Things I Bought for Myself Over the Weekend

A Beige down jacket with an overlarge hood, to keep me warm and toasty through these cold Nor’Eastern winter perambulations through town. A pair of squeaky white sneakers, to keep me agile when I run to catch the ‘N’, just making it as the doors start sliding to a close. An organic soap bar with hints of Lemongrass, Tea Tree and Orange oil, to wash away the grime, dirt, stress and fatigue accumulated over the course of the day. The smorgasbord of delectable ingredients will run smoothly over my skin, thoroughly removing traces of anything unnecessary and rejuvenating everything wonderful so that I feel like I’ve taken a bath when I take a bath. A foot soak – mint and eucalyptus, so wondrously aromatic and relaxing, so that when I give myself a pedicure, my feet feel like they’ve been massaged by cherubic angels and my muscle soreness feels soothed by salves made from feathers, clouds and a bit of blue sky.

Can’t wait to try ’em all.

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How to Be a Bystander

First, you must feel like you’re limbless. And, in limbo. A limbless limbo. A listless, limbless limbo. Even if you’re actually not, you ought to feel like you’re in one. You must make yourself believe that you’re utterly incapable of veering the course of action that is bound to take place or, as you’re thinking of your absolute uselessness in the situation, is already on way. Then, you must be able to be able to strip yourself of all your power, your courage, your sense of justice and fairness; oh, and also, your ability to speak. Add to that, a consistent surprised and slack-jawed facial expression that reflects the vacuum between your initial thought and action.

Which thought? That thought. That most important instinct, the one that you simply must be able to completely ignore, that nagging feeling in your head that beseeches you to step in and do something, anything just to calm things down, even if by just a little bit. That’s the one you ought to watch out for. If you act on that impulse, it’ll get you involved and, God forbid if that ever happens! You’d actually have to do something then, wouldn’t you?

You should be able to be stunned enough to be rooted to the spot, perhaps even amused by the ‘shenanigans’ as you will refer to the whole scene later as you recount it to your friends and family in a crowded, cozy caramel scented coffee and patisserie shop right around Astor Place. You definitely must, must be apathetic enough to casually look at the scene and not interject or interrupt. So, it’s a curious mixture of interest, disinterest, engagement and disengagement that you have to have in order to pull off being a bystander.

Another moot point when being a bystander is to keep in mind that sense of self-loathing you feel in the back of your head, the front of your head and all over your Self. That feeling, register it. Be sure to be aware of that accusatory tone that is the voice in your head – the one that sounds a lot like your mom or dad or, sometimes, both – at the time of the incident and well after that. It is not going to go away anytime soon. The deep self-loathing that carries itself along with you well into the next day and, perhaps even the day after that, even though you joke about the whole incident or tell it as an amusing anecdote over drinks or as an experience that you almost had.

Years and months will pass though, perhaps not in that order. You’ll finally start accepting the now slightly weary face you see in the bathroom mirror and not feel as aghast when you go shop in the previously unchartered territory of the ‘L’ section of the boutique you were introduced to by your fashionista friend about a decade ago. You’ll move to another city, state, hell, maybe even another country. The memory of the incident will fade. Distant, hazy, and perhaps even mildly sentimental, that’s what it’ll reduce to, eventually.

But, then on some days, when you’re idly looking at the fan creaking above, trying to fall asleep as your boyfriend’s snores gently dissuade you to do otherwise, you’ll think about the memory of that event, of how the lady’s face looked, how her eyes screamed wordlessly, silent syllables trying to ask someone to step in and, you’ll feel the same emotions you felt when you decided to be a bystander and you’ll think to yourself, maybe I should’ve gotten involved and the familiar waves of self-loathing will again wash over you and suddenly all the years and days and months and seconds will disappear and the rawness of the incident, the smell of the fear, the prickling sensation that you felt then, will well up within from God knows where.

Then again, on other days, when you read a particularly graphic daylight robbery news report that ends with someone ending up dead or nearly so and as your eyes drift towards the picture accompanying the news piece, a deeply disturbing image where someone’s lying on a flimsy hospital cot, his freshly bandaged wounds wide on display and a woebegone expression that conveys things for which words have not yet been invented, you’ll think back to that incident and thank yourself that you didn’t actually get involved for who knows how that would’ve turned out, maybe you’d have ended up with an actual scar from an actual wound today.

 

Ladies V/S Ricky Bahl… er… Gents

Um, okay, I know the title is slightly gay (in a non-offensive way, FYI) but, as I am currently OD-ing on this song from Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, kindly excuse my New Delhi-ness. (In case you’re wondering what’s happened to my taste in music, I have only one explanation to give – I’ve been under house arrest for two months now, this much madness is acceptable.) Shush now! My main point for this blog-post is *Drumroll Please* Happy Women’s Day!

As we celebrate this wonderful day rejoicing the many, many accomplishments of our vaginal virginal beauties who’re busy donning smart Van Heusen pantsuits, beautifully tailored Balenciaga gowns, Ikkat petticoats and matching kolhapuris, let’s take a moment to see how we’re doing against the other half of the world, i.e., men (and everyone in between), a’rite?:-

a. More Qualifications, More Hours, Less Ka-Ching: Women have fought to get education in order to gain perspective and, well, plush jobs so that they can spend their hard earned money on MOAR SHOEZZ and charity and stuff. But, this funky graph shows that the more educated a woman is, she does not earn as much as her male counterpart. This doesn’t mean you get to dropout of High School sans negative ramifications, just learn to be a better negotiator, bonita. Also, women work longer to get raises, promotions and gain credibility at work. For instance, women often have to work three years longer in a teaching position to be promoted to the post of Principal than a male educator has to.

b. Women Earn Less than Men in 99% of All Occupations: Yep. Unless you’re a nanny, a teacher for the differently-abled, Beyonce, a nurse or a prostitute, a woman earns only 77.5¢  for each dollar a man earns.

c. If You Don’t Work in a Fortune 500 Company, Chances Are You’ve Got Yourself a Bosswoman: Women are good managers. Period. There are about 9.1 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., a number that comprises nearly 40% of all businesses. And, these women leaders employ 35% more people than ALL the Fortune 500 companies combined! Even so, it is sadly unsurprising to note that only 8% of the Fortune 500 ‘Mile High‘ Club is femme fatale.

d. Got Two ‘X’ Chromosomes? Here, Live Longer: In developed countries, the average life expectancy for women is 79 years and 72 years for men. Russian babes outlive Putin-type menfolk by a whopping thirteen years – tennis does keep one fit, eh?

e. Got Equal Parts ‘X’ and ‘Y’ Chromosomes? Here, Have a Larger Brain: The adult male brain is 10% larger than that of an adult woman’s. As they have more muscle mass *Cough**Penis**Cough*, guys’ brains require more neurons to control their bodies. On a completely unrelated note, brain size and intelligence are not relative to each other. *Flashes Evil Grin, Evilly*

f. You Jump, I Jump: Girls and boys, there’s one thing which is absolutely balanced between us! Heart attacks are the most common way for both genders to bite the big one *Crowd Goes Wild*! So, fancy dinner dates do pay off, huh? (See what I did there? I am like that only.)

Honestly, women have a lot more to do before they can call themselves empowered in the true sense of the word. However, the fairer sex has come a long way from airing rugs, doing the washing-up and learning how to crochet delightful patterns on pretty blue pinafores with no other option. It’s not nearly enough but, it does call for a toast! So, cheers to a Women’s Day that’ll open new doors for all the lovely ladies out there!

Ten Reasons Why Facebook is a Royal Shitfest

Hey guys!

I’m sure this is a topic you’ve all discussed, in varying degrees of likability. Here’s why I think Facebook is more or less a platform to seek attention and boast! :-

a. Useless Pictures of Useless People Doing Useless Things: Okay, now I get that you’ve got a face with angles and stuff but, do I need to see your pockmarked visage in fifty different angles? Ladies, please spare us the ever popular ‘Duckface‘ picture, the ‘come hither eyes’ photo and the ‘jutting out boobs’ snaps, ‘kay? Guys, gangsta poses don’t suit you unless you’re Jay-Z, period. Also, don’t share the same pictures again and again till people just get tired of ignoring the hideous ‘clicks’ and half-heartedly ‘Like’ them. FYI, just one decent picture is enough.

b. Useless Pictures by Useless People of Useless Things: Why are you posting images of trees and piles of leaves and shit? Why is there an album ‘My Cutiee Kitty Cat <3’ on my Newsfeed and a request to ‘Like’ some page you made for your dumb pet? I’m not gonna. Now scat!

c. Useless Pictures of Useless People Doing Useless Things Together: Here’s the skinny on couple photos, group photos, family portraits, et al on Facebook. Just what the hell are you trying to showcase? Ooh, this is me with my Porkie-Pie sucking my face! Look at us, we wear matchy-matchy socks ‘cuz that’s what love is about, innit? Ooh, look at our amazing family, we’re all so gorgeous and close-knit we’ve decided to take a fam-fam picture in full regalia! Doesn’t matter that we bitch about each other behind each others’ backs, ‘Like’ our glam photo, please! And, the creme-de-la-creme, *drumroll pleae* group photos of college chicks. There’s the group snap of girls’ feet, group photos of girls going ‘Yo!’ at the camera, group hug photos, butt snaps, group duckface pictures. As if these weren’t bad enough, there’ll be multiple photos with the same expression or pose but, with slight tweaks in lighting or ‘elegant’ photoshopped versions of the same.

d. Comments: “Awwwwww”, “OMG“, ‘omq’, “Gorgeous”, “Why this kolaveri di?” (the last one is expressly Indian) are some of the most common comments one finds on Facebook pictures, posts and statuses. Just how do you respond to these comments? IMHO, “Whatever” or “Fuck Off” seem appropriate.

e. Status Updates: Please, don’t spam our Newsfeeds with five minute updates on your Bipolar mood swings, don’t tag people and places and irritate us and please, just please, STOP updating quotes as your statuses. If I want inspiration, I will go to www.quickquotes.com myself. Also, don’t post stupid shit such as “OMG! ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ this update on your wall if you are a true 1D fan. 1D fandom foreverrrr!!!” Um… no, thank you. Finally, before you click on some shit link and spam all our walls, spread some dumb virus around and post “I’m sorry, you guys! IDK what happened, I think I’ve been hacked and the links sent from my account have viruses. DON’T CLICK ON THEM!!! Luv Ya!! XOXO”, please do us a favor and go jump off a cliff somewhere. Because, basically, you’re a dumbass who clicks on shit without prior thought and then proceeds to blame anonymous nerds. Please, even hackers have class.

f. Farmville, Mafia Wars, Tag This, 20 Questions, What-not: I don’t care about your corn, cattle and haystacks on Farmville, a’rite? I don’t want to get multiple arsenal bombs and dry hump the slutty chick on Mafia Wars. I couldn’t care less about cashin’ in my ‘Texas Hold ‘Em Poker’ chips. I don’t want to answer questions like ‘Do you think Dan likes cookies?’ or ‘Is Melissa a MILF?’ Gross.

g. Sickly Notes: If you want to write or share feelings that the Facebook ‘Status Update’ textbox can’t handle, please join www.wordpress.com (Hollaa!). Spare us inane ‘Notes’ on how sad you are, how you love this song and proceed to post its lyrics in VIBGYOR and please let polls be conducted by Gallup. But, most importantly, stop posting questionnaires with one hundred and fifty questions and if you must, please stop tagging us in them.

h. Poke! Poke! Poke!: Shoot! Shoot! Shoot! Geddit?

i. ‘I’ is for ‘Information’: Not musings, not bragging, not plagiarizing. The ‘About Me’ section on Facebook profiles gets me cracking every single time. People enjoy making complete asses of themselves by filling this section with just about anything. ‘If life’s a game, I’m playing it very smart’, ‘I’m on a quest to find myself’, ‘I’m a shining star’, etc. are some of the gems I’ve come across. If you don’t know yourself, kindly go and introspect or just leave the space blank, capiche?

I, personally have only two reasons for being a part of Facebook. It’s a handy tool to remember people’s birthdays though, admittedly I could get this service on another platform as well. Also, Facebook chat has given me some wonderful conversations with my best pals in India and abroad. Again, Gtalk, Skype, e-mail and phones can help me with that aspect of connectivity. But, yeah, that’s about it. That’s what Facebook means to me.

Ciao!

Color By Numbers

Howdy, Y’all!

Everyone has a favorite color, one which makes you feel awesome as soon as you lay your eyes on it! A color you like makes you think positively and cheers you up is your go-to shade, it’s true! You get up on the wrong side of bed, wear your favorite color – it could be in the form of a spunky dress or a somber button-down shirt that you adore and, lo-and-behold, your Joy-o-Meter just went up a notch! Your favorite color may just tell you a little more about yourself and your state of mind than you think! Read on :-

Purple has been associated with royalty and exclusivity. If you like this color, chances are you’re eccentric and have eclectic tastes. It also exudes mysticism, meditation and innovation. Someone going through a bevy of hormonal or emotional changes may also take a fancy to this color, according to Chromotherapy. Purple also signifies spirituality, encourages creativity and has a soothing effect on one’s nerves.

Purple denotes the ‘Crown Chakra’ which links the individual to the Universe!

As per Gemology, Purple stones such as ‘Amethysts’, ‘Lepidolites’ and ‘Purpurite‘ are recommended for those who are seeking inspiration and awareness.

Blue is a favorite of many. It is one of my favorite colors as well! Although Blue has been associated with ‘males’, it is equally favored by women and children. The color Blue signifies serenity. People who prefer more muted shades of Blue are often soft-pedaled and reposed. On the other hand, those inclined to shades such as ‘Electric Blue’ and ‘Brilliant Blue’ may be more energetic, tempestuous and dramatic in nature. Blue also signifies coolness and indifference. On yet another note, ‘feeling Blue’ is another emotion associated with the color!

Blue denotes the ‘Throat Chakra’ which is linked to communication.

As per Gemology, Blue stones like ‘Sapphires’ and ‘Lapis Lazuli‘ aid communication and help with poor sleep patterns and are said to alleviate nightmares as well.

Green is a close second when it comes to common favorite hues. I agree, I adore my green Beatles Tee – even when it’s faded and has holes here and there, I’d wear it everyday if I could! As a color, Green is everywhere – unless you live in a place where there are no trees and plants, that is. Green has been associated with invigoration and tranquility. When I think of Green, the image that comes to my mind is that of glistening, fresh leaves with dewdrops on them or endless, vibrant grass meadows. People who are partial to Green are caring, gentle and nurturing.

Green denotes the ‘Heart Chakra‘ associated with consciousness and love.

As per Gemology, Green stones like ‘Emeralds’ and ‘Butterstones’ help in attaining prosperity, fertility and growth.

Yellow is that shiny, happy color that we all see on ‘Smileys’. It denotes optimism, positivity and creativity. it is a mental stimulant and improves memory and aids in communication, as per Chromotherapy. Folks who adore Yellow are good leaders, reserved and methodical! Those who bend toward Mustard may be obstinate and others may look at them with suspicion.

Yellow signals to the ‘Solar Plexus Chakra’ which is associated with identity!

As per Gemology, Yellow stones like ‘Sulfur’ and ‘Amber’ empower the wearer with good decision-making skills and stimulate movement as well as mental alertness.

Orange is a shade that one either likes or hates! The color is typical of flamboyance, fun and energy. Orange stimulates appetite (Pumpkin risotto!) and encourages socialization! Those who adore Orange are helpful, outdoorsy and allies to the underdog. they are adrenaline junkies and may be impulsive as well!

Orange signals the ‘Sacral Hara Chakra’ which is identified with sexuality.

As per Gemology, Orange toned stones such as the ‘Sunstone’ and ‘Orange Elestial’ stimulate mental agility, flexibility and can pump up one’s self esteem!

Red, the color of passion and energy is host to a plethora of emotions and effects! The color is associated with love, drama, enthusiasm, anger, danger, sex and is symbolic of an aggressive and bold attitude. Those who go gaga for Red are in want of power and seek attention (Who can ignore the squiggly red lines on Spell-check!). These people are aggressive, sensual, energetic, dynamic and may be short-tempered. These people enjoy being outdoors as well.

Red signals the ‘Root Chakra‘ and is associated with practicality as well as the balance of bodily heat and the functioning of the circulatory system.

As per Gemology, red stones like the ‘Ruby’ and ‘Garnet’ stimulate dynamism, give one courage and help in overcoming sexual dysfunction.

Black has been associated with negativity – witches, the Dark Arts, death, misery, hollowness and the like. However, it also denotes reposed vacuum, sophistication, protection, seriousness, power and authority, as per Chromotherapy. People who like this color are perfectionists, problem-solvers and aloof. People also wear black to appear slimmer, to place a barrier between themselves and another, to be invisible and in mourning.

Black is not really associated with any ‘Chakra’.

Black Gemstones like the ‘Onyx’, ‘Nuummite’ and ‘Shungite’, as per Gemology, have protective energies.

White, the purest of them all! This color has been associated with purity, cleanliness and piousness. It is associated with death in Eastern cultures. Those who swear by White are shy, non-intrusive and feel that they are pure, regardless of anyone’s opinion.

White is associated with no ‘Chakras’.

The ‘Opal’, ‘Crystal Quartz’ and other White gemstones, as per gemology, are recommended for protection, good fortune and are associated with sleep and psychic energies as they are representative of the Moon.

Gray is a blend of black and white and is associated with gloom, being somber and undecided. It is also symbolic of loss, depression and emptiness (TV grains, remember?). Those who like Gray are practical, logical and stability.

Gray is associated with no ‘Chakras’.

Gray gemstones like the ‘Hematite’ and ‘Galena’ are associated with healing in Gemology and can help in finding and maintaining relationship stability.

So, go on, splash your life with color!

I got most of this information from the following links. Feel free to chek ’em out for more:-

Gemology: http://bit.ly/F9B0c

Favorite Colors and People: http://bit.ly/woXR18

Colors and their Signifcance: http://bit.ly/ALFQ