Tuesday, June 30, 2015


We live in interesting times. We’re blessed that way.

The world is changing rapidly.

The way we work is changing, the way we live has already changed. Entire industries are crumbling, and more are growing on their ruins. People are empowered to express themselves, to create, to become a part of a global conversation and transformation, in a way that has never existed before.

What will you do with that?

What will your place be in this new, interesting world? Will you have a voice? Will you be a creator, or just a consumer?

Do something.

Do something interesting.

Be a part of the conversation, and say something remarkable. Create something unique, new, beautiful. Build upon the works of others and transform it into your own.

How to do this?

Write a book. Or an ebook. Write poetry and publish it on the web. Create interesting, lovely or funny videos, put them on You Tube. Be passionate. Write a web app that will solve a problem in people’s lives. Become a watchdog to replace the faltering newspapers. Explore the world, and blog about it. Try something you’ve always been afraid to try, and put it on video. Be yourself, loudly. Start a new company, doing only one thing, but doing it very well. Start a business that does a service you’ve always wanted, or that you are frustrated with in other companies because the service sucks. Put your heart into something. Say something that no one else dares to say. Do something others are afraid to do. Help someone no one else cares to help. Make the lives of others better. Make music that makes others want to weep, to laugh, to create. Inspire others by being inspiring. Teach young people to do amazing things. Write a play, get others to act in it, record it. Empower others to do things they’ve never been able to do before. Read, and read, and then write. Love, and love, and then help others to love. Do something good and ask others to pass it on. Be profound. Find focus in a world without it. Become minimalist in a world of dizzying complexity. Reach out to those who are frustrated, depressed, angry, confused, sad, hurt. Be the voice for those without one. Learn, do, then teach. Meet new people, become fast friends. Dare to be wrong. Take lots and lots of pictures. Explore new cultures. Be different. Paint a huge mural. Create a web comic. Be a dork, but do it boldly. Interview people. Observe people. Create new clothes. Take old stuff and make new stuff from it. Read weird stuff. Study the greats, and emulate them. Be interested in others. Surprise people. Start a blog, write at least a little each day. Cook great food, and share it. Be open-minded. Help someone else start a small business. Focus on less but do it better. Help others achieve their dreams. Put a smile on someone’s face, every day. Start an open-source project. Make a podcast. Start a movement. Be brave. Be honest. Be hilarious. Get really, really good at something. Practice a lot. A lot. Start now. Try.

I just read this recently on the Zenhabits blog and it gave me some mixed feelings. Part of me is tired of reading this. This constant telling us what to do. This constant need to sound clever.

But in other more important ways, it resonated with me in a way that I haven't felt in a while. It touched upon a conversation I've been having with myself for the last two months now, which is, am I doing enough with my life? As the saying goes, am I truly living the life I am capable of living? Am I doing enough? Am I learning enough? Am I challenging myself or am I coasting my way through? Am I improving anything around me - my desk, my home, the world? How am I leaving anybody/anything different after I've passed through?

In college, a professor often spoke of what he called the learning curve in life and it's stuck with me ever since then. I've measured every job I've ever had by the learning curve. Leaving when I felt the learning and the buzz were done. But only recently have I realised that I haven't applied the same as strictly to my personal life. I struggle to think of how I've bettered myself in terms of skills or talents or goals I've set myself in the last 4 years, ironically in jobs that have given me the most time to myself. For the longest time, I was obsessed with the idea of travelling the world and everything else around me fell to the wayside. The only skill I've added is that I've begun to cook and bake and I know it's something I enjoy.

So anyway here it goes. The list of what I'd like to accomplish this year in the six months that are left. Not to be the best at, but to learn and to do competently

  • Make a great cup of chai to satisfy the standards of my exacting family that expects perfection in every mug that's placed before them
  • Take a driving refresher course and drive, drive, drive. 
  • Join a gym and go regularly six days a week
  • Learn how to ice a chocolate cake
  • Establish a skin care routine and follow it dutifully 
  • Write, write, write. At least once a week on the blog 
  • Take an online course in something I really care
  • Complete the project I've been planning for my bedroom wall 

And most importantly of all, I need to remember that the results are not as important as the process

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Kindle vs Books

A few months ago, I sat with my BFFs (I think now might be the time to stop reading Cosmo) and we spoke late into the night about life, love and careers. What was going right and where we'd gone wrong. What needed major surgery and the bits that needed a little bit of tinkering. In the contentment of being all together after what felt like a long time. It didn't matter that it was 4 AM. It didn't matter that I had to be at work bright and early the next morning. I didn't even feel the ache in my bones or my eyes struggling to stay open. 

But that's not what this is about. A conversation came up in which I participated very little. It was about Kindles vs eBooks. Books are books, they said, Kindles are nothing. While I sat back chuckling to myself, what exactly were we arguing about here? I'd be the last person to tell you that Kindles are all good. I love old books and I love new ones. I love sinking my nose into the spine of a book and reveling in that smell only books have of parchment and ink.I spend way too much time and regularly shake out my purse to find the last few coins lurking at the bottom to buy another book I absolutely must have.

Seriously though, lately this is an argument I find myself involved in a regularity that never fails to astound me and since I'm far quieter and shyer in person than I am in writing, I just generally just clam up and let them ramble on.

So what I often want to tell everyone is, surely the important thing is that we're reading? It may not be exactly the same experience, but are they so radically different? Why are we arguing form over content?

I love my Kindle for many reasons. Mostly for the number of books I can stuff there which is especially a blessing when I'm travelling. For letting me read late at night. I spent a recent 16 hour flight to New York, reading, reading, reading. Plus the e-books are far cheaper and I can buy many more of them

Do I miss my hard copies, the feel of a page? Yes, of course, I do. I miss the crack of a book's spine, the wrinkles on the pages from bathtub steam, the margins I've written in, the things that spoke to me that I've highlighted. I like that they don't have a standardised font, that there is no homogenised cover

In an ideal world, where trees were plentiful enough to afford us the luxury of printed books and I lived in a huge spacious castle, and not in Bombay, I'd have only books, books, books everywhere, Stuffed into every nook and cranny, piled atop each other until they threatened to topple over and bury me under then.

Until then however, I'll use my Kindle happily and gladly. Because you know what? I'm READING and that's all that really matters.

"If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful. I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting. I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans. I get out of bed to trap them before they escape"
– Ray Bradbury

Saturday, November 15, 2014



I often repeat it over and over to myself. Trying perhaps to get myself to believe that I am actually this *old*. 

Such a nondescript number, 27. No one ever asks you what you did on your 27th birthday. Seven months since I turned 27 and I'm still reluctant to answer the question of how old I am. 

Perhaps it's because 27-year-olds are meant to have their lives sorted by now. Maybe I still haven't perfected that easy response to the investable question. 

At 27, I thought life would be different. I thought by now I'd have the man of my dreams by my side and we'd be living and building our forever right now. That I'd have the person I could see myself spending the rest of my life with. There have been boys - lovely, kind, interesting, handsome boys, but not THE ONE. Boys I've loved plenty, but not enough to walk off into the sunset with. 

Compromise? Don't comprise? Or that most favourite of Indian words, 'Adjust'. Should I? Why should I? What if I don't? 

Are my expectations of life too much? I have a job I love (mostly), friends I adore and I'm lucky to have, where our love and support for each other surmounts out frequent outbursts of temper. Okay fine: MY frequent outbursts of temper. People who will fight with me if they feel I am not fighting enough for myself. 

I've travelled so much this year. More than I dreamed of in my wildest dreams. To Ireland, London, Australia and New York and Washington. I've crossed much more of my bucket list this year than I ever have before.

And for all of that perhaps I should be grateful? So instead of whining, perhaps I should just focus on the sunshine and ignore the clouds. That what has to happen, will. 

27. The year where I learn I cannot have it all. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The year that was

Ah, 2013.

Where do I begin, but I think I can safely say that I am rather glad to see the back of you.

You've been a tough year. To borrow a phrase, from the Queen, my "annus horribilis." It was the year of self-introspection when I realised several rather discomfiting facts about myself, that were hard to take and even more difficult to accept and understand. But more on that later.

In my work life though, 2013 has been a mixed bag. I left a job I adored for another very similar one, only to realise how different organisations can be. From the first moment to the last of those miserable seven months I spent there, I can't say that I ever truly felt happy or free. So I did what family and friends told me was foolhardy in the extreme, I upped and quit and refused to put myself through that rigmarole for another day.

One month of unemployment later, I found a new job. One that entailed me making a switch from journalism to marketing. It gave me the clarity to know that I'm okay with leaving journalism but not the tourism industry and that made it all much simpler.

The new job has been easy and it's been very very hard, to leave something I knew I could do competently to something where I sometimes feel completely out of depth and have to duck my head under and take a deep breath. But I know that I can do this,  I just have to work harder and keep at it and when I go home at night, I exhale and know that I enjoy this and what more could I ask out of any job than this?

That month of unemployment though was crippled with gut-wrenching anxiety and waves of panic that would surface before I went to bed and crush me down when I opened my eyes in the morning. And no matter how much, well-meaning friends and family told me to breathe, that I wouldn't be jobless forever, that something would come along and even if it didn't, I had plenty of fallback options, that I have a roof over my head and three meals on the table and that I should just 'RELAX, GODDAMMIT!' I still couldn't let go. I couldn't ease up on myself and it was only when I had a firm offer for a job that I could feel the tight knot inside of me unwind slowly.

But with it, came the realisation that I had somewhere along the line evolved from being the most laid-back person my friends have ever claimed to meet to a control freak! And as I cam to terms with this uncomfortable home truth, I realised it is also in my personal life that I'm unwilling to let go and trust to the fates that what has to happen will.

So of all the things, I have planned for 2014. Of all my resolutions both big and small, this is perhaps my most important one of them all that I release myself from the pressures I put myself under. To stop analysing and over-thinking and weighing the pros and cons before I do anything. That sometimes it's a good thing to take that leap of faith, stare down the barrel of the gun, pee into the wind...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


*Image off Pinterest

just don't have the same magic.

“Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.” - Stephen Fry