Weekend Links

Hellooo friends!!

How has been Friday treating you? I have been somewhat  studying for an exam that I have next week and I hope I pass. If only I could stop instagramming! Are you like me? Is even one of you like me? I hope someone's similar out there. In other news, the terrible summer is keeping me totally indoors. Not like I anyway had much to do at my parents' house. Just in case, you have time on your hands too, do go through the interesting links below, sourced for your reading pleasure, by yours truly (bows elegantly):

Stop your work right now and watch this ad . SO inspiring!

The kickass poem every girl needs to listen to. And boys.

Grandma goals!

The wisdom of Nokia's dumbphone. Count me in!

Baby spa, anyone? 

15 essential skills they don't teach you in college

This delightful morning routine.

The perfect pair of summer trousers. I got myself one in Mumbai last week :D

25 changes to bring in life after 25. They work! Take it from someone who's nearing 30 now!!

This movie looks so cool!

I have been meaning to get a makeup sponge. Any recommendations?

And before you start your weekend, I'm glad to announce that our fauji girl Swapnil Pandey's book - Soldier's Girl is out to great reviews. Grab it before it's out of stock and tell me how you liked it!!


Rewriting Bollywood's Sexist Lyrics

I am a fan of Bollywood songs from the 90s. But as I am evolving from a start-struck kid to an adult empowered woman, I realise, a lot of those songs and today's songs have SUCH sexist lyrics demeaning and objectifying women. #GaanaRewrites is a wonderful new video that has aimed at re-writing popular Bollywood songs into their non-sexist versions.

Do watch the video and share with all the women and men in your lives :)

5 Ways To Simplify Your Life This Year

The Hindu New Year begins today! Hope it has been a good start for you. Now that we have entered a new year, it is time to leave behind the clutter of old year (physical and emotional) and start fresh and new towards a simpler, more effective life.
Simple doesn’t mean boring. Or bare.
Simple means less hassle, more happiness. Less time for stress, more time for pleasure.
Here’s a simple guide to simplify your life this year:

1) Simplify your Calendar: Most of us are guilty of stretching our schedules beyond our capacity. We usually work over-time, then we have the parties, meet-ups, visits to relatives, outings with friends, skype conferences and add to it hours spent watching TV or ‘social networking’. Learn to say no. Understand that it’s OK for you not to be part of every ‘happening’ event in town, or be present at every do. It’s ok not to attend every birthday party of kids who are not yours. Simplify your schedules. Cut back on unproductive or tiring time. Watch less TV once a week. Or check emails one time less. Instead, use that time to rest or do an activity that you enjoy. May be read a book quietly tucked in your bed.

2) Simplify the technology: I use my cellphone to call, sms, listen to songs or take a picture once in a while. That’s all. And that’s why I own a simple phone. And not an iPhone/BlackBerry. I do not feel the need for one. We don't have a TV at our home (more on that in future post). I am not against technology. I admire the development. But often, it also increases distraction. Do we really need that many apps, that many channels, that many ‘high-end’ features? Even when we own them, do we actually use them? Or is it just a source of false satisfaction or pride? Have the wisdom to understand what you need and the power to choose what you want to live with.

3) Simplify your Wardrobe: Do you really need those 5 pairs of jeans or twenty shirts? Do you really need the stress of  an over-spilling wardrobe with the daily dread of ‘I have nothing to wear’? Simplify it. Keep what you love, what you look good in. Give away what you do not need and do not wear. Buy your clothes carefully. They are an important part of your personality and confidence.

4) Simplify your relationships: If you feel love for somebody, love them. If you do not feel the love, let them know. If somebody makes you uncomfortable in life, tell them and end it. Do not crumble under the burden of other people, of what is ‘expected’ of you or what you think is your ‘duty’ to do in life. Be kind to people. Be transparent with your feelings for them. They deserve a life of honesty and joy as much as you do. Be friends with people you genuinely care about. Life is too short to fake it.

5) Simplify your thoughts: Give rest to your brain. It already works overtime.

How do you plan to simplify your life this year

Photo credit: CubaGallery (Creative Commons)

(This post was originally posted in an earlier blog of mine)

A Simple Way To Be More Considerate

I am not good with people. There. I said it! I do not like meeting anyone new, I avoid going to parties or if have to attend try to find a nice silent corner for myself, I have no idea what to talk about when I meet someone new, I despise speaking on phone (except my husband and best friend) and would usually be found hanging only with people I know and am comfortable with.

No doubt, I come across as cold. As I have been told bazillion times by my friends, "When we first met you we thought you were so arrogant, but you are so much nicer." I tell them I hope I'm not proud, I am just shy and clueless around people.

So I had to find a way to get over this little personality issue of mine, because it is not something you want to carry on as an adult, especially in my life where I have to keep meeting a lot of new people personally and professionally and people skills have to be on the line and also, it is nice in general to make people feel nice.

I started with observing people who I felt being good around, who felt so warm and welcoming in approach and this is what I have learnt - Considerate people ask questions.

Let us say you have guests visiting you from another city. When you meet them, in addition to the hellos, ask them - How was their journey, did they face any problem, is their room comfortable, do they need anything else?

Ask them, are they liking this place? Is there some place specific they would want to visit?

If they have kids (I'm reallllly bad at this one) - What are their names? How old are they? Do they go to school? etc. (Note: People, no matter how cranky themselves, love to talk about their children)

That simple it is. If you are an introvert like me, you wouldn't even have to talk much; you just ask people questions and let them do the talking.

Simple, isn't it?

A Day in Chandni Chowk

Last month, between two train layovers in New Delhi, I decided to visit Chandni Chowk. I was originally planning to just hang out in Paharganj, but something inside me nudged to go to Chandni Chowk, because if not now, then it would have been never, given I rarely get to visit Delhi. So I kept my luggage in the cloakroom and off I went!

How to reach: Chandni Chowk is barely a 10 minute auto ride from the New Delhi Railway Station (the Kashmiri gate side). Autos charge between Rs 100-150/- one way.

Where to go: Chandni Chowk is HUGE! But if like me, you are visiting just for the sake of imbibing the essence of the place, just directly head to 'Paranthewali Gali' and start walking from there, as further inside as you can.

Try going there early in the morning (11am or so) when the shops are just opening to avoid huge crowd.

What to buy: If you're having a wedding at home - head to Chandni Chowk. From decorative boxes, trays, fruit baskets, matkas, saree covers to ethnic jewelry, bridal wear, everything from A to Z is avalable in this Kuber ka Khazana! Also among the lucky dip of shops would you find some shops selling quirky home decor items! There are many inter-linking streets that also specialize in e.g. just jewelry, just clothes, etc. You will need at least one full day to explore the streets and for shopping!

Let me take you on a photo tour of the amazing streets and shops that you would find in this complicated, maddening, exhilarating lanes of one of the oldest bazaars of our country!

The world famous parathas of Chandni Chowk - a must try!

Paranthe Wali Gali : Where century old shops still sell mouth-watering delicacies!

Lassi in a kulhad! All I need on a hot day.

Buttons, tassels, stones - you name it!

Shops full of items essential to Indian weddings - at shocking prices!

Laces and Borders

Lamps, cages, gift items on sale

In between the shops you can also spot decades old buildings, some dating back to before independence!

Readymade blouses at unbelievable prices

Bridal wear 

While I was clicking a picture of the streets, this fun gentleman requested to include him as well!

Just outside Chandni Chowk, you can spot the Red Fort to your left

I was so excited to see Red Fort!

Hope you enjoyed taking a photo walk with me of this beautiful gem of a place! 


Weekend Links

I hope you're having a good weekend. This week has been rocked by the controversy surrounding the sexual harassment claims against one of the TVF founders. Before you go on to visit other links below, I want you to read this article - Rape culture is the real viral fever. I want you to understand that just because  sexual harassment is not reported as often doesn't mean it doesn't happen as often. And the reasons it goes unreported so often will become clear upon reading this article and also because the 'victim-shaming' the media is slaugtering the girl with.Such cases are required to be handled with utmost sensitivity, irrespective of the outcome of the investigation. Hope the mediapersons learn this soon enough.

For you, I read some other beautiful findings from the world wide web:

You may want to marry my husband. So touching!

The hypocrisy of Mangalsutra. Similar to what I wondered about when I was newly married.

The truth about THE ONE.

What makes you special.

Under-calendar your life.

This white spring dress!

The perfect gift for your girl friend who dreams of travel. I remember receiving this by mine long ago.

Hope you're having a great weekend!


Image Source: Nicole Mason through UnSplash 

Beauty Talk With Radhika Jadhav

I've been a fan of Radhika ever since I first saw her in a Ladies' Meet. She stood out with her grace and glow among hundreds of beautiful ladies. As I got to know later, she was Soldier's friend's wife! So after several months of that first sight, we finally got together for dinner - now she with her newborn daughter and still glowing as I had seen her last. So obviously, when I decided to start a new interview series on finding beauty habits and secrets of wonderful women around the world, Radhika was naturally my first choice! Let's get to know her non-conventional beauty habits, her holy grail products and the secret behind that glow!

Morning Routine
I splash cold tap water on my face and let it dry on its own. I avoid using any soap, cream or towel.

Daytime look
I prefer staying sans make up when at home, hair worn in a pigtail or a messy bun. This also helps me feel a tad extra special when I dress and do simple stuff to myself when I'm about to go out.  If out for a casual outing or to my workplace, I'd wear light make up that includes kohl, lipper (something light - fond of mauves), blush and glitter body mist on my neckline. Sunscreen is a must if outdoors.

Night-time routine
Make up removal for sure using Virgin Coconut oil. Then I splash some cold water and apply Almond Oil on my face (Rogan Badam Shirin) especially under my eyes. I carry make up remover wipes from L’Oreal when I'm traveling. 

Mommy dear used to do a lot of things to my hair.  They were good then.  Now, I'm a lazy bum.  I try using natural products, eat eggs and fish and avoid harmful chemicals. I prefer using Forest Essentials, Body Shop or Fab India shampoos and conditioners. I need to get going to wear my crown bright and right. Time for some hair spa!

Party favourites
M.A.C Kohl& Liner and Chambor lip shades, glitter highlighter/bronzer and colorful eye pencils.  I like the glow of my supple skin; hence, I avoid using any foundation or primer. I like dark lip shades for the night - Coco cola, dark brown or deep maroon. I have an oily face; hence, I rub ice on my face before I apply any make up so that it stays longer. Perfume is Issey Miyake, Burberry or D&G. 

How has your idea of beauty changed from when you were 16?
College time was more  about trial and error.  Now, it is more about patronizing my own signature look.  A healthy glow, smiling eyes were beauty to me then and the same continues even today.  Happy faces are beautiful to me! 

Beauty indulgences
Keep it a secret- this one. Good sex with your lover and lots of it. Nothing makes your face glow more! Otherwise, for the record... the glittery body mist by Body Shop. 

One product you can’t live without
Mac Kohl and Virgin coconut oil.

What’s in your handbag (beauty/skincare/body care products only)?
Mac Kohl, Body Shop lip balm, Chambor lipsticks. I sweat a lot so I carry Attar/Ittar – it stays longer and smells great!  All are travel size and handy.

A beauty trick everyone must know
Don't overdo and don't under do either.  Mix shades, be inventive and creative. And white toothpaste for zits!

A family beauty secret
Loads, actually! Home-made face  packs - Multani mitti (Fuller ''s Earth), Cloves, Sandalwood Powder, Camphor and Rose water paste for 20 mins; Honey & Banana for instant bleaching effect. Whenever any fruit is cut, apply it's juice on your skin! For hair care- Amla, Reetha and  Shikakai powder mix as hair pack; Eggs, Curd and Lemon or soaked and ground Methi (Fenugreek) seeds or Jaswand (Hibiscus) gel and break a strip of Vitamin E capsule in it - all these can be kept for 30-60 mins before a hair wash. A Beauty habit imbibed from my family is - sweat it out and be natural, go natural.

What would you like your daughter to learn about beauty?
She needs to know that it comes from within.  You look and feel beautiful only if you are happy and healthy on the inside - your internal systems, mind and heart - the purer, the better. You look beautiful automatically. 

Your beauty idols
Babies - soft supple baby skin, twinkling eyes and an innocent smile! 

Like mother, Like daughter! :)

Thank you Radhika for sharing your beauty secrets! Keep glowing, like you always do :)


6 Spring Outfit Inspiration

Hello lovelies!

Hope you had a great holi! I didn't have any. As I am at my in-law's place, here holi is played 5 days later, i.e. on Rangpanchami. Anyway, as spring is officially here, I have curated some fab spring outfit inspirations. Please note that these western outfits are based on my personal style preference which is basically simple, minimalist and a tiny bit conservative while still being chic. Hope you enjoy going through these images :)

The first one of course had to be stripes!

Denim shirt dresses are ideal outfit for a day out.

Team up your midi skirts with basic tees and tops for that perfectly understated yet classy look.

High on my wishlist this year are a pair of white denim and chambray/denim shirt.


Wide-legged trousers and plain-Ts. That is it!

What are your spring inspirations? Would love you to share your ideas below :)

Image Source: 123456

Weekend Links

Hello girls!!

What have you been up to this week? I went through a really distressing experience when I realized that my old blog post has been circulating around Facebook and Whatsapp under false names. Thankfully with the help of fellow Army wives I was able to locate the origin of the copied post and confronted the Facebook page admins and a copyright infringement complaint against the original offender filed. I put in a lot of my heart and soul into building this blog and it is really heartbreaking to see your work being stolen and distributed without due credit. If you are reading this and ever come across mine or any other blogger's work being stolen, please report it to the writer. Also taking this opportunity to thank all those who stood by me. :)   
Here are some interesting links from around the web, focusing on being a woman in the modern day world and of course, holi! Hope you enjoy reading them:

Collect your scars and build something beautiful!

Top 5 feminist and sexist Bollywood movies of 2016

Obama on feminism

Women's Day throughout the World
A woman confident in her own skin is the beauty industry’s biggest nightmare. Funny, but poignant!
Have you heard of Hygge?

These colourful walls

What solo travel has taught me

Holi around India

Have a peaceful weekend and a very Happy Holi!

(Image Source : Himanshu Singh Gurjar through UnSplash)

This Women's Day, Let Us Be Good Women*

*I don't mean to imply 'good women' in the traditional sense of good woman, bad woman. It means being good to each other.

This women’s day, let us be good women. Let us not worry first whether the world supports us or not. Let us first support each other. Let us not pull each other down or pull back those of us who want to soar ahead. Let us be the collective wind beneath our sisters’ wings, someone they can always count on.

This women’s day, let us not condemn the others. Let each be the way she wants. Let her wear what she wants, let her travel where she wants, let her speak what she wants. Let her choose her own choices, whether those choices lay at home or elsewhere. Let us not spread venom about her, or try to ‘advise’ her for her good.  Let us not stop her from expressing her thoughts or from demanding what she feels is right. Let us just be there for her, no matter the choices she makes. Let us try to understand her first, if she chooses to be different.

Let us instead teach the men in our lives, young and old, to respect her. Let them know that she is free the way she wants to be and he should take care of his own thoughts and actions instead. Let him know that she is an equal human, with equal right to a life, a choice, a career, a desire. She can dream too. And if he cannot support it, he would rather move out of her way.

This women’s day, let the child of us live. Let us not kill her even before she has a chance to take her first breath. Let us not think less of her, let us not think of her as not enough. Let us not treat her as a burden, but treat her as a blessing.  Let us have a say. Let us stand up for our own, let us nurture each girl to be the best she wants to be.

This women’s day, let us not break each other’s trust. Let us not let the other down. Let us not steal each other’s love or desire what they have. Let us build a beautiful home of our own. Let us have the courage to find our own path in life, however challenging that might be. Let us have faith in ourselves that we would find what we deserve.

This women’s day, let us be good humans.

This women’s day, let us be good women.