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





Being Married : Second Opinion



Hello, hello everyone !!! We are so sorry we are late in posting this much-loved, much awaited blogpost from our wedding anniversary series. So we have completed two years of our marriage and it has been amazing, humbling, confusing and very much entertaining. I hope you enjoy reading about our view on marriage after two years, as compared to after first year :


Being Married : First year vs Completing Two years

Mr: First year of marriage is like the beginning of spring when you see the flower buds around and tend to them with utmost care. Second year is like when the buds bloom, wherein, you actually get the first glimpse of the beautiful colour of the flower/petal.

Mrs: In simpler words, the first year is spent being so cautious, so careful with each other, so loving, giving into all demands and tantrums and wishes and indulgences – even simple things like asking him “What do you want to eat for dinner?” or “I’m planning to make so and so, would you like that?”. Second year is more like, “I made spinach for dinner, here’s your plate!” :-P
But other than understanding each other better than before, there isn’t really any major change. I think, fundamentally, if you love each other and have a great friendship, no obstacle is really big, no achievement too small.  End of the day, it’s that invisible halo of contentment around us.
Also, unlike first year when we used to share funny/corny messages, we now share health tips on Whatsapp :-/


Managing household

Mr: Chores still remain the same as first year. Wake up your wife with a cup of tea. Prepare breakfast while she’s lazing around. Come home from office at around 11.30 am to cut the veggies for lunch, prepare lunch in the afternoon. Dinner is almost soups and salads prepared by my loving wife. So evening is taken care of. Plus, as a bonus gift from my wife this year, we finally have got a house help for doing the dishes!! Ya ya!!

Mrs: Lies! Ok, except the bed tea part. But everything else is a lie. I mean he speaks this with so much conviction, that even our friends actually believe that this is what happens in our house! I am the one who does the daily cooking in the house including breakfast, lunch and dinner, unless he wants to cook something special, which is like once or twice in a month only (given his super busy schedule). Also he’s never home on time for meals, forget cooking! Ha! And I got a maid for dishes last year because I started working again!

Who’s more organized?

Mr: Hahahahahaha..No comments ;)

Mrs: No comments



Who is a better cook?

Mr:  Hoo hahahahhaha (Evil laugh)

Mrs: He does cook well, but that doesn’t necessarily make him a ‘better’ cook. Indeed, he knows more about food than me, but I like to think we work best as a team, and he always usually likes what I cook.

Mr: Yeah… You don’t even know what’s the difference between using kokam & aamchoor!!! C’mon, don’t envy my culinary skills!!!

 
Surprising things you’ve learnt about marriage

Mr: As per Hindu traditions, before the wedding the Panditji compares the Kundalis of the bride and the groom for 36 qualities. This is what all guys are aware of. But what they aren’t aware of is that out of 36 those qualities, 35 belong to your wife and only one quality is what will sail you through – the ability to shut up!

Mrs: Kuch bhi!!!

Mr: I swear! (with a serious face)

Mrs: (rolling eyes) I think I’ve learnt – not to be scared of marriage. I mean, ever since I’ve been married, I’ve wondered, why the hell was I scared of marriage when I was unmarried? I mean, marriage is fun, marriage is beautiful, of course it means you have to be (comparatively) more responsible, but in no way is it the devil it is made out to be. I think that also comes from being married to the right person. May be. But overall, it is a wonderful relationship. And marriage is not just a legal document, but it is a feeling inside. You aren’t truly married to each other unless you feel that sense of partnership within yourselves.

Mr: I think my philosophical sense has finally rubbed onto you!! (Waiting for the transfer of logical sense.. Alas!! It’s the dream of every husband :P)


New things you’ve learnt about each other

Mr: Just like all the ladies, even my wife is a pretty simple person. In fact, she’s an open book. A book in which a new chapter is published each day. So I try to keep up with the pace of my reading.

Mrs: Other than how sexy he looks working out at the gym? Unfortunately, he has been plagued with a leg injury ever since we got married, so he was unable to undertake any kind of gymming/sports. But now that he is better, he is back to the irons and it is so inspiring to see him working and learn from him!

Quirks

Mr: I am lucky that she is not quirky at all. Except for some reason that she totally disdains Google maps.

Mrs: GPS, Yes, for some reason, I just can’t read GPS correctly, ever! It stresses me out.  Btw, do you know he sleeps wearing with his ancient Casio G-Shock wrist watch? Like I haven’t seen him without it even once in these two years?


Annoying Habits

Mr: She does not take care of her health.

Mrs: The amount of time he spends at work!
But as my friends living away from their husband have made me realize, I am so grateful at least I get to live with him now - a luxury in the Army.


What Do You Fight About

Mr: We seldom fight. And like most of the guys, I do not keep a record of when and why we fought. Life is too short to be wasting your precious time keeping a track of bad or unhealthy memories.

Mrs: You would be surprised to know that we rarely ever fight at home. In fact, I do not remember the last 
time we fought or argued over something. May be also because we are very transparent with each other. It is always having chats or discussions about any issues we may have. But we do banter when we are at other people’s place which makes them wonder if we fight all the time! Hahaha!


Special Things About Your partner

Mr: She’s a whole package of special things! Every day is a beautiful experience if the first thing in the morning is to be woken up to this beauty next to you! It’s special.

Mrs: He’s the nicest human being you could ever find. He is always so kind and considerate and always so cheerful – so necessary for a serious over-thinker like me! Also, he never says no for anything, always encouraging me to be the best version of myself, always supporting me if I want to try something new and always pushing me to pursue my dreams.  Also, he makes the best morning tea :D


Tiny Traditions

Mr: The morning tea is something that is as much as a sacred tradition for us. Irrespective of who prepares the tea (usually me), we sit down at the dining table and discuss various random things as well as plan for the day. This is the only peaceful time we get together throughout the day.
We also love watching trailers of upcoming movies on YouTube together – mainly my choice of superhero movies! We actually, rarely watch them without each other and wait till both of us are free to do that.

Mrs: I always go to drop him off at the airport/railway station when he’s travelling. People around here find it funny/weird, but that is just a thing for us. Also, every day, I’m at the door to see him off for work and I always open the door for him when he’s home – it’s never the buddy (when he’s around), the maid or anyone else. Those two times a day, he’s my topmost priority - work can wait.

 
Married Life After Two Years

Mr: Feels like we have known each other for a lifetime!!! Not in a negative way, though pun could be intended, you never know :P

Mrs: It is easy, it is fun, it is lots of good food and laughter. It is always being there for each other – We are united in our success and also in our fuck ups. 


Hope you enjoyed reading this. Let us know how your view of marriage changed after two years in the comment section below!! xoxo 

5 Ways To Make Peace With Social Media



A couple of weeks ago, I watched the episode ‘Nosedive’ from the futuristic TV series Black Mirror. And my (social) life has never been the same. For the oblivious, Black Mirror depicts the dark side of technology set in a (not-so-far) fictional future. And Nosedive dealt with a world where people’s status were defined by their social media rankings.

Ever since I watched that episode, I have been unable to post a single thing on Instagram or my blog. If you have been following me on Instagram (link), you must have been witness to my rant against the frenzy of social media especially the changed algorithm which necessitates constant posting of pictures in our feed and stories. It is also tiring to see all the pictures someone bombards us with of their boring, mundane life, twenty times a day, every single day.

The worst part has been, missing out on the updates from my close friends, who are too busy with their ‘real’ lives and ‘real jobs’ and ‘real homes’ to constantly update their social media – resulting, they rank far below in the algorithms – thus, I don’t even get to see their update when they do upload that single interesting photo after a gap of every few days.

To summarise, though social media rules our lives, it also sucks the creative energy out of me. Not to mention the time I should be spending doing something 'productive' and actually worthwhile. I don't know if there is a way out to deal with the web of our 'virtual' social lives, but after much thought and deliberation, I have identified a few ways we can make peace with social media:


  1. Post only when you WANT to: Yes, being ‘regular’ is important especially for those of us looking to make their social media presence more prominent because of their blogs/product marketing/PR, etc. How about regular means just one pic a day, every day, at the same time of the day? This way, your followers know when to expect your post and in fact, look forward to it? I have myself thought about this and this feels like a much better option than posting randomly multiple times a day. After dinner, at about 9.30 pm works well for me where I am just relaxing and not have any task left for the day.
  2.   Stories only when you have something worth sharing: Stories can be an interesting tool only when you have something interesting happening or have a thought to share. But I hate it when people are constantly updating their feeds with random pictures of their pets, their boring lives or every single décor item in their home or food in their kitchen. How about we actually try to make our life story more interesting than our Instagram story?

  3. De-cluttering your follow list: I do this all the time. Browse random feeds, like their pictures so follow them. But after a couple of weeks I realize, may be they don’t always post pictures relevant to their theme or their aesthetic doesn’t really suit my reality, so I unfollow them. e.g. I may follow a fashion blogger for her classic styling, but if I realize that she is only posting the types of luxury or trendy clothes I may never want to/get to wear, what is the point of following them? I much prefer, real girls with sartorial choices similar to my lifestyle.
  4. Fix a time slot to check your social media accounts everyday: If your’re like me, you would be checking your Instagram account like EVERY SINGLE FREE SECOND THAT YOU GET, AS SOON AS YOU GOT UP. However, I realize, there is nothing much that I’d miss if I limited my screen time and logged in only at fixed hours, like may be half an hour after lunch or dinner.
  5. Have a life BEYOND social media: I have noticed a thing about myself - I try to be more ‘interesting’ on social media when my otherwise ‘real’ life becomes more boring. But when I am super busy with lots of interesting things happening around me, I rarely spend time checking other people’s accounts or for that matter, even updating mine. So this is why I urge you to meet real friends, go out for a coffee, hike up a mountain for the thrill of it - not just for mangnficent pictures, pursue a hobby - make your life much more  interesting than any picture can ever depict.

So yes, if you still love me, follow me even if I may not update as much as I ‘should’. We are adult enough to have honest friendships. So let us be. Let me be. But, if you don’t love me, well, what are you doing on my blog, anyway??? :P