Monday, 25 April 2016


A couple of years ago, I wrote a post on what it’s like growing up dark-skinned in a nation obsessed with fairness—not justice, cos let’s face it, that we are not, but milky white skin. I got a lot of feedback on it, because many related to the real struggle that comes with it. 

Here’s the post for those who missed it:

There is one more thing, similar to this, that gets talked and written about a lot, that I want to add my two cents to. Weight.

Since I was a teenager, I have battled with weight problems. After being a really skinny kid, I suddenly gained a ton of weight after being diagnosed with PCOD, one of the most common issues faced by women today. I literally bloated overnight.

Since then, it has been a constant struggle. Today, when I look at my college photos, I realise how thin I was! But back then, I thought I was a cow.

2010 (don't miss the stunning style statement)

Late in 2014, coincidentally, soon after my wedding, I ballooned again, the PCOD back with a vengeance. I was bloated, missing my periods and generally in a fair bit of pain. My clothes weren’t fitting anymore and I felt disgusted every time I looked in the mirror.

August 2014

But worse than that were people’s reactions to this. Every other day, and I am *not* exaggerating, I would get text messages solely to tell me I’ve put on weight. Like someone on WhatsApp would open the conversation with, “You’ve gained weight’—not even ‘hi’. Or someone I would call to wish on his/her birthday, and would be talking to after months, would be like ‘I saw your pics, how did you put on so much weight?’ Or better yet, closer friends, who didn’t care to sugar coat, would be like ‘You’re so fat.’ ‘Lose some weight.’ ‘Why have you ballooned like this, Aunty?’

October 2014
March 2015

And every time this happened, my self-confidence would crumble just a little more. I often wondered, what made people say those things? Was it a sense of voyeurism, in thinking that someone looks worse because she’s fat? Is it supposed to be funny that this person has packed on some extra kilos, no doubt cos she’s eating everything in sight? Or is it just cos we, as humans, love putting others down?

Once I got over myself, I started working out, trying to eat right and taking care of my body. I became unhealthily obsessed with my weight. I stopped wearing sleeveless clothes or anything fitted in fear of being further shamed. My close friends started pointing out that what I was doing and how I was thinking was not productive, but I couldn’t stop myself.

Once I lost *some* of the weight, I started to regain my confidence, perhaps not so much because I looked different, but because I started feeling better in my own body. After moving here, because of a drastic change in my lifestyle (I went from being Boi to the bai), I lost more weight without even realising it.

Immediately I started getting, “Oh, you’ve lost a ton of weight’ or ‘you look so much hotter in Dubai than you did in Bombay’. Now, I won’t lie, like most women, I love hearing the three words, ‘you’ve lost weight’. Even now, for every three people who say I've lost weight, one person will say I've put some on, and it will hurt. But every time I get the compliment, I can’t help but wonder, ‘so, I wasn’t hot or pretty or attractive or basically good enough cos I was chubby?’ So now, if I put on any weight back on, I’ll go back to being not-hot?’

April 2016
It’s pretty terrifying, to be perfectly honest, and more importantly, it will be impossible for me to ever get that bikini body I want (I’ve never worn a bikini in my life). You know why? Cos I LOVE FOOD! I try eating healthy for two days and by the third, I’m craving biriyani, pizza and cookies. Every time I decided to try eating clean, I tell myself by the end of the day, ‘what if you die tomorrow? Is that salad the last meal you would want?’

So yes, I may have lost some weight and regained some of my confidence (thanks mostly to my love for clothes and lack of self-control when it comes to shopping), but I still have a tummy, one which I keep telling myself is actually just bloated and not like that for real, a double chin, flabby arms that will.just.not.tone, and a few dimples on my thighs that aren’t as attractive as those on one’s cheeks. I don’t work out as often as I should, I eat way more unhealthy junk than I should and I do feel jealous when I see friends in bikinis or with flat tummies or pronounced jawlines, especially if they haven’t had to work for it. I am but human.

I guess the point of this post is nothing but to urge people to be kinder. Yes, you should look after your body—lose the weight for your health, not because of what others think of you (note to self and my sister, just fyi), take pride in your curves (the one thing on my body I love) and remember that when someone calls you fat, they may mean it with malice, but more often, they don’t, and while you will obsess over it for the next few weeks or lifetimes, they have already forgotten about it.

And the rest of you, be nice. You never know what kind of struggle a person is going through and frankly, it’s none of your business. Like our mammas taught us ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.’

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Fashion fix

As I have oh-so-vociferously reiterated, I am unemployed. Among many other things of crap that this brings with it, one is that I don't get to dress up on a daily basis. While I do take great care in picking out outfits, complete with accessories and the right shoes, for the weekend, on any given weekday, I'm in my home clothes (read: baggy t-shirts, tattered shorts, ill-fitted dress nighties, no bra) all day long. At best, I'll slip into my workout clothes (which are not nearly as attractive as the ones you see on Instagram) for a couple of hours and then I'm back to being a bum.

My interest in fashion, buying new clothes and putting together outfits came back only in the last six or eight months. Before that, I had put on so much weight, thanks to my PCOD, that I was physically uncomfortable in my body. I would only dress in dull, baggy clothes to cover up the bulges.

I had to work tres hard to lose *some* of the weight, but my confidence slowly started coming back as did my desire to dress well. This further piqued when I moved here (thank you, H&M), so I thought I'd share some of my weekend looks here. Now, unfortunately I don't have a photographer tailing me, so I have to make do with mirror selfies :-/ Not a pro fashion blogger, you see. But here they are anyway.

The first weekend after I moved here, we went to Abu Dhabi. This is what I wore for the night out.
Dress: Forever 21
Shrug: Hill Road, Bombay (single tear rolls down, sniff)

I turned 30 in this country so we went out and partied! I had bought this dress months ago and figured this was occasion-appropriate.
Dress: Fab Alley
Shoes: Aldo
Lips: M.A.C.

I went to meet a friend from Bombay and then went shopping with the husband in this one.
Top: Bershka
Palazzos: Westside Stores
Bag: Zara

Taste of Dubai was such a fun experience! I channeled *festival feels* in this outfit.
Skirt: Forever 21
Sneakers; Rubi Shoes
Neckpiece: Thrifted from New Market, Calcutta

Bestie was in town from Bombay so, of course, we went out. It happened to be St Paddy's day so this was my attempt at
a touch of green.
Top: Veronica, Hill Road, Bombay
Skirt: Forever 21
Bag: Zara
Shoes (unseen): Charles & Keith
Lips: M.A.C.

We went to Umm-Al-Quwain one weekend for a birthday party. I'm just too cool for school.
Dress: H&M
Shoes: Hill Road, Bombay
Shades: Jack & Jones
Neckpiece: gifted

Easter means Mass followed by yummy food. Do I look like a good lil Church-going girl?
Dress: Bangkok
Shrug: Thrifted from Hill Road, Bombay
Earrings: Aquamarine

The first and only match we went to watch during the T20 World Cup, India lost. Sigh.
Pants: Thrifted from Hill Road, Bombay
Chappals: Thrifted from Hill Road, Bombay
Earrings: Sienna Store, Calcutta
We went to watch a super-fun play called 'Radio Dekkh'. Fun and casual!
Top and skirt: Bershka
Shoes: Cotton On, Singapore

The husband and I celebrate our anniversary on the day we got married in court. You know, to appease both our religions. This was for the big anniversary date night.
Dress: Anita Dongre
Shoes: Aldo
Neckpiece: Accessorize India

My friend's parents invited us for dinner and took us for yummy Lebanese food. Slurp. 
Skirt: Bershka

Emirates through a Bong's eyes

I'm a Bong girl from Bombay (for the last 10 years) who has moved to the Middle East. How's that for glocal? When we moved here, I was very clear that I wanted to visit all seven Emirates before heading out to the countries surrounding us, such as Oman. In almost three months, I'm pleased to report, we've covered five out of the seven. All we have left now are Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah--I'm most excited about the latter... beach holiday!

Here are a few snapshots of the United Arab Emirates through my eyes... well, through my phone. Let me know what you think!

Abu Dhabi Corniche

Interesting cat interaction at the Abu Dhabi Corniche

Sunset in Ajman

Sunset at the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa

Birthday shenanigans at 360 Degrees, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai

Dawn at the desert campsite

Sunrise in the desert

Desert winds

Sunset in Dubai

Dubai under construction as seen from J W Marriot Marquis, Dubai

The stunning exteriors of the Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi

The Grand Mosque's opulent interiors, Abu Dhabi

Dusk at the beautiful Mosque, Abu Dhabi

Holi Celebrations at the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa

Grilling kebabs at the desert camp

Nalukettu Restaurant, Ajman

Santana, live in concert, Dubai Media City Amphitheatre

St Patrick's Day celebrations, McGettigans, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai

Taste of Dubai, Dubai Media City Amphitheatre

The Lebabon Island, The World (group of islands, Dubai) on Valentine's Day

Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi

Wednesday, 20 April 2016


This is a short story I had written over a year ago, hoping that I would include it in my book of short stories. I think I've changed my mind on the ever-elusive book (that's what I'm going to permanently refer to it as) so here it is, making its debut on my blog. Do let me know what you think (and apologies if there are any errors).

She lay on her side, with her back facing him. She had been lying still for almost an hour, waiting for his breath to normalise. When she finally heard his soft snores, she shifted her weight to get a little comfortable. Aria always needed her space in bed. She was a sprawler.

Just as she was dozing off, she felt his hand on her waist. Jolted out of her slumber, she lay still again, hoping he would back off, thinking she was asleep. A few moments passed and his hand slid around her waist to her stomach, slowly caressing it. He slipped his hand under her t-shirt and worked his way up to her breast. Aria lay deathly still, hoping he would stop. But tonight it seemed like he was determined to wake her up to fulfil his needs.

He slowly started kissing her back and pushing her hair away to get to her neck. Aria opened her eyes to look at the clock. 3:35am. 

Slowly Anand turned Aria towards him. He started kissing her neck, while his hands explored the rest of her body. Though Aria could feel herself getting aroused and his hardness against her thigh, she remained frigid. Just as he was about to kiss her lips, Anand lifted his head to look at Aria’s face. Aria averted her eyes, turned her head away, as if to say, “Have your way and let’s get this over with.”

Anand looked at her for a moment, his expression darkening. Swiftly, he rolled off of her and threw off the covers. He looked at her one last time before getting out of bed with a huff, walking towards the bathroom and slamming the door shut.

Aria turned back on her side and lay still. A lone tear escaped her eyes, running down her nose and wetting her pillow. It had been three months of this misery and she had a lifetime of it ahead of her. This is not how Aria had envisioned her life.

Anand and Aria had an arranged marriage three months ago. They were of the same religion and the same caste—everyone who looked at her said she was lucky to have found Anand. He was an Ivy-educated corporate lawyer settled in Delhi, who was always on the move, globetrotting. 

While finalising the wedding, Aria mom had told her, “Beta, you should be thrilled at this proposal. You’ve always wanted to travel. Now you can travel with him all over the world!”

“And what about my job, my career, my friends, my life?”

“Oh ho, baby. Priorities change once you get married. Everyone will understand.”

“Well I don’t want to get married. At least not to him.”

“The one you wanted to marry wasn’t good enough for you and wasn’t willing to prove himself either. So what’s the point?”

That hit home. Aria and Dev had been seeing each other for almost four years. She had always imagined that they would get married someday and live happily ever after. But Dev’s un-ambitious nature had put an end to all her dreams. At 28, Dev was a nobody. He would call himself a creative professional, and yet could not stick to a single job for more than three months. He lived off his parents and Aria. Sometimes, he would even take money from their friends. His father, who ran a successful bottling plant business, was keen on his only son taking over, but Dev wasn’t interested. Frustrated and constantly worried, but unable to give up on Dev, his father had developed a weak heart.

Three years into their relationship, Aria’s folks started pressuring her to get married. Though she had never overtly admitted to seeing Dev, they were fully aware of their relationship. Unable to wait and ward off the incoming proposals any longer, Aria’s father one day had a chat with her.

“Tell the boy to either buck up, get a job and stick with it, or else take over his father’s business. As long as he is wasting his life, he’s marrying no daughter of mine.”

The finality of her father’s words had struck her. Although she loved Dev, she knew he was right. As opposed to Aria’s ambitious, career-oriented and vibrant personality, Dev was irresponsible, flippant and frankly, selfish. He did love Aria, but when she told him of her father’s warning, Dev had barely protested.

“I’m not taking over Dad’s business just to please your father. And if I get a job I enjoy enough, I’ll stick with it. But there are no guarantees.”

“So you’re fine with me marrying someone else?”

“I want you to be happy. Maybe being with me isn’t a good idea after all.”

Aria had exploded. After years of trying to get through to Dev and steer him towards the right path, discovering that he didn’t care much about losing her, broke her heart. In anger, she told her parents to go ahead and look for someone for her. And promptly, within three months she was married off to Anand.


It’s not that Aria didn’t like Anand. He was smart, sensitive, funny and seemed to really care about her. But she just didn’t feel a connection with him. She had literally married him on the rebound and now regretted it every moment of every day.

It was as early as their honeymoon that Anand noticed Aria’s disinterest in the marriage. Every time he had tried to touch, even just to hold her hand or put his arm around his wife’s shoulder, she had stiffened, as if repulsed. The night before they were to fly back to Delhi, he finally got the nerve to ask her.

“Aria, were you forced into this marriage?”


“Do you not like me?”


“Look, if you’re not happy then talk to me about it. Maybe we can work a way around it.”


Anand had sighed deeply and gone to bed. Aria’s cold behaviour confused him, because she had seemed normal, almost pleased during their courtship period. This drastic change in her personality, confused, frightened and angered him, all at the same time.

Soon after returning to Delhi, Anand was scheduled to head to Singapore for a six-month project, with Aria in tow. Before their departure, there were many relatives to meet and they both put on a show of being happy and in love.

One night, just days before they were to leave, Anand had gone out drinking with his buddies. He staggered home drunk, well after 2am. He came into their bedroom and saw Aria asleep on her side, her back facing his side of the bed and her arms covering her eyes. Seething with frustration and anger, yet uncontrollably attracted to her, Anand strode across the room and climbed onto Aria. 

Surprised by his sudden move, Aria tried to sit up, but Anand pinned her arms down. He savagely started rubbing his face on her face, her neck, her breast, biting and kissing his way down. Aria tried to push him off, but he was far heavier and stronger than she was. Anand tore off his shirt and undid his pants. He pushed up Aria’s nighty and pulled down her panties to her ankle. Before she realised what was going on, he pushed his hardness into her and started thrusting. With the combined effect of Aria’s frigidness and Anand inebriated state, the deed was done in less than two minutes. Satiated and tired, Anand had rolled off Aria and dozed off.

Feeling violated and humiliated, Aria had gathered herself and rushed into the bathroom. She stripped naked and turned on the shower, allowing the cold Delhi winter water run over her body, her tears mixing with the jet sprays.

The next morning, Anand had a blurry memory of the night before. The terrible hangover he had did not help things. But he was ashamed of himself. He went to Aria and touched her gently on the shoulder, while she was sitting blankly in front of the mirror.

“I’m sorry, Aria. I don’t know what came over me yesterday. Please forgive me. I’ll never touch you again without your permission.”

Aria sat still and then slowly looked at his hand on her shoulder.

Surprised at her coldness, Anand jerked it off, and stood for a few minutes waiting for a response. Getting none, he exhaled deeply and walked into the bathroom.

Three months later, things were just the same. They had moved to Singapore, were living like strangers and spoke only when necessary. 


For all practical purposes, Aria was a good wife. She cooked for Anand, kept the house clean, washed his clothes, entertained his guests and pretended to the outside world that they were perfectly happy. However, this seemed to frustrate Anand even more. He was an honest man, if not anything else, and putting up this farce, especially to his family and Aria’s, made him physically uncomfortable.

The following week, Anand had to go on a month-long project to Malaysia. Though initially Aria was meant to travel with him, Anand decided that some time apart would help him clear his head. When he told Aria this, she didn’t protest. The concept of being in Singapore on her own for a month was rather appealing.

In the three months since their move, Aria had already made a set of friends. She had a friend from school, Roshni, who was living and working in Singapore, so after she went out with her a few times, she became a part of the gang. Having worked pretty hard on her career as a sales professional in Delhi for years, Aria was in no rush to look for a job in Singapore. She wanted to kick back and relax for a while.

Aria’s new friends loved to party and undoubtedly, Singapore had a super nightlife. She went to a new club every weekend while Anand was in town, so after he left, she had no reason to stay home every night. She would go shopping, go out for lunches and coffee with friends and they would hit the nightspots till the wee hours every morning.


One night, about 10 days after Anand had left for Malaysia, she went out as usual. Except that on this day, she was feeling particularly bad about the way her life had shaped up. She missed Dev, she felt guilty for the way she treated Anand and she regretted not looking for a job. So like most others, she turned to alcohol. Starting to drink at lunch, by the time they entered the club for the night, she was already pretty hammered. Robert, one of the boys in the gang, stayed close to her all night.

Since the day they had met, Robert was intensely attracted to Aria. He knew she was married, but he wasn’t sure how happy she was, considering she kept going out with them sans her husband. But he didn’t really care. He was in Singapore just for a few weeks and then would head back to the US. But Aria was really something. Those eyes, the full lips, the firm breasts, and the long, smooth legs... he knew he had to have her.   

By about 2am that night, Aria could no longer stand on her feet. Her head was buzzing and her legs were giving way. Roshni wanted to take her home, but Robert insisted that she continue her night and allow him to drop her back. Though Roshni wasn’t too comfortable with this idea, she didn’t protest much—after all, Aria was a big girl and Robert seemed nice.

Half an hour later, Robert and Aria were back at her apartment. Without wasting any time, Robert grabbed her by the waist and planted a kiss on her mouth. A little surprised at first, Aria moved away to look at Robert. But the alcohol soon took over any semblance of logic and before she knew it, they were tearing each other’s clothes off.


Robert carried Aria’s inebriated naked body into the bedroom. He lay her down gently on the bed and started working his way down Aria’s body. Aria’s senses had dulled and she was a little confused—was this Dev or Anand? But she didn’t care; all she knew was that it felt good. For the next hour, Robert and Aria ravaged each other’s bodies—Aria satiating months of deprivation.

Ten days later...
Aria was sitting in front of the mirror combing her hair. She had put on a sari, a first since the move to Singapore. She had put on some make-up and sprayed on the perfume Anand had given her. After a little over a month, Anand was set to return home. And for the first time since she met him, she couldn’t wait to see him.

Aria’s memory of her night with Robert was blurry, but what she could clearly recall was the feeling of repulsion she felt the next morning. Seeing Robert lying next to her, with his arm around her waist, Aria had felt nauseated. She had shaken him awake, quickly got dressed and bid him a quick, unceremonious goodbye.

She cut Robert out of her life completely and had stopped going out with the gang, too. Roshni would come over once in a while to ask her what was wrong, but Aria had sworn herself to secrecy. She felt dirty and could never forgive herself for this indiscretion. 

That’s when she had decided that she would do everything in her power to make things work with Anand. She was, after all, married to him. She spent the next 10 days cleaning the house, downloading recipes to cook him his favourite food, and pulling out her saris and salwar suits.
Sitting in front of the mirror the day Anand was to arrive—moments before he would be there—Aria could not get images of her lustful night with Robert out of her mind. Every time she’d blink, she could see them—bodies, sweaty and entwined.


Aria snapped herself back to the present. No, she was determined to win Anand over. She knew he liked, maybe even loved, her—he would forgive her for sure.

Unfortunately, Anand was tougher to break than Aria expected. For days after he returned from Malaysia, he barely spoke to her. In fact, he stayed out of the house for as long as he could, only coming home to crash. Sometimes, not even that. Aria cooked for him, but he wouldn’t eat; she dressed up for him, but he wouldn’t even look at her; she tried talking to him, but he was always too tired or not interested. She even tried making a move in bed, but he simply stiffened and moved further away.

Two weeks later...
Aria was at her wits’ end; she didn’t know how to make the situation better. Just when she was about to lose all hope in her marriage, she received a text from Anand one day after he had left for work.

“Need to talk. Will be home by 7.”

“Sure. What would you like for dinner?”

No reply.

Aria decided to cook up a storm anyway. She called her mother in India and got the recipes for spicy vegetable pulao, kali daal and chicken curry, just the way Anand liked it. She wasn’t feeling too well that day but she still pushed herself to lay out an impressive spread for her husband.

In the middle of her cooking though, Aria felt nauseas more than once and had to rush to the bathroom to throw up. Attributing it to stress, she kept going back to the kitchen to finish cooking. However, an hour and a half later, when she felt dizzy and faint, she turned off the stove and went to lie down.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a fear gripped her stomach and shook her whole being. She checked the date on her phone. She had missed her period. Her date had passed two weeks ago and she hadn’t even realised it. Her little ‘mistake’ with Robert had happened about a month ago. No, this could not be happening.

Still feeling faint, Aria gathered herself and rushed to the medical store below her building. She quickly bought three pregnancy kits, just to be on the safe side. She knew that she was supposed to take the test only in the morning, but she couldn’t wait that long. No matter what the test said now, she would take it again the next day.

Half an hour later...
Aria sat on her bathroom floor, head in her hands. Her worst fear had come true. The little strip had turned pink. She tried to recollect the sequence of events of that night. Did Robert use a condom? Was he even carrying one? Try as she might, she couldn’t remember anything about that night coherently. And no matter how much she hoped, she knew it couldn’t be Anand’s; their last time was when he was drunk and that was over three months ago.

This couldn’t be happening. She was trying to repair her marriage—she was falling in love with Anand. And after days, he said he wanted to talk. Not today, not now. This problem would have to wait. She would deal with it tomorrow. For today, she was going to be the perfect wife. She got up to wear the sari he had given her on their wedding day.

Three hours later...
Aria was back on the bathroom floor—this time with the positive pregnancy test in one hand and divorce papers in the other. Anand wanted a divorce. He had already signed the papers and just needed her to sign them. She was then free to go back to India to her parents’. Aria had tried to beg and plead with him to give her one more chance, but he had remained stoic.

“My ex had cheated on me. That’s why I didn’t marry her. You’re no different.”

“But I’ll make it up to you. I’ll be a good wife, I promise.”

“Good luck being a good wife to someone else. Please sign the papers and give them to me as soon as possible.”

And with that, he had walked out of the house.


Aria lost track of how long she had been sitting on that bathroom floor, sometimes clutching her stomach and at others retching her guts out. She stared at the divorce papers for a long time. It was just as well. She hadn’t even had to tell Anand about her infidelity. According to him, she was guilty either way. She was a cheat; yes she was.

In the matter of a year, Aria had loved, lost, loved again and lost again. And now she was pregnant. Aria smiled and signed the papers, before retching into the toilet bowl one more time. 

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Brand new life = Brand new insecurities

So, it's been about two and a half months since I moved, bag and baggage, to the United Arab Emirates. Now, when most people move to this country, they say "We are moving to Dubai." If you're wondering why I'm not saying the same thing, well, it's because we have *not* moved to Dubai. We have moved to a northern emirate called Ajman. Yeah, I had to look it up when my husband first got the offer, too.

Many pros and cons were discussed and debated, friends were consulted and goals were shared... after which we finally made the decision: if not now, then when. There's no better time to move to a new country than when you're a DINK (double income, no kids). So husband moved and I started wrapping up our lives in Bombay--a joint life very carefully and lovingly built, one I wanted to get away from for a while now, and yet when it became a reality, everything was going dark. Anyway, maybe I should save the perils of packing for another post.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, two months after husband moved, I followed him--no job in hand, just dreams of chilling for a while, becoming a domestic goddess and finding a fancy-pants job within two months. I imagined myself cooking fancy meals, working out like a beast and soon, within two months tops, landing an awesome job to which I would be wearing sexy pencil skirts, sky-high heels and, soon, driving confidently in a cool new ride. I mean, I'm qualified, good at what I do and even came bearing recommendations, meetings already scheduled. What could possibly come in my way? Life, apparently. How soon all my dreams came crashing down.

Don't get me wrong, so far, it's been a great ride--we're lucky we (read: I) have a bunch of friends here, so every weekend has been a party. If you're moving to a new country, I highly recommend choosing one where you know people... but that's pretty obvious.

While I did initially enjoy the chilling, the cooking, the setting up of the new home, the not having to be responsible etc., after about all of two weeks, I slowly but surely started losing my mind. Yes, patience is indeed my middle name. Baishali Patience Chatterjee.

I remember when I went to say goodbye to my editor at Femina, Tanya, and joked about wanting to become a housewife... sorry, homemaker... she rapped me on the knuckles and told me I was made for bigger things. I just threw my head back and laughed, telling her, "But I love to cook!" Little did I know that she clearly knew me better than I knew myself.

It has, as mentioned earlier, been over two months since I started job hunting in this foreign country, and it has been frustratingly slow, to put it mildly. Yes, I've met a bunch of people, sent out more emails that I have in my entire life, collectively, and generally lost my mind. No biggie.

(Above: What I wore to two meetings/interviews)
Pic one:
Top: H&M; Skirt: MOA collection; Shoes: Charles & Keith
Pic two:
Top: H&M; Skirt: Hong Kong; Shoes: Charles & Keith

If anyone ever tells you that moving to a new country is all fun, games and glamour, do not buy it. It *is* great, don't get me wrong. But there is a legit struggle that comes with it. A daily one.

After spending days hiding in bed, wallowing in self-pity, watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. over and over and over (yeah. I'm one of those) again, I finally decided to do something with my time. So, at the insistence of many friends, I've restarted this blog, decided to up my social media game (whatever that means), work on that ever-elusive book I've been trying to write for like a gajillion years and *dum dum dum* signed up at a health club here and started swimming lessons!

It's the last thing that I'm most excited about. I've always loved and feared the water in equal parts, and have always wanted to learn how to swim. One class down, I can already float and glide across the width of the pool *pat pat*. I also attended one of the aerobics classes hosted by the club and basically died. Smoker's stamina and all.

Anyhoo, like I promised, I will continue to share experience from this life-altering move, as well as other things I observe and discover. Expect to see food posts, fashion posts, fitness maybe, weekend scenes, more job-hunt frustration and, hopefully, a lot more.

To see how I'm upping my social media game, follow me on Instagram (baishalic) and Twitter (Chat_Boi) *insert self-promotion*

Till next time, toodles! *air kisses*

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Back from a hiatus?

Two years and eight months. Yeeshk! Been that long since I last posted. Well, at least I lived up to my blog's name *hyuk hyuk*

Most of you know (cos, let's face it, all my readers are my friends and family), my life has changed drastically since I last posted. Isn't ironic that my last post here was titled "My break from people"? Anyway, I am now married, yes to the man I used to whine most about on the blog, have moved out of the country and am currently (*dum dum dum*) unemployed. So many things I wasn't back then.

Many, many people have been telling me to get back to my blog, so this is my attempt at just that... at 1am. Very productive.

I hereby vow to (try to) share my new experiences, deets about the new people I meet, the places I go, the new insecurities that encompass me now, and find new things to whine about :D I've also simplified the template cos I feel more grown-up now, I think.

Till I write again, here's a photo of the sun rising in the desert... apt, no?

Friday, 16 August 2013

My break from people

I noticed that my previous post did not garner nearly as many views or comments as my otherwise personal, venting, bare-it-all, vulnerable ones do. So does that mean that those are the only kinds people like reading about? Because they relate to them or because it’s a voyeuristic universe? I can’t tell. All I know is that I avoided the blog for a while for precisely this reason—I didn’t want to write vulnerable, whiny posts. I don’t like whiny people, so why would people tolerate my whiny-ness? Clearly, I was wrong.

I’ve been on a break from people lately. Well, to be fair, I’m slowly slipping back into the game, but for at least for two weeks back there, I stayed away from most people. Apart from of course my colleagues, who I see at work. Can’t give up my job—would never do it; it’s what keeps me going. For those 10-12 hours a day, I forget it all.

The reason I decided to take a break from people is simply because all of a sudden, for the last few months, my life had become shrouded with negativity. Nothing in my personal life was going right. I know I sound dramatic. But when you’re as tiny as I am, all of it can be overwhelming. My biggest strengths, my friends, were falling apart all around me. We call each other family, and suddenly all I could see was that this family was disintegrating before my eyes. The matters of the heart were not getting better. I was losing people closest to me—either temporarily or permanently, I couldn’t tell. After a point, I stopped blaming the universe and world for all that was going wrong, and decided to look inward. It had to be something to do with me, right? I mean, I could no longer connect with people I had known for 20 years, some for eight years, and some I had been intimately connected with for four years. What the hell was going on? My solution—work till I drop, go straight home and numb my senses (insert what you like here).

Surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, this seemed to work. For those two weeks that I decided not to see people, not only did I feel lighter, as I had no expectations, and hence could not feel disappointed, but certain people who had dropped out of my life, miraculously reappeared—some for a moment, some maybe for good. Although I said I didn’t want to see people, I ended up spending time with those I really cared about, and some time spent on my own in introspection or with my favourite—a ton of books.

During this time, the only kind of articles that kept popping up on my newsfeed, etc., were on love, friendship, the importance of forgiveness, etc. Very unsettling. Of course, I read them all. They didn’t help much because the oscillation only continued stronger—one of those giant pirate ship rides that give you butterflies in your tummy.

I am slowly getting back ‘into it’ so as to speak, but I’m not there yet. And I don’t know whether and when I want to be ‘there’. Doesn’t it just sound cooler that I have no time from my hectic job to socialise or to think about my broken heart, etc? I think so.