My Tryst With Veganism

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Towards the end of April, when I was focusing a lot on my health and on being fit both physically and mentally, I decided to try going vegan for a while. No, it had nothing to do with trying to be cool or following a fad. I have terrible skin and I had heard that dairy aggravates it, so I wanted to check if not having dairy would help my skin or not. Before I got married, I was a hardcore non-vegetarian, as we always used to have some meat cooked at home on a daily basis. When I fell in love with a pure vegetarian and later married him, my consumption of meat reduced to a great extent. Did it trouble me? Honestly, no. While I couldn't cook meat at home, I used to eat it out, as and when I felt like. The thought of giving up meat never occurred to me even once. But, when I decided to give up dairy, I thought why not give up meat as well. The idea was to try this diet for the month of May and if it works out well, continue it for the next couple of months. If it helped me out, I planned to go vegan full time from my birthday in August. Here's how I fared.

How Often Do You Appreciate Someone?

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"Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well." - Voltaire.

When was the last time you appreciated someone? It can be in person or even online. How often do you take some time out to write a good line for someone? How often do you congratulate someone for an achievement? How often do you praise someone for something?

In today's life, when everything is about comparison and competition, basic appreciation is getting lost. While most people are good at being critics, no one now has the time to drop in a good word. Most importantly, no one feels the need to appreciate someone. This is so sad. For me, appreciation is like magic. It motivates me to perform even better. It makes me feel good about myself. In short, appreciation is a booster. Personally, I love to appreciate people. I feel that it helps many others. A kind word or a compliment has healing powers. People need to understand this better.

#FeministMondays | Lessons From Sulu

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I watched 'Tumhari Sulu' over the weekend and was really impressed with it. For those who haven't watched it, this movie is the story of Sulochana or Sulu (Vidya Balan, in a role tailor-made for her), a middle-class housewife who lives with her doting husband Ashok (an endearing Manav Kaul) and her 11-year-old son Pranav. As a person with varied interests and hobbies, her education has suffered in the past. As a housewife, she dreams of being a working woman, but her lack of higher education doesn't allow her to get any white collar jobs. She's interested in everything around her and thinks of setting up multiple business as a 50-50 partner with her husband, even though none materializes. She takes part in every competition possible, be it a saree draping contest, a vegetable cutting contest, radio and TV contests or a lemon and spoon race.

When she wins a contest on Radio Wow run by Maria (Neha Dhupia, who looks stunning and is brilliant as the high-class but encouraging boss), she stumbles upon an audition to become an RJ. She gets the job as the RJ of a call-in night show where people call to talk about their troubles. Her husband though supportive at first, later begins to feel neglected and insecure. In spite of Sulu's twin sisters and father finding the show obscene, the show is a hit and Maria sets up a celebration. Soon, Ashok's work goes downhill and Sulu's highs begins to bother him and he feels that she is neglecting their son causing him to do unwanted things at school. Sulu takes everything on her stride and fights everyone who coax her to quit her job. She never succumbs to the situations around her and the creative spark continues to shine.

Action Replay + Gratitude List: June 2018

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So, we're now officially in the second half of the year. Wow, that was quick, wasn't it? Time is passing by so quick and everyday I find so many new things to do. Over the past couple of months, my outlook towards life has completely changed and this has made me much clearer in the head. I already spoke about letting go of unnecessary thoughts and people in my last replay post but I will state the importance of it again. We all need to take some time out to de-clutter our life. This needs to happen periodically and this should be considered vital for our survival. Once you let go of that negativity, life becomes so simpler and you become more happier.

June kept me insanely busy as I was in the middle of a really tough release at work. It took up all my time with late evening calls and weekend work that needed to be put in. Since my work life is more often than not peaceful, and rushes like these are not very often, I do not complain about them. Honestly, I do enjoy these bits of uncertainty and when it all falls into place finally, the joy is priceless. Then, the joy doubles when you are appreciated for it. My work is something that I would never compromise on and when you are rewarded for your hard work, that feeling cannot be put into words. I completed a decade of my corporate life this month, but the thrill and the feeling is still the same as day one.

Of Misers & Millionaires

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I've been wanting to write about this for quite sometime but I kept putting it off because it is a very sensitive topic and I did not want to offend anyone. Money has always been a debatable topic. I am someone who believes that money cannot buy happiness, but it can certainly make your life comfortable. But, is this the only thing in your life? Is money the only thing that can make you happy? Is having a big fat bank balance your only goal? These are the questions we need to ask ourselves.

I come from a lower middle class family where I was used to fighting for the basics let alone the luxuries. So, I always knew the importance of money. When I grew up and started working, I did not take it for granted. I am very smart when it comes to money and I invest it wisely. Yes, I do shop and indulge in luxuries once in a while, but that is not my sole agenda when it comes to money. I am a person with many passions and passions come alive only when you invest something in it. Be it time or money. Travel is something that is very important to us, so we are more than happy to invest in it to create memories and have a good time. As much as we are smart with money, we are not misers.

Why Daily Motivation Helps

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In February last year, I hit a very rough patch in my life. My mother fell sick, work was at its peak and everything around was getting too much to bear. I had my first burn-out then and it was a feeling that made me feel miserable about myself. One fine day, I sat down and decided to work on getting out of that melancholic phase. I started a self-project called 'Getting Better' and wrote down things that made me feel better day after day. I started each day writing down a quote in my diary that would inspire me for the entire day. Every time I encountered something tough, I reminded myself of that quote and that gave me the strength to get past it. Soon, I started putting up a quote on Instagram every morning, as part of my healing. This helped me get better. Of course this was not the only thing that helped, but this gave me the motivation to push myself and fight harder.

A month or two into the 'Getting Better' project, a couple of my Instagram friends reached out to me to let me know how much my quotes mean to them and how they have been helping them get better too. When you are going through a bad phase, even a small positive remark would make you feel better about yourself. This one made a world of a difference to me. I've always been a sucker for quotes. I personally believe that every bibliophile is. As much as I love reading, the best part of reading is finding quotes that connect with you and help make you a better person. While I was much younger, I used to write down these quotes in a book as and when I used to read them in a story. These days, while I do not do that, some quotes do linger in my mind even after I have finished reading the book. This quote a day was helping me heal much quicker and it turns out, it was beneficial to others as well.

Book Review: The Time Traveler's Wife

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Title: The Time Traveler's Wife
Author: Audrey Niffenegger
Publisher: Publisher: RHUK (23 July 2009)
Genre: Science Fiction/Romance
Price: Rs. 275 on Amazon
Pages: 624

What intrigued me the most about this book was its gist and the beautiful front cover. I bought this book years ago, on a whim, and it stayed on my shelf. It was only recently that I read a glowing review about this book and decided to read it. It is quite a fairly long book with minute font that makes the reading very exhausting, but I wanted to know what happens to the leads, so I persisted. When I was done with it, I did not know whether I liked the book or not. I had mixed feelings about it and after a few days I spent some time thinking about the book and its story. That is when I realized the true beauty of it.