These are Chic Times

Okay, so the Wills India Fashion Week kicks off tomorrow afternoon with its Autumn/Winter 2011 designer collections. I am always happy to see clothes and more clothes. But fashion weeks put me off. They are so about snobs making their rounds dressed in ridiculous frippery which they want to pass off as fashion. When did fashion become thus? I had always thought about fashion as something that should make one look well turned out, not a nincompoop, for heaven's sake!

But I have been thinking about my own wardrobe and I do have a few wants this summer.

The poor wardrobe has been lying un-replenished for some time now except for a ruched jersey jacket that was an absolute steal from Bizarre. I have already worn it some three times – over a dress, a pair of slouchy harems and atop a long skirt. Yes, it is my It item this month.

Also I am eyeing these: Hats. The fedora. The top hat. The wide-brimmed straw hat or even the bowler. I want them all. It’s time to devote accessory space to the dedicated milliner! And ribbons, flowers, feathers, gauze – the trims -- are more than welcome to cap it all.

A black lace dress. I have been craving for one more since last year. Get it tailored or search the fashion stores high and low. I have one already though. A lovely nude coloured lace dress with tiers on its skirt that I picked up from Promod last season. The fit is almost akin to that of the famed Hervé Léger bandage dresses! But to satisfy a bit more of this feminine craving, I had my boy get me a pair of lace stockings – in the palest of pink hues and in a sexy black. I am so looking forward to wearing them.

Hair rollers are my new quirk. I am wondering about getting them. The thing is I have been watching That 70s Show, yes that hilarious and risqué show, like everyday! And if you have noticed, the ladies in the show have lovely curls that make them look so cute (Kitty, Eric’s mother) and sometimes pretty (Jackie played by Mila Kunis).

An electric blue raw silk dress. It would make for a nice formal look.

A midnight blue/teal draped gown. This would look delicious. But here's my woe -- which designer can give me the right fit within my budget? The last time I ended up paying more than five grand to this half-baked designer, I had on my hands a horribly cheap satin purple gown that fell so badly I wanted to cry. To this day, the above mentioned fellow says I have to go to his studio for a free dress to wear during the fashion week. Rest assured, after that gown disaster, I have always wanted him to vanish, at least from the fashion week venue and after-show parties.

A pair of blue aviators and another pair of classic golden-rimmed black aviators.

A pair of Aldo heels, a pair of platforms and a pair of shiny shoes to wear to weddings.

Handloom weaves – a Paithani or a Banarasi – to wear at weddings. And to complete the look, a maang tika in kundan.

Oh this list has me excited. Now to get cracking!


The bite of the new

It feels awful. When things change, they can be so difficult. I have always been resisting change I guess but there are times when you just have to give into it and sit back and watch it allpanning before your eyes. And if things work out, then the going gets good. And if doesn't, I pack my bags. What is it going to be -- I wonder.


O Walt Whitman!

"Are you the new person drawn toward me?
To begin with, take warning - I am surely far different from what you suppose;
Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal?
Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover?
Do you think the friendship of me would be unalloy'd satisfaction? Do you think I am trusty and faithful?
Do you see no further than this façade—this smooth and tolerant manner of me?
Do you suppose yourself advancing on real ground toward a real heroic man?
Have you no thought, O dreamer, that it may be all maya, illusion?"

The Have Tos

It is good to have less work to do once in a while. For example, sit and browse through blogs – blogs that talk about random stuff really, spout out quotes, recipes, fashion updates or put out individual pieces of life for you to share.

In doing so, I am re-discovering old passions that I have to rekindle.

The first thing I do next month is go and buy myself an oven. I have to, have to start baking. There is a rare joy in blending batter, tasting it raw, savouring the buttery flavour and then watching all of it swell to perfection in the warm insides of the oven. Baking eggs. Or grilling a piece of fish in lemon and butter and herbs. Oooh I am so kicked about it.

It’s been ages I have danced. Maybe it is time to re-join my jazz classes. And this time around maybe – just maybe – I could execute the most perfect pirouettes and those painful looking splits.

Spanish. I have to learn it. Love it somehow because of the simplicity with which I could pick it up from random online classes with a voice called Maria.

On another note, I have to build on my sari wardrobe it seems. Practically everyone around me is getting married and the only good sari I have is the one I bought for my own wedding. It is a beautiful mustard colour Benarasi sari with paisley motifs. I do not know if I will get to save it up for my own. The thought of it never fails to make me wistful, even though I know I shouldn’t dwell upon it.

Destiny is funny. I do believe in it. Because at times there is no way you can push things. They just happen or they do not.

But in the meantime, you just strive. Strive to find happiness in the small things in life and dream that one day you shall have it all.

As a Chinese proverb says: "If I keep a green bough in my heart, the singing bird will come."


That Icing On the Cake

A little note: This is not a love post. It’s time to lay them to rest awhile.

No, this is an ode to my abiding passion for cupcakes. Cupcakes that have been my comfort food ever since I stepped inside that most luscious bakery called Theobroma. When I first laid my eyes on them after a long day of sauntering around Pali Hill, they made me think, “Oh look, food for the fairies!”

There they were, these pretty little things with delicate, sugar sprinkles on them.

Unable to resist their charm, my friend S and I quickly chose a cupcake from beneath a glass cover with great anticipation. My first spoon of it happened to be of the portion peeking beyond the icing ( You see, I am deadly scared of stiff, sweet icing. You could kill my appetite with them, even if it calls for a teeny weeny bite).

“Give it a try, come on!” said S. After some convincing, I gingerly bit into the icing.

It was love at first bite, yes. And what a pure, delightful love it was. It was the kind of flavour, a perfect mix of the salty and the sweet, that had also made me fall in love with caramel popcorn at once at a cutesy popcorn stall in Disney Land. The icing was made of salted butter -- it was most decidely not your run-of-the-mill unsalted buttercream icing.

Now I cannot eat just any cupcake. I have tried my fill of an array of them out there. In malls, niche bakers, bakery shops...

But today ND, my coffee-and-what’s-happening-with-our-lives-yapping companion (we go out for a cuppa cappuccino almost every day), called me from outside office. She had baked a batch of cupcakes.

My input had been that she use only salted butter for the cupcake icing. And guess what, it was the cupcake I had been lusting for all this time! It was perfection as I sunk my teeth into the tiny little round thing with the pale white icing, topped off by a gazillion colourful sprinkles.

And even though ND has promised me another batch tomorrow, I cannot wait to get my very own oven. To start baking.

So here’s to dreams of fluffy white icing and buttery doughs!


Love at first sight?

Of late I have been reading the weddings column in the New York Times. It fills me with a curious joy to read about how couples met, courted each other and finally took the plunge. And of course that photograph of the lady in white, often in elaborate ruffled gowns, staring into her guy's eyes with like a world of love and happiness in her own.

So I was reading about this particular couple who met through a dating service and have just got married. The woman who is a pediatric dentist was skittish about meeting yet another guy, she said, till she happened to go on a drink date with this random guy. He turned out to be so handsome and dashing that she was pretty bowled over.

But a few minutes into the evening and she noticed a small dark thing between she said, tooth number 12 and tooth number 13. And yes, our lady pointed it out to the astounded man that he had a cavity and that he should keep off Gummi Bears. She referred him to another dentist and it did turn out to be a cavity.

Six months within dating, his habit of gorging on junk food got to her and she too ended up with her first cavity!

How's that for an unusual and cute love story. And so woman of her to have pointed out a flaw right in the first meeting*wide grin*


A Letter to Giulietta

Dear Juliet,

I wish you had lived to spend a life with Romeo. Tragedy makes for great romance? Only for others maybe.

The other day I snuggled up in my quilt and watched a film called Letters to Juliet after a night of sipping on Prosecco. My senses -- of romance, wistfulness, longing – were all at their zenith, yes. It began with an American girl reaching your land with her fiancé for a pre-honeymoon. There, while her fiancé is busy with wine auctions and truffle hunts, our girl set off on her own in Verona. She soon arrived at that balcony, where you were supposed to have spent time being wooed by Romeo Montague (or should I say Montecchio…)

The sight which she came across had me mystified. It was of scores of women sticking notes on the wall beneath the balcony. Some weeping, some sitting and musing while writing notes. Others sobbing hysterically. One of the weeping women blubbered out to our girl that it was a tradition of women writing about their love stories, their love problems and any matters related to the heart to you, Juliet Capulet. And oh, there was a male tourist rubbing his hand on the right breast of your bronze statue. Lucky for him, you could not land a tight slap across his face (apparently there’s a rumour that rubbing one’s hand across your breast would augur good things!).

And guess what, there were a bunch of women who called themselves your secretaries. They sat and actually wrote back letters to all the girls who posted those chits on the wall.

I was charmed. I found out the next day that there indeed exists a club called The Juliet Club in Verona that replies to letters mailed to them by mostly American women. I am now looking for a book that has been penned on it by some Friedman.

But it set me thinking. If I were to write a letter to you O Juliet, what would it be like?

I would probably write about my love story to you. And I would wish for you. A better life with a better ending. A happily ever after with everybody leaving you alone to make or break your own life.


The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time...

A few things which somehow are very simple and when I say it, you will probably laugh and say hah, these are what I want too. But do you really want them? Because I do. I have lived my life wanting them.

Ever since I could think about my life, I knew I wanted to be independent. By that I mean, I wanted to live on my own, have my own mobile phone, a place of my own, a car in which I could whizz around. But somehow it never occurred to me that I could have any of those.

You see, I am quite the lazy human being. I might have wanted those things, but I lay back without thinking of where I was going. A heavily ambitious cousin of mine once asked me when I was in my teens, “AB what do you want to do in life. Where do you want to go and what do you want to do?” My brother overheard her and said, “Oh AB goes where the river flows”. And he sniggered. Well that brother, however much I love him at the end of the day, was always a bit of a moron.

So life went on. I graduated and I sat for a random journalism school exam. It brought me to Delhi which I thought was completely life taking its course. It had no input of mine except sitting in that dank hall in Calcutta University with a pen and a paper and no will really to make it. My father and my brother made sure I came to Delhi even though my mother was adamant about not letting her daughter, who had lived all her life at home, from venturing outside the city.

Then these things happened. I did get my own rented place, I did buy my own phone and I did get to live on my own. Along the way I realized I did not really need a car. I am happy reading my books on the metro (which has changed my life a full 360 degrees) while plodding my way to office and back. After all, there are some things which you let go of occasionally as you adjust to life as it happens to you.

In between work, I have been traveling, something that I have always wanted to do. It might not be the extensive travel of the keen jetsetter, but the going has been good. I could not ever imagine walking underwater in Mauritius with the pattern on the zebra fishes match my bikini top (yes, what a coincidence, right?!), patting a python in a snake temple in Malaysia, getting oil-soaked for a Shirodhara treatment in the green environs of Kerala, seeing a panda chewing on bamboo shoots in Hong Kong, or simply sitting in a Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka feeling the serenity soak into my very being. It’s been surreal.

And then while I was dating randomly, because I never could find that one elusive thing in my life, I met you. It was again surreal. The most beautiful thing that could have happened to me. We dreamt of a life together and now from nowhere, there seem to be a host of complications. Complications which we are thrusting upon what we have. Which makes you doubt about whether you want to even be with me, decide dates for our wedding, answer the world about my status updates…Why is the world so much with you?

But let me tell you about my perception of life. I just want love. Love with an intensity that leaves me breathless. Love where I do things for you not because I am trying to prove a point. But because that is what I want to do, and where I want to be. Where I cannot think of anything beyond you. Where I want to see the world with you, live with you, build a home together, laugh together, cry together, share our dreams together. I want to wake up beside you, every day of my life.

Do you feel the same way?


When everything seems bleak...

I think it is so refreshing to come back to my blog. It has always been my favourite ranting space and I guess it will always be. Small mercies after all.

Have you been weak ever? I seem to be turning weaker and weaker when it comes to taking decisions. So here's to a new, trying-to-be-stronger me.

It was for a random holiday quote (yes, I have to still make inane calls for those and beauty quotes still, which makes me think that it is probably time I moved on in life) that I called up an art curator. One of those random calls which out of the blue make you happy. Something I have not been for some time now.

So I am going to hold on to this rare feeling. And hold on for better days.