Thursday, March 23, 2017

Tidy up! (post 23)

 There are many people, who can function well no matter what their surroundings are. It might be messy, chaotic, noisy (think hostel rooms) but it doesn't affect them at all.
But for me, what I am surrounded with matters.
I like clean organised spaces. I like minimalism. I like being surrounded by things that are mean something to me.

One book which I HIGHLY recommend is the Life Changing Magic of Tidying up by Marie Kondo.  The Konmari method works like a charm. I have used it with  amazing results.


My home is full of things that has  for me. I share with you an  old interview which I did sometime back, which gives you a tiny  glimpse of my home. (I had written only 5 books when this was shot..Now I have written 8)







I do believe objects you surround yourself with make a difference. If the stuff and the chaos makes you happy, keep it!
But if it doesn't go read the book I recommend and then ACT on it!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

When you are not ready for marriage. An exclusive extract from It's All In The Planets. (post 22)

My post for today----An exclusive extract only for my blog readers  from It's All In The Planets.


 ________________________________________________

Nidhi


I sink into my leather recliner chair, fold my legs, take a sip of the whiskey, and dial Tara’s number.
‘Hey there, sunshine. How goes everything?’ Her voice itself has the power to soothe me.
‘Hey, Tara. Not so good.’
‘Why? What happened?’
‘It seems like a repeat of the Vir saga all over again,’ I sigh.
‘Oh no. Why?’
‘Manoj says he is shifting to the US and expects me to join him. He wants us to get married within a month.’
‘And?’
‘And what? I am not ready, Tara. How can you get married when you aren’t ready?’
There is a small pause from her side as she processes the information.
Then she says, ‘Yeah, you can’t. You have to be completely willing. You have to be eager to get married. You have to want it more than anything else you have ever wanted in your life. I know, because that’s what I felt when I was marrying your dad. I was a little older than you then, and never had I been more certain about anything in my life. I was on fire. It was like I had been sleeping all my life, and the relationship with your dad had brought me alive. You have to feel that for a person, Nidhi. Or else things will collapse after a few years. I have seen far too many marriages breaking up. I know what I am talking about.’
‘Yes, I knew you would understand Tara.’
‘So, what are you going to do about it?’
‘I don’t know. I told him I need time.’
‘And what did he say?’
‘He said yes, but I know he is hoping I will change my mind. You know how keen he is to get married. His love for me is true and deep.’
‘I know, my darling Nidhi. But the question that you have to ask yourself is whether you love him the same way.’
I am silent for a few minutes. Tara’s question has thrown me completely off-guard.
I had presumed until now that my love for him was a given, an unquestionable factor. Now I wasn’t so sure. If I loved him so much, why wasn’t my heart singing at the prospect of marriage? Was I commitment-phobic? Or had Vir scarred me too much?
‘Hello, are you there, Nidhi?’ asks Tara.
‘Yes. I was thinking about what you said. You’re right, I need to ask myself that question. I do love him. Or at least I think I do. But this marriage thing scares me.’
‘Then wait. Do not jump into it. If he genuinely loves you, he will wait. Give it time.’
‘What if we grow apart like it happened with Vir?’
‘So what? At least you know you weren’t making a mistake by marrying him. And yes, you must remember that Vir happened at a different time in your life. You were much younger, busy building a career. You don’t have that pressure now. You are certain about what you want to do. You have time for yourself now. And when two people love each other, they will always make time. Let this be the acid test of your relationship. Tell him to move and that you will stay here till you are ready to join him.’
I tell her I will, and after I hang up I rock back and forth in my recliner chair, thinking about it.
Talking to Tara always helps put things in perspective. 

 




Buy the book: http://preeti.io/a

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Championing the Written word (post 21)



Check out the latest issue of Business World (dated 20th March 201, women's day special).  Some prominent women in the publishing industry were asked to  to name one book by an Indian woman author that they loved.
I picked Anita Nair's Alphabet Soup.

You can read what I said in the article above,  here. 

I have hard a very long day. I have been working for almost 12 hours now, and so I shall make this post short.

See you tomorrow folks!!
_______________________
ps: Check out http://preeti.io/a

Monday, March 20, 2017

Snapshots from my garden. (post 20)

One of the things I love to do in the morning, before I begin my day, is spend time in my terrace garden. We grow our own vegetables. I have blogged about in in the past, and also shared pictures.
There's another post I wrote too which talks about how I started one.

Today I share with  you two pictures from my garden.



 I also have a lovely cactus collection which is full of flowers, in full bloom. I share many pictures on my snapchat. (Preeti.Shenoy is my snap id) and you can follow me there to see what I am up to on a daily basis.
More tomorrow.
Good night folks.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The place I love most in this world. (Post 19)






Spent the entitre morning sketching my desk, my most favourite place in the world. I really love my antique desk. I can sit for hours at my desk, sketching, writing, creating. I always get lost here.
So grateful to have that.

For more of my art follow me on my instagram art page.
____________________________________________

Check out: http://preeti.io/a

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Do you take people for granted? (post 18)

My post for today is my column which appears in The Financial Chronicle every Saturday.






 "We all have those friends, who get in touch only when they need something. When you need something, they are always busy or unavailable. Then there is the friend, who vanishes for months together. When they do resurface in your life, there is no apology, no explanation as both parties are genuinely happy to reconnect. I have many friends with whom I can pick up right where I left off, even if it has been years since either of us spoke a word to each other. Mostly these bonds forged in childhood, are so strong that passage of time doesn’t weaken them....."

You can read the full piece HERE.
__________________________________________________
Grab my latest book: http://preeti.io/a


Friday, March 17, 2017

A racoon and a donkey (post 17)

Many people who read my books are unaware that I also make art. I have been doing this since my childhood, and it is one thing that gives me immense joy, apart from my writing.

An art course that I did a while back, had a very interesting exercise. We had to get realistic looking  plastic animals, use them as models and then make realistic animal sketches.
Today I took out my collection of animals, and here's what i made.


A brown raccon




And a donkey.

And here they are, now a part of my sketchbook!

For more of my art, check out Instagram  handle exclusively for my art.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Is there something called destiny? (post 16)

If you haven't yet watched the movie Lion, please do go and watch it this weekend. It is the true life story of Saroo Brierley. I was so deeply moved by the movie, that I bought the book, immediately, and I am currently reading it.

The book first published as ' A long way home' and subsequently, after the movie came out, has been published as Lion.

Watching the movie, and reading the book makes you believe that there indeed is something called destiny.

Our life paths unfold exactly the way it was meant to.



That is the core message of my last novel too. That we all have  our destinies.

Does that mean we adopt a fatalistic approach and leave it all to chance? No. We put in efforts, we steer our lives, and we accept the outcomes.

Hard to do, but it comes with time. And age.

That's all for today folks.
Tomorrow--meet me here again :)
___________________________________________

Buy the book: http://preeti.io/3

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Footsteps.(post 15)




For today's post,  thought I would post what I do as a warm up for my writing. There is a site called One word.
You see a word at the top of the screen, and you get 60 seconds to write about it.
My word for today was 'Footsteps'.
And here is what i wrote:

The footsteps you leave on people’s hearts speak a lot about you. Tread with caution. Tread with love. Tread with care. Stomp if you must, but remember when you go, all you leave behind are memories.
The best part is, once you submit, you can also see what the others wrote on that same word, which you did.

Fun, isn't it?

That's all from me for today folks, goodnight.
Don't forget to show me some love by leaving me comments, so I know that you are with me, on this blog marathon!

xoxo
Preeti

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The fundamentals of caring (post 14)

I just finished watching this lovely movie called 'Fundamentals of Caring'.
It is a poignant , uplifting story  and the humour is dark--exactly how I like it.

When do you know you care for someone? It is when you put your conveniences aside, and care for them to the extent where you make their dreams, their hopes and their aspirations your own.

Parents think that they do this for their children--but here's the thing: Some parents do, some think they do. Many parents try to live their lives, and carry out their ambitions through their children. Many push their kids into science stream, forcing them to take the IIT-JEE, sending them for these coaching classes right from when they are in Class 9! Many feel that career-choices like being a film-maker, or a graphic designer are not really as prestigious as going to IIT and IIM.

True happiness comes only when you do something that YOU find fulfilling. Living someone else's dream is never going to bring you real satisfaction. For sometime you may kid yourself that you are happy. But deep down you know. It goes against the fundamentals of caring.

And the first rule is LOVE YOURSELF, ACCEPT YOURSELF and be the best you can be!

A new post tomorrow. Till then take care of yourself.

Lots of love
Preeti
A picture that I really like :) I posted this on my instagram today.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The questions of Age (post 12)




For my post today, I decided to do something fun, something light, and something breezy, easy and not so cheesy. So I headed over to Sunday stealing. And what do I find?

This! (Not breezy, not easy, and definitely not cheesy). But since I decided to do it anyway, here goes:


1. By a certain age, women should : not give a damn, and should live to please themselves.

2. By a certain age men, should : retire :D

3. When I was young I thought by now I would : stop caring about close people who purposely put you down.

4. Now that I am older I wish : I had not given a damn in my twenties and traveled more.

5. You know that you are too old to do an activity when: you are NEVER too old to do ANYTHING!

6. You know you are too young to do an activity when : it's illegal for you to do that.

7. When I was in high school I listened to the music of : Pop of the 90's, George Michael, Madonna, Sting.

8. When I was in college (or the next four years after high school) I listened to the music of : REM, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Ugly Kid Joe.

9. These days, at my age I find myself listening music of:  what current teens like!!  Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Major Lazer, Bruno Mars, Maroon 5

10. For my last birthday I : sketched something amazing--Tipu's palace!

11. On my next birthday I want to : Be my myself, at a place where nobody can reach me.

12. The best birthday present I ever got was : When my family planned the entire day with me, full of surprises/

13. The first time I felt that I was an adult was when : I gave birth to my son.

14. The last time I felt like I was still a kid was when : I felt helpless about a certain situation. Wait no--I feel like a kid on most days.

15. I would sum up 2016 by saying: It was probably one of the worst years of my life, and I am glad it is over.

16. I hope I will sum up 2017 by saying in December: yeah babe--you did it!

17. So far in terms of age, I feel my first big milestone was: When my first book was published.

18. As I look forward to the rest of my life’s journey, I feel my biggest milestone of my life will be: When i die? :P

19. By the time I was the age I am now I am surprised that I haven’t yet: run away, renouncing the world, adopting asceticism.

20. By the time I am 65, I hope that I have: Lived life to the fullest, travelled a lot and ticked everything on
My Secret wish list 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Guests or pests? (post 11)




My post for today is my newspaper column that appears every Saturday in The Financial Chronicle. Enlarge and read, or go HERE

_________________________________
ps: Check out preeti.io/a

Friday, March 10, 2017

Possesive much? (Post 10)






A splendid book that I  read, called The Tamil Story, a collection of  88  Tamil short stories  from the last hundred years, translated into idiomatic English, showcases the society, the human emotions and the rich literature of the language, in a wonderful way. While the societal beliefs, norms, customs and traditions have evolved and changed over the years, what remains constant , never changing, ever-present are the human emotions.

A story I found particularly interesting, written in 1920 is by Subramania Bharathi, the well-known poet, freedom fighter, activist, writer ,journalist and social reformer from Tamilnadu. The story titled Railway Station, talks about a young Muslim man, in a dilemma as he was forced to marry three sisters, who were now fighting among themselves for his affection. The young man says that life is a living hell because of them. If he buys a silk blouse for one of his wives, the other one tears up hers, demanding the same. If he buys a jewel for one of them, the same story repeats. Each of them cannot stand it when he speaks to others. The young man finally concludes that the only solution would be to divorce two of the women and ‘set them free’. After the story was published in the newspaper, one of the readers wrote to Bharathi, saying that it was not a norm among Muslims to get married to sisters. Bharathi immediately apologised stating that all he was trying to do by writing the story, was propagate progressive ideas.

The sisters in the fictitious tale grapple a real problem---possessiveness in a relationship. When we enter into a deep relationship with someone, we want all of his or her time, attention and affection. The thought of someone else taking what we perceive to be ‘rightfully ours’ becomes an unbearable thing that haunts you, stealing your peace.‘What if my partner finds that other person more attractive and interesting than me, and hence discards me?’ or ‘Why can’t my partner be happy with me? Why does he/she need that other person at all?’ are questions which the possessive partner grapples with. It stems from a feeling of inadequacy.


The above is an extract from a newspaper column I wrote a few months back.

What do you think you can do to solve this problem of possesiveness? Do you think it is okay? How much of it would you be willing to tolerate? Do you find a possesive partner 'cute' or do you hate it? Are you okay if your spouse talks every day for an hour  or more to a person of the opposite sex? 

Tell me your thoughts in my comment box.


Thursday, March 09, 2017

Life goes on (post 9)

What an EXHAUSTING day today turned out to be. The old lady downstairs passed away. She was 83. I went to pay my last respects. There were many mourning. I stayed  for a while, comforted them and came back/.

Sometimes I think what matters really is not your wealth or status or prestige. It's the memories you leave behind.

Even though the day started not-so-well, I am content. Very very content. I shall share that news another time (it's too soon yet to share) but I am excited about it.

I got a lovely letter today. I share it here (with permission)


This is the thing about life. It goes on no matter what. It throws up little surprises every now and then, like the one above. And during the time of our existence, we MUST make lots of happy memories, so that when we go, those whose lives me managed to touch,still remember us and keep us alive.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Wordless Wednesday no. 52 -Happy womens day!

It's been a while since I did a wordless wednesday

So my post for today is a picture clicked this afternoon, when I went out, and the restaurant gave me a complimentary Sangria for women's day!  :)
Happy women's day to all the wonderful women in our lives!


____________________________________________
check out http://preeti.io/a

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

The No relationship (post 7)









The No relationship
Preeti Shenoy
__________________________


Nothing in common
No exchanges
No glances
No conversation
No smiles
No connection
No hugs
No touching
No waiting
No gifts
No desire
No caring
No interest
No hatred
No love
No laughter
No freedom
Bound by apathy
And promises
Made in ignorance
The No-relationship chugs
Stronger than ever
Running on parallel tracks
No destination in sight
No end either.

© 2017 Preeti Shenoy

 For more poems click here. Some poems have already appeared in print. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.


Monday, March 06, 2017

Have you met Aniket? (post 6)




Today's post is about Aniket. Have you met him?  Do you know anyone like him? Or if you are a guy, are you like him?
(Do watch the above video--It's a 30 second introduction to Aniket)

I had shared the above video on facebook, and I got an interesting response from a reader. This is what he said.

You can see my reply too.

The Hindu had given my book an excellent review, praise which is hard to earn if you write commercial fiction. I quote from the article:

Shenoy’s book, on the other hand, is a pleasant discovery. Her deft handling of a nicely rounded and original plot is impressive. Chance brings a 30-something woman, Nidhi, and a 20-something man together, and they become friends. Shenoy gives us complex characters with complicated lives, and her handle on different kinds of relationships is strong. Her writing is simple; too simple in fact, with almost no layers and subtleties. All of the punch, then, lies in the story and its insights. You find yourself rooting for her protagonists, and feeling none of the irritation of reading about damsels in distress.
And today I also took a screen-shot of the reviews on amazon:


Any author feels great when they get terrific reviews.
For me, this was especially great, as this book wasn't easy to write. There was a lot going on in my personal life at that time.
Hence, this victory feels  even more sweet.
(Incidentally the book has already sold more than 40,000 copies since release)

If you are one of those who contributed to the success, a hearltfelt thank you.


That's me right now :)

See you tomorrow!
And yes, if you haven't yet read it, here's a GREAT offer. 
Goodnight my lovely reader.
I will meet you again tomorrow.
Don't forget to leave me comments, tell me your thoughts about the book. (but don't give away the ending or the plot twists please!)
lots of love
Preeti
_________________________________________

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Why you should watch a good movie (post 5)



One can learn a lot through Cinema. Correction---One can learn a lot through good cinema. A good movie contains such a lot. You see a whole new world that you never saw before. Just like  a good  book does , you immerse yourself in the microcosm of the experience, transporting yourself to a different dimension, through the characters.

How does one determine what is 'good' and what isn't? As movie tastes are very subjective.

For me, what usually works are the IMDB ratings. 
Occasionally  there have been times, when a movie is rated very low on IMDB, but I have liked it. Sometimes, I feel a movie hasn't got the rating it deserved. Since it is a user driven algorithm, it tends to cater to most people's tastes.

A good film can be a deeply moving experience. We learn to empathise. We travel to different cultures without leaving our seats. We get to see the situation from many perspectives. Above all, if you absorb the lessons that a good movie is trying to impart, it helps you grow.

Two really good movies that I saw  over this weekend were Lion (which is based on the true story of Saroo Bierly) and Magic of Belle Isle.

Do try and watch both. Both are powerful tales.

If you have any movie recommendations for me, which are rated above 7.5 on IMDB, please let me know in the comment box! (am always looking for good movies to watch. I have seen all the 'must see' ones like Shawshank, pursuit of happiness, bucket list, bridge to terabithia, life is beautiful, green mile, In Bruges etc. So don't tell me those ones. If you have others, please tell me. Would love to know).

That's it folks. I am off to read this lovely collection of short stories by Fredrick Forsyth a master story-teller. I am half way through the book and liking it very much.

Hope your Sunday was terrific and you are recharged and all set to face Monday!
See you tomorrow!
_____________________________
check out http://preeti.io/a

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Do our children need this? (post 4)

My post for today is my newspaper column in the Financial Chronicle.

Enlarge the image to read---or if you are unable to do that you can go here.

Good night folks. See  you tomorrow!
Don't forget to share your thoughts with me, in my comment box. What do you think of this undue pressure that we put on kids? Is it worth it? Does your academic performance truly determine what you do in life or how well you do?
  _____________________________
ps: check out my latest book: http://preeti.io/a 

Friday, March 03, 2017

Reward yourself.(Post 3)


My last two posts were about pushing boundaries and motivating yourself.

But how often do you reward yourself? I think it is very important to. We are so often caught up in the DRAMA of life, that we forget about taking time off for ourselves, to do something just for us, that makes us happy.
We think it is selfish to put our needs first. If you are a parent, you sacrifice your comfort all the time, and put the needs of your children above your own needs.  If you are a child (even an adult child), we do things that make our parents happy, and many a time, we compromise on what we truly desire or want.

So every now and then, be KIND to yourself. Do one thing every single day that makes YOU happy. Do something that gives YOU joy. Take out time for yourself.
It can be something simple, like spending time relaxing, or going out for a cup of coffee with a friend, or even taking time out to read a good book!

For me, that thing I do for myself is my art. I do illustrated journalling. Check out my work on my Instagram art page, if you want to see what I do.

So how are you going to pamper yourself this weekend?
Tell me your plans in my comment box. If you care to share, I am listening.
______________________________________________________
ps: If you enjoy my posts, you will definitely enjoy my books. Check out my latest http://preeti.io/a

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Motivate yourself. (Post 2)



So, did you push your boundaries? Did you keep up the first day of  the challenge you set yourself? If you have no idea what I am talking about, see my previous post. 
I was very happy that I motivated so many people to take up the challenge.

Today I wished my dad's closest friend, as it is his birthday. He is in his eighties, but is so fit,  so active and extremely articulate and well-read. You can converse with him for hours.

Today is also the birthday of Dr.Suess. I have read almost all his books over and over, countless times to my children, when they were toddlers.  Secretly I too enjoyed reading them. I think there is a lot you can learn from children's books. I don't mean the ones with morals (I dislike those.). I mean the poignant,  well-illustrated  ones which on the face of it seem like a simple story, but  are actually deep, when you think about them. Often they elucidate a philosophical concept.

These are some  of my favourite Dr.Suess quotes:


Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.

A person's a person, no matter how small.

You're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So... get on your way.

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.
Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!


  I do believe that age is all in the head. I came across a video of a 80 year old woman, Ernestine Sheperd who is a body-builder! I urge you to watch it. (It's a 2 minute 45 second watch) I  am sharing  it here.





If she can do it at 80, all of us really have no excuses!

A LOT of people ask me what I do for my fitness. I walk an hour and 40 minutes every day! I also do Ashtanga Yoga for about 45 minutes. 

That's me. Pic clicked two days back.
Fitness is something very important to me. The thing about fitness is that it becomes addictive, once you get used to it.



If you don't have any kind of exercise regime, I urge you to start one right away. Start small. Start by walking 20 minutes a day, like Aniket!
Listen to music or listen to an interesting podcast while walking. Or simply observe the neighborhood.

Do it even on the days you don't feel like. After 10 days of doing this daily, you will feel that something is amiss if you don't go for your walk.

I am off now for my walk! (I walk an hour in the morning and 30-40 minutes  at night)


Leave me comments and tell me your exercise routine.
Gnite folks. See you tomorrow!
Love
Preeti


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Push your boundaries. ( post 1)


Hi there! Welcome to my blog marathon!

 
As promised--a new post every day, for the next 31 days!!  Don't forget to subscribe if you want to get them in your inbox.  The link is right there, in that box right on top, in the side panel.



Today I had a very productive day. I woke up at 4.00 am, as I couldn't sleep. Then I wrote my newspaper column. I write a regular column in the Financial Chronicle, and it appears on Saturdays. I have to submit it on Wednesday. Most of the time, I file it by Tuesday evening.
Last Saturday I had written on growing old.
 Double click on the image to enlarge and read or if that doesn't work, you can go here.

Today  when I told my daughter that I am starting my blog marathon, she said 'Haven't you done so many of them? Why do you do it?'
I told her that I have done one every year, since 2010! I do it as it is a HUGE challenge to write a new post everyday, despite everything else that is going on in your life. I told her that no matter what your job is, or what your occupation is, it is important to challenge yourself, to push the boundaries, to be able to grow.

You never know what you are capable of, till you push the boundaries. Decide on one thing today--that you will undertake one task, which you have been meaning to do but kept putting off, and that you will do it every single day, for whole of this month. It can be anything! Even a simple thing like tidying a bedside drawer. Or going for a walk daily. Or giving up sugar to lose weight. Or giving up alcohol. Or writing a journal. Absolutely anything you want to do, but haven't done yet.  NOW is a good time to start! New month. New energies.  Push your Boundaries.

 

Are you ready to accept the challenge? 

If you are, do join me.

I will be blogging every day. You can come here and leave a comment, and tell me in my comment box, how you fared with your own challenge that you set yourself.

And yes, one more request. When I write a novel, or a newspaper column, I get paid. On my blog, I do it simply to connect with you!   My payment here is the comments you leave me :)
Not kidding. Like any blogger, I  do feel very happy to read the comments. It's always nice when the readers say something back. So do leave a comment in my comment box. 

Will see you tomorrow.

Till then 
Lots of love!
Preeti
 




_____________________
ps: Check out my latest book: http://preeti.io/a