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Showing posts from June, 2015

Friendships and the part they play in our lives(blog marathon post 28)

When it comes to my books, everybody knows that love and friendship feature prominently. Whether it is a story that involves a mental disorder (my first book Life is what you make it ) or my sixth book that is the story of an unwed teen mother ( It happens for a reason ) friendships always form a prominent part of the protagonist's life. Many people write in and tell me that they can relate. They have friends exactly like the ones described in my books. They love how important a role friendship and love plays in my books. And yet there are a few (I must admit--very very few) who seem to think that such friendships exist only in books. I can tell you that is not true. I have been blessed with some fabulous friendships. A little while ago I was speaking to one of my closest friends (the friendship between Vee and Suchi in 'It happens for a reason is modeled on this friendship of mine) and we were joking in that self-deprecatory manner which only two people who are rea

Playing hard to get (blog marathon post 27)

From my column Sex and the city  that I write for Financial Chronicle every Saturday. When you are single and trying to get that cute guy or that stunning woman at the bar, your workplace, the library, local gym or bowling alley—depending on the things that you typically do during your weekends-- to notice you, it can be very confusing to decipher if they are truly not interested in you or if they are playing hard to get. The thing about playing hard-to-get is that it is a double edged sword and you have to be adept and a master of the game to be able to use it to your advantage. One wrong move and it can slip, slicing the relationship and your heart (or theirs) in the process, killing what could have been wonderful before it even had a chance to blossom. There are many people who put honesty above mind-games and have ended relationships as the stress of figuring out where exactly they stand in somebody’s life, especially when they have been left guessing a tad too man

A little Sunday (mis)adventure: (blog marathon post 26)

So we went to this restaurant in the afternoon. A new one. From the outside it looked great. Bright yellow exterior with a olive green door and a sign board done up in funky font announcing it's name--styled the way UK pubs are--and I admit that's what drew me in, and I decided this was where we would have our lunch. Once inside it felt like the interiors were trying too hard to be a hip and happening place--a deliberate kitsch of mismatched chairs, tables with high bar-stools and cheap replica of bollywood posters of the yesteryears--their newly minted gloss finish giving away the tackiness like someone who is obviously old trying very hard to look young by wearing a youthful shirt that bulges at the seams and jeans that are a tad too tight. They seemed to be yet getting their act together as it took my son two trips to the counter and back to be told it was actually self-service, but only one part as you placed the order at the counter, paid the bill and then waited at y

A love affair (blog marathon post 25)

"Golf is like a love affair. If you do not take it seriously it is no fun. If you do take it seriously it breaks your heart."           --Arthur Daley Picture clicked today by me. It was an afternoon well spent. Hope your weekend has been good too. ____________________________________________________

How do you know it is over? (blog marathon post 24)

“How do you know when it's over?" "Maybe when you feel more in love with your memories than with the person standing in front of you.” ― Gunnar Ardelius ,  from the book  I Need You More Than I Love You and I Love You to Bits   I cam across the above quote and thought it was beautiful. It led me think how would you really know it is over?   If you are constantly thinking about how good used to be, maybe it time to rethink about your relationship. If you are always thinking about someone else even when you are with them, then that is a sign too. If you are fighting over and over, about the same things with no end in sight, maybe that is an indication too. If you feel no spark or joy at the thought of being with them, chances are it is over. And finally if the thought of life without them in it, seems as a welcoe relief--then it is definitely over. But don't make a final conclusion yet. Move away. Give it space.

Go, manufacture some happiness!! (blog marathon post 23)

So I shared the above photo from Inkology  today on my Facebook. The last I checked the abov picture had got 24,000 shares! Which means it has struck a deep chord with  most people. When we spend time with people we love, there are chemical changes that happen in the brain. Our bodies release Oxytocin --feel-good-hormone. When we are in love too, our bodies release vast amounts of oxytocin.  From a purely Darwinian point of view, this occurrence has evolved over the years as we need to bond for the survival of the species. I have just had my one hour dose of oxytocin just now. Had a long long conversation with someone I totally love. And I am going to be seeing him tomorrow after two whole weeks of missing him. I am waiting. :) And so is my husband :) No--am not going to tell you who he is. But he is someone special. Hope you got your daily dose of happiness today. If you didn't just call up that person you love. Forget 'whose turn' it is to call. Have a nice

Wordless Wednesday No. 48--Blue on green (Blog marathon post 22)

Captured this in the garden. Blue on green. Nature's patterns. Simply stunning. This is my post for Wordless Wednesday ________________________________________________ Buy my books:

Making wishes come true (blog marathon post 21)

Life will not always go the way you want it to. If it did, it would be a car, not life. And even cars crash, get deflated tyres, run out of fuel, need maintenance. Of late I have been thinking about what is it that keeps one going? For some it is the anticipation of a better future. (If I study hard and top my exams, then I will get into so-and-so college and life will be all good). For some it is the anticipation of an immediate result or a result in the near future. (If I get that promotion and get a pay-hike of x percent, my life will be all set). For some it is the search for that perfect person to share their lives with. (Psst--let me tell you a secret--the 'perfect person' doesn't exist). For others, it might be an event that they are looking forward to. (An old couple eagerly awaits the arrival of their adult son and his family who will be visiting them soon). Whatever it is, all of us have some hopes, aspirations, dreams, goals. I had read somewhere that

May you have lillies in your life. (blog marathon post 20)

Lillies that bloomed in my garden. I had planted them last year. They lay dormant, barely letting their presence felt. There were no flowers at all for a year. Just a few straggly leaves. Our of sheer laziness to do anything I let it be. I watered it like all other plants, lavishing extra care on roses, chrysanthemums and other pretty flowers which vied with each other for my attention, while the lily stood quietly in the background. And when she bloomed every other flower paled in comparison. Sometimes life is like that. You might think that all your efforts are going unrecognised, unrewarded. And suddenly you get something that you never expected. May you have a lot of lillies in your life. And may they bloom when you need it the most. _______________________________________________________ Buy my books:

Make yoga your friend! (blog marathon post 19)

There are yoga images being hurled at you from every possible corner. And if you own a cell phone, chances are you received a message from the Government of India, asking you to practise yoga and telling you it's benefits. (Nice touch! I must say I was impressed) I have blogged about my tryst with yoga. here is the link: Do read it. And here is a video where a practitioner  explains why Ashtanga is repetitive and why it is important. What you see in the video are exactly the asansas I do each morning. The philosophy that he  in the above video truly appeals to me and I endorse it completely. It's about 8 minutes long---and worth a watch, and worth thinking about. ______________________________________________________ Buy my books:

A different kind of a day (Blog marathon post 18)

So I had my first ad-shoot! I can't tell you details just as yet, but you will soon know when the ad is out. I had a script to memorise, and it was long and repetitive. Facing, lights, camera and 'Rolling' ---all of it now is so familiar after hours and hours of shooting. It was such a different experience --fun for a while.  Exciting? Sure. But any day, I am happier, sitting on my bed, alone with my thoughts and laptop, writing away, rather than giving take after take on camera, and looking good all the time :) _________________________________________________________________ Check out my books:

A small conversation on writing. (blog marathon post 17)

A friend and I were talking last evening. My friend asked what I was working on. I have just finished writing my 7th book! (yes, it feels euphoric to be able to say that--it will be out later this year). She was very happy for me when I told her so.  Then she asked me 'Preeti, don't you ever feel exhausted from all the writing you do?' 'No,' I replied,'In fact it rejuvenates me'. She thought about it for a bit and then said, it is probably inherent. Even though she is a writer herself, she said she cannot write as much as I do. I told her that I cannot imagine a life without writing. I write every single day. I cannot imagine life without writing. To me writing is the air I breathe. Without it, i would cease to exist. ________________________________________________________ If you like my posts, you will live my books:

A hindi verse for you. (Blog marathon post 16)

जो बीत गई सो बात गई जीवन में एक सितारा था माना वह बेहद प्यारा था वह डूब गया तो डूब गया अम्बर के आनन को देखो कितने इसके तारे टूटे कितने इसके प्यारे छूटे जो छूट गए फिर कहाँ मिले पर बोलो टूटे तारों पर कब अम्बर शोक मनाता है जो बीत गई सो बात गई          ----Harivansh Rai Bacchan The above words are one of the best pieces of poetry and philosophy I have ever come across. My non-hindi speaking friends will have to excuse (or use google translate) These powerful lines reminded me of what my dad used to say to me in my mother tongue , the literal translation of which is 'If you die today, tomorrow two'. What it means is 'If you die today, today is 1st day of your death, tomorrow is second day, day-after is third day and so on'. It means that you should never look ba

My morning routine (blog marathon post 15)

So the writing prompt for today at NaBloPoMo is 'Tell us about your morning routine'. Since I liked the prompt, thought I would follow it. They have different prompts every day--but you can follow them only if you want--else you are free to write anything, as long as you post every day. So--to answer the prompt--If I were to be totally honest, I detest routines. Detest, abhor, dislike,loathe. I think routine is anathema to creativity. Or at least that is my excuse---and i can get away with it as I would like to believe I am fairly creative :) But one thing that I do try and follow is my yoga. I start the day with Ashtanga yoga about which I have blogged before. After that, I read the newspaper on some days and on some days I simply don't. I organise/cook breakfast (almost always traditional south Indian) and spend some time in my organic terrace garden . Then I write for a bit---then I hit the gym. On the days that I don't do yoga in the morning, I wa

Fresh starts (blog marathon post 14)

  The Sunrise from my terrace. There is something magical about the early morning hour. The promise of a new beginning. The fact that no matter what has happened upto now, a fresh day beckons. You can change your life, starting this very instant, if you want to. You have to identify the habits that erode away your time. You will have to find those things that give your heart joy. And then you have to decide   that starting today, you won't look back. Only beyond. The future holds many promises. It is upto YOU and You alone to claim them. Make yourself a promise---that you will be one percent better than the individual you were yesterday. Then stick to that promise.  No matter how hard it is. Carry it out. And do it again. It is the only life you have. So go ahead and make a fresh start. ____________________________________________________   buy my books:

Some important things (Blog marathon post 13)

Found the above visual on Facebook and it led me to check out the website (click on pic to be taken to it) and I discovered that it has some pretty amazing stuff. Little things in life which matter such a lot, yet which we brush aside in our quest for bigger cars, bigger homes, more space. What about the space in our hearts? That is so important. It is important to let go of the ego and tell someone how much they mean to you, if they do. Yet, it is also important to recognise when to walk away from a relationship which isn't helping you grow. It is important to hold on to some things and have patience. But then it is equally important to turn you back and shut the door on things that prevent you from being the best you can be. It is important to have great friends. But it is equally important to spend time with yourself, in quiet solitude, enjoying your own company. It is important to give in. It is also important to not give up. And if you have figured it all

When words dry up. A poem (Blog marathon post 12)

When words dry up And response stops When love becomes a trickle And the reaching out drops When what once came easy Now becomes a strain And the heart yearns for familiarity But there is only uncharted pain When are you okay, yes I am  Becomes a measured reply And it turns as fake as it can get But  you are clueless why When walking away is hard And so is staying on But you need to And you are torn Stick to your decision, walk away Be strong , this shall pass like a season  And once it finally ends, remember It happens for a reason. ________________________________________________ Buy my book ' It happens for a reason' at a great price © 2015 Preeti Shenoy   For more poems click here. Some poems have already appeared in print. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.

Gift from my garden. (blog marathon post 11)

Today's post--2 photos which speak for themselves. Isn't this amazing? It's the first time I am growing capsicum.   And the first time I am growing white pumpkin too :) I am one happy, proud urban farmer :) You can check out my post on growing your own vegetables here. See you tomorrow. Until then, be cheerful and grateful for all that is going right in your life right now. _________________________________________  buy my books:

Love chatting? (Blog marathon post 10)

There are some people who chat to 'pass time' and some who 'invest time' in chats. No prizes for guessing which category I belong to. I have a set of writer friends who prefer writing over talking. I too am like that. I detest talking on the phone (Unless it is to my mom and also my best friend--the only two people I can have a phone conversation with) and with everyone else I only write. With very very selected few I chat in real time. I don't know about how 'most young people' these days chat--but I do mean what I say in the chats.Thus if someone says 'brb' and then vanishes, I  find it rude. If you mean brb, you better be right back. Else you can sign off with 'Bfn'. Similarly if someone says they will get back to me by 5.00 pm or late evening or whatever time frame they say they will, my respect for them goes up several notches if they keep up their word. if they don't they are filed away under 'poor chat etiquette&#

How I write my novels. (Blog marathon post 9)

Thought I would share with you today, some of my writing quirks. What you see above is one of them. I have many many journals like the one you see above whcih i keep buying on my various travels. For me to pick up a hand-made journal, I have to fall in love with it's texture. I run my hand over it.Sometimes it looks good but doesn't feel right. If it doesn't feel right, I don't buy it. Sometimes it feels good but looks awful. Then too i don't buy it. For me to buy it, it has to talk to my heart.  The one you see above, it is one of my favourite ones. I had picked it at a tiny Tibetan shop in Mc.Leod Ganj. An old Tibetan lady was selling it and she had eyes that bore into my very sould. It was as though she knew my quest for that perfect journal. Each time I begin a new novel, I use a new handmade journal. I scribble the plot with an ink pen. I am particular about the ink-pens I use too. I have a lamy Pen which I treasure and also a Sheafer which I equally

The heart wants what it wants.(blog marathon post 8)

Today it's a song for you. A lovely one. If you listen to it carefully in the official version which is the video above, you will hear the raw pain in Selena's voice when she says " When I was on stage and thinking of him..I felt like I know him, I know his heart and I know he what he wouldn't do to hurt me. I was on stage feeling so confident, so great about myself. But then I never knew I would be completely shattered by one thing and it would be something so stupid. But then you make me feel crazy and you make me feel like it is my fault and I am in so much pain."  The song then starts. Anyone who has been in love would relate to the song. One moment you are on top of the world. And then when they do something you are hurt so deeply. Love is indeed madness. There are chemical changes that happen in your body when you are in love--as the body releases many feel-good endorphins. Everything appears great and you great, fabulous, ecstatic-- till the obje

15 fun questions. (Blog marathon post 7)

Wanted to do a 'fun post' today after all the serious little philosophical posts of last few days. So I headed over to Sunday stealing which had an interesting meme going on. And here it is! The questions as well as my responses.  1.   Would you rather go into the past and meet your ancestors or go into the future and meet your great-great grandchildren? Definitely my ancestors. I would love to know what made them tick, what they loved, what their days were like and how they spent their leisure hours. I love my ancestral homes on my maternal as well as paternal side (both in tiny villages in Kerala whose names you wouldn't even be able to pronounce unless you are a Mallu) and it would be wonderful to meet the people who lives in them once upon a time.  2.   Would you rather have more time or more money? Undoubtedly more time---I can make more money easily :) But time I cannot make. Life is so short. There are so many interesting books to read, movies to wat

On keeping in touch in friendships (blog marathon post 6)

A little while ago I came across the above visual and it struck a chord instantly. If somebody really wants to be in touch, they will find a way. And if somebody has not kept in touch, it is because right now you aren't a priority for them. They might be bogged down by their own issues.  And that may not mean that they now do not love you as much as they did earlier. How then do you treat people who don't keep in touch? Do you make a one- sided effort from your end? Are you always the one who calls/messages with barely any responses from the other end? When it comes to close friendships, some people feel a need to connect on a daily basis. Few others think once in every ten days or so is enough. Yet others connect only when they have something important to share. None of these are the 'right ways'. What matters is whether or not you are  content with it. When it comes to people who don't keep in touch, I usually make an effort to ask if they are okay once

A visitor. Blog marathon post 5

Today's post is this picture I clicked on my 14th floor terrace! Isn't this fabulous? Just a photo today--but I think it makes up for a lengthy post :) _______________________________________________________

Why book discussions are enriching (blog marathon post 4)

How was your Friday evening? Was it good? Did you do anything different? Or are you looking forward to simply unwinding at home, with a good book/movie, a glass of wine or a cup of tea--all little luxuries by themselves in this age where time to relax itself is premium. I had a fabulous evening today. I had been invited by Dr.Vijay Nagaswami for the launch of his book 'To D or not to D' which was at Leela Palace Bangalore. It was strange coincidence that I had bought his book just the previous day and his warm invite landed up in my inbox, the very next day. Having read his earlier books (Especially loved his book --50-50 marriage which is great for anyone who has been married 5 years or more) and having been a panelist with him at the Bangalore lit fest, I knew I was in for a great time. The book discussion was on whether to Divorce or not to, and why people stay in an unhappy and toxic marriages. The audience had some amazing questions and the discussions led to some t

You do not own the ones you love (blog marathon post 3)

So I just got back from watching Dil Dhadakne Do . And I must say Zoya Akhtar did not disappoint at all. I had loved her earlier two movies too. ( Luck by Chance and Zindagi Na Mile dobara ) This is what I had said on my FB page  Though it deals with many issues like being trapped in a unhappy marriage, pity-sex, doing something even when your heart isn't in it, upholding family values etc the one that appealed most to me was one of the core messages which is " If you love someone give them freedom to do what makes them happy." I firmly believe that parents, especially in the Indian context should stop interfering in their adult children's lives. Once the children are standing on their own feet, and no longer living with parents, parents need to back off. Respect the choices that your adult child makes--even though you may not always agree with them. It is the same in relationships. Your partner might be making a choice which is making them happy.

When friends don't respond back (Blog maraton post 2)

So did you do something yesterday that you have never done before? I know some of you did---and left comments in my comment box and those felt good to read, even though I haven't replied individually (yet)--but I did read each and every one. Today the day started for me with Sheryl Sandberg's very moving post. Do read it if you haven't--it is worth your while. It reminded me of that last chapter in my first book. Sometimes we realise how dear something is, only when you have lost it or you come close to losing it. Death of a loved one is something that affects us in ways that just cannot be explained--only experienced. It changes us, leaving a hole in our hearts but we become compassionate because of it. It is the same when a relationship ends. Or when you lose a friendship. At times the friend just stops communicating with you for absolutely no reason. They just don't answer back when you call. They don't reply to your pings and when you try to make plans t

Why is it important to challenge yourself? (blog marathon post 1)

Having done a blog marathon every single year since 2011, I know how difficult it is. Real life gets in the way ever so often. This year I did one in February where I was blogging throughout my book-tours. Regular readers would recall that I blogged from Lucknow, Delhi, Chandigarh--from airports, hotel rooms and coffee shops too. It was one of the hardest things I have done, as after an entire interactive session with media, signing books and an event, I would still come back here and blog. There were times when I fell asleep at the keyboard--then woke up with a jolt and blogged. Felt happy that I could complete the challenge. Okay--so why am I telling you all this? Because I am going to do it again, starting today :) Yes--that's right. I have decided to join the NaboPloMo June challenge . They are pretty flexible in terms of following the writing prompts. You need to follow it only if you want to, else you are free to blog about anything you like. And of course that's