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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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.

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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!
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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)
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A different perspective.




This morning when I opened  Bangalore Mirror , I found myself looking at my own picture. A little later, a reader tweeted to me a link to  Deccan Chronicle  and the publishers of two of my titles, told me that the piece was in Asian Age as well.

While I had spoken to both newspapers (To Deccan Chronicle many days back and I had forgotten about it and to Bangalore Mirror last evening) I did not think both would appear on the same day.

Whenever the newspapers carry a piece about me or my books,  I always tell my mom. Today was no different. My mom was more interested in telling me about the rains in Kerala though. She talked about how the rains had lashed her village last evening and how there was no power through out the night. We inhabit two different worlds. In her world, what is important is not in mine.

I like the stark contrasts. It gives me completely different perspectives.
 And makes me focus on what really matters---my writing.

Personally I think that  my next book is my best yet. I think which each book, one hones the skill and gets better.
I can't wait to hold the physical copy in my hand. Less than a month to go now.
I am waiting.

I wonder if you are too.
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

For this I am grateful!



And today, for this I am truly grateful.

And so very thrilled.
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Monday, November 10, 2014

On making adult choices



Pre marital sex is not a taboo. According to HT-Mars Youth survey , 63 percent believe it is perfectly acceptable and normal.

However, like the protagonist of my next book, if you make an adult choice, you will have to face adult consequences.
And as long as you are aware, nobody has the right to judge.







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Thursday, November 06, 2014

Family versus Work. What should you choose? #askpreeti



Remember I had mentioned about   #Askpreeti series? Well, it starts  off today! 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's question that I picked, asked by reader Dixita Mour.


Question asked : Should we choose between our passion or family? You are very successful in managing both--family and work. What should one do?

Family is the basic unit from which we start our life. What we learn from our families, helps us deal with different social situations. In a way, it is the family that is providing us the 'blue-print' to our personality. We then grow up, get a job and start our own families.

There can never be a perfect work-life balance. At any given point of time, you will always be tugged by both. For me too, it is the same.
When my children were much younger, I chose to give up my corporate career as I wanted to be around for them. Now they are much older and hence independent. I had no doubt in my mind that it was the path I wanted to take. But if you ask me whether it was easy, I would say it most definitely wasn't. Back then, when I made that choice, I gave up my economic independence for a while There was no guarantee that I would meet with success. However I was fortunate that things turned out well.

When you make a choice, you have to ask yourself these questions.
1. How important is it for you to earn well?
2.How many hours of work do you have to put in to sustain your current/desired lifestyle?
3.Are you the primary bread-winner of your family?
4.How important is it for you to be able to spend time with your family?

Once you answer the above questions, you will have a clear choice to make.

As for me, if you were to ask me whether I choose my passion or my family, I would definitely say family. But if this very family is going to hinder and stand in the way of my passion (where I am very fortunate to have a supportive family) then I am clearly going to be unhappy. In that case, I would take a call and choose that which gives me more contentment. Only if we are happy can we make our loved ones happy.
We owe it to ourselves to take care of  our own needs first. Only then can you give your hundred percent to your family as well as your passion. And if your career is your passion, it is a jackpot!

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Have you pre-ordered 'It happens for a reason'? Grab it  at a great discount!

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Monday, November 03, 2014

Little things that go a long way

Today I had a long interview with one of the National newspapers. I spoke in depth about my next book. The interview was fun but also a lot of work. The thing about interviews is that you have to focus completely on what you have to say, as you would be quoted by the newspaper. Unlike when I am writing, when I have all the time in the world to choose my words carefully, in interviews, I have to think on my feet.

Today was also a stressful day as I also had to let one of my staff go. One thing I cannot stand is insolence and being rude. On top of that not being punctual.

In my books, being on time means respecting the other person. Acknowledging that their time is as valuable as yours by not making them wait.

Also another thing I cannot stand is 'chalta hai' attitude. I give my one hundred percent in everything I do. I expect the same from my staff, especially if I am paying about 30-35 percent higher than the market rate.

I think sometimes a clean break is needed, if something no longer works for you. Yes, temporarily one may be inconvenienced. Temporarily one might be in a uncomfortable place.
But when you keep living with something that you are irritated about , but do not fix, then you are accepting something less than what is optimum. It might seem like a tiny thing to fret about, but I believe it is important.

Details are important. Little things like manners and courtesy is important. Things like keeping up your word is important. Not putting down others is important.

These little things are the ones that will stand you in good stead and take you a long way. Trust me, I know.

And I leave you tonight with a lovely song by Don Williams, whose words make a lot a of sense to me. Do listen to it carefully.
I think you will like it too.



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My new book 'It happens for a Reason' is out on December 10th.
Order it at a great price!

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Sunday, November 02, 2014

5 things to do to make your relationships better

hug photo: Hug Hug.jpg



Yesterday I told you that I would write about things that you can do, so that you feel a little less disappointed in your relationships. It is easy to say 'Have no expectations and then you won't be disappointed'. But how is that possible? Of course, it is only human to expect. I do expect those I love to be supportive of me, understand me and be there for me. I would do the same for them. That is natural. You have to be Buddha or Mother Teresa  to not expect anything at all, out of a relationship and to exhibit supreme patience.

What can you do if the other person is not responding to you? What can you so if things are not going the way you want them to? How do you rid yourself of the burden of expectations.

Here are 5 things that will help you to make your relationships better.


1. Stop making excuses for the other person: If the other person wants to call, they will make time and call anyway. Nobody--not even a top notch movie-star is that busy. It is a matter of priorities.If you are important to that person, then they will make time. Do not make excuses for them, saying that perhaps they are too busy. How much time does a text message take anyway? 15 seconds? How much time does an email take? 5 minutes?

2. Be willing to let go:  We cling on to the relationships we have because we are so afraid to let go. We hold on so tight, as we cannot imagine our life without that person being a part of it. But sometimes, when we move away, we are giving space to ourselves to grow. Maybe you will discover new people. Maybe you will break out of a pattern you have set, and discover new skill sets. Maybe when you let go, the other person will realize what you mean to them, and will make an extra effort.

3.Be open to a little  introspection : Be willing to look inside yourself. Why do you want the person to do things your way? perhaps you are a person who expresses love by wishing your friends on their birthday, getting them gifts, calling them up and going to see them. But maybe that person doesn't express their love that way. Maybe their way of expressing love is  coming over with hot soup when you are unwell. Or listening to you moan and groan when something bad happens. Just because that person doesn't do things exactly the way you would do, it doesn't mean they don't love you. You are the one who has to take a call and decipher the meaning behind their actions---and then look inside to see if that is in alignment with what YOU want out of the relationship.

4.Communicate : Sometime back I came across this visual, which i had set as my Display Picture on my BBM, for a while. I think the visual says it all. Open and honest communication is so important in a relationship.


why complicate life photo: Why Complicate Life? why-complicate-life-keep-it-simple-life-quotes-sayings-pics_zpsa4c2d5cf.jpg


 However, after having said the above, you should also know when to take a hint and back off. If you have called 6 times or more to make plans and the person keeps finding excuses, then you clearly know where you stand in their list of priorities. Accept it and back off!


5. Change : You have to accept that change is an integral part of every relationship. People change. Things change. Situations change. You do grow apart. Unless you are willing to embrace change and go with the flow, and change so that you are still able to find a common ground with the person, you are likely to drift apart. If you do slowly start drifting apart, take the above mentioned steps and see if it works out. If it doesn't that is just how it was meant to be.

It will definitely cause pain when you let go. It isn't so easy. But if it has to be done, you have to steel yourself and do it. I see no other way.The pain shall pass. And you will grow because of it.



New post tomorrow.
Bye for now!
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ps: My new  novel 'It happens for a reason'  is a story that deals with complications that come with relationships. The book will be out on Dec 10th!




Pre-order it at a great price:   

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