It’s A Start

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.

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

Your home stocks more than you know! It holds ingredients to a lot of our everyday requirements.

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

Love is patient, Love is kind…
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

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

As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

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

I got me a girl gang that stands as strong as blood

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!

They are the world!

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!

The Circus Elephant

The show stopper for me always remained the elephants. The ginormous and magnificent beings that have ears and noses larger than all and suspiciously tiny eyes.

As a 90s kid, a large part of my summer vacations was making a day out of a trip to the local circus. We’d spend days planning the day; making a group, convincing parents, thinking of the potluck, prepping for the post show games in the garden and actually picking a date- most of which was done by the mothers while we just nagged around.
As trivial as it sounds right now it meant a great deal then. The drive to the venue was filled with incessant chatter among cousins and friends, trying to recall the events of the previous year’s circus, making creative assumptions about everything we wished to see in the current year’s performance and how much fun the immediate future was about to be. There was a large part of this conversation which revolved around the food our mothers had packed, the sandwiches and juices, the jams and candies… no one wanted to talk about the fruits of course.

The sight of a familiar, larger-than-life, multi-coloured, striped tent would automatically have us gushing. Our caps and hats in place and shoe laces tightened, we were like bulls waiting to charge, waiting to find a seat and waiting for the show to begin. Visiting the zoo was one of the compulsory trips on our annual curriculum, but a circus always held a different charm. The animals were the same, but here they were let loose instead of being inside cages and yet they were sources of entertainment rather than being intimidating; funny, isn’t it?
Year after year, the routines remained the same. The monkeys cycled, the gymnasts were on acrobats, the dogs carried baskets of flowers and sometimes fruits, the lions roared, the bikers rode in horizontal circles defying gravity, the masters made the lions act like tamed dogs, the magician pulled out vibrant ribbons, white pigeons and rabbits from their hats.

The show stopper for me always remained the elephants. The ginormous and magnificent beings that have ears and noses larger than all and suspiciously tiny eyes. Unaware of the order of the food web or placement of herbivores in it, to me they were the most powerful of them all. The reason they had all my attention was because despite their size they played the role of a juggler with hats and colourful balls. They stood on two legs over an inverted bucket. They made me laugh and tickled my ribs like the clowns around them.
Why was someone who is strong enough to uproot trees with a whisk of its trunk alone, being so cordial?

The answer of course came much later. Years after I had stopped going to circuses. Years after the use of animals at circuses was declared as cruelty against animals. It came in a lecture when the professor was teaching the concepts of Conditioning, Learned Helplessness and Parenting.

A baby elephant is left in shackles and nailed to the ground for majority of its free time. Every time it tries to break free, it is punished with severe pain around its ankles. With years of trial and error resulting in pain and failure, it learns a lesson for life!
Fast forward many years ahead, as a full blown adult sized elephant with the ability to crush anything and everything on its way, it remains humble. It is humbled by an experience of its childhood. It has the potential yet it undermine itself. Tied down to a spot with just a feeble rope and anchored to the ground using a disproportionately small piece of wood, it never tries to make a run for its freedom and allows itself to be commanded at the helm of a midget stick being pointed at it.

Many of our actions have consequences large enough to change the fate of a person and their self image.
When you compare between siblings or friends, you are always inflating someones self efficacy while deflating the other though the short term agenda was to motivate. When you tell your child that they are not yet prepared, you could be leaving a long term impression about them not being good enough. When you tell your spouse to be more like your parent, you are telling them that they do not compare or provide as well as you have been provided for. When you tell a hurt boy to not cry like a girl, you are forcing the thought process that girls are weak and among girls that boys are stronger. When you ask someone to work on their size, complexion and tan with the intention of helping them work on their appearance, you could be instilling an inferiority complex through discrimination.

There is an old hindi proverb “हाथी के दांत खाने के और दिखाने के और” which loosely translates to “elephants have different teeth to eat and different to show”.
It is the same with our words. They intend something but could have a very different effect.

Coming A Full Circle

On completing a year!

We have all learnt that a circle by definition is a closed two dimensional figure with has no edges and no starting and ending point. But the circle that I’m about to talk about has a well defined starting point. This circle is my journey from the point when I rode high on an impulse of starting a blog with no theme or planning in mind to today when that night and the conversation that led to it are always going to remain a story I love to re-tell.

In the summer of 2018 I took a trip to Manali. This trip started with fifteen strangers huddled together for some camping and hiking and a week later we were all friends with stories and thoughts exchanged. While I was busy being lost in myself and absorbing my surroundings, there was someone who was taking notice of my repeated moments of rush to scribble something on my notepad.
Fast forward two months, and I see a link in my inbox with a message saying you should apply for a certain creative writing retreat. Thus began a late evening soiree of youtube videos on creating a blog to digging up old notebooks and scanning the last pages for a half decent piece of writing.

With 52 weeks and 52 posts behind me, I know I have some more clarity than I did that evening. But I’m still as clueless as when I had started. But between the beginning and now, a lot has appeared, disappeared, grown and changed. While the words “I would like to be the first one to receive a signed copy of your book someday” seemed like a good motivation with not a single freckle of reality, but today I do imagine a book in the future.

Speaking of travel, perspectives, mental health, simple living and just simple pleasures… I have also found a more constructive and grounding way of thinking for myself. On some of my blue days, it’s this platform that has made me realise that I’m not the only one. Talking about little insecurities on such a large platform is difficult, but the acceptance and responses have made me realise that I’m starting a conversation that’s much needed.

A principle that I’ve stuck to since day one is that I’m going to keep my truth honest and naked. So, in order to write about being responsible towards the environment and nature I made sure that I was switching to more sustainable habits such as bamboo toothbrush, metal straws, reusable water bottles and menstural cups. Talking about health only happened after I had personally quit sugar and observing intermittent fasting and found cost effective ways to support the habit.

Of course, there have been weeks when I have just disappeared with no word. But the love that some of you have shown by just dropping a message and asking if I was doing fine got me back onto it. Life has been quite a wave of change in this period; from being someone who was travelling once a month to being engaged- I like how @thehazywhisperer remains a constant that I’m proud to call my passion child, that I’m nurturing and growing all by myself.
Somedays it has been my venting space and some other times it is my reason to try something new. Somedays I’m drawing satisfaction from the fact that my words have brought support and a smile on someone’s face and some other times I have spend hours scratching my head and putting my education to use by spreading the word on a larger scale.

So, I’m just trying to find the right words to say thank you to each and every element that has gotten me here. I’ve started conversations and become a more attentive listener because I’m always wondering what new thing can I learn and which alternate perspective can I bring forward and share with you guys!


A humble gift request on turning 1: Please do take a minute to share what you think about my work so far & do you feel a connect and if yes then how. Your feedback is the fuel to my engine of things, do be generous 😉
Write back through comments,
via email (thehazywhisperer@gmail.com)
or on instagram (@thehazywhisperer)

Guided Choices

In this world, there are things you can only do alone and there are things you can only do with someone else. It’s important to combine the two in just the right amounts.

During a group discussion in a management session, the professor said that he will get back to my colleagues question in a little while.
Then the professor further asked my colleague, “If you don’t mind me asking sir, do you have kids?”
To which my colleague replied with a smile, “Yes sir! I have a son.”
Professor: “How old is he? What is he doing?”
Colleague: “He is currently pursuing a financing course.”
Professor: “Does your son have freedom to make his own choices?”
Colleague: “Absolutely?”
Professor: “Do you trust your son?”
Colleague: *almost immediately* “Of course, completely!”
Professor: “Oh, that’s great…. How did he come to choose his field of vocation?”
Colleague: “By himself, with some council and guidance from my wife and I.”
Professor: “Are you sure you were just a guiding force and not an opinionated person with a convincing fatherly instinct?”
Colleague: *lost for words and drowning in retrospect*

Professor: “… so to answer your earlier question Sir, do you really think you trust you employees and give them freedom to perform when you did not really give your own child the complete freedom to choose what he will be practicing all this life?”


Give it a second before you start thinking or simple let your horses loose. I’m not pointing fingers at the father who wanted the best for his child and calls it his love and concern. I’m not pointing fingers at the Professor who got a bit personal in order to explain a point he thought was necessary to prove to us that just believing is not enough.

Just take a moment and think about the times you’ve made guided choices and now believe that they were truly your own. How often have you just tried to help someone make a decision while what you were sub-consciously doing was letting them know that the universal truth is actually just what you believe to be true based on your awareness… (which is not wrong, but just requires some thought).

Now think, how often have you just heard the other person out.
I know, for a fact, that I’ve made these guided choices and guided people through choices. But I’m also told that I’m a terrible counsellor for someone with a Masters in Psychology. I ask questions, some more questions, and then some more, until a framework emerges. Until a fabric of understanding is woven. Up until there is enough information to create a tailor made answer… Is it bad? Well I’m just indecisive like that!

The Backwards Law

It is only when you love all the colours in a rainbow do you accept the rainbow’s beauty or else you are just knit-picking!

Recently a friend shared an interesting post with me, via social media.
In all honesty its been a little more than a week since he shared it, but today I’ve decided to put it out here and share it with all you people.
Its taken me some time to ‘unpretzel my mind’ and its still a work in process…


‘Wanting positive experience is a negative experience; accepting negative experience is a positive experience. It’s what the philosopher Alan Watts used to refer to as “the backwards law”- the idea that the more you pursue feeling better all the time, the less satisfied you become, as pursuing something only reinforces the fact that you lack it in the first place. The more you desperately want to be rich, the more poor and unworthy you feel, regardless of how much money you actually make. The more you desperately want to be sexy and desired, the uglier you come to see yourself, regardless of your actual physical appearance. The more you desperately want to be happy and loved, the lonelier and more afraid you become, regardless of those who surround you. The more you want to be spiritually enlightened, the more self-entered and shallow you become in trying to get there.’


If you are wondering what took me so long to chew this up, gulp it down and try to digest it… well maybe you should read it once again. And then one more time if you still feel the same way.
And these multiple reads were what I needed to internalise these words in the first place. The idea of always being happy and being positive has been so largely marketed and glamourised that we forget that we are more complex machines than any we have created and that we have innumerous softwares that work parallel to one another and mechanisms which are far beyond our own understanding and control.
It is not just okay to feel low, in fact sometimes you owe it to yourself- if you are low, allow yourself to feel it. If you are feeling upset or even angry, you have a reason; so don’t undermine your own smarts. By this I don’t mean to say that you can do outrageous things and take extreme measures, all I mean is that we need to feel the whole spectrum of our emotions and then act with the best possible alternatives.

Have you ever been given a compliment which not only do you not understand but cannot even believe it because you think the contrary of yourself? And somehow that compliment or comment (as you don’t believe it) comes back to you from time to time.
Ever wondered why someone thinks you are beautiful while you don’t think your complexion is good enough or you are too tall to look good or too broad structured to look cute? Are people really always trying to flatter you? Could they have an ulterior motive to achieve by making you doubt yourself and classify your insecurities flawed?

It is only when you love all the colours in a rainbow do you accept the rainbow’s beauty or else you are just knit-picking!