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My best reads of 2019 !

What better post for the last post of this  decade than sharing my best reads of 2019!!

I read about 60 books this year.(you can see all of them on myInstagram highlightsBooks 1 and  Books 2)  Here are my best reads in no particular order.

1.Man’s search for meaning: Viktor EFrankl: Though this book has influenced millions of people world wide, I read it only this year and was blown away by it. I loved the way Frankl makes sense of the universal question: Whether our loves have any purpose. He writes with depth and honesty; Powerful, poignant and deeply moving, I highly recommend this book. 2.The Travelling Cat ChroniclesHiro Arikawa: Even if you are not a cat-lover, be sure to grab this one. It is translated from Japanese and it is quirky, gripping and leaves you feeling touched in ways difficult to explain—It kind of breaks your heart. 3.The Friend By Sigrid Nunez: It is about grief and loss and healing. The passages are extraordinary, and leaves you wiser by the end of the book. I woul…

A lovely road trip to a Farm Day 15.

Friends of ours invited us to their farm which is about 200 Kms from Bangalore. Their company Sakura Fresh  manufactures a wide variety of beverage and culinary products from fresh ingredients grow right at the farm. They have world class spice blends marinades, rubs and seasonings.
The experience was mind-blowing. The highest standard of organic , ecologically conscious garden produce with zero pesticides.

I am sharing 3 photos I clicked today. For the entire journey, please check my Instagram
Click on the circle you see around my display picture to view my stories. They remain for 24 hours only.






Have happy year end thoughts. Get set to welcome the new year.

More tomorrow! (for those of you who are new, I am doing a blog marathon where I put up a new post every single day!)
___________________________
ps: check out my book: preeti.io/awake

My best and worst moments of 2019. Day 14.

For today's post I decided to do aSunday Stealing Post.

Do click on the linked words to see what it is!


Here goes:

1.First things first, did you have a good year?

Mixed. Biggest achievement was Wake Up, Life is Calling the sequel to Life is What you make it coming out, and becoming really succesful


2. If you travelled, where did you go?
Travelled a lot for lit fests and book launches. I went to Abu Dhabi, Kozhikode, Kolkata, Delhi, Ahmadabad and Coimbatore.


3. Which fashion trends did you love?

I make my own fashion trends :)


4. Which fashion trends did you hate?
I don't wear anything I hate and so  fashion trends don't bother me.

5. What was your favorite article of clothing this year?
Spaghetti dresses and a pretty  patterned jump suit.


6. What song sums up this year for you?

Let it Be
by Beatles.


7. What was your favorite movie of the year?
I loved some TV shows --Marvellous Mrs.Maisel, Schitt's Creek, Made in heaven.
I loved Gully Boy and Android Kunjappan version 5.25


8. Did an …

What does it mean to be human? Day 13.

I watched a really interesting Malayalam movie today calledAndroid Kunjappan Version 5.25 and I loved it. It reminded me a lot of the2013 English movie Her,

Both deal with Artificial intelligence. Both involve the human element. The settings of both movies are several worlds apart. One is set in a tiny village in Kerala (it reminds me of my bookA Hundred Little Flames) . The other is set in Los Angeles.

Both these movies made me ponder on what it means to be human. How do humans form connections? Why does this happen? Do we need a person to form a connection? Or is something 'resembling' a person enough? In Castaway, We saw how Tom Hanks forms a connection with a volleyball  which he personifies, and even gives a name. The Volleyball keeps him sane in years of isolation.

To be human means to be lonely. We're born alone, we die alone. We form parterships , we marry, we have kids--all in an attempt to escape this loneliness. We hope our children will 'be there for us&#…

Life is sometimes about small moments! (day 12)

These are pages from my journal. Will share a few more tomorrow! :)

3 things you must never compromise on. (day 11)

Life can be hard. We might not be on the path we thought we would be on. We might have a myriad problems. As we navigate through life's curved paths, we change. But in order to be true to oneself, we need some essential principles on which we  will never compromise.
Here are three things which you MUST hold on to, no matter what.

Your word : My grandfather taught me this--that if you give your word, no matter what happens, you keep it up. It was  a maxim he lived by and valued. Since it was inculcated in me at an early age, I always keep my word. Even when it is hard to do so, I go the extra mile. It is who I am. I wasn't doing t for others. I was doing it for myself. But over the years, I have noticed how much others value it too, and see me as trustworthy. That's invaluable.

Your appearance: It is extremely important to be well-groomed. You don't have to have tonnes of money to be smartly dressed. I am a person who is not brand conscious at all. What I am concerned ab…

Merry Christmas: Day 10.

Today, just a simple photo
A heartfelt Christmas wish
May you spend time with your loved ones
May you create Happy memories
May you do things that bring you joy
Above all, may you be grateful for your togetherness!
___________________________________

Bereft (a poem) Day 9

A humming bird without a song
A vehicle without a wheel
Wounds caused by wrong
From which you can't heal

Bereft of feelings
A silent burden to bear
All the daily dealings
Actions without any care

How long oh fate?
Can I endure the dread?
This hooked twisted bait
That leaves me alive yet dead.


*************© 2019 Preeti Shenoy kindly do not reproduce without permission

How do you tell if it is true love? (Day 8)

Love is not a contract you sign, where you commit to telling everything to each other. Love is when you feel understood without saying a thing. When you love someone, you accept them in their entirety. The bad bits along with the good bits. You learn to control your jealousy. You put their happiness above yours. You want the best for them. You wish them well. You tell them things that you believe are your absolute truth. You share your vulnerabilities with them. You show them your weakest side. You bank on their compassion. You never expect love to be unkind. And when you lose love, it feels like you have lost a part of yourself. Forever.
The above is a quote from my book Wake Up Life is Calling.
The protagonist writes this in a journal where she writes notes to herself.

What do YOU think true love is? How would YOU define it?
Tell me in my comment box!

New post tomorrow :)
Come back!
Lots of love <3


Send a little joy in the mail ! Day 7

There's something magical about the Christmas season. People might say it is commercialised  and advertising has made it all about expensive gifts, but I think it depends on the individual families and how they let it affect them.

I am a part of an International Artists Community and this year, I signed up for a card exchange programme. We  are assigned groups and we make hand made cards for all in our groups. I received a BEAUTIFUL card in the post yesterday (coincidentally on my birthday)  from Norway, from a complete stranger. It was so BEAUTIFUL.

I am not allowed to share it as yet, as many haven't yet received the cards, and it might spoil the surprise for the others in the group if the person has made similar cards.
I too have made cards for people in my group and have sent out a bunch, and will be sending the rest tomorrow.

I am looking forward to the cards I will receive!

Isn't this a lovely idea?
If you like it, you can make your own groups and exchange REAL car…

Birthdays. Day 6

My 48th. So grateful I am living my dream. It was worth every night I stayed up working :)

The 5 secrets to staying young. Day 5

There are two kinds of senior citizens. One kind considers themselves old. They are jaded and have given up on life. The other group doesn't even think about their age. They are fun and interesting. My mother falls in the latter category.

I call my mother every day. She is fiercely independent, and loves her cottage in a small village in Kerala and loves living by herself.  She  is super fit and walks every single day, apart from doing her 'kriyas'. She is also really well-read and can hold a conversation on most topics you can think of.

A few years back, I got her an I-phone and taught her to use Whatsapp and  Instagram. She is so tech-savvy  now that she posts pics of her travel (all over the world)  on her Instagram handle.


View this post on Instagram
My mother lives alone. She is creative, intelligent, reads a lot she is up to date with all the current affairs. She also uses Instagram with ease, and always tunes in to all my live videos ! She travels the world, takes…

Take time for yourself Day 4.

One of the things most of us neglect is spending time in our own company. Whether you are a student, a busy mother to young kids, a working professional or a senior citizen, we're mostly surrounded by people who we live with or our co-workers.
If you live  alone, all by yourself chances are once you get home, you spend time with the television. Rare is the person who spends time by themselves. I for one, highly recommend it. As a writer, for me it is a occupational NEED. If I don't get my alone time I would probably be very irked.

In my home, I have a mediation room with a  bamboo water fountain (which my son and I made.). I ensure that I meditate at least four -five times a week.Even if you do not meditate, take some time out for yourself. Create a 'happy corner' in your home which is just for you. Make it a point to spend some time in that 'happy corner' doing whatever gives you joy. But do this by yourself. Let your family members know that this is YOUR tim…

Don't say yes when you want to say no. Day 3.

The one thing I have learnt is that people will treat you the way you allow them to. The more you bend and oblige, the more you will be taken advantage of. A lot of people resent this, but they still continue the same pattern of behaviour, getting metaphorically kicked over and over. They aren't assertive enough to state what they want and so they continue tolerating the irritants.

Many of us are afraid to state our opinions, afraid to say a no. We're afraid of confrontations. We're afraid to be disliked.

I grew up in an era where there was no television (let alone the Internet). All our knowledge came from books. A book which I read when I was very young (probably at17 or 18) was Don't say Yes when you want to say No.

I remember I had practised all the exercises in the  book and it  helped me a lot. I don't remember what the book said as it was over a 30 years ago that I read it, but I remember it being useful and helpful. (click on the title of the book for the …

The Stench of Death; A blackout poem. Day 2.

My daughter and I spent some creative  time together today, writingblack out poetry.
We then read it out loud to each other. We really enjoyed the challenge, and came up with unique, thought-provoking unusual  poetry.
If you wish to know more about Blackout poetry, please check out the link.

Here's one of my poems I created today:

The Stench Of Death  It was a mundane Monday evening My brother wasn't answering his phone Strange I thought His bedroom light was on but his door was locked My friend broke open the door We found him there Slumped over in his chair His body cold My handsome brilliant brother  Whom everybody loved  had decided that the world would be better off without him I clumsily tried to do something The ambulance arrived The hospital was filthy Garbage strewn around, giant bandicoots and cockraches scurrying about This must be a mistake I thought They dragged the body out of the van and tossed him on the floor of the filthy hospital corridor  I pleaded with th…

Sail with me into 2020! Blog marathon starts today!! (yay!) Day 1.

Hey guys!

How have you been?

I am sorry I haven't been posting as regularly as I intended to. Life took over; I lost two family members unexpectedly and suddenly. Then I had my lit fests to attend, plus of course I was working on my new book which will be out in the last week of April 2020.
My children (both of who don't live in India) are visiting me now, and I am neck-deep in work.

But yet, I thought I would start a blog marathon, because I am not happy with the number of posts for this year. The best time to start anything is NOW. It's never too late for anything. So, here I am!

For those who are new to my blog marathons, it just means that you will get a post in your inbox every single day for next 30 days. Just click on the subscribe button at the top of this page. That's it!

Some days I will probably just post a photo; Some days it might be a poem.Sometimes it might be an art work, or something new I discovered. But it would be a new post every day :)

I know ma…

Poker Face: The Inspiration behind the short story by Preeti Shenoy

Hello there,
Time flies. It's been a while since I have written here. My last posts were in May, when I did the blog marathon, where there were 30 new posts, each day.
After a two month hiatus, I am back here! (yay!)  I haven't been idling these two months though. I have been working--- and this time I have a short story for you: Poker Face.
It was published a few days ago and it has been getting some rave reviews.



I am happy because this is a very unusual story. It has a surrealist  element to it. It is the story of a young girl, fresh off a break-up who keeps finding playing cards in her path.


I want to tell you the inspiration behind this story.
Some time back, I had blogged about how I kept finding hearts in my path.
This phenomenon continues to this day. I keep coming across random heart patterns. I  thank the Universe and consider myself blessed.
I am sharing with you a few photos that I clicked:



These are all photos that I clicked whenever these hearts popped up in my …

All good things come to an end

Hello there!

The month comes to an end today, and so does my blog marathon. I can't tell you how HARD it was this time, especially as I have a LOT of stuff going on the personal front. I won't lie--it was a burden on some days. But I don't think I have compromised on the quality of the posts even for a single day.

Haters think that just because I write 31 posts in 31 days, the quality will suffer. I am very objective when it comes to my writing, and I am my own worst critic. I can safely say I passed :) Don't you agree?

It was GREAT pleasure to read all your comments. A special mention to Alka Tiwari, Anoo MK (Thought is Free) , Indu K Raghavan, and Shally who commented on almost all posts of mine. I think Alka and Indu managed to comment on every single post. I am very grateful to  all of you who commented as it was very encouraging to read the comments. Every day I would wait for the comments  eagerly. 

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. We've been communicat…

Kerala beckons you -- lesser known places in Kerala to visit in June

Everybody has a favourite memory associated with their vacations destinations. Sometimes it is a childhood memory and at other times, it is a ‘dream-vacation’ they could finally afford. For me, the most indelible memories remain the time I spent in Kerala, annually, each year ranging from 15 days to two months, as both of my parents grew up in Kerala, and any chance they got, they returned to their roots. I have been to most places in Kerala and I can vouch that whoever came up with the caption ‘God’ own country’ did do justice.
Right from the time your flight hovers over Kochi , Thiruvananthapuram or Calicut (now Kozhikode), airports the stretch of green carpet that spreads out underneath you, is a splendid sight. The best part about travel in Kerala is that any place you choose to visit, it would not take you more than 8 hours, as the distance from Kasargod in Northern Kerala, to Trivandrum in Southern Kerala is just 560 kilometres, easily traversable by road or rail.
There are many r…

Illegal entrants--a poem

Restlessness  Desire  Longing  Are now constant companions  Travelling with me Within me They have made themselves comfortable
They arrived as tourists On a travellers  visa But somehow managed to linger on No force could banish them
My heart , my thoughts Are yours now My soul Subsumed, consumed, blazing Burning 
I live in restless hope I  longingly dream  Of making the journey Across the miles The desire to be with you  And to linger on.
Just like my  travelling companions I hope To stay Till eternity  In your arms.
____________________  ps: This was a poem commissioned by Conde Nast traveller **************© 2019 Preeti ShenoyFor more poems click here. Some poems have already appeared in print. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.© 2014 Preeti Shenoy

For more poems click here. Some poems have already appeared in print. Kindly do not reproduce without permission. - See more at: http://blog.preetishenoy.com/2014/08/do-i-tell-you-poem-blog-marathon-day-7.html#sthash.IopfCRtF.dpuf