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Showing posts from January, 2011

Two more portraits done recently.

This is a portrait of Dhara Sampat which a good friend of hers, Sabarish, commissioned me to do. It was a complete surprise for Dhara. The photographs had been emailed to me by him and I began working on it. Dhara had absolutely no clue. He then gifted it to her  and she was totally speechless. She later spoke to me and told me that she is a HUGE HUGE fan of my work. (Thank you Dhara--you absolutely made my day!) She totally loved the portrait. This was her reaction in her own words: Thank you, Thank you Thank you Preeti Shenoy for THE BESTESTTTTT GIFT ever!!! I cantttt stop smiling (Guess m gonna continue smiling in my sleep too) :) Loved the potrait, Loved the message and cant wait to read the book - all over again :) - Lots of love and Alll the very best! The second portrait which appears here was done for a friend. It is a portrait of her dad whom she lost, a few months ago. She had spoken to me a couple of months back, about wanting to commission me, but I had deci

Looking younger than one's years

Some people look much younger than their actual age  and some people look so much older. With a 'youth obsessed society' the former might seem an enviable option, what with scientists conducting successful experiments in mice to reverse ageing   (I don't think it made an iota of difference to the mice though :-)), but it does come with its own set of problems, which might seem comical to the ones who do not go through it. One of my favourite cousins, a single working mum, who lives in the U.S,  looks a lot younger than she actually is. She is 43 now (and yes that is her very recent picture on the left! Isn't she gorgeous? :-)) and she really looks like her daughter's older sister.When she was about 36, she had taken her daughter to Disneyland (USA) and they were giving balloons to the children who were visiting--and yeah--you guessed it--they gave her a balloon as they presumed she was a teen! I laughed my head off, when I heard of the incident  :-) When I was

Jai Hind!

This morning I attended a flag hoisting event and proudly sang the National anthem, as the tricolour fluttered in the breeze. The stir of patriotism in me was a wave, a deluge.I texted  about twelve of my good friends  conveying the same, wishing them a Happy Republic day. Eight of them cared enough to text back and the pride in being Indian was obvious in their replies too. Somehow, jokes about Republic day which are doing the rounds (stuff like 'conserve the patriotism') and jokes which do the rounds ridiculing India, do not go down well with me. I don't see anything frivolous about Republic day or Independence celebrations. We  as a nation, have indeed progressed a lot, even if we still have a far way to go. Yes, there might be a million things which are wrong, but surely there are many positives as well--it isn't all doom and gloom, as the pessimists might like to point out. Many people do not even care about the freedom that we now have.It is tak

That's what 'best friends' are for ... :)

'Best friend' and 'Bestest friends'-- The very words bring a smile to my face. It is a  term we  all probably used  in school. Some of us continue to use them as adults (yes, I have heard fifty and sixty year old people refer to someone as their 'best est ' friend. Their eyes light up when they say it, their voice softens and there is always a wistful faraway look or a smile on their faces, as they probably recall their escapades or encounters) MRI scans of the brain show that certain parts of the brain 'light up' (to use a term less scientific) when looking at the pictures of 'best friends' or 'a beloved' or 'loved ones' .The  activation happens in those areas of the brain associated with intense reward. It is the same area which is activated when people take addictive drugs or get a jolt of excitement. It is no wonder then, that 'best friends' (it is a term I use loosely to describe especially trusted and close frie

An alphabet Meme

This is a meme from Sunday stealing  which I found interesting enough to do. Most memes are the same stuff that one seems to have done a countless time, if one has been blogging for a few years (which I have. I started this blog in October 2006!) This one is an alphabet meme  which is the first alphabet meme of 2011.  I have tried to include lots of pictures to make it interesting :) Here goes: A is for Age:   B is for Beer of choice:  Vodka :P I don't drink Beer :) C is for Career : Writer and Artist D is for favourite Drink:   Same as B :) E is for Essential item you use everyday:   My  custom made  powered sunglasses. (I have sensitive eyes--they eater easily :-)) F is for Favourite song at the moment:   G is for favourite Game: H is for Home town: I don't really have a 'hometown'. (have never lived in a place for more than three consecutive years) I'm a true Indian. I is for Instruments you play: Learnt to play a few

Impress that special someone with an easy to cook meal

If you're single and ready to mingle, one of the best ways to impress that special friend is to invite them over to your place and make it really special by cooking a meal for them. Of course playing soft music, dimming the lights (to set the mood) and laying the table out really nicely, with some candles and wine  (preferably) would most definitely win brownie points. If you're married (and whether or not you have kids), you could perhaps do the same, for a nice surprise for your spouse. Send him/her on an errand and cook a meal in a jiffy half an hour.(If you have children, later send them out or put them to bed. ;-) heh heh) Even if you haven't made anything other than Maggi and a cup of tea before this, the following suggestion is simple enough. I usually do not post recipes, but this was too good to not share and it takes less than 15 minutes to make. I had earlier posted a recipe for ' Golden fried babycorns ' (click on coloured words to read)  which

How a book got written

  Sometime back, when we were living in the U.K, a very good friend, who also happens to be a single mother to two lovely children, visited us. Her ex-husband (with whom she is on very friendly terms) is an Artist and a very accomplished one at that.Over glasses of wine, soft music and a lovely hot dinner, conversation turned to art,creativity and other related things. "Creative people, be they artists or writers should never be allowed to marry or have children.They are so hard to live with!" exclaimed my friend with all gusto and complete sincerity. My friend has the highest regards for artists/writers and she does appreciate and admire them a lot. She is also a great book-lover and a delightful conversationalist. She also has a lot of artists as friends because of the nature of her work.(She works as a life model).  Satish (my husband--somehow I hate the word 'husband'.He is more my friend and confidante) chuckled and completely agreed with her. They went on to

Trying to be equal

It is a holiday for my children (my son who is 13 and my daughter who is 9) and they are playing with each other as I type this. A little while ago, she hit him playfully. He hit her back (not hard enough to hurt--just a small tap). She hit him back again. He hit her back. The volley of taps continued. Finally, my daughter, tired of the game said "I will hit you once, then you hit me and we will stop. Then we are EQUAL." Of course neither was willing to stop and the tapping continued till the time I intervened and put an end to it. (Being an experienced parent who has gone through it all so many times, I knew that it would lead to a fight had I not) It set me thinking, as to how many times we try to do this 'we're equal' business as adults. If a neighbour sends over a home-cooked dish, we feel a need to immediately return the favour. If we have called up a  good friend thrice and they have not taken the effort to initiate subsequent contact, we do not call

Magic happens on special birthdays-- Wordless Wednesday 26

There is  indeed something special about birthdays of loved ones. The picture above was clicked by my son Atul , on his birthday in November when he just turned 13. I was totally captivated by this picture. This is my entry for Wordless Wednesday

Start of a half marathon

Blogging had indeed opened a new world up for me. My first book was published only because of my blog and the overwhelming response I got for my posts. If at the time of starting this blog, someone would have told me that I would make great friends solely through the Internet, I would have scorned them in disbelief. Whoever heard of real friendships, being made because of blog or Internet. Yet, fact is some of my closest friends today are the ones I made because of my blog/book. Of course, the friendship grew because we invested a lot of time and effort into it (like all other relationships) but the connect happened because of the blog/book. Incidentally,today happens to be the birthday of one such  very good  friend. (Happy Birthday Mayank Mittal !  ) So many of you write in to tell me how much my blog has become a part of your life, and how eagerly you look forward to reading my posts. Truly I am flattered, honoured and humbled by the number of mails as well the e

A little toy story

Small little colourful tops, rattles that are made so precisely and scientifically that they produce a pleasing sound on rotating (not shaking) as the flawlessly carved little grooves turn with a clackety clack much like the prayer wheels found in Buddhist monasteries, perfectly carved little Russian nesting dolls, vibrant stacking counters, all of them made of  wood, eco-friendly, non-toxic, lacquered with brilliant colours and oh-so-hard- to-resist! This was the site that greeted me on the mat of a toy-seller, who had spread out his wares on the side of the  pavement, on the road leading to Infant Jesus Shrine, in Viveknagar, Bangalore, as I walked to the Church , last Thursday. Years ago, when my son was an infant, I had visited Channapatna, the 'toy town ' which is located 60 kms from Bangalore. I was fascinated and mesmerised. These toys I was now looking at, distinctly had the Channapatna stamp on them. I used to love these toys and seeing them suddenly took me down

On role of right questions in raising a child

Sometime back I had written a post (On role of a whiteboard in raising a child) which had got a huge response asking me to write more such posts on parenting. This is the fourth in probably what will be a series. Please read the disclaimer in the above mentioned post if you're new around here . If you already know me by now, read on! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Upto a  few years back, before I became a full time writer and artist, I used to conduct workshops on developing thinking skills in children, which were hugely popular and successful with kids and parents alike. My workshops had three parts--the first was for logical and critical thinking, the second was for creative thinking and third part of it  involved a group discussion and then enacting a story (which usually reinforced a value) which would have been chosen with a lot of care and thought. The last part r

Riders on the Storm

People often ask me how I get the inspiration for my paintings/portraits. The truth is inspiration just strikes, like a thunderbolt from the stormy skies {or a sudden power surge when the voltage fluctuates, if you are the  mechanically (or electrically) inclined kinds}. And once there is a picture/idea inside my head it has to be captured on paper/canvas. Else it irks me, annoys me, drives me crazy till I sit down and put it on paper. There is no reason as to why I want to make someone's portrait. It is just what I feel. And honestly, as you probably know, feelings are beyond logic. Once, I saw a display picture in google chat of Janani who blogs at Pretty woman and I simply had to make a  portrait.  My portrait commissions are going extremely well now. (I have now completed  four more commissions and they do make truly personalised and wonderful gifts). To read about my first commission  and to know more about the process go here . The pencil portrait you see i