Monsoon Challenge at Inorbit Mall

Blogging, event, Fashion, hyderabad, story, video
Last month I was invited by InOrbit mall, along with a couple of other bloggers, to take part in a fun challenge. InOrbit is one mall where you’ll find all your favorite brands under one roof, making it easy to put together a whole head-to-toe outfit. Since almost every store and brand had launched their monsoon collection, we were given a task of putting together a whole new Monsoon Look based on a theme of our choice. The slight twist was that we were given a budget of Rs.5000 and a limited time of an hour and a half only! I’ve always been a fast shopper and decision maker so I was pretty confident that I would finish way before the time limit. But it’s just not that easy, specially when you have the camera crew following you everywhere, filming your every move, and throwing questions at you right in the middle of deciding between between a high-low dress or printed pants. Tough decisions eh?

Nonetheless it was really fun to have met some other cool bloggers Swati (The Rickrack project) and Sangeeta(The Lipstick Addict), and to have been dashing in and out of stores with a camera guy in tow, much to the amusement of other shoppers!

For me monsoons are all about going bright on colors and light on accessories. So I decided to go for a boho-casual look by keeping it very simple. After a lot of hunting in Max, Globus, Lifestyle, Chemistry and other stores, I finally picked a bright red kaftan top from AND. To let the color of the top stand out, I picked a monochrome houndstooth print pant from Lifestyle (which was one size bigger but I got it altered now). Finished the look with simple charcoal grey sandals from Shopper’s Stop and a big turquoise statement ring and silver midi rings from Accessorize.

Thanks to InOrbit mall for hosting a fun event and to fellow bloggers who added to the madness! 🙂

Watch the video here!

Globetrotter: Prague

Czech republic, Europe, globetrotter, Prague, story, Travel
Did you know Bata shoes were originally founded in Czech Republic? Yes our very own Bata, which we rarely give a second glance to, because its that ‘cheap local Indian brand’. This was one of the first facts I discovered in Prague. The same Bata, where my mom used to buy me those hawai chappal as a kid (yes I was a 90’s Bata chappal kid), actually had amazing boots in Prague. But more on that later.. we need to start at the beginning.

That’s the view from the balcony of my room, where I almost dropped the camera from the second floor in my eagerness to start clicking photos. First time trip to Europe does that to a girl. If I go visit the same places now? Switzerland..? Phhttt.. I holiday there every summer *makes those annoying hand waves* Seriously though, I think I’d be awestruck even after a million visits and that’s the beauty and charm of Europe. Always leaves you wanting more and more. When we went in September the weather was unusually chilly, even the locals agreed. That translates into unbearably cold for me. I am a complete sunny-beach-side-summer kinda girl, who’ll pile on layers of coats at the tiniest drop in temperature. I can’t stand the cold! 

This baby was parked right outside our hotel

Hotel Villa

After a few touristy photos around the hotel (which was pink in color??) and a rather hurried meal we set out exploring. Best way to explore European cities – walk, walk, walk! I was not into blogging back then (this was in 2010 I think) so I have no proper outfit pics to show, but all I wore on the entire trip was walking shoes. Walk down the cobblestone streets in the center of Prague, and you’ll feel like you are in a different century. The city is made for walking, stopping and admiring. And the weather is so great that you will never tire of walking.

Walk to Prague Castle

See me already donning coats and knits? I even wore gloves inspite of the crazy looks I was attracting. Comfort first, crazy later right? (or is the other way around?)

Now I don’t anything about architecture, least of all about European architecture of churches and palaces but the evident beauty of these buildings is bound to stop even the least interested man in his tracks. Its hard not to be awed by the design, the intricate stone work, the carvings and the sheer majestic-ness of the architecture. If you are someone who appreciates art, of any form, you will appreciate this. That’s the entrance gate of the Prague Castle. Thanks to hundreds of people (out of which 80% were Japanese for some reason) waiting to enter and obstructing the splendid view this was the only pic I could manage.

Entrance to Prague Castle

Street musicians are a common sight, specially on the famous Charles bridge. Its so funny to see them suddenly break into a dance, even more funny when tourists join them, funniest when you find yourself doing the same. The guy in the middle reminds me of a Thom the gleeman (and if you are not an obsessed reader of the ‘Wheel of time’ series forget I mentioned that. You wouldn’t understand the reference)

Photography wasn’t allowed inside . Everyone read the sign and promptly fished out their cameras. Human mentality is something I’ll never understand. Most people were discussing the religious and historical aspect of the paintings and sculptures, but I was plainly admiring it for the artwork. Trust me these photos are nothing compared to what it looked like in reality.

Unfortunately we couldn’t enjoy any sunny weather that day. It was cloudy and there was a heavy rain (according to them) which was a mere drizzle (according to me). I thought European countries have their fair share of rain and wind but apparently none of them have ever seen anything like out tropical monsoons. The walk from the castle to charles bridge is spectacular. If you need a break from all the walking, all you need to do is pop into the first little cafe that you spot and grab a coffee and an authentic french pastry and munch your way forward!

Walking from Prague Castle to Charles Bridge – the touristy spots

Me and mom on Charles bridge!

Charles bridge needs no introduction. ‘Bridge’ is only a technical term for it. Its a link to both the sides of Prague, providing a fairytale view of the city’s skyline and the Vltava river beneath it. Its truly the center of the city. During the day there are throngs of people walking over it, sketch artists (who are pretty good!), souvenir shops and street musicians. If you happen to be there look out in particular for jazz bands who happen to be quite entertaining! It’s also one of those customary photo locations for post-wedding shoots. This couple (below) was the third we spotted that day on the bridge!

What to remember when in Prague:

  • Its ok to drink beer at 11a.m
  • Beer is cheaper than water
  • You can walk across Charles bridge on any evening and find something lovely happening
  • Almost everyday, somewhere in Prague, there’s a random festival happening with food and drink stalls
  • Public transportation is AMAZING!
And that brings us to the end of the first post in the series. Phew! Photo overload much? 

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Not so long ago, a great man with super powers, had a look at my horoscope and made a fabulous discovery and told my parents “You put a steering wheel in her hands, and she won’t return home for hours. She is independent and loves to travel”. Well, turns out its completely true (the great man is in fact a family friend quite adept at chalking out horoscopes and not just those marriage wala kind).


I love being at home but not as much as I love to travel. I hate going to the same place twice simply because there is so much more to cover and see, and so little time. If I had all the money in the world, I would spend it all on travel and even if I was broke, I would beg-borrow-steal and somehow travel. Some of us are born globetrotters (I mean how can you not love it?!). For a while I’ve been wanting to start a travel series on the blog, but was unsure of the kind of response it would have. But the urge to share my love for traveling was too overwhelming to be suppressed any longer.

Since we have all read enough of those what to see, where to eat, what to shop type posts, am only going to share my (mis)adventures! The series will include all the places that I’ve covered in the past and the ones I shall cover in the future. 

RLC – Diwali

Destiny, family, India, Indian wear, saree, story, thoughts
I can hear the loud bursts of crackers and I can see the sky light up with fireworks every few seconds as I sit on my bed typing out this post. Since the last two years it was a ‘green diwali’ at home. If I am being honest it was more because I was depressed and not at all in the mood for celebration rather than because of love towards the environment. Yes I am selfish. Aren’t we all?

The plan was the same this year too when my cousins landed with a HUGE bag of crackers. So I went ahead with participating in all the fun. Time to burn down the past and make way to a brighter future. Time to light diyas and ignite that little ray of hope inside me. Time to bid goodbye to all the bitterness, all the worries and all the pain. Its never too late to have a new beginning and this seemed like the perfect moment. To new beginnings! To new aspirations!
Very recently, a very special person in my life knocked some much needed sense and perspective into my life. When was the last time I truly lived every moment without any worry? When was the last time I let go of all my inhibitions and be myself? When was the last time I got lost in the present with no thought about the future? When was the last time I stopped to look at the simplicity in life? When was the last time I did what I was passionate about? When was the last time I was truly happy? When was the last time I trusted myself and my heart and my decision and went ahead without any hesitation? When was the last time I followed my instinct without a care about what people would say? When? 
At some point I even stopped being honest with myself. I tried to deny what I was feeling. I tried to lock it all up and move on. 
I am simple. I am plain hearted. But after a while I stopped being that person. I crave innocence, purity, honesty in everything including relationships. But I made everything complicated and painful. I see it all now. I am fiercely proud of the kind of person I’ve become thanks to all these circumstances in my life. I am not going to give this up, I am not going to let this person die at any cost now.

After an hour of bursting crackers, I went up to the terrace with my camera and simply started clicking pictures of the fireworks, lost in the moment. It felt so liberating. It took me 12years to feel that way but it was worth every bit of the effort. I’ll try my best to make this last but even if it doesn’t (in case Mr.Murphy has some plans of his own) it’ll still be worth it – worth because of that one overwhelming moment.

Let all our lives be filled with light and joy and brightness from today onwards!

1) Diyas 1 – to ignite your mind
2) Diyas 2 – to guide you on your way
3) Candles – to burn away the past
4) Living the moment
5) From behind the trees.

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The woes of being the youngest…

family, Humour, Look of the Day, story
Being the youngest in the family definitely has its advantages. You can be assured that you are going to be spoilt rotten by everyone. Any special occasion or festival at home that calls for making special dishes, your favorites are taken into consideration, and you are given the first choice. When you are hungry but not supposed to eat anything until the puja is over, there will definitely be someone who’d smuggle a couple of sweets for you to gorge on. Aunts and grandparents keep giving you cash as a gift even when you are 24 just because you are the youngest. Basically you become a spoilt brat and you have no regrets about it at all…

Its great except for one thing. Everybody older than you thinks that its their right to boss you around. It starts with ‘Go get me a glass of water’ or ‘Switch on the light for me’ and before you know it, some one yells for you when you are upstairs, in your bedroom, busy working and you rush down thinking its something important and urgent and you discover that you need to hand over the magazine that is lying (not even) two feet away from that person(Especially common when you annoying elder sisters or brothers).

Next you are made to look through the fourth drawer in the second cupboard, which is beside the computer desk in the bedroom, and search for a blue file which has a yellow envelope and bring it, while your sis/bro is sprawled on the couch with a laptop.

Because you are the youngest, you are supposed to be the most energetic. You are made to run up and down, left and right. Until you get dizzy and go backwards instead of forwards and all this with a smile on your face. No grumbling unless you want to face a lecture on how to behave. The moment a slight frown appears on my face or even the slightest sigh of exasperation escapes from my lips – am dead. ‘Am just asking you to help that’s all. Can’t you do that much?’ and it goes on and on and on until my brain switches off on its own.

I wonder how it would be to have a younger bro/sis. Although I have three cousins who are younger to me, I have no idea how to delegate tasks on boss them around. It doesn’t strike me until after I’ve finished the task that I could have asked one of them to do it. But then being pampered by one and all and getting your way almost all the time, is totally worth all this!

Look Of the Day :
The ‘belt’ was actually attached to another top which i hardly ever wear and it seemed too good to waste, so in my excitement I tore it off the other top (literally). Now I want the same belt in at least five different colours! Am still thinking if its possible to somehow make it.. ideas???

*Pictures have been removed due to personal reasons. Sorry for the inconvenience*

The travelling pair of jeans!

Look of the Day, story
Have you ever watched the movie Sisterhood of the traveling pants? The one where one pair of pants magically fits a group of friends? Not one of my favourites, but it always comes on those days when am at home instead of at work on a weekday. And since i am too happy to care, i end up watching it. Always.

The reason i mentioned it is that, this pair of pants(the one am wearing below) travelled across the world just like that. But its not magical, and it it fits no one except me. Its not that incredible looking either… so why all drama? Anyone who knows me (well enough) knows that i become attached to things at the most inappropriate times. Like when they are lost. Like that dress I kept eyeing everyday in the display window, and when I finally went in one day to buy it, it wasn’t in stock anymore. Or that last pair of black pumps on the sale rack which I thought will still be there while I checked out other items, and when I came back it was gone. You know the feeling right?

This was one such pair. The last time I wore it was two years back on a 3-day trip. We went trekking on the last day, and since we were getting late, we directly went from the trekking place to the station to catch our train back home. Once I got home, I threw them for wash and then they disappeared. Until then it was just another pair but suddenly it became ‘the pair’ I wanted to wear. I think I spent about two months searching all over the house, all over my cousin’s house (who also came to the trip with us), and even considered it being stolen! Finally it turned up a few months ago at another cousin’s place in Sydney. Don’t ask me how. Needless to say the first thing I did when I went to Sydney a few months back was to pack it safely at the bottom of my suitcase!

At around the same time I lost this pair of pants, I lost my most favourite black and grey shirt… which hasn’t yet turned up. But maybe it will turn up one day… somewhere in Europe maybe? Preferably a place i haven’t yet visited!

Rocking fun!

Fashion, Look of the Day, story
So i said in this post that the original idea was from my dad right. It was just after i joined my first job after graduation, way before i knew what style blogging was, and wayyyy before i knew that there were so many people blogging. Anyway, it seems i had one particular green dress which was supposedly my dad’s favourite. So one fine day as i was getting ready for office, he asked me about it. I had the appropriate shocked expression on my face. Whose dad notices dresses? Let alone the colour? Not mine for sure! I kept staring at him as he started describing the dress. It was green he said. Thats it.

I had no idea what he was talking about, but he had a brilliant idea. He went on to take a picture of me every single morning for the next 30 days in the hope that ill repeat the dress. Either i had more than 30 or i never had a green dress, and we dint find it…. Since then the idea of taking outfit pictures was in my mind, but i dint know what to do with all those pictures. Now i know. Now i have a blog 😀

Enough said.

I have never though of experimenting in the ‘bottoms’ department until now. Jeans are very uncomfortable for Indian summers and the only alternative i used to go for was usually skirts or dresses.
But when i saw this printed pant, kind of a mix between harem pants and leggings, i thought i’d give it a try!

p.s – You can follow me on facebook too!

Broken

creativity, story

” She laughed a wry laugh at the thought in her head. ‘If only i could die’. Certain stories did that to her. They reflected the pain that she felt, the stabbing fears, the raw, painful ache in her heart. It was so close to her story. No, she mused, it was her story. ‘If only i could die’. How many times was she going to wish for that? It was futile. because nothing of that sort was going to happen. Not even close. she’d be lucky if she got a scratch on her finger.

Certain stories…. she wondered why it had to be this way? Stories were after all simply that. Stories. Why should they affect her in a way so deep, that no human had ever affected. But then doesn’t every person have a story? What was the difference between this and that?  Fact and fiction.. who could determine it anyway. That thin line was always blurred in her case.

This particular one.. would remain etched in her memory for ever. She was reliving her pain through every sentence she read. It was always a wonder to her, as to how she could become so attached to a fictional character than a real person. She felt their pain, it tore her heart apart. She could feel their grief in her very bones. She had been through it. She had been through the worst. People said time heals, yes, just like in the book Time doesn’t heal. Not in all cases. Time passes. Even when it seems impossible. Even when each tick of the second hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise. It passes unevenly, in strange lurches and dragging pulls. But pass it does. Even for her.

She couldn’t leave the story in half. Her eyes moved over the lines, frantic. Her body stiff and tensed. Her mouth set in a grim line, accepting her fate which was making her go through it all over again, as she read the book. She din’t know how long she sat that way. Eyes feverently hoping for the kind of end that wouldn’t be possible. For the kind of twist in the story that would make it different from the one fate had dealt her with in real life.

Her body ached. There was an empty pit in her stomach and a hole in her chest. Like someone had punched right through. The more wrapped up she was in the story, the more she unwillingly remembered her own. The hole in her just grew bigger and emptier. She wrapped her arms tight around herself unconsciously and let the book slip from her hands. She felt like her insides were knotted . Her body again painfully tensed, why did she keep doing this to herself? Wasn’t it enough that she went through it once.

Once in a lifetime seemed sufficient. Yet there was an inexplicable force that drew her towards the story. It troubled her already fragile heart, but, she decided there was no way that a broken heart, a broken soul could break again. She was damaged, beyond repair. She gave in to the feeling. She fed on it. It kept her alive in a strange way. Even though she was continuously wishing for death. Yes death would be nothing, insignificant really, compared to what she was putting herself through.

She grew weary. Enough for today. She was going to have trouble sleeping tonight. Trouble with the dreams. Those dreadful dreams. The book lay by her side, neglected for once. She was too absorbed in her own thoughts, her own complex web of emotions. She curled into a tight ball and waited for the pain to wash over her. Her eyes stared into the darkness. Her face still like a statue carved from stone. And then it came. Pain, grief, sadness so powerful. She curled up on the bed, prepared for another night as tears poured down her cheeks silently.”

p.s – Dedicated to all those for whom books = life 🙂

Broken Image

books, story

*Warning – Any resemblance to characters/events in real life is purely coincidental. Consider this as pure fiction 🙂 *

She flew up the stairs trying to outrun all the screaming. The taunting little voice in her head spoke up. ‘You think you can run away? You think u can just drown that voice? You think u can run away from the truth? ‘. She took a deep breath, tried calming herself and slammed the door to her room. She had to do something but, now was not the time. She need to escape, not physically but mentally.  5 months had gone by. She was dreading the sixth but had no idea how she was going to escape it. Time wasn’t going to wait for anyone. Time…. she closed her eyes cursing herself. Time…. had been her best friend and her worst foe all these years. She dint want to think of the past. She wished she could shut it out.. out of her mind. She browsed through her perfectly written plans and schedules, as if an answer would spring to her from the pages. She turned the pages over, going through the meticulous planning she had done over the years.
Was it really over? She still had hope.. despite the turmoil that she was in. She dint want to let go… Time was flying by.. She sat there, silent, lost in thoughts… Was it really over??

                                                                   ************

So i gave in to my creative “story telling” side and this is an excerpt from.. well… lets say… my future novel.. 😉  It doesn’t have a story line yet . Only a tentative title… Lets see where it goes..!