A year and a half ago, I was asked to describe myself as a writer during a team writing workshop held by my then-boss. This is what I penned down.
I often find myself wondering if writing is all I truly have to offer to this world. Or maybe I’ve been asking myself the wrong questions all along.
Q: Who am I as a writer?
A: To be fairly honest and precise: Insecure. It is a strange sort of a relationship where writing makes me incredibly nervous. So, I know what you’re thinking, why would I pursue something that terrifies me? Well, because it’s the very thing that simultaneously brings me peace. And isn’t that what we are all eventually after?
I am one half of a two member editorial and content development studio called The Short Staff. As a full-time freelance writer and editor, I contribute to a bunch of print and digital publications including DNA India’s DNA Money supplement. Here’s a article that was published on May 5, 2017. Here’s an excerpt and the link to the full article.
As fate of the Kohinoor continues to be a giant question mark, this April, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) announced the homecoming of over a hundred antique pieces stolen and smuggled out of the country. As the interest in Indian antiques surges, auction houses, dealers and stores dealing with antiquities, vintage items and collectables are garnering new-found interest.
International auction house Saffronart’s CEO Hugo Weihe points out, “It’s one area that has seen enormous growth in the past few years. But it’s quite undervalued, in more senses than one. India has an extraordinary heritage of 5,000 years or more and it has really been overlooked.” Saffronart holds live and online auctions of modern, contemporary and classical Indian art as well as offers services like art advisory, appraisals and valuations, and specialised art storage. Viewed on web and smartphones, their online auctions have seen sizeable activities and also exposes a larger, newer audience to the art of collecting rarities. Adapting to this democratic new medium makes auctions hugely accessible.
I’ve been cleaning out my closet… not figuratively, quite literally. I’ve been physically going through all the crap I’ve accumulated over 28 years of living. I’ll be moving out soon and I find myself holding on this aforementioned crap harder than ever. I haven’t even packed a little because the hoarding is a genuine problem.
Hoarding is also amazing. I’ve found so many forgotten things including a long exercise book. It’s hardbound and horrendous looking in green and yellow. Inside are meticulously number poems and self-pep talks from a teenage me. As I sat crossed leg on the cold floor of my lil’ bedroom, I flipped through pages of a young girl I don’t remember but somewhat recognise. It’s a fairly angst filled except I don’t remember the backstory/inspiration of each poem. I barely even remember who it’s for.
Want to hear the best part? It doesn’t matter anyway. It’s for me and now as I share this petite poem on this tiny blog… it’s for you.
I did it. I moved from the painful clutches of Blogger.com to semi-painful WordPress.com. I’m still not sure how right or wrong the decision was. All I know is right now, I’m not equipped to handle WordPress.org and the .com version allows me some time to concentrate less on the backend and more on the front.
This year is going to be epic. I’ve recently joined the Full-time Blogger and Freelance Writer and whatever-fun-things-come-my-way club. I’ve been in it for a grand total of 2 days and it’s been busy, liberating and even a little scary. As I mentioned in my recent Instagram post, this is perhaps the riskiest thing I’ve ever done. That’s part sad to think I haven’t done anything risky and also amazing because there’s always a start.
There’s a lot on the cards for 2017 – so many changes, so much evolution. For starters, I figured Slow Motion Thoughts ought to get a facelift too. Although I didn’t have the liberty to choose my own template from the web (WordPress.com doesn’t let you do that), I picked this particular pre-loaded theme Toujours. I love how it embraces negative space and totally resonates with my current fave aesthetic of minimalism.
I don’t have Photoshop or image editing softwares, so when I needed to work on the Site Title and Site Icon, I found myself on this web editor called Fotor. It has an odd URL with H5 in it but it’s totally legit. A few hours looking for free vector online (in jpeg and not ai) and chewing the brains of my Designer friends (Sirawon & Ayushi), resulted in this.
One of a five part blog series, these decor secrets will make you feeling rich… with information.
Quick and cost effective way of refresh a bedroom?Updating the bed linen and adding plenty of cushions and throws.
Measurements matter. Before buying any piece of furniture, check how much space it will take. To do this, take a piece of newspaper and make a template of the item. Place the template on the floor and fix it with masking tape to see if the dimensions work with your existing furniture.
Accent colours can be used as complementary colours. Use bright and vibrant hues in small quantities for that “wow factor”. Try to keep most of your room in tones and shades of a single colour, then pick out a few objects that can be in the accent colour.
Furniture with mirrored surfaces bounce light around and make a room look larger than it already is.
Interior design books are full of huge sofas that look great but in a small room they can be very overwhelming and might make a room look and feel tiny.
Ah, the dread. A relative decides she wants to behold your beautiful face and says she’ll drop by soon or the husband calls and casually drops a bomb about his colleagues visiting or you entirely forgot that you called work friends over for tea. As you rack your overworked mind with all failed excuses you can use to get out of this predicament, a silent realisation sinks in. The house is in a complete mess. Panic, you will and rightly so but we suggest you keep the “why me?” wailing session short and crisp. A quick clean-up is on the charts and you are your own help. Good thing you have us to walk you through it.
THE BEDROOM TREATY
Start with reminding yourself the best news of the day: Your unexpected guests are not going to set foot in the bedroom. This realisation will set you free, calm those nerves and bring out the sly evil in you! You thought right, the bedrooms can be utterly ignored and utilised as temporary dumping grounds (Insert: creepy resonating laugh).
Remember when you were a 17 year old kid who thought it was so cool to skip class and hang out in the canteen? Well, James Charles is a lot like you… NOT. He is perhaps the coolest 17 year old around right now. An internet sensation, James is a makeup artist with skills that will put anyone to shame. More recently, an American makeup brand even signed him up to be their first male model, making history of sorts.
We’ve been following James on Instagram and YouTube for a while and well, we cannot get enough of his extraordinary skill. We love his ideas, his 100 km/hr talking speed, those insanely relatable tweets and the way he deals with haters.
It thrills me no end to see the product design scene in India is suddenly on an adrenaline rush. It’s like watching a garden bloom on Discovery channel time lapse video. I’ve been writing on design and interiors for five odd years now, so I’m constantly coming across new brands, labels, studios and designers to admire.
Recently, I came across a new furniture design studio called Project Wood. No brownie points for guessing that they love making things with wood. Run by Kanika Pahwa, Project Wood organically grew out of Studio Ezube, New Delhi based interior design firm.
Styled and photographed by Aditi Gaitonde
“As an interior designer, I’m constantly on the lookout for accessories that I can use for projects. Since I often couldn’t find accents to suit my requirements, I began designing and making my own accessories and furniture pieces,” explains Kanika about Project Wood, a 2-month-old product design studio. Most of their creations are handmade and almost all of them can be customised too.
Newer products are added every fortnight to the e-shop, I’ve already made a wishlist of my favourite five. Use the Code: SMT20 to get 20% off site wide discount on ProjectWood.in.
Let’s talk about periods. It’s as much a part of our lives as breathing and burping (yes, girls burp ok). Hormones are all over the place but then again that’s why we have chocolates. For me, I’m constantly worrying about staining my dress or the chair I’m sitting on for 8 hours straight at work. Did I mention overall discomfort that leads to general crankiness? Yeahhh… add that to the list right next to checking the pad every few hours. Why am I tell you all this?
Because I truly believe that periods are not the end of the world. It’s no reason for us to stress or worry and it’s definitely no reason to stay away from normal activities that make us happy. According to me, the one thing that makes periods a trying time is the discomfort – physical and emotional. And we must do what we can to eliminate this feeling. We have chocolate, wine, books and Zayn Malik to keep us emotionally upbeat. In a bid to reduce the physical discomfort, Whisper innovated and came up with something cool.
I am one half of a two member editorial and content development studio called The Short Staff. As a full-time freelance writer and editor, I contribute to a bunch of print and digital publications including DNA India’s DNA Money supplement. Here’s my piece that was published on Mar 3, 2017. Here’s an excerpt and link to the full article.
It’s safe to say that millennials have a perpetual case of wanderlust. The young Indian traveller has evolved from cookie-cutter tours crammed with “touristy” sight seeing. They want more from their holidays than just Instagram-worthy pictures and Facebook check-ins. They want experiences over luxuries, purpose over presentation and stories over stringent itineraries. They want to put to work, leave a mark, get inspired and take away skills and stories.
Online travel company Make My Trip’s India Travel Report 2016 revealed that young Indians are the driving force behind the changing travel landscape, and about 66% of the total trips on the website were made by travellers in the age group 18-35 years. Travel entrepreneurs across the country echo the insight but reveal an underlying trend that promises to turn into a movement.
I’ve known Anish for a few months now. And if there’s anything that can be said about him, it’s this – his passion for photography is as evident and blazing like the sun at the peak of summer. Professionally, he’s a fashion photographer who equally loves shooting portraits. Personally, he’s my favourite Punjabi.
The photo essay that you’ll experience in a few scrolls from now was shot a few years ago in his homeland. The words describing it are his. The perceptive will gauge the irony in the title of the essay. But they would also be right to think of it as gloomy. It is. In most parts, it’s hazy to a point of distorted. There’s a sense of longing and uncertainty that pricks through the skin. It’s cold, yes, but winter is more than the drop of temperature and the absence of warmth. It’s also a brutal reminder of death where the landscape mourns and come to terms with closing curve of life.
Photo Essay: Anish Sarai’s Winter Epiphany
Timeless thoughts of a winter’s stare;
eyes gazing over a landscape bare.
Memories drift on a blustery breeze;
dying light ushers in the freeze.
Reaching out for a grasp on the present;
stillness sets in, alone, and desolate.
Future unknown, outcome uncertain;
brilliance shadowed by a drawn curtain.
As we inch our way towards our big day, date undecided, I find myself marvelling at the concept of marriage and making a home. We’ve had eight years to know each other as two separate entities. As we stand at the cusp of a new life stage, I guess I’m not mighty concerned about the legality of it all. A piece of paper, a few random rituals and a couple of signatures don’t make a marriage, do they?
In the “civilised society” it does. From where I stand, it makes a wedding, maybe a few nice photographs but certainly not a marriage. To me, marriage is more like the second definition thrown up by Google: “a combination or mixture of elements.” It’s an amalgamation by choice that riots against everything to continue to be an amalgamation. A coupling of the mind and heart and soul that cannot comprehend life as a singularity.
From the many things that bother me, migraines are somewhere on top of the list. This, much to my dismay, has resulted in several lifestyle choices. I cannot eat Chinese food with MSG, cannot drink alcohol as much as I want, cannot have too much chocolate, cannot deviate from a strict schedule etc.
Why am I telling you this? Because lately I’ve realised that the only alcoholic drink that doesn’t give me a headache is the good ol’ Whiskey Sour. Maybe it’s in my head (pun intended), but I’m going to stick to my chubby glass of Whiskey Sour for a while with lime and not orange. Orange is next level yucky.
So I figured I should learn to make this at home for emergencies like… Mondays or Wednesdays or afternoons. Most recipes online involved a sour mix which I don’t know where to find in Mumbai, mainly because I haven’t tried looking for it #LazyGoose. But this recipe is different. Not only does it not need a sour mix, it also combines utilises one of my favourite spices – Cinnamon.
I remember when I was about seven or eight years old, my ever experimental mom bought an ice cream maker from one of those teleshopping networks. I was forbidden to enter the dining room where she was attempting to make her first batch of homemade ice cream. Mom used to do all sorts of mad things back then. Despite having been given strict instructions to stay out of her way, I slowly crept up the long corridor in our old house and pushed aside the stiff door curtain to the dining room.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. Maybe it was because I was so little, but to me it looked like there had been an explosion. White powder, water and ice were all over the place… on the floor, the table and on mumma. She chased me out before I could enter. If my memory serves me right, that was the last time we used that wretched ice cream maker. We still have it though, tucked away on a higher shelf in the kitchen where no one can (and should) reach. I don’t really remember the taste of the ice cream but I’ll never forget that scene. We still laugh about it. Continue reading “Recipe: No Churn 3 Ingredient Cookies & Cream Ice Cream”→
I’ve been terrible these past few months. Ever since I’ve got that neck and back problem, I’ve been ignoring my commitments and promises and spending precious time writhing in bed with a cold pack. But enough. Enough of pity, enough of pain sensitivity, enough of ignoring my blog/friends/family/life. It’s 2017 dammit. My 28th chance to finally get it right. Besides, the new year is a good time as any to start a new music series with my favourite musician, no?
So, meet Adriel George. I met him over nine years ago when we were studying in the same college. I remember watching him with my jaw on the floor as he danced during our graduation party. Although he studied IT, Adriel chose to string together his own path, note after note. He’s now a music composer (a damn good one at that) and producer for films, theatre and those Youtube ads that you sometimes can’t skip and end up liking.
That’s our man on the keyboards
A much sought after piano teacher, he loves sneaking into hotel lobbies and malls with grand pianos and serenading late-night guests with his renditions of famous movie themes. Although I’m yet to catch him in action, I have heard him tune out the world and drown in chords at his studio in Santacruz, Mumbai. Continue reading “Meet Adriel George”→
Ah, kitchen… we meet again. As much as I love eating, reading recipe books and watching MasterChef, the patience one needs to cook evades me. Up until now. I’d like to think I’m getting better. Maybe it’s age, maybe it was a just a slow Saturday. We’d never know.
This isn’t so much of a cooking recipe but more of an assembling one. If I can put this together, happily ace it and watch my biggest critic (See: D.R.R. TrollKill) pass out momentarily with glee…anyone can do it. And I mean ANYONE.
This one is long long long long looooonnnnggg overdue. I met Sirawon Khathing, one half of Biscoot & Rain, back in 2014 when we worked together at Elle Decor India. She’s been one of my closest friends ever since and one of my favourite Indian illustrators of all time. She has been the photographer for some of my fashion stories.
She runs a unique design and illustration studio along with her childhood friend Ben Ningtoutao. Professionally both of them are stellar designers… Sira works in Mumbai, India and Ben in Christchurch, New Zealand. A cross-continent collaboration, their sole source of inspiration and interest is North East India, especially Shillong, the hill station where they grew up. No ocean can keep this creative duo away from their one true love. Continue reading “Meet Biscoot & Rain’s Sirawon Khathing & Ben Ningtoutao”→
When Tupperware sent me their Speedy Chef, I remember thinking to myself, “Oh my gondola, I need make THE yogurt dip.” So, D.R.R.TrollKill‘s mom makes an addictive garlicky yogurt dip that I can eat by the bucket.
This supremely easy dip is so creamy and yummy, you’ll find yourself piling it on your chips, crackers or veggie sticks. Best part is there isn’t a microwave, oven or stove involved… just a cool mechanical kitchen appliance that will blend the ingredients effortlessly. Once you’ve aced the dip, give this super simple no churn ice cream a go. Continue reading “Recipe: Garlicky Yogurt Dip”→
Birthdays are miserable. And so are New Year’s eves. The build up to these two days, the days themselves and weeks following them are soul sucking. They are a painful reminder of what we haven’t done and what we will never do. Wretched are the seconds where the mind and heart dwell on the lost. Lost time, lost opportunities, lost experiences, lost fun, lost travels, lost conversations, lost anything that could’ve enriched your soul… Continue reading “Journal: Bring It On”→
Why it’s cool?
While we have been hunting for exoplanets (planets outside our solar system) for a couple of years now, we never had one this close before, that too in the habitable zone.
And it would also the first planet outside our solar system that we could be able to sort of explore. While we haven’t yet visited another planet with humans, we have sent robots and probes to almost every planetary body in our solar system.
Pic Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser
And now we’re aiming for the stars, quite literally. Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and real life super genius Stephen Hawking along with a host of backers that include social media mogul Mark Zuckerberg are helming a project called Breakthrough Starshot. It aims to send thousands of rice grain sized “starchips” to investigate nearby stars. Continue reading “D.R.R TrollKill: See You Soon, Proxima Centauri b”→
Artist, feminist, communist, fashion icon, LGBT idol – Frida was a great many things. She embodied unconventionality and put Mexico on the fashion and beauty map. A look at how the Mexican artist celebrated individuality through her make-up. We break down the rebellious artist’s signature statements.
If you thought shirts were monotonous, think again. It’s hard to imagine that the all-holy shirt was once just an undergarment and not a must-have basic. Over the years, the simple shirt – the uniform for 9-5 shifts – has evolved, metamorphosing into a street style staple. Whatever be its form, the shirt continues to exude power and formality. We break down its latest avatars this season.
Ruffle some feathers by embracing your inner Prince (RIP). In-your-face romantic, this blast from the past has stiff collars, girly gathers and a steady following.
At 25, Sharmila Nicollet is making headlines on and off course. The Indo-French athlete is the second and youngest Indian to earn a full card on the Ladies European Tour. She spends her time training, Instagramming and being a regular girl with flawless skin.
My skincare routine
I’m a little OCD about my skincare. I don’t like using many chemicals on my face. I use a soapless face cleanser and follow it up with a moisturizer twice a day. I’m in the sun a lot, so a sunscreen is a must. Mom makes me natural face packs – papaya, banana or mango with multani mitti. I get a clean-up done once every two months. My fitness schedule
I eat a small meal or a few bananas before hitting the gym. I gym six times a week – twice on upper body, twice on lower body and twice on core. My regime consists of mobility and heavy weight training. I love weight and muscle training and mix it up with balance and core. Plus, I get a deep tissue massage at the end of the week. Signature look on course
I don’t wear too much make-up – basic mascara, some concealer, sunscreen, foundation and lip balm, all for protection and cover-up. Continue reading “Pro Golfer Sharmila Nicollet’s Beauty Secrets”→
Whether you’re aiming for dainty, badass or the girl next door, there’s something there for everyone. The lowdown on A/W 2016 biggest fashion trends…
L-R: Fyodor Golan, Moschino and Paul Smith
The era of rock and roll is back to shake things up. Some of the loudest retro trends, from crop tops, shoulder pads and fishnet stockings to off-shoulders and blinding neons, have made a big comeback. And animal prints on everything from fur coats to boots are righteous again.
D.R.R TrollKill met her before I did. Not in real life but virtually. The three of us are a part of a highly volatile Facebook Group about Goa. D.R.R TrollKill thinks he’s Goan because he spent one year there and his grandfather was from there, I heard so much about that group from him that I had to join it and Nadia…well, she’s a young thinking Goan with an opinion and a cracking sense of humour.
I met her when a misogynistic creature decided to spew crap and neither Nadia nor I could hold back. We somehow joined forces in an attempt to talk some sense into him. The long, long fight ended with the admin blocking further comments on the post. More importantly, it ended with Nadia and I becoming friends.
Raisa Tolia is a good friend and an ex-colleague. The fire in her is almost contagious and the passion with which she does everything in life is admirable. Sweet girl that she is, she want to meet her girlfriends from work for lunch a day before her birthday.
I absolutely loved what she wore. A navy blue accordion pleated midi teamed with a cream shirt, casually tucked it. Sans jewellery. She almost never needs jewellery. She teamed it with studded, strapped sandals and a giant tote that could fit a small to medium size baby. I’ve always admired the grace with which she carries off her outfit. I’m going to call it and say…this one’s full #girlboss material.