching envelopes :-) I think a loved one would be delighted to receive one of these--don't you agree? They would be mailed in a hardcover envelope.)

What do you have to do to enter?

Answer two simple questions.

1. How many pages does my latest book ' The Secret Wish list' have?

2. Who is the last one who has been mentioned in the acknowledgement pages? :-) (Hint--She has been featured many times in this blog! )


Enter your details in the widget below after you answer the questions in the comments section.






a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

__________________________________________________________

 Check out my latest book here where it has been getting some fabulous reviews. You don't need a credit card. You can even pay cash on delivery. It has a whopping 41 percent discount too :)


And hey--If you like my blog, you might enjoy my books :) Grab them here. :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday no.35. Magic


Yes I made this! :)



This is my entry for Wordless Wednesday.
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 Check out my latest book here where it has been getting some fabulous reviews. You don't need a credit card. You can even pay cash on delivery.


And hey--If you like my blog, you might enjoy my books :) Grab them here. :)

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Ten things needed to be a writer


Saturday had a nice surprise for me. I was featured on the cover page of  Calcutta times of Times of India along with Ashwin, Ravinder and Amish.


And  the Deccan chronicle (Kerala) which came out with  a special two year anniversary issue today featured me as well.

Click to enlarge and read.



For more Media coverage click HERE.
Of course I feel super proud about all of this. Cris from Deccan chronicle who had contacted me said that my life really feels like a fairy-tale. (after reading the piece in the paper). I told her that since the newspaper article had a 250 word constraint, I really couldn't elaborate the struggle and the work that was involved in getting here. Today I was interviewed by E-fiction India as well for their April issue. They had a video interview as well as a print interview.

Most people see only the glamour and the shine. They ask what is my advice to writers. They ask what my books are about. They ask where I get my inspiration from.

What most people do not ask is what it involves.


If you plan to write a book, or be a writer, here is what the newspapers don't ask and what I have to say to you :

1. Grow a thick skin. You will face a lot of criticism, harsh comments and scathing words from people who wouldn't have written a single article in their life. :-) And of course it will hurt. Which is why the thick skin will help.

2. Be prepared to be alone. Writing is a lonely profession. You will perhaps have to give up time with friends, social outings, parties in order to finish that book. Churning out 75,000-80,000 words (which is what will constitute a full length novel) needs a lot of hours of sitting by yourself.

3. Be prepared to lose a few friends. It will happen. Trust me on this :) I speak from experience.

4. Stop waiting for inspiration, mood or 'right time'. You have to write--you damn well write!  Don't make excuses. Make time!

5.If you feel you aren't good enough compared to other writers, it is a great thing! It means there is room for growth.

6. Ignore the ones who discourage. Avoid them like the plague. If you have made up your mind to write a book, do it.

7. Rejections are going to hurt, hurt, hurt and hurt. Face them!

8. Believe in yourself and be honest in all you have to say.

9. Read a LOT.LOT. Lot. Lot. lot.

10. Write a LOT.LOT. Lot. Lot. lot.

This is all I have to say. Good night to those on this side of the planet and good morning to those on the other side.
Until the next post.
Ciao!
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my latest book here where it has been getting some fabulous reviews. You don't need a credit card. You can even pay cash on delivery.


And hey--If you like my blog, you might enjoy my books :) Grab them here. :)


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Eighteen.

Most couples celebrate their wedding anniversaries. We don't.

Instead we celebrate the day that we first met. And today completes 18 years. Our relationship is finally an adult :)

A friend of mine used to tell me that marriages should be renewable contracts. They should last for seven years and at the end of it, one should have an option whether to renew it or not. Then people would work that much harder at their marriages. If marriages came with that option I am certain Satish might have terminated the contract long back :) If he didn't I would have, for sure. :)

We are so darn different, he and I. We are complete opposites in many ways.  He loves the old Hindi songs and Old English songs and my tastes in music are eclectic. When it comes to fitness, I am a dedicated fitness enthusiast and a yoga buff. He couldn't care less about exercise or fitness! He loves food. While I do cook tasty stuff for him and the kids, but  if someone would invent a pill that will take care of all the nutritional needs by popping it, instead of eating, I would opt for that any day! I am indifferent towards food. It doesn't excite me the way it excites most people I know. He loves ice-creams, desserts and sweets. I hate them!
His attitude to parenting  too, is so different from mine. I tend to be liberal, loving but firm and I aim to make the children self-sufficient and highly independent (as that is how I was raised). I never run around in the morning, trying to help them to find their socks and belt and other stuff. (My take on this is that they have to learn to do it themselves--heck they are 15 and 11. Old enough!) But he, being the devoted father will find their stuff for them, fill their water-bottles for them and will even run around finding pens, pencil boxes and what not.

When it comes to personalities too, we are as different as chalk and cheese. He is calm and composed almost all the time, Nothing rattles him. I am animated, excited, enthusiastic. I  am highly sensitive and I feel deeply for even the smallest things. I cried for hours when I heard of the beagles in Bangalore on whom horrendous tests were performed by the pharmaceutical companies for drug testing. He felt bad that I was crying but things like these do not affect him as much as they affect me.
I looooooooooooove dogs. So do the kids. He got a dog just for my sake (even though I never asked for it). He detests them!(but yet he will take her for a walk everyday!)

He jokes with me saying that he deserves a Padmashri award for putting up with me for so many years. I retort back saying, if he gets a Padmashree, i deserve  Bharat ratna for sure! :)

We have had our share of the nastiest fights. I remember once after a particularly nasty fight, I stomped out with the car keys, banging the door shut, in the middle of the night, with just my mobile phone. Once I was inside the car, I kept hoping he would call me, as I did not want to drive around in my night clothes. So I sat inside the car waiting. He did not call. After two hours of waiting (yeah I sat that long in the car!) I quietly swallowed my pride and ego and I crept back home  and found him waiting for me on the sofa.
'Why didn't you call? What if I was in some accident?' I asked him angrily.
'Because I peeped out of the kitchen window and saw you sitting in the car and I kept watching you. And I knew you hadn't driven off, as I kept listening for the sound of the ignition, ' he said.
Then we both burst out into laughter.

I guess what we share in common is a terrific sense of humour.(apart from the love of books. He too, like me, reads a LOT) Oh, how we laugh! More than anything being together is so much fun. He makes me laugh and I make him laugh. (and sometimes we make each other cry and pull out our hair in frustration too! :P )

Eighteen years is a long time.
And if you ask me today if I want to renew the contract, I would say yes. For a lifetime.

I love you Satish Shenoy.
For standing by me through the worst of times and being prouder than me of all that I have achieved.
For being the wind beneath my wings and the anchor when the seas were rough.
For being the rock, the safety net and the support system, all rolled into one.
For being a wonderful balance to my rather volatile, unpredictable and impulsive nature.
For making me laugh and putting up with some of  the silliest of demands.

But most importantly for never letting go :)
We have had some bad times, but I think the great times we have had, far outweigh, outshine and 'out-dazzle' the bad ones.
Yes, we have both grown up and we have come a long way.
It hasn't been easy but oh--it has been totally worth it :)



______________________________________________________________________________


Check out my latest book here where it has been getting some fabulous reviews. You don't need a credit card. You can even pay cash on delivery.


If you like my blog, you might enjoy my books :) Grab them here. :)





Thursday, March 14, 2013

Why I cannot read stuff that you send



Okay. So this is a 'semi-rant' post.  It is different from my usual 'oh-look-at-the-bright-side' posts. Because sometimes you just have to say it like it is. There is no other way.

I know you folks, the nice folks, (the folks who read my blog :)) probably know all of this. But the blog is where I can express myself. I have to clarify certain things over and over, because I get asked the same things again and again and again , mostly by people who don't know me at all.
So here goes:

I am a full time writer now. Yes, I am honoured that you consider me worthy enough to give you  suggestions on your writing. I appreciate your taking time out and sending me your work. Thank you. But no--I will not be able to read what you send me. The reason is that I simply have no time .I know that you might be thinking--but reading what I send will take only a few minutes and it will mean a lot to me if you read  and offer feedback. Yes, I appreciate you are eager to have a published author offer opinion on your work, but my answer remains no.

Allow me to explain.

1. I have a huge reading list already. I am  also working on my fifth  ninth book (and that itself is a mammoth task which consumes my every waking hour--if I am not writing I am thinking about the book), I am writing articles for a magazine, I am reading a manuscript for an author friend and giving inputs,  I am giving newspaper interviews, I am managing my social media pages and after all of that I definitely want to have some time for myself, for my family, for my dog who is my third baby and for my art. I want to read the stuff I like to read. I read 2-3 books at a time. For example, right now I am reading this brilliant book called 'The half of a yellow sun' by  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and I am reading another amazingly outstanding book called 'Nobody can love you more' by Mayank Austen Soofi and a third called 'How to talk with your angels' by Kim O Neill.

2. I get at least 12-15 requests a day, where people ask me to read and offer suggestions. For me to do that I will need at least 3-4 hours (if I were to read all and I cannot be partial and read only one). I  am sorry, I simply cannot afford to spare that kind of time.

3.I blog because I like to blog. So I make time for it. I read the books I want to read. And since my time is limited, I choose to read the stuff I want to, stuff that gives me joy, makes me happy! :) It is simple.

4. I am not as easy person to please. I don't mince words. Most people want praise. They really don't want feedback. I don't like to discourage people. I will be happy if you are published. I do wish you all the best. But sorry, I cannot mentor you or hold your hand while you pursue your dream. I have too much going on in my life already.

5. When I politely refuse to read or offer 'advice' on whether people should quit their present job and become a full time writer (they wouldn't even have a single newspaper article published in their name. They wouldn't have written before. Yet they want me to make a decision for them! They want me to tell them it is easy--go ahead a be a writer, throw away your day-job)  then they mail me back saying "I will show you one day. Today is your time. So you think you are great. Tomorrow will be my time. I will mail you a copy of my book one day."
Hello!! I am not competing with you!! If you become a full time writer and get your book published. good for you! I will still read it only if it interests me and if the writing is brilliant! Heck, i might even review it on my blog for you ;-)

6. Yesterday  my fellow author Manreet  Sodhi  Someshwar and I were having an exchange on Twitter about the crazy requests that we writers get.  Many of us get mails all the time where, people ask us to mail them a copies of our book!
Hello again! The publishing industry is like any other industry. I guess asking a writer to mail a copy of the book, is like asking Salman Khan to send a free ticket to his movie. He should oblige right? After all I am his fan and it is just one movie ticket for him :)

7. Another remark from a well intended person (I don't remember who said it and so I presume it was well intended but I remember the words so well because I hear variations of this very often)  made casually which still has me smarting is (and I quote verbatim)  "For you what--it is so easy. press a button and ting a book will pop out."
Yes--that is right. Hundreds of hours of sitting up writing, giving up going to movies with friends because you have to write, not socialising because you are in the middle of a book, sitting alone with no-one but yourself for company days on end, feeling inadequate and insecure on the days that words won't come, second guessing about the worthiness of plot, looking for reader affirmations, writing, editing, re-writing, writing and more writing till at last the manuscript is finished--oh yes--all that is 'Ting--and a book comes out'.


Writing is full time work.
We write because we love to write. Because we have stories to tell. Because we want to connect. Because we can touch lives. Because we have so much to express. Because we love words.

Do we love praise? yes.
Do we like being forced to read stuff we dont want to read?  No.
Do we like our readers? We love them, we would be nothing without them.
Will you read my work? NO

I guess I have said what I have wanted to say. And yes I feel better now.
Next time I get a request I will point them to this post.

 Thank you for reading :)

_______________________________________________________________________

Check out my latest book here where it has been getting some fabulous reviews. You don't need a credit card. You can even pay cash on delivery.

If you like my blog, you might enjoy my books :) Grab them here. :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Are you a good friend?

As a writer I am constantly observing people, analysing them, trying to see things from their perspective and most of all seeking what makes people tick (or stop ticking as the case may be). I used to do it even before I became a writer too. It's just the way I am wired.
One of my degrees (I have several and varied educational qualifications) is a Masters degree in Sociology which --no prizes for guessing-- is one of my favourite subjects too. Social psychology and I have spent many happy hours together. But that does not make me an expert but it sure gives me many perspectives which I might not have considered before.

Of late, I have begun analysing relationships a lot. Especially friendships. Friends are truly the family we choose for ourselves. It is interesting to see what kind of friends you have chosen for yourself. Your choices speak volumes about you, as a person.

Satish used to tell me 'There are no permanent friends or no permanent enemies.' I used to never agree with him and I used to argue with him, with examples. Two of my closest friendships  are both a friendship of 31 years! The other longest friendship I have is a friendship of 21 years. Yes--I am still very good friends and in regular touch with these three people and I met two of them recently.

And yet, the older I get and  the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that Satish's statement is right.

Who is a friend really?

I found this interesting link which tells you what makes a good friend. (Read it and find out if you qualify to be a good friend).

I think at certain point in our lives, certain people are 'friends'. Then situations change, various things happen and some friendships break and some last.

 The most important thing to remember,  if you want your friendship to last, is to realise what is important to the other person, and make an effort to accept that. Once you see things from their point of view, then you understand them. You probably can accommodate their expectations and it may not seem all that unreasonable as it did in the first place.

 Also one thing which most of us don't follow is to forgive. It is hard when the wounds are deep. We keep thinking about that thing which a person did which hurt us. It isn't easily forgotten. Maybe buried deep down--but it exists.

Over the years I have lost a few good friendships. I have tried my best to retrieve them. On one occasion, even though I felt it wasn't my 'fault' (it never is one person's fault alone) I  must have apologized  at least 15 times over a period of one year. I kept hoping that my friend would let it go and we could resume the easy camaraderie we shared. But no--she was unyielding and I gave up after 3 years of trying.

I think if a relationship matters to you, you have to do your best to save it. If there is still no effort from the other side, let it go. Do not relentlessly pursue.
 
Your time with that person is over. Life's journey is long. Move on--there are better people waiting to happen. If you keep lamenting about what could have been you are closing the door on what is to be. And what is to be is usually better. And yes, accept that it hurts and it is going to hurt for a long long time.

Yesterday, I had this visual as the Display picture on my Blackberry Messenger.



A friend on my BBM pinged me and said 'wow. This is worth framing really'. I agreed with him.

Very often we complicate out own lives.

Keep it simple. Be with the ones who want you! Let go of the ones who don't!

Celebrate each day and be grateful for the ones you are there for you!

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ps: If you want to share stories of your friendships--that exist or those that went  sour, or any thoughts on friendship, please feel free! I would love to hear them.

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pps: 
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 :)





Sunday, March 10, 2013

Scattered windows- connected doors. Celebrating Women.

Some time back I had mentioned on my blog about being featured in a documentary film made by the all woman production house zero rules, and how awesome it was to be a part of it. The documentary 'Scattered windows--connected doors' features eight inspiring Indian women who have defined success their way. And yes, I was a part of it.

A short version of this was made for Accenture India, as a part of their International Womens  Day celebrations. The longer version of this (which is a work in progress and expected to be ready by the end of the month) will be screened at International Film Festivals, and other film festivals. And it might even be released in the multiplexes in India! (fingers crossed!)

The response to the documentary which premiered at accenture was PHENOMENAL. It was very well made, beautifully captured and completely grabbed the audience attention from the start. Awesome cinematography by Bakul Sharma and Brilliant Direction by Roohi Dixit and Ziba Bhagwagar has resulted in a 'must watch' film. (It is not yet available online. Will share when it becomes available)

See for yourself what I am raving about--here are the teasers:








I was also a part of the panel discussion which happened at Accenture on 8th March 2013. Accenture has a networking forum called Vaahini and it is open to not just Accenture employees but to the others too. (click on the link to know more about it. It is a really useful Forum). It has about 64000 members and  non-members could register and login and watched the proceedings live. (which I thought was pretty awesome).


 I felt wonderful to meet Roohi and Ziba, once again. I missed Bakul.

Bakul Sharma, Roohi Dixit and Ziba Bhagwagar



 Three days of intense shooting (they were in my home with the film crew, from morning to night for three whole days) resulted in a great emotional connect with them, and we have become good friends now.
At Accenture office. Roohi and me.


 The documentary received well-deserved applause and then the panel discussion started. For me it was a mind blowing experience to interact with Akai, who is a transgender. The other person on the panel was differently abled (hearing) and yet has a successful career. It was moderated by Rebecca Schmitt from Accenture, who has been with the company for 18 years and is the HR Director at Accenture. Akai's story moved everyone to tears and when she finished there wasn't a dry eye in the audience. I was deeply moved by her story. I shall put up the videos of the panel discussion as and when they become available online.

 I got many messages after the panel discussion where people told me they felt very inspired after hearing me (I am so glad) and here is one message, which someone wrote on my FB page, after the discussion: "Dear Priti, heard you on Vaahini's discussion panel yesterday. It was truly inspiring, motivating and like thousand others I wanted to tell you that your book has pushed me to make and full fill my secret wish list!!! "

 All in all, a great event and kudos to Accenture to organize it on this scale. (They had organized it really well and every small detail was taken care of. I was very impressed with their offices too) . After the event, many people came upto me and told me that they read my blog silently and have been reading for many years but they don't comment. They said they wait for the posts and check everyday if there is a new post. :)

 For me, my readers are indeed special. I have an emotional connect with my readers. Those who have been reading my blog for many years, will know the amount of support that I have got from the blogging community and I am grateful for that!

Have a great sunday folks--and do watch the teasers embedded here and tell me what you thought of it. Would love to hear from you.

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