Things Your Nail Technician Doesn’t Tell You

Things Your Nail Technician Doesn’t Tell You

Before we get to the post, I’d quickly like to say that marital bliss is beautiful. And oh, the location of your new house is super important. Which is also one of the reasons why I’m currently sporting two-inch-long talons and using said talons as tools: for self-defense, as can-openers, you name it. Okay, before you get horrified – I’m actually obviously kidding.

I got my nails done for the first time on January 22nd, 2020.

• Before I went in, I was under the impression that the extensions last for at least three weeks before they start to look bad. Mine started to look bad right from day eight. Why? My nails grow crazy fast. And I didn’t know I would need a refill almost immediately after getting my first set done. So ten days went by, and my nails grew and they looked super tacky and I had to run back to my trusty nail bar to get them redone.

Second mani of my life.

• Okay, let’s not beat about the bush – BUT nails are kinda pricey. In Indian currency, you’re going to be paying about INR 2400-3000 the first time and refills with color cost around INR 2200 where I get mine done. And like I said, my nails grow fast – and this means I end up paying around six grand per month on nails alone. Not a very smart move when you’re a new wife who’s settling into a brand new role as a multitasker too.

• Nails are addictive. No one tells you this, but I wish they would. It’s almost like getting a tattoo or eating a bag of Lay’s – once you’ve got a taste for it, you’re going to want to go back over and over again. I was never a nail person and here I am, typing furiously away on my laptop while obsessing over my next mani on Pinterest.

Really digging this.

• You’ll get sucked in and get super confused about your options. Pretty much what Swiggy does to your belly and your wallet. Too much to pick from, too tight of a budget. Like, aaaaarrrrrggggghhh. So pick the one shape and design that’s the cutest – for me it would have to be the coffin shaped ones and a French base – and roll with it.

• Nails need a lot of TLC. You can’t be doing kitchen stuff all the time. You can’t be putting too much pressure on your nails or use them as tools. That’s a HUGE no-no. You have to get a dishwasher and multiple bits of cutlery. Acrylics also lift sometimes if not adhered well, and you have to get it redone. Nail glue doesn’t cut it. Speaking from experience.

• The last point I have to mention would be the fact that you have to keep your nails at a comfortable length. Don’t go “Billie Eilish at the Oscars” length because grabbing things becomes difficult, and so does cleaning your bum. And I’m sure you don’t want that.

And now with all that being said, I can’t wait for Friday afternoon to come around so I can go get my nails done. Again. Yay.

Millennials and Marriages

Millennials and Marriages

I asked a few people, who are well into their twenties and thirties, about their opinion on marriage and starting a family. The answers were mostly the same across the board. The group I was talking to did NOT want to get married.

It’s crazy, you’d think that with the wedding industry growing as it is, people would actually want to take the plunge as well – but no. Women say that men change after the wedding happens, and men say that women change too. Millennials are confused as they come, and they say they don’t need any more on their plate. Fair point.

Someone said that people don’t know how to date in their own lane and the same goes for marriage. You marry a super rich someone, who’s had a lavish lifestyle, promising to give them the life they’ve always had, but as soon as you’re married, you want them to tone down so they can fit your mold – that’s not done, they said. Imagine if Rose had ended up with Jack, she would definitely complain at some point about him not being able to give her the life she’d been used to, they said. Another reason why some people don’t want to get married would be the fact that most people make enough to give themselves a comfortable lifestyle – but they cannot cover the cost of having kids and raising them because, to put it frankly: “Kids are expensive.”

A few women that I know have decided to never get married because waking up next to the same person and watching them grow old with you isn’t as romantic as movies make it out to be. At this point, I was going “Yikes”, I kid you not.

All these strong opinions against marriage ended up driving me a little insane, so I asked people the same question on Instagram: and this time, the opinions were divided. Honestly, that’s such a relief because I’m getting formally hitched in two months and I could do with a few people saying they would love to get married, too.

One person said they wanted to do it and didn’t care who the other person was as long as they were good people. Arranged marriages are still BIG in India. A couple of people said they wanted to do it because premarital sex, unfortunately, is still frowned upon. And someone else said they wanted to do it because they were deeply in love and couldn’t imagine being away from their partner for one more second. This made me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. Go, girl! You get him.

Ooh, and someone else said they wanted to wear Sabyasachi and be featured on the designer’s Instagram page. Girl, if you’re reading this, I hope and pray that it happens one day. And soon. This brings me to the last thing I want to say – What do YOU think of marriages?

Bengali Weddings: Part Two, The Bad

Bengali Weddings: Part Two, The Bad

To read the first part, click here.

It’s getting super hard to keep up with things at this point. We barely have two months left before some major life changes happen. I’m about to become someone’s lawfully wedded wife, and oh my God, I couldn’t be happier. And ooh, about that.

Bengali weddings, of course, come with their own set of rituals. The one that we’re already done with, the Aashirwad, is the first step towards the madness that the actual wedding almost always is. At least, I’m pretty sure mine is going to be nuts. I have crazy family friends who say the most inappropriate things. And my dad has crazy friends who have questionable motives. I’m sure you’re familiar with such people, they exist everywhere.

On the day of the Aashirwad, people got wind of the fact that the Mister would be coming over to my place with his parents, officially, for the final talks of the wedding. And I kid you not when I say that everyone in the whole neighborhood actually appeared to be queueing up outside my house, or even leaning out of their balconies, trying to catch a glimpse or two. My guy belongs to a very refined family from Bangalore and all of them were taken by surprise to see this. What decent community does things like this? And my neighbors have all built their houses SO close to ours that they could see everything through my open windows. I think I died of embarrassment, a million times over, that day.

As if that wasn’t enough, I had people come up to me and ask me what the guy’s family had gifted me. Apparently that’s the culture, the norm, to ask someone what she’s been given as a gift from her husband-to-be and his family. I still fail to see the culture bit, but okay. I’m waiting to post about the good, if there’s any, about this particular Bengali wedding. Stay tuned.

Bengali Weddings, Part One: The Ugly

Bengali Weddings, Part One: The Ugly

I don’t know if this is a thing will all relatives, or just some of the people in my (very, very extended) family but…

I have a huge family, okay? Back in the day, nobody had heard of birth control or television or any other form of entertainment. This meant that their only source of um, relaxation, ended up resulting in tiny humans and burning holes in the parents’ pockets, putting the ever growing family into economic stress. They also used to get married in their early teens, making teenage pregnancies super common. Many kids would die of complications following childbirth and their husbands would end up marrying other kids. Sounds gross, but that used to be a legit thing, child marriage.

My grandma got married at a young age too. Her first child, my oldest aunt, was born eighteen years before my mum came along. My oldest aunt is in now her seventies, and my grandma passed away ages ago. I don’t remember her much, unfortunately, but she was a nice person. Same goes for my Dad’s mum. I don’t even remember having met her. The only memento I’ve got of hers is a photograph of me in her lap, and she’s wrinkled as a prune and I’m barely two. And I look mighty uncomfortable as heck.

Having said all of that, it also means that when you’re about to get married, the whole clan comes to town. Irrespective of whether you’ve ever met them or not. They just seem to pop out of thin air. Suddenly you have three hundred aunts and five hundred nieces and you’re a legit grandma and aunt and aunt-in-law. If you’re the bride, your parents have to bear all the expenses – from the relatives stay to their comforts. And when your parents are extra and don’t get the concept of low-key weddings, the budget overflows and puts your parents in debt. Sometimes you need to end up selling assets, sometimes you give yourself depression and stress but you won’t chill with the number of heads on that guest list because you’re a prominent member of the society so you’ve to make your kid’s nuptials a grand affair. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The age gap between my Dad’s siblings and my Dad has also resulted in my oldest cousin being born over TWO decades before I was. He calls my Dad “Uncle” but he’s only a few years younger than my Dad. *Jeez.* The rest of my cousins are way older than I am too, and we never really meet on the daily. I mean, the last time I ever saw any of these guys and their wives would be like, 2013. And it was awkward as heck. I didn’t attend any of their weddings but they’re all going to show up when the next wedding happens. Yikes. And with the estrogen comes the judgements. And with the older women, comes the tongue-clacking and the nosy behavior.

If you hate people and have awful social anxiety, nobody notices you going into depression because they’re too busy making your mum show them your wedding shopping and making snide comments about every saree you’ve picked. And about your weight. And about your dark circles and thinning hair. And the list goes on.

By the time the wedding approaches, it’s a miracle if you have any hair or body weight left.

“Cubic Zirconia”

“Cubic Zirconia”

“Look, I just got engaged”, Mel said, showing off her enormous diamond ring. “This is a five carat diamond, babe! I mean, have you seen me? I’m a solid ten. And have you seen my dear fiancé? Oh my God, fiancé. Kinda weird saying it out loud but I mean I’m WAY out of his league, so the bald old dude has to keep me happy, right?”

Taken aback by shock at Mel’s choice of words for her new fiancé, Sylvia did her best to act happy. She smiled at Mel and raised her glass to her.

“I’m so happy for you Mel,” she said quietly, feeling miserable that she didn’t even get a real ring from her fiancé. That cubic zirconia sat on her finger, almost reprimanding her. Sylvia could hear her mother’s voice telling her, from somewhere far away, “I told you not to marry Tom, you could have found someone so much nicer, let’s see how he takes care of your stupid high-maintenance butt.” She pictured her mother, fresh from a Botox session, saying no vehemently to meeting Tom for the last time. And that had been the final straw. Both women were headstrong but Sylvia was also obstinate to the point of no return. Or at least she had been.

Her mother had married young and had Sylvia at twenty one. They had been wealthy. And she grew up spoiled and then, fell in love. That was three years ago. She’d married against her family’s wishes and her parents had cut her off. She and Tom lived in a tiny shoebox apartment, barley managing to make ends meet. She worked as a teacher and Tom, a struggling entrepreneur. They didn’t have much; but Tom was an amazing husband and they loved each other. As she remembered their very, very tiny court wedding, she felt a warm glow in her heart and realized that her mother had been wrong and that Tom was indeed, the best she could ever get.

Her phone buzzed loudly; and she snapped out of her reverie and she saw a message from Tom:

“Home early, I’m going to pop into the shower and order takeout. You’re going to take ages to choose so I’ll just order my favorites. BUT you are my favorite and I want you to know that. How long are you going to be out with Mel? I miss you!”

Tom had been away the whole week, meeting a few investors and trying to pitch his ideas, but with zero success. And he didn’t want to be upset about it, because Sylvia was a compulsive over-thinker and would stay up late if she found out that he was feeling low.

Sylvia smiled at the phone and replied to Tom’s text, saying she’d missed him too and that she’d be home just in time for dinner.

Sometimes you don’t need a five-carat diamond, you only need a five-dollar takeaway meal, and love. Pure, unadulterated, beautiful, love.

Why Does Everyone Want To Be An Influencer?

Why Does Everyone Want To Be An Influencer?

How many of us have actually thought of starting something of our own, because the nine to five job wasn’t cutting it? I’m sure you’re guilty of it too. It sucks, I’ll give you that, having to work for someone else when frankly, you’d be much happier being your own boss.

Every influencer comes into existence this way. Full-time or otherwise, influencers become influencers because they are really driven by the will (or often, the wish) to start something new. There are two kinds of people: one, that create content based off of actual talent, and two, that buy followers because brands often believe in the numbers game. Which essentially means that the more number of followers an influencer has on social media, irrespective of how much engagement they actually have, the more the recognition they get from brands. Indian brands are one hundred percent guilty of this: not naming names, but I’ve seen brands sending PR packages and handing out sponsorships to XYZ influencers because they have 54k followers, when they themselves follow only seventy people.

So when you follow a very limited number of people, but you’ve got a considerably huge following, it gives the illusion of importance.

Who exactly is an influencer?

From the Internet:

A Social Media Influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. A social media influencer has access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach. resources. Discover Brand Influencers to Expand Social Reach.

So, why the sudden rise in the “Influencer trend”?

Simply put, it’s easy money, and it never asks for a degree or in many cases, talent. People with awful content sometimes end up as successful influencers because they’re really, really good at handling sponsorships.

Many influencers in fact are so good at sponsored content, the audience won’t know they’ve been taken for a ride – not until the end of the video they’ve posted. By then the views have already been garnered.

And many people are actually ballsy enough to email brands asking for free stuff so they can showcase it on their Instagram. This is a cringeworthy tactic but it’s worked for someone I know. It’s working for someone I know, as we speak.

With a rise in social media posts, and a few carefully bought followers, it’s easy to make the quick buck just by endorsing a product, a process much less tedious and way more enjoyable than a desk job that would give you headaches and backaches and too much stress.

In conclusion…

…the euphoria induced from reaching a cult-status, the fame and the brand-sponsored-trips, the power to be pseudo Twiggy and Coco Chanel, has reached a manic frenzy and it’s like this apple that everyone is dying to have a bite of. And the power to promote consumerism and to make profit from it is something of a greed, that becomes insatiable. The more you have, the more you want. The more you want, the more you push. The more you push, there’s no stopping. It’s like an inflammation that keeps intensifying. And it feels good.

The next time you see your former best friend promoting Mama Earth, remember you can shoot them an email too. Everyone has access. It’s just so easy.

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?

Quotable Quotes, So Relevant in 2019

Quotable Quotes, So Relevant in 2019

You read a book, and a part of it sticks with you. Sometimes even for ever. Some of these quotes are so beautiful, you want to get them printed on tees and on mugs. And some become the wallpapers that adorn your phone or your laptop. Here are ten of my absolute favorites, starting with a quote from a book I happened to read only yesterday.

• You can’t sit on the fence for ever.

My Sister The Serial Killer, Oyinkan Braithwaite

• Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.

Eleanor and Park, Rainbow Rowell

Anybody can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.

Turtles All The Way Down, John Green

• It’s one thing to fall in love. It’s another to feel someone else fall in love with you, and to feel a responsibility toward that love.

Every Day, David Levithan

I’m constantly left to wonder if the people we are online will lever materialize in real life.

Puddin’, Julie Murphy

There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.

Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn

In my opinion, most marriages are based either on money or on the fear of being alone.

The Other Woman, Daniel Silva

• Men who want to get married
propose. You don’t need to read the signs. They propose and that’s the sign.

Wedding Night, Sophie Kinsella

Rich folks can tolerate almost anything, but not rejection.

The King of Torts, John Grisham

What happens when people open their hearts? They get better.

Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami

What are some of your favorite book quotes?

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?

Callie On A Roll

Callie On A Roll

Callie was nineteen years old, and lived with her stepmother Joan, who had two daughters. Her father had passed away when she was only nine, a year after he’d married Joan. Things took a turn for the worse, and Callie ended up being the one that did all the chores, essentially becoming the maid of the house.

Callie was also a scholarship student, that was how she got into the same college as her step-sisters. Although she was way more intelligent than the other two, they never hesitated to poke fun at her. She took it in her stride and never complained, continuing to excel in school. Callie was well-loved by her teachers who were always impressed by her demeanor and how hardworking she was.

This continued for a while, with her balancing school and household chores.

But Callie, like every little girl out there, had grown up with a dream. She had a passion for music, and she could sing like an angel. She and her dad would often jam together before he died but with him gone, Joan forbade any sort of singing or music in the house.

“It reminds me too much of Karl,” Joan would say.

Which meant Callie could never sing or play the guitar with Joan or her daughters around. Callie had a guitar, passed down from her late father, the only thing she had left that reminded her of him. Everything else had been taken away from her and she held on to his Gibson like it were priceless. And it was. She would often play Summer of 69, by Bryan Adams, when her step-mother and step-sisters weren’t around. Callie had become really good at it. This hiding and practicing. Eventually she taught herself to play more songs and she would sometimes sing in the backyard when she thought she was alone.

One day on her way back from college, Callie noticed a billboard announcing an audition for a reality TV show. It was called The Right Chord, and it promised a fat check to the winner, along with an exclusive contract with one of the biggest record companies in the country. She was intrigued. She wanted to participate. Callie wanted to go to the audition and win and get out of her miserable life. The audition was on the very next day, a Saturday.

Joan got wind of the situation.

And as evil as she was, she set chores for Callie to complete, right on the day of the audition. After all, the girl wasn’t her own flesh and blood, anyway. Callie couldn’t say a word because saying anything would mean giving away the whole thing, and she didn’t want Joan to know. So she cleaned windows, tears running down her face, while Joan went to the grocery store, with a stern warning that she better get the house clean before lunch.

Five minutes after the she left, the doorbell rang.

Callie went to answer and saw Mrs. H, her apparently snobbish neighbor, who seemed to be in a rush, on the porch. Everyone said Mrs. H was a stuck up old lady who liked to keep to herself and waste her millions on her dogs.

She handed Callie a package.

“What are you waiting for, girl? Get that guitar, we’re going to that audition, so you better hurry. Dear God I hope that dress fits and those shoes fit. We can deal with your ma later!”

Callie was dumbstruck.

“T-thank you, Mrs. H!”

Callie gave the woman a hug and said thank you again and ran upstairs to change. Mrs. H owned a rather fast sports car, and the pair actually made it in time. Callie had a successful audition, and went on to do great things. She was a modern day Cinderella. The goal she had was not a prince, but freedom.

This goes to show that fairy godmothers do exist.