Of A Nostalgic Evening

It is the weekend!

In other words, it is time of the week that I spend in places and corners of our home that usually stay ignored. Like, sit on the floor by the window in our bedroom to show my feet some sun; or stand in front of the bookshelf to decide which parallel universe I want to step into; or just rest on the ottoman stool before pulling out the fashion magazines I keep stashed within it! It helps me internalise the idea of the break a weekend is really supposed to be.

So, on this particular weekend, sipping some green tea I stand by the sideboard in our dining area. I like to call it ‘the happy corner’ of our home. Top reasons being, on it is perched our Jar of Joy, some pretty pieces of art and all our nibbling temptations! I think of lighting the tea candles to beat the grey outside. And, my gaze pauses at the greeting cards lined against the wall. Lovely ones, all from friends & family! I smile and pick each one of them to read for the umpteenth time.

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Love Thy Neighbour’s Food

My bowl of pasta looked very tempting! I could smell the garlic and basil from a distance, and couldn’t wait to dig in. Hubby’s creamy ravioli looked as sumptuous but I am more of a tomato sauce fan so, clearly I loved mine more! It tasted even better than its aroma and looks, trust me. By the time we licked the tiramisu off those lovely little dessert jars, we had concluded we ate the best Italian food in a long, long time.

It was perhaps the long walks we took during the day while touring this new city, that added to the flavours in tonight’s dinner, but even half hour later I was certain I had had the best Arrabbiata there! Pizza Pino was inching its way to becoming the delightful discovery of our visit.

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PHOTO: #ThrowbackThursday To Celebrating In Style!

Who doesn’t love celebrating in style! And this week’s #throwbackthursday post is just about that!

I secretly booked a table for two at the Vertigo42 for 7pm. Nonchalantly took him up the streets, and by the time he began sustpecting, we were already there! The expression on his face – priceless!

The place offers some really good champagne & dessert options. And the view is simply gorgeous! It was one of the most memorable evenings we’ve had in London so far.

It’s all at affordable prices, good for celebratory evenings, in small groups of 4-5 people and absolutely great for the view. Check out the website: Vertigo42 for details.

It was his birthday after all!

Four Things I’m Still Old School About

Ask Google!” is possibly the most common piece of advice we get these days. It speaks volumes of how far technology has come to make our lives depend on a few click of a buttons. Sure, some things are easy to do now; some we didn’t imagine until a few decades back are now possible. The smartphones, iPads and tablets are like our personal secretaries, reminding us of birthdays, anniversaries, helping book appointments, saving articles, making reading on-the-go doable, play music whenever we want. And all that is great! Really, no sarcasm.

And no, this is not an essay here in support of  these advancements or even to question whether they are making us dumber and less social in the real world. For, I haven’t got an answer to such a complicated question! I wish I knew better though.

The reason I started to write this piece is because of a quiet thought that made its home in my mind the other evening. As I was walking back home from work, I started to make a mental list of things I still do the old-fashioned way. I mean, without using any form of smart-technology, whatsoever. Not many came through, but these are definitely the ones I am very particular about!

1. Post-Its & Notepads For Messages/Reminders/Lists

The habit of leaving notes behind goes back to my parents. They used to write cute ones for me, when leaving for a business tour in the wee hours or stepping out to the near-by pharmacy during my afternoon nap and so on! And it has now evolved to keeping them posted on the kitchen shelf, back of the main door sometimes, even on the pillow on special occasions! Some hang on the PC at work too, reminding me of deadlines or things-to-do. Grocery list is always made on a notepad that stays on the coffee-table. I cannot do without a small dose of writing dow my lists for the day!

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2. A Travel Journal Is An Absolute Necessity

No matter how many pictures you click, you need words to seal the memories in forever. won’t you agree? I always carry a small diary with me, it allows me to jot down thoughts, poems, emotions and memories that cross my mind. Notes in my iPhone never evoke the same, for me. Colloquial usages, names of local ingredients in food, fancy street names, of that fruit seller who gave you his bit of the history of the place – it helps to remember all of that, so much more clearly in the quiet of my home and makes for a better blog post too, you know!

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3. Books Should Be Made Of Paper, Only

I have never been a fan of downloading and storing bytes of e-books! While in college, I absolutely avoided studying from PDFs on my laptop. It’s no wonder how much time I spent in the library there. And might I say, it shouldn’t be very surprising to find out the first piece of furniture we bought together for our home is a beautiful tall bookcase! Kindle maybe be as good as holding a hundred books in your hands, but it can never attach the excitement the smell of a fresh book does!

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4. Shopping Is For All The Senses

I am surely the one to first feel the fabric, try it on next and feel good in it while looking into the mirror before finally deciding to make the purchase. Online shopping for clothes is a definite no-no for me. And, it sort of extends to other things as well. Other than the occasional ordering of a bouquet, I hardly find myself spending money online. I have to see it, touch it, feel it all. And who does not love carrying lovely shopping bags home!

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What are the things you are still old school about? Do any of these figure? Tell me about them!

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My Genes Theory!

I am writing this post for the ‘A Style Of My Own‘ campaign and blogger-contest by Women’s Web & Trishla’s eMart. To learn more about the contest and organizers, click on the links. Find Women’s Web on twitter to follow their work.

Decoding my sense of style will make my Amma rejoice with a ‘balle balle’ in her living room! For, she simply believes I have very little of it. In all these years, every time she put my pair(s) of jeans to wash, she would try to put my fashion-sense to shame. ‘Aiyo, ramachandra! Wear something else for a change, will you!’ or ‘I should have given you my genes instead of these Jeans I bought for your birthday!’ were some funny remarks that always circled my room, and were the trigger point for my younger brother to imitate Amma and tease me for my love for Jeans.

I have been in love with them ever since my 13th birthday! Short hair, a smart short-sleeved red shirt, blue canvas shoes that were my favourite and my first pair of new blue jeans – is how I went dressed to school on that birthday, with a big bag of eclairs to distribute in class. I felt confident and stylish, smart and savvy! Or at least, I must have as I think back to that time now. I used that pair and all others I owned thereafter until I grew enough to not fit into them any more. And so, Amma got to see a lot of these on me, around me!

I am 29 now, and I bought myself a pair of AEO Denim Jogger Jeans for my birthday two months back, and I have a big smile on my face as I write that! Amma’s reaction was a teasing ‘Again? One more? Aiyo… ‘ on the phone, with a subtle hint of a roll of her eyes while she said that am sure! My mother-in-law couldn’t figure they were a new pair because of the rugged look they carry and my husband burst into laughter watching me explain to her how soft, comfortable the fabric is, and how sporty it looks!

I am telling you in such painstaking detail about my love for Jeans because, this lovely piece of clothing is one of the reasons behind being able to realize what style is. For me! Having the confidence to carry my heart on my sleeve and carry it with elan, for, that’s who I am is what my sense of style is! And what better than a pair of jeans to philosophize that. They have all the colours (hues of my varying moods!), come in myriad looks (in rhythm with my heart!) and they are not shy to flaunt themselves one bit!

When I am happy, it’s a chirpy straight-cut blue jeans with a bright T or a short kurti; when down, the grey baggy come out of my wardrobe; when am feeling stylish, it’s time to bring out the curvy boot-y; when its time to be sporty, the skinny rugged ones! I am never let down by the lack of an option, and in turn, my clothes ensue I portray myself exactly the way I want to.

Of course, it just doesn’t end with having a good pair of jeans when decoding my sense of style here. Unknown to many, I take very good care of matching the right type with the right occasion, and put in a great deal of effort in ensuring I have the right tops/T-shirts/chic shirts/short & long kurtis/dupattas & stoles to go with them. Amma (and to an extent, my husband too) will now probably understand why I insist on piling my wardrobe with those silk kurtis, extra Ts, and just a few more shirts! Ha!

I also love to accessorize. A  LOT. There is a lot of detail in the way I put together an ensemble for my day. My jewelry is either all silver or all gold(en), sometimes all pearls. I have a huge fetish for finger rings, and have over 15 nail colours that I use regularly. So, its safe to say my hands get most of the attention while I am dressing up! I use no make-up but kohl / eyeliner is a must everyday so my eyes don’t hide behind the black glasses I wear! I love my wavy hair and like to keep it loose, as it’s short and manageable now, but when long, I like to experiment a little with locks and twists. I have about 8-9 pairs of shoes & boots, ToryBurch shoes and Monsoon boots are my current favourites!

I am fond of watches and can never have too many! Thankfully, my husband understands it really well and the two lovely ones I own have been gifts from him. I should also mention that as a rule, I take with me a scarf/stole given the unpredictable weather in London, and one can never go wrong with a light black cardigan, won’t you agree? Funky lean belts occupy a quiet corner in my wardrobe, although they are an important accessory. I always carry a hand-moisturizer, a lip-balm and a pocket mirror in my bag.

 

I have rocked a friend’s wedding in a pair of jeans coupled with a lovely Georgette orange long kurta! And danced away into that farewell night in B-school with my girl friends, wearing a smart pinstriped jacket on my neat black jeans, instead of the Saree. The best part about these and all such occasions is I never gave myself a second thought – either of being typecast or of trying too hard to be noticed. The clothes I wear are like second skin to me, and unless I am super comfortable in them I won’t be able to project my personality in the way I want to; and once I am able to, it is only a matter of time that people around me see me for who I am, and not for the clothes or the watches or the shoes I wear! And that, is a liberating sense of style.

Amma must be shaking her head, thinking to herself, ‘she is trying to convince everyone of her Jeans-theory now… will she never wear those Kanchipattu Sarees again…!’. She is partly right, of course. I am trying to showcase my sense of style, but it is incomplete without the genes-theory here. It is because of Amma that I have this incessant restlessness to follow my heart, in everything (every little thing!) I do. Needless to add, it has found its way into my fashion-sense too! So now, whether I call it the Jeans-theory or Genes-theory, does it really matter!

 

Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak ~ Rachel Zoe. She simply nailed it, for me!

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Do you have a theory too? What is your personal style like? I would love to know/read about yours!

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