Book Review #16 : Bloom For Yourself by Sneha Narayanan

Author : Sneha Narayanan

Genre : Poetry

Ratings : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Many times we see people body shaming or fat shaming , commenting on the type of dress we wear or the way we talk to others, and they think they get to decide how we should talk, laugh, sit or wear clothes.Nobody has the right to choose […]

Book Review #16 : Bloom For Yourself by Sneha Narayanan

Thank you for this wonderful review 🙂

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 .


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 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”



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?

Weight loss : How I lost 12 kilos in 3 months

If you have landed here, it implies that you were searching articles to lose weight. The reason could be anything ranging from looking good, to wanting to become fitter or simply to avoid health issues.

I am not going to write about the necessity of losing weight because we all know being overweight can pose a serious risk of developing health issues like diabetes , high blood pressure and other medical problems.

You have clicked on this post because you want to shed some kilos and that’s exactly what I am going to help you with . Though I went on to lose 15 kilos in 6 months, I managed to lose the first 12 kilos in just three months!

Featured in Times of India

Lose weight without exercise

There is no denying that a combination of cardio and strength training is the best way to lose weight but what if you are somebody who hates exercising? Is there no way to lose weight without exercise? Viola, Good news ! I lost 12 kilos in three months without any exercise and you can do it too. I keep trying different diets to see what works for me. Unfortunately I am a lazy bum, who doesn’t like going to gym. So, I lost weight by diet modification and walking for an hour daily . Yes, its as simple as that. Walk and lose weight.

Lose 12 kilos in three months

There isn’t one universal method to lose weight. Some diets may work for you and some may not. So instead of starving or trying some crazy diet, we will just modify your food habits a bit. I did it and I lost weight. So, what’s the harm in trying? Here are a few pointers to remember.

  1. Walk for one hour every day without fail. (Jogging and running would yield better result but I told you, I am lazy, right?)
  2. No junk food. You know this, right? You didn’t expect to binge on burger and lose weight, Did you? So, no chips, no burger, no cold drinks, no french fries, no noodles.
  3. Strict no to sugar and refined flour (maida).
  4. No carbs for breakfast and dinner. Have proteins for breakfast.
  5. Replace sugar with stevia. You want to drink tea but cannot use sugar, right? That’s why use Stevia instead of sugar (please buy stevia, it will save you from putting on few extra kilos)
  6. Take Apple cider vinegar daily. Every Morning when you wake up, the first thing you should have is lemon water. (Lukewarm water + lemon+ Apple cider vinegar)

Weight loss pictures – From Fat to Fit


Sneha Narayanan Fat to fit
At 67 kilos


Weight loss journey
Approx 55 Kgs

Weight loss diet chart

  1. Morning around 8 pm- Lukewarm Lemon water. Add a spoon of apple cider vinegar to it .
  2. Breakfast – After an hour of having lemon water, consume your breakfast. You can have boiled eggs or scrambled paneer or lentil crepe(dal dosa). Basically take proteins and not carbohydrates for breakfast. You will lose weight faster if you skip the egg yolks when you are having boiled eggs.
  3. Lunch – 1 Roti + sabzi + curd + dal ( Yes, only one roti. Don’t give me those looks! You want to lose weight, right? Then do not pile up on carbs). Eat veggies and curd everyday. If you are a non vegetarian, then you can have chicken instead of dal.
  4. Evening – soup/ green tea. I generally have spinach or tomato soup in the evening. Do not use cornflour while making soups please. Try making it using water, veggies and condiments. Yes, milk is permissible. You can have tea or coffee but not with sugar.
  5. Dinner – Proteins and veggies. Try having salad. Yes, make a salad of one cucumber and tomato and eat it for your dinner. Please don’t add corn or other carbohydrates in it. You can add paneer, you can add cheese, even butter, but no carbohydrates for dinner! If you are a non vegetarian , you can have tandoori chicken or grilled chicken for dinner every alternate day . If you don’t like salad, then eat something which has negligible carbs.


A calorie deficit is required for weight loss. If you do not burn the amount of calories that you consume, you may gain weight. By decreasing your caloric intake you can create a calorie deficit and lose weight. But do not make it too low as it can reduce your metabolism.

Consume lot of fibre. A low-fiber diet may be compromising your weight loss efforts.

How I lost 11 kgs
Weight loss transformation

Weight loss story: This girl lost 15 kilos by walking for one hour every day! – Times of India

Excited to inform that my weight loss story has also been featured in Times of India !

Which weight loss method has worked for you? Drop in your comments

The Sands of time

Hi, so we are back with another guest post ! Calm eyes, with a crazy soul, Patient mind with a restless heart, Can read minds but not books, can cry watching a movie, but not in love!

Lets welcome Nishant Gupta, a storyteller, writer, poet and a business developer who was kind enough to submit a prose that he wrote as a guest post for our blog.

The sands of time

Your touch doesn’t feel the same..
the hugs have become love-less,
& the kisses, a formality !
i never told you that because love for namesake,
was still better than the storm of heartbreak..

So, when the blankets that covered our two bodies slipped away from us, i moved an inch away from you & measured the distance between Love & us.
Every moment, we spend in the name of love, leaves my soul screaming so loud, that my mind is possessed by the ghosts of our golden days & I almost go deaf, until u look at me and ask if I’m okay.

My answer invaded the space between us & like the fallen blanket on the floor, your fingers slipped away from mine slowly,
then all at once,
here I was,
measuring the distance between my breath & yours,
until you choked out of pity for a man who couldn’t love a woman, whom he grew up with, since they were 4 year old.
and I watched u leave like the leaves leaving their trees during the storm of winter.

I never told you this,
but I was mesmerised with your green eyes so much,
that even now,
when I see someone with green eyes,
I measure the distance between My heart and healing !!!

Drop in your comments and let us know if you liked it. For guest post submissions, you can contact me by commenting below.

Personal development

Let us talk about Personal development today. What does it mean? Is it about ensuring life long happiness or is it a way of growing? For me, Personal development is about growth and enhancement in various aspects of life along with self-acceptance. You have to be your first priority. If you don’t love yourself, how can you expect others to?

I came across few lines by Joybell C and would like to share it with all of you. “The only person who can pull me down is myself and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore. You may be the most beautiful person in the world and everybody sees light and rainbows when they look at you, but if you yourself don’t know it, all of that doesn’t even matter. Every second that you spend on doubting your worth, every moment you use to criticize yourself is a moment of your life wasted and thrown away.

We have also been featured in Feedspot’s Top 100 Self Improvement & Personal Development Blogs To Follow in 2019. If you run a Blog, News Website or a Youtube Channel, you can Email your website link at to know more.

Who are your favourite motivational bloggers? Mine would be
Zen Habits ( ) and Mark Manson ( ) . If you are interested in Indian author, then do not forget to check Robin Sharma’s blog. ( )

Drop in your comments and do not forget to check this link and let me know, who is your favourite from this list !

Let go of your worries- Don’t carry them forward

Stress is not just a feeling. Everyone experiences stress at some point or the other and the fact that coping with stress isn’t something we were taught in school, leads to perfect recipie for being tensed and unhappy. Today I will tell you a story that I read somewhere few years back.

Once upon a time a psychology professor walked around on a stage while teaching stress management principles to an auditorium filled with students. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the typical “glass half empty or glass half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, the professor asked, “How heavy is this glass of water I’m holding?”

Students shouted out answers ranging from eight ounces to a couple pounds.

She replied, “From my perspective, the actual weight of this glass doesn’t matter. It all depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute or two, it’s fairly light. If I hold it for half an hour straight, its weight might make my arm ache a little. If I hold it for a day straight, my arm will likely cramp up . In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it feels to me.”

As the class shook their heads in agreement, she continued, “Your stresses and worries in life are very much like this glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and you begin to ache a little. Think about them all day long, and you will feel completely numb and paralyzed – incapable of doing anything else .

Moral of the Story is, It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses and worries. No matter what happens during the day, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the night and into the next day with you. If you still feel the weight of yesterday’s stress, it’s a strong sign that it’s time to put the glass down.

Liked this article? Have anything to share? Drop in your comments.

Guest Post : Debts of Love

As promised, here’s our next guest post ! Our Guest Blogger from , Shravani, is here with us to share her flash fiction in the form of a prose. She is an avid blogger, poet and loves reviewing movies. You can find her on Instagram – julyblossom23

Like napthalene balls
lying nonchalant in the farthest corner of the room, you sting, and assail my senses… not loosening your grip on my flesh or my soul, for a minute.

I know you despise it too, this wretched dependency on me, that you cannot shake off by callously walking out the door.
Sometimes we cross paths in the office hallway; each looking different shades of infernos sinking into the depths of hell. I look wary, and you, bashful. Each waiting for the end to come, knowing fully well fate isn’t done with us yet – and won’t anytime soon- not until a few long months have passed.

And guess what? I may have written you a thousand letters when the sun was shining down on us, but I suspect they couldn’t dig a hole in your heart like my last words to you have:

“You’re done with us baby, but you still got my money”.

Drop in your comments . Do share if you liked it. Guest post submissions are open now.

Good news! Our blog not only got nominated, but also won at Annual bloggers bash 2019 held in London on 15th June!

No act of kindness is ever wasted

When was the last time that you were kind to someone? I think there is nothing as rewarding as kindness. Empathy, compassion and kindness goes a long way.

Treat others the way you want to be treated. If you shout, scream, criticize and demean others, don’t be surprised when no one is interested in being with you or listening to you. Anger, stress and worry escalates ageing whereas being kind gives you mental peace and de- accelerates the process. Spread love and humanity.

Today I will tell you a story from Aesop fables, which you must have heard when you were young.

The Lion and the Mouse

A LION was awakened from sleep by a Mouse running over his face. Rising up angrily, he caught him and was about to kill him, when the Mouse piteously entreated, saying:

“If you would spare my life, I would be sure to repay your kindness.”

The Lion laughed, but let him go. Shortly after this the Lion was caught by some hunters,
who bound him by strong ropes to the ground. The Mouse, recognizing his roar, came and gnawed the rope with his teeth and set him free.

The Moral of the story is No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted .

Do you agree that kindness is beneficial? Drop in your comments if you have any story to share