The Cafe

He had noticed her the moment he entered the cafe. She was sitting on one of those large comfy chairs with her laptop in her lap. The 3 empty cups and a plate on her table indicated that she had been sitting here for quite some time now. She sipped ice tea while staring at her laptop.

In this crowded place, she seemed oblivious to anybody around her. Headphones in her ears, she looked like she had cut off from the world around her.

He forgot about his own laptop opened in front of him.

Dark ebony hair curled wildly around her face. She had loosely tied a section of it away from her face. Plain white shirt and blue jeans worn with pink Jutti’s. She wasn’t one of the many girls around him who hid behind layers of foundations, mascara, eyeliner and what not. He could not see any trace of makeup on her face.

She occasionally smiled at her laptop screen. Maybe she was watching a movie or some sitcom rerun. And her smile tugged at that place in his heart which he had long forgotten.

Her eye’s twinkled when she smiled and it made his heart jump. He wondered what she was watching on the laptop of hers which made her smile so prettily.

She was not a conventional beauty, but there was something about her that made you want to keep looking at her.

He could have watched her sitting there all day if she had not shut down her laptop, put it back in her rucksack and started to walk away.

He immediately looked down at his laptop, afraid that he would be caught staring.

Her every move towards him increased his heartbeat. He would never have had the courage to look up at her if she had suddenly not stopped right in front of him.

“If you talk as brilliantly as you stare, then do give me a call”, she said while slipping her card on his table.

She smiled that angelic smile of hers, winked mischievously at him and left the place, leaving behind a strong whiff of her jasmine perfume.

And all he could do was stare dumbfounded at her walking away while he silently blessed his stars.

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Embracing My Flaws

Get flawless skin with just one swipe of the miracle foundation. It reduces the appearance of pores and blemishes and makes you look up to 5 years younger.”

I’m sure all of you have at some time or the other heard these lines on the TV or radio. Or maybe read them in some fashion magazine with the close up photograph of a model or actress’s face whose skin looks so smooth that you could ski down her cheeks!

Flawless skin.  Which woman does not want that? Glowing, flawless skin and a complexion so fair that other women envy you.

And in this age of cosmetics and make up, it really isn’t a tough job to get that perfect skin, sultry lips and magnetic eyes.

All you need to do is rush to your nearest mall and get a handful of cosmetics. Then come back home and go through the endless make up tutorials on YouTube that would teach you how to get that flawless look with all these cosmetics. And then go color your face as if it was a blank canvas.

I’ve seen women with layers of make up, who look so flawless that I sometimes wonder if their skin has ever been exposed to natural light and air without a barrier of foundation and powder!

And the best thing I’ve seen online is the makeup tutorial for “A no makeup natural look”. This woman used a bunch of foundations and concealers and what not to make her face look like she had flawless skin without any make up!!

I might sound old school but I would rather eat healthy and treat my skin with natural stuff like turmeric and sandalwood so that it naturally looks healthy and bright rather than slather on some foundation and powder and look “Fake Flawless”.

This is also because I have a very sensitive skin that tends to react to anything I use on it. I can barely find a decent moisturizer that won’t give me rashes.

But recently with the help of my friends who are into makeup and stuff, I’ve found some make up brands that don’t break my skin. So after spending nearly 2 decades of my life without any make up, I’ve found stuff which has a little less harsh chemicals.

Yes, I’m really happy with my finds and I have learned how to use all this makeup, but something inside me just does not allow me to get into this routine of slathering my face every day with all this stuff.  Sometimes for special occasions yes, but not every day.

Because all this make up and looking pretty is just on the exterior.  Every day when you come home and remove all these layers, you see the real you in the mirror. The dark circles, the blemishes, the scars. I know it would break my heart to see myself going from fab to drab.

And what if people get so used to looking at me with make up on that someday when they see me without even a scrap of makeup on my face, they fail to recognize me!!

This is not the fruit of my wild imagination. I’ve seen women who without make up almost look like they’re unwell. And that’s because I was so used to seeing them with so much mascara and eyeliner and foundations and what not, that without any make up, the perfect image kind of shattered.

Isn’t it more practical and healthy that instead of hiding beneath all these layers, we confront our imperfections and embrace them? And then try to internally correct them through a healthier lifestyle?

I go to work every day with just a sun screen on my face. Though for me it was because I could never use any make up, I found out that I’m far more confident with a bare face than most other girls my age. I don’t need some cosmetics to help me look and feel beautiful.

My sensitive skin turned out to be the biggest blessing in disguise for me. Because I’ve realized that I’d rather be bare faced and look weird than depend on some cosmetics to take me towards temporary perfection.

The only important thing is that you love yourself. If you fall in love with your flaws, you realize that these flaws, are big part of your personality. Physically as well and emotionally. And once you embrace your imperfections, you’ll see how beautiful you are.

 

The Perfect Dress

So my sister recently announced her intention to get married and brought her boyfriend home to introduce him to the family. The boy was approved and his family declared as most decent.

Now three months later, after all the excitement and tears of joy, we are all bracing ourselves for the big day.

There are lots of functions that are going to take place before we reach the finish line of The Great Indian Wedding Drama.

The first one of these is the engagement ceremony.

It’s basically just exchanging rings and introducing the bride and the groom to the entire extended khandaan of both the families.

Slowly but surely the things are being crossed out from the ‘Things To Do’ list. The venue is finalized, talks with the caterers are on, designs for the rings are being browsed through and the bride to be is out shopping every weekend to find that perfect dress.

And this is when we come to the most important part of the entire drama. Well the most important part for me.

The dress.

That is what we are all waiting for. Well ‘we’ as in me and all the girls and women in the family. Ladies seldom have much interest in anything else other than clothes. And we are no different.

Everybody is planning and prodding and searching for what they want to wear. It’s the first wedding of the family and the excitement is almost killing us.

Though I’m not so much into clothes and dressing up but I’m equally pumped to find something appropriate to wear. It should be wow enough to make me look like the sister of the bride, but not so wow that it overpowers the brides dress.

And If I know my sister, who hates anything shiny, glittery, heavy, and basically anything that makes you look like an Indian bride, she’s going to pick out something really simple and understated.

And my love for bright pop colors may make me look overdressed in front of her.

Designer boutiques, local shops, Pinterest, Google, my mom’s sari collection, I’ve gone through it all.

I’ve shortlisted a few dresses but I’m still confused. Everything I’ve selected has either glitter or pop colors. And my sister might just pick out something in a pretty pastel color! This thought is driving me nuts!

I usually don’t care about the latest trends, fashion and stuff like this and wear whatever I like. If I’m happy and comfortable with what I’m wearing, I won’t give a damn to what others think.

But to overpower my very own sister on her engagement is not where I want to tread.

So now I’m running to every market in Delhi in sweltering heat to find that perfect dress for me.

And it’s turning out to be one hell of a job.

 

Beauty of a woman

Beauty is a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure or satisfaction. Beauty is studied as part of aesthetics, sociology, social psychology and culture. An “ideal beauty” is an entity which is admired, or possesses features widely attributed to beauty in a particular culture, for perfection.

That is how wikipedia defines beauty. To be frank all this went just went over my head. I mean how can beauty be something so complicated?

Isn’t beauty something serene and exquisite. Something that touches your soul and stays with you forever in your heart?  Like the beauty of a baby who looks at you with his big eyes so innocently that you wonder how can something so innocent and pure be in your arms in a world where it’s hard to sometimes find a single person who is even true to himself.

And when it come to the physical beauty of a woman, I’m partial towards the Indian woman. I know it’s a biased view but I’ve always felt that the Indian woman somehow stand out.

The deep set almond shaped eyes lined with kohl that mesmerise you.

The Bindi’s in different designs in the middle of the eyebrows.

The perfectly draped sari’s around their bodies in vibrant colours. Or the salwar suits that are worn with bright dupatta.

The elaborately embroidered jutis in their feet.

The long black tresses, woven into braids that touch their waists. The sweet smelling flowers that adorn them.

The jingling glass bangles on their arms that call attention to themselves every time the hands move.

Henna on their hands where the names of their husbands are hidden in the designs.

The jhumkas in their ear’s that sway with every movement.

Yes, the Indian woman in all her traditional form can be so magnificent that nothing in the world can ever come close to this beauty of her.

Trying To Be A Swan

I have always been a a tomboy. I don’t remember when was the last time when I tried to synchronise my hair and clothes. So that means I’m always in a messy state with my hair tied up in a tight braid so that they stay away from my face and my clothes always picked up from the boys section, because lets admit it, boy’s clothing are designed for comfort!

Even when I’m in office, I dress up like really casually without bothering to even use a lip balm!

But now for the past few days, all my friends have started suggesting me that I need to get into the girly mode because if I ever want to get into the dating scene, being girly would help me go a long way. I argued that if a guy does not like me the way I am then he is definitely not the kind of person I would ever want to be with. But I do agree with them that I need to refine myself and be a little more sophisticated. 

So now I’m facing the dilemma of how to get into the breezy mode after being in the hurricane mode all my life.

So this weekend I sat down to jot down a list of stuff that I need to do to get myself into this classy and sophisticated mode.

Here’s all that I could think of to get a little more polished-

1. Learn how to walk without tripping or banging into stuff. In short stop walking like a hurricane just entered the premises.

2. Start taking care of my skin. Now I have no idea how to do that. I have a super       sensitive skin that reacts even to the mildest of moisturisers. I even wash my face with sandalwood paste and rose water because I can’t use any face wash. Therefore I can’t use any sun block and I always end up with a really tanned skin. 😦

3. Try a different hairstyle- I need to get rid of the boring braids and do something new with my hair. I’v searched every possible hairstyle that Google could offer me and have realised it is too much of work!! All I can do is shampoo and condition them and hope that they behave.

4. Get some girly clothes- Though I’m never going to get rid of my hoodies and sweatshirts, I will try and get some feminine looking clothes from the women’s section. (I nearly always buy clothes from the men’s section. The small size fits me and they are super duper comfortable! Alas! I won’t be doing that much any more)

5.I could say that I should use some make up but my sensitive skin just does not agree with it.

6. Use a nice signature scent. I usually end up using deodorants meant for men. 😛 . In my defence, I like strong smells. But I guess I’l go and get a ‘femininely strong scent’.

7. Accessories- I guess I’l have to replace my Ray Ban aviators and converse sneakers with….ummm….Ray Ban aviators(I will never part with them) and ballerina’s??

8. Try and talk softly. I am a true blue Punjabi, and Punjabi’s are loud! I can try and tone down the volume a little but that’s about it. I can never let go of the ‘Punjaban’ in me.

9. Try and keep calm and don’t loose your temper- I have a very short temper. And when I lose it, all hell breaks lose. I guess I need to get that under control and be more composed.

10. Last and not the least, I could just ditch the above list and remain as I am.

Ok. No.*Take a deep breath* I have to get a little polished. Maybe I’l just go with the hair and clothes thing. And maybe the temper also. Oh forget it, I’l try and do the entire list and see what becomes of me!