“Tattoo”

“Tattoo”

Madison had just moved into a new apartment with her boyfriend Jonah, a tattoo-artist.

Maddie dressed up as as a vampire on Halloween. Jonah said he loved it, at least a million times, while they were going down to their friend Pete’s, for one of those epic Halloween parties. It was tradition practically. They’d all get drunk and eat too much and just have a good time, and catch up with old friends.

“I wish you’d do your makeup like that everyday,” Jonah kept saying.

Maddie just smiled and looked happy. He’d never complimented her so much before.

The party got wild. Maddie couldn’t remember when or how she went to bed: she was completely wasted.

While brushing her teeth after having overslept, she felt a sharp pain in the face and noticed she’d forgotten to take off her makeup. It was only after she’d gone through two bottles of makeup remover that she realized that Jonah had tattooed on the dark cranberry lipstick on her lips.

Happy Blogtober!

Happy Blogtober!

September was awful: I didn’t even post consistently. The whole town was flooded for the most part and I hate it when it’s so gloomy. I mean, rains are nice and all – but it’s supposed to be fall weather and NOT monsoon. Maybe the world is actually about to die sooner than expected. Scares me to death, really.

Okay, all depressing thoughts aside, I’m actually looking forward to October. A few key events are coming up and I’m so excited I could pop a vein.

• BIRTHDAYS:

The love of my life celebrates his birthday tomorrow. Although I’m not around to actually celebrate with him in person, we’ve only got three months to go till we’re actually living together. I cannot wait!

My very good friend and adopted “grandchild” turns twenty one on October 16th. And Egg, if you’re reading this, although this makes you eligible to get drunk, I hope you don’t drink too many margaritas, *snicker* only kidding.

And finally, my fellow GRANDMA EM, also has her birthday in October. Precisely on October 25th. How exciting! Girl, go easy on the sugar. I worry about those crowns on your teeth. Bye.

PUJO:

Every Bengali living in West Bengal or other parts of the planet actually count down the days till Pujo happens. This year it did look like Pujo would be a flop show – thanks to the rain – for a little bit, but we’re good now.

Kids buy new outfits and everyone overeats. Time to say bye bye to my Keto diet for a few days.

HALLOWEEN:

We don’t really celebrate Halloween in India but it’s catching up quickly. If you’re into makeup, you’ll know that this is the time of the year that people go ham with FX makeup and other Halloween inspired looks. I cannot wait.

Also, happy Blogtober! I’m going to try and go back to posting everyday. The three month window is making me nuts. Pray for me.

Health Supplements 101

Health Supplements 101

Disclaimer: I am by no means a registered dietitian/nutritionist, but I have been into supplements for a while now. This stuff has worked for me and I thought it would be helpful to people that actually want to know about a few dietary supplements that do the job. Having said that, if you’re someone that has health issues, for example, kidney disorders, I would strongly recommend you see your GP first.

Also, major thanks to the significant other for a ton of valuable input.

Let’s say you work out five days a week. You’ve been consistent with your routine. BUT, you don’t see results. There could be a few things that you’re doing wrong – one of them would be NOT eating right. The other one would be giving your body enough break, but that’s something we won’t get into in this post. I like to incorporate a few things into my diet, and I’ll talk about them briefly below.

• L-Carnitine:

L-Carnitine, an amino acid, has strong antioxidant properties. It helps transport fat as a source of energy to your mitochondria and the antioxidant properties enable the cells to get rid of metabolic waste. It helps burn body fat and lets the cells use fat as primary source of energy instead of carbs. It was first obtained from meat extracts way back in 1905 – the name carnitine is derived from the Latin word “carnus“, meaning flesh. Since I don’t eat red meat (the redder the meat, the better in this case), I choose to take L-Carnitine.

L-Carnitine comes in capsule form which you can take post a heavy breakfast. Either take two a day post meals, if you’re working out extensively. I just take one a day.

Whey protein:

Whey concentrate has a bioavailability score of 104 (egg is your next best bet with a score of 100). The body is able to absorb it quickly and is able to transport to site of injury (muscles) to help begin repair quickly. It helps boost immune system as well. Whey is thermogenic, thereby aiding in fat loss and building up of the muscle. Whey isolate has a bioavailability of 159.

A scoop or 30 grams of whey concentrate mixed into 200 mils of chilled water post your workout routine is amazing. As you keep at it and fall into rhythm, your body will get into a habit and you’ll notice a huge difference.

Collagen:

Collagen is produced by body, but not in large quantities. The exogenous consumption helps boost collagen stores which in turn improves skin, hair, nail and joint health.

A scoop or eight grams of collagen mixed into your whey protein shake will do the job. You should see results in thirty days.*

• Fish Oil Capsules:

Fish oil is of two types – cod liver oil and normal fish oil, which has oil from an assortment of fishes. Fish oil has more omega 3. Cod liver oil is a good balance of vitamins A and D, EPA and DHA and is easily absorbed and easier to mass produce, plus has lesser mercury toxicity than regular fish oil. (This is best avoided if you’re on Isotretinoin.)

I take two capsules a day post breakfast.

• Biotin:

Biotin or vitamin B is a water soluble vitamin which helps improve the infrastructure of Keratin, the basic protein that makes up your skin, nails and hair. Biotin is available in a lot of food that you eat on the daily, like egg yolk and bananas and certain nuts, but with someone that’s losing hair faster than you could say Jack Robinson, I need my supplements.

I take one tablet after breakfast, everyday. I’m hoping to be blessed with Rapunzel-like tresses soon.

* Results may vary from person to person, obviously.

Do you take any supplements? Have you seen results?

Stuff That I Should Have Started Doing Earlier

Stuff That I Should Have Started Doing Earlier

Seeing a dermatologist.

I’m super ashamed to say I’ve never seen a dermatologist in my life. When you’re in your late twenties and you’re saying something like this, this is a major problem.

I didn’t know I would face so many skin problems – I have clogged pores that don’t go away, I have whiteheads and my skin is aging – and no amount of aloe is keeping my skin normal.

I have my very first appointment with a dermatologist on Saturday. I hope I don’t get judged too harshly.

Taking proper supplements.

In addition to eating your greens and otherwise having a diet that’s super clean, your body does need supplements. Some people overdo, and that’s bad.

I just started on collagen and biotin and other vitamins.

• Walking everyday.

I workout at home, and I follow people like Chloe Ting. And although my body is apparently healthy, I don’t walk enough. No, walking on your treadmill doesn’t count.

My health apps remind me that I need to be walking more and that never seems to happen.

I’m trying, and so far I’ve made it through Tuesday. Let’s hope I keep at it.

• Keeping in touch with only people who matter.

For the longest time, I would avoid talking to a bunch of people because I was under the impression that they were nosy.

I was wrong.

Nothing feels better than reconnecting. At the same time, nothing feels more liberating than finding out who’s going to be around when you’re sinking, and cutting off the unnecessary drama from people that never wish you well.

Sleeping better.

I’ve actually posted about the benefits of sleep on my blog before, and it’s weird to me that I never followed my own advice.

I’ve made changes now and I give my body six solid hours of sleep. Sometimes seven.

What are some recent changes that you’ve made in your life, that you wish you’d done sooner?

Book Review: My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Book Review: My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

• This is Nigerian author Oyinkan Braithwaite’s debut novel.

My sister the serial killer is based in Lagos, Nigeria, and the story is told from the point of view of Korede, the (eventual) head-nurse at St. Peter’s.

• She has this sister, Ayoola, who’s already killed three men, making her a serial killer. Ayoola also starts dating Tade, the guy who Korede secretly cherishes a burning passion for. Actually, scratch that: she loves the guy. Love love. The book opens with Ayoola calling Korede in panic. Ayoola has just murdered her boyfriend of one month, Femi, who used to write poetry. She doesn’t remember Femi’s last name, but she remembers his poetry. This bit hit me so hard. The two sisters then go ahead and clean up the mess and dispose of the body, with Korede doing most of the work – from the cleaning to the driving to the tossing of the body wrapped in three bedsheets they take from Femi’s studio apartment.

• I found parts of the book super interesting, the writing is mostly lucid as well, but to me it felt slightly bland as the book came to a close. The book (hardcover) is a little over two hundred pages long, and won’t take you a lot of time to finish reading.

• The ending’s been left vague. There’s man that comes to visit the sisters and you can totally speculate, but you can’t tell for sure, as to who he could be. Is it a new man, a new target that Ayoola is about to murder with their dead dad’s famous nine inch long ornate knife? Or is it the newly-back-from-a-coma patient, who in his comatose state had become the only confidante to Korede, who wants her for her, now that he’s divorced his wife? It’s up to you to decide.

• The humor is very Sophie Kinsella and the storyline is vaguely similar to the cookie cutter murder books we’ve all read at some point. Also, I love the contrast between the two sisters. While Korede is plain Jane, who shocks people when she randomly wears makeup one day after looking at a YouTube tutorial, Ayoola is a total knockout and a fashion designer who uses social media and men, for her own purposes. And for her designer wardrobe. She’s also messy, and Korede is so clean and organized, she probably has OCD.

My sister the serial killer is a mix of chick lit, deadpan comedy, dark fiction with hints of romance (the way Tade woos Ayoola with red and white roses), jealousy (the way Korede shreds the roses in the dead of the night) and Daddy issues (the father isn’t mentioned by name, but he had been the law in the house and never a father figure). If I had to rate it, it would get a 3.5/5 for good premise, and I would dock points for the rushed and vague ending.

Have you read this book? What did you think? Any recommendations I need to be looking out for?

I’ve Been Sticking To A Routine, And…

I’ve Been Sticking To A Routine, And…

Before we start, can you guys believe it’s September already? Life’s totally like toilet paper, and it seems to unroll faster as you start nearing the end. I don’t know where I read that, but it’s so true.

It’s currently 5:31 in the morning here in India. I’m a pretty early riser and I don’t give Sundays a miss. I’ve been sticking to a routine for the past couple of months and I’ve noticed major changes. Major. So, does sticking to a semi-strict or strict schedule work? Yes, a hundred percent. Here’s how –

• SLEEP:

I’ve noticed that I, as well as people around me, tend to be irritable if we don’t get enough sleep. This problem could easily be solved by forcing your body and mind to adapt to a routine and sticking to it. Consistency is key, and we often forget that. Fixing your own biological clock is way more important anything else.

And now that I give my body a good six hours of sleep, I’m doing great.

• MEALTIMES:

I used to have this really awful breakfast habits. Sometimes I would even skip a meal because I thought it was okay. And I’d often forget to drink water.

It’s been a few months since I’ve turned my schedule around and I make sure to eat before 9 in the morning. Plus, I’ve cut back completely on coffee and sugar and I don’t drink water between meals. I actually use this app that reminds me to log in my water intake. I love that.

Do I notice a difference? Yes. I don’t really get the munchies anymore. There’s also zero indigestion problems. Go me!

• SKINCARE:

I’m upset because I have good skin, said no one ever. People with good skin often take care of it and eat just right. For the rest of us, with skin problems like dehydration or acne, a skincare routine is key.

I started wearing moisturizer and sunscreen everyday. I mask twice a week. And then I use a sheet mask once a week. I also exfoliate twice a week and again, drink water like a thirsty fish. I’ve also stopped wearing way too much makeup on the daily – I don’t need to anymore – and it’s made me realize that if your skincare game is at level 1000, you don’t even need to wear any makeup at all. Men in my family with great skin don’t wear makeup but they do have a skincare routine – and no it’s not elaborate at all – and it works for them.

I’m still starting out properly, but I know I’ll have amazing results.

• WORKOUTS:

I’ve been following @chloe_t‘s workouts for a while now, and she has these amazing programs that are all free. She’s got ab workouts, arm workouts and everything else that you might need. Also, these workouts are beginner friendly and you can join in on her challenges. Super effective, trust me.

Six days of workouts a week, based on her calendar schedules, have actually toned my body up considerably. All because I’ve been consistently following a routine and I don’t deviate from it.

Do you follow a schedule?

What Would It Take For You to Stop?

What Would It Take For You to Stop?

Sometimes it bothers me. Quite a lot. People, you know? All of them wearing the country’s colors, celebrating Independence Day. Getting drunk and contributing to plastic waste. Zero awareness. Not quite giving a damn to anything that’s happening in the country. Bashing other people, without actively doing something about contributing to the country.

What are we, really? Are we part of incredible India? Yes, India is incredible. Or at least, it used to be. But now? We’re more of “sin”credible.

The first thing you’d see if you were to ever read the paper would be news of some rape. Some murder. Some bribery. Some fight. In a country where the front page news – stuff that people wake up to – is chock filled with negativity, what else would you expect? Are we even independent? No. Women are at risk everyday. Babies.

I read about this security guard that raped five year olds at the school he worked for. People often ask me why I won’t think about having children right away, and this is precisely why I won’t. If your child’s school cannot provide security, where is your child safe, indeed? I read about this man that pawned away his wife and when he lost the gamble, allowed other men to gang rape the woman. India holds the title of the rape capital of the world, and I’m so ashamed.

A twenty five year old kidnapped a sleeping nine month old baby girl and sexually molested her, and the girl was brought dead to hospital. This guy is a millennial. And it’s scary to see that a some millennials are screwed in this country.

What would it take for people in India to stop being this way? When would this behavior stop!? And if it doesn’t stop, it’s going to get alarming. The path to our own self-inflicted destruction, it’s burning ominously bright.

Little Miss Bridey

Little Miss Bridey

She’s getting married, to the love of her life. The parents-in-law are lovely, the guy divine.

She’s the only child, apparently spoiled rotten. To outside world, she seems happy as she gets ready for the wedding in autumn.

But deep down, on the inside, she’s empty. Her soul, her feelings, her heart is as sad as it could be.

She wanted a small wedding, the guest list keeps getting longer. She feels her depression growing stronger.

Past mistakes and past problems, they keep her awake at night. She tries to fight it, to resist the darkness with all her might.

But does any of that ever work? No way. Life’s never been unfair to her, she’s never had one single good day.

People assume she’s happy, that her father’s loaded. They don’t know when their words turned explosive.

She can’t take it anymore and she writes a note. They find her next morning, with the goodbye in blood on the floor that she wrote.

50 Word Story: House-Plant

50 Word Story: House-Plant

She runs into her ex at the mall. She’s buying new luggage. It’s awkward but they say hi anyway.

“That’s some fancy stuff! Traveling somewhere?”

“We’re starting a travel blog!”

“So the workaholic finally got married to the house-plant, woo!”

He walks away, breaking her all over again.

30 Thoughts.

30 Thoughts.

1. This is turning into such a long summer.

2. And it also rains like crazy at times, what a bummer.

3. Raindrops on sunroofs look really cool.

4. I almost slipped while walking today, I’m such a fool.

5. Texting and texting back is so exhausting, I’m tired of people.

6. Also, why are these kids all over Tik Tok, is that even legal?

7. August is almost here, you guys, and I’ve done nothing with my life.

8. Hold that thought – I did cut my hand this morning while using the knife.

9. We don’t give patient people enough credit.

10. Also, people talk way too much crap on Reddit.

11. I’m upset that Indians traveling abroad are in the news for the wrong reasons.

12. There’s a viral video of people stealing things in Bali. It’s almost indecent.

13. Consumerism happens to be the bane of most people’s existence.

14. And I just realized that people only like to talk, they never listen.

15. Space is important. It doesn’t make a person snobbish or rude, in any way.

16. Why do workouts become addictive? I’m so hooked, I can’t miss a day.

17. Eating healthy actually makes you age slower, or maybe it’s a myth, maybe placebo, but I’m feeling it.

18. Have you guys seen Bakhar Nabieva? Her abs are lit.

19. My grandma used to say otherwise, but twitchy eyes are a result of inadequate sleep.

20. Your sanity is yours to keep.

21. It’s crazy how so many Indians can’t make proper tea.

22. Speaking of tea, there are so many variants of it, it’s fascinating.

23. I want to go to Florence, someday soon.

24. It would be cool to be someplace there and see the European moon.

25. Watermelon and vanilla ice cream make an excellent summer drink.

26. Are you guys into Little Mix? Those girls can sing.

27. Too many people are talking about Area 51, I wonder what’s really going on in there?

28. Ooh, ginger juice and castor oil mixed in together into a tonic is so good for your hair.

29. It’s crazy to me that the last time I was on a train, it was actually 2009.

30. Also, my blog is almost five. Can’t believe it’s still alive.