On a smoggy December morning, GurgaonMoms organized a meetup at the beautiful poolside terrace bar, Vibe, at Hilton Garden Inn with “India’s only woman writer in the highest selling league”, namely, Preeti Shenoy. It’s not diificult to see why she is in that league. Her books (fiction category) narrate stories of everyday people like you & me who grapple with the same problems you and me face. Besides, the language she employs to connect with her readers reflects her personality – simple, free flowing and absolutely devoid of pretension.
I think the first thing that struck most women in the audience was how well groomed and fit she is ! It’s always motivating to have a role model who is not only adept at her craft but also makes an effort to look good. Gone are the days when writers wore only khaadi and carried jholas to reinforce their ‘writer’ image. Today, they let their work speak with no apologies.
Preeti Shenoy started blogging in 2006 when not many Indians were on the blogging scene. Like many aspiring writers (and present day bloggers) , she started writing as a means of expressing her emotions, thoughts and opinions. That’s when her writing career began. She was noticed and asked to publish her blogs in a compiled form. The rest, as they say, is history.
While in conversation with this vivacious writer, poet, blogger, artist, yoga enthusiast and mother of two teenage kids, Neela Kaushik, Founder of GurgaonMoms, asked her some interesting questions to which she received even more interesting answers !
From talking about the earliest influences in her childhood to the grief of losing her father which actually pushed her to seek solace in her blog, PS (as she calls herself on Twitter) regaled the audience with sneak peeks into her life. Not only does she write everyday, she also sets a word count target ! Her cellphone is obviously switched off to enable her to concentrate. And, when the target is achieved, she happily goes off to her beloved garden, practices ashtaang yoga or plays a sport !
While her characters are mostly inspired by people and events around her, the voluminous fan mail she receives also provides food for thought. Apart from being her everyday “pick me up”, it also gives her an opportunity to share her insights on how to be more positive as people write in seeking advice and direction.
A large percentage of her fan base comprises of young people going through tumultuous times. For those “natives of the internet”, she has penned “Why we love the way we do” in which she shares her thoughts on “Finding the One”, “Getting Hitched” and what to do “When things go wrong”. In a very bold subset, she also talks about “casual sex”, “friends with benefits” and “what makes you a bad girl in India”.
For the migrants to the Internet (like you and me), there’s hope in “Let’s talk” unless you have more pressing problems “Between the sheets” or of the “Three to Tango” variety !
As a parting shot, PS shared her top 5 tips on how to have a successful career despite being a Mom :
- Kill the guilt
- Switch off (from home when you are at work and vice versa)
- Be unapologetic
- Be prepared to make enemies
- Hold on to your women friends !!!
Go on, then. Give it a shot, Moms !