Friday, January 27, 2012

A Mother’s Angst

From My Personal Diary:

25th January 2012

I've been leaving my child behind with the maid more often nowadays. I don't know if it’s a good thing or not. For the last 3 and a half years, I've been there for my child every single day of her life for most of her waking hours. Now I go home past her suppertime.
It’s killing me. I know I have no option bcos I need to work and I love what I do. And it makes me provide for her better. The logic is always there. But sometimes the heart is unwilling.
The problem is not really that I leave her so much as I leave her with a maid. There aren't grandparents around who can manage her growth or a sibling that she can play with or even fantastic friends for her to hang out with in the evening. She has no one except an old maid who doesn't know how to read, write, or put on a movie for her. So they play with bartans. Or watch cartoons. Or go down in the lawn where my child sits with the maid since they're no kids her age in the building.
I think of all this when I'm stuck in traffic. The long commute home when time is being wasted instead of me being with her.
So I try to do more with her when I'm at home. Play, sing, dance, colour, whatever. Anything to make her happy and take her away from the tv that's slowly becoming her best friend. I try and make breakfast for her and give her a bath every morning and drop her to school before I leave so I don’t miss out on her growing up.
And when she sleeps, I finish my work for the next day. And a whole day starts again. I hardly get time for movies, or tv or books, or spas or meeting friends. But I know there’ll be a day when she won’t need me anymore and there'll be plenty of time for all that. I fear the day is just around the corner.
So I make sure the first thing she hears in the morning and the last thing she sees at night is me holding her tight and saying I love you.
Because she's my world. And she completes me.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Love Guru Advice: Long Distance Relationships

Dear Love Guru,I fell in love with a man and we had some amazing dates. Then he got a job abroad and left. Right now, we have a long-distance relationship and it’s becoming stressful. Both of us are middle-class people who can’t afford to travel up and down often. What should I do?
Lost @ Sea

Dear Lost at Sea,
Long-distance relationships are extremely tough. You need to have so much more love, patience and trust than you do with a relationship where you meet often. So start by giving that instead of demanding it.
Use technology to the best of your advantage. Skype often to see what both of you are doing. Text
message each other whenever you think of him.
Make your conversation more about the other person, your common interests, something new you learned that day and how you’re both feeling. Keep the conversations light and fresh. Don’t get boring. If it starts dragging, take a break for a few days and then come back and talk to him.
Never blame the other person for not being there for you. Keep “distance” as a state of mind. Think that he lives at the other side of town and he cannot be with you right now.
Also, remember to keep it naughty and interesting. Let your imagination run wild. Work hard and earn enough to take a vacation once a year to see each other.
After all, love is worth the effort. Have a goal. Work towards it.
All the best!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Love Guru Advice: In Love With a Divorcee

Dear Love Guru,
I am in love with a divorcee. My parents will never approve of the match, especially because he has two kids as well. But we do want to be together and I don’t know what to do.
Second Chances

Dear Second Chances,
Did you know that Madhubala met Kishore Kumar when he was married to Ruma Guha? Shilpa Shetty met Raj Kundra when he was still married and Dharmendra met Hema Malini after he was married with two sons and Boney Kapoor married Sridevi, which was his second, and her first wedding. We all come with baggage, whether it is emotional or family. If a person loves you for who you are and is willing to spend the rest of his life with you, your parents should be happy that you have found someone who wants to accommodate his life to involve you. However, a second marriage for him will not be easy. You must respect his time with his family and never try to impose yourself on his children. Become their friend first and respect them as individuals. A marriage whether it is first for you or second for him is about compromise and love. Give each other plenty of time together as a couple to grow together. Before taking the plunge, talk through issues regarding more children, finances and parents’ time with the family. Convince your parents that if you have found your soul mate, how does it matter if he’s a divorcee? He is still a wonderful man! And after all, it’s still your life.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Authors Speak About Writing: A Chat With Preeti Shenoy and Madhuri Banerjee

I was chatting with my friend Preeti Shenoy on BBM today and we felt that it was such a nice conversation that we should share it with more people. I loved how we could go from chatting about random things to talking about the writing process which we hope to do more often. I feel rejuvenated when I speak to fellow authors about work. It gives me a new perspective. This is the first part of our chat.

Preeti Shenoy

A Chat Between Two Female Authors:

Preeti Shenoy: I must tell u something interesting. I was googling to read ur blog.
Madhuri Banerjee: Ya
Preeti Shenoy: So I type in madhuri banerjee, and it suggests “madhuri banerjee husband”
Madhuri: Hahahaa
Preeti Shenoy: So many must be googling
Madhuri: Husband as in apply for husband?
Preeti Shenoy: People must be curious I guess!
Madhuri: Hahahah. That wd be nice tho… I always wanted a swayamvar...
Preeti Shenoy: I read that article on your blog…Abt three scenarios of extra marital affair.  I really liked the piece. (called
Madhuri: Oh thank u
Preeti Shenoy: :)
Madhuri: Wanted to ask u a question
Preeti Shenoy: Do ask
Madhuri: When u were writing ur second book and third, where did u draw ur creativity from?
Preeti Shenoy: Second is based on true story
Preeti Shenoy: All people based on real life characters
Madhuri: Someone u knew?
Preeti Shenoy: Yes
Madhuri: Oh ok
Preeti Shenoy: Third also
Preeti Shenoy: Based on real life people
Madhuri: Ok
Preeti Shenoy: And real incidents
Madhuri: Wow
Preeti Shenoy: And some happened to me
Madhuri: I can imagine
Madhuri: Ok another one
Preeti Shenoy: Yes
Madhuri: How wd u structure ur book? Anything in mind or just write?
Preeti Shenoy: No I plan
Preeti Shenoy: How do u write?
Preeti Shenoy: I need an outline
Madhuri: 3 part? 4 part?
Preeti Shenoy: I need to know what happens in each chapter
Preeti Shenoy: I need some structure
Madhuri: Really?
Preeti Shenoy: Yes
Preeti Shenoy: Then as I write
Preeti Shenoy: I might juggle
Preeti Shenoy: Or make adjustments
Madhuri: I need a 4 part structure but don’t plan what’s happening in each chapter beforehand
Preeti Shenoy: Ok
Preeti Shenoy: I need details :)
Madhuri: 1st part is to set up the story, 2nd part is to give more definition to the characters, 3rd part is the build up of conflict, and 4th part is the resolution. Each part having a definite number of chapters so I know where to stop and begin the next part.
Madhuri: Ok tell me something, what’s the most difficult part? The beg or the end?
Preeti Shenoy: Beginning surely. And then deciding which POV to tell story from. Then pouring emotions into it. What’s yours?
Madhuri: For me both the books ending..
Preeti Shenoy: What is second book?

Madhuri: A sequel
Preeti Shenoy: Nice!!
Madhuri: Really tough. Most anxious. Apprehensive

Preeti Shenoy: Will surely read!!
Madhuri: Thanks (hug)

Preeti Shenoy: U finished writing?
Madhuri: Writing 4th part of book.
Preeti Shenoy: Ok
Madhuri: Another 25,000 words to go
Preeti Shenoy: Ok
Madhuri: Feel a little lost sometimes `cos don't want my character to come off wrong or clich├ęd. So taking my time. Didn't realize trilogies are so tough!
Preeti Shenoy: Ok--for me after sometime characters just do what they want to do!
Madhuri: Ya
Preeti Shenoy: I don't know if that makes sense
Madhuri: Ya it does
Preeti Shenoy: It’s like one loses control no? Crazy it sounds. But its true.
Madhuri: Ya and that character is its own person.
Preeti Shenoy: Yes!
Madhuri: Unlike me. That character is so not me.
Preeti Shenoy: Yes!
Madhuri: And sometimes I hv to not put MY thoughts into her or him
Preeti Shenoy: Oh yes
Madhuri: Cos that's not how they would react. You have to be careful how the character reacts to situations and how you would react to situations and not mix the two.

Preeti Shenoy: And sometimes something which affected me… it always finds its way..into the writing.

Madhuri: Oh always! That’s why my column in Asian Age/Deccan Chronicle is Kaveri Love Guru. It’s her viewpoint and not really mine. She’s the single one, you know..
Preeti Shenoy: Nice! :)

Madhuri: But I need to draw more though, become better, hv better language, deeper vocabulary...
Preeti Shenoy: Oh--that is always a constant quest for me :)

Madhuri: I read so much and wish I could write like that.

Preeti Shenoy: I admire Catherine Alliot. I read a LOT too. And totally admire sheer brilliance in writing

Madhuri: Ya me too

Preeti Shenoy: Who all u like to read?

Madhuri: David Davidar. I also like Siddharth Dhanvant Shangvi’s prose but his books really move me to tears. They’re beautiful and sad.

Madhuri: Ok look u go hv lunch

Preeti Shenoy: Yup

Madhuri: Ur not gonna get time later

Madhuri: We'll chat soon

Preeti Shenoy: Good talking to u abt writing--something I rarely do!!

Madhuri: Let's do that more often :)

This is where our conversation ended for now... I'm hoping to have more conversations with her. I'm also hoping I can rope in a few more authors for a full fledged discussion on the writing process.  Looking forward to that soon. Will keep it posted here.

Below are the 2 books covers of our latest books:

Friday, January 6, 2012

My Cover Letter.

I was contacted by an HR consultant who wanted me to write a cover letter along with my CV. I groaned. Did I have to? Yes, she said, it's very important for employers to know a little bit more about you that goes beyond bullet points. Fine. So I sat and wrote out a cover letter. I don't know how it's supposed to be. But if it's about knowing a little bit more about me, then here goes:

Name of Cover Letter - Creativity:

After becoming a mother I realised how much balance is required if you want to succeed. From being inundated with daily domesticity to churning out a book I finally found myself challenged and fulfilled.
Within a span of two years I wrote a bestselling novel, started a production house, became a columnist for Asian Age, a Blogger for CNN-IBN online, opened a Twitter account, managed a facebook page for my book and created a website for myself. All the while bringing up my child with a minimum support system.
I began to finally understand that multitasking can be done if you know how.
Women are Chief Juggling Officers of the world. By keeping our professional organisation in the loop about our goals and our time while simultaneously demystifying what we do at work to our family, we women can achieve a balance.
That's who I am. A juggler, a balancer, a hard worker. Beyond that are ideas and positive energies.
I love my zumba class to keep me fit and yoga to keep me calm. I read books by the dozen to enlighten me and drink coffee endlessly to rejuvenate me. I travel to give clarity to my life and meditate to bring harmony to my soul.
Laughter fills my days and silence envelops my nights. And wherever there is a void, there is prayer.
I want to be part of creative thoughts, people who work for passion and an organisation who gives respect more than money.
My references shall be my worst critics who I can convince and my 3000 twitter followers who know enough about me and still want more.
I shall make my path and hope Destiny is on my side.

Reserved for One: A poem

We don't trust enough We don't pour out our hearts  Telling all our secrets, our fears and surrendering to each other. Comple...