Friday, April 26, 2013

Never regret

So, there is this new series that I have started on my Facebook page.

For the last few days, I have been posting visuals (that I create myself) with a powerful message, usually linked to my books. (Most of you who have read my books will know that almost all my books contain a message narrated through a racy story, full of twists and turns and love, much like life :) )
These have been so well received that they got more than 10,000 views within hours of posting!

 I realised that some of my blog-readers may not be following my FB page. So thought I would post them here, every now and then. (not all at one go, but one at a time :) )

Here is the first one:


Think about it.
It is true.

From each bitter experience that you have had, you have learnt something. You have changed in some way.
And you wouldn't be where you are today but for your experiences.

They make us grow.

If you want to share anything that helped you grow, made you a better person, feel free to use my comment box.

I leave for Kolkata tomorrow. I will be at Starmark, South city Mall at 6.30 pm.
Till I return,
Much love! :)
 _____________________________________________________________________


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. :)

 




Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Meet me at Kolkata :)




If you happen to be in Kolkata on 26th April (Friday) I will be at Starmarks, South city Mall.
Eminent fashion designer Agnimitra Paul will launch ' The Secret Wish list' and I will be in conversation with Prof.Arupa Lahiriy

If you are on facebook, here is the link to the event page.
https://www.facebook.com/events/386239934822963/

I also got featured in two interviews today.


Afternoon Voice (Mumbai) featured me.

Womens Web too has published a really nice interview with me, where they have asked some questions which are different from the ones I am usually asked. I enjoyed doing that one. They are also doing a book-giveaway and for a chance to win a copy of 'The Secret Wish list' all you have to do is leave a comment on THEIR post.(Not on mine!)

here is the link to the post:
http://www.womensweb.in/articles/preeti-shenoy-author-interview/

See you soon!

And  if you can't make it, wish me luck please :-) (for Kolkata)

___________________________________________________________________

ps: regular readers would have noticed that i am trying to blog every other day. Hope I keep it up at least for a month! :)

pps:
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. :)



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Get a Pet!

After that rather serious and depressing last post, I thought I would tell  show you  something that makes me happy. Very happy.




Can you see the little fella in my hand?


Yes?

His name is Sparkle. :)

 And he isn't alone. He has a partner too.

Meet Snowy.




Don't ask me why I got them. I don't know. They were just irresistible. I had no intentions really of getting them home. I swear.

I was on my way back home after meeting Amish Tripathi  when I chanced upon a pet-store. Being the animal lover that I am, I instructed my driver to stop as I just wanted to have a quick look.(Pet stores in the UK are amazing and I wanted to see how the ones in India measure up). I have previously owned Hamsters (I have blogged about it). This time however, I didn't intend to buy anything. Honest!

I looked at all the dwarf hamsters, the hamsters, the budgies and even the poor cats in cages (I felt very sorry for them) , the parakeets and the love-birds (I felt sorry for them too). Then I saw these. I was fascinated as they looked really cute. The guy who owns the shop, of course could immediately tell that I love animals. He quickly took them out and put them into my hands. They sat so still, loved to be petted and something in me melted completely.

I have never owned guinea pigs before, but I had read lots about them while researching for an article I had written a long time back for Readers Digest, on pets. I knew that Guinea pigs were easily tamed and not too hard to look after. I was hooked and I bought a pair then and there.

And that is how Snowy and Sparkle entered my life.




If you are contemplating on getting a small pet for your child (or  for yourself as even if you don't have children, but you live alone and want one for yourself, guinea pigs are a good option as they can be left alone during the day and they will  welcome you when you come back from work :) ) guinea pigs are great. Please remember however that they live for about 5-6 years and be prepared to give some time to them. Unlike Hamsters, guinea pigs love company and are easily tamed. They are ideal for apartments and flats and do not need much space. (But of course need your time and care).

 
Guinea pigs are fairly easy to look after. You of course have to clean their cage every day. Using fleece to line their cage is a really good idea.(You will have to wash it once a week) If you want to know more about it, use this link  which I found very useful and informative. If you want to see some videos about guinea pigs cages, please see this. If you want to know how to care for them and how to house them, watch this.

Guinea pigs have sensitive feet--so you wouldn't want them to keep them in cages which has bars for a bottom.  I use fleece to line my guinea pigs home :) There is a LOT of material available on the Internet about guinea pigs and so read up well, before you get them.


Mine call out to me each morning--Mweep mweep mweep--they stand on their hind legs and actually call me!  They are adorable! So cute. And they bring me so much joy.

Having a pet for  your child, is hugely beneficial. Having a pet teaches a child responsibility, empathy, caring for another creature and it also aids in their social, cognitive and emotional development. Very often it is the parents who hesitate to get their child a pet because of the trouble involved. Several articles such as this one  or this or this one will tell you the benefits of having a pet. Many parents, in fact get hamsters (whose life span is only two years) to teach the children about loss, letting go and enjoying the present.

I have grown up with animals. When I was a child, my home was very near Blue Cross, in Chennai and after school, I have spent many happy hours there in the company of creatures that needed love and caring.

And it has definitely made me a better person.

If you are prepared to spend a little time and effort, and if you are willing to take a little bit of extra trouble (after all, having a pet means a long term commitment and it is also work) get a small pet for your child. It would  mean the world to your child and you will be gifting them indelible, happy and amazing childhood memories--the best gift really.

____________________________________________________________
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, April 21, 2013

On rapes and child sexual abuse.


If you find strong language offensive or if you are under 18, please do not read this post. I am writing this disclaimer in the beginning as I know many of my friends children, read my posts. This post is definitely not for kids.
________________________________________________________________________________

The recent bestial, horrific and utterly savage rape of the five year old leaves me sick to the pit of my stomach. Try as I might, I can't get over the horrifying brutality which that innocent would have been subjected to.

 How can rape be explained?

Psychologists and Sociologists have differing views. (One of my numerous degrees is a masters in Sociology which also happens to be a subject that fascinates me).

Psychologists say that the  Rapists are mentally unsound and have probably been subject to a lot of atrocities, cruelties, while growing up.
Sociologists feel that rape is about gender inequality. It is about expression of power and  dominance. Men rape,  to 'keep women in their place'. Men are indeed more powerful physically and in many societies economically as well as politically too, the balance tips in favour of men.

Perhaps some men may have psychological issues, when they rape women.  And others may be perfectly sane men. Whatever be the motive, the fact is rape cannot happen without sexual arousal.

 Are men who rape such a slave to their penises and urges? Or is it that they consider women 'unworthy' of being anything but a 'c**t'? Is culture to blame?  Is the upbringing of these men to blame? Have these men grown up watching their fathers and elders beat up women regularly and forcing themselves on women, that they think such behavior is really okay? That women 'deserve' it.

Whatever it is, there simply is no excuse for rape. And when it is a child, it sickens me so much, it makes me want to throw up.

The laws have to be made STRINGENT. Courts have to speed up trial.  Let there be fast-track courts for rape cases where the victims aren't questioned by insensitive brutes, but trained counselors. Castrate the bastards who dare rape. Let them live, but castrate them so they live with the shame of their deeds. Make their faces public. (Why the hell is the face of the rapist of the five year old hidden with cloth?) Do not allow people to forget. Tatoo 'I am a rapist' on their foreheads so they can't hide. Let them be made examples of, so that not a single person will even dare think of rape. There is a strong need for such deterrent action.

As parents however, we have to make our children aware, without scaring them. The statistics for Child sexual abuse speak a horrifying story and this even when most of the cases are hushed up.

Here are some facts about Child sexual abuse:


  • Most children are abused by someone they know and trust.
  • An estimated 60% of perpetrators of sexual abuse are known to the child but are not family members, e.g., family friends, babysitters, childcare providers, neighbors.
  • About 30% of perpetrators are family members, e.g., fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins.
  • Just 10% of perpetrators are strangers to the child.


In the times we live in, all we can do as parents, is to arm our child with knowledge. Knowlege is power.

As a parent, here is what you can do:

1. Speak about sex frankly to your children, in a way that they can understand, depending on the age of the child. There are many books and resources to tell your children about sex, if you feel awkward to do it. Let the child know that sex is ok, only when it is between two consenting adults.

2. Make them aware that their body is theirs alone. Nobody has a right to touch their bodies in any inappropriate way and make them understand what is inappropriate.

3. Do NOT trust anyone when it comes to your child. Doesn't matter if you are considered a 'paranoid parent'. Be safe. Do not send your child alone with the driver or helper or whoever.

4. Teach the child to not trust anyone just because they are an adult. This is true especially in the Indian Culture, where we tell out children to 'respect all elders'. Respect them, but also tell your children that 'terms and conditions apply'. (and it is indeed okay)

5. Make your child memorize your phone number and teach your child to be bold and  SCREAM for help if they sense trouble. teach them to be unafraid. (Do not make them suspicious of everyone though. Children are smart. They do understand much more than we give them credit for).

There are so many emotions running through me, as I write this post.

I say a prayer for the safety of women and children.

Fie upon the demons who rape. May they rot and suffer.

And it is indeed disgusting that in a country like ours women  have to be frightened to step out alone and always need a man for 'protecting; them.

Really a crying shame.
___________________________________________________________________________


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A good day.

Usually I write only when I am alone, after the spouse and kids leave. That is when I get 'quality, undisturbed time'. But the Summer vacation has ensured that I get no such luxury as the kids are at home  all the time and so I work as and when I can.

These days I am working on my fifth book and I am already half-way through writing it. This morning, when I was writing, I forgot to shut the door and my eleven year old daughter slowly sidled upto me and sat quietly watching me work.  Since I was in the middle of a paragraph, I did not stop writing and I continued till I reached the end of the page, fully aware of the two little eyes beside me, reading every word on the screen.

When I reached the end of the page, I stopped.

'Mummy, how do you write all this stuff? Do you just make it up?' she asked, her voice filled with wonder and awe.

'Yes,' I make it up.'

 'Wow!' she said in hushed tones, her voice a whisper, full of awe.

I smiled and hugged her.

'Why did you ask?' I prodded

'I just saw mummy, the words were simply tumbling out and so beautifully turning into a story,' she said.

What can I say?
Today was one of my good writing days. :-)

_______________________________________________________________________

ps: Zee online interviewed me and I loved the questions they asked. Do read and tell me what you thought!
Here is the link: http://zeenews.india.com/exclusive/the-secret-wish-list-is-about-finding-what-one-really-wants-preeti-shenoy_6259.html

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. :)






Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The best investment you will ever make.




And so the  above picture that I posted on my Author page on FB yesterday got a record number of 'likes' and 'comments' within 15 hours of  it's posting.  The caption that I gave for the pic was 'Showing off new dress from UK gifted by Satish :) Pic clicked on 13th April 2013.' Reading some of the things people have said, thought I would do a post on.....


 five things that the pic doesn't tell you :-)

1. If it's hard to lose weight (and keep it off) after the age of 30, it is bleddy hard after you hit forty. :-) Your metabolism slows down like crazy!

2. It is even harder after you have two kids! However it becomes slightly easier if you own a Doberman :D

3. I have a new workout regime that I haven't missed for the past 12 days, no matter how tired I am.(and some days I am drop-dead tired!)  I do 24 minutes on the treadmill either on the Incline cycle or the fast-slow cycle. (fast is 8.1 kmph and slow is 4.2kmph). I also try not to miss my yoga.(though I have missed it for past 3 days). I try and finish dinner by 7.30 pm and no carbs at night. Your body really doesn't need carbs in the night after the age of 35.

4. I have stayed off alcohol for the past 15 days. The goal is to stay off it for next  three months.( a teeny weeny confession--That is a record of sorts, for me :P)  I have stepped my intake of water. If you are trying to lose weight, it really helps to have a LOT of water.
  
5. My 15 year old is turning out to be my fitness coach. He motivates me, pushes me, prods me, encourages me to be fit. If I were to pay him for his advice, he would be a rich young man!  There is nothing about fitness that the kid doesn't know. He seems to have done a Ph.d in the subject. Pssst: Don't tell him I said so.

If you are really looking for motivation to get into shape, check out this site that I was super impressed with.(he deliberately put on weight as his clients kept complaining about how hard it was to lose and he wanted to see it for himself.) It is pretty amazing what diet and exercise can achieve!
  
If you want even more motivation check out my friend Niall's post about how he lost weight. I am really proud of what he has achieved.

Take care of your body! That is your only insurance against age. Do not let yourself go.
And even as we speak, the clock is ticking and we are aging. Yet, it is not too late, no matter how old you are.


Be healthy and be fit! It is the best investment you will ever make.
___________________________________________________________________________

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. :)





Monday, April 15, 2013

5 reasons why you should not 'chill'

A phrase I hear every now and then is 'Chill' or 'Relax'. From what I understand what the person who says this means is 'Do not take it so seriously. Let it go' or 'Don't do anything about it. It will pass.'

Nothing irks me more than hearing these phrases.

Here are five reasons why you should NOT ' chill' or 'relax'.

1. Chilling never got anyone anywhere:  Dhoni was a football goal keeper, before he started playing cricket. he started off his cricket career, just be sheer chance, as a wicket keeper. Dhoni's teacher Mr.Banerjee was friends with the coach of Commando Cricket Club. Banerjee got a request from the coach to help fill the slot of wicket keeper. Had Banerjee decided to 'chill' and do nothing about the request, and when asked if he would wicket-keep, had Dhoni decided to 'chill' I don't think the game of cricket would have been what it is today :-)

2.Chilling means no action: Think about the Delhi rape case that happened recently. Had most people decided to 'chill' we would not have seen the kind of uprising that happened. Perhaps this is an 'extreme' case. But it elucidates why 'Chilling' may not be a great idea.

3. Chilling is brow-beating you into conforming: Think about it--very often, it is when you express an opinion that is different from the accepted norm that you are asked to 'chill'. For example at college, if your friends have decided to bunk a lecture, but you express concern over attendance, you might be asked to 'chill'. Don't! Dare to not 'chill' and trust me, not chilling will make all the difference.

4.Chilling is to go with the flow: If you want to do something that would create a  disturbance in the status quo, you are generally told to chill. This is because most people hate something that they are already used to, to be disturbed. For instance how many times (especially at a party) have you been forced to 'take-a-small-piece-of-a-cake--you-can-diet-tomorrow-chill' when you have specifically mentioned that you are on a strict diet? The norm at parties is to eat and drink like there is no tomorrow and therefore you are asked to 'chill' even if it  means knocking off  all the effort on the diet that you have been so strictly adhering to for the past many weeks.

5.Chilling is the easy way out: It is so easy to say 'Chill' or 'Relax'. It immediately absolves the person to whom you have expressed the issue, the onus of acting or doing something. By asking you to 'chill' the person ha effectively told you that you are making a big issue of a trivial thing. 'Chilling' may not be the best option, but it sure might be the easiest!
 Get into the 

So the next time, you are asked to 'Chill', don't! Leave the 'chilling' to the AC or the coolers :)


ACT, don't chill.
It is your attitude that makes all the difference!
______________________________________________________________________

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. :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

On dogs and humans (part 2.)

A few days back I had written a guest post for Dog with Blog.
For those who do not know about Dog with Blog--this is what their FB introduction says:

Building a vibrant community for dog lovers,striving for adoption and animal welfare through posting relevant news and stories & everything else concerning environment & dogs! Spread the love...in dogs we trust! We are not an NGO, empathy is all we ask :)

Before you read this post, I urge you read the guest post  I wrote. It got a lot of appreciation and response.

Here is the link:

 http://calvy.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/preeti-shenoy-on-humans-and-dogs/

In continuation with that post, here is what I would like to say:

1. Though both the pictures posted in the guest blog-post are 'cute' pictures, let me assure you, Dobes (short for doberman) are hounds and guard dogs. They are NOT 'cute-cuddly' toy dogs. They will guard their owner with their life and will not hesitate to go for the throat of anyone, if they feel any kind of 'danger'. (For a dobe, encroachment into the owner's home, without the owner's permission is 'danger'. it's just not done). They are highly intelligent (one of the reasons for them being chosen as military and police dogs) , super-athletic  and need a HUGE amount of exercise.

Lostris when asked to make her 'scary face' 

2. If you are planning to get a dog, do remember that you have to be committed for the next 10-12 years. You have to be prepared to care for the dog. Many owners get a 'cute puppy' and sadly abandon them when they are grown adults. It is one of the cruelest things you can do to a dog. Remember, you have your job, your friends, your life, your career--but your dog has only you. You will not give away your child, just because your life has changed. Then how can you give away (or worse abandon) your dog? Dogs become family once you spend time with them.

3. Dobes are big dogs. When my dog stands on her hind legs, she is as tall as an average Indian Male. Once they reach adulthood, they weigh around 35-40 kgs!  So you can imagine how powerful these dogs are.

4. Doberman are 'velcro' dogs. They hate to be away from you. They want to stick to you all the time. No matter what you do, they feel comforted to have that little physical contact. They have no idea that they are so big and heavy :) See what mine is doing in this pic. (she feels very happy to sit in my lap!!)





4.. Having a dog changes your life. It really does.

5. Get a dog only if you don't mind investing time, effort and patience.

The rewards are rich--unconditional love, someone who greets you like they haven't seen you for twenty years, even if you have just made a ten minute trip to the grocery store, someone who compels you to lead a healthier life, someone who makes you live in the moment and forget about everything else and most of all someone around whom it is simply impossible to be glum--because they are so full of life!

As a dog-owner, I can assure you, having a dog is a  LOT of work (  but it is simply an unmatched , exalting and a wonderful experience.

If you want to adopt a dog, try and locate an organization in your city which has  adoption drives. Many organise it on a regular basis. There are so many wonderful, loving dogs there that need homes.
 If you are in Bangalore, the next one is just around the corner. Here are the details:








Like I said in the guest post, if only more humans were like dogs, the world would be an awesome place!
_________________________________________________________________________



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. :)