Thursday, December 27, 2012

it's that time of the year, resolution #1 [also the most important and the toughest one.]

pardon the choice of word in the picture above, yes i did have an option to use the one that had i just don't give a damn... but it didn't quite pack the same punch. so yeah, the new year resolution also come from my list of things to do not that we have survived the doomsday - not seek an approval. it will be tough, the whole not giving a damn bit. trick is baby steps. starting with i will not give a damn about what my neighbor's guests think about me. or what the grocer in my friend's neighborhood thinks about me. i did say baby steps.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

a second chance? yes, please.

via pinterest
so, the world didn't end on the 21st. phew! while i certainly wasn't one of those who believed it would, i am believer of signs. so what could be a bigger sign than this? a sign that says go live a little. a sign that says, this is your second, third, and final chance to be the person you wanted to be. i will take that sign thank you. so yeah, post 21st of december 2012, i have been onto some un-me kind of things. things that i would have forever kept on  a back burner.

few examples -
1 being brasher. i usually have a comeback, but my politeness, dumbness, lack of courage, call it whatever you may, often stops me from mouthing the smart alec rejoinders.
2 dressing out of my comfort zone. tread into a world where less is less. a world where changing the color of your jeans doesn't count as adventurous. a world with ugg boots and long dresses. and orange lips.
3 getting out of my comfort zone. i tend to hover around what's easy to do/get. enough of that. point is to get what i haven't got i ought to do what i have never done.being fitter, or being better writer - requires serious work. back-breaking work.
4 make today count. because how we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives. ain't it. willdoittomorrow is not happening, today is what i got.
5 not be shy. i am not 'shy' shy. but i am a little awkward when the group is big. i forget to hold my own.
6 don't look for approval. not doing so will be very uncharacteristic of me. so un-me that it scares me. but then that was the whole point.
#6 will take care of everything else. it is the most liberating thing ever. just the thought makes me dizzy. :D so, yeah i will take the earth surviving the doomsday as a sign. a sign to be better, have more fun and be what i always wanted to be. and i want to be fierce.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December Challenge: An attempt at living the wholesome life - one pin at a time

via pinterest

via pinterest
This December I plan to live the Pinterest life. And this is how it works - no matter how busy I get, or how lazy I am on a given day, I would still find time to do and enjoy the good things that I like. And also click a lot of pictures. Pictures of the morning tea in my yellow coffee mug, of my new favorite furniture in the morning light, of the street on my way to work, of the winter mist, of the books I read, of the nice things I buy and of all the cooking I plan to do this month. Yeah thing about cooking is, I enjoy cooking, but like they say life gets in between.
But this December I plan to do a whole lot of cooking. Once every two days, at the very least. And nothing that I have already cooked – all those exotic blog recipes – all those evenings of master chef Australia seasons 1, 2, 3 and 4 and all the Nigella Lawson sumptuousness will now have their moments in my kitchen :D. I will also read a lot. And walk a lot. because i really like to walk. So, essentially Pinterest life to me means - finding time to do what i like, each single day. Trying to be the best I can be – in everything. And taking charge of things – doing things that I want to do – no blame game nothing. And being a little happier perhaps. I will post here every three days – a chronicle of what I am doing to live the Pinterest life. One pin at a time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Investments for an awkward-proof life

Yesterday at around 12.10pm, I experienced what was perhaps one of the most awkward moments of my adult life. At 6 hours and 40 minutes, it was undoubtedly the longest. I entered the client office with my colleagues [the suits, those who meet clients and make 17 ppts a day]. Since I was given a headsup of a possible visit to the client’s place, I had made efforts to dress well. But turns out I had forgotten about my choice of footwear. I wore flip-flops. Well, flip-flops with some thick heels or something like that. In my defense, they were mostly black with just a tiny bit of red in the straps.
Before I go on, you need to about the client we were visiting. They are our biggest and also the angriest. Important things going wrong make them angry [obviously] so do lame silly harmless things [duh!].
So, the meeting was to begin at 12 pm. We were before time, and used the time to discuss our ideas, set the presentation and fill up the whiteboard with clever and meaningful red, blue and black gabble. Just before 12, someone from the client side informed us of a possible 20 minute delay in the start of the meeting. Since we were more than ready with the preparations, I considered brushing my hair and fix that bothersome strand of hair that stopped me from looking the super-corporate woman that I thought I looked. So, I got up from the chair, picked up my bag and headed to the door, walking tall in my flip-flop heels, and then all of a sudden I was tall no more. The red strap gave away. No it did not tear. Flip-flops unlike leather sandals don’t tear, they give away. I turned a shade of crimson. A shade called disgrace. I looked around, I tried taking a step, and I couldn’t. I mean I couldn’t take a step without looking like a woman whose cheap footwear had failed her. I hurriedly got back to my chair, unkempt hair could wait, none of my colleagues at noticed. Since the strap wasn’t torn, I thought of several quick fixes. I thought of taking the pantry staff’s help, for which I would be required to step out of the meeting room; that obviously wasn’t an option. I dug deep in my bag to look for something, something to hold on to my fast-vanishing honor. And because God loves me, I had my hair in a ponytail. Not down, not in a clip, but held together by a black rubber band. The thick soft-kind. I slid the band through the flip-flop and my feet, holding them together. The jeans, which was little longer than it should have been, helped cover the black band. The client arrived, discussion happened, the rubber band never came off. One of the nosy younger lots did notice my discomfort when I had to get up from my chair and explain a point on the whiteboard but otherwise it ended without anymore disasters.
I left the client office, took a deep breath, got in my colleague’s car, looked down at the miracle band and made a list of my investment plans. Mutual funds didn’t make it to the list.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Nolen gurer payesh so Thee Bestow Thy Flickering Light Forever.

When it’s a life-gives-you-lemons kind of a day, what do you do? Yeah, apart from making lemonade, what do you do?
I turn to mind-numbing activities and simple, shallow carbohydrates. While my chosen type of carbohydrates relaxes the mind and takes me away from the worries, it also leads me to the land where metabolism is slow and everyone else is fighting to be a size zero. So what do I do?
I watch television. Until my eyes hurt, until I can no more assimilate the stuff that I am watching, until I lose the sense of time and space and till that point when I begin to question my purpose on this planet. As I am rendered wanting of any emotion or capable of thinking, I discover a rare calm. The calm that comes from knowing you have a choice… the choice of being in the impressive pantry of master chef Australia or in the locker room of Seattle Grace. Away from all the lemons of the day…

So, thank you idiot box the greatest of mass media. And if I could I would offer you, to express my utmost gratitude, my favorite dessert, a chilled bowl of nolen gurer payesh.

Monday, October 1, 2012

It’s never over.

This post has taken me the longest to write. And yet I can’t find the best way to begin. So, I will paraphrase Meredith Grey from Grey’s Anatomy, “And we are adults. When did that happen?”
Really? Who quotes from Grey’s Anatomy? 
Inappropriate quotes apart, the past few weeks have been kind of rough, in a non-tangible kind of way (non-tangible rough is obviously any day better than tangible rough); I have been burdened by the demands of this ideal grown-up world. It’s been feeling a lot hard being a grown-up, a little too overwhelming even. The adult check-list has been too much for me to keep up with; the absence of a coffee table isn’t helping either.
My stream of consciousness goes pretty much – what have I done with my life – what is there to love – is this how it’s going to end – is this the end – don’t I deserve more – don’t I deserve better – why didn’t I know better – what have I gotten myself into? – is that it? – it’s over isn’t it? 
Dark thoughts clouded my mind. Nothing made much sense anymore – late nights – simple yet big ideas – hundred percent at work – 5 servings of fruits and greens – loyalty – being low maintenance - early dinners – crossfit – being good – playing fair – being the good daughter/wife/friend/colleague - none of it made sense. I looked and relooked at my life and questioned my ideas of the good and the bad. I drew a blank, mostly.

And then after a bleak morning and a bleaker afternoon, just like that I came across a documentary on Ian Wright, a Jamaican footballer who played for Arsenal. Now, I am usually not the one to watch documentaries made on footballers, let alone of footballers I’ve never heard of. In the film, Wright talks about his harsh life and how he went on to join Arsenal very late in his life, because that was the only thing he wanted to do. He talked about how he wouldn’t let anyone tell him otherwise. He didn’t let anyone tell him it’s over. Because it’s never over, unless you want it to be. There those worlds – it’s never over. When I heard it for the first time, those words sounded magical. So is that a sign? The sign to stop whining and start shaking things up? The sign that says ‘No matter what’s happened before, you can decide at any moment to become the person you want to be, to do whatever you want to do. Starting now.’

Perhaps, I still have a shot at being the adult I want to be and not try and fail at living everybody else’s idea of an adult-life. I decide the grown-up life I want to lead, I choose the kind of coffee table I want to have.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

a name for my today

i wanted to give a name to my today, i didn't want to label it - sad, dull, grey, bad, bitter, no none of that made sense... they ended up being way too harsh or they tried to belittle the way i was feeling.
of course i have no business to be upset about anything on this dark day - the 9/11 day.

so, i was struggling to name this day - nothing too lofty, nothing too tiny, and then pinterest came with the answer - in a picture that almost captures my day.

life isn't fair, fair is where you get cotton candy.

nb. as i click on the publish button my boss just said he loves my radio spot, :) is that my cotton candy for today.

Friday, August 31, 2012

CC: See? See?!!!

I have been working for years. Long enough to figure out most things corporate, I mean things as corporate as it can be in an advertising agency. Okay, before I proceed, there are a few facts you need to know about my work life - I am yet to own a formal white shirt or a blue or a grey one. I haven’t ever worn a formal trouser in my life – no not even for the interviews. I’d like to believe I am way to cool for office politics, but I guess in reality I am just plain lazy, let’s just say it’s not my thing. Also, I do not suck up to people. And, I’d like to believe I am super hard-working – like – boy! Can she work and I am easy to work with and I am kind of funny [I sure hope this is for real and not bordering on the ‘I’d like to believe’ space]... Now, onto the things that need work: I cannot do PPTs - I don’t know the basic stuff (hush hush okay?). And I am not proactive, I will explain this one, while I am not the one to miss deadlines, or shy away from speaking in meetings, I am the kind that would not be up and ready to gather people and start something fun on a slow Friday afternoon. I am not the one who would walk up to the HR and help plan for a workshop. I am not the one to raise my hand to ‘so who wants to volunteer to paint the workplace in wacky colours’. I am also not the one to actively participate in Terrific Thursdays or Fantastic Fridays. Of course often I just go with it and do it anyways, but doing anyway isn’t exactly proactive. And that pretty much sums up my work life personality type.

Not quite. I have been CC ignorant. Shocking, I know.

Turns out I’ve forever belittled CC. Oh yeah! How dare I, right? After having been educated by a good colleague of CC’s not so hidden powers, I feel cheated. How could I have not seen it? How could I have not known CC screams See? See?
See? See? I worked late
See? See? I worked over the weekend
See? See? I did the work that I wasn’t supposed to
See? See? I helped the work-shy over-paid colleague
See? See? I did the whole ppt content in a word doc, she just jazzed it up
See? See? I have contact in the right places
See? See? I have been doing my job
See? See? I have been doing much more than my job
See? See? I am no naïve dumbbell who doesn’t know the rules of the outlook jungle.
CC: here I come.  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Today I renounce my shame. Today I come undone.

I read self-help and how to books, blogs and inspiration quotes on pinterest. I read them to seek help and benefit from them.

I read them to be better, to be less miserable. I read them between deliverables. Sometimes after meetings; meetings in which I had so much to say, but couldn’t; meetings where I tried a tad too hard. 
I read them after my friends update their vacation albums on facebook. I read it to understand myself better, to understand my roommate better. I read for a promising future and to comprehend the past. I read to unlearn what I grew up thinking was right, I read to learn the new right. I read them to be a better judge of right and wrong. I read to stop judging at all. I read to make sense of the world. I read to loosen up to the world. I read to accept and love myself the way I am. I read to be the woman I want to be.

I am a work in progress.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

so long and thanks for all the rain, breeze, buffaloes, friends, fiery pickles, boulders, osmania cookies and yeah fish too.

Before I begin my tales of the new, I figured it would be only right to say the goodbyes to a city I had began to love.
First few months, rather the first year in Hyderabad was more forgettable than anything else. Well, apart from the view [about the view in a bit] from the best house I have ever lived in [that too for a steal]. The food – spicy, fiery, succulent, moist, robust – all at once. Yeah, and unimaginably cheap too. Water buffaloes. The no-traffic traffic. The then airport was thisclose. The rains. That year, it always rained. The weather was great. Not forgettable.
Onto the view. We were living in a small 2BHK penthouse portion of a big house [the landlord lived there with his family]. We had a huge terrace plus another roof-top terrace. 14 floors above the ground, with a view of a water body and bathing water buffaloes. It was splendid. It was particularly pretty during Diwali, Sankranti [imagine kites in all colors scooping the sky and then getting lost in the grey-orange sky], and every morning and evening.

Then we moved to another part of the city, the part where the well-heeled dwelled. We found our little space. I enjoyed part of the affluence that came free – beautiful roads, gardens and parks. The boulders. And oh my goodness, what boulders they were. They could come to life any moment and begin a war. A war that would protect you from all evils of the world. The sights and the sounds – bungalows built in between monster boulders, humming birds, pretty blooms in either sides of the streets. This is where neighbors became friends. Friends you would like to keep and meet. Long after you stopped being neighbors.
And those that came at a price gave me as much joy as spending money possibly could – quaint all-wood coffee shops. Grocery stores that I had previously read about, selling fruits, vegetables, spices and condiments, which I thought only Nigella had access to. Cake shop housed in a bungalow that wasn’t a shop at all, it was more like a cupcake gallery. Though currencies were involved, buying cakes sounds obscene. Brownie appreciation is more like it.

And as i reminisce, i need to snap back to all that's now, our things have arrived. there's work to be done. now is here.

nb. on unpacking my oven, i found an ant, surviving the 7-day journey on crumbs. plenty of crumbs. and i took the liberty to imagine the ant looked sad.

Monday, June 11, 2012

the first day jitters and blushes

no-haggle ride to first day at work: hundred and ten bucks.

hurried breakfast-on-the go: 60 bucks

casual yet formal ethnic wear from anokhi for that first impression: 1600 bucks

dkny watch to add just the right amount of chicness: 10000 bucks

last minute tea to calm the edgy nerves: 6 bucks

being mistaken for an intern: priceless

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

of goodbyes, bookmarks, a d-drive and untimely tears

this monday was my last day at work in my now previous organization. the incredible amount of work made sure, the day-long nostalgia was skipped, so was the oh-my-goodness-i-can't-believe-i-am-going/ oh-remember-the-nights-out-for-that-campaign conversations. which was, i think both good and bad. there were no all-engulfing emotions, it was just another day. nothing that i will think about, misty eyed. but i'll sure miss the place. i will miss the spectacular view from one of our office corners. the view of the lake and at night, the gorgeous lights around it. the lunch place, the particular chair that i would often sit on. the door to the conference room, the one in which i always entered fifteen minutes late. i will miss my colleagues. the constant banter. the really creative nicknames that we have had (hush, hush).

and while i was still working and chasing a deadline, goodbyes and good-lucks were being said, all of a sudden, the thought that my files and folders in my d-drive won't be mine anymore hit me. i looked at the bookmarks [collected over the years], links that i consider a true treasure trove. and i was suddenly very, very sad. i was feeling sick. tears were involved. out of nowhere there were ample D-drive-triggered tears. hey there psychoanalyst so what do these D-drive-triggered tears say about me and my emotions or the lack of it?

yes, bookmarks made me cry. so did yellow folders in my d-drive. they are like yellow rooms, don't you think? get inside, and you will find some are clumsy, while some all neat and structured. some unopened for months. and some empty.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

all you need is love and some quotes maybe

via pinterest
okay so i have traversed this path before - the what to blog, the how often to blog, the demands and rigors of a blog, and often have pushed myself to write only when i can think of something fun for my target audience [3? 4? readers out there.], and then i went back into the dungeon with the convenient excuses to myself - too busy, writers block, yada yada yada.
none of that anymore, i am guessing i could risk ;-) losing few of my many readers with my spontaneous random thoughts :D, huh?

yes i have been feeling a bit lackluster when it comes to blogging, or waking for that matter. i will begin with the writing, waking shall follow, or so i hope.

via pinterest
 for today, i would like to leave you with a few wise words, words that i am discovering to be true, words that are making sense to me right now -

my life didn't please me, so I created my life.”
- coco chanel

“to be in hell is to drift; to be in heaven is to steer.”
- george bernard shaw

"one day your life will flash before your eyes, make sure it's worth watching."
- source unknown

"we become what we want to be by constantly being what we want to become each day. "
- richard g scott

from an unknown source,
"i wish i couldn't feel a damn thing."
don't we all?

and finally
"let it be."


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A case of sense of humor and shapely legs

“oh he makes me laugh!” seriously? Is this why we women fall in love. Can it really be this simple, guiltless, beautiful and devoid of motives? Julia Roberts says it, so does my yet to be married friend about her colleague/fling/crush. Will a guy mind if he discovered his lady picked him for his body? Hasn't he worked so hard, for that very thing?
Is 'oh he has a great sense of humor' our way to euphemize our real motives? Sure, money plays a huge role too, but because that wouldn't let me post pictures of the above gentleman, I have steered clear of getting into that topic. Money doesn't make for a pretty picture, does it?

However, men are unapologetic about their selection procedure. I will of course not get into the nuances of their selection procedure, but the fact that they aren't bashful about it, is something we could learn from them.  

I will leave you with something to chew on, Scarlett Johanson left Ryan Reynold for no one particular, so perhaps that whole humor thing is not a sham after all?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

i don't handle 'thank you' all that well.

i turn deep red because i feel my cheeks flush, my face does a funny thing. my arms spread out aimlessly and then come together soon enough,  i fumble for words, often repeating what the other person just said, and quite often i do say thanks in response to the thanks said by that other person. this is how it goes - giggle/nervous laughter, "oh okay thanks.." more annoying giggle. :-|
yes more often than not that's how i respond to that beautiful kind word. and it's not that i detest the word, on the contrary, i use it quite a lot, perhaps more than i should.sometimes a little too condescending maybe [i am working on it].
so, when i am so generous with my -  thanks, much thanks, thank you, thanks a lot, oh thanks, thanky and its other variants, i wonder why i do such a sloppy job of accepting one. does it say something about my personality? some disorder? should i be dissecting my thank you-guilt? is it that i feel undeserving of that tiny gratitude?
i am not fond of 'you are welcome', i find it boring and not genuine. it is of course better than my nervous giggle routine, but is kind of too spontaneous to be heartfelt, it seems like the expected thing to do once someone thanks you. i often want to say more than 'you are welcome' and i want to say like i mean it.

i wish to be gracious, i wish to just smile and say - oh that's alright/anytime/my pleasure. or even just a smile would do too. let me begin with the smile... the words can come letter. a simple smile, honest smile that says, yes i loved doing that for you, and i absolutely would want to do it again. how difficult can that be? 

does anyone remember 'mention not'? yes, that might reveal the period you were born in...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I am A-lister

alternative heading - I spend 2 hours a day making and and reviewing lists.

I am a compulsive list maker. Lists of all kinds – everyday to-do, weekend to-do , grocery to-buy, monthly to-do, to-cook, home-improvement to-do, paperwork to-do, to-read, to-watch [like banged up abroad on nat geo], and also the to-not's – to-not eat, to-not waste, to-not buy, to-not browse [the time suckers at work – dailymail, fb] etcetera, etcetera.

I also like reading weird facts, so here goes... apparently most bloggers are habitual list makers. :D or is that the rest go unblogged?

I really function better when I make lists of all kinds. And there's no greater thrill than striking things off the list. So, in anticipation of that thrill, I get things done, I utilize time better, I spend money more wisely... let's just say I live better. And if FEMINA chooses to ask... Does it make me a better person? I guess it does. With lists I feel I am in control. So when my control issues are taken care of, I become someone better to hang out with. So, yeah lists make me a better person. :D

Making lists is my little indulgence, so just any paper or pen won't do . Nothing fancy here, but I like to use gel pens... in brilliant colours... turquoise blue, pinks or the grayish black. Ballpoint pens are no good. Paper needs to be un-ruled [does it imply I am unruly?] and soft on my pen and face. Yeah, I feel the paper against my face :), let's call it the face-it or the face-off, shall we? I am also into yellow paper, the not-old-but-look-vintage kind of paper, these only come ruled, and I am okay with that.

Clearly, the digital post-it in whatever version isn't an option. Because rubbing my face against the computer screen would be plain hideous.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

“The secret to happiness is short-term, stupid self-interest!”

i am in a phase, a reflective, introspection phase, can you tell? and after much thinking, i am certain, i’ve found what it takes to be happy, or let’s just say, to be less miserable. to be in control of one thing that you can always be in control of - oneself. trying not to take control or be affected by situations that depend on anyone else. short-term or long-term, stupid or smart self-interest is what we should aim for.
Calvin: I don’t understand it, Hobbes. The kids teased me when I wouldn’t play baseball. Then they yelled at me when I did play. Then the teacher called me a “quitter” when I stopped playing. Unless you’re a star you can’t please anyone.
Hobbes: In that case, why not just please yourself?

yes, why not just please ourselves?

nb - heavy words befitting a leap year? :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

A lovely word and life lessons

I adore this word. The way it sounds and its meaning. It makes the tongue work a little, but not much. No rolling nothing, ends with a little whisper. The word lets you be a little lazy, easy and tad snob, all at once. Wonderful no?

Nonchalance is the trait of remaining calm and seeming not to care; a casual lack of concern... wow, oh my god, isn't that lovely?
The word is arrogant but not rude, it's indifferent but never selfish. It cares, but not much. Yes, it cares, but not much. Just perfect. It's such a balanced word.

I have figured, the key to happiness is to be somewhat oblivious. To things, people and developments around us, things that don't exactly/directly concern us. It's mostly about minding your own business. I have discovered, being slightly indifferent, for the want of a less dramatic word, is liberating.

So, this is what I want to be. Nonchalant. I want to care, but not much.

Monday, February 6, 2012

How to triumph the SALE season, staying sane.

This has been, by far, my most successful SALE season yet. And I want you dear reader(s), to have as much success as I did. And for that you cannot come unready. My essential tips, my SALE Dos and Don'ts, are all you need. Of course, I could give you the whole lowdown on how to tackle a SALE, but my boss says no one reads copy, so find here the sparknotes version of the plan. You cannot improvise, and you are advised to pay attention to the stuff I mention within brackets. Shall we?

And before we get into the whole SALE thing, little something on SALE etiquettes -
Be polite at all times. With everyone. The staff is under immense pressure. When the salesgirl says, size 8 isn't available. Believe her.
Do a little bit calculation on your own before you head to the billing counter. With so many discounts, broken tags and hundreds of irate customers around, the poor chap might just get the total figure wrong. If you spot a mistake, again politely point that out.
Thing is don't be a bully. Not even if you discover your current size is tad tight.
Play nice.

Day 1 & Day 2 of the SALE. Go, no matter how busy you are, call in sick, fake a headache, whatever, just go. Yeah, yeah right... it's a month long SALE, still go. Pick your top 3 favorite outlets, that you frequent the most. And 3 stores you haven't been to in a while.

You don't buy anything on the first day. Nothing at all. You observe and absorb. Only that and a whole lot of that. You walk the aisles and the floors, more than once. Of course, the time spent on each floor depends on what gets you lusting... alright, so you do this until you are about to collapse. You might want to take a break here, a quick refuel at the in-store coffee place [do not step out, we don't want any distractions here.] Once re-fueled, repeat the observe and absorb part. This is when your list of 6 stores gets down to 3. The 3 stores that make it to your list, will be judged on -
  • The discounts [knock off the stores that mostly offer a measly 10 per cent]
  • The collection, does the store have what you wear? [nothing explains buying a fuchsia tights, not unless you are 7 or kate moss, and not even if its 70 per cent off]
  • The size, does the store have the stuff you like in your size? Always buy your current size [size 4 isn't happening, not anytime soon, certainly not until the next SALE season]
You spend the next 3-4 days not in the malls but in the closet. [do not whine, you'd realize this is the most essential step]. You make a mental note of what you need.

You enter the buying phase, armed with the knowledge of what you need and where [the store, the floor, the shelf] to find it. [you'd argue, SALE was never about buying what you need, it's about splurging... WRONG, it's about what you need and never about what you might need.]

Now, onto buying, the easy part -
If you like something [like really, really, really like something], buy it, even if it's just 10 per cent discounted. [do not confuse it with the measly 10 per cent, I mentioned previously that's about the store selection, you are at one of listed stores, so can't go wrong here.]. Do not wait for it to be marked down any further. Your size will be gone. Buy what you really like, now.

If you are on the fence about something [the colour, the fit, the style or anything] do NOT buy it. [not even at 70 per cent off]. You are never going to use it or wear it. Do NOT buy it.

Buying jeans during the SALE season? I would rather steer clear. I am not sure whether it's just my thing, but jeans are better off being bought when you have all the trial rooms to yourself, it can never be a rush buy. Meaning, you can try 29 different jeans before finally buying one [now, I don't exactly try 29 jeans :-O]. I have bought marked down jeans thrice and now, I have no clue where they are.

Shoes, are another SALE buy that I am a little skeptical about. Sometimes it works, mostly it doesn't. The mad heaps of shoes that the stores put up is an absolute no-no.

However, this is a great time to buy a bag. But, just because you don't have to queue up outside the trial room, be careful, you may tend to go over board. Stick to one casual, one formal and one party. Okay, make it two casual, two formal and one party. But no more.

Buying books on discount has never worked for me, but, but those lovely pricey foreign magazines can be bought for almost nothing.

Miscellaneous stuff like – linen, kitchenware, curios etcetera – buy them, only if you like them and use them. A note about collecting curios – if you are like me and don't like the idea of turning your living room into a showroom/museum, be careful: These are dangerous times.

So you have shopped smart. Now, lie low. For the next ten days. Arrange your closets, again. Look around the house. Observe and absorb.

Then on the last week of the SALE. Venture again. Also, to the stores you hadn't shopped during your round 1 of shopping. Buy, only if you spot an absolute gem. Nothing else. You are done.

You may now smile giddily.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Renewing vows won't seal it, doing groceries will.

I spend the last weekend with my friend and her husband of two years. She has been inviting me to spend some time with her and also to get to know her husband better. As I landed in her city, the topic of love crossed my mind more than once, We would discuss love, and I'd get tips on how giving space is a horrible thing, how love requires work, sacrifice and being scarily honest. I knew it would be the weekend of love.
The moment I stepped inside their apartment , the first thing i notice was love. It was everywhere - in the air, on the refrigerator, in the closets, in the curios, on the walls, in their hearts and right above the wash basin. Touché. They are the most loved-up couple I've ever met. No, there was no queasy PDA, everything was cute, playful, romantic and often childlike. They pray every evening. Together. They do their groceries, holding hands. He leads her from one aisle to another with his hand gently around her waist. This is love alright. He likes the horror and the super natural, she likes the soap-sob stories. He likes his steak, she loves her soy. They have found their in-betweenness, holding hands. Even in a crowd, they are together, a couple in love. Even the guy who served us coffee could tell, and not because they were gazing into each others eyes. If this isn't love, what is?
Yesterday, on my way to the airport, we were discussing their plans for their second anniversary, which is just 2 days away. I told them, their kind of love deserved something regal, something that's not everyday. Something that you and I don't do. Something like renewing vows in exotic locales like Heidi Klum and Seal do... of course I was just trying to be funny. But if there's any couple I know, who could possibly do that, it would be this one.
This morning, tells me Heidi Klum and Seal are separating, after 3 kids, 7 years and as many renewed vows later. Duh! yeah.
Dear Heidi and Seal... before you sigh those damned papers, may I urge you to go to the nearest Trader Joe's, pick some steak, tofu and strawberries, holding hands...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The importance of a sucker punch and why comfort is a bad, bad word.

You are in your sweet little cornucopia... hours, days and months go by, every bit the way you had imagined. You have more than just a vague idea of how the future will look like. Life is predictable, in a good way. And if you are a little lucky, you might just have a few surprises too on the way. Of course there are ups and downs. The ups and downs you have learnt to tread. It's your world after all. 'Lucky me', you gush, follow it with a knock on the wood, or sometimes you just give these rituals a miss. Saving them for those not-so-often celebratory moments of life. Your everyday life isn't nothing special. It's just normal. This is how it's meant to be. This is how it should be. You don't know any other way. You take your life and the people around you for granted, the way you think they have. You don't know better, or worse?... and then something hits you hard. A sucker punch. It'll take you a while to understand what just happened. And when you finally do, you realize, the world that you thought would thrive on its own, has in a way, ended. You look at yourself, closely. You put your every action, every habit, every moment under scrutiny. You start doubting the life you have lived, the choices you've made. You are left with questions, so many of them. You are begging for answers.
And then with time, you emerge from the wreck, not stronger, not wiser, not any less sadder but with a realization, that you've perhaps been a little too comfortable. Too oblivious to the world, that was changing. Comfort pushes you into an unreal world. It's the first step of being in denial. It also numbs you. Comfort makes you forget why you are here. It makes you confuse priorities and fight battles that are of no importance at all. Comfort is a bad word. Don't wish for comfort. It's not going to be pretty.
And as I write this, I realize, I'm dressed rather comfortably.
Tell me stilettos don't hurt.