Preserved memories: On keeping a hand-written journal

Oh, the smell of fresh paper. The feel of the rough page beneath my hand. The sense of possibilities expanding before me, as I gathered together my thoughts, put pen to paper, and wrote.

Gone are those good old days of keeping a hand-written journal. Of carrying around a diary everywhere I went, so I was never stumped if inspiration struck, or if I saw a particularly good quote that I wanted to note down forever, or just wanted to ruminate.

Click image to purchase on Amazon

Gone are those days spent flicking through old journals. Looking at ticket stubs from that movie I went for on my first date. Of the restaurant bill from the last time I met up with my gang. The coffee spill that put so much more atmosphere into the story of me that I was writing.

All of that has been replaced with my iPhone. True, it’s much smaller and lighter than my diary. It’s with me everywhere I go. The chances of my forgetting it anywhere are slim. But it’s just not the same as my dear diary.

There are no pages to rifle through. No coffee spills to highlight passages of my life. No drunken scrawls that I cannot decipher the morning after. It’s too neat. Too structured. Too…cold.

Click image to purchase on Amazon

Maybe its time for me to go and buy myself a new diary. A leather-bound one this time, maybe. To doodle. To write. To keep for posterity. So that years later, when I am dust scattered over the earth, someone can come across it and say “Oh, so that’s what writing looked like in those ancient days!”

What do you think? Do you miss your hand-written diary? Or are you happy recording your thoughts digitally?

I wish I had more time…

To smell the flowers


Feel the wind whisper through my hair


Capture more photographs

Create some art


Cook a few meals

But things have been so busy lately, that I am unable to make much use of the little time that I do have. So I’ve been using those snatched moments to read. It seems to be the only thing I am capable of doing these days…

How a book lover gets enticed into buying an e-reader

“I saw the Amazon Kindle today, one of the parents was reading on it. It’s amazing! It looks just like a book! I want to gift you one provided you stop buying so many books.”

My husband called me up in the middle of the day to tell me this. He never calls me during the day. Never.

I was so stunned, all I could manage was a weak

“Umm…ok….can we talk about this in the evening?”

A Picture of a eBook

Image via Wikipedia

Now, as those of you who read this blog regularly (love you guys!) know, I love physical books. I enjoy browsing through a bookstore, picking up books, going through the back cover and then randomly reading a few pages before deciding to buy it. I have a bookshelf at home that is groaning under the weight of filled with books I’ve stuffed into it. And now, I am getting a new, bigger, fancier bookshelf built to hold my books and some doo-dads.

The husband, though, just wants the compulsive book buying to stop. Thus, the offer for the Kindle in exchange for no fewer books entering the house. And a tempting offer it is. I have been reading e-books on and off on the tiny screen of my iPhone. If I can read on that, an e-reader would be a breeze. But which one to choose?

Kindle, the dedicated e-reader or the cool kid on the block – the iPad? Much research later, I listed the pros and cons of each.

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

The Kindle’s e-ink technology makes it a strain-free way to read for hours; you can read it in direct sunlight but not in the dark; and the experimental browser allows you to connect to text-only sites on the internet (Wikipedia and Google) in black and white. However, it supports its own file format and transferring pdfs and epubs is painful (for me at least).

iPad Display Item

Image via Wikipedia

The iPad gives you the option of accessing e-books through iBooks, Kindle, Nook and many more apps; and it gives you a whole multimedia experience as well, allowing you to do a lot, lot more with it than just read. On the flip side, the brighter screen can be impossible to read in direct sunlight (not quite true, since I can bump up the brightness on my iPhone and read very clearly even in direct sunlight, thank you very much) and the battery life is lower compared to the Kindle.

Of course, there are the issues of weight and technical wizardry – and this is more of an apples to oranges comparison – but if you have the money to spare, the iPad definitely gives you more bang for your buck.

Plus, since I’m really not going to completely stop buying books ever, I may as well go for the other bells and whistles too, right? Which makes me lean (heavily) towards the iPad. Now, to con convince the husband to fork over the extra cash!

Happy father's day, daddy!

My father…he’s been my inspiration, my ideal…the man I can count on no matter what. He’s the one I run to when I’m hurt or happy, when I have a secret to share or need advice. He’s the one who will sit with me patiently, explaining whatever it was that I want to know. He allows me to use my judgement, to make mistakes and learn from them. He’s always there to hold my hand, to steer my course, to lend a shoulder, a word, a kiss.

So today when I browsed through PostSecret, I was saddened by the number of people who posted secrets saying they either were not in touch with their fathers or wished they had a different father. Whose fathers loved them less or were not a part of their lives.

Until I saw this secret:

Thank you to my wonderful parents

Me too!

I love you, mom and dad.

And daddy, Happy Father’s Day! You’re still the one who can heal my hurt with a hug and a kiss…I love you!

There's something to be said about the smell of a book

Stack of booksIsn’t there? Though this may be the age of e-readers and e-books, which take up less space and enable you to have your library with you where ever you go, somehow, nothing beats the experience of reading a physical book. It’s weight. It’s smell. It’s heft. The sound of a page turning in the middle of the night. Of underlining passages. Scribbling notes in the margins. Displaying your collection on a bookshelf. Until it overflows. Spills over from the shelves. Having them piled up near your bed. On the coffee table. In the kitchen. Everywhere you look – a tantalizing cover looking back at you. Whispering its secrets into your ear.

Yes, there’s something to be said for a physical book.

I say this after reading e-books. Despite reading e-books. Which reminds me, I have to download one recommended by The Huffington Post. It’s free, it’s fast, it will travel all over the world with me.

But I will still enter bookstores. And walk out with a bag full of books under my arms.


There’s something to be said about the smell of a book…

What's on your playlist?

When I was in school, I used to have music playing in my room all day long. I woke up to music, read to music, slept to music. Fast forward to working life, and now my music listening time has shrunk. Considerably.

Now, I drive to music, walk to music and listen to some (sometimes) when I get back home.

These are my three current favorites – songs that I can listen to on repeat All Day Long.

Need you now – Lady Antebellum:  I love the raw emotion of wanting someone back so bad!

Pretty pretty please – Pink:– So relevant, given how obsessed we are with the size zero phenomenon. Greatlyrics too!

Boogie man – AC/DC: So peppy! The best-est song to drive to!

So, what’s on repeat on your playlist?

Hit by an epiphany

All marriages have their ups and downs, fights and make up scenes. There have been times when I have found myself wondering why I ever got married, telling myself that I am not marriage material, and on occasion, wondering what it would be like to be free. This is not to say that I have fallen out of love with the husband, because I love him to pieces, I really do. It’s just a reflection of how hot-headed I can be, and how irrational I can get when I’m really angry.

However, while browsing through PostSecret a while back, I came upon this secret, and it made me pause and think — is it worth it to get so angry that I become totally irrational? I know that the momentary thoughts that I have are just that — because once I cool down, I realize just how much I love the husband, how much he means to me, and how well we complement one another.

divorce and make up

Have you ever wanted out of something, only to find out that you want back in? Or did the secret above give you a sense of epiphany, the way it did to me?

You might also like:

Sweet little things

Love is…strong


Tread softly, I'm dreaming

Bath Salts

Image by LilyBaySoap via Flickr

I woke up this morning with the gentle rays of the sun streaming in through the blinds on my windows. I rolled over in bed, hugged my arms to my chest, and let out a contented breath. Getting out of bed, I walked into my bright, sunny bathroom, done up in shades of white and blue. A spray of summer blossoms sat on the windowsill in an old ceramic mug, a collection of seashells and pebbles was heaped on one side of the marble bathtub, the other holding my collection of colorful bath salts and toiletries. I walked over to the little dressing room adjoining the bathroom while brushing away the stale smell of sleep from my mouth and got out my clothes for the day – a pair of rugged jeans and a white t-shirt – perfect for a day to be spent out and about with my trusted camera and sketchbook.

Once I was ready, I padded into the kitchen, had a hot cup of tea and some fruit, packed a sandwich in a brown baggie, collected my gear and headed out.

The Fujifilm FinePix S9000 bridge camera

Image via Wikipedia

Welcome to my dream world, where I am a successful artist, photographer and writer, with a beautiful house in a small, beautiful community located very close to a bustling town. It’s a place where all the neighbors know each other and where I have some of my deepest and most lasting friendships. When I’m not busy with the constant demands of success – book signings, gallery openings and exhibitions, you’ll find me in the kitchen whipping up some tasty, exotic dishes or traveling the world and telling my stories through words and images.

I don’t know about the house, but I do know that if I put my mind to it, I can achieve my dream of being a photographer and artist – a writer I am already – I write this blog, don’t it? 😉

So, if you could live your biggest dream, no holds barred, what would it be?

Confessions of a bookaholic


Image via Wikipedia

I’m going to let you in on a little secret today. Come closer, so I can whisper it into your ear.

I’m a hoarder….a book hoarder.

I have two bookshelves at home stuffed to overflowing, with enough books to start my own lending library. And yet, I cannot help myself when I walk into a bookstore. I almost always walk out with 2 or more books, no matter how often I chant to myself “You will not buy a book today, you will not buy a book today.” Well, actually, I never buy a book – I buy books!

And then I come home, bag of books in hand, look at my stuffed bookshelf, and leave the bag on a chair in the drawing room, until I figure out a way to squeeze my latest purchases in. That bag generally sits there for a week, with the books wondering when they will be taken out and displayed, only to be joined by yet another bag of books the next week, at which time I finally decide to take out said books and cram them somehow, anyhow, into my bookshelf.

Like I said, I hoard.

Stack of books

Which also means that I absolutely refuse to part with a single one of my books. Not that they are all masterpieces of literature. Some of them are downright unreadable, like Taslima Nasreen’s Lajja. But still. I cannot bring myself to purge my books.

The husband has been nagging telling me that it is about time I acknowledged my addiction, and that if I could not curb my urge, nay, my need to buy a book, the least I could do is to get rid of some of them.

Now, I think I am going to take some inspiration from my fellow blogger Debra, who is going on a de-cluttering drive of her own to get rid of some of her “things” even though she loves them. If she can do it, so can I!

Just don’t hold your breath…yet! I may need to join a 12-step program just to be able to start purging some of my books!