When the apocalypse arrives (well, let’s just play along anyway), what do you think will be flashing before your eyes? That killer PowerPoint presentation? Or the cake your six-year-old baked? Doomsday or not, a new year provides the perfect opportunity to reconnect with the family and create lasting memories. Take up a project that involves the whole family, the more extended the better. We suggest some fun ways to renew the bond


Freeze time: A family portrait circa 1910 (Rex Photo Studio). Courtesy The Alkazi Collection of Photography




Family heirlooms should ideally pass the test of time and are that much more valuable when they tell a story. Create a family heirloom along with the rest of your family in the coming year. Make a patchwork quilt or a sari that you might want to pass on to your daughter on her wedding day (or her graduation party). Pick designs that are contemporary and reflect the present time, with colours that you all like. Take bits of ideas from everybody for the project so it is truly a family effort.



You’ve got cousins in Bangkok and Boston, in Manchester and Mumbai and Mahabaleshwar. And while you dutifully swap New Year and Diwali greetings and mail each other wedding invitations, the extended family gets even more extended as you mix up who married who and who just had a boy.

Make it a family project to trace all the branches spread out over the globe. There are plenty of websites (such as Genealogy.com) that help build family trees. A more collaborative way of going about it is having your own website or a Facebook page to post photos, videos, make family plans and generally reconnect. Link it to the family tree and perhaps you’ll even find the uncle who had vanished in Myanmar after World War II.



Spectacle: A fibreglass statue of Kempe Gowda at the Kempe Gowda Memorial Museum in Bangalore. Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint

If you’re in Mumbai, make a monthly trip, family in tow, to art spots such as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, the recently renovated Dr Bhau Daji Lad and the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA). In Delhi, you have the National Museum and the larger NGMA; in Kolkata, visit the Indian Museum, India’s largest museum and the ninth oldest in the world.



You sacrificed your dream of being a rock star at the altar of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) admission. But now that you are finally the master (or mistress) of your own fate, why not have that band you always meant to set up? And before you object that this would eat into family time, we suggest you begin scouting for band-mates within the family—that uncle who could play a mean riff, or the nephew who drives his mother nuts with his drum practice. Get them together for jam sessions. Offer to play at your next office party. If nothing, you can definitely wriggle centre stage at the next wedding in the family. Or better still, compose your own soundtrack for a YouTube release. There are countless audio-editing software available online, free as well as paid, such as FL Studio, Cool Edit Pro, Sound Forge, etc.