Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Where to find inspiration for writing.

So the Hyderabad litfest and the Times of India litfest at Bangalore, both went off fabulously well.

Here is a pic from the Hyderabad litfest. I was in conversation with Milan Vohra and Ratna Rao.





And here is a picture from the Bangalore Times of India litfest, where I was in conversation with Vaishali Mathur, senior commissioning editor, Penguin India.







I was told that our session rocked :) It was crackling, sparkling and there was a lot of interaction! :) We spoke about 'Love in the times of Google' and I read out relevant passages from my new book. We spoke about partners sharing passwords, about emotional infidelity, about the use of Internet in making new connections and how our social lives have changed because of invasion of technology.

Those in Delhi, I am coming to your city! I will be in Delhi on 6th Feb and in Gurgaon on 7th Feb. I shall put up the invites on my Facebook page. 

(And yes, we will be talking about Love in Times of Google. I will be in conversation with Vinita Nangia Senior Editor, Times of India in New Delhi and with Anuja Chauhan ( Author of books like Zoya factor, Those pricey Thakur girls) in Gurgaon. )

At most of these events, I get asked over and over again--"Where do you get your inspiration from?"

Honest answer to that would be I don't know. I can find inspiration from anything! I can find inspiration from a dried leaf that is now dead and decaying.(Like this poem I wrote). I can get inspiration from something as mundane as a pressure cooker whistling. (I can think of at least ten stories that involve a pressure cooker, even as I type!). I can get inspiration from a beautiful sunset. I can get inspiration from a sentence that someone uttered. I can get inspiration from a single word. I can get inspiration from something I read in the news, from an incident that occurred or didn't occur, from a noisy or a nosy or a nice neighbor, from a young lad waiting on tables in a restaurant, from an abandoned pet, from a bird that perches on my balcony every day, from a squirrel---from anything really.

And that is the truth.

Perhaps the people who ask these questions want to know where I get the ideas from. (I make them up, inside my head! My mind is a very busy place). Perhaps they want to write too. I don't know.

If you want to write, the best way would be to start to read. Read, read and read. Make your reading wide and varied. Read everything you can lay your hands on. And then write. Write about anything. Write about everything. Write about nothing. But write.

That's the only way to become a writer! :)

Will blog again soon. I have some urgent personal work to take care of.
But that won't stop me from blogging.

Till the next post, be cheerful and keep smiling. Remember to count your blessings and be grateful for them.
Life isn't that bad too! :)

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Litfests galore!

I will be at the Hyderbad lit fest tomorrow (24th january 2014)

Here is the link to the site with all details

http://www.hydlitfest.org/

Here are the details of my session.
Ashiana  -  Poolside Friday, January 24, 2014: 4:00 pm-5:00 pm
Panel: LoveLit
Milan Vohra, Preeti Shenoy
Moderator: Ratna Rao Shekar

On 26th January (Sunday) I will be at the Times of India Lit fest.

Here are the details:



I will also be having a Book Discussion event  at Delhi on 6th February, Gurgaon on 7th February and Jaipur on 8th February. I shall put up details closer to date. (Do check on my Facebook page too, in case I am unable to put it up here)

So all of you in Hyderabad who are reading me, see you tomorrow! I look forward to being in your city!

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

10 lessons from 'The Wolf of Wall Street' (yes, there are lessons in it!)

So, I have just got back from a wonderful event in Chennai (click here to read a lovely account of the event by a reader who attended it). RJ Jane of Chennai live FM interviewed me and those in Chennai can tune in at 11-2 on Saturday, 18th January to listen to it.

Amazon.in had run a contest, where they had given readers a chance to interview me. From over 200 questions received, they selected eleven. They were supposed to select ten, but they said that the questions were so good that they couldn't stick to ten. All the readers whose questions got selected won gifts from Amazon. You can read the whole interview (as well as the books that I recommend as a 'must-read' by clicking HERE)

I think  good books and  good movies are great teachers. They can make you feel alive, inspired and make you believe in a way out, where you thought there was none. They can take you to realms you would never explore otherwise. They give you perspectives, make you laugh, make you cry and make you think.

I watched a wonderful movie today. "The Wolf of Wall Street." It was unabashed, honest,real. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen for even a second. Leonardo Di Caprio was brilliant in the movie. It did deserve all the nominations  and the prizes that it got (45 nominations, 15 wins and one Golden Globe award). I simply loved it. Full marks to Martin Scorsese (Director) and Terence Winter (the screen play writer) and of course Jordan Belfort, on whose life the movie is based.

If you haven't watched the movie, go catch it. (Not suitable for under 18 at all).
And for all my young friends who have watched it, here is what I had to takeaway from it

1.Real weath is the presence of your loved ones in your life. If you have no friends or family to stand by you, when your chips are down, there is no use of anything that you have ever accomplished.

2. Karma gets you. Do good and the good goes around. Swindle people and there is always a price to pay.

3. Drugs are cool only in movies. Don't do it. It just isn't worth it.

4.Money sure makes things comfortable. But honestly, it isn't the only thing in life. Do the things that make you happy. Make time and write down 3 things that really make you happy. And if you notice, they would mostly be the stuff that money cannot buy.

5.Not everyone can be bought.  (And thank God for  that!)

6. In the end, you are your own best friend. No matter how close you are to someone, no matter how thick the friendships seems, there will always be a time when it is fragile, and may not survive. They are unpredictable  simply because human nature is so fickle.

7. There will always be ups and downs. It is how you handle them that makes all the difference.

8. Think twice (maybe ten times) before buying something. Remember what Dave Barry said — 'We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like.'

9. Once a salesman, always a sales man :) Smooth talkers, the whole lot. Don't get conned.

10. Leonardo Di Caprio is awesome :)

If you watched it and had anymore takeaways to add to this list, please share it in my comment box and I shall add them here.

Will blog again soon! So see you around  :) 

Addendum

11. Truth always finds a way out, no matter how smart you think you are. Be faithful to the ones you love. (Contributed by Debs in the comment section)
 
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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

What to do if someone doesn't respond to you

You cannot make anybody love you, the way you want them to. All you can do is be your best. You can try to make them notice your efforts. You can be sweet, kind, thoughtful , charming and sexy. And you can give them gifts, write them mails, text them, call them and let them know in more ways than one, how much you enjoy their company. That's it. Beyond that you can't do anything much. (No, stalking isn't an option).

Relationships can happen only if two people want the same thing out of them. Or at least similar things. They happen when you make each other laugh, when you totally get the other person without long winded explanations and when you know that just the sound of their voice can soothe you and it is the same for them. Relationships mean there is an ease of comfort in each other's company and you feel something amiss if you haven't connected for a while.

Just because you feel that way about someone, it does not mean that they have to feel that too. Sometimes there are connections made that fizzle out even when the sparks seem to be there. Sometimes they arise from the most unexpected places. Sometimes despite your best efforts nothing happens---and they just don't reciprocate.

Despite all that you do, if they don't respond you just have to let it be. As painful as it may be.
And trust that this was for the best.

And someone  or something better is waiting to happen.
You have got to believe it.
And this was just the way it is was meant to be.

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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Meet me at Chennai ! Plus a chance to win some fabulous goodies from Amazon

If you are in Chennai, I am coming to your city! Do come and meet me on 10th January, 6.30 pm at Crossword Alwarpet.. I will be in conversation with RJ Jane and Chennai Live will be broadcasting our talk. We are going to be having a really interesting discussion on going from a blogger to a published author.



In the other news, Amazon.in has featured me as 'The Author of the month'


Click on the link and ask me questions and you can win some fabulous goodies!


In case you haven't noticed, I am keeping in with my new year resolution and blogging more often. I am also reading a lot and watching some meaningful movies. I do think good movies, like good books give us a prism through which to view life, take us to places we would never go and give us perspectives that we would never otherwise have thought of.

 More soon!
That's all for today.
Good night folks! (Or good morning if you happen to live in the other part of the world)
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Sunday, January 05, 2014

Little things that make life worth living



This was the scene very near my home last evening. We were on our way to a movie (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I liked the movie a lot) , when I asked Satish to stop the car as I wanted to click this picture. I am glad I did.

I think it is very important to celebrate the smallest gifts of life. Like a sunset. A fleeting moment of a butterfly on a flower. The salty air of the ocean and the endlessly receding waves. A phone call from a good friend. An email from a loved one. A good book. An engaging movie that makes you think. A warm cup of tea on a cold winter afternoon.

These, for me, are the things that make life worth living.
I relish it.
And am grateful too for the smallest of gifts that life sends me way.

You?
What are the things for you that make life worth living? If you share I am listening.
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Thursday, January 02, 2014

A legend

"Other mothers give birth to children. Mine gave birth to a legend," announces my twelve year old and watches my face carefully for a reaction.

I am surprised, tickled and amused. But I do not miss a beat. In a deadpan voice I retort, "The unwritten law states that legends have to cuddle up and hug their mothers for at least ten minutes."

"Ask your other legend."

:)

What can I say? I am still grinning. And I told her I would blog about this and she shrugged and ran out to play. :)
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Wednesday, January 01, 2014

A new year wish !

There is a tradition that we follow on new years eve. We usher in the new year by lighting the lamp,at 12.00 AM, together as a family and expressing gratitude for all our blessings. It wasn't any different last night.

We lit the antique brass hanging lamp, which hangs from the ceiling in my pooja room, as well as the second lamp that rests on a brass pedestal. We also performed the Arti with camphor and lit incense, to the chant of Sanskrit mantras. And we prayed.

I believe that it is important to express gratitude to the Universe/Higher power/Destiny/God or whatever you want to call it. We have to be grateful for the things that are right in our lives. There is scientific proof and several psychological studies have recorded the impact that expressing gratitude and journaling the things that one is happy about, has on one's over all well-being.

This morning, we woke up early and went to a Venkateshwara temple. I liked what the 'Kolam' said :)



I also liked the way the entire temple was decorated with floral garlands.



Thus began my new year.

And this is my wish for you today . (snap clicked just a little while ago)



Wishing you wisdom, wishing you have a special person to hold your hand through the tough times, wishing you strength to smile when things don't go as you desire and above all the hope that everything is going to work out just fine! A happy new year from The One You Cannot Have as well as from the ones you already have!


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