Anniversary Letters to Rahul | 3

Keeping up with my procrastination tradition, writing this 3 days after my wedding anniversary. πŸ™ˆ

Also, i think it’s going to be more of a blog post this year than a letter form. As i think i am addressing it more as a broadcast message, rather than a letter to him. Does this mean i should change the tradition to make it more private? I don’t know, we will see that next year.

So, i was discussing with Rahul what to write to him this year as otherwise it may end up similar to last year and he just randomly mentioned a gibberish point i should highlight – this year I started wearing leopard print pyjamas! Totally unrelated, but i got gifted a set of animal print pyjamas by someone on my anniversary and i didn’t have the heart to tell them to exchange it. Also, i was in need of new night wear so i just went ahead with wearing it. As you may have guessed, i hate animal prints, so it’s quite a new thing for me and Rahul made sure to highlight it as a “new” thing. That boy noticing clothes or the discomfort with them is a big and fun deal! πŸ˜€

Gibberish aside, it’s worth mentioning few things i cherish the most in this relationship. So, here’s to that:

1. I feel like the luckiest person when I realize that for helping each other’s growth as we physically grow in age, we are okay to critique anything we notice the other doing wrong. I know it sounds petty that I noticed it by observing other people when they kind of continue entertaining their partners immaturity to avoid confrontation, but it still made me be thankful for the honesty in this relationship.

2. Despite the first point, i know you will always be there to calm me when even something totally irrational is bothering me. Of course, you will have to hear it from me that you are not empathetic as you don’t relate, but then it must be even more difficult for someone to do what you do when you don’t relate.

3. I am more than grateful for all the trips we took together. The means to take them, the fact that we managed to do some of those on whim and the rest, just truly grateful. Only a side note for you – be as excited as me about food πŸ˜€

4. Just like last year, it’s important to mention what truly makes my life better. It sounds very text book like, but it’s true that the little things on a daily basis is what matters – walks at night, snatching common time during office hours to grab a cup of tea together, oiling each other’s hair, watching stuff together.

5. as i keep saying this like a broken record, super proud of you for being comfortable in your own skin. Standing up for things you believe in always, even if it makes someone judge you. I love you so much for this and learn from it big time.

6. Last but not the least, appreciate you acknowledging that the social conditioning of not considering house work equally important for men is so fucking wrong and despite the conditioning you have got at your own home, you are actively trying to change it. I know I never fail to bring up any flaws on this bit, but hopefully we will both grow together in this department.

I love you so much. That’s the summary. πŸ™‚

If you liked this, check out more of my latest posts:

5 Planner and Calendar Recommendations for 2022!

Many of us are into buying pretty calendars and planners on new year these days. I mean I know its an old tradition but its got an all-new vigour due to so many upcoming artists on social media. This post is more for me than you, basically I wanted to jot down all the options I am considering for a desk calendar and thought it may help someone else too. I know we are late for buying a new year calendar, but, what the heck! Its never too late. πŸ™‚

Also, a word of caution – I am totally against buying anything one may not need, so only consider this list accordingly. For example, I am not buying a planner this year because, a) I have pretty notebooks that I am going to use, b) those pretty, bulky yearly planners get too much for me, I hardly end up using them even 25% and I have so many stickers already from my 2019 & 2021 Alicia Souza planners.

Starting my list of recommendations, a mix of planners & calendars both:

  1. The Spring Palette 2022 Calendars: My #1 recommendation as I am most likely going to get this desk calendar myself. I love this artist’s aesthetic so much and she even has notebooks, coffee mugs and a lot of other such stuff. You can find her on Instagram to shop from her website too.
2022 Positivity Desk Calendar by The Spring Palette | Table Top/Office Desk Calendar | Inspirational and self Motivation Illustrations | Perfect for Gifting

2. Odd Giraffe Planners & Notebooks: I have personally not used an Odd Giraffe Planner before, but whenever I have seen other people on social media use it, it seems like a very snug & compact form of the pretty, bulky planners. The quality seems to be great too. So, you can completely consider it if you were thinking of buying a pretty planner this year.

Odd Giraffe – Summertime Blossom | Yearly Planner with Sticker Sheet and Secret Pocket | 2022 Planner Diary | Made with Recycled Paper

3. Happy Wagon Devinity Desk Calendar: Happy Wagon as a company is doing a great job at giving platform to upcoming illustrationists and artists and their website has a ton of good stationary items. This one is a personal favorite! Look how cute and pretty it is for someone who appreciates a calendar with Indian Gods & Goddesses. Extremely worthy of a gift!

Happy Wagon | 2022 Devinity Desk Calendar | Gold Spiral Bound | Tracking & Scheduling | 12 Months | 270 GSM Sheets | 22 x 15 cm | Hand Illustrations – Digitally Printed

4. Lazy Gardener Desk Calendar: Again something worthy of gifting depending on someone’s interest. I love this kind of comics style aesthetic and I am considering this calendar for myself now although I am not that much into gardening right now.

Lazy Gardener Calendar 2022 Desk for Plant Lovers, Gardening Inspired Calendar for Desk

5. Amazon Planner: If you are anything like me now and want to go for simplistic notebooks as planners, which are easier to carry and don’t have a lot of fancy stuff going on while being pretty, you can definitely consider this one. In case you wanted to know, I am not using a dated planner this year since I don’t do a lot of daily to do lists, but rather random, flexible lists. So, I’ll stick to filling up my existing notebooks first and then move to either a notebook I got myself from Darjeeling or a handmade notebook a friend got me from Nepal.

Amazon Brand – Solimo – A5 Premium 2022 Planner (5.75 x 8.25 inches), 216 pages, 80 GSM (One Day At A Time)

Apart from all these, I highly recommend calendars by Bhuli Art & Neha Doodles, but mostly those go out of stock before the year even starts. You can go to their individual Instagram pages to see if they are still available for purchase.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase by clicking on them, I may earn a commission. If you intend on purchasing these products, please click on my links (or images) and then make a purchase from there. πŸ™‚

If you liked this, check out more of my latest posts:

Why are women always angry? | Blogmas 10

Please note all exhibits are inspired by real events keeping in mind only financially independent women. I am not even talking about the rest, the bigger chunk. That is upto your imagination.

Exhibit 1: You are a married Indian woman who is at her parents place along with your husband. Thankfully, in my generation, at least in the social circles that I am part of, its not so taboo among my male friends to stay at their wife’s parental home for a considerable time. Of course, I know this is a very small section of society. Actually, this should have been exhibit 1. How its totally not okay for a man to be living with his wife’s parents while, on the other hand, its totally not okay for a woman to want to not live with her husband’s parents. Anyhow, moving on to my actual exhibit 1. So, you are at your parental home with your husband. Do you think anybody in your family would mind if he doesn’t help out with house chores? Do you think anybody would expect him to know where a certain thing is kept in the house? At best, they would mind why are you two not going back to your own home, whatever that means. Now, reverse the situation. You are at your man’s parental home, or since I mentioned you are an Indian married woman, you might be living with them. Do you think people WON’T expect you to know in a few days of your entering the household where the salt is kept?

Exhibit 2: Below is an email my female friend & her mail colleagues received from their boss on the office email. Some context – she is part of a team where she is the only woman & the client group this boss is referring to is an all-women gang. In the last sentence, what is he trying to get at – everyone marked on the email would agree except her as she is a woman (I have hidden her name). To think, this happened on a public AND official platform and my friend’s reactions to her slightly apologetic & awkward after this male colleagues had to be warm enough to not sound like an overtly offense taking, dramatic person. Does it sound completely normal that the onus of making the situation ‘chill’ lies on the one who had been subjected to a gender level standardization? And what if she wanted to make a hue and cry about it? She is playing the woman card or the victim card. And why exactly would that be wrong, I ask. If gender level standardization is completely normal, then it should be culturally accepted that all of us will and should play the woman card at any given chance.

Exhibit 3: You are on the road trying to park your car while some jerk enters the parking spot out of nowhere. Pretty common sight in North India. What would you abuse about in the car? How “people” in North India are <insert expletives here> What if it was a woman? You would be saying – of course, stupid behavior was expected as its a woman driver. Just on the side, because this exhibit made me recall a certain post on social media, delve deeper into why women are less confident while driving.

I am not going to add anything after these exhibits, as more than enough has been said better than I could ever say on this topic. I just had rage inside and wanted to address when people casually remark about women being difficult beings. Why are women always angry?

As if, social conditioning has nothing to do with it. πŸ™‚ As a 30 year old man in India, if your mom doesn’t even expect you to take care of your dirty underwear yourself (she probably doesn’t expect that from your dad either – see what I did there?), I don’t think the man-child in you is assimilating things as they are. Be a man (i.e. sensitive & empathetic to other genders including women) while keeping the child in you alive, not a man-child. πŸ™‚

Love for Bloggers from my old days | Blogmas 8

I have done a similar post in the past. There are some bloggers that I came across in my old days of blogging which don’t post a lot anymore but i go and revisit their blogs every now and then.

I will be doing a post for the new blogs that I have discovered too, but to be honest, I haven’t really been that active in finding new blogs. However, I still got lucky with some that I absolutely love reading.

The list obviously has to begin with two of my favorites which I have already written about:

A Splash of my Life: its a funny story how I found her. In the comments section of a really popular blog. If you guys follow WedmeGood, you may know that the founder had a personal blog earlier for beauty & makeup. Which reminds me, I should put that also in this list. πŸ™‚ Our girl Princess Butter (That’s what she calls herself on A Splash of my Life) had commented something and I ended up clicking on her blog. I love how funny she is and how she puts a fun spin on everything she writes about. I wish she would write more. I now know her real name but I like to address her as PB even when I am talking to her offline. πŸ™‚

A Dash of Pepper: I love the way she writes. I found her via the above blog and have been hooked since. She is not super regular but gives an appearance on the blog every now and then and I am living for it. I also realize just how many life events I have seen for these two blog owners. Isn’t that a great thing?

Peaches & Blush: This is the founder of Wedmegood. I have been reading this blog of her since I got into blogging. A little note – How I discovered the world of blogging was in 2011 when I searched for best Kajals in India (more on this coming soon). Hence, I landed up on a lot of beauty blogs at that time so my first intro to blogging was beauty blogs. One that stood out for me was Peaches & Blush and even now I love going back to her old posts, although she has almost completely stopped writing here. Her bridal series became a huge hit and that’s how she started Wedmegood.

Keira Lennox: One of the few in this list who continue to post. She is a lifestyle blogger and its sometimes difficult for me to like content of lifestyle bloggers outside of India as it may not be relatable but I love her content & her journey.

Know-All’s Box: One person I loved interacting online, he found my blog first I guess. Usually I am not into photography blogs but his photographs are just beyond ethereal. I wish he hadn’t stopped posting. He posts a little more regularly on Instagram but I definitely miss his presence on WordPress.

Nishita’s Rants & Raves: Another on this list who continues to post regularly, thankfully. I don’t remember how I found her, it would have been something to do with a bookish post. However, her blog is pretty diverse. She covers a lot of topics but the most I love are books and, more than that, her family & travel stories. Funny thing – both of us feel when reading each other’s post that its so good to be reading someone’s post whom you have been following since a long, long time.

Blush Canvas: She writes mostly about high end makeup and I enjoy her aesthetically done blog & beautiful pictures. She does make an appearance every once in a while but its super rare and irregular. :/

Shoestring Style: I wish I could write in as many words just how much I miss this blog. The girl who owned this blog, Shivani Dogra, is an interior designer and if you just Google this name, you would come across multiple publications of her work & her own design studio’s website. If you end up liking her aesthetic, you would understand why I miss her blog posts. Those posts were on her personal style but with this aesthetic. I mean, I can’t even begin on how much I loved it! I just did a quick Google search and I am now going to go through her interviews on various publications! πŸ˜€

What I was doing when I wasn’t doomscrolling

This is about the time before I got Covid and when the second wave just started in India. I would say I consider this period as beginning of April. (I know I sound like this was millions of years ago. But, honestly, sometimes this all just feels like it’s a movie we are watching, happening to someone else sorts).

This is the time when gradually it started happening to your family members, or someone in your immediate circles, and, in most cases, to entire families. The best thing that could happen to most of us at this point was get recovered at home without having to hunt for hospitalization and most of us have nothing but immense gratitude for that. Most of us also have a close one who had to get hospitalized or a family member lost. So many people are arranging for covid meals in their localities to help out those affected and social media became the go-to place for finding medicines, hospitals and what not! (Something that infuriates most of us but it is what it is).

My cousin’s wedding was also planned for 25th April and honestly I find it funny now how the situation for our family was only worsening as his wedding drew closer. Anyhow, he went ahead with the wedding with just parents being there and all.

Anyhow, I didn’t intend this to be a post about the scary situation in India but I just wanted to share some little things that helped me have a less anxious state during those days (and even now) when social media is abuzz with remdisivir requests, hospital hunting etc. You are either helping amplify these requests, or God forbid, hunting yourself for these or just completely off social media to let your mind have some sense of peace.

And these are the things I was doing (or I am doing) when I am not doomscrolling these social media posts (of course, I meant apart from work and home chores) –

1. This blue tokai coffee and my favorite things ever – chips
Self-explanatory. And yes, I want to change the habit of having too many chips. But there’s nothing I love more when it comes to food πŸ˜€ I cannot imagine life without chips. Also, guys, it doesn’t mean I don’t eat fruit etc. πŸ˜€ I just mean to point out that chips make my day infinitely better. Infinitely. Lastly, not recommended, chips is Extremely bad for health due to added sugar and sodium content. How I try to compensate is by not having refined sugar in any other form most of the times but it’s still not right to have chips daily! :/

2. Coloring Books
Adult coloring books have been a thing for few years now and art is therapy anyway. But I started using adult coloring books since a year back and only recently did I use them to such an extent (daily or alternate daily). To be honest, I didn’t feel as much happiness as I expected but it sure is a great way to be more mindful – focussed at one thing, being in the moment and visualising colors. I also tried drawing something even though I am not good at it and that also brought me calm.

I follow this artist @bhuli.art whose art I tried to recreate myself (picture below).

3. Cooking

This is still a home chore and, of course, you dont feel like moving your a** for every meal but, in general, cooking (and eatingπŸ˜€) brings me a lot of mindfulness.

Tried making sun dried tomatoes too!

4. Dancing
Just 2 days before I got Covid, I had decided to try doing this daily like I used to as a kid on Bollywood numbers. This was turning out to be a really fun thing because I enjoy dancing and I find it hard to stick to other workouts (I know it doesn’t have the same impact and I should have a proper workout regime, but something is better than nothing). It only happened for 2 days after which I got sick but this was fun!

5. Deep Breaths
In the pre-covid era, I used to do this once or twice everytime I got anxious in day to day activities like, you know, when you are angry at the cab driver, people in your office. Oh man! This seems like a different lifetime already! However, now I practise deep breaths daily as part of using a meditation app (it’s called ‘Calm’ in case you want to check out, I get the premium version from my employer). I am still not good with meditation but I want to make it a habit and this focusing on breaths make it easier and more doable for me.

6. Young Sheldon and The Big Bang Theory
These two felt like a warm hug while I had Covid just like watching ‘Friends’ feels to most of us. Just this time, I didn’t want to watch Friends because that’s what I am anyway watching all the time. Or, the US Office.

7. Reading
I hope it’s obvious to the regular readers of this space why this is the last point. 😊 This is a constant in my life and these days when I come across other people mentioning that reading is helping them so much in coping up, since it truly feels like an escape, I don’t know, my heart just becomes full. I am not focusing a lot these days on stepping out of my comfort zone in reading, which is why on the number of books scale, I am doing good this year for my standards, even though I read pretty less each day. However, I should (as I always say) need to read more informative stuff but I’ll get there. I am just happy that there’s something called reading that exists in this world.

If you are reading this, would love to know the little things that are helping you stay sane these days. Do share with me!

38 | Rains

Just now, as I sit in the bedroom listening to splitter-splatter of raindrops in my balcony and around, I wish I could curl up with you, a good book and some hot snacks & beverage. πŸ™‚

So much for always saying that I don’t understand what’s so romantic about rains really!