August 25, 2009

Free book offer!

My friend r~ had this neat idea to promote my book, so here goes...

Promote my book anyway you can -- blog it, tweet it, facebook it, myspace it if you into web20 or email/chat if you like slightly older technology or talk about it and write letters (if you are into ancient ;) and the person with the best results (relatively) will get a copy of The Last Laugh free (Yeah, yeah, you don't have to pay shipping or sign up for a lifetime supply of every book I output, am not conning you :p)

Also, I think I should give away a free copy in US and one in India to the person who shouts the loudest (and is heard the most :)

I suppose there ought to be a deadline for this sort of thing. Will post updates soon as I check out the response to this post (Yes, if you are the only person who responded to this post and did the needful, the book is yours to keep :p).

So there.

Please email me if you think you have shouted your throat hoarse and show me what you've got (Email threads, chat transcripts, fb pages and all that good stuff) and I promise I'll root for you to get a free copy! More points for creative advertisement of the book (like mention of particular stories, what you fancied about it (you did, didn't you? Awww...don't break my heart!) etc.

The Last Laugh facebook page (permanently on this blog on the right) has all the details about where you can buy the book (Online - Createspace, Amazon, In India @

Many thanks for the support. Much grateful.

August 20, 2009

Do you have the time to smell the flowers?

Do you have the time to...

wander in a library from aisle to aisle until you find the book that just smells right?

walk along the beach on bare feet looking for shells that carry secrets of the ocean?

talk for hours together, not on the phone, not on chat, just plain, face to face talk, watching every twitch, grin and full-mouthed smile that lights up on the other face?

sit on a park bench and

hear temple bells and indistinct chants during an early morning walk?

listen to stories narrated by aging mouths of a time when cinemas were in black and white and real life was much more colorful than now?

think of then and now, of things that were meant to be and relationships that weren't?

uni-task? To immerse yourself and be true to one task for a while?

feel someone else's pain and pleasure?

stop and watch, to slow down and smell the flowers on the way?

click add to cart and read this book? Just kidding! All of you have time for that ;)

August 13, 2009


Aaah. Another night in countless nights with less than 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep (where's my medal?) Side-effect being that I can't think coherently and therefore cannot write coherently. Result being this post.

I wonder if Radhika doesn't like the bottle just like I don't like the breast pump. In our quest for equal rights, we seem to have painted ourselves into a corner. Need to perform well at work, need to be great mom...Need to be a great mom, need to perform well at work, need in-laws to think am doing some level of work at home (have pretty much given up on this), need to have date nights (Ha haaa), need to keep up with baby-info, need to sell my book (I know, I just can't stop saying "My book" :-) many needs and one small brain (Ok fine! It has 100 billion neurons but ever tried to reach this limit?).

Uhh...wait, where was I? Oh yeah, the breast pump. Been thinking about this contraption ever since I read this cool article by Judith Warner. So now, we willingly subject ourselves to this nonsense and demand a pumping room in the workplace so we can save some magic-mommy-milk for baby. If you lived in the previous century and someone told you about breast pumps, you would have laughed and then raised your eyes incredulously when you realized it was not a joke. What have we landed ourselves into?

Why do we feel the urge to work when nature did not entrust us with that responsibility in the first place? Yeah, yeah, we have brains that function just as well as mens' brains etc. But maybe, the brain was meant to function best when the woman stayed home with the children. Then, the equations would have been clear-cut. And yes, I would probably be teary-eyed in my pretty apron (Yeah, chronologically and geographically incorrect but am sleep-deprived) if I had burnt the bajji that I fried lovingly for my husband when he came home after a day's work. But at least, I knew that was my responsibility and I knew I had to excel in that. Not in 200 other things that I impose on myself.

What can I blame for this urge to multi-task? To work and pump and nurture and be good at everything under the sun? (I know I hardly used the breast pump, so can't really rightfully complain but what the hell, just feel like complaining about...women and our decisions).

The vast majority of self help books say, "If you are unhappy, change it..." (Who moved my cheese, anyone?) why don't I just change it instead of typing furiously on my thinkpad? Sigh. Because all said and done (What now? I am using cliches? I really need to sleep!), I got it pretty good and I realize it in those rare moments of self-awareness that seem to come farther apart nowadays.

What's my point again? Dunno. What if I lived ages back...actually no thanks, I'd like to live now :) So, what if I just do one thing and be really good at that one thing? (Like google -- search and search real damn fast and well!) Let's my imaginary, ideal world, I would probably be an SAHM, owning one of those mom-owned cool businesses or writing for a living (Woohoo! -- so, read my book already!), having the energy to take care of r~ all the time and ooh, wait, I want to look sexy too and not fight with k over night wakings...!

Hey....100 billion neurons, you got that all? Good, so work towards it!

August 06, 2009

Ze book -- it iz out!


Wrote a book.


Collection of short stories. You might have read some of them @ wr.


Available @ CreateSpace & Amazon


Err...if you happen to buy it and read it, please do send feedback or better still, leave feedback on the amazon page (even if you don't plan to buy the book but have read some of my short stories).

What else?

Let your friends know!

What's in it for me?

Oh boy! Trick question. Let's see -- hopefully a couple of hours of reading entertainment and lots of good vibrations from me accompanied by "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you..."

August 03, 2009

An ode to modern motherhood.

When I was pregnant, my friend a~ told me that the pregnancy/labor bit was easier compared to what follows. She said, at least I know that can't go on forever but lack of sleep really kills me or something to that effect. And I wondered how that could be true. Of course, since I was pregnant, I was only concerned about the pregnancy part of the whole experience and I thought once the baby is born, I can switch back to a worry-free existence -- you know the cutesy smiling mommy, gurgling toothless baby scenarios? Turns out, I was pretty off base. Pregnancy was really easy compared to sleepless nights and the newer worries that were born with the little package that I signed up for :)

Of course, I can never say my labor and birth of li'l r~ were easy. Nope, although I seem to have made a valiant effort to see the humor in the situation when I read my birth story (Radhu was 7 days old then) a few days back. k likes to call it "the much-glorified blood-loss story". Of course, I shot back with choice phrases that postpartum wives reserve for their helpful yet annoyingly hormone-balanced husbands. Suffice to say the story wasn't pretty.

Anyway, I digress. I was talking about how this whole motherhood thing is a pretty sneakily tricky business. At every stage, it gets you thinking, "Oh! If only I pass this stage, then all's going to be rosy and peaceful" and then you reach that stage and you are already peeking into the next stage and wondering when said stage will jump ahead. And like all mom stories you might have heard, I will add that each stage has a charm that you will miss when you near its end. See, that's why it's sneaky. You want your baby to be done having teeth and then you look at her full-teethed smile and wonder where the toothless grin of yesterday vanished to. You watch her bob her head to music and wonder why the little person who needed your smell every moment of her awake-time doesn't need you quite so much anymore. You are waiting for her to take those little baby steps but know already that you will miss the time when all she could do was roll from her tummy to her back. Sigh. You can't beat the system. You gotta ride the ups and downs and savor the experience. That's the tricky bit -- the knowledge that it's challenging and fun, tiresome and enriching. Can't have one without the other.

So, while you are dealing with all these inconsistencies, you realize you also have a work-life in the outside world that needs your attention. And, I don't know how the super moms do it but I find it really really hard to do justice to the outside world and the baby world. And this is when I haven't really cooked in almost 2 years, save the sudden urge to make a sweet or two on an auspicious day! But, I try anyway with the end result that I am tired and sometimes short fused ("Sometimes?!" -- that would be k screaming from down the hall :p) and yet not satisfied with what I have achieved at the end of the day. There is still a list of 12 tasks and personal goals (including sleep) yet to be achieved and it's already midnight.

Whenever I get into this mode of thinking, well-meaning folks have the tendency to get that faraway wise look as they say, "Think of the moms of yester years who did it all on their own", "Think of the moms who..." blah. blah. Yes, yes. Those moms rock. And I suppose I am selfish in assuming I have a tough life but hey, part of living a fulfilling life is to really live in the moment. So, I am doing that, aren't I? Really soaking up motherhood moments and still trying to have fun. Don't see the need to compare muhself with moms of yesteryears who did it all and still smiled at their husbands with bright-eyed devotion in the mornings as opposed to bleary-eyed, mumbling-to-self lady in pjs who snarls at dear husband in the morning (Uh. That would be me). So, what am I saying? Modern moms have the right to crib too. It's fun to crib (crib = complain as we Indians like to call it). I bet it's healthful (or some such fancy word) to the soul too. To modern motherhood!
© Ramya Sethuraman, All Rights Reserved.