500 posts and a photo journey down the memory lane.

Today is a rather special day. There are several reasons , the most important two being

1.My second book hit the Delhi book stores today!

2.This is my 500th post!!
Five hundred posts is a lot. It has been 4 years and 4 months since I started this blog. My life has changed such a lot in these four years—something that I never even imagined or thought possible even in my wildest dreams. It has meandered, curved, taken a path I would never even have known was an option. Yet, here I am today, a published author of two books and third and fourth in the pipeline. (Yes , I am already halfway through my third book!)

Most people who have read my first book (incidentally it is a national best-seller having sold more than 24000 copies and still counting) know how I got here. They know how deeply my dad’s sudden death affected me.  I had no one to talk to and even those I considered ‘good friends’ suddenly got busy when they saw a grief stricken shattered side of me, which was rather inconvenient to them.

Four years back, if you had told me that I will make a new set of even better friends, I would have been a cynic laughing sceptically at you. Yet, time has proved otherwise. I couldn't help feeling nostalgic today and I went and looked at some old pictures.

Since pictures speak louder than words, I thought I’d take you back through the annals of time with some pictures to see how I got here:

This was how I looked in November  2006, a month after I started the blog. I had just lost my dad and was shell shocked, depressed, grief stricken. (I don't have any pictures from October or September that year as I was too depressed to click any pictures) I had very short hair back then. (In fact I had short hair for nearly 9 years. I never thought I'd grow my hair)

 You can see my daughter in the background. She was just five then. I do not remember where we were driving to. But I remember stopping for the cup of tea. This is one of the few pictures where I am not smiling.

That same year I went paragliding. My dad's sudden death had left me so shaken that I wanted to truly LIVE each day, as I realised for the first time, how truly unpredictable life is. It was a marvellous experience. Yes, it is me in both these pictures.

From January 2007 to March 2007, I painted like a maniac. I churned out pictures after pictures. I was at my creative best. They remain to this day, some of my most bizzare, original and creative work. I did not know till that point in time,  how much depth really existed in me. Here is one of my favourite painting from that time.
(To see more click here and click on 'paintings from the heart' and 'mixed media collages')

That same month, I won my first International blogging award. I was thrilled to bits. It was the first time, someone was recognising my writing skills and appreciating it. I had never been published before and I remember how much I longed to see my name in print.

I got my chance in December 2007. By then, I had won quite a few blogging awards. I approached a local newspaper and offered to write for them. My first assignment was a 500 word piece that I had to write on 'Calendars'. I remember thinking "Oh my God--Five hundred words..How will I ever write?"  Today, I can churn out five hundred words in less than 15 minutes. But back then, it looked impossible.

I couldn't believe it when my first article was published. ( Yes! That truly was my name in PRINT!) and I was even more elated when I got my first pay cheque from writing. 

I went on to write for Times of India and Readers Digest. (I must have written  more than a 100 articles). Around this time, my poetry (again born out of deep pain) was published in a book by Sulekha series (called 'Sisters in rhyme').
I travelled to UK in September 2007. I had no idea then, that I would actually shift to UK a year later. I met Niall in person for the first time. Till then we had only exchanged mails. 

This picture was clicked in front of Tower of London.

And this is me, meeting Niall for the first time.

And that was how I looked in  November 2007. (And that is my niece).

 Time flew and I continued writing and painting.
This is a picture of me clicked in January 2008, while I was painting a picture.

In June 2008 I travelled to Egypt. I loved it

By now my writing had really taken off. Several pieces I wrote were chosen for the 'Chicken soup for the soul' series. I had also written for Delhi Press! Many magazines now carried articles by me.

In October 2008, it was indeed a BIG moment in my life, when '34 Bubblegums and Candies' was published.

I was fortunate to get some excellent reviews from almost ALL the major newspapers. (click here to read what they said).

Suddenly there was the Press calling me up! They wanted to interview me. They clicked my pictures. They wrote down what I said. People wanted my autograph on books. Some wanted to click pictures with me!  The people in the book stores recognised me when I walked in.  I was  now a 'celebrity'.

As the book began doing well, loads of mails started pouring in. Two pieces I wrote were published in a book called 'Woman--many hues, many shades' and my name appears on the cover with eminent writers like Khushwant Singh and Taslima Nasreen.

By now Satish's career had taken a turn too. We moved to the UK. It was an enormous change in our lives. The kids were uprooted from India and thrust into a completely new culture and world. They took to it like ducks to water.

I got an excellent chance to do an internationally recognised degree in portraiture. I enrolled for a course and threw myself into my art. Side by side, I was also working on my second book. Satish was very supportive. He handled everything at home whenever I had an assignment to work on.This is Satish and me--one of my favourite pictures. This was in February 2010 in Cromer, UK.

One of my closest friends Ajay (whom I have mentioned several times on this blog by now) kept pushing me to write.(This is a picture of me and him. This was in December 2009 on my birthday)

My birthday in 2009 was a truly memorable one. I spent it in India. (I was based in the UK then) with my closest friends.

I continued working on my second book and on my portraiture course through out 2010.My first book had started doing really well  and I began getting TONNES of fan mail.

My portraits began getting more and more realistic. I started accepting commissions! My hard work had really paid off.  Here are two  of my all time favourite portraits(Keira Knightley and Jim Morrison).

In October 2010, we relocated back to India. We moved to Bangalore where we are now based. It took us more than two months to find a home, to get our stuff shipped, to find a good school for kids  and fully settle down.

December 2010 saw yet another birthday of mine-and this was just as lovely as the last one.Click here to read about it. (and yes--that is a a picture of me on my birthday in December 2010. Again one of my favourite pics)

And today, on the day of my 500th Post (oh, what a long, long journey it has been!), my publisher called me to tell me that my second book has hit the book stores in Delhi!! Several people who had pre-ordered the book from Flip-Kart called me up to tell me that they had just received it.

It was truly a HUGE moment.

Today as I sit back, the enormity of my second book coming out, is slowly sinking in.

I think back to that day in October 2006, when I so hesitatingly started a blog. I was so scared then of even revealing my identity, online.

Yet, treading on an unknown path has taken me on a real adventure. I have reached an entirely different place with no clue or no definite plan. I have been just swept along, (propelled of course, by determination and hard work.)

And to think it all began with one single little blog post.


[Click  here to take part in some super discussions where there will be a chance to win a signed copy of both my books. (The winner of discussion 'can you change destiny' was announced today)]


  1. congratulations..

  2. Hi Preeti,

    Congrats dear....
    All the best!!!!


  3. Hi Preeti,

    My blog

    I am not a writer...but just an attempt to do so


  4. Gayu and Mihir: thank you so much! :)

    Gayu--will check out :)

  5. Your post reminded me of your first comment on my blog singed as Ps :)

    You are awesome Preeti... Three cheers to 500 posts...

  6. This is so apt as 500th post ;) Three cheers preeti di :) Rock on`

  7. Congratulations on both achievements :)
    Nice pictures..short hair is cute and long is pretty!
    Great going...

  8. Congratulations!!!! This calls for a toast :)

    Have been following your blog for quite sometime and the one thing that always stands out for me is your cheerful attitude - your ability to appreciate even the littlest of things.

    I hope you have a book launch in Mumbai.


  9. Wooooooooooooowwwww..Hearty Congratulations..simply Awwwwwwwwwsome. Keep doing the gr8 work

  10. 1. 500 blog posts and counting
    2. Two GREAT books and many more to come (as my Mom used to say : " the best is yet to come")
    3. A very positive, inspirational, friendly and genuinely helpful attitude
    4. Great Friend - Fantastic spouse 5. Superlative mother of two, and wife of one [;)].

    Preeti - am so proud of you. In every step you have supported me and I have over time tried to imbibe some of your great qualities (though may not have succeeded much). My heart fills with joy to see how popular your blog, books and you as a person have become. The world is so much better because of you.

    So so so happy for you and am so proud of your achievements. Keep it up and soar higher and higher girl.

  11. hi preethi!!!!! Even though I rarely comment on your blog posts, i've been always reading them! and this is ur 500th post, omg!!! SO HAPPY FOR U! Your kids and hubby have been a great support all these years! u're very very lucky:)) wishing you good luck for your 1000th post!

  12. As you traveled down your memory lane in amazing 500th blog post, I traveled with you as well... Great achievements all in a page of time line.

    Congratulations on your second book release. Just finished reading the first book review..... can't wait to read the book.

    All the best for your next achievement.

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  14. Congragulations Preethi!! That was such a beautifully written post:)

    You have written Dec 2011 (typo) when you mentioned your Birthday:)

    Waiting to see many more posts from you! All the best!

  15. Wonderful post - a truly collector's item. What a journey. It may have started in trying circumstances, but I am sure it has been exhilarating since.

    Heart congratulations Preeti. You should be very proud of what you have achieved.

  16. Amazing! I feel very inspired whenever I even think about you. I have not met you nor we have spoken over the phone (which I think we should do sometime :)) however I feel blessed to have come across your blog and art.

    Hard work, dedication and perseverance is a must if you want to fulfill your dreams...and dream we must....each one of us.

    I am living my dream right now - I am taking all the time off I have to spend with my daughter - the first year of their lives is so fascinating, and they need the most nurturing from their mom. Having worked for 10 years in the corporate world, I feel its a well deserved break as well for me :).

    Here's wishing you lots of fame n success, as well as peace n joy in your life!

  17. WOW...500 posts!!!...its been 5 yrs for me n i hv just done 60 posts..tht's like 1 post a month :D
    Congrats!!! you're a gr8 writer n deserve all the success...will chk out ur books when i get back to India...

  18. Congrats Preeti!!

    I remember clicking on someone's Orkut profile[random,before they started 'lock'ing profiles)) and saw a link to your blog[this was way before I knew what a blog was],once I started reading however,I couldn't stop.I stopped clicking on random peoples profiles and started reading your blog,from the first post till the latest!

    Though I haven't met you,I feel I know you so well.Loved your first book and am waiting for my copy of your second which would arrive in a day or two through flipkart,can't wait to read it,though I would love to get both the books autographed by you one day!!

    All the best,for everything!!

  19. Hey Preeti,
    Congrats a ton for your book and for hitting 500 posts. Can't imagine how long it will take for me to hit 50 :).. And every single one of your posts are a book in themselves.. The short hair suits you the best. You are looking super cute in them :).. And though i din't win your book you bet am gonna buy them and cherish them.. All the best for your future books and keep rocking as always..

  20. hey..many many congratulations..:)..inspirational indeed!!

  21. Dear Preeti,
    Best Wishes for your second book...
    I hope and pray that your second book surpasses all the records set by your first book.....
    I have been a gr8 fan and admirer of ur writing and ur other talents for a long time...U and ur blog have become an integral part of our lives...
    May God bless u and ur family always with Happiness and Good Health...
    Here's to many more of blogposts and best selling books from you.....
    Best Wishes

  22. Congratulations, Preethi! You truly are an inspiration. Here is to the next 500 posts and hosts of books!

  23. Congrats on reaching the 500 landmark :). Yours is a truly incredible story, I could not help having tears n my eyes while reading the post. May God continue to shower His grace and blessings on you and your family. Your posts are filled with positivity and makes me visit your blog often. God willing, would be wonderful to meet you :). Once again congrats!!! Have a happy life ahead :)

  24. congrats preeti,truly a land mark for 500 posts..and these lovely pictures!keep goin..love ya gurl!

  25. Hi Preethi,
    I have been reading your blog for so long but never commented before (i thought u need a blog to comment).
    But this is a truly insipirational post.
    I love your positivity and I wish everyday that I want to be truly like you. Even when everyday I interact with my son (3 yrs old) and I get mad with him. I think what would preethi would have said and done. yep that's how much you impact me and I am sure many more others. I am so thankful that I found your blog.I am so proud of you

  26. Hi Preeti,

    Loved your post and your snaps. Your words have lot of power and that says it all.

    All the best!


  27. You have come a long way and the best part is that you are so inspirational to others.....anyone who reads your blogs will always feel motivated and want to do something good in life..atleast I sure do.....

    Best of luck for everything...

  28. Can not leave the post without a note...thanking you for these inspirational posts and wishing all the best for u and ur family. I had ordered a copy of ur second book and waiting for it...

  29. Feeling a little nostalgic aftr reading this and m sure every other person who has read this would be feeling the same
    Simply can say 'stick' that sweet smile on your face forever.. n good luck feels great reading the review.. just hoping the novel reaches me soon hopefully will get it today

    good luck :)

  30. Wow, truly awesome!!


    Eagerly waiting for the book now. And so so nice to read each step of yours that you crossed all these years. You stand as an inspiration to the world now.. Happy that I follow your blog! May the god bless you and all the best in your write ups.. let more books roll in..


  31. Congratssss P! All the best for your second book! and may you realise my dream soon!! (u know wat it is, right? :)] Keep writing!!!

  32. Best of luck.

    Looking forward for you new book

  33. Hi Preeti, feeling nostalgic after reading this. I first met you at the interview for Instructional Designer in 2007 and I remember your short hair and the fact that you looked so much younger than your age. You gave me your blog URL and once I started reading it, there has been no looking back. Each and every blog post of yours is so well written and spreads such a wonderful cheer and optimism with it. It has been such a wonderful journey reading about events - happy or sad in your life, your artwork, Atul's photography, your first book, just everything. Congratulations to you on your 500th Post and May God Bless You! Thanks for bringing so much joy with this blog to me and all your blog readers :)

  34. Hey P.S,
    Heartfelt Congratulations and am excited for you :)
    I too still remember stumbling upon your blog looong back..n how I got hooked :)Proud of you girl..!!


  35. Indeed an amazing journey!! Wishing you many more lovely moments in life!!
    Good day!

  36. I've been an avid follower of your blog from the start - especially as we started blogging around the same time. You have been nothing short of an inspiration to me. Should you ever visit me some day, you'll definitely see all your books lining my bookcase. All the best in everything you do Preeti - may God bless you always. I'm sure Dad is watching and is SUPER proud of his little girl :o)

  37. Extremely thrilled and proud of you, Pritj! It's been one heck of a ride now, hasn't it - not just for you but for all of us loyal readers who have been smitten by your blog.

    Ami just called to say that the second book has been delivered at home, just can't wait to get back home and read it :)

    Congrats on this achievement, waiting to follow your many other achievements in times to come, cheers!!

  38. Its a very inspiring read. Your writings are in simple language, but very insightful.On a different note, I had short hair too for 18 years :-)
    Congratulations for you new book and also for the 500th post :-)

    P.S: Yet to get my copy of the book. Landlord doesnt get my enthusiasm, so I get a lot of dirty looks every time I enquire about it.

  39. Anonymous4:47 PM

    Wow!!! Ur success story is highly inspiring.From one blog to a renowned author.One more thing,as it is said Woman's beauty lies in her hair.So u look more preety in long hair.So always maintain like his. Chow.......

  40. Heartiest, heartiest congratulations!!!

    You're one helluva woman!
    Wishing you immense success for your 2nd book and believe me when I say this, I just can't wait to lay on my hands on it!

    Leaving you while you revel in your glory ;) :)

  41. Dear Preeti,

    Congratulations! It's great to travel with you through the pics and the moments you have so caringly and openly shared with us. I have admired your writing style and the warm, wonderful human being that you are....don't change being yourself. You are a fantastic person! Your books tell us that ....we look forward to many many more best sellers!

  42. Hey Preeti,

    First of all Congrats for both your second book and the great milestone of 500th blog post.

    One thing I noticed in your pics...your hairs are also growing with you...:D and you look beautiful in looooong hair...;)

    Haven't read your blog since I was busy these days, will try to read all old blogs once I will get time.

    Congrats once again.

  43. An inspiring and beautiful post,preeti!. So many talents and wish you unearth many more.
    congratulations on your second book!

  44. Congrats preeti on your second book and for 500th post too :)

    We are waiting to read more and more from you.

  45. Hi Preeti,

    Beautiful post . First of all , Congratulations on your new book release and 500th post. I have read some amazing reviews about your book already.

    I am sure this hasn't been easy. When we look at someone's success, we always tend to ignore the hardwork and perseverance. It is one thing to dream big and another to work towards it when the path is not all rosy. Hats off to you.

    Loads of wishes and luck ..

  46. Congratulations on all the achievements Preeti...you're such an inspiration...

  47. Excellent re-cap of the memories and success .. Great going preeti ..It was very good to see your old pics too ;)

    Your writing has an essence to it .. it makes the reader feels good .. I am going to grab the second book of your too :)

    500th post rocked :)

  48. Congrats Preeti.Am glad your second book is out.Looking forward to reading it.

  49. Double congrats, preeti! Wonderful reading through your nostalgic moments...and good pics as always.
    Cant help but notice that black is your favourite colour (am i right??) ;)

    I am sure ur dad's blessings are in plenty and you'll keep reaching high! Good luck...and heres to many many more!

  50. Anonymous2:44 PM

    Congrats on all the milestones. When hard work pays, it really feels good. Best of luck for many success stories to you. I will have to wait for the book to be available in the UAE. :)

  51. Truly amazing... congrats preeti..
    May this be an inspiration for small time bloggers like me :P

  52. Anonymous9:36 AM

    Hey, Heartiest Congratulations for both the blog and the book. :)

  53. Preeti well done and a million congratulations, is that a crore? LOL
    Ten million?
    Either way you did it! Keep it up, we'll all read another 500 posts and then some.
    I am so happy for you that you have your second book in stores too...way to go! xoxo

  54. hi Preeti, I got the book and finished it in one sitting... :) The writing is amazing.. I felt as if I was seeting Ankita's life..!!

    Keep writing ;)

  55. Wow!500 posts!
    Congrats aunty!:D
    Eagerly waiting to read the book :))

  56. Congrats !!! Is your book out here in Bangalore?

    - Euphoria

  57. The heartiest of congratulations! It does not come as a surprise from someone who is SO talented!

    May you scaler greater heights whatever you attempt!

    Good luck and I wish you immense success :)

  58. Anonymous9:27 PM

    Congrats Preeti on your success. Good to see where it all started from. You look so lovely with short hair. Cant wait to read your second one..Is this also available in the US market..
    TC and keep the posts coming:-)

  59. Congratulations to you for both. Happened to come across your blog. Very Nice posts you have posted. I have not gone through all. But whichever i read are very nice. Do drop in to my blog to find some interesting things to know about parenting.

  60. Congrats Preeti on your Journey till date... i wish you many more success... and i to wish that a day will come when you would have a Book self dedicated to all your own books and writing.

    Cheers and have a great time


  61. Congrats Preeti and Wish you all the best!!!


  62. Congrats Preeti!
    Loved your old pictures and I guess..you looked like Deepika Padukone in short hair :) I agree with others..Short hair is cute but long hair is beautiful and lovely on you!

    Loads of luck for your next books.


  63. Beautiful post, great photographs. Congratulations and best wishes.

  64. I really loved Ur blog!!
    am also an aspiring writer
    and who else would be a better inspiration!!!
    would love to read both the books!! right away :) and will give my feedback
    Do drop by my blog http://afshan-shaik.blogspot.com/
    and gimme ur tips and views!!!

  65. Congratulations Preeti !! I am desperately waiting to buy this book in Calcutta - also surely will tell all my friends to buy and read this book.

    Regards Amit

  66. hi all

    I have read each and every comment--and I truly cherish your words. I was going to reply individually but they would all say just one thing--a thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    A very special thank you to the love of my life, Satish (who also left a comment! I was so surprised!), without whom all of this would not have been possible.

    Thank you to all of you who shower so much love and praise on me!


  67. WOW!!!! is all I can say...

  68. Anonymous10:45 AM

    Hi Preeti

    Highly inspiring!! Time is the best medicine all wounds in life. Ur life is no exception to it. U have proved yourself.
    Wish me all the best for laurels in my life as I consider it precious:)


  69. Keep writing sis...

  70. Huh I dont know how I missed this post;-o

    A beautiful, beautiful post...loved it:-))!!!!!

  71. 500th post OMG
    sorry ma'am i wasn't a fan of you by den so i hadn't red it den
    but now i'm so congratulations ma'am n keep writing.. keep inspiring readers like me

  72. Hi Preeti,

    I came across your blog today. Your posts are very positive and inspiring so is your life.


  73. Wow ! Loved reading the post. You hardly look like a mom in these pics. So girly and preeti(pretty)!! :)


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