Action Replay + Gratitude List: July 2018

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While it is almost time for my birthday month, I cannot wait to stop and look at how awesome July was for me. No, nothing great happened in July, but what ever did or did not happen, left me with innumerable lessons. Over the years, I have tried my best to stay away from negative people and focus on bettering myself. It has worked out well for me and I have reached a phase in my life where hardly anything from external sources bother me. You know, all of us have one single nerve in our body that no one should get on. But there are some people who aim straight for it and groove on it. Some times I wish that we could just write off people from our lives and erase all remnants of them. While I have managed to do that to a good extent, thanks to many other people, there always is a reminder in some form or the other.

Book Review: The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck

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Title: The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck
Author: Mark Manson
Publisher: Harper Collins; Int edition (19 January 2017)
Genre: Self-help/Personal Development
Price: Rs. 311 on Amazon
Pages: 224

I'm going to be honest here, the first thing that works for this book is its title. If three million copies of this book has been sold this date, the title is the sole reason. That sure is enough reason for most people to pick it up. I have never read a self-help book until now as I find it to be quite preachy and annoying to the point of getting me to loathe my own life. Like many others, I too succumbed to the catchy title of this book and bought it. The happy orange cover does the trick too. It promises to be young, quirky and genuine. So, does it live up to what it promises?

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.