A Bookish February #GratitudeCircle

A Bookish February #GratitudeCircle

February is one of those months that are nice in a very understated way. The new year has settled in, there are no great celebrations or festivals, no birthdays or anniversaries also for us, yet it’s short and sweet and just nice.

For me this has been a happy month full of books and reading, some successful kitchen experiments and lots of love from family, both real and virtual.

A celebration

Oops did I just say there are no celebrations? Well that wasn’t quite true. In fact we began the month with one because February 1st was World Read Aloud Day. I rounded up a handful of children from our apartment complex and organised a read-aloud session. We sat around a table, eating biscuits, reading out portions from favourite books and reciting poems. We followed it up with word games and the children went a little crazy, happy crazy, that is. The best kind of crazy, right?We had so much fun that I’ve promised myself that I’ll do it better next year with a little more planning.

Happiness between the pages

While on books and reading, this year I resolved to buy fewer books so I could make my way through my burgeoning unread collection at home. As the resolution fervour wore off and I was beginning to feel sorry for myself (even though I had no right to) the Universe stepped in and two brand new books arrived at my doorstep. They were from my dear blogger friend Soumya. She wrote me the sweetest message that absolutely made my day. A just-like-that gift really is the best kind of gift. And if it’s books it’s even better.

Then Shantala from Shanaya Tales hosted a giveaway and I won it and Becoming by Michelle Obama came home. This was one book I was really looking forward to reading. I’m half way through it and I’m loving it.

The other happiness was the discovery of a book cafe close home. It’s the most delightful little place with stacks of books that one can read over a cup of elaichi chai or a bowl of maggi. I’m looking forward to spending some happy hours there.

In the kitchen

I did a fair bit of cooking thanks to Rachna’s blog. It has become my go-to place for recipes. I tried Gajar ka halwa and it turned out so well that I made it again and then again. I have now locked it up safely in my list of ‘Fool proof recipes I can successfully replicate’ along with a small handful of others. Then I tried stir-fry broccoli which also turned out to be a no-brainer.

Happy kids

The children have been in a happier space this month. H’s allergies, which he has been struggling with for over a year, seemed to have taken a break. He has been sleeping better after ages. He hasn’t ever been too sound a sleeper but it reached crazy proportions over the last year. Nothing seemed to work. He has no access to gadgets during weekdays, not even television. On the odd day that we do watch TV, it’s not much. And yet he has difficulty falling asleep and wakes up a number of times at night. We tried to get him to read before he sleeps, tried massaging his feet, tried warm milk and jaiphal – everything that anyone suggested – but it wasn’t much use. I’ve been toying with the idea of consulting a homeopath. Maybe after the exams I’ll do that.

Yup, exams are round the corner and we’re gearing up for them. The maid has announced a week’s leave, N has a new idea for a novel and plans for the after exam-party are underway. Yeah, that’s how we gear up.

Come on along March.


Linking up with Vidya’s Gratitude Circle.

23 Replies to “A Bookish February #GratitudeCircle”

  1. Such an article with so much warmth. Loving it. Reading your article for the first time and it feels good. Continue the good work. We are also getting ready for after exam party. And looking forward to my son’s summer camp with Harvest international school. Heard much about my neighbors and my son is so excited.

  2. I am so glad you won Becoming, and are loving it! That book is a treat! That being said, I agree, just-like-that gifts, are the very best kind. It’s so sweet & thoughtful of Soumya. 🙂

    Oh and you know what..I was having a rough day, until I decided to binge read your blog, and like always, your posts lightened my mood & made me feel so much better. It always feels like catching up with a friend, which in a way it is. At any rate, now you know why I stalk you and your posts. 😀

    1. Can’t thank you enough Shantala and can’t recommend the book enough.
      Thanks so much for that compliment. The feeling is entirely mutual. When you drop by here or when I visit your blog, that’s exactly how I feel, like I’m catching up with a friend. To me that’s what blogging is about and I hope it’ll always remain that way.

  3. Congratulations on winning the book and that too such an interesting one. You are blessed to have good friends who gift you books too, lucky you! I didn’t know about the read aloud day, your celebrations sound great. I am sure the kids loved it. Your posts always strike a chord in my heart, so much warmth and emotions. Whenever I feel blue, I know I can come here and feel happy and enthusiastic about life. It is a gift, continue giving it away. god bless. Hope your son recovers soon. Ayurveda might help too. I love the bloggers you have mentioned in your post. Vidya is synonymous with gratitude and Rachna is a super woman. Her recipes are so easy to follow and turn out great. Loved reading your wholesome post.

    1. Thank you Sulekha. Your comment lighted up my day :-). Yup I was pretty chuffed about the book. It’s turning out to be a fabulous read.
      I love the group we have at the BAR and, though I’ve hardly met anyone I feel a connection to each one. I love how diverse all our writing styles are and yet so interesting in their own unique ways. It’s the community that keeps us coming back to our blogs. Happy to see you back to yours.

  4. Such a sweet gesture by Soumya. Congrats on winning the giveaway. I have tried a few of Rachna’s recipes and they are so easy to make. Loved them. Glad your kid is feeling better now. Allergies are so irritating when they refuse to go away.
    Wish a fabulous March 🙂
    Rajlakshmi recently put up this amazing post…Melt in a sighMy Profile

    1. Thanks Raj. We’re in a good place now, thank goodness. The allergies have something to do with the weather I think. Yup hoping March is a good month.

  5. Aww bookish months are the best months and I am SO very happy for you 🙂 That book is the best- Becoming. I actually have Little Fires Everywhere on the Kindle. Will read that next.

    What a delightful idea for World Book Day. I so wish I had the patience to do that but unfortunately, my patience with kids stops at my own. I can handle older kids (college level) though. That’s one reason I always taught only at that level and never at school level.

    He he, now you know 😉 Have a fab March, Tulika 🙂
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently put up this amazing post…Blogging Courses: 6 Things to Ask Before You Buy ThemMy Profile

    1. Oh I get the patience bit. It can get quite maddening but because this is informal and fun it’s fine. We have very few rules. I don’t even insist that they all sit in one place. I find I can take it for a short while :-). Oh and I don’t think I could teach anything to any kid, except my own and that only because I have no choice.

  6. Reading your gratitude post has lighted me up. The idea of celebrating World read – aloud day with the children of the apartment is such a novel one. I would like to know more about it. How did you decide upon which books to read aloud to, I suppose, the children of H and N’s age? How many children were there in all? I think I haven’t told you ever that you and your book club were my inspiration behind starting storytelling to children (Dhruv’s friends) in India.
    Getting books as gifts sounds wonderful and a nice alternative to the plan of not buying books ourselves 😀 I loved the pictures of the book cafe you shared on Instagram. The place is inviting. With respect to H’s allergies, I hope homeopathy works fine.
    A happy March to you despite you doing most of the studies for the children’s exams 😀 😀
    Anamika Agnihotri recently put up this amazing post…Ned The Nuclear Submarine #PictureBookReview 28My Profile

    1. Anamika I am so glad you asked. And I love that you’re invested in the idea of spreading the love for books and reading. Onto your queries – there were about 8 kids of mixed ages ranging from 8-12. Basically, everyone was welcome. I let the kids choose the books as well as the passage. Ideally I would have liked to vet them before they read aloud but like I said this was a spontaneous thing so I lost that chance. That’s it – they got the books, read aloud and talked a little bit about them. If you want I’ll give you a heads up next time round. You can keep it as simple or as elaborate as you want.

  7. Oh it’s such a positive and feel good post. Good to know that H is feeling better. I think homeopathy will work.

    The book cafe sounds cool. I am imagining the scene —sitting there in silence. A little bit of greenery around. A good book and a cup of chai {and or a bowl of maggi}.

    Best wishes for the papers. And I’m really curious about N’s new novel idea! 🙂

    1. Ha ha. Tarang the idea is top secret but not a word has yet been put on paper. I’m hoping she’ll get down to it only in the summer holidays and doesn’t try to begin between exams.

  8. That was such a nice month, Tulika. To get beautiful books as gifts is just wonderful. So happy for you. I have to borrow Becoming from Shailaja even though I have hardly been doing any reading just now. March and April are going to be very hectic, so let’s see. So many unread books sitting on my shelf. Younger boy is through with 3 papers and 2 illnesses so far.

    Thank you so much for the shoutout. Super thrilled for all your kitchen wins. You, Parul and Shalz are just awesome girls. I am so happy that the recipes are working out well for you guys.

    Here’s wishing you a wonderful March! Glad to know about H’s allergies. Even our allergies are better now, but then the heat is suddenly so unexpected.

    1. It sure was a good month. I’m half way through Becoming and it seems so heartfelt and so open I cannot recommend it enough.
      Allergies are crazy, specially because it is so hard to pinpoint why they’re happening. We’ve been shooting in the dark, changing sheets, washing and re-washing clothes in dettol to no avail. Perhaps it’s just the weather.

  9. Love the concept of a book cafe. I’ve been dreaming of starting something like this – let’s see.
    Sorry to hear about H’s allergies. Homeo really is the best way forward. I hope something works out soon.
    In the meantime, good luck for ‘your’ exams! 😉

  10. It rained books in feb and thats the fabulousest gift I can think of anywhere anytime! Yay for that! I think we bookworms should make a pact of sorts of not buying books for ourselves and then just gifting the others on their bdays – very sneaky but wont it be wonderful? 😉

    I have been going to Rachna’s cook site a lot too and love the easy and delish recipes there – the broccoli was super yum!

    Cheers for a fabulous March ahead Tules – waiting for the book reviews! 🙂

    1. You won’t believe it but I had the exact same thought. That we could all buy books and send them to each other :-). Of course it’s another matter that it would defeat the whole purpose and the unread books shall remain unread :-).

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