Hello Again & Project Avantika

If you read my last post a while back, you must be wondering how I am Back! Well, I could not keep away from my baby of 4 years.

While the reasons still hold good, I thought I could limit myself to a single short post. After four years, I crave the joy of overcoming my everyday challenges and trivial annoyances.

So, after much deliberation I thought I should start “Project Avantika“! Like the habit of the heroine of my novel [365 Days of F(ib)B-ing], Avantika, I shall add a cutesy photo or inspiring quote. Then, I will add a short text about what the untold story of that photo is including gory details. Or if it is a quote, how far my reality is from the mentioned slogan. All this for 52 weeks (a whole year) straight.

After reading so many inspiring books this year, I am all excited to adopt the ‘Reframe the Context‘ techniques touted by so many authors. Basically when we distance ourselves from a negative thought or event and adopt an opposing view or optimistic perspective and recount it,  we can see the silver lining. While my life is much better than most, daily annoyances do pile up and skew the most cheerful of outlooks. So, I thought why not try it? No harm in trying. 🤔

While New Year is always a good point for fresh beginnings, I am taking a leaf out of one of my favorite authors. As Laura Vanderkam puts it, a Wednesday will do just as well as Monday or Sunday. Hence, sharing my resolve on a Wednesday.

I will officially commence posts related to the project on Dec1st. Please do encourage me as you have in the past (I missed you guys!) and maybe even join me in the journey!

To new beginnings! Dasvidaniya!


52 Weeks 



Due to a recent bereavement, I did not have the heart for 52 weeks. But with New Year comes fresh enthusiasm and renewed hope.
Here’s to 52 weeks, of blogging, of following my book’s heroine, of writing and giving a positive spin to the not so amusing aspects of everyday life and challenges. 

Happy New Year!

52 Weeks of Avantika: Week 2


Creativity at Work: Peppa Pig Pretend Play


My admiration and pride in the little one’s imagination, creativity is directly proportional to my own energy.

I have been known to:

  • Fall asleep while watching/ playing
  • Turn around and roll my eyes at having to be a spectator… again
  • Wonder how Grandmas can genuinely get wowed by this
  • Get frustrated at the loss of one of the Peppa Pig family members and the consequent hunt that I must necessarily take an active part in

Well, that’s reality.


I recently got this tip fo surviing watching Lego-Pretend Play sessions from a Fellow Chicago Mom.

Dab loads of moisturizer on your hands.

[Nail polish on your nails works too unless you have you envisage a meltdown for ‘I-want-painted-nails-too’!]

Why It Works?

  • First of all. DISCLAIMER. You won’t get out of having to watch. But it will make the viewing a tad less frustrating. Plus, you get nice, smooth hands despite the winter and cleaning grubby hands, faces, noses, dishes, etc.
  • The kiddo won’t want cream anywhere near there precious possessions. So, you just have to watch, no helping needed, no conversations on how ‘you-did-it-wrongly’.
  • You can direct. Or enjoy some calm. Your wish.
  • If the play does not go satisfactorily, just threaten with cream on the toys.
  • If it further derails, pretend you’re a monster and chase the child with cream. Chases are always a hit. Grab and go. Bonus if you can get your kid moisturized too.

Project 52 Weeks of Avantika:

This post is part of my 52 Weeks of Avantika. I add a quote or picture. And then write my thoughts about how the image that the quote/ photo portrays is far from reality. And what real life looks like.

This concept is based on my book ‘365 Days of F(IB)B-ING‘ and is my way of spreading awareness about how life is not just a still snapshot but rather a mosaic of events and range of emotions. 


52 Weeks of Avantika


Sun and Fun!

Reality? Ha ha ! Looks are so deceptive!

  • 3 degrees Celsius outside our warmed up car.
  • Sunny outside but a tantrum inside ! Not only is my angel upset that half her goldfish crackers fell down during snacktime but also that I did not talk to her at a red light. (Never mind that I was concentrating on the construction work near the signal and that the goldfish accident was her fault)
  • It’s only only 1pm. But sunset is only about 4 hours away. Definitely more bleak than it looks.
  • Aunt Flo is killing me. 

Oh well, life is like that. I did turn it around by 

  • Asking T if she wanted to do a puzzle before lunch or after. She chose after.
  • Since we were having dosas for lunch, I allowed T to choose what shape of Dosa she wanted: she got a nice Spider-dosa and one Xmas-tree-dosa.
  • Pretending we are lions basking in the sun and napping. While this was after about three hours, T did sleep. I too got about 15mins of downtime.
  • We did stop in our parking lot to admire the trees and colors for a while minute.

This post was Part of 52 weeks of Avantika. I shall post a picture and/or Quote  like the heroine of my book Avantika. But unlike the principal character of my book shall post every Saturday for a year instead of daily. 

Merging and Moving!

Dear Readers of this Post/ Blog,

I am merging this blog with my other blog over at nirupamaprv.


Because :

  • I love blogging but two personal blogs are getting hard to maintain
  • My posts will contain more value and consistency by being in the same space
  • Posting frequency will double
  •  Time and effort I spend preventing duplication can be spent on improving my writing
  • Comments will be accurate.Since, right now my comments appear with my other blog avatar, there will be no confusion.

For the past four years, I’ve had a lot of fun writing about the challenges of everyday life. But, now it’s time for the biggest challenge of my creative side. It’s time for me to stop shuttling between two blog homes and settle down on one. Which means a sad and very reluctant goodbye to this blog. I will continue to blog at nirupamaprv. I write about similar topics on my on this blog- Books, Travel, Parenting, Arts and Crafts with the kiddo, and so on. So, I hope you will join me over there and continue to be bemused by the chronicles of ordinary life and its not-so-ordinary demands and pressures.

Hoping to See you on the Other Blog! Aideu!


NaNoWriMo and Goals

November has begun and winter has started. Or so it feels in the chilly suburbs of Chicago. [Where are you Fall? You were late to come and quick to leave!]

But November also marks the advent of NaNoWriMo mania- the time of the year where writers across the globe buckle down to attempt their masterpiece. I should know. I’ve had an account with NaNoWriMo from 2011 and also a few Camp NaNoWriMos. The point is simple. In 30 days, write 50K words. Just write. No editing. No second guessing. Write from your outline or write as you go. Zone in on the topic and genre of your choice. You can flow chapter-wise or jump from scene to scene or simply ooze the words as they come to you. Pen 1667 words every day or 50K on the last night. Every novelist is free to scribe as they like.


Sure, the end result will not be epic. But this version will act as a suitable clay that can be moulded to the shape we like, as opposed to the annoying blank page. If you want more words of wisdom or motivation, sign up for NaNoWriMo now and get pep talks from the inspiring volunteers who manage and support the different regional groups in your inbox. There are actual meetups and virtual write-ins too, to bolster the feeling of community and cheer one other.

So, have I started on my next great novel? Maybe a sequel, prequel or series from my darling “365 Days of F(ib)B-ing“? Good question. Sad answer. Nope.

This year I shall only be a participant in spirit. Given the many study assignments I have, I realize that signing up would be certain “Yes-icide“. But, I am inspired by the spirit of buckling down and attacking a project with a set timeline. Timeboxing as we called in my software professional days. Laura Vanderkam puts it much better in her newsletter. [Susbcribe if you did not already!] Or you can read her past posts on the subject on her website.

To elaborate, I have decide that I shall tackle a long-time aspiration of mine. I shall craft thirty blog posts : ten each for my two personal blogs and ten for my newly created professional blog. I have, a few times in the past; had a queue of posts that served me well during travel and vacations. The surprising by-product was the freedom it gave me to write more and better. Without the dread of a deadline [even if self-imposed] and the agony of a blank page and possible writer’s block, it’s easier to draft a great blog post and also pander to SEO and other luxuries like Featured Images.

Especially for my professional data science blog, I have a bunch of portfolio projects that I plan to articulate. I have been meaning to convert them into blog posts to showcase my efforts and learning. November’s NaNoWriMo enthusiasm is the perfect setting to materialize those good intentions. After all, even the best of ideas wither away without action.

And if I meet my goals, who knows? It might just stir me up to attempt a night of crazy writing and complete NaNoWriMo too!


All the best WriMos! May the Force be with You!

Share your plans in the comments below or tap me as a buddy. I go as ‘nirupamaprv’. Enjoy NaNoWriMo!