Crazy Plant Lady!儭

Yes- I know the title doesn’t make sense.

No- I’m not going to make it any easier for you to understand :’)

An important thing that you should know about me is that I love decorating my room. I feel like it’s a representation of my personality and I love going creative with my space. I get attached to quirky things people give me and have a hard time throwing them away. That is why almost every decorative in my room has a story behind it. That’s for another time though.

As for the Crazy Plant Lady fiasco, It all started when I was in Little Five Points, Atlanta, walking around with friends. I was going from store to store to find cute decors for my room.In one of the stores, which was cute and creative, I saw a corner filled with small plants in tiny pots. There were all shapes and sizes of containers. Ranging from ones that looked like an elephant, a bucket, a rhino, a dolphin. My eyes fell on this rad looking flower pot. It was shaped like a black cat with piercing yellow eyes and was holding a tiny yellow plant. This cat looked so sassy- it was smirking at me as if it knew something about me that I didn’t. Having always had a thing for odd objects, I immediately made a dash for it and bought it without further ado.

Now, the next question was-How the hell do I carry this plant back to Jersey?!I shrugged and thought I’ll figure it out when I’m leaving for the airport.

*Two Days Later*

“UGHH! NAMINIIIII. I CAN’T FIT THIS STUPID PLANT ANYWHERE”.
“Areee, carry it. Big deal!” NJ rolls her eyes and says.
“Fine!” I frown. As I carry the plant through my cab ride to the airport and security, I notice random amused eyes glance at me. “Cool Plant!” A random person said. I smiled. “Why are you carrying this plant?”, another intrusive stranger asked. “I liked it, so I bought it and now I have to carry it back” I muttered. “Miss! you forgot your plant!” the Dunkin Doughnuts chick yelled. I scrambled back to pick up what felt like an extension of my arm by this point.

plant plant plant plant PLANT!! Ugh!

I kept trying to convince my self that my plant was pretty cool. I still couldn’t help turning an amusing color of crimson red every time someone asked me about it. To make matters worse, the security check took time and I reached the gate a little late. I showed my boarding ticket and the staff rushed me through the gate. I stumbled into my flight only to find it full. “Great!” I thought. Embarrassed I excuse-me-pleased my way to my seat. More amused eyes burned me with their constant staring. I swear, one chick lifted herself up from her seat to get a better look at me. If it weren’t for my plant, I’d feel flattered but I threw her an annoyed look instead.

As I frowned and sat down on my seat, this chill looking co-passenger smirked at me and said: “what’s the deal with your plant dude?!”. I let out an exhausted cry and said: “I liked it, so I bought it and now people won’t stop asking me about it!”. She sniggered and said “yup. you do look kinda odd carrying that around. The flight attendants have already thrown looks at you twice hahah”. I shake my head and say “I bet they all think I’m the crazy plant lady”. “I bet they do!”, she smiled. We laughed and started discussing ideas about how I could deflect people when they ask me about my plant. The uncle in front of me said: “Don’t you think it’s a bit odd that you’re carrying around a plant?!”. I looked to the girl, smiled and said “No Sir, I am a person with high anxiety and have a hard time managing myself on flights. I suffer from panic attacks and need constant support to keep my self calm. This flower pot is my support plant. It makes me feel like everything’s alright. Without it, I’m just an anxious and wailing 5-year-old in the body of a 25-year-old :)”. That’s it. From that moment till the time I reached home, I owned up to my new identity and became the crazy plant lady!

Twas fun

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My Trip To Atlanta

“You should come visit” -NJ
Me -“I’d love to but I’m so stressed right now. Plus I’m traveling to India!”

“You should totally come visit” -NJ (after a few weeks)
Me -“Uh, I don’t know.. I have end sems and I’m traveling to my parents for vacation :/”

“Dude! You need to come visit” – NJ (after a few more weeks)
Me -“Hm… I could I guess. I have a week of vacation in March for spring break.
NJ – “What?! Get your ridiculous self down here then! That’s it!
Me – “Okay!”

That is literally the amount of planning I did for this trip. And as you know, the lesser you plan the better it gets!

I have been in a crazy phase of impromptu trips over the past year, but honestly, this was the one I enjoyed most.

Atlanta is a gorgeous city in Georgia state. It is very serene and beautify and has a very peppy vibe. Between the quaint bistros, colorful galleries and vibrant parks, I was completely sold for the place.

 

Atlanta downtown, of course, has skyscrapers and is buzzing with activity. But the area that NJ lives in, called Smyrna, is a very laid back suburban area with comfy looking townhouses and a lot of greenery. It really is for nature enthusiastic professionals because of the balance it strikes between providing the benefits of being near a city and the relaxation of a laid back town. They also have art projects going on around the city. Tiny Doors ATL is an Atlanta-based art project bringing big wonder to tiny spaces. Tiny Doors ATL literally installs 7-inch tall doors in strategic places throughout the city. Each door is designed to look and feel like the surrounding neighborhood’s architecture and community spirit. Like the neighborhoods, no two doors are exactly the same! Collecting pictures of the Tiny Doors is an activity that most tourists do. Atlanta has a large and vibrant art scene that I thought was really cool!

One of the most interesting experiences that I had on this trip was going to the Hippie Sabotage Concert. I had never conscientiously put in an effort to listen to electronic dance music before. And because that’s practically what NJ listens to all day along with a wide array of other music that I don’t understand, I was pretty nervous about going to this concert.hippieBut once we entered, the ambiance was fabulous! They had an amazingly comfortable interior with a large and jazzy dance floor next to the bar. The stage was huge and well lit. Their light coordination with the music was mind-blowing. They also had two floors of seatings and a popsicle vending store, which was fabulous. That was more than enough to get NJ psyched about the concert. Never seen a person so excited like a puppy dog :’) Although, I hadn’t listened to a lot of their music, I heard a few songs before the concert to get myself familiar. I also kept googling up the lyrics with NJ’s help for any of the songs that I didn’t know. I was sorted! It was a loud night of lights, music and incoherent screaming- and I loved all of it! NJ was so glad that the night was a hit and I was super happy that I had a very exciting introduction to EDM music. The Hippie Sabotage may not be a well-known band, but they did a good job of keeping the audience entertained. I thought they were “Dope!”

Next, we went to this galleria called Little Five Points which was the most colorful and peppy galleria I’d ever seen. They had everything. EVERYTHING. From themed resto-bars to quaint bookshops, art boutiques and exclusive clothes stores, they had it all! I bought some amazingly adorable decorators for my room along with badges and piercings. It was wonderful.

 

I walked around the stores for a bit and did my rummaging around for good-vibe-things. We had dragged along NJ’s roommate Nicole and her fond boyfriend Wess for our shopping rage as well. We walked, chatted and they introduced me to an emo themed restaurant called The Vortex. The food was as impressive as the name was. With their large burgers and delicious beer they had us swooning at the table. Again, lots of laughter and games over food – this gorgeous gang of unicorns kinda made my day.

Apart from shopping and partying, we also did all the cozy things I enjoy most. NJ had recently gotten into watercolor art and would get snug with her roommate to paint every other day. img_2134So, we snuggled up in the living room and decided what we’d like to color. After much fretting and reservation, I finally agreed to paint a picture that I saw on Pinterest and liked.For more on my struggles with painting art, please read my last blog post,Pretty As A Picture. To my surprise, I came up with a really pretty and close replica of what I wanted to paint! It was super fun and relaxing. We played the latest season of Queer Eye on the side, got some delicious food and gossiped Another favorite activity of mine was spending time with Lucy. Lucy is a friends dog that NJ babysits whenever they go out. She’s the most enthusiastic dog I have ever met. She’s very young, loving and adorable and it was her morning routine to wake me up by trying to lick my face off. Honestly, I didn’t mind WhatsApp Image 2019-03-16 at 7.35.37 PMI would hear Nicole, greet lucy every morning with lots of love! Like a mother reunited with her pup after an endless night of separation, gushing over her fondly. Lucy definitely pumped up the happiness quotient of the house by a couple of shots. That’s her on the right. She likes to pose and is very photogenic! Such a diva I also loved the long drives that NJ and I took. The city is so beautiful and green that driving around it at stopping for food at drinks at my every whims and fancy was pretty magical. It’s that kind of a place where travel gets you high. In a short span of three days, we tried all of Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, American and Indian cuisines. It was fabulous. My taste buds haven’t stopped thanking NJ yet.On colder nights, I’d cozy up on NJ’s barcalounger with my laptop and food, creating content for what I’d write next. Sometimes Lucy would join me and we’d take a nap. It was NJ’s mission to stop at every fantastic food place and make me dance at every club we went to. Worked out well for me I guess! Walking along the art walkway into the sunset eating popsicles and talking about things that matter what my favorite part. I don’t know what perfect means but I’m pretty sure this was hella close to it :’)

Thanks, NJ, for dragging me away from my rut and giving me the vacation I deserved 歹

Stay beautiful, bruh.

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Pretty As A Picture

Do you know what it’s like to paint?

For most people it’s purely meditative.

I’d never had that experience before. I used to draw when I was a little kid- like most of us did. But after crossing middle school, it wasn’t something I took seriously. I wonder why.

My sister is a fabulous artist! That kid has an eye for the most intricate details. It amazes me how perceptive even a child can be. I think it shows that we absorb more than we think we do… She starting sketching with her Eiffel tower piece below. Me? I’m “different”.
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Have you ever had that feeling that you’re terribly bad at something? Like, significantly worse at it than others? Yeah, Me too.

I’m terrible at sketching. TERRIBLE.

My circles are ovals, my ovals are circular, I do not understand angles and my shading and sense of proportions is bizarre. It’s kind of funnyRelated image

I literally get nervous when I paint because I’m so convinced of how bad it’s going to be. Below are a few more samples that I really like from my sister’s collection.

 

Just like me,

Millions of adults around the world would break into a cold sweat if asked to draw a picture in front of a group of people. Theyd deny any artistic talent, make excuses, and do whatever it took to avoid being on the spot with a pencil in their hand.

But ask a couple of five-year-olds to do the same thing, and within seconds theyll be drawing, explaining, and creating artistic masterpieces for all to see.

After a terrifying past with my attempts with art, I slowly mustered the courage to try to stop being silly and try art again. It took a lot of convincing from Namini, my college roommate, who kept egging me on to give it a try.WhatsApp Image 2019-03-16 at 1.01.34 AMShe has gotten into more ‘simplistic art’ recently where she uses watercolors to paint what she finds fascinating.And even though she keeps insisting that they’re nothing great, I think they’re quite deep and hence fantastic. This is a sample from her art collection on the right. She has an array of artwork but I really like this one best because I connect with it on a personal level. This piece symbolizes to me how the dolphin is appreciating the lonely starry night in its peace and calm. I find myself remembering times when I’ve been in the middle of nature during travels and have felt so deeply in love with myself and everything around me. It simmers on me a sense of calm and peace which is almost sedating in a way. Not that I’m trying to say I’m a dolphin, but you get the point.

So what happened between the age of 5 and 15 that makes me terrified to draw? What makes YOU afraid?

For many people, its when they first realize that their drawings look nothing like reality. They can SEE the obvious mistakes, but have no idea how to fix them; feeling that if they cant draw something perfectly, then they shouldnt draw it at all. I know I’ve felt that way.

Perhaps it came as a surprise when one of my classmates at school laughed at my art homework and said your family portrait looked like two giraffes and an alien.

Thats a tough critique for anybody to take, let alone a kid, but it doesnt mean I’m not an artist.

Most people think artists have some kind of gift, and I suppose that some artistsareborn with a talent for art. But, if we looked at the childhood drawings of 100 professional artists, Id bet youd find that 99 of them made the same type of scribbles and stick figures that all of us did as a kid.stick-figure-blue-shoes

The difference is that they never quit making scribbles, and at some point, they LEARNED to draw, whether from books, videos, teachers, or just on their own with lots of practice.

So why would it be any different for us? In fact, in order to not fall into a few of the potholes, we could be a little more diligent by making sure that we pick a reference before we draw or paint something. This is because drawing or painting something from memory can be pretty hard. Our memories get blurred and obstructed over time and when we draw based on something we vaguely remember, it often turns out to look horrible on paper. This is why many beginner artists get discouraged as well because they set a high expectation of drawing something very close to their imagination. Another reason is that people often have an expectation of picking up quicker and not realizing that it takes time and constant effort to improve this skill like any other. We immediately jump to wanting to draw a caricature of George Bush or a tropical sketch of the mountains forgetting that good art doesn’t happen with the snap of a finger.

The thing is, theres no need to keep thinking that you have to be born with some amazing talent to be an artist. All it really takes is for somebody to teach you, plus some time and effort on your part. And I think this applies to all form of creativity and skill, not just art.

So while we try to enhance our skillsets and upgrade ourselves or just nurture our talents and learn new perspectives, maybe we should also learn to go easy on ourselves.

Slowly and steadily, we’ll all get there someday 歹

To Gay, Or Not To Gay, Is That A Question?

“So! Is He… in your class??” I said
“Yes,” said Chuddy Buddy
“Is He… from this city?” I asked
“Yes,” she said
“Does He plan on going to the same University as you??”
Chuddy buddy smiled hesitantly and said…
“She. It’s a She.”

“I! Uh. What?! Um. You should have told me earlier!” I gushed.
“I didn’t know how you’d take it” She said. “But now I do!”
We smiled.

True story!

One of my very close friends from childhood came out to me when we were in college.It was a divine moment for both of us. I’d never felt so loved and trusted to be shared such an intimate secret with. And it is a secret that I hold close to my heart with pride.
We were kids when we first met. Watching the same cartoons, reading the same books, spending weekends playing in each others house. Both of us grew up to be potter heads and had a love for arts and lust for languages.

When she confided in me, all I could think about was how incredible this news was!! I was so happy that she was gayBecause gay to most people was a very distorted representation of homosexuality. And I couldn’t think of a cooler person that I knew to break that stereotype. I understand that homosexuality has been a sensitive topic to talk about, but we as a generation are better than that. In our times of information and evolution, we can choose to change these narky perceptions with a little bit of help.

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Being able to say “I’m not straight” is objectively one of the most terrifying experiences all not-so-straight people have. I remember my friend telling me how it would worry her sick that things would just change. Even if your friends and family are accepting of your reality, they might look at you a different way. It is also a worry that one has to carry constantly with every move they make. Every time they change a place or make new friends, they have to come out all over again. It’s tough.

Even though most people are not consciously homophobic, a lot of times we just don’t know what the best way is to react to this new information. Many friends may not be outright aggressive, but passive aggressive comments such as

“There was something in his voice… I just knew he was gay!” are pretty ridiculous.

Not to say, that stereotypes are not completely true! I’d met this charming gentleman who became a fond friend at a workshop. On finding out about his sexuality, I had mentioned that I suspected so, but did not want stereotypical mannerisms to be the basis of my assumption. He then corrected me and said, “Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason Shruti.” While some gay people do blend with behavioral stereotypes such as dressing a certain way and speaking a certain way, there are others who seem completely… “normal”. You wouldn’t know unless they tell you. Like my friend!

But here’s the catch, right? Who defined normal?

My very smart cousin often says “What is ‘NORMAL’ anyway?!” Capture
As we all hopefully know, sexuality is a spectrum.

Male Female
Masculine Feminine
Straight Gay
Men like Women, Women like Men

That’s a very binary way of looking at things. It’s very black and white. And human beings are much more complex than that. Our minds don’t understand 0s and 1s when it comes to our identities. Which is why we shouldn’t be forced to belong to this “box” that is created for us.

“The world is heteronormative”, she said. Everything is fixed. People have such fixed views of looking at things. When a teacher teases her students in the class, she always asks things like “So, girls.. what kind of a guy do you like?!” or “Guys, what would you say if you met a pretty girl”. Nobody thinks about asking a girl if she’d like to meet another pretty girl. I’m sure there are plenty of us!

Everyone is at least a little gay, is what one would think.

Due to the heteronormative norm, even those who are curious about their inclinations get stunted in their approach. It’s really hard to explore and understand yourself when there is so much stigma around. I had a bi-curious friend who confided in me that she liked an acquaintance. “Ask her out!” I said. She did. And she got shot down with a reply that said: “What would be the point of giving it a try? It’s not like there would be any future for us anyway”. People joke about moving to otherwestern countries where gay relationships are legal. People put music videos of unrequited gay love in classrooms as a joke. It’s sad that we can only imagine acceptance and freedom in humor. I think we need to reach a point where the ‘rightness’ of homosexuality should not be a debate anymore. We should move past it.

Tons of people would benefit from this. And, tons of people would prefer to be gay as opposed to being ‘straight’ as well! I know my friend does. She likes both genders and says:
It’s inevitable! Women are so much better than men, In terms of0dd920c2b998ccf77c44cd8ae0691c65--lucky-quotes-gay-quoteshumantolerability and emotional quotient. Women are treated as default as the ‘other sex’and men as the ‘stronger sex’. It’s not necessary. Really. Women are so much better than men. It’s sad that I have to be attracted to both. I wish I was only attracted to women.

Talk about Happy and Gay

Spread love 歹

 

Ive Got Your Back

Let’s talk about Brocode. Bromance. Broism. Bromide? I don’t know! All of the above. Except for Bromide.
I failed Chemistry

We all know the famous brocode that is honoredamongbros. These arethe obviousrules or guidelinesamong bros that are religiously followed in order to show loyalty to the pact.

Examples:

#1 Sisters areoff limits
#2Exesare off limits
#3 If a guy ischasinga girl, let him have her
#4 Do not in any way, be that guy
#5 You always watch the game
Etcetera…

We often see guys follow these particular guidelines and stick by their bros no matter what. Women are often put in this mold of stereotype, where they are expected to backstab and claw at each other.
While this is far from the truth, stories of sisterhood support are like urban myths right now. Nobody is ready to believe that women can be there for other women, irrespective of caste, age, religion, and culture.
Allow me to share with you a story from my sisterhood band:
I had a very sweet and naive roommate, who used to try to look at the best in people. She had just moved out of her home and had livedwallpaper.wiki-Free-Download-Disney-Tangled-Wallpaper-PIC-WPD008786in the protective shell of her parents her whole life. There were two gentlemen whose company she frequented. One very loud and obnoxious and the other of the creepy sorts. I tried to politely imply that theymay not be the best kind of company. But starry-eyed with her new found freedom, lovely roommate did not heed to my warnings. Summer came, summer went and she was still the best of pals with them. “Maybe they’re not so bad!” I thought. So the next time we hosted a dinner party for Diwali, I suggested that she call them along with our mutual friends.

Lots of food and games and laughter was what that evening entailed. Lovely roommate was forever engrossed in her conversation with friends ‘loud and obnoxious’ and ‘creepy creeperson’. She seemed Happy! And I felt a little guilt for having judged them so harshly. By the end of the evening, I felt quite elated to have found a set of people who felt like friends in a new strange city.

But alas! My friendly musings were short lived. We all gathered together to take a group photo that marked the end of the night. Squashed between lovely roommate and her creepy friend, I tried my best to plaster a smilegiphy (1)for the group photograph. As we huddled together, I felt a hand wrap around my waist in a very inappropriate and uncomfortable fashion. Creepy creeperson here was trying to cross a line! Flustered, I tried to nudge him away but he kept trying to hold on. Angry, I elbow jerked him into moving away and marched over to the kitchen with my roommate while he yelped in pain. I animatedly told her everything that happened. She was aghast.

My roommate told another roommate who told another roommate who told a friend. Within 5 minutes the girl squad was ready to throw this pesky beast out of the house. We pushed him out into the cold to figure his way back home and barked behind him to never return again! Teary-eyed, lovely roommate apologized for her friend’s behavior as she felt responsible. We hugged it out, and from there on she always made it a point to protect me from such leeches, even though she didn’t have to

Thank you lovely roommate for having my back
The sisterhood still survives…

I thought long and hard about how I could best define sisterhood. A conversation with a fellow sister brought clarity to what sisterhood means for me. Sisterhood to me means belonging to a pact where you feel understood and cared for.52f4fb13d39d155ae28b6d5d032872cf--bff-ideas-bff-pictures-ideasHaving a free space – where you can be yourself and you know you’re not being judged. Having someone to come back to after a tired day in the cold, and find something nice and warm cooked for you. Having the security that this person understands when you feel vulnerable and is ready to help you through tough times. Having the assurity that you can go out in that dress you were so shy to wear for so long. Knowing that your sisters will have your back, encouraging you with nods and smiles through the evening. And when the dress backfires, they’ll be with you in the washroom, brushing your hair and redoing your make up to make sure you look good. Having someone be kind to you when its ‘that’ time of the month and say “Hey, it’s okay, why don’t you lie down and I’ll make you hot chocolate!”

It could be a bond between sisters or a group of close friends. It could be a close relationship between a mother and her daughter or a niece with her aunt. It could be a teacher and a student or two neighbors who feel a connection.

A sisterhood bond is not superficial. It’s not parties and makeup and gossip like most people think. Strong sisterhoods are forged from years of togetherness where you feel seen, heard, understood. Where your principles valued and your aspirations adorned. We talk about things that matter and take a stand for each other.

Sure, we don’t have a book of sisterhood rules. That’s because there is only one rule:

Come what may, you have to have your sister’s back!

This one is dedicated to all my sisters.

 

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You Want To Make Fraandship???

CaptureI’m sure you guys are wondering what this post is about. No- it’s not about Kanan (the dashing stand up comedian with a creepy smile on the left). It’s about ‘Fraandship’.

Urban Dictionary – When you receive dmsfromsouth asianmen for looking cute…

My definition – Fraandship is a code word that creepy guys use to get to know you. No, it doesn’t mean they want to be friends. Yes, the more ‘aaa’s they add in the fraandship, the more desperate they are for your attention.

How do I know this? Let me tell you my sob story…
I was naive, young and very polite in my first year of college. It was a social nicety to greet people, respond to them and in general entertain conversation. Little did I know, that the boy’s hostel in Warangal was swamped with ‘fraandship’ seekers who seemed to be attracted to the girl’s hostel like a moth to a flame. They would be repeatedly ignored, but as most Telugu movies teach us:

“The stronger the girl resists, the more she is secretly in love with you and the longer she wants you to pursue her”

We’re all engineers. We can break this down!

A is transitive to B
B is transitive to C

Therefore:
A is transitive to C

Makes sense right?

Given this logic, there was a young, but not-so-dashing man, who sought it well within his social boundaries to keep pinging me and ask to become frands.
He would text compliments such as:

“Hai sruti, I saw u in cls nd wz lyk wow. Cn v b frz?”

I was flattered but did not reply. It got super annoying very quickly though.

“Haii sruti, y u no reply. I m nyc boi. Jst wnt 2 b frns”

“Helo? Plz reply n let me knw if v cn b frns”

“Helo?! Y u no reply?!”

“Helo?! thr???? Helo Helo!!”

All of which was very amusing of course. My first reaction to his texts naturally was:

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Of course, I did recover and continued to ignore. Still, this chap was not able to get the hint that I’m not interested in replying to him.
Agitated, I get a text from the grammar killer one day:

“Y u so rude?!! Y u no reply?? I jst wnt to b frns. I m nyc boi only!
Jst bcuz u hv beutiful face u thnks ur gods?!!!”

WELLL. Nowww I lost it. Picked up the phone and replied:

“Thnks tht u thnk I hv beutiful face bt no, I dnt thnk I am gods(plural). I no wnt 2 b ur frnd. U may b nyc boi, but I dnt evn knw u. So plz, stp txting or I wil tell chief warden”

Problem solved. No ‘txts’ from the grammar killer anymore. I wonder if he got the sarcasm though? I’d be impressed!

Please find below amusing conversations that my female friends have had with grammar killers in their lives :’)

 

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Our male friends have always teased us about the amount of attention we get from these GKs. When asked why they don’t approach women themselves, they shrug and say ‘because.. she’ll think I’m a creep’. That’s amusing to hear because these guys are completely date-able. They have no reason to believe that any woman with reasonable taste would turn them down. But because these grammar killers have caused overwhelm… women get a little defensive around guys they don’t know.

Anyways, clearly, these GKsare noteworthy. On many occasions, when I and my friends are reminiscing our college days, bitter after a disappointing date – we find ourselves wondering how things would’ve gone with these charming men… and worrying that we missed out!!

What do you think?

Should we have given these guys a shot?

But, We Were Just Joking Yaar!

“Aur moti! Kya chal raha hai? Khane ke ilava bhi kuch kaam kar liya kar :p”
“Are, abhi toh explain kiya tha! Tu bhi na. Tubelight” WhatsApp Image 2019-02-17 at 7.06.58 PM
“Aur chashmish! kitni ungliyan pakad rakhi hain ye?! :’) ”
“Sorry yaar, tu andhere mein dikh nahi raha tha”
“Ey Hanger! Kabhi kabar khana bhi kha liya kar”

All of us have had that friend or been that friend at some point right? :’) I remember them college days, when we had learned to pick up swear words, and it was all the rage among most of us! The ones who are the closest abuse each other the most- and har chalte phirte bande pe commentry karna toh banta hai. Because- ‘Cool’. 簪\_()_/簪

It’s uncomfortable that it is socially acceptable in our culture to make jabs at each other, but respecting boundaries has been a struggle for most of us, I suppose. I remember finding it inappropriate to hear people and their bodies being commented on. But then again, “abh kaun baar baar samjhaye”.

Culturally too the idea of body and health is so varied. It’s pretty confusing for many young adults like me who’ve lived across many countries. WhatsApp Image 2019-02-14 at 8.53.56 AMI remember my friend Purity describing her experience with bodyshaming back home. She struggled with terms like “kali-kalutti” in Warangal. Because.. black. “Haha”. She is this gorgeous woman with a well-proportioned body, an athletic build, and a personality to die for. But she lives in Kenya, where most women are healthier ifthey are more voluminous. The funny thingwas that while in India her form was alluring, in Kenya, she was underweight. Unfed even! She’d have people ask her if she was unhappy in college. Call her malnourished and nudge her parents to get her home often so that she could be “properly cared for”. But the truth was, that she was always built like that. And she is more than fine! That’s her on the right. Doesn’t she look full of sass *and* grace? (:

The tricky thing about such kind of body shaming is that even though we are being playful, we influence how the other person feels about their body.One moment you’re making funny references and the next your friend’s flying off the handle, crying about something you said months ago. Uh-Oh!1526930_1429683360596076_1175242844_n

Honestly, the times that I’ve felt good in my body – with the weight, dark circles, and everything – are days when I’ve felt a deep sense of love for my self.

On days when I’ve feltbeautiful, strong, confident, kind, passionate and seen. And there’s power in that kind of beauty, because it doesn’t depend on your clothes or how you accessorize, It depends on how you feel about yourself. And nobody can take that away from you… So it’s here to stay

My brother Anhad calls me his ‘cuddliest’ cousin :’) He once saw me putting on eyeliner as I was getting ready to go somewhere and asked: “What’s that on your face?”. “Eyeliner”, I said. “It’s used to make your eyes look bigger”. He looked at me confused and said:

“But, you don’t need it. You look better without it”.So I listened to him! No eyeliner on dates anymore I’ma be myself. Ruffled, and out of bed. We’ll call it being Americano.

Trust me I am one of the friendliest people I know :’) And I *do not* mind being the butt of jokes once in a while. In fact, many times, I really enjoy it too! It makes me feel more intimate with my friends But sometimes, when I feel like that’s all I’m identified with, it gets to me. And I know, that more often than not, any friendly jab is just that. Because they ARE joking! But it’s become a status quo – something that needs changing.

So, what if – for one moment – we turned the tables for a bit?

What if the sunset in the east and rose from the west?

What if we made digs at each other using complements, instead of insults? :-O

Wouldn’t that be an amusing but cozy way of getting affectionate with each other?

A simple- “Hey! You look nice today”
“I like your t-shirt”
“You make me want to be a better person” – could do the trick!

Okay, I know the last one was a bit cheesy, but you get the point ^_^

And if nothing else, then stand in front of the mirror and own that tummy tire, skinny collar bone, and freckled chin. After all, a very wise singer once said:

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*mic drop*