Thursday, December 26, 2013

Its Winter!

I have always been one to dislike Winters... and this so this year I decided to list down the good things about winter... so here it is... yet another bulleted post :p


  1. Jackets and Coats - I am this big fan of jackets and coats. Even in a mild winter in Mumbai, I used to wear light weight jackets! I feel that a jacket, blazer or coat ups the ante on an outfit. The smartness quotient shoots thru the roof! 
    Anks in Jackets
    Varied Jacket Looks
  2. Gajar Ka Halwa, Makki Ki Roti and Sarson Ka Saag - Winter is a foodie's delight really. With yummy winter special dishes that are a pleasure to cook and eat! 
    Gajar Ka Halwa
    Source: http://cookingwithsapana.wordpress.com/
  3. Deep Lip Colours - For someone who sports light lip colours all the time, the winter makes a refreshing change to try deep berries and plums :) 
    Anks in Plum Lipcolour
    Deep Plum lip colour
  4. Holidays - Well Winter means holidays. Doesn't it? Christmas cheer and family time... invariably a vacation ;) 
    Christmas Fun
    Goofy Christmas Fun :)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Remote Control

A writing prompt app gave me this prompt and here is what I came up with...



A remote control that controlled the entire household! When Maya heard about this remote, she scoffed. Why would I need such a device? The stranger on the road had just thrust it into her hand and walked away smiling.

And then her day turned downhill. After she got home from work, she just wanted peace. But Misha's homework had to be looked at and Mayur had a test the next day. The mother in law needed to be taken for a dental checkup and her maid had not turned up.

At this time, that remote control seemed like a great friend. she would just freeze everything and sit back. She could sleep, read, listen to her favourite classical music or catch up with a friend. She had just reached into her bag to get the device out when Misha walked into the room. She had completed her homework without any help. This was the first time ever and she was ecstatic. She had a big grin on her face. The mother in law heard and hugged Misha.  She got a box of laddoos out of the kitchen and handed one to everyone. Mayur fell into the role of the older brother and playfully teased Misha. And Misha teased him back.They were both laughing while their grandmother looked on indulgently.

Maya realised that the tension she had been feeling had evaporatedand was replaced by a warm happy feeling. She had forgotten all about the remote. If she had frozen them all, she would have missed out on such awesome happy family time. She breathed a sigh of relief that she had not used it.

"I was right. I don't need it", was Maya's thought before she woke up.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Real Women Have Faults

This one line, Real women have faults popped into my head when I finished reading this article where a mother dressed her little girl as iconic women.

The last line in this article says
"Set aside the Barbie dolls and the Disney Princesses for just a moment and let's show our girls the real women they can be"

I read this line and I was like yes, we should all follow this. And then I looked at the pic of Coco Chanel with a cigarette on her lips.
Coco Chanel
Source: http://www.upworthy.com/
The next thought in my head was that real women have faults.  They are not and can never be the embodiment of perfection that a barbie has come to become. And that in my mind is the only reason we don't appreciate real women as much as we should. They have faults.

Can we just forget the faults and concentrate on the great things about the women in our lives instead???

Oh and as a side note, here is a really interesting article on Barbie and real life proportions. Do read it!
Real Life Vs Barbie
Source: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk

Monday, October 14, 2013

Why we listen to radio

So this morning I heard a catchy song on my wall to work.  When I reached office, I was still humming that tune. my Neighbour heard it and he commented about it. He asked me which radio Station I had been listening to. And then a few of us got into a discussion about the popular radiostations and the radio jockeys on air.
"You know what's funny", he asked."That we have so much of techndogy at our disposal now and we still listen to radio.Our parents used to listen to radio."
And I told him it is very easy to listen to the radio because we dont have to make any decisions.  Just turn it on and the songs play for you. How true is that?
And how often in our lives are we willing to let others make decisions for us? If we do that, do we have the right to crib about having a mediocre life?  Are we listening to songs others pick out for us?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Trek, Waterfall Rappelling and River Water Bathing

This is what I did yesterday.  l had gone on a trip organised from work. The day started really early and after a three hour drive away from the city we reached the base village. This was a popular trail and the base village has lots of homes which offer food, clean sanitation and resting options to trekkers. We were in one such home. I loved the poha and upma they served.
The trek was an hour long affair and I surprised myself by being one of the first five to complete it. Sure I was panting and I did start to cramp my foot but that did not stop me. For someone who absolutely hated treks in school and used every possible excuse to avoid it, this was a big thing. What also surprised me was the fact that I actually enjoyed it :)
Trek done, next came the reason I signed up for this trip. The waterfall rappelling. See the rock below? That is where we rappelled! After about have the way, the rock surface disappears and we have a free fall. Add to that a gushing waterfall and it is a pure bliss! 
Waterfall Rappelling
This is the rock surface we rappelled on
We also saw an ancient 2500 year old cave! The sad part was that there was novisible effort from the authorities to promote it. It was a small cave but it has another waterfall that covers its mouth in the rains. And this second waterfall would put a jaccuzi to shame. We spent a good hour there playing in the water. By this time we were famished and headed back to the base where hot homemade chicken waited for us. The food was as good as the morning. Since we were the first group to come back, we had about two hours to kill at the base. 
There was a river running through the village, it was early evening, the clouds ensured there was no sun and a gentle breeze was blowing. Well what can I say, we sat in the middle of the river on rocks. It was such fun to sit there and have the water flow around us. An excellent end to the day that refreshed us for the ride ahead. 
On this trek, I spoke to a colleague who is an avid trekker. She was one of the organisers and said that her group was scheduled to go for another trek the next day. Today when I am nursing a sore back, she is out climbing another hill! We met her friend who has been trekking since he was nine. He leads the treks for their group and is actually a doctor by profession.
Talking to them made me realise that we spend our days so engrossed Iin the everyday chores. So few of us actually do things that make us happy regularly. Be it reading a book or learning to dance. Be it playing a sport or gardening. There are people around us who follow their hobbies and passions and yet are successful at work. Such a balance maybe tough to strike but is truly the way to live fully. No?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Don't Cheat... On Your Diet

So I am still on the Wheat Belly Diet. I had to stop it for sometime and gained weight as I stopped it :( Last two months I have been quite rigorous and am losing inches more than kilos. However, being the foodie that I am, I do give in to temptation more often than I would like to. So yesterday, I gave into temptation again and had a pizza.
Pizza
Pizza
Sad part is, I did not enjoy it as much as I usually do. I felt guilty throughout. And then from evening onward, I experienced severe stomach ache. The ache continued till this morning too. And then while thinking about the reasons I figured it was probably because my stomach is not used to eating so much wheat these days. Throughout the day, I felt uncomfortable. While I am happy that my body is rejecting wheat and will breakdown the deposited fat to gain energy, I am unhappy with my lack of control.

So from today, I am willing myself to exercise better control and eat the high protein stuff and chuck carbs more. At the end of the day, it is all about the control... Isn't it?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Happy B'day Suma!

There are friends and then there are soul sisters... Suma is definitely one of mine...!

The nicest happiest blogger on the beauty blogging scene, I don't know a single person who does not love her. She is intelligent, super talented and strong willed. There is so much I admire about her that if I start listing it down, I'll fill volumes... So I will just tell her this..

Suma, you are one inspiring person. An example of how you can be successful and humble at the same time. As a friend, you are a great listener and give sound recommendations. You don't impose your friendship and have always been there when I needed you. From the first time we met, you went from beauty blogger to good friend within minutes. I look forward to your visits all the time :) I hope I have been half as good to you as you have been to me...

Happy Birthday Suma
Wishing you a very very happy birthday and hope that you have a smashing year ahead....

Monday, September 16, 2013

Stealing a Cup of Coffee

Before you guys think that I go and think of me as a kleptomaniac, I must clarify that its not so much the cup, but the time to enjoy a cup that needs to be stolen. Omigosh! Long sentence na? Did that make sense? No? Let me elaborate...

Our days are hectic. We live in a fast paced world where the 24 hours we have in a day seem grossly insufficient to do all that we desire. On such days when I wish for a break, I go steal a cup of coffee. The heady aroma relaxes me and the caffeine wakes me up. These 5 minute breaks on a hectic work day are really good for me. I am happy to stand up and walk to the coffee machine. Any excuse to stretch your legs is good. No? Typically, I'd meet a few people on the way, smile or chat up a bit. This helps divert my attention and generally gather user feedback, understand whats going on with them etc... coffee machine grapevine is the best!


On the relatively easier days, I love to linger over my cuppa... reading a few articles online, checking out forums on the web and general catching up with my online activity :) Whatever I do, stealing a cup of coffee is a high point in my day...

what's yours?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Is it the beginning of the end?

So the verdict came. The much awaited verdict came yesterday. All of the nation was rooting for those 4 to be hanged and the courts did not disappoint. With all the jubilation on social media declaring that this is the beginning of the end, I was unsure. Nirbhaya's was a case that carried the country's sentiment with it. If the verdict was any less than the death sentence, the media and public backlash on the judicial system would have been immense. Without going into the technicalities of the case, I never once had a doubt that the verdict would be any less than this. What remains to be seen is how long the proceedings take in the higher courts and how much time it actually takes for the guys to be executed...



But at the end of it, this is only one case. There are thousands and thousands of other victims who don't have the media and public support that this case had. What does the verdict mean for them? It gives them hope... immense hope that they receive justice in the same way. As for the people who think they can do whatever they want and get away with it, I just hope it will be a deterrent and prevent the crime from happening. Because even if the wrongdoers are brought to justice, the life of an innocent is tainted forever. And even a death penalty cannot pay the price of a damaged life....

Friday, September 13, 2013

Something Better Around The Corner

They say that when you want something and it does not happen, something better is around the corner. In hindsight, when you connect the dots, you can see the pattern clearly. Each event influences your path of life in such a way that it makes slight alterations!

Till the time that better thing turns the corner, you sit twiddling your thumbs... sigh!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Invisible People!

My boss (lets just call him B) was in the city last week. He happens to stay very close to my place when he visits and so the route we take to work is the same. One day, after a long round of meetings, he found no cab free (and willing) to take him home. He was hassled for a bit and then one auto rickshaw driver, who had refused him and was watching for the last 20 minutes asked him to sit. His condition was that he would not take him from the main road but from lesser busy side roads. B agreed.

On the way, they got chatting. And a very interesting conversation it turned out for B. For me, it scared me out of my wits! While talking about crowded and alternate routes, the auto driver mentioned about a 'Madam' who comes on this route everyday and she always prefers the alternate. 'She stays in building X, has a 3-4 year old daughter who goes to playschool. I have seen her many times. Have even dropped her a few times." Needless to say, B was intrigued. He probed more. Turns out, the driver described 'Madam' pretty accurately and even mentioned the location of the play school!

Image Source: http://www.amazingindia.tv

Next morning, as B recounted the incident to me, my expressions went from empathy about the transport to amusement about the driver's boasting of routes to downright horror about his knowledge about 'Madam'. Those of you who haven't guessed, I am pretty sure that he was talking about me. Incidentally, so is B. I mentioned this to hubby and he said, "Yea, sounds like you. All the auto wallahs here know you". I thought he was jesting. And then he mentioned that when I was travelling for work, he took an auto one day and dropped baby to school. The auto driver asked him about me!!! He recognised baby and said, he has dropped us before. Imagine my shock!

I never realised that there are so many people around us who are watching us. I think of them as invisible people. But apparently, I am not as invisible as I would like. This information bothered me a lot. But, I am at a loss to decide what to do. My alertness may have gone up a few notches but am not sure if I am worrying just without a reason or not.

Questions... Questions....

Image Source: http://assets.kingletas.com

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Isn't It Amazing...

...that a few lines of skype chat with your best friend can do wonders for your soul? Much more than any self help book or motivational speech!


Thank you for speaking to me...!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Pure Bliss!!

Those who know me well, know that I am a complete water baby... I love to be in the water. In fact, the sight of a water body calms me... and then its no surprise that I enjoy swimming. I am not the best swimmer around, but I can betcha I enjoy it more than anyone else in the pool. Even the kids who are just splashing each other with water.

I swam after a gap of a few weeks today. A real hard, limb aching swim and I feel I am in heaven. I am so charged up and full of energy after those laps that I finally understand what fitness freaks mean! Every time my arm ached or my foot began to cramp, i'd fix my eyes to the end of the pool and simply concentrate on reaching there. And i'd do it! It was sooo great. Hubby said I had a grin of unadulterated happiness on my face throughout! I know, I replied. It was Pure Bliss!

A sample grin during swimming!

Monday, September 02, 2013

Random Ramblings...

Last couple of days have been very very hectic. There was lots of action at work, lots of things at the home front and some emotional moments to deal with. Throw PMS and a dental surgery into this mix and you have one hot mess - me!

As I sit back and look at the moments gone by, I realise that a lot of them were spent in a limbo. And yet there were those exhilarating moments of joy, small victories to be celebrated and emotions worth keeping close to my heart. Good to know that I am living these moments and not just going thru them.

And right now, life is good. I met up with my blog buddies again and though this one was shorter by comparison, time just flew! When you connect with like minded people, friendships become so easy... and if it were not for the internet, I would not have found some of those people...

I also saw Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Chennai Express last week. Loved both of them. Different genres but entertainers complete. Kudos to Farhan Akhtar for his work in BMB. He has to walk away with all the awards this year...! And I hope my dear SRK gives us another My Name is Khan-esque performance soon. His monkey act is getting repetitive now and not really age appropriate.

I haven't been reading a lot these days. I blame it on my schedule. I miss it so much. Itching to pick up the Mughal series by Alex Rutherford. And more than that, I miss writing. I am working on a new idea for a blog series and hopefully that will see the light of the day soon!

Till then, be happy :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Of Feel Good Factors!

I write this post snatching a minute or two from conference calls and the extra 30 mins that suddenly fell in my lap due to a cancelled meeting :)

Today is one of those days where the work pile is sky high and yet I would love to pause and rest. But since that is not possible, I try the second best thing. I dress up! On days when I want a feel good factor, I'd wear my fav clothes, put on extra makeup and preen. On the other days, I wear a bright lipstick :)

Picture this, I am in sweats, my hair is on top of my head in a messy bun and my lips are a bright cheery red. While I have lost my fear of red now, thanks to my wonderful beauty blogger buddies.. i still have the old habit of wearing it around the house when alone. Instant pick me up for me.

Another feel good factor is music. For the longest time, I only listened to old hindi songs. Now, I listen to the new ones all the time. I am also mildly obsessed with relaxation music and listen to a lot of instrumental stuff. Brian Silas is my all time favourite.

Writing this post, I realised that while these pick me ups work, the effect is not long lasting. What ultimately pulls you out of the dumps is your own will to get out of it. Accepting the cause of misery and doing everything you can to get out of it is the only thing that will ultimately help. Even if it takes longer than you like, you have to keep trying....

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Men & Gentlemen

My office has two strings of cubicles separated by a narrow walkway. I call it narrow because it allows only one person to walk at a single time. So if there are two people walking in opposite directions, one will have to step aside to let them pass. I always realise that this aisle brings out the Gentleman in people.

The men would invariably step aside for the women to pass. On several occasions, when I have stepped aside for a male colleague to go first, they have insisted that I go first. Once, one of them even said, "Oh no. Not at all. You first". I thought such old world mannerism were a passe today. Sometimes, I find it charming :) What about you? But that said, if men were to revert to standing everytime a woman entered the room or opening doors and holding them all the time, I'd find it irritating. Talk about contrasts eh!

And then there are those who in their tearing hurry, don't even bother to thank the person who waited or just smile to acknowledge. "There have been times when I hold the door open for myself and a guy jumps in", said a colleague. These are definitely the guys. I doubt they will ever be equated to the status of Gentlemen.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Love at first sight!

So I have been told by those in love, "You just have to find the right one. Once you  do, there is no looking back...." I think I just found mine today. Right now, I am high on the first rush of love....

The best part is that I wasn't even looking. I just found it and it was Love At First Sight! With it, my face brightened, my teeth looked whiter and it stayed through coffee, cookie, loads of talking a few kisses to the baby... What am I talking  about? The perfect red lip. I found mine today. It was in the Kryolan store, lip colour numbered L193. So beautiful, so pretty, so perfect... I am sure am going to dream about it!!

Sadly, it was out of stock... but I know that I will pursue it now, and have it one day... the red lip affair, is about to begin!

Photo credit: styleblazer.com

Just get off your lazy ass!

Note to self really.... but putting it in writing just reinforces the message...

There are tonnes of things I wanna do... just have to take that first step!

Monday, June 17, 2013

What makes you happy

On a busy work day, when your best friend asks you this... you get thinking... and sometimes, you just have to pen down your thoughts...

I am sure I have made a similar post in the past... these days, what makes me happy is my daughter's hug, a good hair day, a dish well made, losing a bit of weight, swimming, a long conversation with a close one and not giving into temptation.

What makes you happy?


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Some Interesting Thnigs I have Done

As I grow older nay wiser, I am discovering things about myself that I did not know. I had always pegged myself as an indoor person who did not enjoy sports or outdoor activities. Sports, I still don't but I have come to realise that I am not averse to outdoor activities especially those involving a rush of adrenaline!

I vividly remember my first para sailing experience. It was in mauritius and I could see lovely green water and the vegetation underneath. There were random patterns in the water that looked amazing. The cool wind whipped at my hair and I held out my hands to fly. I closed my eyes and felt like I was a bird :) I recently para sailed again and it was fun...

Parasailing
Me Parasailing

I am sure we have all trekked at school. I used to hate hate hate trekking and would do whatever it took to avoid this activity. So in october last year, I was so not looking forward to early morning treks on my visits to Rishikesh. The first one turned out to be a low sloping village trail that I turned into a photowalk!

Tree
Tree Trunk on the Trail

The second trek was a unique one where half the group was blindfolded and the other half was gagged. I climbed a hill with my eyes closed, a feat I am sure I could not have done with open eyes!! Once we descended, we were allowed to look back at the trail and I gasped! If I had to do that with all my senses intact, I would have been panting in the first 5 minutes :) Imagine what a simple shift in focus can do. I wasn't out of breath once in the entire 40 mins.

Another thing I loved during the Rishikesh visits was rafting. This was my first rafting experience and being a complete water baby, I was very very excited about it! And boy what a good time I had. I sat on the front of the raft and the waves hitting you when the raft flies over a rapid is an unmatched adrenalin rush. This is something I want to do again and again :) Oh and I jumped from the raft into the freezing Ganga both times. That was my holy dip!

White Water Rafting
Rafting trip coming to an end
And then there was rappelling. I loved the idea of being suspended by a rope and climb down a hill face. Who knew that I'd enjoy it so much? The ride down was swift and ended a little too soon! 

Rappelling
Me Rappelling

This post was about the interesting things... next time I will tell you the crazy things I did :)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Some Habits are hard to break

So am back to working on a bed... with an ice cream float in one hand and the phone in another!

Some habits are just impossible to break!!!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

You Look Nothing Like Your Pictures!!

Last week, I was travelling. Went to my corporate office and met a lot of people. Some of those I have been speaking to for almost a year now for work but never got to meet. Well, we are in the telecommunications business after all. This is expected :)

Anyway, thing is they had all seen my pic on the company messenger and on chatter. At least 5 of them did not recognise me till I introduced myself. Each one of them told me that I looked nothing like my pictures. Well, thats the truth of my life. No two pictures of me look alike. In flesh and blood, I look like someone else altogether! Does it happen to any of you as well?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

View from my window

This morning as I pulled back the blinds and welcomed sunrays into my home, I realised that all the windows in my home offer a different view. Thanks to the brilliant layout of the architects who designed this complex, the houses have a 3 side opening! So I went to each window and tried to recollect what the view from this particular window was. Not the generic stuff, mind you. The specifics like what building, garden can be seen. The placement of big trees. The details, in short. And I am so not pleased to say that I could recollect less than half the details. And to think that I do this every morning!

The point I am trying to make is that there are so many things in our lives that can be a substitute of this view. A great friend, our job, parents... that we ignore because they are there. If only we paid attention to them more often, we wouldn't forget what they were like. Right?

So last night I couldn't sleep. One of my bestest friends was online and we chatted for sometime. I think we talked about everything under the sun and I slept soundly after that. Somethings only a few special ppl can do... put you at ease without even trying to! Thank you :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What makes me happy?

So life took over again and my blog was neglected... I have been travelling a lot for the past few weeks (nothing interesting or exotic though) and been extremely exhausted!

So I was reading this post by a blogger colleague of mine and she has a series called what makes me happy on her blog. This is a regular feature for her and it got me thinking... what made me happy back in time needn't work that way anymore. My sources of joy today may not be relevant tomo! And if we did not have this constant change, our lives would be so so boring. So shamelessly lifting her idea I want to write down what makes me happy now. I don't think it'd be a regular feature like hers but will try and write down when I can...when the list alters :)

  1. My Baby: A simple hug from her or  cute smile thrown my way is enough to make my heart melt. Her smart alec retorts, her mimicing everything around and joyful laughter are things that make my day. So definitely top of my list :)
  2. A good book: Reading a good book makes me happy. Reading mind you. When it ends, I feel sad... yeah, am weird that way!
  3. Swimming: Even though I am not a regular, swimming or just being near water gives me such a high! It is almost as if the water pulls all tension out of my body! It is not only relaxing, but a source of enjoyment for me.
  4. Awards: Awards. In the plural. Yes, I am greedy. Awards and recognition at work. Who doesn't like that, eh?
  5. Lipstick: Now this list couldn't be complete without a mention of vanity. Could it? I love my lipsticks to the core. And putting one on definitely makes me happy :D
Happy Me!


What makes you happy?

And finally, since I am inspired by another blogger, it is only fair to give her credit. No? Check her post out here.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Challa Ki Labda Phire?

This song has been stuck on my head for days now! I think ever since I crossed over to the thirties, I have not identified with any other song in this manner.


Even with the tongue twisting 'thet' Punjabi lyrics, I was able to understand the essence of the song. Quite a feat that, given I know only urban punjabi! The opening line itself sets the tone. Calling the protagonist challa (silly) and asking what are you searching for... It speaks of a soul trying to find a purpose in life.The agony of not knowing and the feeling of being all alone in a crowd. 

I still dont know why this touched me in the way that it did. Mid life crisis perhaps? I should just dye my hair red and get a tattoo :)

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Reverse Role Play

Here is an occurance that is quite common in our home

Kid on Phone
My kid on the phone
During Day:

Me: Baby, mere boss ka phone hai... shor nahi machana.
Baby: Ok Mamma, main chup rahungi....

During Evening:

Baby (With hand on the year): Mumma, mere boss ka phone hai. Aap shor nahi machana!



Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Learning From Life

I have realised one thing that I need to do. And that is documenting my learning from life's incidents and revisit them again and again. So often, we go thru a situation that teaches us something. Once it is over, the daily grind settles dust over it and it fades from memory. When I try to think back at such situations, I have to try very hard sometimes :) Does it happen to you as well? So you have to try hard to be able to recollect things gone by?

And then when I do recollect things, I recall how I felt in that situation a lot more than what happened. Needless to say, my emotions are better embedded in the brain. Come to think of it, that is the reason that different people recall the same situation differently. As years go by, the versions could be so different that they might not be talking of the same incident!

I digress. The point here is that I want to keep a journal of my learning. So that I can read it from time to time and pretend to be wise!

Monday, February 04, 2013

Sartorial Choices of Women in Kolkata

The women of Kolkata baffle me with their sartorial choices! I am talking about the average middle class woman who you encounter on the streets, in a restaurant or mall, or even the local market.

On one hand you have these gorgeous cotton or silk sarees, paired with statement necklaces or big red bindis or both. No matter what shape, size or age, the woman sporting this look is always stylish and chic. If I were to say that the women of Kolkata own this look, I would not be off the mark.

Konkona at Midnights Childeren Premiere
Source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com


On the other hand, I have found sloppy salwar kameezes with ill fitting tops ans salwars that are a few inches too short. I have seen pretty dresses and trendy tops in summer and great coats and boots in winter. Sadly, I have also seen mismatched kurti and duppataas paired with printed churidars. I have noticed rainbow coloured socks with dainty sandals.

I am all for fusion wear that is interesting, but the most important thing is that the pieces have to go together! There is a fascination that women have with sweatshirts here. I have found them in all colours ranging from grey and navy to fuchsia and acid green! And the best part is that these sweat shirts, complete with a hood are paired with salwar kameezes. Yup, a full blown, traditional salwar kameez and duppatta set, often embellished with prints, embroidery or sequins. To top it all, the accessories are bangles and dangling earrings. The hoodies are just so jarring with the whole get-up! I just wish they'd pair it with a cute cardigan or a longish coat. And when you want to wear that hoodie, pair it with pants please... I am no fashionista but these are basic things.


Pink Hoodie
Source: http://www.snapdeal.com

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Musically Enriched

Even before I came to Kolkata I knew that music was a big part of the city's culture. I am just surprised at the extent of it! Its been more than a year now and not a day has gone by when I have not heard strains of music floating in thru my window.

Music
Source: http://bestmobilepr.com

At times, it is the filmy music blaring out of loudspeakers which is the city's unique way to celebrate any festival. Colonies rent large sound systems with amplifiers and speakers and play loud music at full blast! I have heard Bengali, Hindi and Bhojpuri songs, sometimes all together!

Early in the morning or in the quietness of the night, I can catch faint strains of the sitar and a lady doing riyaaz. I once read an entire novel to this sound that continued till the wee hours of the morning.

Today, the drummer is at it again. I have never really been fond of western music but i must say that there is something mesmerising about listening to a live instrument playing. Even though I cannot see the player, the passion floats thru the music.

These little unexpected bits of music provide an indescribable joy to me. I don't know why, they fill my heart with happiness. Whenever I go back from this city, this is one thing I am going to miss!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Thank you Tanveer for the Wheat Belly Diet

This post is an ode to the gorgeous Tanveer from Addicted to Blush. Hers was one of the first Indian Beauty Blogs I discovered back in 2010. I remember reading all of her posts over a lonely weekend! She is one of the more sensible beauty bloggers who does not partake in the rat race. And that's what makes her blog a joy to read.

ATB BB
source: http://addictedtoblush.blogspot.in

Recently, she posted about her weight loss journey is the ATB BB series. After an extensive research, she embarked upon a lifestyle change that has led her to lose a whooping 15 kilos in just 4 months! You read that right people, 4 months. In the ATB BB series, she talks about her research, the findings, the reasons for adopting a lifestyle and a practical guide to adopting it. When I read up based on ther recommendations, the Wheat Belly Diet made a lot of sense to me. Even if you aren't looking to lose weight, this series is worth a read for the health benefits alone.

But the reason I am doing this post is to thank her. I have been looking to make lifestyle changes and adopt a better diet for ages. I kept slipping in an out of things. Tanveer's story has inspired me so much  and given me a push in the right direction. The week she started her BB series, I had been trying the GM diet. I gave up after 2 days because I just could not continue. I wasn't exactly happy about my lack of control. And then I read about her transformation. over the weeks, as she revealed her story, I realised I could do it as well. I am sure her story has inspired a lot of others too. The best part is the diet changes fit into our busy lifestyle. I for one, cannot spend 2 hours everyday sweating in a gym or eat a small meal every 2 hours or count calories. With a job, a kid and a home to take care of, I often struggle to find time for myself. These may seem like poor excuses to some, but making a huge change requires a lot of effort. And so, I have decided to start small. I have set a goal to stop my wheat intake altogether and exercise for 30 mins everyday. Baby steps. I hope I continue on this. Wish me luck!




Monday, January 28, 2013

Positive Energy

Its a brand new week and a fresh start. Hoping for all things to go really well this week!

Am starting this week on a really positive note and I know that everything I want done will happen. Sending a burst of positive energy your way so that your week is great too :) Hoping that the light of these diyas fill up  your days as well

Diya
Diyas to fill light in your life
Good morning people :)


Monday, January 14, 2013

The Language of Love

My Dhobi (Ironman! Well, blame it on the Avengers movie I saw this weekend. Dhobi is the guy who irons clothes) was a young guy in his twenties. Since he is from Bihar, he went home right after Diwali and his father has been working in his place ever since. Now there is one thing common in both of them. They greeted my daughter with a lot of affection. The son would always wish her Good Morning and ask her how she did. His father calls her Memni (a derivative of the respectful Mem Sahib which he uses to address all the ladies) and always asks her if she has eaten her breakfast.

My daughter is fond of making payments. Whenever I have to hand over money to anyone, be it a shopkeeper, the household help or anyone in the market, she takes it from my hands and gives them. Most people just smile and take it. This elderly gentleman folds both his hands as if he is receiving prasad and says, "Jai Shree Ram" after he has taken it. He then bows down to her in a Namaste and leaves. I never had the heart to tell him she is a kid and you shouldn't really be doing this.

This is how he takes the money from her
Source: Photobucket.com


Today, she was getting ready for school when he visited. He asked for her. When I told him that he was inside, his face fell a little. I then went inside to fetch the clothes. My daughter insisted that she will hand them over. Even when I was paying him, she took the money from my hands on her own and gave it to him. Almost as if she had sensed his disappointment on not receiving the money from her. When he took it, he said "Aap to Bhagwaan Hain" (You are equivalent to a God). The little one just giggled away.

In this day and age while I fear for my little one's safety and want to limit her interaction with others outside of home, I realise that we miss out on such moments. A little child knows only love and is not choosy about who she gives it to. It feels natural for her to receive affection from others and she is never suspicious of the attentions she gets from others. Heck, she does not even understand the concept of others now. If only our world was like this. If all of us were able to communicate with the purity and innocence of a child, we would be in such a happier place. Our lives would be free of so much stress and clutter and we would enjoy every moment of it. I just wish we could all speak The Language of Love.

Source: wwwlove21.blogspot.com


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Alternate Careers

Ever since the year began, I have been thinking about alternate careers. I am wondering what life would have been had I actually followed one of my crazed ideas and steered away from the "safe" engineering option. I have imagined various scenarios and here are a few that seem worth recounting...

Woman Writer

Writer
Now this seems like the most logical one. Doesn't it? I have advocated my love for writing often and I know that the biggest obstacle in my way is my own laziness. The dream is very much alive and I am hoping and praying with all my heart that I fulfill it




Source: inmagine.com
Radio Jockey
I have been told on various occasions that I have a nice voice. Though I can't carry a tune to save my life, I can talk. And I do love music... In my teens, I lived on FM radio. I totally fantasised about having a radio show of my own. it would be about the various moods that songs can bring about. One day I'd play upbeat, dance worthy numbers. The second day, I'd do romantic ones. Then a couple of sad ones and then the inspirational ones. And I'd weave a story around them... see, I have a format ready!!!




Me at Darjeeling

Travel & Food Show Host
Blame TLC and Fox Traveller for this! I may not be the best looking chic in front of the camera, but I bet that my enthusiasm would make up for lack of visual appeal. Everytime I see a travel or food show, I imagine myself being there and experiencing it all. The idea of a food walk greatly appeals to me. I even braved 10 days of mountain roads in December to go sight seeing in Sikkim and Darjeeling. I believe that you truly live in the moments that exhilarate you. Travelling provides ample opportunities for that. Imagine making a career of it!! And food? Well, I am a crazy foodie... need I say anymore?


I think these are enough for now.... so what are your alternate careers? Have you ever fantasised about doing something else???


Friday, January 11, 2013

The art of letting go

If there is one thing that I do not understand about certain people, it is their inability to let go of things. It is so taxing to carry the burden of an unwanted thought or incident forever. Accumulating such incidents regularly does us no good really. Think of the baggage you carry and bring to all your inter personal interactions. I heard a very good story in a session recently. It went like this:

There was a monastery in the north eastern region of India. It was situated in the wilderness, away from civilization and they had very strict rules about the monks not interacting with women in manner whatsoever. Once the region faced a terrible storm and floods. The river next to the monastery was swollen and they wold soon be cut off from the outside world completely. To stock essential supplies, a senior monk and his apprentice were chosen to cross the river and go to the nearest village. 
When they reached the river, they found a young tribal woman wanting room across as well. The river was twice its normal size and flowing very fast. The smattering of boulders that served as a natural bridge across the river barely visible. The younger monk saw the girl and looked away, As was proper. The senior monk however approached the girl and asked if she needed help. She said that she had been stuck in the forest for two days due to the rain and now wanted to get to her tribe on the other side of the river. But the water terrified her. Hearing her story, the older monk offered to hold her hand and guide her across. The apprentice was aghast. He didn't say anything to his guru though and the trio began to cross. Halfway across the girl almost lost her footing. She began to tremble and cry. The young monk wished she didn't slow them down, the older tried to placate her. When the girl calmed down a bit, the older monk asked her to ride his shoulders for the rest of the way. He picked her up and perched her atop them. His disciple was beyond shock for all the rules that had been broken. He was quite out of deference to the monastery. They crossed the river in silence. Once back on firm ground, he set her down. She thanked the monk and skipped off in the direction of her home.
The young monk was in turmoil. He wanted to ask his teacher a lot of questions but did not have the right words and courage for it. After a while, the teacher himself asked what the matter was. He said, the monastery rules prevent even looking at a woman. Why then did you hold her hand? Even carried her on your back? To this, the wiser one replied, "My friend, I have left that woman a long time back. Why are you still carrying her?"

Source: tomterwilliger.com


There is so much this story teaches us:

  1. You do not know the reasons behind someone else's actions. Don't judge them
  2. Some rules can be broken if you are helping someone in dire need
  3. And finally, do not over think. Do not over analyse. Keep the good things and lessons from life in your head. Let all the unpleasant and unhappy memories go. It is not worth hanging on to them. Just let go!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Are you Intimidating Others?

Today, I talked to a lady who sounded quite intimidating on the phone. I have met her earlier twice and know that her manner of speech is not pleasant. It may even be considered rude. Having met her in amiable circumstances, I know that there was no intended rudeness. That is just her manner of talking and conducting herself. But, her actions put us on the guard. When I spoke to her today, I actually felt like a middle school girl, talking to her headmistress. The conversation got me thinking. Do I come across as rude in certain situations? I can definitely recall a recent one. Can you remember any such incidents?

Having been on the receiving end of this behaviour, I certainly hope I do not act this way. Even if I do, I remedy the situation quickly. Admit this will perplex the other party, but it will not leave them with lingering negative energies.

source: http://happilymarriedafter.org

Speaking of rudeness, who remembers Stephanie from the Full House series. The way she said "How Rude1" and upturned her nose was the cutest thing ever! I loved Full House to bits as a kid and recently found some episodes on youtube. I still love it!!! I think it deserves its own post...

How has the first week of the new year been for you peeps? Mine was great. I won an online contest and ate like a glutton on my birthday... happy days!!




Saturday, January 05, 2013

What makeup means to me

It started out with a liner black, a long long time back.
When I was just a teenager, a fledgling but all too eager.
This bottle is all I need, I said.
It lines my eyes and even adorns my forehead.

When I was a twenty something, a working girl with air beneath her wing.
There was paint on my nail’s tips and a bit of colour on my lips.
I ventured out into the corporate world, 
My views were ready to be heard.

Soon I was a blushing bride, my prince standing by my side.
The vanity was bursting at its seams, with tubes and pots and bottles and creams.
I played with shadows, bronzers and bases,
And ended up with some funny faces.

It was then I realized that, it is a science and also an art.
The science and art of cosmetics, is actually a bunch of magic tricks.
I learnt to contour, I learnt to highlight,
I began to appreciate makeup in all its might.

I used more colour, made my eyes pop. I knew I made his heart hop.
Words took on meanings newish, smokey eyes, nude lips and cheeks dewish.
I looked great I knew,
There wasn’t a day I felt in the blue.

And then I turned mother from wife, and upside down went my life.
My body became something else, I began to lose my sense of self.
I knew to find the confidence that there ‘aint, 
I needed some serious warpaint.

When my self pride began to breakup, what came to my rescue was makeup.
The foundations and concealers did their magic then,
Those bottles became my best friends.

To me different things makeup has meant, as my life turned and bent.
I love how it can enhance a smile, am glad it hides a mark visible from a mile.
It brings out the artist in me,
Putting out a better face for the world to see.

It doesn’t make me what I am not, it helps achieve perfection that is so often sought.
The dressing table is my favourite place, I love it when I paint my face. 
It is my recreation,
Every face a new creation.

My entry for a contest held by Suma at ISLM


Friday, January 04, 2013

Breakfast and New Year :)

Last morning I asked my daughter what she wanted for breakfast and gave her two options. Eggs or porridge. Now she knows what egg is, has been having it since she was little. Porridge, not so often. Even when she has it, we called it daliya, the hindi name. She immediately said porridge. I smiled to myself. She thought it was something new to try out! Hearing her selection, I smiled to myself. Another thing she taught me. Do not fear the unknown. You do not know what it will bring. It just might delight you. The way she was by the almond jaggery sweet porridge! I hope I can be like that a bit...

Guys, wish you and your loved ones a very happy new year... hope 2013 brings us stability, safety and prosperity...