Thinking of you..

I shall begin by apologizing for my absence on this space lately.

I have no excuse really, except that I have suffered perhaps the biggest loss of my life this year. My dad, after braving one of the deadliest forms of cancer for couple of months passed away last May. And the day before yesterday (7th August) was his 60th birthday.

As I felt August approaching, the dreary sense of the void that he left increased, and the time that used to be my favourite around the year (since birthdays in my family, including mine follow close after August,) has turned into a heavy, slow moving & sad walk through time.

I want to add something here before I go on that this is not a regular post, rather just a heart to heart that I have been wishing to get out. I have received so much kindness from all you lovely people from all around the world that I don’t feel like I am writing to strangers anymore. I do want to continue blogging & writing about things I see, experience & love, and I would do that, as soon as I find myself up for it.

I have often wondered if I am really comfortable sharing such personal experiences here on an open platform (this being the third post about my father) and if it’s wise to talk about sadness and loss when I want my blog to be a happy place. But then my father was that one person who truly made me happy & I feel his life should be discussed & celebrated rather than pushed under the rug like some painful memory that I don’t want to deal with.

Missing him hurts, but at the same time the brave fight he put in the biggest battle (and he fought many) of his life constantly inspires me. Cancer might have defeated his mortal form but it could not defeat his spirit. Even when he knew he was sick, he chose to focus his energy on everything positive he could hold on to, whether it was the discussions of my impending wedding or the dream house he wanted to build. From a daughter, I became a friend, a companion he wanted to have by his side, always. We were able to have the most meaningful father-daughter conversations of my lifetime in those last couple of months I was around him, and I am so grateful for that.

I don’t know how to describe my father. How do I even begin to define someone who not only created me, but also loved me like no other. To whom, I was the centre of the universe? Others might have questioned my decisions & actions or even worth at times, but never him. He always believed in me and was the great wall that stood in front of me to brave anything unpleasant coming my way. He saw in me, something I still struggle to see & he told me I made him happy & proud even when I didn’t feel so. (Bet I just described every father on the planet )

He was my hero, the kindest & bravest man I know. He loved children and yet, was a child at heart himself. Always curious, always hopeful, always filled with wonder. The biggest lesson he taught me was to never, ever give up, no matter what the life brought upon you. He taught me not to be scared. I know I am not the first, nor am I the last human to grieve. If you also have suffered a loss of loved one, my thoughts and blessings are with you. I have come to experience that grieving is a natural, healing process and essential in fact, if you want to keep moving on, which, if the truth be told, is the only way to go. The trick, I guess is to just hang on and hope the next day brings you one more reason to do so. I am trying to do just that. I am hanging on to all the good memories and lessons he would want me to learn from life with everything I have – shaking & struggling, yet,  hanging on. Every day I remind myself to not sweat the small stuff, to be grateful & to keep my loved ones close & tight & just hold on. There are moments when I almost forget, almost, that he’s gone and in those moments, I am able to laugh like I used to and then his thoughts come rushing back & I am choked with the weird realization that he’s gone, never to come back again & I feel so guilty, I don’t even know why. But I know he would not want me to suffer through life, no father would. I dream of him, every other day. We are either laughing, or talking like nothing has changed, and then dawn breaks & I wake up and realize it was just a dream & it makes my heart heavy. Some days are easier, some days are harder.  I can hear his voice in my dreams which sadly I can’t in reality. I had made few videos of him in his last couple of months where he would sing lullabies for me (and tear up..), or would talk about his dreams of seeing me as a bride, his favourite songs, movies but for some unfortunate reason, there is no voice to any of those videos, I feel so helpless and angry at myself for not checking the videos  while I had time.  Luckily I was able to pen down some of the things he said and have started maintaining a journal regularly since (I am scared to forget tiny details about him & our conversations as time passes by) .The truth is, his death has changed me, and more importantly, it has changed my perspective about the things that make life and its parts. I have been told that with time it will be okay &  that I won’t be sad forever. I smile in my head when they say that because I know I will never be the same. Nor will a day go by, without me wishing him to be here, right by my side, in person. But I do know that I will get better at coping.  A father is the only man who truly never ever hurts his girl and if you are a (loved) daughter, hold on to your daddy close and never let a day go by without letting him know just how much he means to you.  My father knew how much I loved him but I still regret not telling him that everyday of my life.

If you happen to read this, please send some love & prayers my father’s way. I know he would receive them smiling.🙂

I would like to end the post by translating a song that plays in my head every time I think of him, “Etched in some hidden corner of your mouth, like the hint of a smile, I am safe (always)..” 

I still see, feel & touch him in my dreams, hopes & memories, and he will stay safe there, always.

p.s. “My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” I love you, Papa, forever.

Things on my Mind..

Things (People, Quotes, Songs & Thoughts) on my mind this week:

Yep yours truly is a TVD fan. Stefan Salvatore has been keeping me company .

I have gone back go this song with a vengeance. Why did I ever stop listening to it?

(I am still figuring out how to import youtube videos on wordpress, if you know, kindly let this technically challenged human know.🙂

Seems to me, Greeks not only created Tragedy, but Romance as well. 

Just started reading Eragon. I have a weakness for Fantasy.

For days when I get carried away in front of the mirror and realize I have no where to go to, all dolled up (I am weird like that.)

 Nuff Said..

My motto for the remaining year..

 The Queen Bee! 

Ha! the ultimate recluse.

A lovely quote by my favourite Author. (Nan, this one is for you. Love you!!)

Me in Bohemian braided hairstyle. I think I am Isolde. So in love with this right now..

Let me know what have you been up to this week!

p.s. Photo credits ~ Tumbler, Wikipedia & Moi.

Product Review – MAC Girl About Town Lipstick

Mac Lipsticks are the hipsters of Lipstick World. They are stylish, come in classic as well as modern colours, are sleekly packaged and while they don’t come cheap, if a girl really wants one, she can just about afford them.

Today I am penning my opinion about one of the rather popular colour – Girl About Town. It’s a blue toned bright pink and the best way I can describe the shade is that if the colours Fuschia & Hot Pink had a love child, it would be this colour.

The lipstick is an Amplified version (meaning it’s a moisturising consistency with an excellent colour pay-off). The result on lips is rather glossy than matte with an opaque finish. The name does its colour justice – while the colour screams, “Hello everyone! I am here”, it retains it’s fun element by still being playful and not too severe like a classic red lip might be. Could be as easily worn with sunny dresses in summer as with a layered look in winters.

Now, I am sure there are a plethora of reviews on this lipstick out there already (I mean, I haven’t exactly discovered electricity here, haha) but this being the latest buy of mine (not recent though) I just had to throw my two cents in.

I must confess I buy make up & hoard them but hardly use all of them like a normal girl would, rather just picking one product out now or then and admiring rest of the gems in my drawer where I like to look every time I need a little pick-me up. But I had not touched make up at all in past few months. It is such a bright and fun colour and I was so down in dumps that I just could not bring myself to even try this on. Now that I am slowly easing back into normalcy, I decided to pick this baby up and put it on, and was pleased with the results.

I however feel that with a colour like this, one might want to go easy on their eye make up. You know, winged eyeliner & tons of mascara and let the lips do all the talking (But hey, if you feel like it, glam up the eyes too and do your thang!😀 ) The colour should easily wear for 4 hours but I am yet to test that out.

Anyway, here are some shabby attempts at trying to show you guys how this lipstick looks in real.

Mac Girl About Town – $15 (Rs 900) // Vanilla Scented, No Taste

The lipstick does have tiny flecks of shimmer in it, but they are hardly noticeable once put on.

Bare Lips. 

Let’s ignore the embarassing close ups of my nostrils and focus on the colour, shall we? (You see the unevenly done lips? Yeahh.. that happens when you slap on a bright lipstick without bothering to look in the mirror.*cough*)

The lipstick smudged out & worn as a stain (which is how I usually prefer to wear a deep colour on my lips.)

Little tip :~ Apply the dark lipstick at the centre of the lips and smudge it outwards with fingers to give a fading stain look. Top it up with a lip balm if you feel like it!

My thoughts?

Love the colour but not as an everyday staple, at least for me. Still, a must have in a girl’s make up bag for fun occassions.

Phew! That took some typing.😀

Anyway, what are your all time favorite MAC Lipsticks? Any point that I could have mentioned & missed out on? Please let me know.

xx

Move over, these are mine!

I mean I would love to, die to, kill to have these as my pets. A girl can dream, right?

Being an animal lover, I have always wanted to have a pet. I had one, for a brief period before my dog, just 2,  tragically died, leaving my family and me devastated and my mother has since, vehemently opposed the idea of adding another pet to the family.

So meanwhile I am on this quest of convincing my mum to nod her head to the idea, I constantly find myself fantasizing about the pets I would love to own. And since I fantasize, I usually let my imagination run wild (It doesn’t cost!)

So here is the list of top 5 love-pets I would love to be a mommy to. (I am grinning as I pen down the list, such joy..)

5. Squirrel – I loved Disney show Chip & Dale. I loved their voices, their cosy homes and their teeth. I have not stopped loving these adorable creatures since. It would be fun to wake up to a bushy tail (lovingly) attacking my face every morning.

Awwieee!!!!

4. Penguin – “I hate Penguins”, said no one, ever. Seriously, who doesn’t love Penguins?? The name itself drips of cuteness! I love the way they walk and the way they screech. Heck, I love everything about them.

3. Elephant – Oh these hilariously cute beings.. What can I say except that there is nothing cuter than a baby elephant playing. I would love to own one to go on fun trips to woods with!!!😀

2. Akita Dog – I saw the movie Hachi (based on a true story) and fell in love with these. I have always loved dogs and I decided then & there, if I ever were to have magical powers, I would get one of these to be my faithful companion. I have read that if dogs were to have a social hierarchy, the Akitas would be the royalty of the spectrum. I think it was meant to be, they look truly regal. (Apparently their regal looks are surpassed by their unusually intelligent brains & unwavering loyalty to their masters. Sigh.)

1. Dik Dik – I was tempted to reward Akita the no. 1 spot in my heart but alas!  Dik Dik, with its hilarious name and cuteness-overload, blew me away. These petite antelopes belong to the forests of Africa and even after reaching adulthood, weigh just 3-6 kgs. (7-15 lb) max. And what’s more, like penguins, dik diks too, mate for life. :) I am sure as the night falls, Wood Nymphs and Pixie-Fairies come out to play with them.😀

Just looking at that stunorable (stunningly adorable – yeah yeah I coined that one..) face makes my heart go dik-dik-dik….

What are your dream pets to have??

p.s. The photos, just like these wonderful creatures, sadly do not belong to me.😦

Here’s hoping..🙂

Product Review – Eve Lom Cleanser

I am a skin freak. I am one of those people who might put anything in their mouth without really fussing too much about it but don’t let any thing close to their face unless they are absolutely sure it would help-more-than-harm the skin.

I was gifted a 30 ml jar of this pretty looking thing called ‘Eve Lom’. At first glance, I thought it was a moisturizer but realizing it was a cleanser, I put it back in the drawer (and back of my mind).

Day before yesterday, having run out of my Cetaphil cleanser, I reached out for this instead. I found the consistency a little too waxy for my liking. The product felt more like a yellow balm. I rubbed it in my skin and wiped it off with a facial wipe. And as I feared, I didn’t like it. It left my face feeling greasy and dirty. (Being the impatient imp I am, I did not bother to read the instructions given at the back of the jar.:/ )

Yesterday out of curiosity, when I googled this product up, I realized that not only is it a cult beauty product, but quite a pricey one at that as well! (Kinda explains the pretty packaging).

One is actually supposed to massage their face with it and then wipe it off with a muslin cloth a couple of times soaked in warm water and then pat it dry using a cold wipe.

Now, not having a muslin cloth at my disposal, I picked up a soft t-shirt of mine, inverted it and used it as my facial aid (Yeah, I am lousy like that..) and voila! The cleanser turned into a milky consistency at the touch of water and left my face feeling squeaky clean and hydrated!

My thoughts?

This is indeed a great cleanser. But hilariously over-priced. An average 100 ml jar retails for around  $80 (Rs.4,800). And although, it left my skin feeling great, I feel this is meant for people with dry skin and might add to the woes of girls with oily skin. Also, I feel my Cetaphil cleanser does its job pretty well and is dirt cheap compared to Eve Lom.

Will I re-purchase?

Um, most probably not. But, I might keep the jar with me after it’s finished and look at it time to time, to feel fancy.😀

What are some of the great cleansers that you have tried?

It was that kinda evening..

It has been raining on and off where I live. Yesterday evening as it rained, I perched on a chair in my balcony with a cup of hot tea in my hands amidst the soothing pitter patter of the rain drops, feeling rather Parisian.🙂

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Between me and music, we ended up having quite a melodious evening. I thought I would mention the songs I listened to (over and over), and perhaps it would inspire you to take an hour off from whatever you are doing in your busy life and appreciate the simple pleasures in life like finding a quiet corner and treating yourself to some ‘you’ time, just like I did.

1.) Braille by Lisa Hannigan

2.) Shakespeare by Kirsty Almeida (If I had to croon a love song to someone, this would be it)

3.) Alice in the Wonderland by Emma Wallace. (Quaint like a little library with vintage books on a cosy street in Paris)

4.) Gunner Madsen by Anna. (Pure loveliness)

5.) Into Dust by Mazzy Star. (I always go back to this one)

6.) Save the last dance for me by Michael Bublé ( Bublé’s voice, like a mug of hot chocolate on Christmas’s eve, always cheers me up)

xx

p.s. The photo used is an old favourite, but does not belong to me.

Dammit why can’t I smell like my perfume??

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I like smelling pleasant. And most days I do, (I think)..

But no one has ever asked me which perfume have I had on. I have come across women  who, when go by me, make me go, “damn she smells good, wonder which perfume is that!!” and I then follows my struggle to smell and take in as much as as I can without looking like a creep with confused sexual orientation.

Yes people have told me I smell nice. My cousin once  told me I smelt nice & reminded her of a fruit she couldn’t recall the name of. (So much for researching & buying a perfume with top notes of lemon, middle notes of bamboo & base notes of cedar.. ugh.)

Also someone once told me I smelt like a baby (Instantly made me think of baby poop & wonder if the other person was also thinking of the same while telling me so. I hope not!) 

What do these women do to smell so good all day? How does one achieve that effect?

Do you take a mini bath in the perfume & finish half of it at one go? I love D&G’s Light Blue but there are 2 hurdles to that:  a) It’s expensive &  b) It’s expensive!

Are there any other secret pulse points that I don’t know of?? I diligently follow the rule of wrist, behind the ears, elbow and hair but no, the smell swooshes off in couple of hours. (I keep rubbing my wrist on my nose wistfully to take in the feeble remainder of the smell that was my perfume as consolation.)

Does one wear real cheap perfume & lots of it? (That might backfire if someone passes out with a finger pointing at you.)

Are there any god-created perfumes out there I don’t know of?? (God I hope not, I read way too many blogs & like to think I am well-informed.)

I keep practicing the line “Oh you like it? It’s D&G’s Light Blue, it’s awesome”  in my head. (I know I am weird.)

Mind you, this is not a post – just a rant in my head that is somehow controlling my fingers. The bottom line is I would really like it if someday a complete stranger (or a friend – beggars can’t be choosers) stops me and asks “What are you wearing??? You smell amazing.” I think I will lift my eyes to heaven, thank God mentally & sigh contently before proceeding with the much practiced “Oh you like it? It’s D&G’s Light Blue, it’s awesome”.. (I have a penchant for dramatics, as you must have deduced by now.)

I want to be the ‘Rose’ one stops in order to smell, literally.

I think I should stop now. This post has gotten too weird already. Hope you are smelling good wherever you are!

xo

7 Weapons A Girl Should Carry In Her Arsenal

No I am not referring to beautiful female spies here. Nor am I an individual with violent tendencies who likes to carry arms in her bag just in case she feels like going on a killing spree. I intend to talk about the average girl’s arsenal here – her handbag.

A lot of us are (rightly) accused of carrying bags too big for us, containing things rather unnecessary and heavy. Hercules would be proud. *Smirks*

The other day, while cleaning my ever-so-heavy bag, I began to think about things that I can afford to leave at home and the ones that I feel I must have with me all the time. I came up with 7 absolute essentials (at least for me). Here goes:

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1. Vaseline – I can’t begin to explain what a great life-saver this tiny tub of petroleum jelly is. If you find carrying lotions and balms a hassle, just carry a small jar of Vaseline with you. It can act as a hand moisturizer, a lip balm, an under-eye cream annndd a make up remover. Phew! What’s more, it’s cheap!

2. Concealer – Whoever said “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”, was either a man or a woman with perfect skin. I feel perfect skin is a myth. Every girl no matter how great or not-so-great her skin is, needs a li’l help now and then. I personally suffer from the paranoia of developing huge red boils on my nose out of nowhere while people around me watch on in horror (irrational & hilarious, I know), but carrying a concealer with you will ensure you can tackle girly issues like a sudden zit or rings under your eyes after a crazy sleep-over at your best friend’s place easily.

3. Diary & a Pen – This one’s close to my heart.🙂 I try to carry a cute pocket diary with me so that I can note down interesting quotes I randomly come across or am struck with a sudden inspiration to write a small poem or journal. (I know I know you can do all this on a phone, what to say, I am a romantic at heart.) Besides, I find that carrying a pen somehow shows you are smart and organized you know?

4. Blush – Aah. The pretty pink blush.. You don’t need a truck load of make up if you have clean skin and cheeks with a little colour on them. Blush can make you look pretty and gorgeously flushed in an instant. It also doubles up as eyeshadow – just dab a little on the eye crease for definition and character. Or you can mix a speck of it with vaseline and create a lip stain on the go. This tiny pot of pinky delight never ceases to amaze me. My personal pick is Tarte’s amazonian clay blush in Exposed. It’s a neutral dusty rose colour that I don’t seem to get enough of.

5. Scarf – You might go, ‘huh?’. Hear me out. A scarf can make pretty a accessory to your bag. Just tie it up in a cute knot on the handle. It can also alter the look of your dress in an instant. Besides, whether it’s a sudden explosion of black grimy smoke on your face by that nincompoop of a bus ahead of you, that annoying ketchup stain on your collar that came out of no where or the need to disapparate when you see an annoying relative across the road, your scarf will be your knight in floral armour.

6. Safety Pins – Always handy in case you have to pin the shirt placket to maintain your modesty or hide a nasty rip in your dress. But store them in a little box. These buggers have a way of pricking your fingers every time you reach for something in your bag.

7. Perfume – You need to smell good. Period. As Coco Chanel oh-so-stylishly put, “A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.” Who am I to argue with her? Try getting a travel size spray or stick that is easy on your bag and your pocket. Having a lazy day? Just rub some hand sanitizer on your arm pits and spray some perfume on them, your wrists, behind ears and on the crown and tip of your hair and you will feel fresh like a daisy. But for hygienic purpose, don’t make this a habit and take shower regularly. Lol. My pick is D&G’s Light Blue. Smells like summery Greece in a bottle.

Few other items that I think deserve an honourable mention are:

A Hand Sanitizer.

Band-Aid.

Tissues.

Hair Band/Comb

Little Cash 

Sanitary Pad (duh.)

What are your must-haves that you like to carry in your bag all the time?

What is Happenning in Istanbul?

Sad and infuriating at the same time.

İnsanlık Hali

To my friends who live outside of Turkey:

I am writing to let you know what is going on in Istanbul for the last five days. I personally have to write this because at the time of my writing most of the media sources are shut down by the government and the word of mouth and the internet are the only ways left for us to explain ourselves and call for help and support.

Last week of May 2013 a group of people most of whom did not belong to any specific organization or ideology got together in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. Among them there were many of my friends and yoga students. Their reason was simple: To prevent and protest the upcoming demolishing of the park for the sake of building yet another shopping mall at very center of the city. There are numerous shopping malls in Istanbul, at least…

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