All You Need to Know About The Something New Everyday Challenge

In my previous post, I had written about the #SomethingNewEverydayChallenge I had taken up in November and the best moments I had due to that. In this post, I will be writing about the benefits and my experiences during the challenge so that you could be well equipped if you want to take it some day.

Before I begin, let me say this once again. I found the challenge very useful. I am not the same person I had been a month ago. I have become more productive, focused and reduced the bouts of overthinking I used to do. I am sure you will benefit from this too.

 

All you need to know about the something new everyday challenge.png

What is Something New Everyday Challenge?

It is self explanatory. You need to do something you haven’t done before or in a long time on each day of the challenge. For instance, trying a new cuisine, a new line of work, learning something new, calling up someone you haven’t called in a long time, starting a new habit etc.

How is it beneficial?

  1. Among these 30 new things you do in a month, you might end up making a positive lifestyle change or a value addition in terms of knowledge or skills.
  2. You might decide to do something you have always wanted to do and had been procrastinating.
  3. You will always be on the lookout for something new and that will keep your day exciting.
  4. You might make some alarming discoveries about yourself.
  5. You will keep yourself busy trying to do something different every day.
  6. One of those 30 things might stay with you forever. In my case, I have a new piercing. 🙂
  7. By the time you are done with the challenge, ‘looking for something exciting’ might become your attitude towards life.
  8. You might inspire someone to make a positive change in their life.

What is the time span of the challenge?

You could do it for a week, a fortnight, a month or even more. I found that a month was ideal because I gradually got into certain habits I had started. If you need to bring a lifestyle change and make a new habit, a week will not be sufficient, but a month will be ideal.

What if I miss a day?

Don’t panic. No one is monitoring you, but you. If you miss a day, it is alright. Don’t stop taking the challenge. Forget the skipped day and continue.

You don’t have to do great things in every day of 30 days. Something as simple as watching the sunrise or nature is good enough. On one day, I put a new kind of photograph I happened to click. I did a throwback for one day, and I also pulled up a ‘Today’s something new is doing nothing new’. 😛 There is no hard and fast rule. You set the rules and you bend them as long as there is a balance.

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Should I plan in advance?

Yes please. Make a list of things you really want to do. Pick the ones that are doable in a short span of time. As you take up the challenge, go about your day and try to find simple random new things to do. In between, fix days for those important things in your list. In this manner, you will be doing new things in the course of your day and also will be checking off things from your bucketlist.

My experience and concerns and how I tackled them.

  1. My biggest fear was that I would stop midway. To avoid that, I started planning my days in advance. Sometimes I had things planned for an entire week and that eased my fears.
  2. There were days when I didn’t do anything new and panicked at night. I would take a look back at the day and find something new that I did involuntarily. Through this, I started looking at things I did in a new light instead of considering them to be mundane.
  3. Sometimes I would be too tired to post it on the same day. So I posted a few on the very next day. As I said, there are no hard and fast rules. You can be flexible as long as you are progressing in life.
  4. I am not doing some of the things I started doing the challenge. Do not expect 100% results. Don’t feel upset if you stop doing one or two things you began. If you have had even one long term benefit from this exercise, it is a positive change. It is one step further.

You need to put some effort on this. But the results are totally worth it. You can go through all 30 days of the challenge I took on my instagram account, contact me if you have any questions and I’ll be happy to help.

So what do you think of this challenge? Will you take it up?

Day 30 – Many Questions, One Answer

30 Days’ Book Challenge – Day 30 – Many Questions, One Answer

I had saved the last post for a reason. I prepared this list of 30 Days’ Challenge from various prompts. Since you all know that I am a crazy Potterhead, it would be only obvious that for most of the prompts I came across, the only answer I had was Harry Potter.

So I had a tough time finding prompts that wouldn’t just give the same answer and kept this post for the last. In this, I will do the opposite of what I did all these days. I normally listed the books that I thought suited well for a prompt. But here, I will list all the prompts for which I believe Harry Potter Series is the answer.

Courtesy: harrypotter.wikia.com

And so, the 30th Day of the Challenge is in the name of Harry Potter. Here goes the list:

  1. A Book that I have read more than 3 times – Probably this is why I haven’t read many books. Every time I get a chance I read Harry Potter books. They are so loaded with twists and interconnections that I find new things every time I read them.
  2. My Favorite Series –  Harry Potter
  3. Favorite book turned into a movie – But the movies have only 20% of what is in the books. They don’t talk about the characters in depth. You can never understand Lupin, James, Lily, Ron, Luna, Hermione, Snape, McGonagall, Dumbledore, Malfoy, Hagrid… what am I doing? I can’t list them all. You don’t know any of the characters in detail unless you’ve read the book.
  4. A book that you wish more people would have read – All the seven books. There is a lot you’re missing if you haven’t read them.
  5. Favorite book universe – Hogwarts
  6. Your Hogwarts house – Hufflepuff.
  7. Favorite platonic friendship – Harry and Hermoine
  8. Favorite fantasy book – No guesses!
  9. My comfort books – I am not sure what this means. But yeah I am more than comfortable reading Harry potter. 😀

If any of you are planning to read the series for the first time, a word of caution. The first book is a bit dragging because it takes time for the setting to sink in. Do not stop reading until Harry reaches Hogwarts. You won’t stop after that.

It is amazing, how a little baby with a scar became such an important part of my life.

courtesy: moviepilot.com

However, the other day, a friend told me that he thought that Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was overrated. I believe many people think so. Here is what I feel. The Harry Potter series is loved by all and the rating goes to the entire series. Almost all the HP fans have agreed that this book was a bit boring (including me). So, it truly cannot be called overrated. 🙂

Finally, the 30 Days’ book challenge ends. I can’t say I completed the challenge in 30 days. But I did post everyday. 😉 I was unwell for a couple of weeks and yet I managed to post. 😛 Many of you don’t know that I started this blog in 2010 when I used to have only about 12 posts a year. Last year on wards I picked up pace and here I have 30 posts a month! I’m impressed!

I got many blogging friends through this challenge. I came across many book lovers, I learnt more about the books I should read (And I shouldn’t). Many thanks to all of you who encouraged me to complete this.

Lots of Love

Rangelz 😉

Day 29 – The Most Surprising Plot Twist

30 Days Book Challenge -Day 29 – The Most Surprising Plot Twist

There are many books with multiple plot twists. We could name authors who constantly surprise us with their twists – JK Rowling (Obvio!), Sydney Sheldon, Dan Brown etc are but a few among the ocean of authors. Somehow, this time it is an Indian author who has made to the list.

The Secret of the Nagas by Amish Tripathi

It needs lots of guts to take up a well known epic and build a story without tampering with the facts. It needs lots of planning to bring in an element of surprise and suspense since the story, its characters and the ending is all known to the readers.

Image courtesy – wikipedia.org

In this particular book, the introduction of certain characters were done very carefully. The characters were introduced in the first book, played very prominent roles without giving us even a hint of doubt as to who they actually were. It was later. Much later, with shock that I realised them for who they really were. Some people might have spotted the missing pieces and fit them in already. But I got the connection just before he revealed it and that made it all the more thrilling for me.

Like a snugly fit puzzle, he managed to take away certain characters, again without any hint as to what he intended to do next. It takes a long while for the readers to realize that things are not what we thought them to be.

The best plot twist happened at the end of this book. For those who have read it, you know what it is. 😉 And for those who haven’t, see for yourselves. 🙂 You may have better plot twists that top your list. But I go with this one because, as I mentioned, creating twists in an epic is a difficult task. Being a lover of epics, it gave me so much pleasure reading the story in a different light, without changes in the essence of each character. Since I was unsuspecting, twists were out of the blue.

 

Day 28 – A Book That Disappointed Me

30 Days Book Challenge – Day 28 – A Book That Disappointed Me

Asura, Tale of the Vanquished by Anand Neelakanthan

Ramayana has eluded me from many angles. I never agreed with many of the practices of Lord Rama, the most important being, distrusting Sita and asking her to go through the Agni-pareeksha. Stories, having been told and retold, definitely change with time. As years pass by, things are added, omitted or forgotten and the real story gets twisted, badly!

Hence, I wondered what Ravana’s side of the story would have been. I have heard that Ravana was a good person, an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and a wonderful musician. His only folly was that he kidnapped Sita. There are many variations of the story. Some say that Sita was Ravana’s long lost daughter. Some say that he was attracted to her. Others say that Sita was so beautiful that he wanted her as an adornment for the Golden city, Lanka. There is a version that suspects Sita did actually like Mr. Badass Ravana. 😉 (And I like that :P)

One fine day, I heard of the book, Asura. The author narrates the story of  Ravana from the viewpoint of an Asura named Bhadra. Of course! It is fictional. Yet, he had piqued my interest and I finally grabbed the book.

Image courtesy – amazon.co.in

The glitch in my reading system began with the incessant spelling errors and grammatical flaws in the book. Yet, for the sake of the story, I continued reading. I don’t remember the exact point when things began to turn ugly. Because, I did not like how Ravana and his family were depicted right from the beginning – Ill-treated and ignored by his Brahmin father.

The involvement of King Mahabali who understands Ravana’s potential and decides to endow him with knowledge threw me off the story for a while. I have never heard of any relationship between Ravana & Mahabali. I mean, Vamana (Mahavishnu’s 5th Avtar) sent him to Pathal lok (Underground) long before Rama Avtar, or so I believe!

In the later stages of the book, the author does not even get the story in line with the famous Ramayana. Well, he tries. The result is;

  • A mess of twisted facts, lust and rapes playing important roles and degrading of Brahmanism.
  • He has tried to set the story in line with the caste system and the concept of rich getting richer and poor becoming poor. But really? Did he have to twist Ramayana that badly?

To make this easier, let me compare this book to that of Amish Tripathi’s Shiva Trilogy. There were neither many unwanted characters, nor many unwanted incidents. The only addition he made was the concept of Somras and he ensured that he did not put in too many details. Amish wrapped it up very neatly, without disturbing the contents of the original story of Lord Shiva. He tied a ribbon around the wrapped up story and had me weeping for two days. Trust me! I knew that Sati would die. Yet, I cried. 🙂

I read The Shiva Trilogy long before Asura. Yet, I remember the details of all the 3 books, while 75% of Asura remains forgotten. I would prefer to forget it completely.

Anand Neelakanthan attempts to question why Ravana and his clan are considered demonic in spite of having many good qualities, while Rama had flaws and was considered a God. I do appreciate the efforts put in by the author to explore Ravana’s side. My appreciation ends right there!

PS – I did some research and found an equal number of negative and positive reviews about the book. For another point of view, read the comments below. It might help if you’re wondering whether or not to read it. 🙂

Day 27 – Favorite OTPs

30 Days Book Challenge – Day 27 – Favorite One True Pairings

This might be a repetition of characters and books. But I can’t help it. They deserve the best. By the way, I just can’t stop with one OTP. 🙂

1. Holly and Gerry from P.S I Love you

Image courtesy: http://www.fanpop.com

 

2. Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks from Harry Potter

Image courtesy: pixgood.com

I am not going to offer any explanation here. All I say is that, the movies never brought out the struggles of their relationship well. Those who have watched only the Harry Potter movies, there is a lot that you have missed. To know why half the world read it, why half of them keep writing fanfics and why I love it so so so much, do read the book. Read it until the very end. I promise you won’t regret it.

PS – Yesterday, my sister and I talked until 2 am about Lupin and Tonks, about their love, their death and their child. The talks never end. We can write books about each Harry Potter character. It is that deep.

 

3. Noah and Allie from The Notebook

Courtesy: rebloggy.com

 

Hi all! I’m held up due to work and so haven’t been able to visit your blogs or reply for the comments. Will get back to it asap. Lots of Love! 🙂

Day 24 – Favorite Quotes

30 Days Book Challenge – Day 24 – Favorite Quotes

From -Brida by Paulo Coelho

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This was a beautiful book I read. Many may not concur with me. But this was a subtle soup consisting of witchcraft, search for the inner self, magic, spirituality, soulmate etc. There are some pretty points about finding  a soulmate. There is no dearth for quotes as usual. Enjoy a few. 🙂

“Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.”
Paulo Coelho, Brida

It is not just about the ‘completely wrong’ things. It is also about perspectives. From your perspective, it might not make any sense. But for someone else, things might. Most often we don’t think from others’ shoes. Same goes here. Nothing is completely wrong. At some point, in some angle, it all makes some sense. 🙂 But we (including me) forget this.

“Don’t bother trying to explain your emotions. Live everything as intensely as you can and keep whatever you felt as a gift from God. The best way to destroy the bridge between the visible and invisible is by trying to explain your emotions.”
Paulo Coelho, Brida

I have felt this many, many times. I have tried to express the most intense emotions of mine in words. And failed. Every single time! One day, it dawned on me. That was the beauty of those emotions. The fact that they couldn’t be expressed, explained or shared. They could only be experienced by me. With all the intensity, those emotions were born within me, stayed for a brief time and died within me.

“But how will I know who my Soulmate is?” Brida felt that this was one of the most important questions she had ever asked in her life.
By taking risks’ she said to Brida. ‘ By risking failure, disappointment, disillusion, but never ceasing in you search for Love. As long as you keep looking, you will triumph in the end.”
Paulo Coelho, Brida

If only knowing the soulmate was the answer to everything, the world would definitely be a better place. For I know plenty who have known their soulmates and lost them. What can I say? World’s weird ways!

Day 23 – Most Overrated Book

30 Day Book Challenge – Day 23- Most Overrated Book

Fifty Shades of Grey

 

I knew what I was laying my hands on when I picked up the book. But I really wasn’t expecting this:

  • A story about a girl (Ana) who couldn’t hold herself together after setting her eyes on a hot guy (Grey). I mean, she either tripped or went all gaga wanting to kiss him.
  • And should I say about Grey, I would just give him one name, A Demigod. I mean he was pictured to be perfect. Frankly, I loved the description about him. But what I couldn’t digest was, he could do just about anything. Bug the girl’s phone even without touching it (Really!?), be at the right place to rescue her when she was all drunk, and why not!? He had lots of money and a driver/security who just about did anything for him (Which includes buying lingerie for his newly met girlfriend).
  • The weirdest part, he could chain her, spank her and do all the supposedly ‘normal’ things but he couldn’t handle a cuddle. *Kill me already*
  • Oh! How do I forget? Nor should she bite her lips. What I never understood was, Ana was never hungry. But she chewed her lips all the time. Specially when he asked her not to.
    Throughout I imagined a girl who kept gnawing at her own lips. eew!

I just read the 1st book and that was it. I struggled to even write this much about the book. Because, everything about the book sucked!

Day 22 – The Best Book I Read This Year

30 Days Book Challenge – Day 22 – The Best Book I Read This Year

It has been only 1.5 months since this year began. So, my pick for the year would be from among 3 books.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

It is a dystopian novel that I doubt everyone would like. In the beginning, I had a tough time understanding what was happening, but soon I realised that the doubts were cleared in the latter parts of the book.

 

Courtesy – http://www.wikipedia.org

Overall, a smooth reading and I am desperate to lay my hands on the sequels. 🙂

Courtesy: divergentofficial.tumblr.com

Day 21 – My Favorite Author(s)

30 Days Book Challenge – Day 21  – My Favorite Author(s)

Enid Blyton

Because she made my childhood beautiful. I could go on and on about the books I read. But sadly, I don’t remember half of them.

Courtesy: wikipedia

I enjoyed. Yes, a lot.

A LOT.

So much that, I had begun to write a book about 5 Brownies named Hy, My, By, Fy, Dy.
Um… dont know what happened to them 😛

J. K. Rowling

How can ‘My favorite author’ not comprise her. It is as though, Enid Blyton realized that I was too grown up for her books and handed me over to JKR. That must be it. Though, I don’t believe that anyone would be too old for books. I still read teenage books. 🙂

courtesy: wikipedia

I heard about Harry Potter when the 1st movie was released. My dad asked me,
“Do you want to watch Harry Potter?”

“No.”, I never watched English movies then. They never interested me.

“It is good I hear.”

“It’s alright. I really don’t want to.”

Kids my age, many of them had watched it. I thought it must be a story about a Pot maker wala Potter. Why would I want to watch stories about pot making!?

Later, I saw my classmates reading the book. They were discussing animatedly about it. I observed them for a couple of days and the words ‘Magic’, ‘School’, ‘Witch’, ‘Wizard’ etc kept popping up. Finally, I picked up the book from the library, to never stop. 😀

It has been 12 years since I got the letter to Hogwarts. I remain loyal. 😀

Day 20 – 5 Books From My To Read List


30 Days Book Challenge – Day 20 – 5 Books From My To Read List

Phew! Can’t believe that I just completed 20 days of this challenge. Which means I just posted for 20 days at a stretch! This calls for a self pat. Well done Ranju! I lou you. ❤

So here I am giving the list of 5 books from my To Read list.

  1.  The Book Thief

  2. Insurgent (The Sequel to Divergent)

  3. A Song of Ice and Fire – That is right. The series of which Game of Thrones is a part. I am desperate to read them.

  4. The Hunger Games – Heard a lot about the series

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  5. To Kill A Mockingbird

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Have I made any wrong choices? If you have read these, do let me know. Psstt! No spoils okay? 😛