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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas and Winter in Paris!

I am so glad and blessed that I live in Paris and can see the most spectacular views from my living room...as often as I say it, I don't seem to be convinced that its true!


Winter has set in, and my long time dream of witnessing snow came true last year! This year I act like I see snow and experience winter all the time!! ;) We came back from all the sunshine in India to a heavily snowing Paris...the apartment was ice cold and it took us a few minutes to warm ourselves as well as our home! But once we settled down, the snowflakes falling....the misty Eiffel....hot steaming cups of coffee....and the satisfaction of returning to your own 'Home Sweet Home'....its an emotion that can't be described or explained easily as I felt it...

I love Christmas and especially New Year's for a lot of reasons - it brings hope of course, apart from that all the cutesy Christmas decorations, wreaths, pinecones....they are so classy and so not over-the-top, yet festive! I love it and I was very keen on decorating our home before we left on our vacation to India! I managed to click some pictures after we got back...



The blue charm in the middle is an evil-eye remover that we bought in Greece last year! Buri nazar waalon, tera muh kaala types!














I bought these colorful cloth balls in a string and hung these gold-dusted pinecones with a invisible wires used on badminton rackets and voila! they look like they are hanging in thin air! Well, at least I like to think they do...












...and I just love wreaths and it actually has an interesting significance to it too. It is said that in Eastern Europe, people used to illuminate wreaths made of evergreen leaves in winters, with the belief that it would bring spring and sunshine...Last year, before I could buy one, it all went out of stock! I did'nt want to miss it this year too...so I hurried to buy one!





So, we are all prepared for the New Year's with a lot of hope, cheer and happiness! Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a new year filled with loads of love, happiness, success and prosperity!

Monday, December 13, 2010

MIA!

...coz I am holidaying in India, to be specific in Pondicherry! For the first
time, I am embracing the sun and the heat with open arms after the numbing cold winters in Paris (I will go back to all the snow soon)...

Down South, people head to Pondy just as people head to Goa in the West! I found a really cute jumpsuit for a song here, thanks to my brother's superior bargaining skills. Knowing me, I am thoroughly enjoying the shopping, sun, beaches, love, laughter, happiness and all the shopping!!! Did I say that already? ;)

Jumpsuits are really cool, casual and are best paired with a tight-fitting top! This black jumpsuit in cotton takes the cake!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Fiesty Red Diwali!

I love Diwali and its one of the festivals I really look forward to...and being away from home sucks...as its a normal working day here in Paris! Anyway, I did my bit to feel the decor at home....I added a bit of red in every little corner....and lighted scented candles everywhere! Our home feels warm, cozy and festive with all the soft lights and colour!


























I found these lovely red berry creepers in an awesome home decor store....and I fell in love! It hangs over our sidetable in the bedroom and simply livens up the space! :)


There is something about Buddha figurines and its my dream to have a big collection! I will...someday! I did see a few interesting ones here...but the face is not always right, if you know what I mean...


....The newest addition to our "tropical corner" is a red fern!
























For once, I refrained from buying any cushions or cushion covers! :D Happy Diwaly everyone!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Indian Weddings down south!

99labels announced the 99labels Wedding Week Contest and I decided to participate in it for three reasons:
1. It's a really interesting subject and often the topic of heated discussions in many conversations
2. It's a good opportunity to create awareness about the meaning behind tradition and rituals
3. It's a bonus if I win the loot, of course!

All you have to do is blog about one or more of the following topics:
  • My big fat Indian wedding
  • What “not to do” while planning a wedding!
  • My dream wedding – Simple or lavish?
  • Traditions I love/hate in Indian weddings
  • My wedding shopping spree!
Traditions I love in Indian Weddings
As a little girl, growing up watching numerous romantic movies where the brides are dressed up like angels in lovely white gowns, I always thought that is the best way to get married. In my innocence, it never struck me that religion had anything to do with a wedding or that only Christians have a white wedding!

I belong to a South Indian Bramhin family and I am married to the most wonderful husband in the whole wide world...my dream did come true and how! I had an elaborate two- day wedding replete with all the rituals, amidst sacred chanting, auspicious beginnings and the blessings of our loved ones.

Like everything else in India, weddings look a little imperfect without traditions, rituals, fun and celebrations. Today, having travelled to different countries and experiencing different cultures and meeting different kinds of people...I realize that there is so much meaning and a sense of togetherness in our way of life - especially at weddings.

Everyone Counts!
Indian weddings are often a family affair, its not just about the bride and groom. Cousins, aunts, uncles and other relatives had come down for the wedding and its such a fun opportunity to meet everyone. Everyone helped a great deal with the wedding preparations and in receiving all the guests, sharing my parent's responsibilities. I also love the fact that in all our rituals, an aunt or uncle or brother has a role to play in every custom, it gives them a sense of participation and they feel important.

In south Indian weddings, there is a ritual called "Malai Mathal" which literally means "exchange of garlands". The bride and groom are lifted to the shoulders of their respective maternal uncles. This is an expression of continuing sibling support to their mother. It is often a lot of fun and laughter as the bride and groom dodge each other and everyone participates and enjoys the lightheartedness.

Kanyadaanam - a tribute to the Father-Daughter relationship
Kanyadaanam is a very important part of every Indian wedding. In a South Indian wedding, the bride sits on her father's lap while he performs the "kanyadaan" - "kanya" refers to girl and "daanam" refers to giving away. The father gives his most cherished gift, his daughter as a gift to the groom. It is believed that the groom is a form of Lord Vishnu. Thus, presenting him their most precious child is deemed as the greatest honor for the parents of the bride.

It is such a beautiful tradition and is such a lovely way to honour the parents of the bride. I was thrilled to be sitting on Appa's (father's) lap while getting married. I am truly his girl! I remember the pandit telling me to steadily look into my husband's eyes (I glady did) as part of the custom while sitting on Appa's lap while he tied the thali or mangalsutra to solemnize our union amidst vedic chants, our parents, relatives and everyone rushing to bless us with akshadai (rice-grains coated with turmeric and saffron, are showered on the couple, by elders and invitees – as benediction) and flowers - I remember that gorgeous moment even now!

Saptha Pathi - 7 steps towards an eternity of love and happiness
In "SapthaPathi" or seven steps, the groom holds the bride's hand and takes seven steps together around the holy fire. With each step, they take a vow - the belief is that when one walks seven steps with another, one becomes the other’s friend. In this small gesture, intimacy is mingled with earnest intentions, vowing in front of God - giving the ritual a whole new meaning. In North Indian weddings also, this is a very important step and is referred to as "Saath Phere".

Having watched the "Saath Phere" over and over in so many movies, it actually felt surreal yet wonderful to go through the same thing in real life. I also felt that this ritual propogates equality - that the man and woman are friends, companions for life.

Nalangu - good humoured fun!
The evening of the wedding day is "Nalangu" - a time to relax and have fun. The newly wed wife calls her husband for play. Much to the amusement of all gathered, there follows a series of playful games. During these events women sing songs, making fun of the bride, the groom and the in-laws.

Nalangu is good entertainment for all the guests and it also helps the bride and groom shed their inhibitions and get closer. At my wedding, I did'nt get a chance to play "Nalangu" as my husband felt it was very childish and we were too tired by then. We were engaged for a year before we got married so we had no inhibitons whatsoever by then, happily chatting away, much to the chagrin of my mother who wanted me to at least pretend to be a coy bride!

I am so glad that I got married in typical South Indian style intermingled with tradition, fun, and lots of love and blessings. Every single tradition and ritual has a deep meaning and fun element to it and its a once-in-a-lifetime experience...and you get married only once (well, atleast in my case)!

Your outlook towards life reflects who you are...similarly, I choose to look at the brighter side of every tradition and enjoy it thoroughly. I just LOVE our culture, tradition and weddings, of course!

Here’s how to participate:

  1. Become a member of 99labels (If you are not a member already) by clicking on the referral link at the bottom of this post. (You get Rs 100 worth of credit free to shop!) .
    1. Create a log-in preferably using the email id attached with your blog. This is to protect the anonymity of some bloggers as the referral link (read rule 2) displays your email-id.
  2. Post your referral link on the post (This means that whoever becomes a member clicking on the link gets Rs 100, and whenever you referral buys an item you get Rs 500). To find your referral link
    1. Log in on http://www.99labels.com/
    2. Click on “Invite friends” on the top menu.
    3. Go to bottom of page and look for “Copy and paste your personal invitation link” and paste the link at the bottom of your post E.g . My Referral invite – http://www.99labels.com/v1/Become-Member.aspx?re=xyz@gmail.com
  3. Copy and paste all the rules in your post.
  4. Leave a link to your post in the comments section of the contest page of 99labels http://blog.99labels.com/2010/10/25/wedding-week-blogging-contest/.
  5. Copy and paste this image at the end of the post and the category under which you have posted.

Edited to add: I won second place and a 1000 Rs. gift voucher!! Yay!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Paisley Vijayadashmi!


Dusshera is a festival celebrated over 9 days by Hindus all over India. At the end of the 9th day, is Vijayadashmi - "Vijay" means victory and "dashmi" means tenth day, it signifies the victory of good over evil. It is believed that on this day, Lord Rama killed the demon Ravana and rescued his abducted wife Sita.

In South India, this day is considered auspicious to start education or any form of art like music, painting, etc. It is considered that anything that is started on Vijayadashmi will progress well. With that good intention, I painted this vase with paisley motifs, hoping that I will continue to develop this hobby and life will be filled with happiness and beauty just like the paisley design! :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Thinking aloud...

When I created this blog, I did'nt really think or intend for a lot of people to read it, just thought of it as an online journal and hence the inane title and screen-name...I did'nt give it too much thought. Interestingly, friends who read my blog nowadays seem to refer to me as 'prettywoman' and it brings a smile on my face! :)

Some time back, I saw an interview of the gorgeous Actress Goldie Hawn, she has a certain child-like enthusiasm in her that is adorable. She said that when her mother died....80% in her did too....She said " I thought to myself - who would I want to make proud now? ". That is EXACTLY how I feel about my parents - both Amma and Appa. Fortunately, my parents are here with me and by God's grace and blessings, I hope they will be with me for a long time to come....But I think of them every single day in every little thing I do...and rush to call Amma to give her all the little tiny details of my life with as much description as possible.


I think I am still their 'little girl' - I know that's how it is from every parent's eyes! In my case, I'd rather remain that and not grow up! I still revel in their pride and feel deliriously happy when I make them proud, especially when they tell me so often that I do! :) Noone else's opinion matters as much!

Off late, I have heard of so many young people who have died suddenly, 21, 23 and 30 years old - an accident, a sudden illness and I can't stop thinking about how unfulfilled souls they would be...their unrealised dreams, love, places they have never been to, unfulfilled desires...I find it difficult to explain the anguish I feel for them...often, people console you that they are in a better place...but I fervently wish God had given them more time!

One of them was a friend who would talk to me very often about her personal life and she also told me that she would have noone to talk to, as I was relocating to a different city. We tried to remain in touch through the distance and she had been through a difficult relationship, divorced and was really looking forward to love, a new life...new beginnings....it haunts me that she did'nt live long enough to enjoy the good things in life...she did not live life fully...I wonder what went through her mind...

Once, I read on someone's wall on facebook that " Never tell your problems to anyone ...20% don't really care and the other 80% are really glad you have them". I personally think that its a very cynical way of looking at it and fact remains that nobody can really solve your problems. I don't want to be cynical or bitter, I would like to believe that there is goodness in everyone. If the problems are within your control, try to solve them and if they are out of your control, I normally pray to God. That's all I can do and I strongly believe he knows what is best for us...have to admit that its difficult to remain optimistic and cheerful ALL the time...I do have my days! :) But I jump back to action pretty soon...I don't stay sad for too long, simply because it takes little things to make me happy :) and Of course, I have a fantastic support system. Amma's positive words and vibrant nature always makes me feel much better and I feel hopeful.

Many of my friends feel comfortable enough with me to share their very personal things or problems and I am glad that I can be someone they can trust...for a long time, I would always ruminate and try to think of a solution to their problem...then I realized that when I go talk to S or Amma about something that troublles me, do I expect a solution? I don't , I just want to vent...that's all. So I got my answer. I am very well aware that we all have to fight our individual battles but its easier when you have someone who is a good moral support and is generally optimistic about everything...the positive energy is infectious and renews hope in you.

A friend in college once told me that she feels that I am like water in a jug! Apparently, I adapt myself to my surroundings and people as water does to the jug or any container that holds it! Being a piscean, I do love water - be it the beach or tears! Both S and my brother make fun of me...especially if we are watching an emotional scene or a sad movie...coz I am always in tears!!

Last but not the least thought in my mind...is that if someone looks me up and down on the street or when I am out...the first thing that crosses my mind is " Damn! Are my pants unzipped?" and I check! :D

What are YOU thinking about?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Textured Glass!

S was away on a training all of last week and suddenly when I got back home from work, I felt like I had loads of time. Rather, I felt kind of lost when I came back to an empty home and I revived my 'glass painting' hobby! I used to work on glass paintings back in Pune, frame it and even managed to gift a few, sell a few... Have a look here and here!

In Paris, I am not sure where to go looking for someone or shops that will readily give me a piece of glass like back home in India...so I started painting on used bottles like here, here and here! Some of my friends and S remember this and often, bring back empty interesting bottles for me! This time, I tried to give it a tie-and-dye texture to it!




















....I even strung some beads together to decorate the bottle...makes it look '"pretty"? ...The beads came from earrings out of which I lost one! So I used the beads in one earring to do this! Am I the recycling queen or what!!??!! :)


Edited to add: A closer look at the "necklace"


I also found a place and some use for it at home, pretty quickly! I have this quirk, I have to do everything complete this minute, if I don't, its always running in the background whatever I do...so I found these mini-flowers in the Sunday market and kind of got a "closure" for this!

My dad sent me a message ( he is not sure how to write a comment yet!)...
Hi,The blood red colour is enchanting,appealing and so beautiful.With the flowers inserted, the vase looks elegent,decent and adds charm,a beauty piece like the creator J . APPA

I am so thrilled and absolutely happy! :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

I love this picture!

...you ask why?
1. Its an interesting perspective!
2. It has everything I love - the sea and S!
3. ...and "truth" prevails...literally!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"A man's home is his wife's castle!"

...and nothing can be further from the truth as far as our home is concerned! I strongly believe that a comfortable and beautiful home is a great source of happiness and contentment.

While its impossible, rather impractical to change homes every once in a while...its highly practical to change little things around your home...that gives you 'renewed energy' when you enter your haven...I always change the curtains or cushion covers when I feel like making a change at home and it works! The splash of colour and the soft cushions are comfortable, pleasing and inexpensive!

New cushion covers (Big) - IKEA! I am in heaven the minute I spot one! The smaller silk cushion covers are a super bargain - I got two covers for 1 euro in a Market in Spain! My heart skipped a beat and I pinched myself to check if I was hearing it right... :P










I got these long reed-like things last time from IKEA and over time, I have been slowly adding little flowers, collected pebbles and stones and slowly developed this corner in our home!













I have always wanted to grow plants indoors....but its really difficult when your home is carpeted and I have enough housework, so why add plants to it? I did'nt give up, this time I picked up this artificial fern from IKEA and Voila! my own tropical zone in our "castle"!

When Amma and Anna visited, we planned a day trip to Disneyland in Paris. It was our first visit too and I bought this cute cushion. I think it's a symbolic representation of S and I! Sappy, you say? Did'nt you know that already? It brings a huge smile on my face every time I see it and of course, this!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chunky is Funky!

I have always thought that lace is very pretty and delicate and is most suitable on very petite and delicate-looking women, if you know what I mean...

An entire ensemble or top in lace would be too overwheming for me. Recently, I found this top with a hint of lace in the back and shoulders...and loved it! Who said you can't have the cake and eat it too? :)

So I realized that if you like something, go ahead and adapt it to suit your personality or style - not just wear it as it is and feel uncomfortable in your skin! My humble opinion!! I think I would look horrible in an top made of lace fully...I am anything but petite or delicate! :P

I am in love with turquoise jewellery and am always attracted to them wherever I see them! I have them in all types - bracelet, ear-rings, necklaces, pendants - you name it and I have it! While roaming around Odeon (an area in Paris)...I saw this unique piece - chunky and really interesting with a character of its own! I jumped on it but never really wore it thinking its really 'over the top'.


Finally, I braved myself to wear it with the same plain black ' a tinge of lace' top and it looked lovely and I got a few admiring glances and compliments at work!! :) Its quite huge and can look good only with plain tops...else it loses its 'character', you know? :P

My blog is a journal; my journal of good memories, milestones, happy thoughts (mostly) and offlate I have developed an interest in writing about fashion. So I am not a fashion blogger per se, but I do write occasionally about it coz I love it! :) Vibhuti is very kind to give me this award which I am thrilled about! She has become really regular with her fashion posts and takes a lot of time and effort to put up interesting pictures of herself in a fashionable avatar! Go check her out!

Not just that, she has given me ANOTHER award which I am really pleased about...I blog pretty frequently about being positive and my journey towards becoming a better person! So I really hope to spread sunshine and happiness in my own little way...

Merci beaucoup, Madame, vous êtes très gentile! ( Thank you very much madame, you are very kind!).

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

There is a bug in our home!!


...but a really cute one that makes me smile instantly! We have even named him!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

We were here!

My folks visited me in Paris for 2 weeks and we also planned a trip to Geneva for 5 days! We had an awesome time and this was a click from our day trip to Chamonix-Mont Blanc. They have gone back to India...and I am still finding it difficult to get back to reality!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My Kitchen window got a lil fancy!





This is the first glass painting, I did on a glass bowl, I just added a torn-artificial creeper to it and VOILA!



















I just loved these colored bottles, the blue ones are water bottles sold in Barcelona! I brought it all the way ( I was allowed to bring only one due to space constraints in our luggage :( )...and some other bottles I have collected from my friends, who usually throw them away! I shamelessly ask, if I can take it home... :)

Initially, I thought I would paint on it...but felt the colors are so pretty and they would look good as is...





Does'nt it look pretty?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My photographer friend!

I am a self-proclaimed photo maniac and love looking at pictures! I am dumbfounded when I see his photos and albums. Sri Iyer, a friend and an amazing photographer takes pictures that are pieces of art! People often say you should do something you love, for a living - coz you are best at what you do! He is a fantastic photographer...and guess what? He has taken it up professionally and has his own studio in Chicago! His forte - People, Little People (babies) and People who are just born (newborns!)

Sri is a Maternity Photographer in Chicago and Baby Photographer in Chicago specializing in beautiful pregnancy pictures, modern newborn photography and children's photography. His wife and my cousin, Jana, helps with newborn posing.

Check out his website - www.photosbysri.com and you'll know what I am talking about...here's a preview!


I told you?! What do you think? Love?

The Girl in the Green Scarf!

...Yes, I am the girl in the green scarf and this is the one, I mentioned here that my dear friend C, spent more than a MONTH knitting this gorgeous pattern for ME! :-) Isn't it gorgeous?

It came as an absolutely pleasant surprise to me and I was thrilled that she put so much effort into this and gifted it to me! I am going to treasure it forever...and even if I am a beginner at knitting, I know that its a difficult pattern and it has a combination of two different shades of green and OF COURSE takes loads of patience to knit such a huge scarf!

Why Green? She said, " She saw a picture of yours truly with S, in Loire Valley and there was all this greenery around us...and she wanted us to remember Europe like that"

Thank you sooooo much C, for the wonderful gesture.... I am deeply touched! I'll feel all warm and fuzzy both inside AND outside during the winters!:-)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Positivity Week (Day 7)!

Today is the final day of the 'Positivity Week' and I think God really wants to test how positivie I am, coz I had a bad day and its going to be difficult to list my 5 things today! No, I am not giving up and will make an effort! :)

1. I am thankful for the warm hug S gave me when I was visibly upset. He calmed me down when I reached home to vent my 'bad feelings' and misery. He can instantly figure out all my moods even if I don't utter a word! I am one of those people who needs to vent it all out, I never keep anything negative or positive bottled up - I believe letting it all out helps you move on...

2. An old lady in the Metro struck a conversation with me (which is a rare occurence as people hardly look at you, forget having a conversation!)...and before she had to get off...she said "You have dimples, no wonder your smile is so beautiful"!! The compliment warmed my heart and made me smile :)

3. I am happy that I found 'Kaushiki Chakrabarty' and her melodious voice that calms all my senses. I feel tranquil in those moments. :)

4. I am another day closer to seeing my darling Amma and Anna! :)

5. This is my 301th post...In Indian culture, when people give money as a gift or blessing, they add an extra rupee to it, like Rs.1001, Rs.501 etc. There is some significance to that practice. It symbolizes the intention of giving a little more than expected, a symbol of prosperity and abundance...which does not stop with a round figure. Similarly, I am happy that this is not my 300th post, but is my 301st post...and I believe it means I will always have happy memories and thoughts to share as time passes by...

This experiment has made me realize that I have so many things/people in my life who make it so much more worthwhile. On all days, (today is an exception), I did'nt need too much time to think about 5 things that made me happy...I am not just looking at the brighter side...I have learnt that there is sunshine and happiness all around...I just need to remove the shades that I am wearing! Enjoy the sunshine and happiness, its out there..within your reach!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Positivity Week (Day 6)

I had a fabulous weekend, looks like the positive thinking is working! Without further ado, I list my 5 happy things for the day!

1. I am happy I found this job. I get a lot of exposure, learning and I have also learnt to be patient. It is really difficult to find employment in Paris (or France?) if you don't speak fluent French and my French is anything but fluent! Strictly speaking, I was'nt 'unemployed', I was doing a lot of freelance work and I treated it like my "business"! But, I found it really difficult to get paid...they would extract the work but dilly-dally on the payments.

So while I got frustrated with the non-payments and scoured through every magazine or website, I mentioned to my friend S that I terribly missed working! I work part-time and this came about, thanks to her, who religiously looked for suitable jobs that fit my profile and referred me to my current job! Thank you S, I am very grateful for this!

2. I feel very blessed that I am married to my best friend! PERIOD. I think that says it all.

3. I am happy that I have learnt to surrender, total surrender to GOD! I have always believed in HIM, but I was very upset with GOD for certain events in my life. Now, I have accepted it and strongly believe that it happened for a reason! He knows what is best for me, he will always be there for me! After all, I am his favorite child! :)

4. Both friends and family think that I am very naive and fail to understand that not everyone is good! I really do trust everyone. I am happy that I see only the 'goodness' in people...if we propogate 'positive thinking', should'nt we learn to focus on the 'goodness' in people too? It has always worked very well for me as even the so-called 'distrustful' or 'mean' people are nice to me! :) I am happy I stuck to my instincts about people.

5. I am truly TRULY grateful that I was born to such wonderful people like my parents and thankful to them for the wonderful sibling they have given me! I know its all destiny, but I feel so lucky for the wonderful family I have!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Positivity Week (Day 5)

It has been a fun-filled weekend with very dear friends...full of fun, laughter and madness ( mostly on my part!) :) Its going to be really easy to list the 5 things that made me happy today!!

1. S and I, met a group of friends and we invited our British friends C and P (from our evening yesterday)...to a Sunday brunch at the world-famous Saravana Bhavan ( they have recently opened a new branch in Paris)....lots of delicious authentic south indian food, friends, conversations and filter-kaapis (filter coffee) later, we were a happy and contented bunch! :)

2. My friend C gave me an absolutely gorgeous surprise - she gave me a lovely green knitted scarf that took her more than a month to complete! It looks stunning and I simply loved it and touched by all the effort that has gone into making it! :) God, I am so blessed to get all this love and affection...will post a picture of the lovely scarf soon - its a sea-green color and its stunning! Thank you so much C, you made me an extremely happy woman today! :)

3. Speaking to the hotel staff in tamizh gives me a high! Apart from S, they are the only people I can speak to, in my mother tongue...and it gives me a sense of being back at home in Madras! It will always be Madras for me, NOT chennai...can't relate to it! :)

4. I have a 'child-like crazy' alter-ego which reveals itself when I am very very happy and comfortable. After a REALLY long time, I could reveal my alter-ego! Very few people get to see this side of me, apart from S and family....and I am glad I could add 2 new friends, C and P, with whom I felt so comfortable! :)

5. The weather is just perfect - cool and pleasant, and its a perfect Sunday! :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Positivity Week (Day 4)

As we have already established that being positive or positivity is a great feeling, I will directly move on to the 5 things that made me happy today! :)

1. Coupled with my screwed-up hormones, I have a constitution that puts on weight, if I just look at food...leave alone eating it! So I really have to work doubly hard to acheive fitness read lose weight. Last year, I bought a pair of cotton jeans in a sale without trying it out, and when I came home and tried it on, it did'nt move beyond my hips to my utter horror! I stored it away hoping I will fit into it soon....and Voila! when I tried it on today, it did!!!!! I wore it to work today and only I knew how excited I was!! :) I always buy a few clothes that are slightly tight, so that its an incentive for me to work harder... :) My own little trick!

2. My friend C who I met in Paris sends me a random SMS about something we discussed long back....She does that very often....and it brings a big smile on my face! Coz, it shows that she is thinking about me and her SMS always comes at a time when I feel lonely and it cheers me up! An absolute bundle of energy and smiles, she radiates happiness....I am glad she is my friend! :)

3. It was a fun evening with friends C and P, and of course my darling S, an interesting movie (Inception), loads of laughter, great food and interesting conversations. Conversations with friends here are always interesting as we get to know and understand other cultures as well as share with pride, our culture, cuisine and to answer all the curious volley of questions! :)

4. Maybe it sounds very sappy, but I love weekends like everyone else for the same reasons - having a relaxed morning, breakfast, chill or relax and enjoying your time...but there is also another reason! :) If you have been reading all the days of my positivity notes, you will notice that there is an underlying common thread on all days - it is S! He is definitely one of the most important part of my happiness...and I am glad its weekend when I get to spend the entire day with him. I don't need to spend every waking moment with him, but I like to see him around...can't really explain it! :)

5. Same time, next week, I'll be with Amma, Anna and S....probably catching up on everything, having a leisurely breakfast as they would have just arrived late night....cuddling up to Amma, lying down on her lap....I can't wait!

Bon Weekend! Cheers!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Positivity Week (Day 3)

I truly believe you can achieve happiness and be happy ALL THE TIME! Even if you are feeling really low, if someone smiles at you....you automatically smile back! I love to see smiling faces and most of the time, that's how you can see me - with a huge smile on my face! :) Even when I ping someone, this is a permanent symbol in all my chats - :) !

The conscious effort to stay positive seems to be working pretty well! Writing and listing it out on the blog further reiterates it! Moving on...to the 5 things that make me happy on Day 3!

1. I talk to my mother almost everyday! I am very close to my family which means I also love to talk to my brother and Dad too. But its not always possible to talk to them everyday for the simple reason that my brother needs to be at work and my Dad does not like to talk much! So my brother and I, send each other offline messages when we have something important to to say to each other, share music or any little thing! I smiled when I read his 'offline message' today! I am so glad that we manage to connect almost anytime despite the time difference and busy workind days.

2. My FB status reads ' Yours truly and Preeti Shenoy are focussing on being positive!' referring to the experiment! One of my friends who likes to tease me a lot, commented that 'So what's your blood group, B positive'? ...I had the last laugh this time coz I REALLY am B+!!! I know this friend S through my husband S, but we make fun of each other like we have been friends for years! I like the easy camaraderie we share and am grateful for the lovely friendship! :)

3. I love cooking and enjoy trying out different kinds of dishes....of course, I need to be in the mood for it ( I hate the prepping part of cutting veggies, grinding, purees, buying the veggies in the first place)! There are days I'd rather have Maggi noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner....anyway, I tried this Potato Capsicum Pulao from Nag's food blog! It turned out really well and S gave me a bonus when he got back home to say he loved it! He ALSO pinged me to say he really enjoyed lunch. It made me really happy. I owe it to Nags, who has a lovely blog and her method of explaining the recipe step-by-step with pictures makes me feel very confident about the outcome! Thank you Nags! If i want to make something different, I always check her blog first!

4. One of my friends from school is reconnecting with me on FB after a decade and she had sent me a message saying this " Janani, I must say that you look more beautiful than before....is it luv....;-)....??? All your profile pics are dazzling!" I am always thrilled to receive compliments and it made me feel good to read that! Yeah, I am vain like that! Bite me! :)

5. Last but not the least, believe me, I am really glad its FRIDAY!! I am this super-bright, chirpy person on all Fridays! My friends, colleagues and family will vouch for it!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Positivity Week (Day 2)

As you continue to find out the things that make me happy...you will realize that its very easy to make me happy. I get excited about the most inane things....or the little things! :) I also think its the best-kept secret to happiness...finding happiness in the little things in life...don't you agree?


1. I happened to watch interviews of Jada Pinket-Smith and Will Smith on Oprah and an old interview of Hrithik-Suzanne Roshan and it felt so good to see that they are so much in love and are the best of friends even after many years of being married and kids. Sadly, I am a witness to many of my friend's relationships and marraiges (of many years failing, even the most romantic couples I have known)....and this was a welcome change! I hope to see many more couples like them who help each other grow!

2. I am forever in a dilemma about growing/cutting my hair and bug S everytime asking if i should cut my hair....he said 'babe, you look sexy in long hair, so keep it!'....now that did'nt make me feel good....I was thrilled! ..and of course, I am growing my hair now! ;-) Besides, I am terrified of Amma's reaction if i cut my hair again and I have had short hair for quite some time now!

3. I saw this smiling baby on the Metro with the most beautiful eyes and she gave me such a gorgeous smile....it made me feel sooo good! If it was back home in India, I would have played with the child or touched her tiny hand....but here, I have to make an effort to stop myself from doing that! :) All babies are beautiful and ethereal...PERIOD.

4. Call me a material girl or a girly girl! But I just found this amazing natural shade of lipstick ( Golden Souffle, L'oreal)....and it tastes really good....does that count? :P

5. I listen to some good music everyday on my commute to work. Those 30 - 40 minutes, my entire life is a soundtrack and everyone else simply cease to exist! The grumpy faces, heat ( summer is killing esp. on the Metro with soo many people and non-existant ventilation) just don't bother me...and I am on a high! Depending on my mood that day, I am either listening to some calming music like melodious numbers or Hindustani classical or I am listening to super-koothu ( fast beat) songs or interesting songs with good beats and I am doing a mental dance if that's possible! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Positivity Week (Day 1)

Nothing interesting to write on the blog all this month. For me, the highlight of this month was that I would be going to the A.R.Rahman concert! Unfortunately, the concert got cancelled and since then I have been moping around coz I was REALLY looking forward to it!


So when I saw this post on Preeti's blog! I jumped in, coz I have always wanted to focus on being positive and looking at the brighter side...and what a lovely idea to do just that! I strongly believe that 'Happiness is a state of mind' and if you make a conscious effort, you can always be happy. Yes, we all do feel low at times and its ok to falter....just remember not to dwell on the negatives! I try not to! :)


As Preeti suggests, starting from today, for the next 7 days - I am going to write 5 things that made me feel happy or grateful.

1. I am grateful for the steaming cup of coffee (with a touch of cinnamon, for good health) that my darling husband makes for me every single day while I am in 'blink' mode! I am not a morning person and it takes some time for me to come back to reality, literally!! It makes me feel really good that he understands that and I love the gesture! I also thank him every single day coz I never take anything for granted!


2. My friend M pings me almost every day with a ' Hello Darling' or a ' Good morning sweetheart' virtually and it puts a huge smile on my face everyday when I read it. Very few people call me or address me with endearments like that and mean it. The green light next to her name is reassuring even if we are not chatting or having a conversation all the time. The virtual world is such a boon and of course, my friend is a big blessing in my life!

3. From the time I have known that Amma and Anna are visiting me, I wake up with a smile thinking I am getting closer to seeing them! I am super excited and thrilled that they are visiting even if it is for a short while.

4. I feel very good when S and I discuss our respective days at work and have a nice chat when we get home at the end of a tiring day. We have a fabulous view of the Eiffel Tower ( another aspect I am very grateful for!) from our Living Room and Kitchen...so we enjoy each other's company, conversations and the fabulous view at night when its all lit up while we cook together or have a snack or just sip tea or coffee!

5. I felt really good when I sprayed on some Coco Chanel Perfume ( very French, huh?), as I got ready to go to work! My friend gave it to me just like that when we met yesterday! It was really thoughtful of her and such a bonus for me to get a gift for no reason! How cool is that and what a lucky bum am I?

I am also grateful to Preeti for this lovely impromptu surprise she gave me...you brought a huge grin on my face (all day!) , Preeti! and a BIG THANK YOU :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I wish...But...

I wish I were perfect
But there is no perfection in the real world

I wish everyone liked me
But I can't please everyone

I wish I were not judged for all my actions
But you are entitled to your opinion?

I wish I could live life on my own terms
But who is stopping me?


I wish I could hold on to everything and everyone I love
But nothing is permanent in life

I wish I knew the purpose of my life
But life is all about the journey, not the destination

I wish I were always happy
But would I value it as much?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I am getting organized!

Being a cosmetic-jewellery-junkie(??!!)...I have loads of earrings, necklaces, bracelets and what not?...and for a long time, I have never found the one I want to wear....when I want to wear it!



So I finally put an end to it and have become organized! I bought this cute-girly cabinet with colorful cloth draws(?)...and all my treasure is in one place! Yayyyyy!!! Not only that, it even has space for my perfumes, brushes and all my paraphernelia!




I have this habit of naming all my stuff....and how could I leave this new addition alone?



Hence, presenting to you...our very own 'Gaudi' from our trip to Spain and specially flown in from Barcelona! I fell in love with his contemporary architecture everywhere and it was breathtakingly beautiful...hence the nickname to the cute lil' bull staring at me as I get ready!


Monday, June 21, 2010

A few firsts in Spain!

After all the serious introspective and sentimental stuff, let's move on to lighter and interesting stuff like clothes, fashion and accessories that I tried on for the first time in Spain! ;-). I have always loved dresses and with so much access to it and looking at a lot of European women wear them, I was tempted to try it on. I always thought that you need to be really skinny to wear dresses, I guess I was wrong. If you are curvy like me and know your body type, you can still carry it off! ;) Noone knows or recogizes me in Spain, so I decided to take the risk! :)















I bought this there....for the lovely blue color and it was so airy - with all the heat, it was a relief!



















A wrap-around dress in black of course, slims you down and creates an illusion of a waist! I know I am not wearing appropriate shoes, but with all the walking that we did in Spain...I could only wear comfortable shoes!

I have always loved big ear-rings that are both ethnic and pretty! I collect a lot of them but never get to wear them thinking its too big or dressy! This time, I made it a point to wear it at least one day...coz my hair is longer...and well, at least its a start! Amma will be really happy coz she loves to see me in big earrings. I normally wear cutesy-non existant looking ones on most days which apparently does not show on my big face!



















I saw these dhoti-pants absolutely on every alternate woman in Spain and it looked sooo comfy that I HAD to buy one too! With all the heat and roaming around, it was so light and comfortable, it felt like wearing nothing! :) I know that they are all 'Made in India' which made me all the more proud! :) Its a big rage there...I also have similar wrap-around long skirts from India in a similar pattern...sorry about the picture, don't have a better one!



















I found this lovely net-detailed vest in Spain and simply loved the style! Paired with a lime-green cardigan, it makes for a lovely color-combination for the summer!


The bag is definitely not a first! ;)....I found this incredibly lovely bag for a super bargain and I love the pop of colour! :) We were walking by and I was just eyeing this bag...and when I saw the price tag, my eyes popped out coz it was a designer bag shop (SALVADOR BACHILLER)..S silently looked at me...smiled at me and said "I know!!! Let's go in!!!!" :) I had bought a lovely big chunky blue bag for the trip and I ditched that one the minute I saw this....I will post a pic of that bag too! I know, I am incorrigible! :) You can never have enough bags or clothes, can you?

P.S - Some of you have to written to me asking me to post full pictures with my face. For privacy reasons, I choose not to reveal myself! I am sure you understand! :) If you do know me personally, you do know how I look anyway! :) I am flattered by the attention! :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

No itches or glitches...7 glorious years!

Instead of rambling on, like I do always, I will keep it simple, S! I must have done SOMETHING right....to have YOU in my life! Happy 7th Anniversary, S! You ARE the best thing that ever happened to me...


Keeping with our tradition of celebrating our anniversary every year in a different place, we are going to Spain all of next week!!! Yayyyyy!!!! See you all on the other side of the holiday! :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Why do we want it all?

I am all for woman empowerment, rather equalit of the sexes. I am not one of those 'women' who thinks that I am superior to men at all. I would just like to be considered an equal in all respects irrespective of my gender which is often the case in point. But off late, I feel women are inflicting torture upon themselves in wanting to be a 'superwoman' who not only cooks, cleans, personally takes care of her child's needs but also has a flourishing career and a fantastic figure to boast of! The best part of this is that nobody forces her to excel at everything, its a self-inflicted expectation.
Our mothers and grandmothers were so much healthier, happier and most importantly, more relaxed. We are always working hard to prove a point to everyone else (that includes me!) and in the process often choose to ignore our own voices or desires. We never seem to think about what we really want or go after it with enough conviction.Sometime back, I made a conscious decision to not get bogged down by what others think of me. It was not an instant change, but gradually I learnt to take everything with a pinch of salt - both compliments and negativity. I must say it has immensely lightened and enlightened my mind. One step at a time.
Now, my personal objective is to be positive about anything and everything. Surround yourself with happy thoughts and positive people and automatically you will attract all good things in life. I try not to say anything negative or feel negative about anyone or anything which is pretty difficult considering I am human! :) But I am trying... I have a very bad quality, I am very judgemental and judge people very quickly. That is also something I must 'undo'...for example, I used to hate people who smoke, I always thought that having such a nasty habit reflects on their character too. Now, I look at it as a bad habit they must get rid of. PERIOD. It does not make them a bad person. Of course, my judgemental self looks at smoking as a complete lack of self control. I strongly believe that nothing should have control over your senses - be it smoking or any habit! Period. Its all in your mind. Anyway, I digress...
Earlier, I would have pestered the smoking friend to quit or explained how toxic it is and how it affects your system and so on and so forth. Now, I don't say anything unless I am close or comfortable enough to take that liberty! S/he is well aware of how smoking affects them and is making an informed decision when they decided to smoke. Certain things in life are learnt only the hard way round and it applies to me as well. I have had to unlearn a lot of things only through experience, I didn't accept it when it was good advice from my folks! :) Well, at least its not too late! ( No, I don't smoke, am referring to different things!) :)
I agree life is not easy. At the same time, life is beautiful depending on how you want to look at it and what you consciously decide to focus on! Do you know just about ANYONE whose life is perfect or someone who has no problems at all? I want to be a good person, who is happy and cheerful and I would like to spread happiness and cheer in whatever way I can! These are things I have control over. You will never understand how you will yearn for something when its taken away from you...so savour every moment, every day and all the love you get! Be loving and smile as much as you can! I AM! :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

Metro Musings!

My journey to the office is always interesting and I see different people and their unique style or behaviour and I am hooked! Offlate, I have seen a lot of women do their makeup on the Metro! Once, I saw a woman do her entire face with just a simple lip pencil and I looked at her wide-eyed and filled with awe. Another time, I saw this college-going-girl do her makeup too. But she had the entire paraphernelia - brushes, foundation, bronzer, blush, eyeliner, lipstick, gloss, mascara - it was like a magic pouch , things kept comong! The result was beautiful....and I had a hard time behaving like "Oh! I am so used to this, I see it everyday" expression while inside I was excited and eager to stare at the whole process.

Personally, I think it requires a lot of courage and self-confidence to put on make up in fornt of a bunch of strangers!!! I can't put on a simple eyeliner properly even if a friend is at home, or for that matter if anyone is watching me. I feel very self-conscious...or maybe, its just me! Applying makeup is an art...its not very easy and not everyone gets it right. Just like cooking or designing, it requires quick brush strokes like an artist, mixing the right colors...of course, as it may apply to any aspect of life, obsessing about makeup is not good either...but it can be a lot of fun. Sometimes, when I get bored, I do it even now, I 'play' makeup on my poor Amma or a willing cousin who will agree just to humour me. I know it sounds silly but its a lot of fun and it makes me happy. Amma often compliments the make up artist too! :)


Recently, I have been reading some fashion blogs and even seen some tutorials on youtube. I am amazed at the effort bloggers/people put in to it and they are absolutely very professional and detail-oriented. Its not easy to post pictures in every angle and its quite a huge task to update it everyday - and to make a good job of it!

I have always loved MAC cosmetics but never bought them coz they are super expensive. So recently when I decided to buy one, I was so excited and felt so grown up!! :) I have to admit that though they are slightly expensive compared to other brands, they last for a long time...more than a year and are good quality cosmetics.

Back home, LAKME is a good cosmetic brand that is affordable and offers a lot of variety at the same time! Their innovations are neat and you can try it out without burning a hole in your pockets. When I was in college, I used to save money to buy their lip pencils coz it was a huge rage THEN, and I used to sneak out and hide them everywhere like a treasure. Amma did'nt like me wearing lipsticks so she would find them all and hide them somewhere else. (of course, I did'nt know she did that). I would assume that I had misplaced it and would save again to buy another one!!! In this kide-n-seek game between Amma and me, not only did LAKME acknowledge me as a loyal customer, I had accumulated more than 20 lip pencils!!!! Finally, when I got married I found out my Amma's antics and she gave me all the pencils. Of course, I don't use lip pencils NOW. Murphy's Law!


My friend Sangita from school taught me how to apply eyeliner with your eyes open...:) Thanks babe! All makeup stories and tips are welcome, please share!