Preeti Shenoy, among the highest selling authors in India (Source: Nielsen scan) is also on the Forbes longlist of the most influential celebrities in India. India Today has named her as being unique for being the only woman in the best-selling league. Her second book ‘Life is what you make it ‘continues to top the best-selling charts. Her third ‘Tea for two and a piece of cake’ made it to the top five best-selling Indian fiction of 2012. Her fourth, ‘The Secret wish list’ was among the top ten fiction of 2013. Her fifth, ‘The One You Cannot Have’ debuted at No.2 on the Nielsen list. The sixth ‘It Happens for a Reason’ was out in December 2014 and is a bestseller already!
In the past she has written for various publications such as Times of India and Readers Digest. She currently writes a regular column in The Financial Chronicle. She has given several talks in many educational institutions such as IITs and IIMs. She is an avid blogger, very active on the social media and has an extremely popular blog. She is also an artist specialising in portraiture. Her other interests are travel, photography and yoga.
Today though, I am going to talk about another aspect/facet of Preeti that I have experienced first hand – That of a very positively inspiring person. She has touched my life in such a positive way that I wanted to share this with all of you. To prove that positive people do indeed bring a change for the better!
I “met” Preeti at the Art of Living Bangalore Ashram where both of us had been invited to participate in a gathering to discuss the topic “Social Media for Social Good” in the presence of Sri Sri Ravishankar ji. We were there for about 3 hours and it was a very fruitful discussion and gathering. One of my friends who came with me was a wonderful photographer and took a lot of good pictures. One of them was Preeti speaking. I promptly tweeted the photo to her and she responded. I used “met” in the sentence above because at the event, we never spoke to each other and left after the event was done.
I started following Preeti on twitter after that, I had already read her first book and was an admirer of her style of writing. I started following her page on FB too. We had interactions online and eventually she followed me back and accepted my friend request on Facebook. On twitter and facebook, we had more frequent interactions.
During this time, I started work on organizing an event that involved getting eminent people to speak, I immediately thought of Preeti and contacted her on email. She agreed to speak. After that we had a few telephone chats where she gave me tips on how the venue must be set so as to not distract the audience. She also gave me a few tips on other things related to the event. We started chatting on Whatsapp after this, it so happened that I had to postpone the event twice due to unavoidable reasons and even though she was in the middle of a busy book launch, she graciously agreed to both the new dates. There was not even a small hint of her being a celebrity and me not being one. I felt like I was talking to a friend who went to school with me! She had that effect on me, I suddenly felt like there was a new found positivity within me.
After this, some personal issues forced me to postpone the event again and this time too, she was talking more about what I was going through and not about the event being postponed. The messages she sent me to help me get through what was arguably the toughest time of my life were very genuine and real. I realized that this is how she is as a person. Positive and inspiring. I tend to think of her as a friend, she even went out of her way to ensure that the venue of her book launch was accessible to me! Who does that? She was just being herself and yet touched my life and my thought process in a thousand positive ways. One afternoon when she was bored, she picked up my tweets and sent a lot of witty retorts! What a fun day that was!
I call it a modern day technology based friendship, but it is one that has stood me in good stead during the darkest of my times. This is my way of acknowledging that and saying “Thank you Preeti, my life is so much better after knowing you!”
Positive people are rare, but take my word, they are here and they can change your life! Sounds like a cliche but , It Happens For A Reason!
I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.