Hell It's Mine

What we think, what we speak and what we do are never in tune with one another. This page is dedicated to what I think.

We are a little less than a fortnight into the new year and 2022 promises to look exciting. The year 2021 came and went and nobody felt bad about it coming to an end. I mean it’s a complete year, a twelve-month duration from our lives and yet everyone I spoke to was glad it was over. Kind of sad but then I guess each one of us had our own reason for that. But I can’t get myself to blame it for the way things went. I believe it’s all in the head; it’s how we want to look at it.

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At the beginning of every year, I religiously set a target for myself – the number of books I’m going to read in the year. I’m proud to say till this year I’ve always managed to meet the target and had even surpassed it some years (oh yes!). But this year, I realised that I had not met the target; actually, I was way, way below the mark. My excuse – it’s been a crazy year. I know I used the excuse last year also but this year I’m admitting it. Feeling a little bad about it but no worries I have still managed to read some fantastic books and loved the time I spent with them. Here are the top 5 books of 2021 I super enjoyed.

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The year’s coming to an end, and I’ve never looked forward to it with so much excitement. Yes, I’ve to accept some bitter truths like the grey streaks in my rapidly denigrating mane are not the result of the climate change or that my favourite bands are part of the retro collection or that it’s another year closer to the kids leaving home (it just felt like a punch in the stomach!). Every year I’ve watched my friends prepare their kids as they get ready to leave home to join college and every time I would wonder why was it such a big deal.

I understand it now as I’m standing at that very place, counting the months before we have to let go. Not one to get all teary-eyed, yet I know it’s going to be one of the most difficult things to do. That’s how I got around to thinking about what’s needed for these kids to be on their own. Just having a dozen accounts on social media or having a large following on Insta doesn’t speak much about their rapidly deteriorating life skills – which have further taken a beating during the pandemic. 

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If there’s something that’s difficult to do, it’s to be happy – just plain, simple happy. Yes, as simple as it may sound, being happy is one of the most difficult things to do. And ironical it may be that it is an easily achievable target. It doesn’t need pots of gold or fame or fancy clothes or outlandish houses. All it needs is a few changes in the way we do things, minor tweaks in our attitude and more importantly, the will to try them out before we get all cynical or brush it off as new-age pish-posh. No harm trying it out, what say?

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This book lives up to its name – No Rules Rules. I came across it quite by chance. And learnt about it not by discussing management strategies or work issues but over the dinner schedules! When I refused to have a cuppa tea late in the evening, my neighbour (another fellow bibliophile) said “No rules rules a cup of tea!”. And that launched the discussion about the book and at the end of the passionate overview, I was hooked. I wanted to read it myself to see if what was said was true.

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If the headlines must be eye-catching, then it sure got all the eyeballs it wanted. China proposes to punish parents for the bad behaviour of their children. Now that’s something. I let the other news items be as I devoured this bit. As a parent and an educator, this news surely was of a lot of interest to me. The headlines at least gave some hope of some magic tricks to get the kids back on track.

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If anything, you can call me an instinctive reader – it catches my attention and I pick the book up – and can read almost anything. But self-help or management or such genres were never on my list. The first time I heard Simon Sinek was in a small video clip forwarded in one of the WhatsApp groups where he talks about the millenniums in the workplace. I just loved it. He had hit it right on the head. Then I got to see a few more video clips, courtesy WhatsApp, and by then I was utterly impressed with the ideas of this person. What I liked most was its simplicity. The things he said did not need us to be qualified rocket scientists. Au contraire, all it needed was we be true to our beliefs and not delude ourselves. So, when I chanced upon this book by him, there was no way I was going to give it a miss.

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Being a teacher is no joke. It may not be high paying or allowing us the luxuries to travel business class or getting the school more profits. But it’s where the future of our children is getting shaped. And especially in the present context, being a teacher is tough.

They get up early so they can finish the housework before they head out to manage the school work. They work extra because they know it matters – it matters what their children learn, it matters what the students need and it has to be provided at all costs. Dealing with minor crises comes as easily to them as breathing.  

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