Sunday, February 23, 2014

How to be truly beautiful.

Many of you must have come across the news items featuring the bearded Sikh girl who has been applauded for her courage, for refusing to conform to what is considered beauty and having the courage to be who she is. In case you do not know what I am talking about do watch the video below.




I came across this a few months ago, when it first popped up on reddit.I, like all other, applauded her courage to stand by the choices she made and her mental strength. Then I forgot all about it.

 Till this morning.

 This morning I came across another lady called Valeria Lukyanova, a model from Ukraine who has got a lot of plastic surgery done to resemble the popular Barbie doll. 



Do check out the link . It left me quite astonished!


Both are extreme cases. In one, the person has consciously rejected the society's norm of 'beauty' and in the other the person has embraced it to the fullest.Both have received large volumes of mails of admiration, as well as hate mails. Does anyone else have a right to comment on their choices? I do not think so.

Yet, physical beauty does drive a whole lot of things. Economists have found out that  physical beauty affects wages even in professions where appearance does not seem relevant to performance.

Here is my take on this whole beauty business.

I am against beauty pageants like Miss World and Miss Universe, simply because it has absurd conditions like the woman has to be, between a certain age and has to be unmarried (why?! How does it matter?!). Also, this whole objectification of women, where she is just reduced to her looks and clothes (never mind the  interview questions that are asked!) and judged on the basis of that, is something I find distasteful. I would rather applaud that girl whose parents were uneducated labourers from the poorest sections of the society and yet, she stood first in her exams, studying by the street-lights. That according to me is true beauty. So is a woman who achieves something in a sport or another who rises to head a multinational. Those are the ones I shall applaud.

Same goes for men. Yes, I may admire a muscular guy who has a great physique, but will he command my respect? Not likely, unless he is a true gentleman.

Beauty is only skin deep.
To be truly beautiful, what you need is a warm wonderful smile, a kind heart and purity in deeds and thoughts.

True beauty is seeing the good in others, making the world a slightly better place  when you leave, by spreading cheer, hope and positivity.

True beauty is not hard to achieve. It doesn't need plastic surgery.
All it needs is a mind-set.
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ps: My latest book has been getting  some fabulous reviews. Buy it from Amazon just Rs.99/- for a limited period!




Friday, February 21, 2014

5 lousy things men do to women.

man woman photo: Man-Woman Man-Woman.jpg




Men and women do communicate differently. Whether men are from Mars and women are from Venus or not, it is important to co-exist peacefully on Earth.
Here are top five lousy things that a man can do to a woman, often without realizing, just how much they bother a woman.

1. Make her feel guilty: This tops my list of the lousy things guys do.Feeling guilty about many things has long been seen as a female trait. For some reason, women try really hard to be 'great wives', 'great mothers' and 'great professionals' all rolled into one. Most women have a well developed guilt gene. We don't need men adding to it. 'Didn't you pay the electricity bill?' or 'Jesus! It cost 3000 bucks?' or 'Baby---Hasn't the house been cleaned today?' might sound like very innocent, matter-of-fact questions to a guy. But this is enough to send a woman's guilt complex into over-drive. Later, if you ask her, 'what's the matter? Was it something I said?' and she says 'No. Nothing', do not blame her.

2.Make her feel that her choice of clothes is not 'appropriate': In a country like India, which doesn't have the best of reputation when it comes to women's safety, making  woman feel like 'she-is-asking- for-trouble-because-of-what-she-is-wearing' reeks of a condescending attitude. You are doubting the woman's judgement to wear what she thinks is appropriate. Don't do it.

 

3.Make her feel like she has to explain how she spends her time:  She definitely has a right to spend her time with her interests without you being a part of it. She isn't rejecting you, by doing so.In fact, scientific research has proven that too much togetherness can be detrimental to a relationship. Don't make her spend every minute that she is back from work, with you.


4.Make awful remarks about her friends/family: This is a big no-no. You have a right to dislike her mother, her friends, her sibling(s)  and her pets. But expressing it is a taboo. Swallow your opinion, strangle it or blurt it out to your chaddi-buddy (or your therapist!)  if it will give you some solace. But don't ever diss the people she likes. They are in her life, because she chooses them and do remember she has chosen you too. If you really love her, be tolerant of her choices. Respect them.



5.Ask her to 'relax' or 'chill' when she is bothered about something: Most men are 'problem-fixers'. Women like to talk about their problems and explain what bothers them. Most guys ask them to 'Chill, it's no big deal'.  Or they tell them that they are making a fuss about nothing. The woman is confiding in you, not because she wants you to fix it. Simply listen to her.(and usually that is enough) Do not judge and definitely do not tell her to relax because it makes her feel that you have not understood how much the issue bothers her.


Ladies, if you have any more to add to the  above list,  do leave me a comment and I shall add them.:)
Guys-- Introspect and see if you do any of the above and if you don't, give yourself a pat on the back from me!
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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday no.40 . #smwInfosys







With the fabulous Alicia D Souza   
Had a GREAT time.(I know you can tell :) )

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Friday, February 14, 2014

10 ways to tell if your Valentine is The One You Cannot Have

pon and zi photo: I LOVE YOU GOD DAMN IT!! CANT YOU HEAR MEEEE!!!!! 5877295.jpg





1. They have logged into whatsapp thrice since you sent that ‘hello’, it’s been eight hours now and you still haven’t got a reply. (Real valentines reply back within 15 minutes unless they are on a flight to U.S and their phone is switched off. And even if they are, they reply soon on landing!)

2. You send a message wishing ‘Happy Valentines’ and you get a reply asking ‘Who is this?’ (Run!)

3.You have posted photos of you getting an award, photos of you on that vacation or photos of something that you are proud of. The whole world and their aunt and dog have liked it. But they haven’t even seen it. (No, they aren’t that busy. They are not interested in your life. Accept it!)

4.You have sent them an email and there is no response for more than 24 hours. (Yes, we know. They have been sooooo busy with ‘too many things’)

5.They gift you something that would be suitable to give as a gift to a boss or a colleague. 

6.Worse, they don’t  gift you anything at all.

7.You log in to Facebook and discover their photos on a night out with their friends when you were supposed to have met for a date.

8.You call up at midnight to wish them on their special occasion and their phone continuously engaged. Next morning they tell you that they were so tired that they slept off.

9.You haven’t spoken on the phone for more than five days and when you login to Facebook, you suddenly see a change in their relationship status.

10. If all  of the above or even one of the above has happened to you, don’t worry. There is always this ! Get it for yourself—it is cheaper than diamonds, wine, teddy bears or any of those other crappy valentine stuff.
Besides, it will stay with you, never leave you, will comfort you and be your best friend. Forever! I promise :)

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Of clearing clutter in relationships and friendships.


 A few days ago, AOL coolage,  which is really popular with Indian colleges and universities, came over to my home and interviewed me.
Do watch the interview. (It is 7 minutes and 24 seconds long)  It's got footage of my home, my son and even my garden cat which sneaks in, when my dog isn't around :) I quite liked how Coolage has put it all together.
Here is the link: (Do watch and come back and  leave me a comment after you do)

http://videos.coolage.in/coolage/a-chat-with-the-best-selling-author-preeti-shenoy-518120723

Today's post is going to be on friendship. A little while back, I was chatting with a good friend of mine. She told me that she was going to cut out a certain person from her life, because she felt taken for granted, far too many times. My friend was there for her , through a bad time and had only been supportive. Yesterday, she made a very rude remark, about my friend, in front of all the office colleagues. Even though my friend told her that she was hurt, this person did not bother to apologise. My friend had given her far too many chances and one of her resolutions this year, was to not let anyone treat her badly. So she walked away, closed the chapter and moved on. My friend is glad that she sticks by it and it has improved her life dramatically.

I nodded in agreement because I knew exactly what she was talking about. I too have had my share of 'I-will-call-you-only-when-something-good-happens-to-me-I-don't much-care-about-what-happens-you'  kind of friends. Over a period of time, I have realised these kinds of friends aren't worth my time. I would rather spend it with the ones who are genuine and who care.

Mostly, when something fantastic happens to you, you can judge by the reactions of the people you share the news with, what they really feel about it. It is hard to fake happiness and enthusiasm. It is also hard to mask plain old jealousy.

Many a time, we make excuses for our friends.."Oh--maybe she was pre-occupied.. Oh maybe, he was too busy and will get back." Ask yourself, what the pattern has been in your friendship. Is this always the case? Do they get back when they said they will? Or do they get so caught up in their world that they forget all about you? Do they call only to talk about their successes, their problems? Or are they there to give you a patient ear? What is your gut feel? Are you happy about the way you are treated?

If you are, cherish the friendship, nurture it.

But if there is even a seed of doubt in your mind, rethink.

It is only when we clear clutter that positive energy flows--be it in your home, in your relationships or your life.

Focus only on that which makes you feel good, energised and positive about yourself.
Let go of the others. (It may be painful at first as nobody likes chnage, especially if the change shakes you out of your comfort zone)

Once you do this, you will be making place for more meaningful relationships.
 
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A little routine.

The routine in unvarying. Whenever my daughter comes back from school, she calls out 'Hi Mamma..Where are you?" No matter which part of the house I am in, no matter what I am doing, I always , rush to her and hug her.

Her next question is predictable too.
'What have you made today?'
Sometimes it is chilli cheese toast, sometimes dosa, sometimes rotis and sometimes when I am too tired or to have been too busy to make anything special, it is just plain old Maggi noodles. (met with joyous screams of 'yay-it-is-maggi-today')

Then she asks me to sit with her, while she eats. And she narrates in the minutest detail, all that has happened at school.
I listen.
In silence.
Without interrupting, judging or saying a thing.

I see all that she describes.
I feel all that she has gone through.
I can experience her happiness, her disappointments, her little victories and her tiny miniscule failures.
I learn with her.
About people, about life, about the world.

She sometimes asks me for advice. I choose my words carefully.

And even though I have seen it all before, it is still new.
 

She is such a blessing, my not-so-little girl.

And through her, I sometimes live.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Some snap shots from Delhi, Gurgaon and Jaipur.

This is a photo post.

 I have just got back from my book launches in Delhi, Gurgaon and Jaipur and here are snapshots from my trip. (The book launches went off fabulously well and I had a great time!)


With Sachin Garg, Nikita Singh and Vinita Dawra Nangia

 Vinita liked my book! Yay!



Had a really good time with Nikita Singh!

Sachin always makes me feel on top of the world! :)




With Anuja Chauhan! :)



With Mita Kapur of Siyahi at Crossword Jaipur. Mita had some wonderful things to say about my book!





Got treated Rajashtani style..Loved it!

Anuj, my very gracious host! I am so going back to Jaipur, and this time with my family. I totally fell in love with the place.
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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

For those in Delhi, Gurgaon and Jaipur.

Tomorrow (6th Feb)  I leave for Delhi.

If you are in Delhi, do drop in at 6.30 pm, to Landmark, Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj.
 I will be in conversation with Vinita Nangia, Senior Editor, Times of India. (I love her columns O-zone that appears every Sunday in Times Life) . Vinita loved my book! Praise from her, meant a lot to me.



On 7th, we have another event happening in Gurgaon.



I will be in conversation with Anuja Chauhan. Right now, I am reading her first book 'The Zoya Factor' and I love it! Her second book 'Those Pricey Thakur girls' has recently been released. (I am yet to read that one).

On 8th, I will be in Jaipur, in conversation with Mita Kapur who is a writer herself and also the founder and CEO of Siyahi, a literary consultancy.



I had posted the invites on my Facebook page a little while ago.
A reader commented

"Hi. You are close but not very close to my place. :( "

I replied back saying "Well, I am traveling  2157 kilometres to come to your city."

The fact is, I do leave my home (my children have to be on their own till my husband comes back from work, and sometimes he is working late or traveling) , my dog and all my other work, when I travel to come to your city. I give up on my precious and much awaited weekends too! I feel wonderful when people turn up in large numbers to attend the event that my publishers take great pains to organise. All my events are very interactive, and we talk, converse and have a lot of fun.

As a writer, when I meet my readers face to face, it is always a happy moment.

Nothing beats a face to face meeting.
If you are in Delhi or Gurgaon, and are reading this, I am hoping to see you :)

After all I have travelled more than 2000 kilometres to be in your city. :)

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Monday, February 03, 2014

Everything has it's time

time photo: Time Time.jpg



Of all the things that my grandmother used to tell me, one thing that I find reminding myself again and again is "Everything has it's time."

This I think is very true. No matter how hard you try, some things do not work out until it's 'time has come'. Whether you are trying hard for that coveted job, or whether you are trying to find your life-partner or whether you are trying to have a baby or whether you are trying to get into a university or a college of your choice, there are some things which are just beyond your control.

Life comes with no guarantees, with no certainties. This is something that I can vouch for. Life takes twists and turns that you never even imagined even in your wildest dreams.It has happened to me. It has happened to so many people I know. And perhaps it has even happened to you.

Mostly, when we are going through a troubled time, what we forget is the bigger picture. During such times, an exercise that I find useful is to rewind back three years and see where you were. Don't your worries of that time, seem irrelevant today? Perhaps you worried for nothing?

Time does have a way of taking care of everything.

And if something you longed for hasn't yet come to you,  you can be certain  it is because there is something better in store and you are being propelled on a path that you otherwise might not have otherwise explored.

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