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This is how I welcome the new year

Happy happy happy new year folks!!! As I type this, I can hear loud party noises and fire crackers all around.
I dislike parties. I prefer being in a quiet atmosphere with my loved ones, doing something meaningful together.
We always light the lamp at midnight. It's a family tradition. You can see the lamp in the first picture, and my altar, illuminated by the brightness of the lamp in the second.

We thank the universe for ALL the blessings bestowed upon us.
And we welcome the new year with prayers and gratitude.


With this I come to the end of my blog marathon. 31 days, and I have given you all 31 posts!
Leave me comments. I love to hear from you.

 Happy New Year once again. May all your dreams come true.

My TOP TEN books for 2018

I have read 35 books this year. If you are looking to read MORE  in the new year, I have also written a post on it : 5 easy ways to read more and transform your life.

Since the end of the year is a good time to make a list, I thought I would share my TOP reads for this year. (It would be difficult to list all 35 I read, and also I didn't enjoy all)

So here are my top  ten in no particular order. (It was very very very hard to pick just ten).
I am not writing what these books here about as you can easily look them up online,  and read what they are about. Some are non-fiction in this list. They might have been published many years back--but it is just that I read them this year.

1. Nightingale --Kristin Hannah.






2. Childhood friend --Vaikom Muhammed Basheer



3.The Last Email --Mridula Garg





 4. Little Fires Everywhere --Celeste Ng








5. Bad Blood --John Carryrou.

6. Knight of seven Kingdoms: GRR Martin


7. The Little Prince:  Antoine de saint exupĂ©ry 

8.Text Don't Call: By INF Joe (a b…

5 useful tips on keeping an illustrated journal in 2019

After my post yesterday, which Ishared on twitter as well,  I got a LOT of response and queries about my journal and the process. Many people wanted to start one, and asked me for tips. You really don't need exemplary drawing skills to start an illustrated journal. You can use stamps, stick stuff, use quotes--and do anything you want.

If you plan to keep an illustrated journal in 2019,  here are my top tips.

1. Use variety: Think about WHAT you enjoy. Some enjoy making collages. Some enjoy just writing short entries in bullet journals. Some enjoy painting. Some like quick colour pencil scribblings. I use a variety of methods. You can see in my above post--I have used only a quote.

2. Think different :If you are afraid that it will become boring, then you are probably thinking about what a journal means in a set way. Change that thinking. It can be a cross between a scrapbook, a diary, a collage and a planner. Thus a bus ticket from that day can go into the journal.

3. Start small:

On keeping diaries and journals.

In my book A Hundred Little Flames Gopal Shanker keeps a diary. I have based him on my own grandfather who used to keep diaries.

I too have kept journals and diaries ever since I was a child. This year, I am happy that I managed to write a page, every single day. In addition to my personal diary, I also kept an illustrated journal this year. I found it was great fun. I am sharing three pages from my illusrated journal, to give you an idea of what my journal is like.





You can see the date stamp on the top right corner of each page, and you can see how I have drawn something from my day. Often there is nothing dramatic in my day. They are just ordinary days. But what I like is to find something 'worthy' from that day, and draw it in the journal.
I follow just one rule for my journal--no recording negativity of any kind. I focus only on the positives.

In my personal diary, I write my thoughts--my goals, what I have to do in the future, and generally I record whatever happened tha…

'Switch off' (from) your phone

A little while ago, I was at a restaurant with my family. Whenever we go out, we have a rule--we all keep our phones face down on the table and we don't take them till it is time to leave. Similarly at home, we have the rule 'No phones at the dining table'. We follow this rule diligently. The rule is not just for the children but for the parents too. No one is allowed to flout it.

At the restaurant, there was another family seated next to us. There was a father, a mother and two grown kids. Each of the family members were engrossed in their phones, and never even looked up. They all ate their meals silently.

Let's face it---we're all addicted to our phones to a large extent. If  you are like most of us then you feel uncomfortable and restless if you do not check your phone every twenty minutes or so, sometimes even lesser.
Those goblins called Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have us on a leash, and we do what they bid, without even realising it or g…

Three quotes from Love A Little Stronger (wordless Wednesday)

Today, I am doing a wordless wednesday. 
Here are three quotes from my book  Love A Little Stronger which is a collection of TRUE stories from my life.



T


Goodnight folks.
New post tomorrow.
_________________________
buy Love a little Stronger at just Rs. 92/- paperback and Rs.&71 on Kindle.

Why some people are always lucky!

Sully, a movie we watched some time back,enthralled me, though I must admit that what made me book the tickets, were just two names associated with the movie—Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood. Having seen the ones Tom Hanks starred in, and the ones Clint Eastwood directed --and of course starred in too, I am a fan of the Westerns--- my expectations were high and I was not disappointed. It is a film which is a biographical drama, about the US airways flight 1549, andits pilot Chesley Sullenberger, who made a dramatic landing of his plane on the River Hudson, after being hit by a birdstrike. He saved the lives of all passengers on board. Sullenberger is a hero in his home country, and US President George Bush called him to thank him for saving the lives of passengers. Obama invited him and the entire crew to to join the presidential inauguration ceremony.
Even though he landed the plane safely, Sully is under an investigation, and stands to lose everything he has worked for his entire life.W…