December 20, 2016

Surviving the first week | Baby Hashtag is here!



A lot has changed in the last month since I wrote my last post. From a mommy-to-be, I am now a mother and the feeling is taking its own sweet time to sink in. More than anything, I am staring at the tiny tot's face longer than what is considered humanly normal and that behaviour, to me, is the epitome of completely normal. 


Speaking of parenting, I have had the craziest 20 days growing up with Baby Hashtag (to the uninitiated, that is my little one's name on the blog for all intents and purposes)
Together with the husband and my family, we are cruising along just fine barring a few hiccups I faced in the start. My first week with my new baby were the toughest and you will know why. 

But first, know this.

For new parents, a few pointers. Surviving the first week with your baby is going to be a real task. The easiest part will be nursing the baby, because babies are born stronger than we think. They are designed to be tough cos they are going to be handled by new parents, who try as they might, do not win at the parenting game. Not in the first couple of weeks at least. As time passes by and you get used to the new addition to your life, the baby is already used to you and guiding you through day-to-day with an unmatched dexterity. You think you have it under control, but in reality, it is the baby who runs the show and frankly you have to be okay with that. Whenever you can, hold your baby close. Learn how to swaddle the baby. 

New moms, pay heed. You are going to be an emotional wreck. How much ever prepared you are in advance and no matter how much pre-natal yoga you did, this is going to be your reality. The sleeplessness and the raging hormones will make you weep like a wimpy kid and weep, for no solid reason, you will. My image of being the crazy bad-ass comfortably took a tumble when I was bawling my eyes out on the second day after the baby for no reason at all. Let's just say, the waterworks will be your steady companion, especially in the first month post-baby. Teach yourself on all the feeding and nursing basics and be prepared, mentally at least. Choose the paediatrician well in advance because you will have a lot of questions about your baby that only they can answer reliably. Research about a competent Lactation Consultant in your area and stay in touch with them as well, for obvious reasons. Then there is the first round of vaccinations that will be administered to the baby in the first week of her birth. Stay strong and do not crumble into a crying heap at the sight of your baby in pain. Be practical about the coming fever post-vaccination and stay sharp. Cold sponges and cluster feeding your baby helps when they are running a high temperature. 

New dads, your turn now. Your wife is in that constant state of wanting attention. And now with the baby being the centre of everyone's universe, her feeling of being unwanted has only further deepened. Be patient to her temper tantrums and hysterical crying episodes. You made it through her 9 months of mood swings, a couple more months won't add to your woes. Be kind to her, but not sympathetic. Most importantly, help change diapers and do other baby-related chores. Ease her out of the overwhelmed self she is slowly sinking into. Keep the spirits high and treat her like the queen.

Amidst the tears, hormones, sweat, midnight feeding sessions and short naps, exhaustion, there are going to be those glorious moments when you will look at your baby and all this will seem too petty. Make that feeling your biggest incentive and dive into a new day with the baby with renewed zeal and love. I am in love each day, falling for the little Baby Hashtag over and over again. And that, keeps me going.

November 26, 2016

10 Random things-to-do!


This is for you. 
And you. 
You, as well.
10 Random things-to-do. Everyday. Or just today. Whatever!


HELL YESSS!

1. Tell someone they have a charming smile. Also, smile more often yourself. It is infectious. It is important, however, to know when to retract that smile. You do not want to be that weird guy who smiles that constant psychopath smile ALL the time.

2. Make conversation with that small vendor you see outside your apartment everyday. Ask him how his day was, politely. If he seems sour, just give him an encouraging 'koi baat nai, chalta hain' and walk away.

3. Greet the watchman and the lift-man in your office with a dazzling 'Good Morning' everyday if you can. It's a no harm done move. They like to feel important and you are giving them just that. 

4. Say 'Thank you' for the smallest courtesy offered to you. Be consistent but not overly enthusiastic about it. You want to seem courteous, not bat-shit crazy.

5. Call/text your parents and just ask them how their day was going. If you are someone who does not do this often, you might alarm them with questions of such concern. Reassure them that all is well and you are just generally trying to be nice.

6. Wave to a child/toddler on your transit. But do not be the creepy dude who gives them chocolates. Avoid them chocolates.

7. If you want to grocery shop, make a day of it. BigBasket your products only if you are swamped like crazy. There is no equivalent to physical shopping. EVER! 

8. Once a weekend, go out and play a sport for hours together. Does not matter if you play hide-and-go-seek with the apartment kids, what matters is that you revisit that playful side of you every once in a while.

9. Dance. And Sing. Even if you have two left feet and the voice that could put a frog's croak to shame, sing and dance like your life depends on it. Whether you do it in solitary confinement or full public view is a personal choice. 

10. Cook. Learn to cook different cuisines. Or pretend, maybe. And if all that fails, order food in and have a good laugh over your failed culinary attempt.

Do it and pass it forward. A chain reaction of all things happy is what we need the most today! Making someone else happy is rewarding, even just a little bit. And when it does a full circle and comes back to you, you will know you have made a lot of people smile and laugh along the way.

A little more joy did no one harm! 

November 19, 2016

Acceptance and busting Pregnancy-related Myths

I have never complied by rules on the first go. If someone asks me to do something a certain way, I first do the opposite and then if that does not bode well with me I will return to do things the way I was first asked to do. So naturally, my first instinct is usually to revolt and if that does not work, I recede.

So when I found out I was pregnant, I was bombarded with all sorts of dos and don'ts that I needed to take care of for the impending gestation period. Not just people, the books and the websites and every little material I read and saw tried to put me off certain things more than anything. And being the natural 'chill'er in life, I paid little or no attention to most advice that was doled out to me. 

It was then that my husband pointed out a general flaw in my personality that I characteristically emote disapproval through my face more often than I need to and that hit home! Even though my intention was not such, my face emoted my detachment from the advise as soon as it was given to me. I decided to be a little more accepting of things that were said to me, especially by family, because of course they mean well and 'all they want is good health for you and the baby', I told myself. 


So with time, I adopted a more tolerant attitude toward said things but I did not completely shed my disapproving behaviour. I transformed into a more logical self, analysing things I was told to do and adjusting them to suit the needs of the baby and me. It was in the course of these meticulous 5 months of analysing, over analysing, incessantly reading and personal experiences that I came to realise that some pregnancy related advice are essentially myths.  



1. The Great 'Khatta khaane ka mann' logic
No, you do not suddenly want to eat all the achaar and the khatta imli when you conceive. Some have the hankering for sweet food and some for savoury. I, for one, oscillated between the two. You feel like eating a lot of sour things to basically ease the first trimester nausea but that too, for some women, is a temp thing which last a couple of weeks.

2. Sleeping on your right is a strict NO-NO

Yes, the doctors will advise you to avoid sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your back compromises the blood flow to the uterus and the baby. Also, towards the end of the third trimester, your lungs will feel burdened if you sleep on your back and so your cuddle up on your side. But one of the scariest things I have heard is that sleeping on your right results in the birth of a still-born. I have met with a fair few doctors and practitioners in my present term and there is no medical proof backing this claim. 

3. The many many legends of guessing the baby's gender

The silver chain and ring test, the sweet-savoury craving test, the shape of the tummy test. There are all kinds of small little legends that people have to determine the gender of the baby. Personally, my husband and I never really put a lot of thought into it. When someone tries to predict the gender of the baby, I laugh it off by saying that there is at least a 50% chance they are right. Either way.

4. You have got to eat for two!

No! You have got to eat healthy, being an expecting mum. And the doctor will advise you of the same after taking into consideration your medical history. And when they tell you to eat for two, pile on the nutrition, not the portion size! 

5. Pile on the kilos

Not all mommys-to-be need to put on anywhere between 10 to 15 kilos while preparing themselves for the baby. You can put on anywhere between 5 to 18 kilos but the range is decided upon by your doctor after taking your BMI into account. Since I am an overweight woman, I have been advised to gain weight in the 5-8 kilo bracket. With the right food, exercise and activity, the less than needed gain weight does not affect the baby at all.

6. Do not drive!

Agreed that the first couple of months, you are on tenterhooks about the whole driving thing. You want to but you are too scared to and so you completely do not. But personally, driving is something which is a lot more convenient than riding a bike (which you should avoid because of increased accident risks) Take a couple of months off in the beginning if you are unsure, but you can resume driving if your back feels fine. Plus the kick from driving is more soothing than anything else.

7. The third trimester will only make you look and feel unattractive.

Maybe. But not always. Pregnancy glow is not a thing abundantly found among women. In that case, use makeup to your rescue. And yes, you will feel tired most of the time but lean on your husband to lift up your spirits when you are feeling unattractive (read troll-like)

Before you take my word for it entirely, these are the things I have generally found to be non-applicable in my case. But if you do try to google their authenticity, you will find at least one hit on the first page that will debunk my claim as well. So, like me, do venture out to make your pregnancy your own personal experience than being chained to some age-old things you are forced to comply by. And do this whilst being accepting of all opinions. 


Cheers! 

D

November 17, 2016

5 thoughts I have when the baby moves!


One of the most defining moments during your pregnancy is the time you feel the baby squirm inside of you. Given that you have been living with a black and white ultrasound image of a blob of mass, five months into the pregnancy, you finally get that one proof that there is indeed something growing inside you and believe it or not, it is FREAKY!


Let me dive head first into it. I know you are judging me a little when I do not categorise my 'the baby moved' experience as beautiful. It was downright freaky. It is only then that the time has arrived for you to come to terms with the fact that you are now a manufacturing and food processing unit for another human for the next 4-5 months of your life. Of course, over time the frantic situation dissolves into a more subtle and novel experience but there is no denying all these feels you will feel when you actually feel the baby move for the first time and all the times after that!

1. Is it gas?
Yes. That was the absolute first thought and heck, it felt like it too. The soft feathery swish termed as quickening is what most mothers feel in the early months of the second trimester. Though categorised as baby movements, quickening is more like that uneasy wave of gas you feel after a heavy mexican meal. It took me while to tell the two apart *facepalm*

2. Bring it on baby
The baby loves a challenge and so do I! This is one good thing that happened in the months that followed the movements. I have not had sleepless nights because of the kicks, in fact it helped me sleep more soundly knowing there was an over-achiever in my belly. To be an expectant mother and be so laid back about it is something I am given grief over constantly but hey, why fret when the baby is as chill as you are! 

3. That is an unreachable itch!
The squirming inside your belly however results in an unbearable itch. What is worse is that this is happening inside your body and there is nothing you can do about that except for plead to the baby to go easy on you. Mine did not listen to me and only became more active. The little devil, this one! 

4. Do I sit or do I stand or do I lay down?
So what is the protocol when you feel the first set of solid kicks. That is, after you have identified them as baby kicks/movements. Do you sit down or do you stroll around a little or do you just lie down on your side. What will aid the baby's movements more? The answer to this, however, comes to you with time as you live with your baby and learn its habits. Each baby reacts to the mother and the environment in a different way and so you have got to work with the baby to find what is best for them.

5. Come on baby, put on a show! 
I have a baby who does not comply by demands. So when you tell the baby to move, there will be dead silence, like absolutely no movement but moves about nonstop when I am in the middle of a midnight snack watching Modern Family re-runs. Fact of the matter: My baby moves only when it wants to. He is a twisted one too, moves the most when the Nani (my mum) or the father (my husband) talk. 



Four months into feeling the little one move around and doing somersault pretty much every time I eat cake, I am more used to this than anything else.

I am into this constant habit of sitting on a straight chair with the laptop propped in front me as I sit down to type posts every other day. And for the past few weeks, the baby syncs its kicks and movements to the sound of me typing on the keyboard. I even get an appreciative jab or a punch after I type a particularly long non-punctuated sentence. Of course, I will miss this synchronised dance routine we share but I am ready for little 'baby hashtag' to kick me out of my sleep every night. 

Have you felt anything like this while you were pregnant with your baby or was it different? Do share your thoughts. 

Cheers! 
D.

November 10, 2016

Plus-size shopping : My favourite brands

Wearing a comfortable Jersey Tshirt from aLL

The struggle for the perfect clothes is real. And especially if you are a full-figured on-the-heavier side woman, finding clothes that are the right size and fit for you is the most difficult. 

For years, I have been on the lookout for stores big and small that had signs on their doors that read 'UPTO 7XL SIZE AVAILABLE'. These places do not necessarily make me feel all too great about myself but hey, a girl's got to do all she can to look like a million bucks. Makeup could only take me so far. Clothes is another level altogether. I have had a lot of people telling me very politely over the years, 'Nahi yaar, XXL toh aa hi jaayega kyuki tum inti bhi moti nahi ho'. But then I passed the XXL mark in a lot of popular retail brands a few years ago according to whom size variations are just darned. It is hilarious that a size XXL is not necessarily the same fit and measurements in any two brands. 

And so began my quest for that one brand that would cater to my style preferences and not be limited in terms of variety. In my search that has spanned nearly 8 years, I have narrowed down my favourites to the following seven. 

1. aLL
2. Mustard
The first two brands are all about basic clothing and comfort. The price point on these brands are just above the normal range and the size options are wide too. Personally, my favourites from aLL are the Denims and from Mustard are the Kurtis and tank-tops.

3. Gia
4. Sassy Soda
Gia and Sassy Soda are two inhouse brands at Westside and I LOVE them! I discovered them only 3 years ago and have been obsessed with their range. They update their collection with the current trends and do not shy away from experiementing with silhouettes for plus size women.

5. Biba
6. Mebaz
Biba and Mebaz are my two go-to brands for ethnic clothing. While Biba is all about organic cottons and silks and fabrics that can be worn daily, Mebaz is all jazz and shimmer with a dazzling party-wear collection. 

7. Asos
Last but not the least, the brand that every blogger loves but me, not as much. Asos does have a decent collection for plus size women and the range is exquisite but the shipping and the aftermath are horrid especially if you are new to the world of international shipping. My advice would be to choose Asos over other brands for clothes that are kitsch and unique.

Apart from these brands, there are a lot of independent designers and fashion brands that are reinventing fashion to be more size-inclusive. Gladly, there is a lot more choice in terms of styles, designs and patterns for plus size people out there and this is only on the rise. If you are looking at a more niche shopping experience over buying generic clothes from the places I mentioned above, you can try out these websites.

1. Amydus
2. RDKL-U
3. LastInch
4. Calae
5. Oxolloxo
6. Kaaryah
7. Faballey Curve

Of the brands mentioned above, I have had personal shopping experiences with only one of them. Other brands come heavily recommended though and so I would strongly suggest you give them a spin. 

Is there any plus-size brand that you have loved and is not a part of this list then let me know. I would love to try them out!
Until next time


Cheers,
D

November 6, 2016

5 unexpected ways your body changes during Pregnancy!


Cruising through the last month of pregnancy is turning out to be quite uneventful apart from the fact that I am suddenly very aware of every little thing that happens to my body. Apart from the obvious physical changes(duh!) that an expecting mother's body goes through during the nine months, some changes in my body took me by surprise. Read on! 

1. Nose

I am not making this up! And this is no exclusive occurrence either. If you have known an expecting mother, ask her about it and she will deny it happens. But then ask her to compare the pictures of her pregnant self with those of her pre-pregnancy self and you will have given her an epiphany. Most new moms are unaware that our noses grow in size when we cruise through the second trimester into the third. However, it is ironic that the growing nose contributes very little to the stuffy, breathless feeling we get towards the end of the third trimester because the baby grows giving your lungs very little space to function to their full capacity. Makes that growing nose feel quite redundant, doesn't it!!

2. Clumsy limbs

As the baby bump grows, your centre of gravity shifts and your body threatens to double over and fall more than usual. So like me if you have had a clumsy bone all throughout your life, things will only go downhill from here. My brain and limbs have ceased to coordinate and I just drop things while I am holding them, and for no apparent reason. They just slip out of my grip. I am not being even slightly hyperbolic when I say this. As if maintaining a healthy hand-eye-leg coordination was not enough, the pregnancy brain is totally giving me away! 

Also, pregnancy brain is the real deal! 

3. Jawline

If you are past the 30 week mark, congratulations, you now do not have a jawline. Except if you are a supermodel or a fitness freak in which case, I hate you! With the expanding nose and aching teeth, I now have a chubby round baby's butt for a jawline. Smiling or not, my face resembles a full blown balloon which is legit cool given I am pregnant and everything.  

4. Foot size

I have not had the aching swollen feet and ankles but heck I have the curse of the pregnancy feet. Any other footwear variation that is not a flip-flop feel like thorns and fashion sense literally gets thrown out the window. Bye-bye high fashion and street style footwear choices and hello man-slippers. My foot has increased by one size and flip-flops are nirvana. Socks, on the other hand, are murder. Because, heat!

5. Nails

The nails grow at an alarming rate and behold! they are strong and anything but brittle. Think about all those amazing matte mail polishes you can wear and flaunt with them perfect nails. But as luck would have it, when your maternal instincts kick in in the third semester, anything remotely sharp will make it to the garbage can and there go the 'perfect nails'. Get ready for months of non-manicured hands because baby comes first.

Anything you have felt out of the ordinary during your term of pregnancy which has not made it to this list, let me know. I have a nagging feeling in the back of my head that this list will need some constant updating. 

Until the next post in this series, Cheers! 
D

October 11, 2016

#TrendAlert : Aiyoh!

Ringing in the Tuesday with a blog post about something that is not very fashionable to talk about at the moment. Colloquialism is something we are all guilty of, but we are often unaware of having indulged in it. With ours being a country of diverse regional pools and having multiple language influences, it is only normal when the occasional 'yaar' or 'abey' creeps into our conversations without us even realising it. It is now even considered to cool to incorporate such slangs in your speech and informal texting language. What I love about the colloquial language is that it is our own and it gives us a sense of familiarity and comfort when we converse in it that the regular spoken english just can not.


source: www.indianmeme.com

Why this rant about colloquial language all of a sudden? Because one of our dearest 'regular use' words has left the echelons of colloquial language and joined the supremes. Yes! I am talking about the word 'AIYOH!'

Last week, Oxford dictionary released its list of new September words and it featured new entries like Yogasana and our beloved Aiyoh! To be honest, it does not really matter much to the aam junta but to the Indian purists who swear by the Oxford dictionary like a holy scripture, this is a big moment. By adding this word to the official Oxford records, the word now stands to get more acceptance.

More than anything, I am afraid of the misuse that 'Aiyoh' will be put to from now on. It is going to be used a lot more by that pretentious group of people in a party who sip on cocktails named after tools and talk about boycotting Chinese products while taking selfies on an iPhone that was incidentally assembled in China. And the next time Chetan Bhagat0 gets picked on for writing shit in the name of literature, they will point us to that one paragraph in their books where they used 'Aiyoh' : even before the word got picked up by the Oxford dict. "I am a visionary" he will claim. And what a sad day for Indian literature that will be. Arnab Goswami will use it in the course of time, driving us up the wall. The innocence of the word will eventually get lost in the maddening frenzy and what was just an adorable way to express exasperation will boil down to being a word like any other.    

For us regular Lucys, there is just the one upside that comes out of this move from the Oxford dict. New word to make on the Scrabble board! Yay.

October 4, 2016

#TrendAlert : Chokers and How to style them!

Minimal Jewellery is the current accessorising trend right now. And an extension to this hot trend are chokers.

With all the trends from the 90's making a solid comeback, it is no surprise that chokers are so hot right now! Chokers are versatile, fashionably light and make a lasting statement. From the basic black chokers to elaborate layered pieces with gold and stone embellishments, there is one perfect choker for every outfit. 

Unlike what many think, accessorising with a choker need not necessarily make you look goth! Follow these basic style tips to make your choker look work for you:

1) Always keep the choker understated if you are wearing it in the day. They can be thinner, with probably an embellishment or two for the added glitz
2) Experiment with colourful chokers or chokers with a slight colour pop to wear on your monochrome outfit. Wearing an all black ensemble with a black choker will definitely not un-goth your look.
3) When in doubt, layer your solid coloured choker with dainty gold or silver chains. The choice of the metallic tone totally depends on your personal taste. 
4) I say it with love when I ask you to ditch the elastic chokers. They are too 'been there, done that'. It is time you moved on to chokers that are either lace or suede or just a satin strap.
5) If you do not own a bright and solid coloured choker for your outfit, the removable bra strap will make for the perfect choker. Added bonus? They are super soft on your skin!

Be it a dress or a pair of jeans or a traditional lehenga skirt that you are planning on wearing, there is a perfect choker necklace for you.
Dress : Choose lace and dainty metal chokers with floral embellishments
Jeans : Your standard black chokers, in all the variations you can imagine. Even if you choose colours, stick to solid colours and avoid prints and designs.
Traditional : Polki to the rescue! There are countless chokers made out of polki and pearls that will go best with a traditional outfit of your choice. If you are looking for silver toned chokers, go boho-chic!!!

You can shop the choker trend right here
You can also order these limited pieces by filling the order form right here. The prices and the choker styles are mentioned below :)


Layered Choker and Gold Necklace
Price - 250/-

Studded Black Choker
Price - 210/-

Basic Black Choker with Tassel (available colours Red and Black)
Price - 210/-

Layered Choker with Black Stone
Price - 250/-

Dreamcatcher Choker
Price - 250/-

Snake Chain Choker (available in Red)
Price - 250/-

Tie-around Choker
Price - 190/-

Circle Link Choker
Price - 210/-

Gold Collar Cuff
Price - 290/-

Shells and silver Choker
Price - 290/-

Rhinestone and Pearls Choker
Price - 320/-

Antique Silver Choker Necklace
Price - 390/-

September 25, 2016

#ShaadiSeries : The Honeymoon Ritual

The Honeymoon Ritual is the last and probably the most unnecessary ritual of the wedding extravaganza!




I have seen a LOT of couples actually delaying their wedding dates so that coincide with a more favourable time to travel. Dates have been pushed back and forth trying to accommodate a 'so-called' honeymoon budget. The idea of a honeymoon or to simply put 'a post-wedding holiday' was to give the married couple some space and time to understand and get accustomed to each other in their respective living spaces before actually starting a life together. With time, the notion has evolved and spouses are usually more relaxed with each other by the time they are married.


The Honeymoon Ritual, however, refuses to evolve! Now the idea of a honeymoon is so done to death, that it revolves around the frantic search for an exotic location that very little people in your Facebook friend's list have been to. And it has to be some place exotic because when you tag yourself there with your new spouse, you have to garner at least a 100 reactions on social media. Otherwise, you are not doing honeymoon right. To each, their own. I agree. But when people (read married people) judge you and your marriage based on your honeymoon destination, that gets to me.

You may have worked this out by now but yes, I never did a honeymoon. My husband and I chose to stay put and rejoin work as soon as the wedding festivities were over. Let me straighten one thing out though. I am all for the holiday! I mean, who does not like a vacation. But the idea of a fully loaded honeymoon was just too much for us to handle and we did away with it. Instead, we jumped head on into life, making fortnightly weekend getaways a more frequent habit. 

If only, people (read married people) left us alone! 

Months into the marriage, they still rant on about how I missed an opportunity to have fun for once in my life, especially with the baby on its way. So wait, you are questioning my ability to cope with a honeymoon-less life and are also telling me very slyly that my life 'with the baby and a husband' will be bonkers? My God! Opportunity lost? Not. And here is why! 

First, personally spending thousands, lakhs even, on a glorified holiday is just not acceptable to me. Call me stingy, but when every honeymoon-related package comes to you at 250% more than it's original cost, I would rather be home watching random Kung-fu movies with a husband who loves the television as much as I do.

Second, there is no dearth of chemistry and magic in our marriage. I have burnt more meals in the kitchen than anyone has and we have been getting more takeaways from restaurants and eating them in solitary confinement watching Modern Family re-runs, just the two of us. That, right there, is our honeymoon.

and Third, it is totally a personal choice!

I am not taking a dig at honeymooners in general, party all you want, I could not be happier for you. But it is the sympathisers that need to back off a little. Next time before you go all googly-sympathetic faced for someone who haven't had their honeymoon, restrain yourself. They have their reasons. Heck, they may even be smarter than you think.

And NO, a missed honeymoon is not a lost opportunity. It is just another wedding ritual some of us decided to skip.

September 22, 2016

Bring back in trend, the lost art of spelling correctly!


I missed publishing this post on Tuesday because it was my birthday and I was in an overly indulgent mood. So I quit working, planning or any activity in general and parked myself on the sofa with my phone and the television. Like I promised last week, I am continuing this week with talking about (and in this case, criticising) the hottest trend on the block. New Generation Grammar-less language.




First there was SMS. With it came a frightening trend. SMS lingo! Right became r8, hate became h8, happy brithday god bless you became 'hbd gbu'. At the time, this certain transition may have seemed the most logical thing to do as the keypads were alphanumeric and typing was, honestly, a pain in the ass. But what excuse does this generation have for typing words and making grammatical errors when there is spellcheck and a Qwerty keypad. What is worse that these very people talk in the same language they text in which is a disgrace. I have had younger people, meaning kids younger than me, come to me and blurt out incoherent sentences like 'I got swag bruh!'..... I mean, who talks like that. You text using this language and vocabulary because 1) in a textual exchange no one gets to hear you being an ass and 2) for some reason, it is cool to type like this.

I beg to differ.


Both in person and virtually, if someone uses SWAG in a sound conversation, I will legit punch them in the face. I cringe when someone types HBD to wish me on my birthday. Seriously, what good comes off those two seconds that you saved by not typing the two word HAPPY BIRTHDAY phrase. Then there are those who still have not left behind the alphanumeric keypad. Thanks to their immense and wide mental prowess, they replace the word TO with 2, the letter O with a zero and GREAT with gr8. The worst kind of people are the ones who actually say LOL instead of the conventional ha-ha. Oh wait, how do I forget the largest congregation of vocabulary defaulters! Those who have forgotten how to spell basic words like 'like' and 'this'.


Riddle me this, in this era of super intelligent computers and smart phones, how does one even fall prey to such unabashed foolishness. Why? To sound cool? Or to be a peer favourite. News flash!!! Talking or texting like this does not make anyone sound cooler. In fact, you are being judged heavily. People like me who like their sentences framed correctly with the least grammatical errors possible: we will not take you seriously. And with the internet being a wide open stage, two years down the line when you are applying for your dream job at a top firm, your poorly word-constructed tweets from the past will come biting you in the backside. So there is that.


Let me give you a simple example.

When we, grammar lovers, read a sentence that goes:

''I am lyk dis nly, luv me 0r h8 me, dis is mah lyf''


In our minds, it gets translated to:


''F*** ***!"


Don't complain later that no one tried to warn you about this.


P.S. I understand that there is a possibility that there may be grammatical errors in this post. Feel free to let me know in the comments section. I will not hate you. I swear. It will only make me like you more.


September 13, 2016

How to style traditional jewellery in off-beat ways


Starting this week, every Tuesday, I will introduce to you, a trend. Be it lifestyle or fashion related or a newer style in jewellery or just a random habit gaining a lot of mobility with the people at the time. You see the upside of playing loosely with the term Trend!!!


Kicking off the series is my favourite! Traditional Indian Jewellery!


Being a plus size woman, experimenting with clothes comes rather difficultly to me because of the limited options in stores. Naturally, my need to over accessorise with jewellery and over the top makeup (read red lips and winged liners). Hence, my obsessive love for all things jewellery. I even considered a serious career in jewellery designer but turns out to be a designer of any sort, you need to be good with the pencil and my drawing skills are as amateur as a 5 year old. As can be easily deduced from my personality by now, I am a jewellery hoarder. Anything particularly stylish or classic, I must have it. This goes for both Indian traditional and Contemporary statement jewellery. Of late, I have taken it upon myself to experiment with styles and not limit wearing Indian jewels only with ethnic-wear.


Now to why I am writing this!

How to style traditional jewellery in off-beat ways.

Limiting yourself to wearing your handpicked ethnic jewellery pieces only with Indian clothes is a thing of the past. Since a lot of traditional and contemporary styles of jewellery overlap is style and form, using them to complete outfits of a different style family is the new fashion fad. Here are some ways you can use your heavy traditional jewellery in off-beat ways to style your outfit.


1. Choker style necklaces

Most traditional necklaces come in choker variations today and because of that they can be worn with western dresses and tops that have a slight dip in the neckline.


Source : Pinterest



2. Heavy Golden Jhumkas

Whip out that solid coloured dress and accessorise them with the jhumkas or replicate the Sonam Kapoor look when she sported heavy gold jhumkas with her powder blue evening gown in Cannes. It cannot go wrong!


Source : Polka Cafe

3. Anything Polki

How many times have you wanted to wear that royal polki necklace but could not because the dress would not allow it. Not anymore! Take cue from style divas of our time and rock a super heavy polki necklace with a fitted bodycon dress.


Source : Quora


4. Gemstones Jewellery

Precious stone jewellery is a risky thing! Not only they need to be worn with a particular colour palette but they also have to be balanced out to the T. Solve all those problems by donning your coloured precious stones necklace with the classic LBD.


Source : Pinterest

5. Silver Jewellery and Bangles
Spruce up your boring office outfit with a pop of silver. Picture a white shirt with a pair of Kutchi earrings or a contemporary kurta accessorised with a beaten silver necklace. You can also layer your look with different bangles thrown on together but avoid the noisy ones in a workplace. 

Source : Myntra

There you go! 5 unusual ways to incorporate traditional Indian jewellery in your looks. Think you can add anything more to this? Do tell. I would love to keep adding to the list above because there can never be an excess of good things. 

Want to own some striking traditional jewels yourself? Head over to this page and take a look at their exclusive bi-weekly preview of Indian Traditional Jewels. 

September 11, 2016

What they don't tell you about being pregnant!


Pregnancy!

One of those things in life that have been extensively talked and written about. Every single person you meet in the course of your pregnancy will have at least one piece of advice for you because the world cares immensely for that unborn baby inside of you and they want you to be careful and loving and nurturing. There are, however, things that no one will teach you singularly. This kind of knowledge, these epiphanies, come to you with experience and living through these experiences personally. Now in the third trimester, I have read 'What to expect when you are expecting' cover to cover twice. Although the book is highly extensive and detailed, there are so many things it did not warn me about in advance.



This far along the pregnancy, I have come to realise these things!


1. Maternity Clothes are essentially pointless


Yes!All these big brand-houses making you want to buy maternity clothes as soon as you hit the second trimester have been fooling you all along. You and your 'baby bump self' will need new clothes but only if you intend to do a full-blown 7 schedule photo shoot of yourself with different clothes on. Bodies do not change overnight for most women. The change is more gradual and for most part of the pregnancy, your regular sweatpants and t-shirts will fit the bill just fine. If you still feel the need to own clothing options that were specially made for pregnant women, buy yourself a couple of pretty wrap dresses, kaftans and some bright flip-flops. That should cover you just fine and will also come in handy later.

2. Love-hate relationship with the maid


Most expecting moms will agree with me on this. There are days when your house-help just decides to skip work without prior notice and you are left blindsided. Now all you are doing is worrying yourself sick about the laundry that needs to be cleaned and the entertainment centre that needs to be dusted. You will call her and scream your lungs hoarse asking her to never show up on your door again but again your fatigue takes over the adrenaline rush you just had in that fit of rage and more often than not you find yourself calling the maid back the next minute politely asking her when she will show up next. After your husband, the maid will probably be the most important person who will provide you solace - especially in the first and the third trimester.


3. Worrying over the size of the baby-bump


Before you argue that most books and pregnancy related websites will tell you that all baby bump sizes differ, hear me out. No matter how prepared you are, your calm mental demeanour takes a real hit when your seventh month bump pretty much looks like a fifth month bump. And when you compose yourself, there will be a whole army of people you know who will unabashedly point it out to you that your bump does not look quite 'there yet'. You will do the unthinkable to prove them wrong. You will arch your spine leaning backwards so your bump protrudes to the front and you will constantly place your hands on the top of the belly to make the bump look more pronounced. Believe me, the pressure of looking the quintessential pregnant woman is so much more than anyone makes it to be.


4. Fat women actually have it easy


Contrary to popular belief, women on the heavier side (read fat) have swift pregnancies when compared to their skinnier contemporaries. I speak of this through personal experience. Since we have spent a large part of our teenage and youth manoeuvring our 'big' frames, the time when the pregnancy bump starts to grow it does not change our centre of gravity as drastically as it does for other women. Moving around with an additional 15-20 pounds seem like a no-brainer and major distress in the back and the legs are things of fiction.


5. The husband tiptoes around you, the world does not!


The world around you in general becomes a lot more vocal and judge-y when it comes to you. While your husband (and in a lot of cases, your families) tiptoe around you and speak to you with caution, others have a major flapback tendency of not doing so. Filters are forgotten and so are boundaries. So there will be tummy-touching, no matter how uncomfortable you tell them you are with it. You get the old 'stop being silly' jibe from them before they proceed to do exactly what you had forbade them to do a second ago. Advice will be hurled at you from all quarters so teach yourself some head-bopping and polite nodding to be used in such situations. Do not even try to avoid this phase cos the world is the self-appointed guardian of your unborn baby and at the end of the day, they do mean well.


No matter what is said and done, at the end of the day, the love of your husband and your families is what keeps you going. Through the sleepless nights and bouts of weird dreams that you have and through the many mood-swings and weepy mornings that you cannot get over, they live it all with you. So as long as you are pregnant, make them your world and prioritise your energy on keeping yourself and the baby healthy. Everything else will fall into place. And anything trivial will automatically fall behind.