Monday, December 29, 2014

A magical evening 25th year reunion.Batch of 89. KVIIT chennai.

If you had told me a few days back that time-travel is possible I would have scoffed and told you that you have been watching far too many Christopher Nolan movies. But today I sing a different tune. I have just travelled 25 years back in time and I blog now to tell the tale.

To even think about it gives me goosebumps. I have just attended the 25th year high school reunion of my batch and what we all went through is something that is indescribable.

I wasn't even sure of making it as my new book has just released and I am in the middle of promos. (Incidentally, the first printrun has sold out even before the book released and it has already gone into a second print run! We have sold more than 35000 copies already!)  But my closest friend (we have been together since we were 11) and asked me if  I would come for the reunion. She said it was the 25th year and hence historic and there were our batchmates coming from different countries and it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It took me only a few minutes to decide. I was in. I booked my flight tickets immediately to travel to Chennai. And boy---am I glad I did! Of all the impulsive decisions that I have made in my entire lifetime, this one easily wins hands down. I was going back to the school I studied---going down , down down the memory lane.





Many of us were meeting after 25 years. There were excited shrieks and exclamations as we recognised each other. There were some 'guess-who-I-am' games too as many were unrecognizable. Time had taken it's toll and along with it some hair :) Some of the guys were bald and some had a head full of white hair and we had to juxtapose the image of these guys as 17 year olds which was what they were when we parted and replace them with their new updated versions. But oh the spark in their eyes and the mischief!  Nothing had changed. Even after all these years, deep down we were all the same.

What we were today did not matter. How successful we are today did not matter at all. Out there, every one was equal. For that evening we were back in the classrooms we had last visited 25 years ago, not knowing that our paths would ever cross again. That was the pre-internet and pre-mobile era. The only way we could have kept in touch was by writing letters. I still have some of the letters--treasured possessions.
In my classroom. I was  back bencher!

Posing in front of the blackboard. I was moved to tears shortly afterwards.


People had tavelled from US. Australia, Thailand and many other places to be a part of this magical evening.
 The school was still the same--though a little bit modified. It was awesome to be back and walk doen the very same corridors.
Everyone met at school and then proceeded to a beach resort on the picturesque ECR. (A drive down this very road is mentioned in my book 'Tea for two and a piece of cake')

We started with the school prayer. We all had a lump in out throats as this was the prayer song that we had sung every single day for 12 years of our lives. And here we were, all together singing the same song, after 25 years. Two of our classmates had passed away and we observed a few minutes of silence for them.

Fondly recalling the school memories


Then each of us had to go on stage and recall our school memories. Oh my God---I have never laughed so hard as each one recalled what they most remembered. We talked about the buses, the teachers, the special pranks we played, the lingo unique to KVIIT chennai---all of it inside stuff which you would get only if you were a part of the school.

My classmates

Every single person there knew me by my maiden name and my nickname, unique to me.(and no I am not revealing it here as it is indeed special and I love it and only the ones who went to class with me, know it!) Of course all of them were super proud of my success and they all wanted snaps with me---as much as I wanted pictures with them. But what made it magical for me was over there I was not 'Preeti Shenoy, the successful author'. I was just a student of KVIIT 1989 batch---as was every single person out there. For a few hours, we talked, we laughed, we chatted and we felt so blessed to be a part of that magical evening. A few of our classmates couldn't make it to the reunion and we talked about them and missed them.

The evening was so nostalgic, warm, phenomenal, awe-inspiring and humbling that we have all decided to meet every year.

Memories are treasures that no one can steal. And by that definition, we certainly created a larger treasure  that evening.

My Batch-mates at KVIIT (89 batch) --I love you guys. And I am so grateful and lucky to be a part of it all.  Let's meet again next year.

And till then--thank you for the memories.
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ps: For more photos of the reunion go HERE



Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Bangalore launch of 'It Happens for a Reason'

As promised in the last post, here are some pictures from the Launch of 'It Happens for a Reason'. The launch event was just fantastic!


The lovely backdrop. It was at Autumn Hall at Hotel Royal Orchid that we hosted the event.


 I posed for a lot of pictures. You will see them soon in the  papers.



 We released the book after a brief introduction. The book was released by Shinie Antony (one of my favourite authors and also the founder of Bangalore Literature Festival) and Chander Kamal Balje the Founder, and Chairman & Managing Director of Royal Orchid Hotels



It was a lovely discussion and we also had a great audience interaction.

 I hate reading from my own book. But I ended up reading a bit as the audience as well as Shinie wanted me to!


 Then I signed many many copies!
We had wine and snacks and some lovely company!

 All my author friends had come. I felt so happy and thrilled to have them there.
In the picture from left to right--Milan Vohra, Shinie Antony, Vani Mahesh, Madhavi Mahadevan


The team at Westland is awesome! Here is the Bangalore team.

And finally here is Shinie and me! :)


In case you missed this one, there will be another one in January in bangalore. watch my FB page for details. You can also see more launch pictures .HERE

Also tomorrow, between 3.00 pm and  3.30 pm, I will be on Amazon tweetahon ! Follow @amazonIN   and you can talk to me . There are goodies to be won!

Do  read the first few pages of the book using this link
 http://is.gd/Ithappensforareason_booklet

And let's chat on twitter once you have read it :-)

See you tomorrow on Twitter!
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Friday, December 12, 2014

Signing of books and the Grand Launch--It happens for a Reason.

So it has been really crazy, the last few days.

My home was taken over by thousands of copies of  It Happens for a Reason. Yes, the book signing madness was on--full swing. I signed thousand and thousands of copies.

 Worked for about 36 hours non-stop, with short breaks and also a 6 hour break to sleep.



It was just like the book signing last time.

It is indeed back-breaking work.



But posts popping up all over social media, like this one expressing delight at having received a signed copy, makes it worth it.

I am very happy to let you know that the book has gone into reprint, even before the first print-run is out!

To celebrate 'It happens for a Reason' we are having a grand launch tomorrow (13th December 2014,Saturday) at Bangalore. It is an invite only event, and in case you wish to attend it, you can request an invite by sending a mail to the Westland Team : invite(at)preetishenoy.com
We have a limited number of invites up for grabs.

For those of you who have already requested and got invites, I will see you all tomorrow!

Will post launch pictures soon.

Till then ciao--and have a great weekend :)
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 Buy the book: Amazon: http://is.gd/Ithappensamazon
                         Flipkart: http://is.gd/Flipkartithappens
                         Crossword: http://is.gd/Ithappenscrossword




Friday, November 28, 2014

Are you real?

surreal art photo: surreal art 287446.jpg

Are you real?

You are a tangent, infinitely close
And yet you fade away too soon
You glow awhile in borrowed light
Arriving in phases, like the moon

You come close only to turn away
You seek and then you elude
You speak with a thunderous silence
You pretend,  you delude.

You are a puzzle I need to solve
You are the question that went unasked
You are the game that I can never win
You are a riddle which comes masked.

You exist only in imagination
But the warmth of the glow is real
Only time will tell if you are summer rain
Or an elaborate winter spiel.


  2014 Preeti Shenoy

 For more poems click here. Some poems have already appeared in print. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.

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Buy my latest book:
Amazon: http://is.gd/Ithappensamazon
Flipkart: http://is.gd/Flipkartithappens



Thursday, November 27, 2014

5 pointers for better friendships. How much can you interfere in a friend's life? #askpreeti

#Askpreeti  had been getting a phenomenal response. Every Thursday, you can ask me anything on my FB page, and I will blog my answer. You can scroll down and read the last two #askpreeti posts, one was on 'Ten things to do when someone does not love you back' and the other was 'How to become a better writer.'

Today I have picked reader Shubha Mallya's question on friendship.
We all love our friends. And yet there are times when we have to make difficult choices. How much should we interfere in a friend's life?  What if they tell you that they do not need your help? Is it wrong if we expect them to lean on us in their difficult times? What if they are  busy  when you need them?


Here are five things that help me when I have to make a decision about my friendships.

1. Respect their choices:  If your friend had told you  that this is what they have chosen because that is what works for them, accept it. You might be as close as siblings. You might be soul sisters. You might be brothers. You might be peas in a pod. You might be inseparable. But at the end of the day, you are two different individuals. You need to respect your friend's choices. If they do not need your help, accept it. Do not interfere till they want you to.


2.Give them space : If a friend needs some time by themselves, allow them that liberty. Do not stifle them by constantly hounding them on whatsapp or chaton or FB messenger. I know, you are supposed to do things together, and you are best pals. But hey, sometimes space is a good thing. It gives you time to think too. And allow your friend to miss you.

3.Nobody is that busy that they can't pick up your call or revert:  This is what I tweeted a few days back:

Nobody is that busy that they cannot take 3 minutes off to pick up the phone and call--or to send a message to say that you are in their thoughts. Nobody.
They may not revert instantly or immediately and that is fine! Nobody expects the other person to be at your beck and call. But if a person constantly is busy, get the message.



4.Your friend is different from you:  Your friend might mirror you in many ways---but he/she is indeed different from you. Take for instance deeply embedded attitudes like your attitude towards money, towards fitness, towards food---There will of course be differences. Every now and then there might arise friction because of this, especially when friendship is close. Sort this out as soon as it arises, as this can pose a danger to a great friendship.



5.Jealousy does exist in friendships: As much as your friend loves you, the ugly monster called jealousy is bound to creep in every now and then. This is what I had said about jealousy in one of my previous books:






Hope these pointers have given you a perspective when it comes to friendships.

If you like what you have just read, you will love my books. There is an underlying thread of strong and close friendships, which run through all of them.


 My new book 'It Happens for a Reason' will be out on December 10th. There are signed copies too, up for grab at great prices. Check the individual sites for terms.

 Buy the book!
Amazon: http://is.gd/Ithappensamazon
Flipkart: http://is.gd/Flipkartithappens

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It Happens for a reason. A short video that tells you about the book.





If you want to read the first few pages of the book, click HERE

Both Amazon and Flipkart are offering signed copies and awesome discounts too. Check their sites for the terms and conditions to get one.

And you know what to do, right?
Do it!
 Buy the book!
Amazon: http://is.gd/Ithappensamazon
Flipkart: http://is.gd/Flipkartithappens


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Thursday, November 20, 2014

How to get over someone who does not love you back. Ten things you can do #askpreeti


A week has flown past so fast. It's Thursday once more and it is #AskPreeti !



Every Thursday, I shall blog my answer to a question, which you have asked. You can ask me questions with #askpreeti tag either on my FB page or tweet to me using #askpreeti 

Today I picked the question asked by reader Indira Saha. Indira asks what we can do when we love someone, but he doesn't love you back. You love them and do not want to let go. But they do not reciprocate your feelings. What do you do then?

You have to decide firmly to let them go.The more you hold on to them, the worse it is going to be for you. Letting go of someone you love is  hard. Very hard.
 Here are ten things you should do.

1. Accept the pain: Accept that it is going to hurt and it is going to hurt a lot. The pain is going to be searing. It is going to creep up on you constantly. It is going to make your heart heavy. It is going to  make you feel completely down and out. Accept it and do not fight it. Let it wash over you. Let it do it's worst. Remember it's power  to hurt you reduces every single day that goes by.

2. Be 1 percent better than yesterday: Be just one percent better than how you felt  yesterday.Go out for a walk in the park. Yes, it will still hurt but start building a teeny weeny mental shield. Say to yourself that you owe it to yourself to feel better.

3. Steel yourself:  Now that you have moped around a bit, time to get into commando mode. Steel yourself completely. Buck up. You are worth much more than someone not reciprocating your love. Your love is too precious to squander on the person who does not appreciate it.

4. Do one thing for yourself that makes you happy: Find one single thing that makes you happy and then do it. It might be a small thing like taking a photo on your mobile phone. Or it could be taking up a new hobby like gardening. Do that one thing for yourself. 
Picture of a flower I clicked in my mother's garden.


5. Yoga--Vinyasa breathing: Yoga is a wonder drug. It gives you inner peace, calmness, strength of mind. It teaches you to relax, let go and be still. Continuos practice has numerous health benefits too. Try it once. Click here for an excellent ten minute yoga class.
I have tried it (and I practise Ashtanga yoga daily) and highly recommend it.


6.Meet new people : Time to expand your world. Start meeting new people. Start taking a genuine interest in other people who you get along with. Extend a hand of friendship. Do something nice for them. Go out for a cup of coffee. You might discover a great new friend.

7.Read: Books are therapy. Read, read and read ! You meet many characters who have gone through rejections, just the way you are now. You learn so much from good books. Reading is always a good thing. A good book draws you inside and makes you forget the world.

8.  Refuse to think of that person--Journal and forget method: Maintian a journal which noone can see but you. If their thoughts are hard to get rid off, allow yourself to rant all that you want in your journal. Write about what is hurting you, causing you pain. Whine, cry, moan all you want. Then refuse to think of them. Their quota of time in your brain is over for the day.

9.Express Gratitude for all that you have: One of the most beautiful things that you can do for yourself is to express gratitude for all that you have. The very fact that you are reading this on a laptop, proves that you  are among the privileged ones. Count all your blessings, the things that are going right in your life and be very thankful for them

10. GROW: Remember the following words:



Follow the above ten tips and you will soon be on your way to forgetting that person who does not love you back.
You deserve more. Because you are special, you know.  Loads of love!
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If you like my post you will definitely love my books. They are all about love, relationships and overcoming obstacles that life throws at you.


My new book releases on December 10th.
Grab it at a great price:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

How to become a better writer? #askpreeti

Every Thursday, I shall blog my answer to a question, which you have asked. You can ask me questions with #askpreeti tag either on my FB page or tweet to me using #askpreeti - See more at: http://blog.preetishenoy.com/2014/11/family-versus-work-what-should-you.html#sthash.qr7xyH3g.dpuf


 It's Thursday! And it is #askpreeti

Every Thursday, I shall blog my answer to a question, which you have asked. You can ask me questions with #askpreeti tag either on my FB page or tweet to me using #askpreeti 

Today I picked three questions which are related. Readers-- Vishad Gupta, Risita Ghadei and Varsha Gaikwad asked me about how to improve English and asked about writing better and editing better.

First of all I must reiterate that I am still learning how to write better! I might be a successful novelist but of course I am still a student. With each book I write, I am getting better. But there is a long way to go.

How did I start writing my first novel--what my journey was like--I have blogged about it in detail on my 500th Post. (written in 2011)  Click HERE

Here are some things that I do, which work superbly for me---and maybe they will be of use to you too.

1.Read a lot: It is imperative to read in order to become a better writer. Read a wide variety of authors--and not just Indian authors please! I read up to four books at a time. Each room in my home will have a book that I am currently reading. I just finished Murakami's South of Border West of Sun, Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys and started Gillain Flynn's Gone girl. They are BRILLIANT writers. If you want a fun,light, fast paced read, try Sophie Kinsella. The thing with reading--more you read, more you will enjoy it. And the benefits of reading are improved grammar and vocabulary and improved intelligence. Scientific research has proven that people who read are smarter than the ones who don't. So make time to read. If you do not like fiction there are tonnes of non-fiction. You need not restrict your reading to books. Sites like www.economist.com and Huffington post have excellent articles.  Don't know how to make time? Here is a post I wrote--5 ways to make time to read: http://blog.preetishenoy.com/2013/06/5-ways-to-make-more-time-to-read-blog.html

2. Write every single day: If you want toned muscular arms, you go the gym and pump weights,take whey protein and spruce your diet. You put in hard work and you see results. How is writing any different? If you are serious about being a writer, you have to write every single day. You needn't write a novel or a book or anything 'great'. You don't even have to share it with anybody. You can write emails, blog posts, diary entries, journals, paragraphs, about something you read, something that moved you, something you feel strongly about---anything at all! There are no rules. Just write and pour it all out. It is certain to get better with time and experience.

3.Learn a new word every day: When I was a little girl, my dad told me to read the editorial of 'The Hindu' and write down difficult words that I did not know the meaning of. Those were the days before Internet and computers. I would write them down, look them up in the dictionary. Then my dad and I would use that word in a sentence. I would come up with a sentence and so would he. Today it is so easy. I get a new word delivered to my inbox every single day. The good part now is that I know eighty percent of them :) And when I come across a word I do not know, I am delighted to have learnt something new.


4. If you are a student, Wren and Martin it is! :  Since many of you asked me about improving grammar, I thought I would share what my Bible was, when I was a student of English. It was Wren and Martin . It taught me all that I needed to know about grammar. By then i was reading so much that using English the right way came naturally. I would refer the book in case of doubts. Today you have so many online sites that teach you the right usage, correct your grammar, point you in the right direction. All you need to do is Google! (And not wander off to FB to check out what your friends are doing)

5.Free online courses: Coursera is a superb resource that offers FREE courses. You can take the world's best courses, online for free. How awesome is that?  If you are looking for a basic fundamental writing course, here is a link: https://www.coursera.org/course/basicwriting 
There are many more free online writing courses including one which MIT offers.


Happy writing folks!  Hope what I have said helps you all. If you liked what I have written, don't forget to leave me a comment in my comment box. 

And yes---if you are looking for a contemporary, racy, gripping read, my new book 'It happens for a reason' will be out in less than 5 weeks!

 Now, show me some love and grab it here:
 (You don't need a credit card to order. You can pay cash on delivery)
 Amazon: http://is.gd/Ithappensamazon
Flipkart: http://is.gd/Flipkartithappens