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Showing posts from 2015

How to make your New Year's resolutions work? 6 awesome tips, just perfect for 2016!

No New Year resolutions yet? Stop worrying about that, it's no  big deal!

A research study by the University of Scranton indicates that 45% of people usually set New Year resolutions, but only about 8% actually achieve their goals.
So, what's  the top secret to make it to the 8% that work hard on their New Year goals?

Sshhhh, I have a plan. It's easy, it's practical. Here you go:
1. Work on nurturing one trait every month with your loved ones - here's an easy practical guide .
2. Choose 12 mini goals .

3. Heal your heart every day, make it strong .
4. You are a miracle with gifts to offer in every stage of your life. Rejoice exactly where you are.
5. To have a happier, more joyful and serene year, check out Vishnu's 18 Sacred Intentions to Set for 2016
6. Let me wrap up my post with a personal favorite from my favorite blogger Mani Karthik .

Here's a warm toast to your health, prosperity and happiness in 2016!

My love for you has no limits

My 9 year-old and I love to snuggle up and have funny conversations. Sometimes we ask each other silly questions, emotional ones - it's a part of our 'bonding' journey.
A couple of days ago, I asked my son, "How much do you love me?"

His immediate reply, "My love for you has no limits, Amma. It has no boundaries. It goes on and on and on...."

My heart flipped, warm and cozy like a pancake. I held my baby closer, and my heart seemed to burst with happiness.

How human voices can inspire your writing

When I am outdoors, I like to listen to human voices. 

Each voice has a unique texture and sound quality, which cannot be compared to another. [Bonus READ: On Success, No Woman on the Moon]

I carry a notebook with me - with a navy blue cover -to write the dialogues that catch my fancy. When I first began jotting down these dialogues, I thought that this notebook will be sparsely populated. That didn't happen.

The notebook is now filled to the brim. We can learn so much from a set of dialogues - about a person's beliefs, region, education, culture, etc.

Svetlana Alexievich, the winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature, shares some beautiful insights about how human voices inspire her writing. 

I thought I'd share it here - for you.

What are the human voices, conversations or dialogues that have made a remarkable impact on you?

[DO READ: Shobha De says "Writing is like a heartbeat to me...I live to write! ]

Little things can bring great joy

Yesterday, I realized that it was a dear friend's birthday and he wasn't on Facebook. So, there were no FB reminders.
I dug out old albums and found his pic. I put a 'Happy Birthday' post on Facebook - which helped many mutual friends to reach out to him and wish him.
People suddenly realized that they had missed him. 
Later in the evening, I called him. The joy in his voice was unmistakable. 
Little things can bring great joy. We just need to reach out to more people with more love. 

God is love and His love is best expressed through the choices we make.
Can being missed by other human beings make a difference, lift your spirits? Do share your thoughts.....

Hope is sometimes a crumb

Hope is sometimes a crumb that you hold on to deep within. [Do read: Strong is the new BEAUTIFUL]
It can be an idea that you want to work on. It can be the startup you are dreaming about. 
It can be a relationship that you feel strongly committed to though there is nothing to show it is going in the direction you are hoping for. [READ: Ask more, fear less, Never ever GIVE UP! and How to find peace within when your plans go for a toss]

Never ever underestimate the power of hope - it's all we have to stay strong even when the tide turns against us.

Walking the red carpet

The single best thing that has happened to me in the last few months is my decision to spend more time in bookshops, libraries and attend book launches or literary meetings.
Every time I attend a bookshop or a book launch, I meet a new writer or a new publisher. We talk and it gives me a high to stay committed to my daily routine of writing. 
Recently, at the Indian Habitat Centre where the 5th edition of ILF Samanvay's Annual Languages Festival, I saw a beautiful red carpet rolled put to welcome everyone.

It struck me as apt.

It's the readers who deserve the red carpet. 
The idea kept lingering in my head, along with an early morning bird song.
Happiness is this moment. {READ: The Choices We Make, Karma, Love }
What's the happiest moment that caught you unaware recently? 

Anarkali Malayalam Movie Review: Prithviraj at his best, Biju Menon & Suresh Krishna bring on brilliant performances

Directed by Sachy, Anarkali  is a beautiful love story. 
Not saying this because of the Prithvi-Priyal deep kiss. Nope. 
While the duo were smooching away on screen of course (no decent flowers coming to cover the screen - where have the blasted flowers vanished to, they always popped up on time when I was a kid!!!) I was too busy covering my curious 9 year old son's eyes! 
Anarkali Story Coming back to the movie, I watched it because it is a classic love story about a young man from the Navy who falls in love with the daughter of his senior officer and he pays the price for one dangerous kiss with his life. His search for the girl he loves forms the crux of this love story. 

His final attempt leads him to the beautiful island of Lakshadweep, where he works as a diving instructor. The island is known for being a place of goodness and simple living - where there are actually no crimes and therefore, the prison is closed! People are conservative but they live in harmony and they have an …

Oh, the joy of eating pazhamporis, only a Malayali can tell you

Can I share a secret with you? Something I never told you before? Don't laugh! I see a smile on your face but that's okay as long as you aren't laughing at me yet.
The thing is I crave to munch on piping hot pazhamporis! 
Okay, blame it on the Malayali genes that are so used to munching on banana fritters while it rains, or when it is a sunny day or a scorching one. We don't care about the weather. 
We simply love biting into the juiciness of home-made pazhamporis, exactly the way our mothers make it at home.
I crave for a world where I don’t have to feel apologetic about eating pazhamporis.

Maybe I am not the only person who fears to talk about eating food openly, for the pure enjoyment of it. That doesn't always have to be equated with calories and nutrients. 
So, what's your favourite food that you love to eat? Tell me about it!

Book Review: Vikas Singh's Bhima is full of passion, action and humour

Over the years, like many Indians, I too have read several books in English and Malayalam that reinterpret the Mahabharatha from a specific point of view, such as that of Draupadi. I was a teenager when I read Malayalam writer MT Vasudevan Nair’s classic ‘Randamoozham’ (Second Chance) which positions Bhima as the protagonist. It was mind-blowing brilliant and I was haunted by Bhima for years.
Vikas Singh in his recently released novel, Bhima, states that he was inspired by MT’s ‘Randamoozham’ but felt that he had another ‘Bhima’ in his perspective.
This is my book review for the #FestiveReading series that has been unveiled by Writersmelon. Visit here and you can also follow them on Twitter @Writersmelon.

So, what makes Vikas Singh’s ‘Bhima’ different? For one, Vikas Singh’s ‘Bhima’ is full of passion, action and humour. The first chapter catapults you into the fiery passionate love making between Bhima and Draupadi, after he ties her hair with Dusshasana’s blo…

Happy Diwali

When I first came to Delhi, I struggled to understand why people celebrate Diwali with the joyous fervor they do. Coming from Kochi, the significance of Diwali, in comparison, has been minimal. 
The only time we in Kochi used to realize that it is Diwali is when popular sweetshops, particularly Bimbis located at MG Road, began to sell the 'North Indian mithai' items. 

We would see a crowd in front of it. All of us would use the pretext of Diwali to persuade the elders to buy the 'North Indian mithai' and the glossy packets, with its delectable scent, would linger on days after Diwali.

That, dear friend, is the closest that I came to understanding Diwali.
Now that I am settled and living outside Kochi, I see the happiness and the amazing positive energy that makes Diwali something more than a festival. 

I can see how it brings families together, colleagues together, friends and so on. People dress in their brightest and best clothes, vibrant colours are splashed all around a…

Malayalam Movie Review: Rani Padmini asks serious questions but fails to deliver a meaningful impact

I like movies that show strong women. 
I had great expectations from Aashiq Abu's latest Malayalam movie - Rani Padmini. 
The two heroines Manju Warrier and Rima Kallingal demonstrate commendable chemistry despite a poorly paced script and badly written screenplay. 
While Jinu Joseph is impressive as the racer, there is no chemistry with Manju Warrier. The vibes are sangfroid between the two actors. 
The first half of the movie puts you on edge. You keep waiting for a spectacular story but the second half is where the story "begins."  The pace of the film is inconsistent. The 'Ant" story and also the 'paragliding' scenes were stretched to too slow. Then suddenly, the narrative becomes too pacy.
Malayalam Movie Review: Rani Padmini Story The story goes like this: Padmini (starring Manju Warrier)is a Malayali girl married to a Delhi based racing car driver, whose name is Giri (starring Jinu Joseph). The couple love each other but Padmini is like a caged bird und…

Want to make a change in your life? 3 simple ways to add joy to your life

We are all caught in a rut. Crazy busy. Sometimes, we forget to breathe or taste what is on our plate. 
We check e-mails on our phones as we eat. We forget to laugh when our loved ones share a joke and we forget to smile. 
We are too busy to smile. [READ: Work, Love and Play like the Danes]
Been there, done that. 
Here are the little things that I am doing for myself to change this:
1.  Breathe in, breathe out mindfully
Have you noticed how your breath changes when you are nervous or angry or upset about something? Watch your breath because it is closely aligned with your mind-body well being. That's the key to good health and happiness. The more you breathe in and breathe out mindfully, the happier you will feel. [Do READ: Five Easy Ways to BOOST Your Confidence]
You will feel light all day. And when worry comes your way, make this your mantra - breathe in light, breathe out love. It works beautifully for me.
[Image:] 2. Don't disturb people and don'…

'Amar, Akbar, Antony' movie review: Clean family entertainer by Nadirshah who tackles child abuse with sensitivity, like a seasoned director

Hard to believe that Amar Akbar Antony is Nadirshah's directorial debut. 
Like a seasoned director, Nadirshah brings together the most popular 'poster boys' of Malayalam cinema - Prithviraj, Jayasurya and Indrajith  - in a well-paced interesting comedy thriller. I liked the scene where the guys get drunk and they talk about how women are 'heartless' and men are all 'hearts.' Their versions of heartbreaks gives you a different dimension to how men feel about heartbreaks and break-ups. 
And yes, Nadirshah pulls it off almost effortlessly, getting many nuances right, especially in music and cinematography. 
'Amar, Akbar, Antony' movie review: Tapping into actors' talent Director Nadirshah has also tapped into remarkable talent while portraying and bringing out the best in 'side characters' especially KPAC Lalitha, Srinda Ashab, Baby Meenakshi and Kalabhavan Shajohn whose performance was both touching and impressive as Jadayu Sabu. Ramesh Pishar…