Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A food post. Life's little blessings

It is rarely that I post things about what I cook. And very very rarely have I shared photos of stuff I cook. Many people who meet me are surprised to know that I haven't hired a cook, and I do all the cooking myself. My husband too cooks, and one of the things we love doing together, is cooking.

Today was one of those days, where I ended up making  some  stuff which turned  out YUMMILICIOUS.

 Carrot Idlis for breakfast.  You can find the recipe HERE

I served it with some coconut -coriander chutney. It is something my grandmother used to make, and the recipe has been passed down the family. I love the feeling of nostalgia, warmth and comfort this brings.

And then, in the afternoon, I baked a banana-walnut cake. I used THIS recipe.

That turned out really well. It tasted divine and the the aroma wafting across the home, brings such a happy, warm feeling. This is what love smells like  :)

Sometimes, we forget to be grateful for life's little things.
 I think it is important that we are.

Do you cook? What food brings you comfort? Is there a recipe that hs been passed down the generations?
Tell me in my comment box. (I have a selfish reason for asking this too. What you share here, might end up in a novel :)  [ Yes, I have already started working on my next book. ]

Will post again soon. Till then, don't forget to be grateful for life's little blessings.

 Read It's All In The Planets yet?

THIS is what the Hindu said about it.

It was also featured by buzzfeed in the 35 Top books of 2016.

GRAB it :  http:/preeti.io/a

Friday, January 20, 2017

A recap of my last few days--A picture post.

The last few days have been really hectic for me, and I have just got back from Hindu Lit For Life in Chennai and a few events in Kolkata, where I had some good sessions, met interesting people and had a pleasant time.
I am sharing a few pictures with you:
A picture of the audience at my session at Hindu Lit For Life

With my fellow panelists--I am sure you know who they are.

I admire her a lot. I don't think she needs an introduction!

A section of the audience at DPS Kolkata

Got a standing ovation.

As you might have guessed I am EXHAUSTED, travel-lagged and sleep deprived. Many a time I am asked if I enjoy these events. I do. But it takes me days to recover. I do prefer writing to addressing large crowds (even though I always get standing ovations).

Will blog again soon. Till then, keep smiling.
ps: Get my new book: http://preeti.io/3

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Seven things I do when $*^# happens!

 Have you been following your new year resolutions? I am happy to report that I have very much been following mine. :)  Going strong, in fact. In my last post, I told you about the reading wall.
 I have already finished reading two books so far, and now I am on my third. Satish too has finished reading two books, and he too is on his third. Any free time we get, we are reading secretly and competing with each other openly. :) Of course, both being bibliophiles, we read for the joy of reading more than anything else.

If you want to know the books I read and whether or not I liked them, you can leave me comments, in this post asking me to mention them. If there are at least a 50 requests, then will write a post on them. Why fifty? Because it's WORK for me to do a review, and I don't work for free. But if there are enough number of requests, then I will do it [call it a wave of altruism submerging me with the number 50 ;)].

 On a different note, what do YOU do when things don't go the way you expect them to? I am certain all of you have ways of dealing with a bad day. I know someone who binge eats (and then regrets it later!). I know someone else who drowns it with alcohol only to wake up with a massive hangover, not feeling any better. I know another who texts a friend.

Here are MY seven favourite ways to deal with a bad day, or to deal with life when things don't go my way. (This is of course apart from my 1st favourite thing to do, which is read, but I have included that too, as it  is something I do ).

1. Go for a walk: A walk always clears my mind. I love long walks. I sometimes go twice a day. Each walk is about an hour long. As I walk, I think about variuos things, and I can see different perspectives. A lot of my own thoughts become better.

2. Listen to podcasts: This is something I do, when I walk. There are some brillaint podcasts out there. I happen to like BBC's Reith lectures a lot. One that I found very pwerful, poignant, moving and enlightening was a  podcast by Atul Gawande called 'The problem of Hubris.

3. Sketch: This is my favourite activity as many of you know. I have an exclusive Instagram page for my art now. Check out https://www.instagram.com/preetishenoyart/
I am sharing here one sketch (or drawing or painting or illustration or whatever you want to call it. I am clarifying as someone asked me the difference between them) that I did in charcoal.

4. Write: I write such a lot! What would I do without writing? I have different journals for different things.  I maintain an illustrated art journal. I have one for my deeper thoughts. Another for my story ideas and yet another to develop the novel I am currently working on.

5. Call a friend: This is something that I do very rarely. I dislike talking on the phone as it takes too much time. But if the person is very close, I make exceptions, and when I do talk, we end up talking for 30-40 minutes.

6. Read a book: Always, always always. A good book can be your best friend. You can have several best friends :) It's a fabulous feeling to lose yourself in the world created by a skilled writer. The characters you read about, become a part of your life. You find some bits of yourself in them. You care for them. You understand them, empathize with them. They console you. That is the power of a good book or a good story.

7. Tidy my room: I always quip that you can tell my emotional state just by looking at the state of my cupboards. My room generally tends to be tidy, my desk is always mostly messy and my wardrobes depend on my state of mind.  When I get rid of clutter and organise stuff, it does make me feel better.

What do YOU do, when things don't go your way? How do you cope? Tell me in comments.

Till the next post (which will be soon), stay cheerful :) 

__________________________________ps: If you are anything like Aniket, you probably have a Subbu in your life :)
Read about it in my new book It's All In The Planets. Get it at http://preeti.io/3

Monday, January 02, 2017

The single best thing you can do for yourself in 2017

So we are already on 2nd January 2017. Hope you managed to stick to your resolutions at least on Day 1. I did. (see my previous post for my resolutions)

I had said that I would share with you, one nice thing that we did at my home, and that you could incorporate it in your home too, if you liked the idea. Any guesses as to what it was? Well, I created a Reading wall.

So what is a 'Reading wall'? It is a large sheet of paper stuck on the wall, on which you enter all the books that you read.  I made mine into four sections, one for each member of the family. We threw in sops like dinner at a nice restaurant, when four books are collectively read (so it's a win-win for all). We also threw in rewards like _______ (fill in suitably) when you reach  N books. I am sharing some pics with you.
This is what I made. The pen and the scissor give you an idea of the size of the sheet. I used a full size chart paper.

I added details in each one's section, like how you see below:

And then I stuck it on the wall! The snap is clicked at an odd angle. I am too lazy to click a 'proper angle one'. But you get the general idea from this photo.

And guess what---Satish has already made the first entry on this wall, under his name! I am secretly competing with him, and so I am quietly reading my book, whenever i can. (I read four books at a time and so I am all the more motivated now).

I think a reading wall is a great idea, if you live with people whose reading goals are same as yours. Give it a try.

Coming back to the title of the post, what is the SINGLE best thing you can do for yourself in 2017?

I think it is mindful living. Many a time we just go through the motions of living without any focus. If we ask ourselves at the beginning of the day 'What would make today a great day?' and if we do that one thing which made that day great, don't you think you would feel good when you hit the bed?

At the end of the day, we can take stock and think about how that day went. Make notes in a journal. Bullet journal is a great idea for those who lack time. There are tonnes of article online about bullet journals. Change it to suit your needs.

This morning, I waled 8.82 kms! Something I am proud of.

Especially so, as it was so cold! There was mist all around. The visibility was just about 8feet. Beyond that I couldn't see anything. Here's a pic I clicked on my walk.

And here's another:

How has your new year started?
Good luck with your resolutions. I am happy that I am  definitely keeping mine!

ps: my book was picked as top romantic reads of 2016. To see the full list go HERE
Buy my latest book: http://preeti.io/3