Travels that revel in folklores and fairy tales – happy folklore day!

Did you know that in Ireland, in 1999 a 'sacred' bush in Co Clare was protected after it was deemed to be the abode of fairies? And that the plans for a motorway bypass had been worked upon or modified in such a way that the bush wouldn't be destroyed? There are also many caves across Ireland where, as the story goes, the tragic lovers Diarmuid and Grainne slept and hid. And one of these caves is in the Gleniff Horseshoe, which itself is a place full of magic and breath-taking beauty. The world around us is full of such stories. No matter where we travel to - each region has a rich repertoire of folklores and fairy tales. And that is why this blog on World Folklore Day, which falls on 22nd August every year.

Harry Potter and my husband

The husband had clearly fallen for the stories, and the characters - liking Dobby, disliking how he was treated by the Malfoy family, getting angry at Snape and later feeling deeply for him, hating the romance between Hermione and Ron ("why do we need romance in everything?"), cheering for Harry and also for Dumbledore... And this past month, about five years or so after he first stumbled upon Nagini, and the world of Harry Potter, he bought all the books, albeit the Kindle editions.

To other writers, and your wonderful writing – thank you for these precious words

I want to celebrate other writers, no matter what stage of the writing journey they are at - whether they are just beginning, or are established names, or those who write without aiming or yearning for any 'success' of any kind. I want to celebrate their hard work, compliment them (I usually leave a comment, a like, some feedback) and most of all, I also want to share their writing with other readers. Writing is hard work. Whether you are writing a blog, a new report, a feature story, a personal essay or a book. I don't think I will ever hold back on complimenting - a fellow blogger, a journalist, an essayist, an author or anyone who writes - if I come across writing that reflects hard work and craft. Of course there may be jealousy - why can't I write like that? Or why didn't I get to do a story like that. But over all of that is genuine admiration and joy for the people who write, and for the stories that resonate with a wide variety of people.

The two S(h)eths in my life – a story for Valentine’s Day!

Vikram Seth took it and turned a page. I felt the colour rise to my cheeks. Because this copy of A Suitable Boy was bought in 2003 - a year when I was still incredibly dreamy-eyed and foolishly romantic. I had a habit of scribbling something down on every book I would buy. On this particular book I had scribbled, "... There goes a Pantaloons top and a new leather purse. But oh, the pleasures of buying a book..."

Captured in the bookshelf are pages from my past

The day we met, he came to pick me up at my place. He borrowed a book from my bookcase. It was Maximum City. At that point in the afternoon, I did not know if I was going to see him again, least of all marry him. And the book he borrowed from me was a gift. I did not want to lose it. So he offered to give me one of his, as a sort of surety - that his book would be mine for keeping, until he returned the one he had borrowed from me.