Better Late Than Never

If you haven’t caught wind from the title yet,
then here’s the perpetually late and now Mrs. :
Wishing You & Yours A Happy Healthy & Heartfelt New Years,
From Me & Mine!


Starting the year with the resolve to make humanity my first and foremost religion, I ran a full circle with The Hazy Whisperer as it turned 1, meeting the person I am going to grow old with… I brought in the New Year with that very person.
While the next few months are going to be all about change, adaptation and adjusting, I have decided to take one day at a time. And that majorly comprises my resolution as well.
Of course there are the usuals too, like:
1. Drink more water
2. Fit in some exercise each week
3. Smile more often and with honesty
4. Pet more dogs

For the new life, we have a motto!!

“The rarest thing in life is to live. Most of us just about exist”

Oscar Wilde

I wanted to thank each one of you for repeatedly visiting my page, reading, appreciating and showing all the love that you do.
So here’s something for all of you…


I have decided to make this year more interactive. To be more receptive. To be more impromptu.
I’d like you guys to comment or share a word, phrase, topic that you’d like me to talk about, discuss or explore.

SO LET’S TYPE AND SEND THE FIRST THING THAT COMES TO YOUR MIND!

Of Myself, To Myself

Half a year ago, or you could just say two seasons ago, I knew I was to soon shift cities, change my last name, create a new place, make new relations, understand and define boundaries for myself…. re-invent myself.
It is like taking the last quarter of a century’s work and treating it like base work and starting to understand oneself all over again in an absolutely new setting, surrounded by a new mindset, with new house rules and newer house mates and a fresh new perspective of self.

Let’s fast track a bit… and its been a three weeks!
Three weeks of being a wife, a daughter-in-law, a sister-in-law. Mostly, three weeks of being the ‘new one’ with all things new!

In all this newness, there isn’t a single day that has gone by where I haven’t thought of all the oldness.
Every morning. when I touch the feet of my new grandparents, I miss the morning green tea over news paper and some crisp sunlight with the ones back home.
When my new mother cooks something, it doesn’t even take my mind a second to rush back to the cooking of my mother’s hands.
When my new father says something to me, I can’t help but smile at how I have spent a majority part of conversations with baba in discussions and debates.
When I’m setting tasks to do on a specific day and settling in, I know I couldn’t have done it without drawing inferences from the lives of my brother and his wife (who I think of as my older sister).
When they sit and share stories and incidents from their own lives, I can’t help but miss our all nighters where all the cousins sat with junk and gossip, embarrassing one another with childhood stories and the shit storm we brewed as a bunch of hooligans.
As I meet the extended family here, I want to call my aunts and uncles- ones I have back home, and tell them that I’m more blessed than most because of them. I’ve had the luxury of being co-parented by so many. Love by all. Taught by all. Grown up amongst all.
When I see him bump into a friend on the street, I can’t help but wonder when I’ll next spend time with mine; my friends that have been family in more ways than I can fathom.
The times we sat on the swing discussing boys, friends, studies, sibling hatred, out collective dislike for specific vegetables and love for the most random things. Being each other’s fashion guides, trending lingo assistants, discussing dreams and how we’d blow the large bucks that the realisation of that dream would bring us. Our baseless fears and even worse coping mechanisms. Obsessing over coffee and cheese, ice creams and cakes. Reviewing new food joints, sharing music, talking of treks and all the places we’d visit and the causes we will volunteer for and the books we’ve read and the new workout plan that we’ve procrastinated over.

…WAIT…
Before I sound like I’m already venting and am a damsel in distress, let me give you some insight…

At 5 am, with sleep deprived eyes, under the weight of bridal ensemble, in front of at least three dozen pairs of glassy eyes, I had taken leave from all of them- with a twinkle in my eyes and laughter pouring out of my lips. Excited about the new and yet to be experienced, sure of the support from both ends and the unconditional love all around.
I agree, I haven’t felt the kind of warmth I experienced that morning ever before. With me as the point of everyone’s focus and all that intensity making me feel floaty.

Was I in denial? Should I have cried at the end of my single life?
I think not.
I wasn’t pressured into anything, there was a choice and chose this.
I have only grown fonder of the person whom I’m to spend the rest of my life with.
I treat the house as my own and not that of my in-laws.
My birth family will be 800kms away, but someone once said ‘distance makes the hearts grow fonder’… so what’s there to be sad about?
I’m not insensitive. I think of them more number of times than I’ll ever be able to admit. They are the reason behind who I am today.

I’m married. I miss my birth family. I wish to spend more Saturday evenings with my friends. I want those friendly banters with all my brothers and sisters.
I’ll have only so much of it.
I’m grateful. I love both my families. I have more brothers and sisters now. I’m living in and exploring an absolutely new city and its culture. I have more than I need.


According to Atharva Veda, marriage is detachment from my father’s clan because I’m to begin mine; It is my re-birth.


TO make my shift a little more comfortable Zoomin gave me the bst gift ever!

It’s A Start

Toes curling to hold onto the sand, taking support- placing one foot in front of the other. Breeze gently whistling through my ears, humidity causing perspiration in my strands. 

The sweet noise of dragonflies closing their business day and probably hustling back to their families. Fleets of big and small fishing boats racing against the setting sun from a day long adventure on the sea. The sight of a decaying tortoise, laying on its back at its final resting place- fishermen said that it had been washed ashore in this state the day before, maybe the century old limbs had given way, we’ll never really know. Crows scavenging to their hearts content. Little crabs running around while being camouflaged by the sands, avoiding being trampled by foreign feet. Roaring waves meeting the shore and parting like a lover kissing goodbye.

The comfort of a setting sun, the warmth of a loving arm, the music of a carefree laughter. What more could I have asked for? Briefly closing my eyes, I sent a quick prayer, paying gratitude for everything that I had in that moment. A simple evening of no frills, the sanguinity of a blazing but soothing sun, a new and promising life, a companion.

Taking unsure and short steps towards the waves and watching it pull the land from under us. Holding onto each other for support and giggling like little kids at our smarts in the moment. Letting our funny bones being poked, tickled and worked.
Just then we knew, we had miles to go and yet in that silence we were already getting better at understanding each other a little better- one laughter at a time.

Aesthetic Home Remedies

As I change into my comfort night clothes after an evening of pleasantries, celebration and festivities, making my way to the sink with a tray full of things to use before I hit the sack, I realised that this is something I want to share with all of you.
(While it comes from a woman’s routine, it is absolutely hetero friendly; it is actually quite metro!)

There is a lot that goes on with our skin hair and body during the festive season and here’s how I like to prep, mend and maintain taking care of myself.

  • Get as much water as you can. Between meals (never along with the meals), as soon as you wake up, as a mixer, as juices and high water content fruits and vegetables. HYDRATE!
  • Add as much fruit and greens to your diet as you can. They could be your pick me up snack, a side to your mains, or sometimes it is the main.
  • Have green tea… I love playing it up with flavours and sometimes just go with the warm water. It helps a great deal with feeling lighter after heavier meals and is also helpful in digestion.
    Of course, there is the infamous lime in warm water with some ginger in the morning for digestion and weight loss 😉
  • Also, ICE CUBES!!
    I love scrubbing a couple of ice cubes onto my face post washing my face at night. And in case I’m about to use makeup, it is a great way to prep the skin.
  • While mash potatoes are my guilty pleasure, they serve a higher purpose for me. Half a potato peeled and finely grated and used around the eye considerably helps with the under eye.
  • Take a tomato, slice into two with a pinch of turmeric (for added antiseptic benefits) sprinkled on it. Now rub it on your tan affected areas and you’ll see how this simple home trick lightens the skin within a week.
  • For the last minute outings, when my skin isn’t feeling it- just take a teaspoon of honey and scrub it over your face. Leave it on for 10 minutes (I usually prefer visiting my closet during this time). And once you wash your face, you’ll be in for a surprise! The Glow is so worth it!!
    Also, on somedays, I add a pinch of turmeric (remember- antiseptic); it helps with the complexion.

There are somethings that are in my shower cabinet and I hate to run out of:
1. Apple cider vinegar
2. Castor Oil
3. Coconut Oil
4. Boroplus
Let me explain to you why I let these bottles crowd my space.

Apple Cider Vinegar
This one here is God sent.
Take a spoon of the vinegar with three spoons of drinking water in a glass and gulp it down. Do it on the morning after a junk filled and/or heavy dinner or when your stomach hurts.
For the ones with acne scars, fill a container with water and apple cider vinegar in equal quantities. Apply the mix on the scars two to three times a day. With patience, watch how your scars lighten and even disappear.
For the times when dandruff is an issue, take 1:3 ratio of vinegar to water and slowly pour it into your shampooed hair. Allow it to sit there for 5 to 10 minutes before you rinse it. No need to condition your hair after this.

Castor Oil
As a person with very light eyebrows born with hardly any, I use a q-tip dipped in this magic oil apply it generously in the area and leave it on for the night. It is a slow process though.
Before hitting the sack, I use massage a good quantity of it into my skin- face, hands, legs, palms and feet. It nourishes like no other.
For the hair, I’ve been using it along with equipment-proportioned olive oil and almond oil for the last year. The mixture sits tight in the cabinet and I remove the quantity that I need and warm it up before applying. (do not leave it on for more that 45 to 50 minutes).

Coconut Oil
Through summers I prefer using coconut oil for my skin as it is lighter.
Combine it with sugar crystals on your palm and use it as a lip scrub for instant soft pink lips.
It doesn’t suit my scalp, but if you are okay with it add it to the hair oil mix mentioned above and savour the healthy hair!

And most importantly, it’s my favourite makeup remover of all times, from just kohl to a full coverage, you name it and it takes care of it by leaving your skin moisturised.

Boroplus
A coat of it on my lips as I fall asleep is a must! I wake up to soft lips with no chapping or cracks. It works for elbows and heels as well!


All the above pointers are something I swear by!
As the name suggests they are home remedies that I’ve been handed down by my grand mother and mother. Some are quick fixes and some take their own sweet time.
If you plan on trying them, make sure to do a trial patch before you go all out, as each skin is different and what works for me might not always work for you. But majority of it mostly will!

Please do comment and share if you have tried or heard of any such simple home remedies that can make our lives easier in the most natural ways.

LOVE

STORY 1
Boy met Girl. Girl was terrified of him. She was amused by him and he needed her help. He had puppy eyes and she had a caring heart. Locked in a situation with no probable alternatives. Girl begins to look after Boy with a determination of completing checklists. Before she knew it, he became her home. He knew how to lighten her up and she knew how to make him drool. They went through years of happy-sad, excitement-monotony, calm-distant like a wave in the ocean… effortless. One morning, while she was on a train away from home and he was being his happy self… He was gone, just like that.

STORY 2
She is curves. He is her pool of comfort.
He is always there. She always walks right into his arms.
She has a temper. He has solid shoulders.
He never judges. She is a ball of complexes.
And each night, they meet like the first time.
And each morning they part with a promise of a repeat.

STORY 3
Even at a distance his cologne tantalised her senses. Since her mid teens she spent hours being lost in his world. Smiling at the joys, crying with him through his hardships, laughing at moments of surprise and fun, calmly holding on when she didn’t know anything better, learning something new each time and experiencing more than a lifetime with him… ever since the first time she walked down the corridor, her hand holding him tight, she knew. She knew that this bond was forever. And so it was… just that simple!


A few days back I was asked if I have any love stories that I could share, for an assignment. While I had nothing that could help the person in question, I did realise that there are a few romances that I’ve been nurturing since a while now.
Here are my atypical love stories, in which I have invested just as much as I do in my human relationships. That’s right, in all the above stories the girl/woman is me. The male counterpart changes in each one of them.
The first is about Bruno- who walked into my life on his little fours and years later left us with no time to prepare.
The second one is about me and my mattress.
And the last one is for the love of books (think physical books and not soft copies).

Now quickly go and revisit the stories above if you thought love was all about two people. Love is actually an emotion and it is on us to feel and associate it with people places and things, which have an impact on us, which require us to put in an extra effort and sustain that commitment.

Our Greatest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson

Written on the inner side of a hardbound notebook in which I collect ‘Favourite Quotes and Words’ since years now- these above lines are often read, often ignored and often taken for granted. But most importantly, these words have been the first thing that I read when I open this book for a place to hide in or a place to find answers. They were never land picked by me but I carry them around as an invaluable gift.

If you allow them, they will lift you up on some very gloomy days. If you soak them in, even for a moment, they will lift that weight off your shoulder. If you believe in them, they will show you a mirror you often forego.
And trust me baby, they will have the exact impact that you permit them to. Or they could also be just words when you want them to be.

The Girl Gang

In the last decade of my extensive exposure to the internet and peeks into people’s personal lives that they’ve chosen to make public, I’ve always fancied the concept of a girl gang.
For a student who switched schools every few years, I didn’t see me having a group that knew one another from our own diapers to the time we were changing diapers. A group that knew each others secrets from the start, got their first racer bras together, had their nails painted and went from genre to genre marking our growth.

But Now…
Now that I’m preparing to change my last name, leave the town I’ve always called home for another, to having two sets of parents – one that got me into this world and another that got him into this world, from sharing my room with no one to creating a co-habiting space with another.
Now when I’m preparing to dawn a new skin and grow into it.
From being the younger sibling, the notorious one with a loud (almost wild) laughter, the whim thrower and the one always taken care of… a few weeks from now and I’m walking into being the eldest, expected to be responsible for more than myself, a benchmark setter of sorts, the one holding the baton of two families at once and creating a balance.
(I know I’m not the first one to go through this transformation and will not be the last)

But Now…
Now when I had to pick my gang and put us all together for a weekend, I knew I was blessed for having have met them at different points in my life. Over a weekend I had the luxury and good fortune of getting me a school friend, a friend from under-grad, a friend that came into my life as a gift from my brother and a friend who saw me through my masters (solo living away from home).
A bit nervous about this mixer, the weekend couldn’t have been better. While at the beginning I was the only common point for all of them from different phases of my life, they all walked away with new friends. And I walked away with a group that will remember my childhood dreams, my grad school ambitions and my crazed spirit- never letting me lose sight of who I am, who I can be.

I got me a girl gang, finally!
I got me a girl gang that has seen my drama.
I got me a girl gang that has done some really crazy things with me and for me.
I got me a girl gang that looks after me.
I got me a girl gang that taught me how to look out for each other.
I got me a girl gang that lets me vent so I can be my best version in the world.
I got me a girl gang that knows my story and doesn’t judge my dark spots.
I got me a girl gang that laughs, cries and dances with me.
I got me a girl gang that is just a call away, no matter how long it has been.
I got me a girl gang that appreciates my smarts but calls my bluff as it is.
I got me a girl gang that stands as strong as blood.

Here’s to my bunch and all your bunches that get you roaring!!

THEY, THE TEACHERS!

When the entire world celebrates teachers, I’ve decide to acknowledge and thank my constant teachers.
They don’t bare the title, they play the role. They are unrecognised, they are essential. There are no specific subjects and specialisations but they have all contributed in one way or another.

They taught me that age does not always decide the role.
They taught me that respect cannot be demanded- one has to earn it (age and relationship no bar).
They showed me that just because someone thinks differently than you, doesn’t always mean that either one of you is wrong.
They have respected my space when I wanted to stay alone without confusing me for a lonely person and forced their company upon me when they sensed my loneliness… the difference between being alone and being lonely makes a world of a difference.
They showed me that self worth must not come from grades, qualifications, pay cheques, material possessions, but from within.
They made me realise that forgiving is not easy but it isn’t impossible either.
They have shown me that learning has no age.
They taught me that sometimes proving to be the smartest in the room is the dumbest thing to do as you could be hurting someone with your ignorance of them.
They showed me that being sensitive is a strength and not a weakness, only if you believe it.
They taught me that being caring and understanding of others is a talent in itself and takes practice to become instinctive.
They taught me that it requires strength to say Yes or No, it requires smarts to choose between them and it takes courage to live up to the decision.
They made me realise that nature and our surroundings are our best teachers, only if we’re paying attention and filtering the noise actively.
They taught me that in a fix between two people of different age groups, there are no hard and fast rules regarding who initiates a solution. It is always the one with intent that goes first.
They showed me that the world doesn’t revolve around me and it is better that way.
They taught me that no problem is unique to only me, someone somewhere has been and is going through it with me.
They taught me that the physical distance has no capacity to put distance between two hearts. They will continue to stay connected irrespective of the time zones, with effort and trust.
They taught me that diversity is just that- diverse. Not everything is good or bad, worth or worthless.
They showed me that most priceless things are qualitative and cannot be en-cashed.
They taught me that food feeds your stomach, money feeds your ego and Travel feeds your soul- and we need ALL of them. 

On a daily basis I don’t show gratitude to their contribution as I’m busy in my quest to conquer everything else. 
They are the wheels to my chariot, often un-noticed but the essence of my functioning. They usually come in as small blessings when I am least expecting them and leave with no charade, with no claim for applause.

Who are they, you wonder?

Even I don’t know for sure. 
They are my family members. They are my friends. They are strangers on a street. They are my colleagues. They are the house help. They are bystanders.
They are the world!

Being

‘I’m sure you’ve been told that the only way for the mind to find peace is by learning to be calm and centred.’
‘Yes,’ said Raavan, rolling his eyes.
‘Why did you roll your eyes?’
‘I didn’t mean to. I’m sorry.’
Vedavati laughed. ‘I didn’t say it was wrong. I just asked why you did it.’
Raavan laughed softly. ‘Because it’s very easy to counsel people that they should be calm and centred. But no one tells you how to do it!’
‘Exactly. That is the problem. People keep thinking that they have to do something to achieve that state. Be successful in their profession, perhaps, or go on a holiday, or make the right friends, or find a different spouse… But even after they make the change, they find they are not calm. So then they think they have to do something more. Something different. It’s a never-ending cycle. Basically, calmness and centred ness are always elusive because people assume they have to do something, gain good karma, to get there.’
‘So, the problem is with our focus on karma?’
‘Yes. It’s very difficult to be calm and centred if your entire focus is on that. For karma is action in the hope of something in return. Like, if you give charity to someone, you expect at least respect in return. It’s a transaction. And if the result of your actions is not what you expected, you feel let down and become unhappy. Even worse, if the karma you get in return for your actions IS, in fact, what you expected, you discover that the happiness you derive fro it is fleeting. If dissatisfaction is guaranteed, how can you find peace of mind?’
‘How?’
‘Simple by Being what you are meant to Be. By staying true to your Swatatva.’
Raavan leaned back. The beauty of the logic filled his mind.
Vedavati continued, ‘I’m not saying we shouldn’t focus on karma. Without our karma, we may as well be dead. But karma should not be the centre of our lives. If we truly discover our Being, our Swatatva, and live in consonance with what we are meant to be, then everything becomes easy. We don’t have to try hard to carry out our karma. Because we will not do anything in the vain hope of something else. We will do it simply because it is in consonance with our Being. With what we were born to Be.

Book: RAAVAN- Enemy of Aryavarta by Amish

GLOSSARY:
Swatatva: one’s true self, Being
Karma: the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences (Hinduism and Buddhism)
Consonance: agreement or compatibility between opinions or actions

ECCENTRICITY

Eccentricity is not, as dull people would have us believe, a form of madness.
It is often a kind of innocent pride.
And the man of genius and the aristocrat are frequently regarded eccentrics because genius and aristocrat are entirely unafraid of and uninfluenced by the opinions and the vagaries of the crowd.

Edith Sitwell

How better could one explain this term?
Very often and very loosely have I heard very many people use this as an adjective for two opposites; for the smarts and also for the looneys. How then should I agree with them when I fail to understand their hypocrisy?
Or should I just believe that they use the term for people and behaviours that are beyond them (good and bad), and give due respect to those who dare to emerge on the either extremes of the bell curve of accepted normalcy?