Tuesday, 26 May 2015

L'amour temporaire

We have all come across a million articles and listicles on the internet – what is wrong with modern day dating, how romance has been lost in this century, lust over love. And let’s be honest – there is more than a semblance of the truth to these. But why? Why has traditional love and fairytale romance morphed into one night stands and no-strings-attached relationships as the conventional if not ideal lifestyle?

Pardon me but I am going to say the most abused phrase of this generation, which is also the biggest truth – our lives are fast paced. When they say this world is a competitive jungle, they aren’t talking about the job markets alone. Like everything else in this age, our relationships are about convenience too. I mean, what else was a life ruled by technology and invention going to lead us to anyway.

Let Hollywood bear witness to what I am saying here. Before there were movies like ‘Pretty woman’ and ‘Notting hill’ in which love came out of the most unlikely of encounters. (Ok. I know these are classics and almost exceptions among examples, but you get my point!) Now we have ‘Friends with benefits’ and ‘No strings attached’. Both of them have the clichéd happy endings too, but see the route the plot takes?

To say that the world, especially the newer generation, is seeing a revolution would be an understatement! We no longer care for the importance traditional ways of life placed on the balance between education, work, marriage, family and eventually retirement. New age philosophy is understanding that one cannot have it all and will have to choose those aspects most important to them. Our lives are simply not as simple as they were in older times. Temptation is everywhere, and it is okay to err!

Hey, I’m not complaining! I’d rather each person live his or her life their way, on their own terms, than having to succumb to what society says is right or wrong. And I am as much a culprit by having contributed to (or at least partaking in) the turn modern day romance has taken! To be honest, I would have it no other way.

But are society and modern lifestyle the only factors to the choices we are making in our love lives? What about what love does to us at a personal level? And if it was always so hard to love, why are we more afraid today? Or have we just learnt not to be happy with what we have, so much so we have trouble settling? 

Monday, 25 May 2015


Magic is what I mean! That’s how the French say it though. See what changing three letters in a word can do to it? Makes it sound chic, enigmatic and classy, all without changing its meaning. No wonder the world loves French, it is MY favorite language. And the people - they just know how to find elegance in the simplest things and how to savor the beauty of those aspects in life most people do not even pay attention to. 

But isn’t that what life is all about? Or at least what it should be about? The small things, the precious memories, the way of enhancing even everyday experiences… the fairy dust! 
Otherwise, what is the point of it all? There is no flavor in bland, nothing special about mundane, nothing exciting about routine, nothing dreamy about reality! That’s why we all need a bit (or a lot) of it – the fairy dust. Magique. 

Now before you brand me a hopeless romantic (although I am just that), bear with me! Fact of life is – it happens! As much as we try to stay free-spirited and carefree while growing up, as much as we promise ourselves we will never be like the boring adults we met when we were younger, as much as we promise ourselves we will never EVER indulge in deep philosophy once we are grown-ups, life happens!! Worst part is – you do not even realize when it sneaked up on you and changed you. Yea, no shit!

We are all born with the proverbial clean slate. No memories, no knowledge no skills. Also no trust or reservations, no confidence or shame, no friends or enemies, no pride or regret. We are born with the clean slate for the world to write on. And write it does! It writes bold, in-erasable experiences and memories that make us broken, apprehensive, vulnerable, strong, courageous, and fearsome adults. 

No. Contrary to Hollywood’s portrayal, damaged people are not always the result of a childhood scarred by abuse or a parent who abandoned them. You know what I mean if you have ever been bullied at school, been called fat or skinny, been insulted by a teacher, had a friend betray you, had a partner cheat on you, had the world judge you, lost a loved one, been in a near fatal accident or been a victim of any kind of violence. Every experience in life leaves a mark on us. Some of them scar us badly, permanently!

Ever met someone who is happy, optimistic, idealistic and sees only the good in the world? And wanted to punch their face? I have! It’s like Meredith says in Grey’s Anatomy: “I don’t like happy, chirpy people!” Neither will any self-respecting person who has been living or trying to live their own life on their own terms! Not because we are jealous of the chirpy, infuriating happiness. It’s because it is unreal. It is like they lived in a bubble. A nicely protected, warm, reflective, shiny, isolated bubble; they grew up inside it and decided to step out once they were happy, chirpy, annoying adults! It’s like they do not understand how this world works, like they have never had to deal with real life issues and are mentally still inside their stupid bubble.

If you never had someone love you, if you loved so unconditionally that you lost yourself, if you never learnt how to trust, if you trusted blindly only to be stabbed in the back, if you were forced to live against your own choices, if the decisions you made for yourself went awfully wrong, if something you took for granted suddenly fell apart, if you indulged in substance abuse or if you watched someone die – you have probably had to deal with life in all its evil glory at least one time. There are a million things that can mess a person up. Any one of these can scare you to the core of your being, so much that you are hardly the same person anymore.

The way I see it – life is designed to fuck you up! There is no way you can get out of it unscathed. But you go on and on, live it one day at a time, deal with the smaller blows on a daily basis, put on a smile (or a bite-me attitude) and hope to find the bigger purpose. But then would you have it any other way? These experiences are what make us. They give us our personality, beliefs, fears, perspective and basically build the road our own future will take.

Sometimes I wish I were one of those positive, content, balanced people. You know the girls with shrill voices, who smile easily, are polite and nice to everyone, say things like ‘live and let live’, seem to thrive on positivity and basically want to convince the world around them they are modern day saints! And then it hits me – they are polite and sweet, but they don’t ever speak their minds! Hell, they probably don’t have original opinions about most things! No real perspective. So thanks, but no thanks!

I would rather be scared to love again and make the choice to stay alone, than feel out of control. I would rather make mistakes and learn from them, than stumble around like a grown up infant. I would rather have been bullied as a teenager, so I learn how to speak up for myself.  I would rather be hurt by a friend, so I know where to put my trust the next time. You learn, you grow and hence, you are capable of making your own choices. Yes, life takes its own course for the most part, but would you not want to control the parts that you possible can.

But these realists with tons of life experience and a badge of damage are in fact the people who need magic most in their lives. Most of them unconsciously even believe in it. See, for those who believe in beautiful, cliché philosophies about life (that all things happen for a reason and that the ending is always happy, etc.!!), faith comes naturally. They hope for better, they move forward expecting better and it is easy for them. These people, from the bottom of their heart and soul, believe in happiness, fairy tales and love. They also as naively believe that they deserve the fairytale!

But for those who have had their trust broken, their faith shattered, their love rejected and their souls basically sucked out of them as if by a dementor, it’s an everyday battle to even go on. Because what are you moving towards if there is no light at the end of the tunnel? So they have to, in some part of their being, believe in magic. There is something I read a few years ago and it has stayed with me forever. ‘I am strong cause I know my weaknesses, I'm a lover cause I'm a fighter, I am wise cause I've been foolish, I laugh cause I've known sadness!’ 

This quote from my favorite tv show sums it up perfectly - 

Damaged people are not lifeless and lost. They are strong, courageous, bold people who will stand up for what they believe in. They have fears but they understand them better than anyone else and deal with it. Every day. Those are the people who need magic. Those are the people who appreciate the small things, the precious moments, the beauty of life! They see what most people miss, they cherish what most people let pass. They hold on to special people and beautiful memories as if the earth turned over and if they let go they would free fall into the never ending abyss. 

In the depths of their soul, these people long for the magic. The fairy dust.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Style minions!

Styling products are in abundance these days and why would they not be, it is what the glorious world of glamour revolves around! Like I say time and again – achieving the perfect hair is a long process that is a test of perseverance. The things that aid us in this beautifully challenging task are styling tools and products. Either of these alone is NO good – this is as real and significant as the food chain and there is no arguing with the food chain! There is a sequence in nature, an order of things and this is that order – prep with a base styling product, style with the right tools and finish with finishing products. Too much hassle??  I am sorry to give you a much needed reality check – good things don't come easy. Fabulous things are harder to come by! If you think this is more trouble than it is worth, you can kiss away your dreams of salon style immaculate hair! Period.

For the newbie in fashionista town, this would be a good place to start! If you wondered how to coax and manipulate you locks so they are luscious, well-behaved and around the clock gorgeous, here is your answer. Behold – the styling products!

Smoothening products: These are the holy grails for the Rapunzels with a straight mane. They make hair glossy, shiny, control the frizz and straighten it. These can be used on virgin or treated hair. They come in many forms under various brands – serum, cream, spray, mist. They are ideal for hair that needs just a little taming to be presentable or after styling; it essentially is the finishing touch, the polish! So, if your hair is extremely unruly, curly or frizzy, even the best smoothening products cannot miraculously give you magazine cover hair! You will need to resort to chemical straightening that you can maintain with these products, or embrace your curls that you can define, control and enhance with the right products.

Curl enhancing products: Pretty self-explanatory, this one! I feel curls somehow reflect the spirit of a woman, in the sense that they are complicated, difficult to understand, even harder to manage and tame! But ladies, if you have learnt how to reign in your curly or wavy hair, with the help of the right products, results can be nothing short of magical! Curl enhancing products help define the natural waves and curls in our tresses, making them those shiny ultra-feminine ringlets or waves that we all have been envious of at some point. They also help keep the curls defined and frizz-free until the next wash (as anyone with curly hair knows how thin the border between curly and frizzy is)! They are best used as a base before a blowout or the use of curling irons. These beauties again come in spray, mousse and cream forms.

Texturizing products: They basically add texture. Ever seen a girl with tousled, I-just-rolled-out-of-my-bed, piecey hair? This bottle of goodness is what helped her achieve that! We are talking separated, textured, moisturized, effortless waves. Of course, depending on the exact look, our man here must have had to work with dollops of mousse and even a hold spray! But you get the picture.

Volume enhancing products: These again will need to be used in combination with a bunch of other styling products. But simply put, they enhance the volume of your hair and in most cases, can be worked into any look you want. Whether you have short or long hair, whether you are styling it into humongous bouncy curls, beach waves or even the straight look, you should be able to find one of these volume experts that works for you! These come in cream, mousse and spray forms.

Holding hairsprays: Lastly, this one here is our safety net! Almost literally! It actually coats your hair with invisible particles and helps hold the look or hairstyle you very painstakingly created! I mean, look at that list above – there is sooo much effort that goes into creating the perfect hairstyle, working with all these products and tools. Holdspray helps keep it all in in place until the next wash, hence is the final act. Now of course you have a whole range from strong to medium hold products. Finding a good holdspray that works best for you is quite the challenge as most products tend to make hair sticky and stiff, giving it a rather unnatural look. The ideal product will give you flexible, natural lasting hold!

So now that you have the basic gyan, go explore and get started on your way to fabulous mane! PHEW!! That’s all for today, ladies!