Movies That Move You

I watched Spotlight movie today. I have been wanting to see it ever since it was released. And every single frame of it was worth it. 

From a production point of view, it may not be a magnificent movie. But its sole hero was its story - essentially the true story of Boston Globe's investigative piece on child sexual abuse carried out by Roman Catholic priests in Boston over several decades.

It is stories like these that make you realize there is a bigger life out there - beyond your mundane problems, beyond your shopping hauls and sale notifications or traffic jams. 

These stories do not have to be only about serious crimes. Even the Bollywood movies 'Queen' or 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara' were good enough in making you re-assess your life.

I remember watching 'Shawshank Redemption' a couple of years ago and being filled with the belief that anything is possible and there is always hope. I remember watching the movie 'Sleepers' as a teenager and not being affected by it for several days, though not in a good way. I remember watching 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' making me feel guilty about stupid problems of my life when people had faced much starker problems in their lives, especially during partition time.

Until last week I had been highly impacted by the tv show '13 Reasons Why' wondering the prevalence of the issues depicted in Indian schools.

Movies, or for that matter TV shows, as a true piece of art have the profound power to change you, or to the least, move you - to think, to question, to act.

Have you watched any such movies that changed your view about life? Inspired you? Scared you? Changed your views on a particular issue 180 degrees?

Share in the comment below.

Weekend Links

Hello ladies! Wha have you been upto lately? I am b.a.c.k in Hyderabad and it is so bloody hot! Dear rain, why you no come soon? In other news, Hyderabad why you so hot? I am sorry, but my mind is just not able to think anything beyond the weather, because honestly - WHY SO HOT?

Anyway, leaving some links here and I hope you enjoy reading! See you next week!

Zee media decides not to cover Indo-Pak cricket match. We need more channels like these!

Laila Tyabji on sarees is the best thing you will read today.

Ancient stepwells of India.

Marriage advice from real couples.

Mystery of the female purse. Hilarious!

On growing up in multi-cultural households.

What a cute storage box!

Image courtesy: Luca Bravo via Unsplash

Modern Marriage : The Biggest Myth About ‘Happily Ever After’

My best friend and my sister are getting married one month apart and it has been a superhectic time for all of us with lots of phone calls, arrangements, analysis and verbal dissections about every small thing related to the event. To summarize what we have been discussing, feeling and thinking, I have started this 5 part series on Modern Marriage, wherein I will upload weekly posts on different aspects of getting married and being married in India in today’s times - from my experiences and observations of the world around me. I do not know everything, but I will write what I know. Hope you enjoy reading this and will answer some of the questions lingering in your mind.

The biggest lie we have forever been fed since our childhood about the concept of ‘Happily Ever After’ was the idea that we were ‘Miserable Ever Before’. I mean look at Cinderella – the poor girl living with her evil step-mother until Prince Charming rescued her. Or closer home, Simran and her similar avatars who had to be pulled out of their miserable existences by a Raj/Rahul/Rohit – you get the hang of it. Every single popular story has a weak, vulnerable, sad woman whose life magically transforms once she meets her Knight in shining armour.

And that is where, most stories of marriage go downhill, right from the word, Go.

The first problem with the whole concept of ‘Happily Ever After’ is the idea that before we met our main man, well, we were poor, sad, little girls in need of a saviour. May be we had had bad relationships, or home front was not great or we had been struggling in our career, whatever it be. And we expect that we would receive the solution for all of our problems in that ‘one guy’ who would, just by his presence in our life, ‘make everything alright’ (too many songs with that phrase, no?). And that is why, when we do indeed meet the one we want to spend the rest of our lives with, we burden him with all of our negative load. We expect him to ‘make us happy’, he has to bring sunshine in our lives and if you are anywhere close to a movies-style romantic (like most of those influenced by popular culture, anyway), you want to ‘see’ his efforts manifest in tangible ways like chocolates, roses, surprises and romantic holidays to exotic locales. And if you do not have social media-worthy experiences, well, the guy isn’t good enough.

Darlings, please understand, marriage is not about finding someone to ‘make you happy’. If you have any kind of problems in your life right now, you are the only hero you need to ‘make it alright’.

I have seen my fair share of failures, sorrows and disappointments in all aspects of life – but when I decided to get married, I was above and beyond all of that. I was in a very peaceful frame of mind when I took the decision to marry and whom to marry. I married when I was sure I wanted to get married, not because I had to or because it was the only way out to paradise. I had faith in myself that whatever problems I had been facing in my life, I did not need a man to solve them, I was good enough on my own. I married my husband because he was an amazing man and I was happy to share my life with him. Hence, when I face challenges in my life now, I do not blame my husband for them or expect him to solve them. Yes, good advice and support is always welcome, but the outcome is not entirely dependent on him. I have to get off my ass and make things going wrong, go right – be it career, home or people.  

So, dear girls, this is what I have to ask you, kindly do humanity the favour:

Do not marry, if you are looking for your man to solve all your problems.
Do not marry him, if you are sad in your life and a man is your only hope.
Do not marry even for the sake of getting married.
Marry because you are happy in your own space and are excited to share a life – the good and bad - with someone you like.
Marry because being married is about being a team. And you want the relationship to be of equals and not of a knight and a damsel in distress.
Marry because you believe in the institution of marriage.

It is ok to not marry, if you don’t.

Beauty Talk with Ikya Kesiraju

Hello ladies! I'm glad to feature the very talented, very sweet and charming beauty vlogger Ikya Kesiraju in today's Beauty Talk series. Read on to know the trick to amazing eyebrows, the simplest way to kill a zit and beauty secrets of her equally stylish mother:

Morning Routine
I wash my face with normal tap water after brushing my teeth and try to follow it up with sunscreen on good days. Even if I'm just at home :)

Daytime look
So my regular day time look mainly consists of filled in eyebrows and some perfume ( Elizabeth Arden Green Tea / Marks & Spencer Azzure Breeze more often than not) no matter if I'm staying in or going out (after my skincare routine). If I'm going out, I'll add a nude lipstick or some gloss for the day time and some blush if I feel I look too washed out/ dull / pale. Blush is my pick me up! 

Shoot days are another story though since mine is a Beauty + Lifestyle channel. I may or may not put on some more / anymore makeup depending on the video, and my mood, of course!

Nighttime routine

Consists of washing off the day with my trusted Neutrogena cleanser and following it up with my Kiehl's midnight recovery concentrate for the hotter months. For the drier months, I use something more moisturising on top as well!

Hair care

Is something I get very lazy about but I try to oil my hair as often as I can. Even if it is for half an hour before I wash it off. I also try not to use much heat on my hair. Ooh and I'm totally digging the spring plastic bands to tie my hair lately (the telephone wire ones). They're light and come off easily!

Party favourites

I feel that makeup is an art and is an extension of my mood / feelings of any particular day. So that keeps changing. 

That being said, I love filled in brows and eyeliner (L'Oréal , Waterproof or the Maybelline gel liner) and mascara. I may/may not wear Kajal depending on my liking that day.

I love me some glow so you won't really meet me without any highlighter unless you surprise visit my home! I love the Benefit girl meets pearl highlighter and top it off with any powder highlighter I'm loving - MAC Soft and Gentle / Becca champagne pop.
Some lipstick and a pop of blush finish the look. 

To think about it I love my MAC Retro matte lipsticks as they stay put longer than the regular ones and MAC's Fleur Power blush is an all time favourite!
I am big on perfumes and I love my fresh citrusy ones during the hotter weather and warm vanilla sweet ones during the colder months! D&G Light Blue, Marc Jacobs Daisy and Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy are all time favourites.

How has your idea of beauty changed from when you were 16?

It has changed, a lot! And I hope that it continues to change in future too. As a teenager, I thought beauty was unattainable. At least to me. I had a picture set in my mind that described beauty and nothing that wasn't exactly it was beautiful.

My long legs that people praised (well meaning aunties included) weren't beautiful. My thick straight hair that couldn't be styled and I wore short wasn't beautiful and my small eyes that took after my extremely handsome father weren't beautiful! I don't think I thought my classmates / friends were beautiful either and just looking at those pictures now bring a wide grin to me and make me happy! I see a beautiful teenager with her beautiful friends too stubborn to acknowledge their own beauty!

Thankfully it has changed for good today and I make sure I see beauty in everything and everyone I look at.

Beauty indulgences

Amazing perfume is the short of it! And a call from my brother who is the funniest person in my world - leaves me happy and pumped to take on the world = feeling beautiful!

One product you can’t live without 

Sunscreen, I guess. 

What’s in your handbag?

Lipstick / gloss, a small tub of moisturizer (which I've never really used) and sanitizer.

A beauty trick everyone must know

Apply a drop of sanitizer when you're about to get a zit and it'll kill the bacteria and dry out the spot. Use a gel eyeliner as an eyebrow filler + Kajal other than it's intended use.

A family beauty secret

I got my love for perfumes from my mom who taught me to apply perfume on well moisturised skin as it lasts longer that way than on dry skin. Dab some Vaseline/ complementary moisturiser on your pulse points before applying perfume there. Also, its good to apply perfumes lower on your body as the fragrance rises from the heat of your body. So the inner part of your elbows and the back of your knees are good spots you must not miss!

Your beauty idols

My beauty idol has to be my mother as I grew up in awe of the way she applies her moisturiser before bed and the way she doesn't step out without perfume. Also, I learnt that a nice a pleasant person is always a beautiful person from her! She teaches by example!

For more of her beauty updates, you can find Ikya on Instagram, YouTube and her fabulous blog.

You can also read our previous interviews in the Beauty Talk series here.

Weekend Links

Hello everyone! How have you been this week? My week had been hectic, in fact, this whole month has been hectic with lots of farewells events around here. It is so hard to say goodbye even when you are an adult. In fact, I feel it is harder to say goodbye as an adult. What do you think? I will be travelling again the next week and I already feel exhausted at the thought of it, especially the packing part.

I LOVE travelling. I HATE packing. Are you like me?

Meanwhile, leaving below some interesting and helpful links that I found this week:

A simple solution to all my packing woes.

Kerala becomes the first Indian state to host beauty pagent for transgenders. Bravo!

The art of block printing. Indigo is finally in again! 300 years later.

The best step-father you'll ever meet. Totally awwww-worthy!

If apps were people. My favourite was Instagram! 

An interesting dinner conversation to have with your kids. The best one, may be.

Don't tax my periods.

Dear mothers, have you met Father of Daughters? He's hilarious!

How to gain control of your free time.

Can't wait to watch this show

How cute is this earphone case!!

Have a great weekend!! xoxo