2018 Favourites – Quarter 3

Oh boy. Quarter 3 has been quite the mind-boggler.

Like a fast-paced, twisty-turny, fiction novel full of intrigue, drama and what not, the plot only thickens with every hair-pin bend in the road. For the most part of this quarter, I was almost waiting for a bus to come hit me from the right when I was looking left to cross the road. And even so, I wouldn’t change a thing about it – peace may prevail where I don’t (for now), but chaos is the most beautiful form of unlearning and relearning. It may come disguised in veils of confusion, but it pushes me to be consciously present in every moment, for fear of the moment being lost in the flurry of worldly things. Capturing each moment in the mind’s eye, in all its vivid totality, has been the takeaway from the quarter, and I recommend it with an enthusiasm verging on fanaticism.

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I have some strange favourites this quarter, and I can’t exactly put them into categories. So, let’s do this random, not in tandem. If it rhymes, why not yeah?

Serendipity (Tattoo)

I’ve been asked by curious fellow metro travellers what my ‘serendipity’ tattoo means, signifies or if it’s written in my handwriting. I have always been fascinated with the idea of finding something beautiful without looking for it – the serendipity of the universe. And it happens to be, that a lot of what I love (people, things, opportunities) have come to me ‘serendipitously’ – a word I still struggle to pronounce despite Google trying to teach me how. Now, when I look at it on my left arm (in a place where I used to wear my watch – which now goes on my right wrist), it reminds me of all the good things that have been nudged my way and the promise of many more to come.

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It may be just a word inked on my skin, but to me, its my guardian angel. Sometimes, words do that which actions never can – they turn on the soul.

Hand-held mirror

They say a friend’s eye is a good mirror. Especially if you are looking for positive criticism. And especially if it’s got to do with wearing eye-shadow.

A hand-held mirror is your best mate for perfecting an eye-shadow look. You can hold it on one side while you work your brush on the other side of your face. It gives you a real close-up view of your lids, it allows you to look at your lids from a lower angle, and it’s ideal to carry in a purse for touch-ups. It also makes for a chic, elegant style statement. I personally prefer a wooden one, but there are a lot of cheaper options available in the market that will serve the purpose.

Let’s stop leaning into mirrors, struggling to get feline liners to be precise. Let’s only lean in when there’s a kiss waiting on the other side.

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Hero Fountain Pen

‘Where did you get that!’ – my childhood pal exclaimed, while I fished out my humble Hero fountain pen from my bag, to scribble down some ‘tech trivia’ that he was so patiently enlightening me with. As if a magical sabre had been unearthed from a hidden cavern, he beamed, looking at the ‘pen that was a part of our childhood’.

The Hero fountain pen was always the one thing from the pencil box that was never shared – every individual writes in a certain way, and the pen adapts itself to its master – the nib getting smoother and more artistic with each passing stroke. And if one was to lose his hero pen, it was doomsday conspiracy into pi. Such was the charm of this unassertive companion.

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And to this day, I don’t share mine with anyone. In fact, my childhood pal requested that I get a new one for him, because he knows he wouldn’t have shared his. After all, it’s not the kind of love you spread thin.

To my dismay, these fountain pens aren’t easily available anymore, except in small, unassuming stationary shops.

Jewellery – dainty necklaces

Just like the fit and style of a pair of denims, necklaces tend to change trends every season. They go from chunky to dainty to statement, from silver to gold to rose gold, from long to short to choker, from colourful to monotone to metal – and TBH, keeping up is like sprinting towards a moving train. Never mind the current in-vogue style, I prefer comfortable, dainty, gold necklaces that stay close to the neck and most importantly, don’t tangle the hair, bobble the t-shirt or oxidise. I get mine at the usual high street stores, wear them for a season and get new ones after a while. They make for a subtle accessory statement, without being overbearing. Go casual, party, or formal – they work with most OOTDs or OOTNs.

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Live music

As an untimely September rain drizzles across the city, a cold ‘November rain’ finds its way into my heart (have to admit these words are stolen). The universe has been gracious to grant me the pleasure of listening to a lot of live music lately – mostly old school rock ‘n’ roll – transforming my dingy world into a starlit, twilight sky. The unbound joy and tireless beauty that live music brings to the soul is undeniably the best feeling ever. Through all the drama of life, music was the only way to run away without leaving home. And now when I think back, I see that every memory has a soundtrack of its own. Because for me, it’s more than just music. I feel alive, I feel at home.

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As cliché as it sounds, music is my safe kind of high.

For the best live music ever in Bengaluru, come, jam at blueFROG on Church Street. And call me if you’re going this Friday night. #notanad

Remote for DSLRs 

There’s nothing like being the master of your own game. It is frustrating to miss a personal deadline simply because you are dependant on a friend, family or anyone else for part of your work – this is especially true if your work involves photography or videography in any form. My life changed the day I got a wireless remote for my DSLR camera. This meant that I could click my own pictures as long as I had some natural light and a sturdy tripod. If your camera can autofocus, then you can move around, pose away and shoot multiple looks in a day. Being independent makes work easier, faster and so much more satisfying.

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As far as I know, most DSLRs support wireless remotes that are compact and can easily be hidden in the palm of your hand. Making love to the lens has never been easier.

App Canva

The app Canva is a saviour if you have basic design needs to be fulfilled. Whether it is a display picture, a Facebook page banner, an Instagram announcement, an invitation, a logo or any other design need, Canva has set templates that can be modified to match your requirements. It saves a .png file for you – so you are sorted. I have been using it for over a year now, for multiple requirements, and love the quality of the design templates. The app is user-friendly and requires no technical understanding of design. It’s free, it’s on your phone and it does the job beautifully. No reason to not love it.

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Placeholders for Books

“If you remember me, then I don’t care if everybody else forgets” – says Haruki Murakami in my favourite book ‘Kafka on the Shore’. A book overflowing with surrealism of cats talking to people, people talking to stones and stones changing the course of time. And although Murakami also says that ‘there is no such thing as a coincidence’, it might be one that I was gifted some adorable sticky notes (featuring cats of all sorts) just before I began reading this book. And even as I read the first chapter, I wanted to go back and read some parts again. It was as if the words were calling out to me saying “If you remember me, then I don’t care if everybody else forgets”. So, I began tagging my favourite pages with my kitty placeholders. And every time I wanted to go back into Kafka’s mysterious, alternate world – I opened a random, tagged page and began reading. The memories came flooding back, the words creating their magic again and teleporting me back to Murakami’s lost world.

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Subsequently, this became a ritual associated with every book I read after that. And hence, made its way into my quarterly favourites.

Bucket Listing

Don’t we all fantasize of a bucket list that we wish to realise in time? Simple things. Adventurous things. Wild things. Dreamy things. We make them up, play them over and over in our mind’s eye, plan to make it happen and fail due to our unrealistic expectations from ourselves, our lives or from those around us. And very slowly, these fantasies take deeper roots, growing stronger, etching deeper and flowing through every vein. Until one fine day, like a red scarf instigating an angry bull, you go at it head on – all in, all out.

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2018 was a year of rebellion. And with it, I saw my bucket list come to life. A vacation to Goa with 2 married, childhood guy friends – something we planned since we were ten. Check. (Read my travel blog here)

It was the absolute highlight of my quarter. And worth the 22-year wait. Also, the craziest tan I’ve had in 22 years (still eminent in the pictures on this post).

There was one more check on the list, but I can’t talk about it. I’d have to kill you.

Writing

They say that when your passion becomes your job, you must find another passion to chase and embrace. And yet, my passion for writing and creating magic with words only burns brighter.

I always looked at myself in the mirror and said ‘I write for a living’. So much so, that the universe strummed my words into reality, spiking it with some love, luck and a whole lot of positive vibes. Writing for a living means that I come home with a head full of levitating words, all jumbled up – and writer’s block when I sit down to work on this blog. Creative inspiration and originality are hard to come by, and late night ‘eureka’ moments just don’t fit the crazy schedule.

But write I will. I maybe inconsistent (a word I hate to be associated with), I maybe missing a deadline, I maybe making false promises – but your love isn’t taken for granted because as someone said –

I was running out of miracles, but then I met you.

I am never giving up. I am never stopping. This is where I began. And this is where it shall all end.

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See you in December for the last edition of this series for 2018 – favourites for quarter 4.

Until next time,

XOXO

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