By Dr P Vyasamoorthy
(I could learn that one could buy breakfast for 6 paise for the whole
family in the late thirties, because my father maintained a diary.
Shouldn't we continue this useful practice?)
One of perennial sources of entertainment for all of us – a large
group of six or seven siblings – was to read our father's old dairies.
They contained valuable data like: who called on us, trips & travels
that my father or others made, events and their impacts, daily
purchases etc. As a ten year old boy I learnt that my father could buy
breakfast for two persons for about three paise! And a cinema ticket
in MY school days cost 30 paise. Writing diary helps – helps in many
Maintaining a personal journal regularly offers many advantages. It
has therapeutic effects, many claim. Right from lower levels of
stress, increased memory & longer attention span, positive immune
system resulting in improved health, ability to cope up with trauma,
better friendly relationships are all mentioned as benefits from dairy
keeping. For senior citizens who have all the time at their disposal
and don't know what to do, starting journal writing could be a way to
ward off boredom.
The best way to start writing a dairy is to choose a specific time,
say, just before retiring to bed. It is essential that you can write
for about 15 minutes everyday without disturbance or breaks in
thought. It is better that you are alone and enough privacy is
You are not in the habit of writing a diary? Don't worry. Just start
off. You may write on the events of the day, people whom you met,
trials and tribulations of office, purchases made, etc. While these
are trivia, you can write about problems that plague you often, things
that worry you a lot, sore relationships, physical ailments, tasks
that you keep postponing for ever and such other things. Thinking
about these and writing it our cogently in simple language will help
you organize your thoughts well.
Depending upon your needs you may maintain a travel journal or health
journal, or a dairy for fresh ideas, dreams waiting to be fulfilled
etc. It is all up to you. But what is most important is that one must
experiment this Journal writing habit that has all advantages at zero
Unlike my father's journal books, most diaries are personal and they
are normally only for the eyes of the writer. Therefore feel free to
express yourself fully without inhibitions. But take care to keep
diaries away from prying eyes.
If you are comfortable with computers and Internet help is at hand.
You may go to www.penzu.com and write out your journal entries there.
Penzu is a perfect blend of modernity and old practices. Try it, you
will enjoy it. If you know of other websites for journal keeping, let