Wine & Dine | Indian Woman Fashion, Fitness, Food, Style & Travel Photography Blog by Tanvi Rastogi

Wine & Dine

1:01 AM

Disclaimer: The story here got this potboiler brewing.

I graduated from college in 2003 and landed my first job in the city of London, U.K. soon after. My family was going through a difficult time back then which restricted the duration of my communication with my father over the phone. So we started writing letters to each other in which we shared our views about everything. We both are very philosophical about life which means we never fall short of topics to discuss. 

Today I feel compelled to write about something he wrote to me once which has been a fundamental factor in my decisions about my life there after. While this might be true for other cultures as well but I only speak as an Indian here. While this might seem something that happens in Drama movies but believe-you-me that it is quite true for Indian culture. Girls/women are often compelled by guilt to make decisions about their life/career/partner on basis of what society [and their family] might think about it. Though I was brought up in a relatively conservative and strict household we were always given the freedom of thought and decisions, which I think is most important of all. 

So, during my first year of my first job, my father told me to always make decisions based on what "I" really wanted to do in life and/or what "I" believed [with all the knowledge I had access to] was right. He said, specially to never make decisions in order to make 'others' happy or because someone would get hurt. 

[This would make me sound insensitive but I have to say it!] There might be times when we have ailing parents/grandparents whom we do not want to hurt and thus end up making sacrifices or decide to continue to suffer in pain but he told me to always stay rationale. Judge the situation and not circumstances for you have to be able to live with your decision even when the circumstances change. Unfortunately, we do not have any control over death [our own or anyone else's]. Also, everyone has just one life to live, which includes each one of us! I am not propagandizing selfish-ism [I made up this word!] just making sure we all realize that we have the right to make our decisions and the right to be happy. 

*snap* Back to the glamour! 

Boots - Part of my Birthday Gift from Husband [2010']



It was my handsome husband's birthday over the weekend and we celebrated with some delicious food and some wine/beer! It was his 4th birthday that we had celebrated as a couple. It was a wonderful evening. Also, I got so many compliments from strangers that I was *almost* blushing. 

Oh, ... and ya ... I forgot to mention ... that's how I had dressed for the Wine & Dine ;)

P.S. Also check out my short interview by LeRon on his blog Window Shopping.

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71 comments

  1. you really do look great!!! love it

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  2. I love this dress. Stunning.

    And about the story, it's wonderful to share thoughts over letters! I love the whole idea...I hvnt written letters in a while though...but mum & her dad would write letters to each other, I think it makes the relationship special...

    And coming back to the intent of the story, I think it's just near impossible to make anyone happy unless you're happy yourself...I've not been told this, but this is what I have come to believe that we live for ourselves and not in circles of guilt- because all that results is in multiple regrets at age 50 reflections that aren't as pretty...so whether it is selfish-ism or not, I think it's what I feel at this moment is right too! It's like if you can't love yourself, you can't love anyone else either...

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  3. u looking beautiful... love this dress and ur skin is glowing :)

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  4. i AGREE n i think in India girls are brought up this way that they tend to take decisions according to wat society would feel right and APPROVE of !!! WHY THIS APPROVAL IS SO NEEDED ??
    you can never take a decision which everyone likes..there is alwys a good amount of people who 'll disapprove what u DO !
    a 'burkha woman' would find saree NOT RIGHT..a 'Saree woman' would find jeans NOT RIGHT...a jeans woman would not approve minis... ( poor example...i knw.. bt try to understand ;) )
    "Kuch to log kahenge ...logo ka kaam h kahna..."
    nd boots looks sexy !
    Happy bday to Mr. Fab 1

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  5. I applaud your Father's wisdom dear. It is good to have a wonderful relationship with your family...

    Btw, you look absolutely stunning in that blush lace dress, no wonder you were blushing when people complimented you :))

    Happy Bday to your husband and i wish you a beautiful day :)

    XOXO
    J

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  6. I'm really impressed with this post. You raise an important issue, discuss it cogently, and entertain us with the anecdote about corresponding with your dad. Really well-done!

    And those boots... where do they end?

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  7. more power to selfish-ism! :)
    love the outfit!

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  8. your father is one smart man,i agree with him!!:) and he has a daughter with amazing style,so the things in your family are quite good i would say!;)) xoxoxo

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  9. This post lead me to a deep thought
    You were blushing with those complements are visible in your pics.Food seems yummy.
    Have fun.

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  10. I agree with your Father.We only have one life and I think we all need to take responsibility for our own happiness.

    I love your outfit, the dress really suits you and the boots are amazing.

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  11. i love that top of your's ... its so elegant.. god! gimme that... phew bu maybe i need to shed some fats before. :(

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  12. I totally agree that one should not make decisions just to please others.. but then isn't it that when circumstances are compelling we even if taught otherwise do what we should not have done ... give in and make decisions that probably are detrimental to our own selves

    I though do not have any first hand experience of such a situation ( I am lucky i guess)
    Such Indian values have been fed to us like a necessity and hence I think its always easier said then done... coz at the end of the day we are Indians, we feel indebted to our parents for all that they have given us
    But then when one gets the reassuring words from one's own parents as to how such situations should be handled then I guess one can have his/her peace of mind

    By the way.. great dress and the shoes are amazing too :) :)

    Also this april me and my husband will spend his 4th birth day together :)

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  13. I loved the fact you guys wrote each other letters, i'm so old school and i love sharing thoughts etc on paper...

    Those boots are damn gorgeous girl!
    hope you were wined and dined even though it as the hubsters b'day!
    x.o.x.o

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  14. Hi there..
    What a lovely blog you have here.. Nice pictures and good inspiration.. Thanks for sharin'..

    Wanna be followers? Let me know!
    Love from Stockholm.. xoxo

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  15. I agree with ur dad's philosophy, and no where did i feel that u were trying to promote being selfish.

    And getting back to glamor, oh my my u sure looked hot in the red n white combo. The food looks good too! :)

    Cheers,
    Ria

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  16. Your father definitely gave some really good advice, and it's very true.

    Happy Birthday to Mr Fabulous. Hope you spoilt him. I love those red shoes: they're incredible. And that dress is really pretty.

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  17. Tanviiiii....you look supe duper hot sweetie!

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  18. Great see through dress.. and your boots are to die for Tanvi.. you go girl
    LOx

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  19. Hey! A very very happy birthday to the diligent photographer!! :)

    I think both of us are quite lucky the way our family (in spite of being conservative) have given us the freedom of making our own decisions based on our wants.
    Cheers to that! :))

    P.S.: What a beautiful dress.......no wonder you got so many compliments! I think everybody should have ONE graceful lace dress in their wardrobe...

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  20. I love the lace! And I am not normally a big fan of lace, I first thought you'd posted someone's wedding pics. The dress looks lovely on you and I adore the styling with the boots. A curious mix of badass and cute :)

    You know there is a fine line between selfish and living for oneself. Really, life is toooooo damn shorts to live or make decisions to make others happy. It's your life and you need to be content with it. I have this friend who is marrying this guy just to make her family happy, she doesn't like him very much and definetly doesn't love him. She thinks her families happiness is more critical than hers!! I don't get people like this, she has to be married to the dude and live with him, not her family!!

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  21. Well said, and I know where you're coming from.

    LOVE the outfit---you totally rock the lace and boots look!!

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  22. I really liked your write up and the message. Honestly.

    And I feel there is more coming...

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  23. I definitely see that independence in you dear and it's a good thing!

    Ooh you know I love lace - gorgeous dress dear!

    p.s. Yes that shell laced dress looks best on a toned body!

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  24. Your father is a wise man Tanvi and i can see why you received so many complements! You look smashing! Happy b'day to the hubby too:-). XX

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  25. happy birthday to Mr fab.... Ilove this post. so intense and right in every word.(atleast I think its justified )
    I LOVE READING YOU NOT ONLY UR THOTS BT ALSO U AS A PERSON. THERE IS SOMETHNG NEW EVERY NOW AND THEN FOR UR READERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BOOK OF THOUGHTS.

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  26. what a wise father you have! i couldnt agree more. it sounds crude, but really, you have to be selfish when making big decisions and directing your life. it is, after all, YOUR LIFE, and no one can dictate what's right for you! :)

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  27. Love those boots and you look stunning.

    Thanks for sharing your dad's thoughts. Now I know where your kick-ass attitude comes from :-).

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  28. "Judge the situation and not the circumstances" - such profound words from your dad that speak volumes to me Tanvii.
    I grew up in a similar household, where while we were fairly conservative in our actions, but we were very open about ideas, discussions and my parents always treated me as an equal (as in they valued my opinion). I moved away from home at 17 and am now back at 23; I figured my family is the most important thing to me in the world and I'd rather be with them than anywhere else.
    It's rare to find people that share wisdom like you do and thank you for that!

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  29. That is cool that you had a dad who felt that way.

    I can tell that you are a very individual woman and that you have your own opinions. That is one reason I started following you! You inspire me to be an individual and to have my own opinions.

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  30. I love your dress! I agree with you about not being able to make anyone happy unless you are happy. I do what makes me happy.

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  31. i love your lace dress, looks so classy babe!! look more edgy with those red boots..

    THE SECRET LIFE OF "D"

    in Love&Light
    Queen D

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  32. I wasn't brought up in a way that you should feel 'guilt-tripped' into doing things for other people. I also follow my heart, and luckily people in my family don't try to make me feel guilty for what I choose to do - they try to discuss it with me rationally, but in the end the decision is always mine.

    That is one gorgeous dress! Happy birthday to hubby. And I thought you were a teetotaler?!

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  33. Yuuuum. Where did you eat? That looks so good. And with the lace top, especially!
    xo
    Laurel

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  34. Love the lace dress!! its so delicate and dainty..

    One of my life's rule is to always do whats right for you:-) Its not abt selfishness but you can never make everyone happy so might as well live for urself!! wot say??

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  35. Very well written post and is so true in the Indian context of thinking!

    Happy birthday to your husband!

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  36. LOVE the boots..they are soo hot!! You both look like you had a great time..Happy birthday to Mr. Fabulous :D

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  37. Your father is a wise man. So wonderful that he taught you to think of yourself and your own happiness & wellbeing.

    And of course I love this outfit! It's FABULOUS!!! xoxo

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  38. What a beautiful post and great advice you were given. And you look beautiful in the white dress too!

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  39. You look lovely...just LOVELY!

    No wonder, you got compliments!

    A very very belated happy birthday to Ashish!

    And love what uncle has to say. Sometimes we do tend to get swayed by the circumstances, and make certain decisions, that we may regret later on...it is best, to stay level headed, strong, have faith, and decide what you think is best for yourself.

    And its not selfish-ism...its the right to make one's own decision, and right to happeeness :)

    Mwaaah!

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  40. you look gorgeous darling, i can see why you got so many compliments! that salad looks delish!

    http://pagesixxx.blogspot.com/

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  41. Very glamorous outfit :)
    I think your father gave you some very sound advise. Judging from family/friends, I think a lot of Indian girls/women do make life decisions for family, the 'community', partner, etc...

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  42. You're gorgeous!!! Love the lacey dress!!!
    Btw, my best wishes on your hubby's b'day!!! :)
    Fashion Panache

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  43. Wish him a very happy b'day! Love ur outfit and its just by coincidence that my latest post is on wining & dining too ! :)

    http://huesofpink.blogspot.com/2010/12/old-wines-in-new-bottles.html

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  44. Love the dress! You look gorgeous!

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  45. Your dad is a wise man, Tanvi. In the end WE have to live with our decisions, whatever they are.
    I am not surprised that you got some wonderful compliments for your outfit - Go girl!

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  46. love those boots :)
    you look beautiful...

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  47. Good morning doll!!! I loved this!! Thank you so much for sharing and I read your interview over at Window shopping! I loved it!
    This outfit is amazing and those boots! You better keep them forever! As well as your hubby!

    XX

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  48. Selfish-ism (love this word!) is not entirely a bad thing, yes. :) I am all for going for what makes one happy.

    And yay for us who have significant others who give us shoes. Those boots are HAWT :)

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  49. I love that lacey number! You look supercute! Looks like a fun eve!

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  50. lustin for the boots!!!!!
    i guess sometimes we are so confused about some things that we just make the decisions (i am not saying wrong or right!!) and think that we can handle the consequences much later, watever they are...forgetting that what may come later may be more worse

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  51. Gorgeous dress. You look fantastic in it! And I also wanted to let you know that I am stunned by the beauty of your sari (?) in the last post. You really could move to Bollywood and make it big if you wanted. ;)

    PS. Your dad sounds like an amazing man. xoxo

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  52. Gorgeous I must say! True story! One of my best friends has left back home to India for a month and hasn't been home in 3 yrs. They are so afraid of the tradition of marriage being placed on them while there by the family. We are hoping it all works out for the best! Love the boots!

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  53. Your father is so right..I loved reading this post sweetie..We all have a right to be happy..Btw: you look stunning..Love that outfit
    Hugs and kisses

    Ps: I am hosting a charming scarf GIVEAWAY today, just in time for cozy Christmas!

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  54. Hot, hot, hot Tanvi! And I so agree with your father, and if you love what you do, you will be good at it! XX!

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  55. Gorgeous and delicious! Love those thigh high boots!

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  56. I completely agree with your dad's advice and it's kind of sweet you wrote letters back and forth! Ok and about the outfit-love the lace dress on you! I had a similar one and when I went to London in May I gave it to my cousin b/c she loved it so much!

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  57. hey dear.. you look sweet in the lace dress. and I also love the look of you wearing Sari (is that the name?) :)

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  58. Amazinggg....you look really sweet..by the way have something similar and sadly before I found a place to wear it..i outgrew it..i still keep it in front of my face so whenever i open my closet i feel motivated to lose some weight!

    You have raised a good point and it's something i think about myself..where do we draw the line...is life about being indebted to those who have provided for you?
    it's a never going on debate and level of intensity varies as per frame of mind...but also another thing is that sometimes even if you feel you want to live life a certain way and it should be about LIVING LIFE...your partner also must share the same philosophy and logic...and it doesn't make them right or wrong..just different...and their belief on this subject could be very different..

    anyways.. let's just live it up..whichever way...

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  59. You look absolutely delicious and [Tan]vivacious!!

    I love lace worn with an edge. The boots are super sexy and I LOVE the colour...a beautiful deep claret...

    I have to confess.. when I first read the caption for the 3rd photo, I read, "part of my birthday goft FOR my husband"!! hahahahahahhahahahahahaha!!
    ...but...um...yes, well... I guess it was.. ;)

    Happy Belated Birthday to the sexy Dr Fabulous....you two must have looked absolutely smashing together!!

    An interesting post...not just from the writing perspective, to me the way your father is and what he has advised you and said to guide you... but of course he is like that... it's the comments that were interesting...

    What your father advised you is how I have lived my life. And I love that this knowledge... you will pass on to your children... and a cycle is created, a cycle of truth... as esoteric as that may sound... too many people lives lives based on untruths and that creates an unhealthy vibration... a life that ends with regret. I could not imagine being on my deathbed and saying "I wish I had done that."

    I want to say "I'm glad I did all that."

    I could not imagine living a life based on others expectations. My expectations of myself will always be higher than what anyone else would 'demand' of me. That is why I live the way I live.

    I realise being Indian, I am 'lucky'. My parents were traditional, however I wasn't brought up in Indian environments and my parents understood that environment plays a factor in nurture.
    ...and I was born with a rebellious streak... not cliched rebellion... just "Until you can walk in my shoes wearing my feet, breathing my breath... then and only then can you dictate how I live my life".

    I am unfortunately rather insensitive and callous... if I had been told "oh don't do that, what will so and so think"... I would have exploded!! Now, however if that gets said to me [rarely], I merely raise my eyebrow and give my best Blue Steel meets Lara Croft look, guaranteed to make hair voluntarily jump out of their follicles.

    Okay, it's not that bad. I always take in to consideration how my behaviour may affect someone and 'moderate' accordingly but that is separate from this issue. I would not do things that bring shame upon my family but that "shame" is something that is MY right to guage.

    We all have a path to follow.
    ... Perhaps it is the path of some to follow another's path. Perhaps some will never have the freedom nor 'luck' to choose their path. Perhaps some do not want to. That's okay too. I have never been in that position where I have to make a choice between what is right for me and what is right for someone elses' idea of me.

    I have made choices for the Bigger Picture and for the happiness of others but the Bigger Picture does not exclude me.

    We have one life to live at any one time. Do we really want to waste it NOT living it?

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  60. eek. sorry about the freakin' essay... !!!

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  61. i love that dress!!!xxx

    www.zscloset.blogspot.com

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  62. Lovely dress Tanvi.. And the insight that you gave makes a lot of sense but then most of us keep ties in consideration when we make our decisions.. Btw a december born husband is surely great as I have a Sagittarian husband too!

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  63. Stunning dress!
    I have an acute weakness for lace!

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  64. That dress is gorgeous, I love how you wear things unique,


    http://therenaissance-of-inner-fashion.blogspot.com/

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  65. This is an awesome outfit. And I love how that red spices up the entire look! Gorgeous stuff(:

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  66. I love lace dresses! happy vday!

    sherri
    www.sherriamour.blogspot.com

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  67. Love the lace with the tall boots!

    preethi
    lace, etc.

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  68. Just found you through EBEW. LOVE the lace and those boots. This outfit is amazing! I wish I had the stuff to recreate this... and then the occasion and guts to wear it. You look great!

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  69. The lace dress is so pretty and the boots add edge to the girly dress! Love it!

    xoxo
    http://twentyysomething.blogspot.com/

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