Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Postcards from Kerala and a medley of thoughts (blog marathon post

So, I left home at 7.30 am this morning and am in Kerala right now. I will be conducting a National creative writing workshop at my alma mater, St.Teresa's college Kochi. The other two writers who have graduated from here are Shinie Antony and Jaishree Mishra, both of who are my seniors from college. I feel proud of this Institution.

Tomorrow evening I will be at DC books, convent Junction at 5.30 pm. Come! or if you have riends in Kochi who would like to attend this event, do pass on the inforomation. On 15th I am giving a talk at Sacred Heart college, Kochi and then i get back to Bangalore. In between, I have press interviews too.

Today, as soon as I got off the plane, I was barraged by messages, which demanded that I turn around an assignment in less than 24 hours. It would require me to read at least 25000 words. No prior intimation was given of this deadline. It was foisted upon me and I was asked if I wasn't aware of it. There was no mail sent earlier informing me of the deadline, nor was I consulted. I agreed to do it out of commitment to what I do. When I do something, I put my heart and soul into it. I am sincere, committed and 100 percent genuine. Anyone who has interacted with me or has been reading me or who has met me would vouch for that. One thing I cannot stand is pretence. The other thing I cannot stand is rudeness. Or a sense of I-am-greater-than-you. I deal with it by mentally distancing myself from it and surrounding myself with positivity.  That's usually the best way.

I went on an amazing 6 island tour today. Kerala is indeed God's own country. If you have read my books, you would know that many of them are set in kerala. I share with you two pictures I clicked today-- two postcards from kerala. With love.



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ps: 

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How to be a sexier man(blog marathon post 28)





If you were a  teen or in college,  in the nineties you would be familiar with the catchy number  ‘I am too sexy’ by Right Said Fred, which released in 1991, going on to reach number two in United Kingdom and No.1 on the US charts. The song is sung from the point of view of a narcissistic, bald muscular, male model with hoop earrings and a netted  mesh shirt  who goes on to sing that his personal level of sexiness makes him too sexy for various different things ranging from a shirt to his cat to New York  to Japan.
Another music band The Black Crowes have a song  with really cocky lyrics that  lyrics that go Action speaks louder than words/ And I’m a man of great experience/I know you’ve got another man/But I can love you better than him.
There are many songs where the singers brag about themselves and can’t wait to tell the world how great they are and how everyone else just cannot match up to their prowess.
How presumptuous and boastful is that?
While on screen in music videos such things might be amusing, in real life women would be appalled with a self-obsessed narcissistic guy who is completely into himself and too busy for her. There is a fine line between confidence and being obnoxious. Okay—there is actually a thick fat invisible line, drawn in red --- highlighted, marked, and obvious. Yet many men seem to be oblivious to it. The inherent male competitiveness makes many believe they are a tad more amazing, a tad wiser and a whole lot smarter than they actually are. Scientists say that evolution might have had a part to play in this and it is a trait which is likely to have developed over thousands of years.
Various studies have shown that men are most likely to misread signals from attractive women, perceiving their attention to be more sexual than the women actually intended it. They also tended to think the women were more interested in them than they actually were. Men tend  delude themselves into thinking that a particular woman is into him and he might walk away from a conversation with misconception that he has a chance to have sex with her, where as the woman might have just thought that it was nice, friendly conversation.
Plenty of advertisements, movies and online articles tell us many ways to ‘be macho’ and impress women by being muscular, fit and an alpha-male. Yet, when real women are asked what they find sexy in a man, you are likely to find unconventional and cute answers which veer from what is presumed to be traditionally sexy.
In an online survey, among the lesser known things that women find sexy in a guy were attention to the way they dressed, being kind to animals, reading, respecting waiters, cashiers and other service people, making the bed, helping around the house, being good around children, being kind to someone who is shy and having a good sense of humour with an ability to laugh at himself.
In Mating Intelligence unleashed: The Role of the Mind in Sex, Dating and Love , Robert Provine analysed more than 3000  singles and  found that both men and women considered a sense of humour as sexy. But each gender had different perceptions of what they meant by this phrase. Women tended to prefer men who made them laugh, while men preferred women who laughed at their jokes. Social scientists say that an evolved sense of humour indicates both general and verbal intelligence—a quality much desired for the propagation of the species which is why this plays an important role in mate selection. Side note --A tip to be sexier: Women can boost their attractiveness by laughing a bit more and guys can instantly up their hotness quotient by learning how to make her laugh.
The other day when I returned back from my yoga class, my spouse had cooked breakfast for me. A grilled sandwich and a fried egg, sunny-side up just the way I liked it.  It was too delicious to not click a picture and so I did, posting it on Facebook with the comment ‘All the single ladies on my timeline: please marry a man who cooks. Men who cook are sexy.’  The post got a record number of likes not only from young women but also from young men, with almost all women agreeing that that indeed cooking is one skill that makes a man instantly sexy.
So make her laugh, cook for her, pay her compliments and listen to what she has to say. She will be all yours.
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This piece first appeared in The Financial Chronicle

Ten things you do when when you love someone (blog marathon post 27)



No matter how much you try, no matter how much you want to love somebody else, no matter how much you convince yourself that you have moved on, deep down you know the truth. If you are deliriously happy when you think about someone and a smile creeps up on you, even when you are in the worst of moods, if even a mere thought of that person has a power to send a jolt of energy through your weary body, then it is nothing but love. You can try to squish it, pretend that it does not exist, ignore it, try to make it go away, but it never entirely does.

It always finds a way back.

The above lines are from my book The One You Cannot Have.

Here are ten things you do, when you are truly in love with someone:

1. Talking to them for hours feels like just a few minutes
2. You smile throughout the day, each time you think of them
3. You begin to enjoy songs like this one:

 


4.When they are not around, you keep finding yourself, making references about them when you are in conversation with others.
5. When you eat a meal, you click photos and send them.
6.Same when you dress up well.
7.There's no other sound better than the sound of their laughter.
8. If you are apart, then you stare at them mesmerised on video calls.
9. Wifi and 4G suddenly become more necessary than air when you are apart!
10.You are never ever tired to talk to them or see them.

If you can relate to the above, then congratulations for having discovered love.
If you can't--have patience. Love will find you.
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Sunday, January 10, 2016

The magic of absurdity (blog marathon post 26)

 My best friend and I often chat on an Instant Messenger. Sometimes what we talk is so absurd that we crack up completely---and then have to call the other just to hear the absolute helpless laughter. After one such mad session, I wrote this poem which I share below. If you have a friend with whom you can laugh like this, you will probably love this one. Read and let me know if you liked!




Laughter.
Helpless laughter.
Guffaw, chuckles, mirth, cracking-up, cacchination, hilarity
Absurdity.
For a whole five minutes.
Oh, the joy of utter nonsense.
A priceless memory made.
Life gifts you unexpected moments
And sometime in the future,
We will look back and say
“Remember that time when we laughed so hard that our tummies hurt?”
And we will laugh again.
Reliving the magic of absurdity
And it’s power to heal.

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© 2015 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 Why We Love The Way We Do at a great price too: Bit.ly/WhyWeLoveTheWayWeDo

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Wissenaire 2016 (blog marathon post 25)



Warm welcomes, Thunderous applause, Ovations---many times during my talk, involved interaction and a lot of love.
Fondest, cherished memories of an evening which went off fabulously---despite the almost cancelled flight, despite a journey of almost 9 hours due to delayed flights, despite barely having time to rest before my talk.
I spoke, they appreciated. And how!
Grateful.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Bhubaneshwar again!! Blog marathon post 24

Am a speaker at Wessenaire 2015, an annual tecnho festival at IIT Bhubhaneshwar. So i am off tomorrow.


And since I have a very early start tomorrow and a flight to catch this is the song I am singing:
(I like this version the best though there are many versions)


Do listen to it. It's one of my favourite songs.

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Thursday, January 07, 2016

Make yourself happy today (blog marathon post 23)



Today I read a well-written piece by Kavitha Rao which made me want to stand up and applaud her --Why Indian women are never taught to be alone and why that is a problem.

Some time back I had read a piece 30 things every woman should have and know by the time she is 30.  I so loved that piece too.

The thing about Indian women, most of us are taught to put our husbands and children first. Today was one of the extremely rare days that I watched TV for 30 minutes. (Usually I cannot stand watching for more than 5 minutes). I was watching Two and a Half Men, and in between, during the commercial break, I happened to watch a few ads. One of them showed a husband and a child, sleeping in bed with a woman, and in the middle of the night, they wake up coughing. The woman immediately jumps up and applies Vicks on them and they instantly feel better. What about her sleep? Isn't that important?
There was another advert--I forget what product it was---where two hungry children who must be 12 and 14, run back from whatever activity they were doing and the woman is standing right there with a hot meal, waiting to serve them. That's expected of an Indian woman, you see--she is their mom after all. Noone asks her how she is, whether she wants something, how her day went or anything like that. Agreed this is a 30 second commercial--but the point I am making is the mindset behind it.

My book The Secret Wishlist struck a chord with many many Indian women. I have mails from hundreds of Indian women who wrote in saying I had crawled into their heads and written their stories.

I think three decades ago, when Indian parents raised their girl-child, they built in the guilt factor. They were indirectly taught to 'adjust'. to  'feel guilty about expressing their needs' and to 'keep everyone happy'.

Here is the thing: Unless you are happy, you won't be able to give any happiness to anyone. You need to take care of yourself first. You need to look after yourself, before you can give.

If you have a special woman in your life, who makes your world brighter, appreciate her today.
And if you are that woman, give yourself a pat on the back, and do something just for yourself today---not for your child, not for your husband, not for your parents, but just for you.

It is only YOU who can make you happy.
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Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Highest selling books of 2015. Why We Love The Way We Do is in TOP FIVE

The one thing I have never mentioned is that during blog marathons, there are always good days, bad days and really-bad-i-feel-like-throwing-the-laptop-out-of-the-window days. No prizes for guessing which category today fell into.
I was having a tummy ache the whole evening. I didnt even go for my yoga and was sleeping  5.30 pm to 7.00 pm as I was too exhausted and feeling unwell.

Then a reader. Karthick Balaraman, who calls himself a 'sincere fan', messages me on Facebook. Actually a few months back, he had bumped into me in person, and he was really happy to have recognised me. He sent me the link to the best-selling books of 2015.
I was elated to see that Why We Love The Way We Do was among the highest selling non-fiction titles of 2015.

Here is the link: http://www.rediff.com/getahead/report/books-revealed-the-books-india-read-in-2015/20160106.htm

My tiredness, my stomach pain and any discomfort that I was feeling instantly vanished! I was fine suddenly.

It is amazing how positive happenings affect our bodies.Uplift us. Transport us instantly to a better place.

Our emotions are  such powerful things. I saw it being demonstrated today.

I go to bed today, a happy and contented woman. Those closest to me know how hard I have worked for this book.
Am grateful.
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Buy the book: Bit.ly/WhyWeLoveTheWayWeDo
Download the first few chapters free!: http://is.gd/WhyWeLoveTheWayWeDo

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

A tale of two sea-horses (blog marathon post 21)


Every Saturday, in the Financial Chronicle, my column Sex and the city appears. To write this I research quite a bit and today I discovered about sea horses. Did you know that in sea horses, it is the males who carry the babies? The females deposit their eggs in the male's pouch and he carries them till they are ready to hatch.

After I wrote my column (I have a deadline of Wednesday.And I am proud to say that I have been writing this column for nearly two years now and I have never missed a deadline) I sat back and imagined a scenario between two sea-horses meeting at a bar, and decided to write a dialogue between them, just for fun and to amuse myself. After I wrote it, I couldn't stop chuckling :)  and so I decided to share it here.


Here's  what I wrote:


Deep down in the pacific ocean,between the coral reefs, two sea-horses meet at the sea-weed bar. She is nursing a blue-algae margarita while he walks up to her. She looks at him and looks away, pretending to be disinterested. She is checking him out with the corner of her eye though. He notices and walks up to her.

‘Wanna come back to my cave? Yay or neigh?’ he says.
She instantly arches up her spine and sits up a bit more straight on the coral reef bar-stool.

‘Excuse me! I have heard far better lines than those.’
But he is not one to be deterred easily.

‘I have a nice tight pouch. And I don’t charge too much,’ he tries again.

Charge? I am not in the market for pouches.Pouches don’t interest me much. Seen too many.’

Her reply is  a bit too quick.

‘Ok, let’s go dancing then? You have a nice tail..was checking it out when you swam in.’

‘Hahahaha. What kind of dance do you do?’

'The horse trot. It’s like the fox trot, but for sea-horses. I’ll teach you. If you’re lucky you may even get to see my pouch later.”

‘I work in the International academy of horse dancing. I would teach YOU.But I don’t think you can afford me, mister. And I don’t wanna see no pouches.’

‘So dance just to dance? I want to practice our mating ritual!’

‘Ummmm...nah, Not interested. I come here to wind down. Dancing is work for me,’
Ms.sea horse starts checking out other horses at the algae bar.

‘What’s your favorite sex position?’

‘Why would I want to tell you that?’

Mr. Sea horse downs his seventh shot.
I LIKE HORSIE STYLE..IT’S LIKE DOGGIE STYLE BUT FOR US.’

Ms.seahorse gets up and bolts.And looks at the bouncer (an orca whale) and gestures to him with her eyes.
Bouncer steps in.

She swims for her life, swishing her cute tail furiously, getting away as fast as she can.

Mr. Seahorse is bewildered. Asks his male friends why he can’t get any tail.
The last I heard he was still asking.

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If you find it as funny as I did--- despite saying so myself---do leave me a comment.  I take comments instead of cash for making you laugh :) And as an incentive for comments, I pay you back with more such posts!
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Monday, January 04, 2016

A review--Why We Love The Way we Do (Blog marathon post 20)

Just got to know that Sakal Times have given my latest book a really nice review.
I quote from the review:

The essays are peppered with a lot of real-life stories and practical advice about myriad matters related to love and marriage — from how to survive heartbreaks, to how to make relationships last.

Shenoy’s writing style is articulate, engaging and candid (she shares personal experiences of her marriage at several points in the book). The book is replete with references to social and psychological studies and cultural facts, which gives a welcome sense of authenticity to the reading experience. The author is careful not to come across as repetitive or preachy.
No matter how many books you have written, it always feels great to get a positive review. At the end of the day, we put in a lot of work to write a book. We do the best that we can. For this book, I had put in hours and hours of meticulous research. i had taken care to not sound preachy or like a ms.Know-it-all.

I am glad that, that has been recognised.

 For all of you who have bought it, read it and liked it---a heartfelt thank you. It was at No.7 on the Nieslsen listand was at No.5 on the Crossword best-seller list.

And it was you  who helped make it happen!
Thanks folks! Keep smiling.

See you tomorrow!
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Buy the book: Bit.ly/WhyWeLoveTheWayWedo


Sunday, January 03, 2016

A good drive (blog marathon post 19)

On some days, nothing really beats a good drive.
And being driven around by your son, is icing on the cake.
The cherry, being the fact that it was I who had taught him how to drive.



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Pssst:

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Saturday, January 02, 2016

Get over your fears (Blog marathon post 18)




It's the 2nd of January 2016. Have you broken any resolutions yet? Or are you saving that for mid February or March when the steam runs out? :)

I think one of the biggest things that we an do for ourselves this year is to lose our fears. Ask yourself--what is the biggest thing you fear? Is it losing someone you love? Is it fear of public speaking? Is it not having enough money? Is it fear of failure?

Often, when it comes to living life to the fullest, it is our fears that hold us back. We are so afraid to go out there and give whatever we want to do a chance, because we fear the consequences. We fear rejection. We fear ridicule, scorn. We fear change.

But what if you were assured that you would succeed at whatever it is that you want to try but do not have the courage for? What if someone gave you a guarantee that no matter what it is, you wont fail?
What would you do?

Make a list.
Write it down.
Then cross off one off the list each month.

IF you fail, so be it. It is a valuable lesson learnt.
And if you don't it's an even more valuable lesson learnt.
That will make this a SPLENDID year.
 
We can indeed fly, soar and touch the skies.It is only our fears that are holding us back.
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ps: if you want to share your list, I am listening. But I have an ulterior motive.
I just might use that in the novel I am writing :) My characters might  live your desires :))

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Buy my books, you will love them:   http://is.gd/preetibooks
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Friday, January 01, 2016

Beginning a new year with happy memories (Blog marathon post 17)

When I was a child, my mother used to always say that whatever you do on the first day of the new year will be that which would set the tone for the rest of the year. We took great care to make the first day a positive one, to be happy with what we have rather than focus on those issues that weren't right, and to do those things that brought us joy.

Even to this day, I take care to follow that on 1st of January, each year. 1st January always signifies hope and a new start.
I spent my day with my family, and my closest cousin (almost like a sister) whom I was meeting after 15 years, as we live in two different parts of the world,and our paths  in life have been very different. It is amazing how the bond formed in childhood still remains just as strong.


She was visiting me with her family and had been staying with us the last three days. We had thousands of things to talk about, and the laughter was non-stop as we recalled one thing after the other. With her, I can be totally myself--funny,goofy, sometimes sarcastic, clever, witty, kind, mad ,humorous, comical and self-deprecatory. She completely understands me.


We went out for lunch to a lovely place today (too) and here's a pic from today.

Among all the blessings that i count in my life, I am genuinely grateful for people who love me for who I am.
If you have such people in your life, hold on to them. Do everything you can to to keep that relationship going. It's a treasure to be cherished, and would also be the best gift that you can give yourself.

Till tomorrow, keep smiling.
I do hope you have a wonderful 2016,  where you have health, laughter and loads of time to make happy memories with your loved ones.
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Like what you read?
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Happy new Year!! (blog marathon post 16)



Remember the year gone by
But remember only the happy things
Look back at the year gone by
But consider only the sucesses
Remember the year gone by
Take what you want from it
Lessons and memories
Cherish it. Value it.
Each day comes only once.
And a new year can be a new beginning.
Start,
Begin,
Renew.

I wish you a WONDERFUL  new year.
May you have health, money, happiness and may you be surrounded by loved ones.