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Thursday, 14 February 2019

On Decluttering Memories - Does it Spark Joy?

On Decluttering Memories - Does it spark joy?
On Decluttering Memories - Does it spark joy?
It was early morning and my boy was blissfully sleeping tucked in the blanket. My mom was in the kitchen busy preparing breakfast. So, I thought it was a good time to check out my things in one of those tiny shelves upstairs. I donned my fleece jacket and wore my socks – it is quite cold at this time of the year (January) in Assam and when you just get out the blanket, you feel the chill all the more. So, I dressed right for the weather and made my way upstairs.

It has been a kind of ritual for me whenever I am visiting my mom’s place to go over all my old books, diaries, knick-knacks and that special pouch that safely keeps old greeting cards, scrapbooks from schools, letters and notes that I loved exchanging with my friends. It serves as a souvenir of sorts for me – a lovely reminder of the good old days. A large part of the so-called letters and notes came from my best friend from school; ironically she is someone with whom I am barely in touch these days, despite the convenience of being connected on social media.

Have you had people in life who at one time were very close and special to you and over the years drifted away and became as good as strangers? I think many of us would nod a ‘yes’. We all go through that thing at some point. Let me tell you that I know how it feels. In my case, nothing actually went wrong. We just drifted apart and went on our ways. And today just sending a ‘hi’ on Facebook or on any other social media platform seems like a huge effort and I so can’t bring myself to do it.

Coming back to my ritual I was about to indulge in  – so I went there and opened the cupboard and to my absolute shock I find that most of the things are missing – just a few of the books, an old file and no sign of that pouch! I searched for it in the whole cupboard and I couldn’t find it. So I went downstairs, to my mom, who was still in the kitchen and asked her if she had taken my things out. To which she said she did clean that shelf last year on Diwali. She said some of the papers in there were getting infested with pests.

I was just at a loss for words! I almost felt like crying. My mom had done away with some of my fond memories.

Some things are special not for its monetary value, but for the memories, they remind you of. Those letters, cards, notes were so special to me; it reminded me of the good times I had – something I will cherish forever. But there is another facet to it, whenever I went over those things, I would be sad and would ponder over how relationships change, how coldness creeps into a warm and friendly bond and how we stop caring for things that meant the world to us at some point.

That day I was lost the whole day, fervently hoping that maybe I will find the pouch tucked away in some corner in the house. But I didn’t. And slowly came the realization that maybe it was time to let go of all those things, maybe it had served the purpose it had to and it was time to stop holding on to them.

This whole episode reminded me of Marie Kondo and the famed decluttering technique – KonMari. One of the core principles of this decluttering technique is – only keep items that spark joy! In that line, I got my answer. That is one incident that led me to choose my word of the year – Declutter. I have quite some decluttering to do – both physically and emotionally and that journey is on.

It is not that I will forget my friend and all the memories. She is one to whom I owe my love for reading and books. But as the quote I have shared at the beginning of this post says - maybe the forever is not the person, but what we gain from them.

Thank you for stopping by! Cheers.

Linking this post to #MondayMusings by Corrine at EverydayGyaan.

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Thursday, 7 February 2019

Of New Year resolutions & Word of the Year 2019!

There is nothing magical about the flip of the calendar, but it represents a clean break, a new hope, and a blank canvas.  ~Jason Soroski
Of New Year Resolutions & Word of the Year 2019!
We are done with the first week of February of the year 2019 and here I am talking about New Year resolutions! You must think I must have lost the track of time or something. But, let me tell you that I have not. 

I am pretty old school when it comes to resolutions. I make them, often break them; at times stick to them and many times change them. Point is - I keep setting some goals for myself throughout the year. So, New Year is just another opportunity to set goals and I see nothing wrong with that. Coming back to my resolutions for this year, I took a different approach. I came across this picture on Instagram and it kind of resonated with me. So, my resolutions for this year can be summed up in this image. 

In case you are wondering about the specifics - well there are many things I have in mind, that I have been meaning to do and that can fit the bill. But, I will save that for another post.

goals 2019
Image source: Instagram

Word of the Year (WOTY) is a concept I came across last year and I had chosen 'mindfulness' as my WOTY for 2018. My journey with mindfulness has been one with some ups and many downs. I guess it is something that needs to be cultivated and nurtured over time and I will keep working on it for a lifetime.

For my WOTY for 2019 I wanted something very specific. For a while, I toyed with the idea of using the word 'act'. The idea behind it was that I have had so many plans brimming in my mind for a long time that I needed to act and put them to good use. I am acutely aware of the fact that I am more of a dreamer/ planner than a doer. Yes, it kind of hard to admit. But that's the fact. Some days I am so motivated that I feel I am going to do it all and someday I go about the day like an aimless zombie. And then there are days when I feel that I have my hands full and by trying to add on to my to-do list I am just making things difficult for myself. Then I tell myself, relax and do one thing at a time. Isn’t that what mindfulness about? So, I dropped the word ‘act’ for the time being.

This month I have been on a decluttering and organizing spree. This whole week in February, this is what I have been doing. And that’s when the word ‘declutter’ came to me. And I realized how much decluttering my mind needed too. One of my problems is – I let things be, quite often so, but I don’t forget and since I don’t forget I carry emotional baggage around and that makes me vulnerable at times. I often emotionally invest myself in places where I should not. So, I think I better work on that and that’s why I am choosing ‘declutter’ as my word of the year 2019. Declutter the surroundings as well as the mind. The simpler things are, the better. Don’t you agree?

word of the year 2019

Decluttering also reminds me of Marie Kondo – something that has been on the Internet recently. And I also need to tell you how my mom Marie Kondo-d some of my memories. I will write about it and my trip to my hometown in January in my next post. Stay tuned.

Thank you for stopping by! Cheers!

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Wednesday, 31 October 2018

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie | Book Review

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie | Book Review
And Then There Were None
by Agatha Christie #BookReview

“When the sea goes down, there will come from the mainland boats and men. And they will find ten dead bodies and an unsolved problem on Soldier Island.”

- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.

Somewhere around last year, DH expressed his desire to read some good books. He specifically said he would like to read something thrilling and interesting. So, I suggested him to try Agatha Christie books and since then he orders a new book every other month.

To give you some background, he has had his fair share of reading books during his school days, but he never graduated to become a serious book reader. He religiously goes through the newspaper every day and reads financial stuff online, but reading books has not been his cup of tea. But, now whenever the reading bug bites him, he picks up one of Christie’s work. So, courtesy him, I have a good number of Agatha Christie titles at home.

I have read a few of Christie’s work in the past and had thoroughly enjoyed them. So, I again started off with her best-acclaimed work - ‘And Then There Were None’. And truly, it turned out to be as exciting and riveting it promised to be. This is among the first books I read this year, but I am getting around to write the review only now.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Wonder by R. J. Palacio | Book Review

Wonder by R. J. Palacio #BookReview
Wonder by R. J. Palacio is one of the most moving reads I have read in recent years. To tell you the truth words fail me when it comes to describing what it was reading ‘Wonder’. But try I will and I hope this review will make you go and pick up the book – that is if you have not read it already. I am quite amazed at the author’s ability to add layers and complexity to a seemingly linear plot. She doesn’t just tell us the story, she actually shows us through her words. The plot in the book revolves around middle schoolers, but I think it makes a great read for adults as well and that there is a lot to take away from the book.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Karna's Wife - The Outcast's Queen by Kavita Kane | A Book Review

Karna's Wife - The Outcast's Queen by Kavita Kane | A Book Review
Karna’s Wife – The Outcast’s Queen by Kavita Kane #BookReview
Karna’s Wife – The Outcast’s Queen by Kavita Kane tells the story of the unsung hero of Mahabharata – Karna – the sutaputra through the eyes of his wife – Uruvi. The story unfolds against the backdrop of the epic saga – Mahabharata. In a way, it is re-telling of Mahabharata in the voice of Uruvi but with Karna at its heart.

Indian Mythology happens to be among my most favourite genres when it comes to books. There was a time when I would pick any interesting title themed around Indian mythology. Apparently, that was why I picked up Karna’s Wife by Kavita Kane a couple of years back. I had even started reading it back then, but left it midway due to reasons I don’t remember now. Early this year when I scanned my bookshelf, I was appalled at the number of unread titles I had and then and there I decided some of them need to be read before I bought more books. So, it was time for Karna’s Wife – The Outcast’s Queen by Kavita Kane to be read.

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