Happy Birthday Mom

Dear Mommy,

Thank you for giving me life. Thank you for giving me love. Thank you for all the sacrifices you made so that we could lead a better life.

My momma ❤️

When I look at you, all I feel is immense gratitude and love. You were only thirty years old when you lost your parents, and you made us, your children, your entire world. You lived for us.

For me , you are the best mother Let nobody tell you otherwise. May be it was not the best, but you definitely did the best you could and even more. And for that, I will be grateful to you forever .

There is so much I can learn from you – to fight against all odds and survive, to be a boss lady, to be a perfectionist. You are my Jhansi ki Rani.

I may not say this often, but I want you to know I love you the most and no one can ever take your place in my life.

Do you remember this picture? I was one year old then, and today I am thirty. How time flies by, but my love for you will always remain 💕 Happy Birthday 🎉🎉

I love you – I am nothing without you.

My dear readers, It’s my mommy’s birthday today, 21st April ! Do send in all your love and wishes by dropping in your comments. Thank you everyone for subscribing to my blog and reading it. I can’t thank you enough. It’s your love and feedback that keeps me motivated to write more. Thank you 🙂

Inner Beauty

Beauty is not when you look your best,

Beauty is when you give your best,

Your success and physical appearance may fade,

But your inner beauty shines through the facade,

Beauty is a reflection of your soul,

Compassion and benevolence makes it whole.

Inner beauty enthrals and charms,

It has a unique character ; More than its presence, it’s absence is felt.

P.S- This poem has been penned by me . Please do not use it without permission.

Coronavirus Sabbatical

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, India is currently at Stage 2 of the coronavirus epidemic.

Social distancing

Being an introvert, it’s easy for me to stay at home all day. It isn’t difficult to socially distance myself. On the contrary, I find socialising mentally draining .

But I understand that may not be the case with everyone out there. It’s really difficult for extroverts to stay at home. But right now , we are not left with much of a choice. So ,why not utilise your sabbatical and pursue whatever you like.

You can read books, binge watch movies, or pursue some hobby. I have recently started learning guitar .

Meanwhile, Some important tips to follow :

Wash hands frequently : I am sure we all know this and are practicing it, but it’s really important to wash hands with soap and water for 20-30 seconds. It kills virus that may be lurking on your hands. Sanitizers are beneficial too .

Avoid touching nose and face: Generally, without knowing, we are prone to touch surfaces and then sometimes we may touch our face. As a result, we may unknowingly pick up virus.

Avoid shaking hands : Let’s try to avoid shaking hands while greeting. You can greet with a smile or a wave.

Social distancing : It’s crucial to stay at home and avoid large gatherings and crowded areas. Be a socially responsible citizen. Stay safe and let others stay safe too, by not infecting them. If one of your family member has flu symptoms, keep an arm distance. At the same time, show empathy and don’t outcast them.

What’s your idea of how to remain safe during this epidemic? Are you spending your sabbatical constructively?

Introvert and social anxiety

I am an introvert born in a family of extroverts. As a society, we don’t really understand introverts. Ever since I was a kid, I always preferred to play by myself. I remember wanting to always stay in my room and read, or even sleep rather than come outside and socialise.

Not all introverts are prone to social anxieties and those who have, don’t realise it, till it takes a toll and causes mental havoc.

Felt I am a weirdo because of anxiety

Growing up, I have always felt I was abnormal while others thought I was just shy and would grow out of it. Today I am almost thirty years old and never “grew out of it” because I was never “shy” in the first place.

I am an introvert with social anxiety and I am going to tell you the difference between both, in the hope that it would benefit others.

My life might look quite normal on the surface but there is a myriad of thoughts that generate in my mind and it happens all the time. If you have social anxiety, you will feel people are constantly judging you, ridiculing or even laughing at you.

Now picture yourself walking alone on the road. I will show you the contrast.


When You walk – just walk and probably appreciate nature while walking
When I walk – trying to just walk and suddenly it strikes me, Am I walking weirdly? Are my arms swinging too much? Do I look crazy? Are those two people standing at the end of the road (who don’t even know I exist) laughing at me?

See the difference? This is what anxiety does to a person.

Cafeteria and classroom is a nightmare for someone with social anxiety. Attendance was the most dreaded time during school and college. It was an ordeal.

Why? Picture this. The teacher calls out my name,

ME: Present Ma’m (Did anyone notice my double chin and Should I say Yes madam or is it present, and was I loud enough? And what if the teacher didn’t hear me and marks me absent!)

Picking up phone call is another ordeal. Now you can guess why my phone is on silent mode all the time. It is overwhelming to talk, that’s why most people with social anxieties prefer messaging compared to calling.

Self conscious and awkward

I feel so comfortable being around my family and relatives. Maybe one or two closest friends, but when it comes to anyone else, I feel so awkward. I feel self-conscious, its easier to just stay at home than meet people. It is draining and exhausting being around people.

I used to feel sick when people advised me that I must fit in and not become a recluse. Though I try to be polite and listen, honestly I just want to run from there.

Difference between introversion and social anxiety

If you are an introvert, you may avoid large crowds and social gatherings as you will find it draining. You embrace solitude, but if you have social anxiety, not only you will find socialising overwhelming but it will cause distress and may take hours or days to recover and feel normal again.

Introverts are not afraid of meeting people. They don’t go out much because they simply don’t want to. If the thought of going out unnerves you and you try to stay away from possible interactions that come with everyday task and normal activities like shopping and going to gym induces fear, then it is not just introversion.

Basically, introversion is an inborn personality trait whereas social anxiety is a form of psychological illness.

In my next post, I will be telling you how you can overcome your social anxiety and lead a peaceful life. Drop-in your comments if you found this article helpful.

10 Tips for beautiful skin

During a terrible bout of acne, I had visited a cosmetologist and she had suggested some skincare tips. And some I followed from the internet and hearsay. After trial and error method, I found out a few tips which helped me a lot.

Good skin care can help delay ageing. I am not saying that you can look like twenty being 60, but yes you can definitely look younger and delay the natural ageing process.

I have never had great skin. Acne marks on my face, dull skin and uneven pigmentation are what you would use to describe me.
So I am going to tell you now whatever worked for me in the hope that it would benefit you greatly.

Yes, I am going to give you some tips for glowing skin!

  1. Always wash your hands before washing your face. Yes, this is really important. It may sound silly and you may think , is that the greatest tip you could give, but do it and you will see a huge change in your skin. Whenever you are about to wash your face, wash your hands before it. There is no point in washing your face with bacteria-laden hands. And if possible, use drinking water to wash your face instead of tap water.
  2. Use a face wash with Salicylic Acid. I am not telling you to pour acid on your face. All I am saying is, next time whenever you purchase your face wash, Check the ingredient list.
  3. Always wipe off your make up before you sleep. NEVER sleep with your foundation on your face. Let your skin breath. You can surely use a night cream but don’t sleep without removing your make up. If you don’t want to use a make up remover, go for coconut oil. Yes, it also works as a makeup remover. Take four drops of oil, apply it on your face, use a moist cotton ball to wipe it off.
  4. Night cream – Wash your face with a face wash and apply night cream . Prepare your Night Cream – Scoop out one teaspoon of Aloe Vera gel and add two drops of tea tree oil and apply it on your face. This potent combo is better than any night creams that you get in the market. I use the Rustic Art’s Aloe gel and body shop’s tea tree oil. You can use any brand which doesn’t have parabens, perfume and colour in their products.
  5. Diet plays an important role in how your skin looks, so eat healthy. Take more of green leafy veggies, proteins and less of carbs.
  6. If you are 30+, you can start taking antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids, after consulting your dermatologist. I was given antioxidants by my skin care specialist when I had severe acne, and it benefited me a lot. Not only did it remove acne marks, but it also made my skin softer and glowy.
  7. Always use a sunscreen. Never step out without a sunscreen even if it’s a cloudy day. Use a gel-based sunscreen if you have normal or oily skin. Use a cream-based sunscreen in case you have dry skin.
  8. Every morning when you wake up, the first thing you should have is warm water with lemon in it. No sugar, please. Vitamin C does wonder to your skin.
  9. Now here’s a face mask that I use once in a week. Grind half a banana with yogurt. Put it in a cup, Add 1 tablespoon of rice flour, and 1 teaspoon of honey. Leave the mask on for 20 minutes, before rinsing with warm water.
  10. Hydrate yourself – Drink lot of water. For instant glow, You can prepare a face pack by taking two spoons of tomato pulp and adding two spoons of curd in it. Leave it on your face for half an hour and then rinse it with lukewarm water.

Wow! Now will I become beautiful?

No! These tips are NOT going to make you beautiful. Fortunately or unfortunately, Beauty comes from within. If you expect that once you follow these tips, you will start looking like Angelina Jolie or Anne Hathaway, then you are highly mistaken.

All it’s going to do is, make your skin look more healthy and glowing.

Challenges of being dusky in India

In India, where being fair is glorified and considered synonymous with being beautiful, if you are dark-skinned then definitely it has not been a cakewalk for you. We had asked our readers to share their experiences and challenges that they faced due to society’s obsession with lighter skin.

Read on these stories by three women who are dusky and lovely .

APARNA

We spoke to Aparna Ajith, a South Indian from Kerala who has lived in Gujarat for the past 20 years of her life, and she revealed how she was always judged for her complexion and it ended up making her feel miserable.

“Kids used to compare me to the colour of a road, call me a crow or would mock at me saying “Kaali” implying black girl. I was upset with my looks. I used to be depressed most of the time and cursed myself for having a dark complexion. I felt like asking my mom at times if I was adopted. Probably because my whole family is fairer than me”.

“When I used to go to Kerala for my vacations, somebody or the other would pop up the question, “Chitra (my mom) is she your daughter? How come you are fair and she’s so dark? Something has to be done, else when she grows up she won’t get a good guy and blah blah blah!”


And I used to think, shut the heck up . I used to keep mum and listen to all of this. At some point, my mom felt that something needs to be done.

She got some home remedies from her relatives and asked me to apply it on my face. I tried every shit, trust me. I applied Chickpea flour, some Ayurvedic oil, different scrubs and what not. And what happened, my skin got even worse as I have extremely sensitive skin. I started getting acne all over my face. By this time I think I was in my 11th grade. Going to school with all those acne used to be terrible. This went on till 12th.

Then came graduation. The phase of life where you expect people to be mature and not judge you solely based on your complexion. Alas, hope was lost there too. Life was miserable again.”

She reveals how It took her a lot of time to love herself and accept the way she looks.

ANUKRITI

Anukriti Shrivastava recollects her challenges of being dark skinned and tells us, “I was three or four years old when my grandmother came to visit us. She Looked at me in a horrible way and said – “Dolly (my mom)is she really your daughter? Why is this girl so black.”

I was a child but I broke into tears.”

Recollecting her childhood ordeals, Anukriti reveals how she used to be bullied at school due to her complexion.

” I used to sit alone. No one wanted to be my friend. Other children barely talked to me. When I was in 2nd standard, our whole school was busy with the preparations for our annual function. I also wanted to take part in it. But my class teacher refused to take me in the dance act, as she wanted only good looking and cute kids.

All these incidents turned me into an introvert and made me under confident. I became a girl who was forced to think that she was ugly and would never get her prince charming.”

She says it was her brother Priyansh who always made her feel beautiful and instilled confidence within her.

She concludes by saying “Those who matter in my life don’t care about my skin colour. And those who care about my skin colour don’t matter in my life”

Anukriti

AMIRTHA

Amirtha Govindraj recalls her experience and says “I am from Tamil Nadu, where the majority are dark-skinned but still get ridiculed for being dark.”

I was tired of phrases like “If you had been a bit lighter, you would look amazing “.

“Then comes the school phase, where guys used to tease other guys with me to insult each other. That’s how the schooling went. Girls behaved more or less the same way. I was good at studies, extracurricular activities and even received the best student award. Yet I was teased for my skin complexion. Many guys used to avoid talking to me as they felt it would lower their standards.

Due to the way I was treated during my childhood, consciously or unconsciously I developed an inferiority complex.

Eventually, I got rid of the thought considering my dark skin as a curse and started to rejoice my complexion. Even now many don’t consider me beautiful just because of my complexion.”

She concludes by saying that,” Dark skin is not something to be ashamed of.

Amirtha Govindraj

Do you feel dark-skinned people are unattractive?

Isn’t it sad that these girls underestimated themselves because society made them feel ugly? They are beautiful in their way and its high time we stop equating fairness with beauty. Beauty comes from within. Being compassionate, respectful, forgiving and kind is what makes a person beautiful. Who cares whether you are white, black or for that matter a shocking pink!

Why is there so much of obsession with having fair skin? DROP IN YOUR COMMENTS

Think Positive

Yesterday I went to my friend’s place for dinner.

I don’t have the habit of visiting my friends at their homes, so this was the first time that I went to her place , and that too only because her mother insisted.

There I saw her grandfather sitting in his wheelchair, smiling.

How difficult it must be for him now confined to his wheelchair. He is a retired army officer and must have been so fit and full of life during his youth.

The dinner was excellent. Before leaving, I went to him and asked him if it was difficult to be confined to a wheelchair.

He smiled , “I’m not confined to my wheelchair . On the contrary, am liberated by it. If it wasn’t for my wheelchair, I would be bound to my bed and never be able to leave my room .”

I was surprised. It gave me a lot to ponder over.

He could have been bitter about it.

He could have criticized or held negative thoughts regarding how his life has turned out to be but instead he CHOSE to think positive.

Thats when I realised, that having a positive perspective can make all the difference.

I decided to see good in everything. I have understood that I have the ability to make my life happier by choosing to keep my perspective positive.

Our thought process has a major role in deciding our feelings at any given point. Do you agree?