Sunday, September 30, 2012

Just Married, Please Excuse: Book Trailer

P.S - how 'multimedia' am I these days, huh?! Multitasking- Multimedia- Mom. That's me. I should shut up now, right? This is me, shutting up. Enjoy trailer!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Email from a Young Lady

Put up here with young Surabhi's permission. It really put a smile on my face. 

(Note: Giveaway reminder - please do check for my book in stores and let me know what you found! 

Hey Yashodhara,

At the very outset of this mail, I want to congratulate you on JMPE. A friend recommended your blog, and I read what you wrote in six years,all in a day. After that, the urge to read some more got the better of me, and I immediately ordered your book online. I was wondering if the book would live up to what your blog is. Whether one particular story would do justice to your style of writing. I was pleasantly surprised. The book was all that and much more. It is simply written yet pretty smart. It makes you roll in laughter in parts and in others makes you pause and ponder about similar situations you have faced. It is not the typical 'fat lonely girl finds her guy and lives happily ever after',but it is every modern woman's happily ever after(with some glitches),in print.It is honest and engages you,making it un-putdownable. Congratulations again!!!

I am a 23 year old working girl, who is journeying through life.I too am a fiercely independent, big city D.U pass-out, who wants to get better every day. I see myself settling down in a few years(hopefully)!! The kind of cliches surrounding a working woman, the challenges and choices we face, the 'timelines' we are supposed to stick to, often scare and disillusion me. I think after reading your blog, what I have realized is that it can probably all be managed. Cliches broken, and some mistakes made, yet be managed fine.Thank you for being sort of an inspiration like that ;)

It is great to read your blog regularly, and I hope you continue writing and many many more books come your way!!!

Best of Luck for that and everything else.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Some more JMPE stuff: Interview-Review-Video

1. Reliance Time Out features a Rapid-Fire interview with me here

2. Two interesting new reviews for JMPE out:

A Man's perspective: here
A Woman's perspective:here

3. A video that I shot as an extra for you, while shooting for something else - don't worry, I don't hold this strange expression that Youtube chose for the still, throughout the video. As a matter of fact - I have a whole variety of strange expressions. :-).
Not really - In fact, please be impressed that this was all done in just one take.

Lastly: Reminder - my book giveaway is still ON. Keep the feedback coming about the bookstores you visit, people! You guys are the best :-)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Just Married Please Excuse: Another update

Some more Just Married, Please Excuse Reviews are up! Not sure I'm getting all of them, but here go a few more:


By my extensive calculations on the subject, 98% of the roughly 50 reviews I've read so far are very positive. This makes me do my happy dance. *Does Happy Dance.*

So I am flummoxed by the logic of the average retailer.

'So you've got only 2 copies of my book in stock?'
'Yes, Ma'am. We had 10, 8 sold out last week.'
'Oh, that's great. So have you ordered more now?'
'Bilkul, Madam...just let these last 2 finish and then we will place the order...will only take a few days after that to get more copies.'

This makes me sink to the floor and weep. *Sinks to floor and weeps.*

(Why, God, WHY? Have you guys never heard of re-order levels or whatever term it was that we studied in  supply-chain or whatever subject that was? HUH? Seriously, people. Help me out here, will you? Participate in my giveaway and let me know where the book is not available at this point of time.)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Need Your Help On This One - Giveaway Round 2

I've been posting on how 'Just Married Please Excuse' is doing well, and how we're going into a reprint very soon. Still - it's a very, very large country and I still find that there are many places where the book is not available in physical stores. This continues to be very, very critical - despite the entire e-revolution, we still browse and discover books in stores. It's a real challenge trying to stay on top of this, and I could really use your help here.

I'd like to open up a book giveaway again for Round 2 - so till October 15, if you could please do the following:

1. The next time you're in a bookstore, do look around for JMPE. If you don't see it, please do ASK for it.
2. If you find that they don't have it in stock, please write to me with the store's name and location ( do include the phone number, too) - at yashodhara dot lal at gmail dot com. This will help my publisher keep track of where it needs to be placed. It will help immensely.

I will randomly pick 5 people and send copies of the book to them, shall announce on Oct 15.These won't be signed copies as I'll be ordering them online for you, but you'll win the book anyway and I promise to sign them for you when we get to meet someday - when I'm in your city next :-)

(Do note that the chain Odyssey is not a part of this because they're apparently not stocking new titles).

Even if you've already read the book ( and hopefully liked it), it will help immensely if you can keep an eye out for this. And ideally, create a bit of a scene with your vociferous demand 'What kind of book-store is THIS?' if they don't stock it (as my brother-in-law has promised to do :-))

I really appreciate the support! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Letter from A Newly Married Man

...and someone who happens to have been my reportee years go. His honest little email about what he thought of Just Married, Please Excuse shared below - with his kind permission of course. He informs me he was anyway going to write this as a comment on the blog initially :-) but wasn't sure I would want it up here...But Y On Earth Not, I say!

Hey Boss,

Finished reading your book.

Let me start at the beginning - I used to love your blog, during the married, pre-peanut phase. It was sarcy and incredibly funny. Then it became more warm/cute-funny, and I gradually lost interest. (I don't like babies and have never held one). Also, there has been a spate of books by Indian women around the theme of love/marriage/the right-boy in the recent past, all of which have been terrible. Some I read, and hence I know. Some, you didn't even have to read. The blurb was bad enough. I expected a sappy, cheesy book - '2 states' blended with a momma-blog.

So I bought your book out of loyalty.

And I'm glad I did. 

I loved the book. It was nothing like I expected. It was sarcy, funny, warm and really nice. I could relate to the characters. Ofcourse, it helps having known Vijay, Vivi and you. There is some advice hidden inside without being preachy. And it felt incredibly honest and true.

Am now trying to get my wife to read it.

Awesome work! Can't wait for the second one.

Proud of you!


P.S - I love hearing that men like my book too. Yay! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Family Says Strange Things

After the 'Preponderance' incident, my children demonstrate they take after their father.

Peanut (in a mocking tone to me, peeping out of the tenthouse I have foolishly purchased for my children) - Hanna Ka Montana!
Me (shocked at the tone as well as the realization that she's heard about Hannah Montana from somewhere) - Do you even know that that means?
Peanut (in an even more derisive tone than before): It's a Human Being.

And then, when we have a visitor - a conservative family member from Vijay's side, who has come to visit my Father-in-law at home. I am sitting in uncomfortable silence sipping tea, trying to find something to say to this gentleman who is from another world, and has dropped by unannounced. I catch sight of the twins peeping out cautiously at the stranger.
The stranger is as relieved as I am that we no longer have to rack our brains on what to say to each other. He invites them 'Idhar aao, Idhar Aao'.
My relief changes to horror as I hear my twins whispering to each other in their baby babble and then arriving at the consensus 'E Motu Uncle Hai.'
Cursing my husband for teaching them the phrase Motu Uncle, I abandon my cup of tea and hurriedly run into the babies room to lock them in for the rest of the visit. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Vijay (Examining himself in the mirror): Is there a preponderance of blue in my clothing?
Me (Flabbergasted Silence)
Vijay (looking over at me): Well?
Me (carefully): Preponderance, you said?
Vijay (offended): Yes, so? I know many words!
Me (unable to contain myself): But YOU used to say stuff like 'Main Dress Change Karke aata hoon!'

(It's true. He did.)

Extract from JMPE - Chapter 1 (Pop Goes the Question)

Go on. Share with someone who you think will like this! 

I knew that Vijay’s parents knew nothing of my existence.
They had been pressurizing him to get married for a while
now, and had been lining up ‘meetings’ with nice girls from
respectable families all over the country, but mostly from
his hometown of Jaipur. ‘At l
east just meet her’ was their
constant refrain. To oblige them, sometimes he did.
I had discovered that even before I had come into his life
a few months ago, Vijay had found his own unique, rather
intriguing way of getting his parents to ease up on the topic,
if only temporarily.
He would simply get himself rejected.
It was quite a feat for him to get rejected – tall, goodlooking,
IIT-Delhi graduate from respectable brahmin family,
working in large MNC and all that jazz. Still, he manfully
rose to the task and achieved it through the simple means of
being obnoxious.
During each of these meetings, there would inevitably
come a point when he and the girl were left alone to get
to know each other better. He would act normal enough to
begin with. Then, at some stage, he would clear his throat,
look deep into her eyes, and say in a low, serious voice,
‘Look, Buntvinder (example of name). Before we think
about whether we should take things any further, there is
something I have to ask you.’
She would lower her eyes and reply breathlessly, ‘Go
‘It’s something very deeply personal, and I’ll understand if
you don’t want to answer it.’
‘It’s okay, you can ask me.’
‘It’s just that for me – and I hope for you – marriage
is not a thing to be taken lightly. So I really need to know
this …’
She would be very nervous by now, but would steel herself
in preparation for the worst. ‘It’s okay, Vijay! What is it you
want to know?’
‘I just need to know,’ he would lower his voice even
further and after a dramatic pause for effect, say, ‘Who was
the first Mughal emperor of India?’
The ensuing silence would only be broken by the sound
of his loud guffaws at the look on her face. The responses
ranged from huffy walk-outs to cushions thrown at his head.
Either way, the girl would get the message that this wasn’t
a suitable boy, although the parents involved were never
exactly sure why.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

JMPE Reviewed on the Caterpillar Cafe

Got me a review from someone who writes really funny himself! 

The Man Says: 

As someone who has never read her blog, I figured the book would be a sort of romantic comedy, all lovey dovey types. Boy, was I wrong! The book scores well because the author comes across as a bit of an irascible young lady from a worldly family married to a goofy, good natured kinda country bumpkin. Spoilt brat meets traditional Indian male. That sort of thing. So you know things aren’t gonna be pretty. The various fights and tribulations are covered in loving detail, and you often find yourself going ouch while also laughing at the same time.

Read Firdaus's full review on the Caterpillar Cafe here

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I Have This Sneaking Suspicion

...that I'm doing it again.

I'm packing in too many things into this sabbatical. Yesterday I sat down and listed all the things I've done that I'm really glad about - and the list ran into over 30 things already. In 3 months. Yes, they're a combination of big and small things - Big, like finishing the second book. Small, like hanging out one random Thursday afternoon with Peanut at the new mall Hangout, as a surprise. Big, like seeing my grandma several times a week. Small, like being there for Pickle and Papad when they come home from school. You get the picture.

But one of the things on my sabbatical was supposed to be TO RELAX. And not the hardcore focussed 30-minutes-each-day ''I will do yoga-breathing-meditation-and-read-uplifting-books'' thing. But the ''truly-lowering-expectations-from-life-others-and-self-and-just-be-ing'' variety of relaxation.

I've been so busy with everything in the last three months that it's gone by in a whirry blur ( or blurry whir, if you prefer...what a poem, hey?). I'm not saying that taking a break hasn't helped - it's helped immensely. At the very least, I'm in better physical shape than I've been in for about three years - that by itself means a lot.

It's just that the feeling of panic that I had when I saw that three months were already up wasn't a welcome one - it was like ''wait, wait, I've done so much, but there's Still so much to do...what about the reading I was to do? and the volunteer work? and the ...'' etc etc. That's ridiculous, right? I mean, here I am trying to get away from the whole 'superwoman' tag and relax. And now again, I'm trying to be superwoman-in-pajamas! No, no, NO. I refuse. From now on, it's total relaxation. Not taking on anything new for a while, and will figure out what to cut down in order to arrive at a less frenzied state of living.

So. RIGHT. That's my NEXT project!

*Do you have any suggestions on how we do this?*

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Now here's another first - Y's Cake Recipe

Over the course of six years of blogging, I have posted only two recipes, to the best of my memory - Banoffee and Bread Pakoda - and they weren't really 'my' recipes - both these earlier posts were a month apart in 2007 - wonder what I was on back then. I don't know if you've figured it out, but my interests lie elsewhere, pretty far away from the culinary department.

And yet, sometimes, the urge overtakes me to make something nice for my kids - usually it's something sweet -so that they know when Mama goes into the kitchen, depriving them of her presence, it's going to be worth the wait. After the disaster with Besan ke Ladoos recently, I was quite discouraged and stayed away from the kitchen, only going in for certain occasions to make my special Halwa and Kheer, using the recipes taught to me by my mother-in-law.

But a few days back, when one of my best friends from college - who is here from America for a short holiday - was due for a visit, I felt I had to bake something for him. He was coming over to meet me and the kids on a Monday afternoon ( yay, sabbatical!) and I had made sure there was good food on the table - but there was no dessert, and this was bothering me.

I remembered back in college how once I had discovered some simple recipe for chocolate mousse - involving melted chocolate and rum - and had whipped up something as an experiment. Amit had come over and practically inhaled it. I had watched, fascinated and horrified, as he downed the entire thing - the whole half-kg mousse. The man had quite an appetite, back then, and I'm proud to report that he maintains the same even today - he's a pro Basketball player, and manages more things than even me, in terms of packing stuff into a day! Me raised to the power 20, to be very honest.

So anyway, I felt like baking a cake for him and his wife, and I figured the kids would enjoy it too. So I wandered into the kitchen and looked around. Eventually, I made a choco-banana-marble-type-eggless-cake ( yes, that's a trademarked Y name - pretty catchy, eh?).

Since a few people on Facebook asked for the recipe, here it is.

MAN, I'm domestic!

Y's Eggless One-Hit-Wonder Choco-Banana-Marble-Type-Cake 
( look, I'm still experimenting with the name, alright?)

What you need:

1. 2 cups of flour
2. 75 gm butter
3. 1/2 cup yoghurt
4. 2 cups milk
5. 1 cup sugar
6. 2 tbsp chocolate powder
7. 1 tsp baking powder
8. 2 bananas, mashed
9. 1 tsp vanilla essence ( this is totally optional)
10. A rather experimental spirit (this is totally mandatory)

It's rather simple, really:

1. You melt the butter in a large microwave safe dish, bung in the oil and the yoghurt, add the sugar and mashed banana and whip up well with a fork. I divided this into two roughly equal parts since I was experimenting for a different effect.
2. You mix up the baking powder in the flour. I divided this also into two parts - 2/3rds and 1/3rds, and mixed the chocolate powder with the smaller part.
3. You basically add the dry mixtures in '2' to the wet mixtures in '1' - folding it in, in the usual manner for cakes - although I find that even mixing it up randomly doesn't make too much of a difference for some reason, as long as you've got the consistency right. You therefore end up with two readied mixtures. This is the point that I add milk to them so that I can decide what amount looks right - you don't want it too thin, basically. I think I used about a cup of milk for each part.
4. This bit was interesting. I took a greased dish and first poured in half of the non-chocolatey mixture ( where the vanilla essence was added, though I don't think it was necessary). I then added half of the chocolate one and to my delight a lovely, albeit uneven pattern emerged. I finished up by adding the rest of  the white mixture, followed by the chocolate mixture. A sort of 'sad flowery pattern' (as Aneela put it rather unkindly on Facebook later) emerged at the top. I liked it.
5. I bunged it into the microwave oven and put it on 'Bake' mood - in 6.5 minutes, it was done.

The whole thing took me about 25 minutes to whip up - and it turned out heavenly! Amit and his lovely wife Sandy - who usually doesn't even touch sweets - loved it! Their beautiful little daughter wasn't interested, but my kids really wolfed it down - even Peanut, who's usually choosy about cakes that aren't fully chocolatey.

So really, it was no big deal to make and it turned out well. If you give it a shot, let me know how it went.

Oh GOD. Is this ME?

P.S - Hey, Svety - I found that it was on the Banoffee post that you first wrote your comment about how I should write a book - like, 5 years ago! How cool is THAT?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

JMPE Updates

So, the Book is doing well! Looks like we're going to go into a Reprint shortly, which is great!

Also, Little Black Book Delhi has featured it in their Top 5 books for September - Like, Wow! Read here.

A big, big thank you for everyone who's read, reviewed, recommended so far. Yes, and even those who've got back to me saying it's either too much like ... or not enough like ... the blog! Every bit of feedback helps immensely.

Here are some very recent reviews:

UmaShankar ( a very well written review, one of my favourites so far)
Soul Speaks
R's Mom

Also, we had a lovely lunch at Mamagoto's on Saturday, and a post by itself is due on that. But some others have already written about it, so check them out here!

LivinginGurgaon *review of Mamagoto*
Soul Speaks

Have I missed anyone, guys? Let me know! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

So Totally Worth It

The last few days of my sabbatical have seen a couple of very nice things that I've been able to accomplish.

I of course have an 'army' of maids which people make a lot of fun of. But with my three small children and then my father-in-law at home, it makes eminent sense for me, so I don't really bother - and laugh along to the barbs like 'why don't you get them uniforms' and stuff like that.

My cleaning maid has a problem - like many of this set of people do - of an alcoholic-no-good-abusive-husband - who just blows up her earnings treating his friends to Pepsi, Paan and the drink, apparently. A long time ago, she had asked me about opening a bank account because she said that was the only way she could save any money. I kept putting off this request - and was quite ashamed to note that years had passed since her initial request to me . I finally went to the bank last week, figured it out for her, opened a joint account - and somehow managed to get an approval for her documents - she just got her a chequebook and atm card, and I'm trying to teach her how to use it.

The other one, who takes care of the twins - has had the dream of studying - she had to drop out in Class 8 and leave her village to come with her family to Delhi. So now that the twins have started pre-school, I've managed to find the most lovely imaginable retired teacher who has delightedly taken her on - she goes two days a week to this lady, and in between, my father-in-law and I are supplementing her education so that she learns the basics of English and Math. I also told her that Peanut now has started reading pretty well so she can learn with her. She very sweetly replied ''Yes, Peanut has been teaching me, but sometimes she is too busy...''. I was tickled at the thought of my 5 year old 'teaching' and then being 'too busy' - but suggested a game format which would involve the very competitive and bossy little Peanut to impart more of her worldly wisdom.

The maids are very happy and I feel a great sense of relief.

In other updates, we had some bad news but are taking it in our stride - our landlord needs his place back - we just moved in January to this really beautiful apartment and now we have to move again! Most importantly, we need to find a place within the same complex. But strangely, it's not really bothering me. I have a feeling it will happen and we'll be just fine. The broker I spoke to today was quite impressed with my book, he saw the notice with the extract that I had put up on the notice boards, and said 'Aapne toh Vijay-Sir ke baare mein sab kuchh bata diya!'. Ha ha. I just hope this influences him to find us a great apartment. Fingers crossed!

Lastly, am terribly terribly excited that two of my old college buddies are coming over today - with their baby daughters, whom I have never met! Can't wait to see them :)

P.S- Umashankar, thanks for the kind words in the comment section, and to answer your question - reviews can be posted on your blog; and/or Flipkart or Goodreads! Thanks Many. Even if you can just do a rating on Flipkart/Goodreads/both would be great. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

E, A, D, G, B, E

...which of course, all guitar freaks will recognize as the open strings of the guitar.

I started my classes day before yesterday. The teacher seems really good, a nice, soft-spoken and very professional young man, with fingers that can coax the most amazing sounds from that instrument. I've been given a set of exercises for this week and I'm trying to do them as diligently as possible. Yesterday I managed about 30 minutes, and today I'm trying to push myself for more ( and therefore it would help if I wasn't pausing to blog, but my fingers hurt so I'm taking a break. Yes, the fingers are capable of typing, not playing right now, go away, will you?)

I was unable to play properly yesterday, everything was getting messed up because I'm so rusty. But miraculously today, I'm able to do the exercises much better - it's just a question of getting the little pink soft tips of these lazy fingers all hard and calloused again. The way it was about, what - 15 years ago?

I don't know. Am I an age-ist? I can't see myself taking guitar lessons in my forties. So I figured I might as well take them in my thirties and attempt to start playing again, and surpass the levels I had attained as a college kid - who used to walk around in baggy pants and an attitude at all the Delhi University fests. In college, I won quite a few prizes at the competitions -but for a combination of singing and playing always - I was never a great guitarist - just played about enough to belt out a decent song. But then of course, the guitar has been hovering in the background for me. I just didn't want it to be that way.

I don't think I'll ever be a great guitarist either - but I do want to be a good one. I just want to be able to pick it up and tinker with it and figure out a new song and sing - without my fingers aching. Without the frustration that comes from not being able to figure out a complex chord, and just giving up.

When I was 15, my parents bought me this small guitar which they had picked up from a Flea Market abroad. It was tinny, and it didn't sound very nice. But it was the first. And it was incredibly frustrating to try and play - the sounds just didn't come out right. And then one day, they did. And it was the most amazing feeling when things sounded like they were supposed to. I was delighted. So over the next few years, I played and got better - until I started work, got married and other things in life took over.

This last guitar that I've got , which I fondly call Bluey. Yes, it's a distinct shade of Blue - I bought it in Bombay a few years back. It's a really nice guitar- a Granada. And the really surprising thing is - I haven't changed the strings on this one, except for one that broke. This guitar is a resilient one - it still produces great sound, despite this lack of string-changing and the overall lack of attention.

Anyway - I just hope I'm able to keep it up. I'm self-taught and therefore my technique is non-existent. It's sort of starting over - hence the lessons from an expert. I did take lessons a few months ago too, but it was to no avail, considering that I never got around to putting in the practice time.

It's really a bit of a no-brainer - but like many things, it's easy to say and not so easy to do - with anything worthwhile ( learning the guitar? writing a book? juggling? seriously, I taught myself to juggle three balls as a bored 7 year old, from a Reader's Digest article on juggling. Could join a circus.) , there's a lot of frustration in the beginning. The trick is to start ...and then not stop. I've started. Now let me see if I can keep it up.

E, A, D, G, B, E...C major scale...Tone, tone, semitone, tone, tone, tone, semitone...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Don't think we can better this one :-)
(Left-to-right: Papad, Vijay, Pickle, Y, Peanut)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Y's Sabbatical: Mid-Term Review

While I'm usually very organized and have an excel file with lists of things to do on my Sabbatical, at this point I find myself in a rush and therefore this is more random than usual.

I am on a 6 month break of which I find that shockingly, 3 months are already up. Therefore, I'm just putting down a bunch of things which as I look back over the last 3 months stand out for me personally. Bear with me if you've heard some of these before. This is a compilation. Sort of like the 'Best of.' You know?

Okay, here goes:

1. Launched my first book 'Just Married, Please Excuse.' In case you're wondering, it's doing pretty well, although I'm still struggling with distribution in stores - it keeps running out of stock. Good thing, right? Except that it means it is NOT there in so many places. Sigh.

2. Sent off the draft for my second book to my Editor. I will find out this Thursday what she thought of it - she had liked the first ten chapters a lot, but the whole story is a whole different ball game. Fingers crossed. It was so much tougher to write this since it's Fiction, unlike JMPE.

3. Had the biggest party I've ever thrown for my kids - a sort of combined party for Pickle, Papad and Peanut, all of whom are July born kids. The fact that I haven't had the time to blog about it just goes to show how busy I've been despite being off work.

4. Done the Zumba Fitness thing - for almost 3 months now. I think I'm kind of hooked. Even toyed with the idea of doing some trainee-instructor-type-thing in the middle, but abandoned it for fear of taking on too much.

5. Spent a lot more time than ever before with my darling Grandmother, who has been diagnosed with cancer at the ripe old age of 90. Spending time with the family - with her and my three kids - has been a huge blessing.

6. Got my tax returns filed. *High five me, SOMEONE!* and generally am starting to get a bit more organized about the house thingies. It amazes me how much there is always to do - the RO needs repair, this geyser conked off, the cupboard is falling apart, that light doesn't work, the car needs servicing, the gas needs re-ordering (again) while the gas agency has decided to take a vacation from answering phones - it never ends. Amazing. Need to get a LOT more organized about this stuff. Suggestions, anyone?

7. Volunteered to - and actually delivered it - tell a story at my little daughter's KG class. That too on a topic which I had NO idea about - Eid! Got a bunch of printouts and it was chaos, but immense fun. Won't be doing it in a hurry, but Peanut was so immensely proud - spellbound, actually - I'm glad I did it.

8. Shared my experience with Buddhism for the first time in a Zadenkai ( Experience sharing meeting). Yes, I know it's a shocker, but I am a follower of Nichiren Buddhism. Doesn't show yet, does it? It's been over a year and a half now, and I love the philosophy, although I'm still a little ambivalent on some points - never been a very social type ( now, THAT you knew, right?) and I'm quite shy about being discussing this with people. But I have to say it's done great things for me so far.

So that's about it. I went briefly over my list and I saw stuff about wanting to learn guitar, read a lot more, and various other projects I had laid out for myself. No progress on those things so far, it's been crazy enough with the above things. But hey, we can't have everything, right? The idea of the sabbatical was also to just learn how to take it easy, just 'be', relax and enjoy myself - in the moment, you know?

*I start guitar classes tomorrow*

Saturday, September 1, 2012

And the Winners!


Updated list of people who are coming for the Blogger's Lunch on Sep 8th :)



....TheMadMomma and Sonia we shall miss you :(

*PriyaSreeram and Nisha just happen to be a 'little' far away from Delhi-NCR :(

First of all, thank you all for the fabulous participation to the Just Married, Please Excuse Contest.

Now I know why all those reality show judges always say stuff like '' It was just so hard for us to make this decision ...we really debated this...all of you were so great...etc etc''. What's that you say? Reality Show Judges don't say that anymore? Well, someone sure says it - and anyway, that's not the point, the point is that I'm saying it now. Jesus, stop arguing with me, let me go ahead now and announce the winners, huh? 

Wait...Okay, slight teensy-weensy leeeetle problem - I probably should have told you guys earlier, but we hadn't budgeted to send the copies abroad. Therefore, we can ship only within India. *Ooopsie* But hey, look - I could have conveniently chosen to ignore the foreign entries - but my innate sense of fairness kicked in - and some of those stories were the best ones. So please, guys, do me a favour and let me know the India Address to which the books can be couriered, huh? Someone in your family or friend circle you think would enjoy the book as a gift, maybe? Now let us go ahead and announce...

Wait...Maybe I should explain. I've read each and every of the entries quite carefully myself. I've asked a small select group of people in my inner circle for their carefully considered opinion. I've made an excel sheet and awarded points on various parameters and applied my own patented formula to pick the winners, which has included only a dash of Eenie Meenie Mynie Mo. It's all been quite traumatic. Fortunately, the stories were truly great and this has helped preserve the remnants of my sanity - and once again I thank you. 

If anyone is still awake after that completely unnecessarily long-winded preamble, here we go:


The people to join us for lunch at Mamagoto, Gurgaon on Sep 8th (apart from winning copies of JMPE) ARE - 

(This assumes all of you are based in Delhi-NCR, of course. Email me if I've got it wrong.)

*Dipta ( for sharing how terrible he can make things for his lovely wife)
*MadMomma ( for the very filmy dose of stories)
*Aneela ( sharing the general looniness of her family, including herself)
*Chandni (the only abduction story in the mix)
*Nm (for wearing her sari inside out)
*Sia (for her sleeptalking and scaring her new in-laws)
*LivinginGurgaon (for stinking up the joint just before two elderly ladies visit)
*Ritz (for making Dahi just how I would have done it)
*Nibedita (for not one but three funny stories)
*Shagun ( for her not-marrying-you-for-sure mister story)
*Sonia (for several funny stories that are even illustrated with pictures)
*PriyaSreeram ( for her Kumbhakaran Saga)
*Nisha (for the amusingly written champagne saga)
*Numerounity (for actually asking her mother for a story since she was so keen to win)

And the others  who shall have signed copies of the book sent to them (or friends/family in India are:)

*Sundar ( a story definitely worth reading)
*Parama (for her funny conversations)
*A (for asking if about the Queen's Chembur branch)
*R (for saying 'Baraah Dadi' in response to an important question)
*Momofrs ( for her assorted funnies, including tumbling down the stairs on honeymoon)
*Pepper (for the Shoe saga)
*R's Mom ( for dancing at her Tambram wedding)
*Chandrayee (for her Lord of the Rings story)
*Ashwathy (for the drama she described, including one hapless younger brother's ass being kicked)
*Spiritual Flame (for the reverse Kumbhakaran story, where she's the one left out in the cold).

Honorable mentions: 

Great stories by Parul and Priya - my author friends.
Manav and Anirban, who are such good friends of both mine and my husband's that it would have been blatant nepotism to declare their rather cute stories as winners. (Manav, I know you hate the word cute...but it a manly way.)
SJ who has started a blog of her own just to enter the contest!
The last minute and very wonderful entry by Kirti, who posted four times wondering if she was too late.
Funny story of 30 years ago in the comments section by Peristalsis and one nice one by Shilpa.

Oh heck. They were all great !

All Winners: You're supposed to say hi to me over email at yashodhara dot lal at gmail dot com right away, please - along with the mailing addresses and mobile numbers ( Indian ones please).

Please note: And if anyone has any strong objections about my selection, please write to me at my very special hitherto secret email ID at yashodhara dot lal's real not fake email address at gmail dot com.

Much love to you all, and many thanks once again!

*Heaves sigh of relief and collapses*