Saturday, September 26, 2009

My tiny closet of fame! :-)

My story will appear in the Chicken Soup Series - Chicken soup for the Indian Teenage Soul titled ' All grown up!' my official name remains Janani Rajagopal, my dad's name). I feel really good about it, more than me my loved ones are ecstatic about it. Do make sure you guys buy a copy and look for my name and of course, the story!

Ritu was the one who gently pushed me to write for the series in the first place. Thanks a ton, Ritu! I am so glad that you did!! :-) For once, i listened to her! ;-)...and though it has taken quite some time for the book to get published due to various reasons, I am thrilled to see my name on paper! :P So if you happen to read the book, look for my story!

Do let me know your opinions :-)

Edited to add: The Book Cover!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Paati, my darling Paati!

If there is someone I love more than my parents, it has to be Paati ( my mother's mother). She is no more, she lived up to the age of 85, but I have such wonderful memories of her. In my growing years, she was everything to me; my mother, my friend, my confidante,my inspiration. Its funny that I can never picture her with teeth or as a young woman coz she has always been my 'Paati' .

She would cry if Appa disciplined me, make awesome crisp rava dosa sitting on a stool, sit with me and serve food as soon as I return from school when she was at the ripe old age of 82 or 83, let me in on my mom's dark secrets ;-). A wonderful human being, very intelligent and smart in every sense despite her limited education. I would often wonder how she would have excelled if she was allowed to continue her education or if she was not married so early at the age of 13 and had to bear 10 children, while being strong enough to bear the loss of 5 children in the process...She would often relate interesting anecdotes about her childhood, wedding and I would listen with rapt attention and be transported to a different period altogether.

She had a great sense of humour and we would all ask her in English how she was doing...depending on how she was feeling she would either say 'fine' or 'pain'! ( phonetically they sound similar) :-) It brings a smile on my face even now. She would have been very happy to meet S or to see how happily married I am and revelled in my little successes. I am sure her blessings are with me; I feel it when she often appears in my dreams.

She lived a very hard life albeit filled with loads of love and happiness. I wish she could have lived to seen all her children doing well and enjoyed some comforts too. But I remember we were all there with her during her last days; singing to her and laughing with her. She was a wonderful soul who was loved and respected by everyone who knew her and that is what really matters. She will forever remain etched in my memory. I love you with all my heart Patti! You have given me the most wonderful mother, have'nt you? I am sure Amma thinks of her mother often and misses her too.

I think every grandchild shares a very special bond with their grandparents and vice versa.
Grandparents enjoy their time with their grandkids more coz they are not burdened with the need to discipline them or worry about their future and responsibilities. Paati and Amma are the most wonderful and strong women in my life; who inspire me to be a better person in every sense. ( I am sure it is for a lot of other people too).

Bohemian Chic!

I bought this lovely Traditional Czech Jewellery in Prague. It is handmade of black glass and I felt it was very contemporary yet traditional in a way! This tradition was founded in the late 19th Century in Northern Bohemia.

I loved the style and isn't it really unique? So if you happen to visit Prague, don't miss THIS!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Beautiful and colorful wings!

I just loved it the minute I saw it...

The detailing is simply lovely....and its MINE!! :-)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mon affaire a La Mode!

is indeed a girl's dream come true! When I step out, I am simply agog with all the variety of shoes, make up (sometimes absolutely bizarre too), different styles of scarves and stoles, skirts...and the list goes on.....there is never a dull moment! If I am waiting for a friend, its even better! I have never wanted to wait longer! ;-)
I have noticed here that people, every single man or woman take pride in his/her appearance and are absolutely well-turned out wherever you go! Of course, there are times when I am aghast when I see 'senior citizens' wear ridiculous (read short sleazy looking) clothes. Summers are all about 'free expression' literally!

(Image Courtesy:

But as we all know, there is always an exception to everything, isnt it? Even if I may say so myself that I have a good dress sense, all this grooming around me forces me to be reasonably well-dressed at all times. ( Like I needed an excuse!!). In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to see a chain of shops called 'Diwali' and they sell pretty interesting stuff ranging from colorful, chic stoles to earrings and artifacts and they are obviously from India. I get cheap thrills everytime I look at one, as if I own the place!

On any day, most women wear plain and dark colored clothes, pair it with chunky jewellery with a lot of color - beads of different colors, big chunky pearls, interesting hats ( sometimes!) which makes it really interesting. Everybody wears makeup and it also subtly changes with the seasons. Glittery eye make up is in vogue and how can I forget the awesome shoes? You can see heels everywhere, irrespective of how uncomfortable it makes them! The heels and stilletoes, however ridiculously expensive they are, always find their way to feet with a perennially 'pained expression' ( (atleast that's what they say to me!). It takes one to know one! I mean, the feet...mine are always pissed off with the fashionistas anyway! So I try to make an effort now and then, but it fails! :P

Come winter, you can see a wiiiiideeeeee variety of coats and jackets. Every jacket has a different style and the most interesting buttons. Another interesting aspect of winter, is that the sexy boots emerge and just in case they feel lonely; the scarves and gloves scamper along happily! People start to look like poodles but there is a bright splash of color and a warm and fuzzy feeling in the air!

I realize the only constant in life is change and most definitely, fashion is no exception to it! While, most people dread change in real life and take time to adapt to changes; Parisians welcome the change in fashion and dazzle along as the season changes...

It will get colder and I may whine about wearing so many layers, am sure. But right now? I am excited about the SNOW!!...:)

Monday, September 7, 2009

I am still in denial...

I had a huge crush on the actor Arvindswamy ( and I am sure there were millions of other girls like me!), while i was growing up. If you don't know you can check this video to refresh your memory!

I am not going to say that its not about his looks, coz it totally IS! I have no clue about his personality or how he is as a person in reality. But in my growing years, he was the 'ray of hope' or someone who would bring a smile on my face! I would dream about him and wake up with a huge grin on my face. For god's sake, the guy did'nt even have to make an effor to make me happy!! He just did it...just like that!

All the guys would make fun of him to bug me or irritate me and I would get really pissed.
Recently, S sent me this picture as a forward. Its one of Arvindswamy as he looks now ( the bald one!)! (Courtesy: Image from

I am still in denial !!!! I will only remember the one that is strongly etched in my memory!I Arvindswamy, how could you do this to yourself? Well, life's like that, huh? I guess all the jealous guys have a smirk on their face now, including S!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Not so opinionated anymore!

...which is such a big deal for me! Coz I have an opinion about EVERYTHING and I have to say it! Things have changed, I have changed very consciously...I don't express myself too much or give my opinion openly now. Its such a relief coz I can avoid so many unnecessary conversations and it saves all the effort you need to make! Also, in any situation or argument, the people involved always think they are right which includes me. So from the beginning, there is no point to an argument or a point of view. You are competing with each other to convince who is right, anyway? So does your opinion matter unless asked for? Nope. Nada. Zilch.

So I find that if you keep quiet you can focus your efforts /thoughts/ mind on so many other positive things or do things/interact for/with people who really matter. You don't always need to have the last word, you know? Time and again, I have mentioned how difficult it is for me to stay quiet and not talk all the time. Now I am starting to really enjoy the calm self and wonder why I did'nt do it earlier? I guess, you learn and unlearn a lot of things over time, experiences and grow mature?
I am extremely emotional and temperamental. I often react quickly to ANYTHING and EVERYTHING! THAT has changed...not radically, but I have begun to understand that some people and some things never change and there is no point reacting to them. There is no point diginifying it with an answer or reaction. You give them a chance, but if it does not work out, there is no point simply move on....Just don't look back. My family and well meaning friends have already told me this a number of times, but I guess I had to feel it myself for me to move on.

I am not hurt or upset anymore, I truly believe that some people do not deserve my attention or reaction anymore! PERIOD.

On a different note, I have started doing Yoga for about an hour everyday, with a friend. We practice along with a CD and I am happy with my flexibility. The pranayama, meditation and the Aasanas have already made so much difference in me. I have always believed in Yoga and so long, I lacked discipline and the time with a full-time job. Now that I work from home and I have company, it is so wonderful to resume and I am happy with the results. My friend is as motivated and we are planning to start Pilates next month! I must have the willpower and discipline to continue come what may! You don't understand the importance of health until you lose it! :-)