Saturday, December 31

Top 10 lessons of 2016

Three things you cannot recover in life the WORD after it´s said, the MOMENT after it´s missed and the TIME after it´s gone. 

Today is the last day of 2016. Its time to bid adieu gracefully to the year gone by. Every year comes with its own lessons, giving us all the learnings we require to tackle the oncoming year. 

Here are the top 10 lessons I have learnt in 2016

1. Life is to be savoured each and every single day.

2. People should never be taken for granted.

3. There is a solution to every problem and you hold the key to get to it.

4. Charity begins at home, beginning with being kind and good to yourself, then to family and friends and finally, to the outside world. 

5. Multiply your talents.

6. Love is ALL we have. Nurture and treasure it. 

7. God is real. You only have to believe and watch the magic unfurl. 

8. Nothing is more important than creating happiness for yourself and people around 

9. Be like the light and salt of the earth. Never be selfish, cruel, untrustworthy, manipulative and tasteless like the rest of the world. 

10. Be grateful, smile and know that tomorrow is another brand new day! For today, a brand new year!

A very Happy 2017 to you! 

Sunday, December 4

An advice I would give to my younger self

One of my earlier posts when I started this blog was titled 'Angles or Curves'. I was in my early twenties then and clearly pondering about this whole notion of beauty. 

An advice I would give my twenty year old self is 'Don’t sweat the small stuff including Beauty.' 

Nearly ten years, marriage and motherhood later, I have come to a wholly different perception of Beauty.

I remember during my earliest days as a freelance writer and my very first project was with this international fashion magazine. In one of my conversations with the client, he told me how he was tired of the standard 'cookie-cutter´ fashion models invading the international fashion ramp walks and print magazine ads. This client was ruing about the racism that exists within the parameters of beauty in the international fashion industry. He longed to see more diversity in the forefront of fashion - tall women, short women, white women, black women, brown women, yellow women, thin women, fat women, young women, mature women, old women,,etc. 

Come to think about it, it is indeed pretty ironic. While Fashion per se' is self-proclaimed and marketed as an infinitely creative and liberating process that, which is designed to break down all social norms and conventions, it was terrifying narrow in its perspective and binding when it came to definition of Beauty. Pre-puberty adolescent girls (the cream being the Caucasian, blonde and blue-eyed ones) who are under-nourished, stripped and intellectually dimmed to the point of looking blank-less and soulless like Zombies on the ramp walks, are continuously being promoted and marketed as the highest hallmarks of Beauty. 

Like the client, my perception of Beauty was radically changing over the years as well. I have realized the futility of trying to hold onto the notion of Beauty,  something that is transient, chameleon in property and simply fated to fade out and lose its luster slowly but surely over time.  

Don’t get me wrong, I still like to dress up and look good. And that in itself is a creative process of self expression. But I have realized that Beauty is honestly something you don’t have to fret or even feel insecure about. 

And this realization dawned upon me when after motherhood and post a few kilograms gained, I was still getting my fair share of attention, both male and female. In fact, I am being loved, admired and accepted whole-heartedly, a way lot more now than in my twenties, when I looked an ideal version of myself physically. So, what exactly changed!

In two words, My perspective! 

No longer is my identity or self worth attached to the external, peripheral things, such as a job title/career, bank balance/wealth, family lineage, a certain physical standard of Beauty etc. 

In my thirties, I have found a liberating sense of confidence and real pleasure of being in my own skin, being authentic and true to yourself. Accepting all my flaws…whatever they may be. And boy, I sure have loads of them. Some which are an ongoing 'work-in-progress'  and the others don’t matter to me anymore. And if those flaws of mine bother others, it honestly is their prerogative and none of my business. 

I love my short height.

I love my Mommy body with all the stretch marks, cellulite and thunder thighs.

I love my stubby nose.

I love my dusky skin and husky voice with a slight stutter.

I love my straight, silky hair. 

I love my eyes and lips. 

I love my hips that most certainly don’t lie. 

I love my big bubble butt and I certainly cannot lie anymore about it. 

I love my new found confidence.

I love my adventurous spirit.

I love my streak of curiosity to get to the bottom of things and get the whole cat out of the bag.

I love putting on makeup not to hide my flaws but to celebrate my all. 

I love my femininity.

I love the reader, interpreter and writer in me.

I love the daughter, mother, wife, sister, daughter in law and friend in me. 

I love the teacher in me. 

I love the natural conversationalist and 'people's person' in me.

I love the kind old soul in me. 

I love the ´champion of underdogs´ avatar of me. 

I love the ´ready to take on the world´ challenger in me. 

I love the cook in me. 

I love the artist in me.

I love the flirt in me.

I love the clown in me. 

I love the wanderlust in me

I love the 'dance like no one's watching me' me. 

I love the cry baby in me.

I love the girl and woman in me.

I love the devil in me. 

I love the angel in me. 

I love the liberation of letting go... of matching up and tying up with my self worth to worldly standards of the acceptable….including Beauty.

Beauty is thankfully, not about angles or curves anymore. 

Beauty is Affirmation.  


´Taking joy in living is a woman´s best cosmetic´- Rosalind Russell 

Thursday, December 1

Talent croons tangerine and bluesy

Well, what do you know?

All I know is that Life's absolutely unpredictable, perfect and amazing, just the way it is! And in between, all these 'highs' and 'lows' of life and the people you jam with through during this journey, Life just has a way of sneaking around and screaming 'SURPRISE' and keeping you on your toes.

That knowledge only got reinstated in my small, wise head once again, this month! But, what the heck, Life's still a Joyride.

And in another  news, this blog's nomination just got flower-picked for the very first 'Orange Flower Awards' by Womens Web. It celebrates the efforts of women of all colors, races, shapes and sizes who are making a stir or wave in the digital space, in their own unique way. Talk about sisterhood in solidarity!

By the way, I love that name – Orange Flower. So, desi and so naari and so pretty all in the same breath! Whiff! So, yes, if you like reading my blogs, please shower some love. All you have to do is click on the link below, go to the ´Vote Now´ section and if you don´t find me, enter my name in the Search box and vote for me in all three categories – Humour, Personal Blogging & Creative Writing. Voting closes on 10 Dec. So, Hurry!

You know, one thing that struck me after my return to India this year, was how immensely talented we, Indians are! I mean, really! Especially this month, I’ve gone from meeting and attending some humorously insightful training sessions by immensely wise and talented gentlemen, met some bright and enterprising young women, students who represent the changing modern face of India and simply raw, sheer talent all around. And I am seeing more and more people breaking out of the conventional mold and pattern, taking those risks, honing their talent alongside their professional and personal commitments, inspiring others and in general, making exciting changes happen in this country. I for one, cannot tell you how refreshing it is!

Be it reading the fellow contestant’s blogs nominated for the  ‘Orange Flower Awards’ or stumbling upon this quirky sounding band name ‘Kanchan Daniel and the Beards’. OMG! You have to listen to them if you haven’t yet. I’d love to hear them live someday…

For now, relax and enjoy their song' The Great Escape' which coincidentally resonates with my ultimate retirement plan which is to escape to some long forgotten faraway place, digging my feet into the sand, sipping on some coconut juice, basking in the sun's glory and listening to the ocean waves with absolutely no care in the world.

I love all their songs so far especially the breaking the stereotypical 'good girl' image in 'Ain't no angel',  a shout-out to everyone to be their real selves in 'Superficial' and 'Quirky Perky' (Oh yeah, baby!)

Three cheers to 'Kanchan Daniel and the Beards' and the talent simmering in this country!

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