I get by with a little help (blog marathon post 20)

Many of you, especially after my book has been out (and I am so overwhelmed by the response—and grateful too) write in and ask me how in the world I manage to do so much. Many of you ask me if I sleep and if so for how many hours! Many ask if I know some secret that they don’t. What do I say?

I do work late into night.There are morning persons and there are night owls. There is no doubt which category I belong to.
Till about two hours after waking, I am still in a zombie-attains-nirvana mode. Which means mostly I am on auto-pilot and that is indeed a big achievement, as while still in this mode, I do manage to check my blog comments, check my e-mail, pack three lunches (for husband and the kids) and also manage to listen to BBC Radio 2 and cook breakfast. I manage to do it all efficiently (I am told) and by 8.15 a.m a full course Indian meal (ready to be packed into dabbas) and an Indian Breakfast is ready. Of course it helps immensely, that S wakes me up with Coffee (carrying my hot steaming cup up the flight of stairs so I can have it in bed) every single morning. [This moment alone makes me a hundred times grateful that I married the guy. But please don’t let him know this!]

It takes me super human effort to prise my eyes open and take that first sip and even caffeine takes a while to kick in. Years of living with me and my family knows that when I am in this mode, it is best to leave me alone. Nothing they say really registers (only thing registering is the BBC radio two)—the response they get would nine times out of ten, be a glazed look with a neutral wooden expression, much like a drug addict on a high.

I am of course aware of what is happening around me, but it is just that I am not willing to participate—still ensconced mentally in that womb like existence , isolated in the land between sleep and reality with the promise that the morning holds for a whole new day. I have a writer’s notebook in the kitchen, and usually when I am in this state many ideas strike me for writing or for a painting, and I quickly scribble my thoughts, as they occur, in a hasty scrawl ,trapping them before they escape. Sometimes the characters in the story speak to me. Sometimes the visuals in a painting appear in all their brilliance and luminosity.

Later when I am by myself they take shape into paintings, poems, pieces. I simply have to express my ideas—else I’ll burst!

I am grateful that I have a family who totally understands my need to dream—to escape, yet be practical.(okay—most of the time) and friends who are there for me when I need them.

So that’s all there is to my secret.

I just get by with a little help from my friends.


  1. Well I totally agree, a little help from friends and family always rocks.

    I have always been in awe of ur time management skills, I hope will be able to inculcate some in my own life. Thanks. :-)

  2. Modesty, thy name is Preeti Shenoy! :)

    You make it sound so much simpler than it really is! Bravo! I'm always amazed. Someday when I see you, I'm sure to see a halo around your head :D
    (I seriously mean angelic here ;))

    Rhonda's secret took me a while to u'stand, but once again, you made me u'stand your secret in the most simplistic matter. They say it's very difficult to be and write simple - you do it so easily :)

    Thank you for writing.

  3. Prats: But for the family I wouldnt have been able to write

    Still thinking: Only halo might be because I tore out my hair :P :) Thank u for those very kind words!

  4. But please don’t let him know this!]

    Dialing his number............

    Ouch!!! Why am I getting this message "The person you are calling is helping his better half, please call later"

    I am waiting to see your paintings in this marathon!!

  5. Anonymous7:22 PM

    This moment alone makes me a hundred times grateful that I married the guy.Aww what a sweet line. I wish I find someone like that :)

    And yeah I can totally get what you are saying about mornings. I'm exactly the same.

  6. Phew!!!

    i too am best left alone in the morning...else i may bite :)

    and that idea of jotting down is a great one...must must try it...

    will check the video later.

  7. UR modest & down to earth !!

  8. With reference to morning persons and night owls, i guess i am kind of morning owls :) work till 12 am and get up @ 5 am..but in tht 5 hrs that i sleep,my mum tells me, if she would throw me off my bed i would not know...such is my sleep...

    And its wonderful that you DO express yourself the way you do..Yours is the first place i come to when i switch on my Pc early morning..Its just like a morning dose of everything sweet..thanks a million for that..and may you keep doing it forever and ever..


  9. Nice post, Preeti and very modest too!

  10. Gayu: Thank you!

    Shantharam: Thank you so much for those very heartwarming words! I could never manage with just 5 hours sleep--I need 8 hours--sometimes 10! :P

    Guru: :-) Not always! But I try! :P

    Suma: Video is woodstock 69, Joe Cocker singing "I get by with a little help from my friends" which The beatles also sang.

    Partywithneha:I think we're a lot alike! And I do wih with all ym heart that you get such a guy!

  11. Maddy: :-) Thats exactly what he would be doing! :) You can go here for my art site which has many of my paintings. I plan to put it all in one place soon.

  12. Lovely post.. true to ur nature.. honest and modest.. Love the accompanying video. reminded me of one of my old childhood fav serials "wonder years" which used this as its title theme

  13. It is amazing what one packs into a day when one looks at the eveidence..and you know tyhe old saying?.."If you want something done..ask a busy person"

  14. Hey PS,

    That really is something to be grateful for. But you anyways make time management seem so simple & nothing to be cribbed about or get stressed over :)

    You are truly lucky to have such a wonderful family & friends along.


  15. Not many can do even half of that.
    BBC 2 Radio helps, I am sure :). I listen to it here on iplayer.

  16. Brown Phantom: Am sure many do dabba packing and cooking much more efficiently :) What is i-player? I didn't know you could get BBC radio two there.

    Palsworld: I feel blessed. Guess I just can't seemyself 'wasting time'.I find it criminal. Watching movies is NOT a waste of time :)

    Niall: So very true!

    Dr.Roshan: oh yes--i used to love wonder years too!

  17. Wat?? 8 hours..how do you manage all that you said and still get 8 HOURS of sleep?? and a very Good Indian morning :)

  18. so thats how you do it!
    btw I loveeee this song :)

  19. So you are not a morning person either ;)
    Amazing that you can manage all this at the same time. Friends to help you around but the most important factor which I believe is "Passion" for wht you want to be, to be, and to do what you love.

  20. Satish gets you coffee... so sweet :)

    Btw morning are when i', at my groggiest best too...I basically sleepwalk till I'v had my bath & breakfast, especially in winters

  21. identifies much with my morning routine.. except that it is mom who brings the coffee and does all the stuff from breakfast to lunch packing while i sit pensively filtering out mom's screams to get ready and fixing my eye on the bath towel like it had done some crime to me..

    and yeah.. thank you for considering my explanation the most 'child friendly'.. while awarding that you mentioned you don't know me.. well.. sorry for that.. its my bad.. i never commented here before.. but if u had noticed the followers list i was in there much before 34 bubblegums and candies was published.. maths and kids are two things which i can never resist, and the combination got me to break the spell and comment..

    hopefully my first book will be soon sitting in the shelves of crossword near yours.. target completion date is december..

  22. oh yeah.. a belated happy birthday to purvi..

  23. Aadi: Good luck with both your books! Which publisher? I always remember those who comment more than those who follow. And thank you for wishing Purvi too.

    SMM: :) I can relate to that.

    Srivtas: You said it and said it so well. Its a point I missed-Passion is indeed a big driving force.

    Only one: Me too--me too :)

  24. thanks PS.. am still getting the draft version ready.. publisher hunting will soon commence.. will send you a glimpse of the first chapter.. please check your mail tomorrow..

  25. I totally agree...with the song, the post theme and that 'wonder years' was awesome :D
    And well, we're lucky to have families who are supportive. Have you met people who have to strive alone to reach their dreams. I appreciate their efforts, but feel they could achieve so much more had their families supported them :(

  26. I was so glad to know that you're allowed to be zonked out in the morning even after you grow up :P I thought only I never managed to grow out of it :D

    Great post there, nice to share your secret :) Cheers...

  27. wow..thats great.
    A little help from the loved ones surely makes a HUGE difference.

    Enjoy your days!!

  28. As much as I am a nocturnal creature,I need to get up early n fix breakfast and lunch for my son as he needs to leave by 7.15 am for school..:(((

    But actually for me the day starts at 12 noon :)))


  29. hi preeti..
    this is my first comment on your blog...my girlfriend is a big fan of yours and i am following suit...
    The thing that i appreciate about people like you is the sheer will to not to let complacency and laziness creep in...they can happen so easily to lesser mortals like me...keep going.


  30. wat can i say...but Touchwood! Hope all that helps u be the wonderful multi-talented person that u are..lasts all thru ur life!

  31. Hey your name is 'Preeti'- means love. with love, or by love, all things are possible!!!!! :) :)

  32. Beautiful Post Preethi.....as always:-))!!!!!!!


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