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Sometimes the best 'man' for the job is a 'woman'

Photography courtesy Erik Almas
Health

Last week I visited my Orthodontist for a regular check up and cleaning. I say, if the insurance covers it then better get it done, right? Well, I have to say that the staff at this particular practice is exceptionally pleasant. All three visits of mine in the past year have been a delight, considering I am saying this about a dental visit. So, when I entered in the middle of the afternoon I was greeted and checked-in by a nice lady. She looked at me and said, "Are you a runner? You look like a runner!" Now, I am no expert in receiving compliments (sarcasm!) but that sure sounds like a VERY good compliment from a stranger. I shall most-definitely put her on my "Potential-Friend-List". Then entered my Hygienist who complimented me on my shoes (They are these old 'fashionable' Tennis shoes that I refuse to part with). Then followed my doctor's assistant who complimented me on my handbag (a classic
Fendi bag, so I can't blame her; what's not to like?). As one can probably make out, I am gonna stick with this dental-practice, clearly they take care of more than just my teeth! *big.grin*

Life

Mostly in life, I try and refrain from using any phrase which classifies people in a stereotype or cliché. I personally disdain people who use sentences like " All Americans are ....", " All females are ... ", etc. etc. I know various researches are done over the years to form some sort of pattern in behavior, habits and culture. However, how many people are 'quoting' these researches and/or are even aware of such facts in real life? Recently, I was having a conversation with one of my Latin American friends, about stay-at-home mothers versus working mothers. Naturally, we both didn't have any real-time statistics to prove our statements but I cannot get myself to agree with her. She said something on the lines of ... "American women (I presume she meant caucasian race) are more spendthrift and need big houses and expensive cars and hence, they cannot afford to be stay-at-home-mothers." Really?! How can one derive such conclusions? Even if you know 10 American women with similar lifestyle, that still doesn't constitute 'all American women ...'. Nonetheless, if a woman is in a Doctor/Surgeon/Advocate/Judge-kinda profession, society is more lenient and accepting of their 'working-mother-status' in comparison to if she is a Marketing Executive or a Model?!?

I know the world doesn't operate the way I 'believe' it should but that isn't stopping me from behaving the way I believe - 'I should'!

Hell has three gates: lust, anger, and greed!


Shoes (again!)

Hellll-O! Sexy ! No, I do not mean the model. I mean the boots. Look at them?!? They are so beautiful. The most beautiful sight ever. Needless to say - I want them! My birthday is in exactly 3 months and I am accepting early birthday presents in case someone was wondering! (in cash, preferably ... since ya'll won't know my shoe size *wink*) Today morning, during pillow-talk we were discussing the coming up Black-Friday and the shopping deals that come with it. Husband said he is content and doesn't need anything. I said, "I am not content and need a lot ... but shall control and try and be content." (What??? Don't you already know - I am too honest for my own good)

Fitness

On Friday, I did Boxing after a long time. Besides the physical part of boxing, what I really enjoy is the mental exercise I get with it. Since I am right-handed, when Veronica shouts #1, I am supposed to jab with my left-hand and when she shouts #2, I am supposed to jab with my right-hand. I have to keep up with her as she goes on, "[#1 #1 #2 #2] , [#2 #1 #2 #2], [#2 #1 #1 #1] ..." and so on and so forth (you get the point!). So it's fun trying to hit, and be swift and sweat-it-out, all at the same time.

Life

I know, I have been MIA (Missing In Action) for last few days. I was lazy and saving my brain cells for later. But then every time someone asks me, "Why no blogs?" I feel I have not completed my homework and the teacher is going to scold me. Hence, I get typing (It's amusing the effect some people have on me). My junior/middle/high school days were truly traumatic with home-work and assignments and non-stop tests. 10 years later, I am still Thankful! that I am not in school any more.

Wiggle Shmiggle


I know the face s blurry, but the rest of it isn't :o)

Attention : All countrymen aka my avid blog readers, *imaginary drum roll* I have finally managed to be wiggle-free! (well, at least waist-down) Jumping is my favorite form of cardio, whether it is jumping rope, jumping-jacks, or just a simple jump for joy (but ya'll already know that)! So today morning, while I was under another torturous session with Veronica, I noticed that my bau-dai-h (body: pronounced with an acute sophisticated accent) was almost iron-clad. There was no disgraceful fat dancing around as I moved. Then, I came home and did the 'pencil-test'. Now, you may ask what that is? Here goes, Stand straight with your feet together and shoulders back. Take a pencil and try to hold it in-between your inner thighs. If it gets stuck there, you have a long way to go my friend but if it drops 'bang' down, join the club - you are fit baby! (Time for a victory dance) I wish I had the nerve and confidence to click pictures and show, but you guys just have to trust me.

Buzz-kill : I still need to do a lot of work in my abdominal area. I have realized that it is indeed the hardest and last to go. It requires some strict lifestyle and eating habits which clearly I cannot follow. For starters my husband is trying to make me fat (don't ask!) and then with all the traveling I do, it's an achievement that I manage to hit the gym at all. However, to eat 'absolutely' healthy while being away from home is a task-non grata!

I have to mention that the Squat Thrusts I used to dislike - I don't anymore. Another lesson learnt is, that in fitness the exercise you hate the most, is probably the one you need the most. And also, if you do not give up on things that are good for you, in spite of disliking them, you will eventually not only learn to like them but also be 'good' at them. After all, I owe my 9/10 legs to them (ranked by my highly-critical husband).

Mama Drama


Photography courtesy Kate Powers


Any average-Indian-girl probably has a few 'common' stereotypical questions asked from her throughout her lifetime. Some questions are universal and some even coincide with the ones asked from boys, but nonetheless after a point they are all just annoying and
pointless (people should be more creative in their small-talk, don't you think?). For example,

From a Young girl - "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

From a High-school girl - "What subject/major have to decided to take in college?"

From a College girl - "Do you have a boy friend?" (Only in Liberal families though!); "When are you getting married?" (In Traditional families)

From a Married woman - "When are you having a baby?" P.S. Even if you are 21 years old you straight jump to being a woman from a girl, magically!

From a Mother of-a-child - Right after the birth of your first child, "Are you planning for a second child?"

Which is eventually followed by, "Which college are your kids going to?", "When are the kids getting married?", "When are you becoming in a Grand-mother?" .... so on and so forth ....

I am personally at the stage of the "Married-woman-question". Everyone has to ask when I am planning to have a baby. It's like their life will be incomplete without knowing this miniscule detail about my life. It amuses me how everyone thinks they know what I should do in my life and when I should do it as well. Some people have even used the liberty to tell me that I should "use" this time in life, while my husband is doing his Ph.D, to have a baby and I quote, "Get it out of the way." As if it is like doing a load of laundry in my spare time and 'getting it out of the way'. (Get it out of the way and go where? ... I wonder!) So, while I will withhold my opinions about when I should have a baby, I just want to say that it is most definitely not a good reason to have one!

Mind Your Own Originality

Photography courtesy Amanda Pratt

I love originality. I admire people who think out of the box and keep coming up with new ideas. Even if those ideas involve things in everyday life like cooking, or organizing, or sending wishes, or just an act of kindness. I strive for the same 'originality'. I take pride in reaching ... may be, the same destination like others, but by a new and 'fabulous' path. I enjoy being unique. I do not want to be put into a box. The aim is not be mysterious but to be 'different' and stand apart from the crowd. (There are so many thoughts running in my head right now. So many dimensions I can go ahead and write this blog about ... but I will have to choose one. Hmph!)

However, often the downfall of being original is that it lasts only one minute. Why? ... Because some fool will copy you without giving you any credit or even worse not realizing that he/she has copied you! Of course it irritates me at first, but eventually I make peace assuming it as flattery (also I believe most people are stupid! Well, they are!).

Another lesson I have learnt is that you cannot please everyone ... but ... you can please yourself. So therefore, when I'm in doubt about what to do or which path to take I decide by analyzing what will give me mental peace and happiness. Easier said than done, yes! but I try and seldom succeed. I have started to focus on the fact that we all have one life. So, while I will refrain from holding anyone down or coming in the way of their desires, I will not let anyone do that to me either. Couple of years back, one of my childhood friends, Khushbu called me a 'Rebel without a cause' but now I have a cause - Life! (Wise, eh?)

After-thoughts : Does wisdom come with age, life and it's experiences? A few days back I was chatting with my cousin, Vibhuti, who is in her early teens. In-between our conversation something came up and she expressed that she finds me calm, polite, 'prim & proper' and sophisticated-sorts (and she wasn't giving me a compliment!). So either appearances are deceiving or I am finally growing up! *wicked.smile*

Shoes Shoes Shoes Shoes

I love shoes. I have way too many of them. I have sooooo many that I probably need a house altogether just to give them a good life ... and more necessarily to store them of course. More than half of them are back home, in India and but I have managed to create quite-a-collection right here in the shopper's heaven called America :o) I recently read somewhere that 'if diamonds are a girl's best friend then shoes are a woman's best friend.'

There are so many choices that I cannot control myself ... Colors, heels ... boots,pumps ... the choices are unlimited. I should mention that I have not shopped a single item-out-of-temptation in last 30 days (may be out of need ... but that too sparsely). But I have been flipping through magazines again and there are things I like ... One of those things is this beautiful pair of Christian Louboutin which I cannot get my eyes off! What do I do? I want them ... are you listening Santa?!?!

Television

This week I have been catching up on this new show on CBS, "The Good Wife". It's a drama with the underbelly of law and politics. Lately, I did not watch shows like these. I am more incline to watch easy-going-pointless-chick-flick kinda stuff but I had heard some good buzz about the show so decided to give it a shot. Seven episodes later, I still like it. It is sharp, edgy, with some good thrilling-suspense. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed watching the court-room dramas, I have to admit, I missed them! Move over Vampires, it's time for some real drrrama ...!

Blogging

Blogging has been great for my soul. I realize that the day I am feeling lonely or need someone to listen to my useless blabber, all I have to do is log-in and type-away. I wake up next day and my 'inbox' is filled with love and support. One of the benefits of being a girl - You can always rely on the Girl Power (How cheesy do I sound right now??!).

On that note, here's signing off, with the sun setting on my Sunday and Monday morning staring in my face with so many errands to run ...

Beauty, is but supported by opinion

Aishwarya Rai photographed by Dabboo Ratnani
Life

You know, how everyone keeps quoting,"Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder"? I think it's bull****! You are either really beautiful or only-beautiful-in the-eyes-of-the beholder. Don't worry I don't have any self-deprecating-tendencies. I actually think I am quite fabulous the way I am. In fact, I love the mirror ... not because I am vain ... but actually because I am kind-of-a bathroom actor, (you know, how there are bathroom singers) but never mind about that .

I am quite aware that I am not 'that' beautiful (of course I mean on the outside). Though I can look attractive on demand (with help of make-up and fabulous fashion-sense). I remember from many ... many years ago when my Mom had caught me gazing at the mirror, she said, "First-of-all you are not that beautiful, but had you been, you would have lived in rooms filled with mirrors!" I know, it sounds mean, but it wasn't. It was actually funny. The best trait of our family is that we can actually say the 'truth' without being taken too seriously!

Getting back to my original story, I think majority of people are average looking with attractive features here-and-there (or not!). And specially, when someone throws that 'beholder' line, for sure, you ought to know you are average looking (only beautiful to your 'someone-special'). But everyone's got hope as long as you have a good stylist or a decent style-sense! Do not get all philosophical on me here ... I know looks are not all-that-matters. But I am just, saying!

Fitness

Fitness is bang-on schedule. I have been traveling non-stop for the past month but that hasn't affected my weight/health at all. I workout whenever I get a chance. I watch what I eat. Healthy lifestyle has 'finally' become second nature to me. I have, for the first time, started doing Yoga on my own (without going to a class or instructor). It has helped me stay in focus, streamline my thoughts and emotions, work through any conflicting thoughts or confusion. I wish I had started it long before ... but better late than never!

Plus, I forgot to mention, Yoga has given my body this great lean posture. It straightens your spine and makes you feel taller and linear. I am not sure if I am being able to explain it the way it is supposed to ... but it kind-of makes you stand tall (in correct posture) which automatically adds inches to your height (and God knows I wish, I was 2inches taller, but this sure will suffice!).

Beauty with Benefits

Photography Courtesy Corrie Bond

I have never been the one to believe that being a female is a disadvantage in any way. I think I didn't have a choice at birth to choose my gender, so the question of advantage or disadvantage doesn't exist. Of course, having said that, I am also lucky to be born in a liberal Indian family and then to be married into an even more liberal and modern Indian family, neither of which discriminates on the basis of gender. However, time and again, I have heard many women use their gender as an excuse/reason for their circumstances in life. I am in no position to judge their experiences but I refuse to believe gender has anything to do with how you decide to lead your life. I am sure, men have their shares of issues and hard-ships in life.

The reason I am bringing this up today is, because I have recently realized how having a good body and looking pretty can 'actually' be an advantage for a woman. Everyone flocks around you (men and women both) and wants to be your friend, you are the first one of get a drink at the bar, you can actually get ahead in a que, etc. etc. This phenomenon is new to me. I never knew I could use my feminity to my advantage. Whenever I saw such innuendoes being pulled in Indian cinema, I took it for granted to be mere theatrics.

However, since I have never believed my gender to be a disadvantage I, now, believe it would be hypocritical of me to turn around and use it to any advantage either. While I am self-aware of my righteousness at times, but I can't help it. Am I over analyzing a simple phenomenon? Should I just enjoy the ride? Or do I make sense to anyone in the world-wide-web?
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