10 reasons I cant wait for #VeereDiWedding

Like any other Indian girl, we’ve been brought up with the notion that one day you will find Mr Right who will sweep you off your feet. And then you’ll get your big fat Indian wedding. And then you will live happily ever after.

Right? Wrong. Because if you asked me, Indian weddings are gorgeous, but a tad-bit overrated. And today I watched the trailer of Veere di Wedding. And it set my heart on fire.

All the girls who are reading this, I urge you to please go watch it here. Now. It brings to life a few truths of the big fat Indian wedding. So much so, that I could show it like a 101 on Indian weddings to my buddies in the West

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Things I already knew as a millennial Indian women, but were only reemphasized by  the trailer:

  1. Every girl’s standards of what an ideal life, husband and sex life look like are different. Being cookie-cutter about this is recipe for disaster. 
  2. The unfortunate harsh truth of our Indian samaaj: Irrespective of how educated you are, society validates you only when you’re married, if you’re a woman. 
  3. In one of the moments from the trailer, the guy asks his wife why she doesn’t get a job. To which her reply is that if she did, who would make rajma-chawal for him? Gender stereotype strikes again. 
  4. Marriage can start with the man going down on his knee for his lady love, but that’s just the beginning. In India, this goes from having to please his mother by wearing an outfit that can make you look hideous, to becoming chaachi, even acting like a clown on your own Sangeet
  5. Indian weddings are about everyone except the bride and groom. So much so that when the prospective groom suggests to his father than they limit the guest list to 200, he is met with a ‘Are you drunk on weed.’? The Indian dad had to mention weed as an analogy. This is how grave the problem is.  
  6. Even when the bride and groom look like they’re stepping into marital bliss, they actually have no idea of what the f*** is happening. 
  7. Girls. Ditch the mama’s boys. They won’t stand up for you if mummyji doesn’t approve. 
  8. A girl always needs her besties. even when she’s annoyed with them. And no-one but her girlfriends can help her get through the marriage tamasha
  9. Just because you’re married, doesn’t mean you’re happy.
  10. Oh and last yet my favorite, even I didn’t know what an orgasm is called in Hindi. (I genuinely hope my mother is not reading this). 

Judge me all you like, but an honest confession. Even if its a chick-flick, I cannot wait!

Decoding ‘Passion’-the millennial buzzword

                                       It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

The above aphorism isn’t just how one of my favorite books, A Tale of Two Cities, begins. It’s an adage that can well describe the times we live in today, too. And even more so, where the millennial generation is concerned. A millennial myself, I’d say safely, that we’re a much more confused, demanding, and impatient lot as compared to our fathers and forefathers. Yet, paradoxically, we’re also in many ways, a more ambitious, driven and sorted bunch of kids, each trying to claim his or her place under the sun. We’re competitive, yet believe in the power of coexistence. We tend to place tremendous importance on material pleasures and creature comforts, yet in many ways, we’re a lot less judgmental than our ancestors.

We party late till wee hours of the morning, yet we’re obsessed with fitness & morning marathons. We dream of owning Rolls-Royces and private jets, yet we’re also the social entrepreneurs, striving to make the world a better place, environmentally, developmentally, and even demographically. We’re disconnected, yet, in ways, even more connected.

A generation of contrasts. Divided, yet united. And if there’s one word that rings in unison, it’s passion. A term occasionally even overused, I’d say. Yet, passion is what acts as a major driver, taking us to our destinations. Passion isn’t just a buzzword in our dictionaries, its a core part of our DNAs. Other than passion, we’re also a generation with courage, the courage to believe in our dreams, the courage to take a stand, and most importantly, the courage to pay of price that individuality occasionally demands.

Somewhere along the course of my voracious reading, I came across an article, Why Generation Y Yuppies are Unhappy which dug deep into the explanation why the millennial generation is relatively unhappier, as compared to the generations that came before them. And the deep-rooted logic did make a lot of sense, which is why I’m reiterating it here. On average, our grandparents’ generation, across the globe, lived in times of tremendous global turmoil. The World Wars, the Cold War, the Partition in India (which my own grandparents were first-hand witnesses to). Time underlined by unrest and suffering. For most born and brought in this era, self- survival, and protection of close kin became the sole agenda for their existence.

Our parents’ generation, most of whom saw the suffering their parents had undergone, understood the importance of stability in day-to-day life. A stable job, decent money, a happy family – became life goals for this generation, determined to give their children what most of them didn’t have access to – good education being a prime example.

And the succeeding generation, our generation, that reaped the seeds sown generations before. We hadn’t seen the struggles of our grandfathers, and we got access to the love, money and care of our fathers. An improved educational system, free media and rapid globalization ensured that we didn’t remain holed up in a shell. Added to that, the emergence of the internet, which made geography practically irrelevant.

And if you’d ask me, it is some of these major transitions that aided a free-spirited mind, independent thought, giving rise to individuality, occasional rebellion, and deep-seated creativity, among the generations that yearns for separate, independent identities. Personal interests, ranging from travel to fencing to philately, emerged into ‘passions’. And open acceptance of these passions meant breaking down of barriers, as far as traditional roles were considered. Emergence and meteoric growth of new industries like Advertising, Pharma & the various dot-com ventures gave rise to innumerable new professions, ending the notion of having to be a doctor, lawyer or teacher to lead a respectable life.

What markedly differentiates this generation, is that they don’t separate work from life. They want to make a good living, and they want to taste success fast. But the underlining factor here is that they also want to do all of this while they’re having fun. They’re brave. They’re bold. They’re always ‘on’ and on-the-go. And with their  professional, personal and social lives constantly merging into each other, they want to design their lives, to suit a lifestyle they love.

And it most certainly works that the world today is structured in their favor, looking at the fact that there have never been as many creatives, entrepreneurs, scientists and what nots, as there are today. A world where passion, and not money, safety or security becomes a key, if not the only reason behind choice of career, lifestyle and money making option. As for the uncles and aunties and mommies and daddies who keep telling us why we have to be travel bloggers and tech entrepreneurs and tattoo artists, when we could be ‘safe’ things like accountants and engineers, sorry to burst the bubble, but I’d like to believe that this is a fad that’s here to stay. For a good few generations at least, if not more.

An Ode to the Lipstick

For every lady worth her style, there’s an artillery of accessories the fashion world blessed us with, to carry us through the day with aplomb. There’s the shoe, an item that surpassed its mere functional utility decades ago, thanks to the Mr Choos and Mr Blahniks of the world, becoming the I-need-to-have-it-or-Ill-die accessory for every fashionable woman in town. And then there’s the close cousin, the handbag, with women choosing to become social only so that they could flaunt their Vuitton’s & Pradas & Guccis at every ocassion.

And then there’s the lipstick.

There’s a special relationship we women have with these little babies, truly. Whether it’s spending hours, days, even months scouring for the perfect shade, obsessing over why that fiery red that our neighbour wears makes us look tarty instead, feeling like we just won the Olympics when we finally do find the shade we wanted, trying every trick in the book to keep it on throughout the night, and then worrying the evening away about leaving a stain on the glass or his shirt.

I personally remember being besotted, enamored, even obsessed with lipstick for as long as I remember. I have fond memories longingly stare at my mother puckering and pouting when she got ready for a party, and then copying the action as soon as she was gone, my promises to not touch any of her cosmetics forgotten instantly. And when I was finally old enough to buy my first piece of makeup, any guesses what it was?

I have come to the realization that the quest to finding the perfect shade of lippy is an experience in itself. Enter a makeup store, and you’ll feel like you’ve just walked into colour Disneyland. Every shade of red, maroon, pink, orange, nude, and these days you even have black, is broken down into versions enough to make you feel that you’ve almost gone colour blind. The saleswoman convinces me to try just ‘one’ shade, tries five instead, and then advises one. Umm, I couldn’t really notice the difference, you know, they all looked the same to me!  And if lipstick isn’t your thing, there’s the new-age cousin, Gloss. And today you’ve even got scientific make-up miracles in the form of new-age babies that promise you irresistible combinations.  moisturizing feel of lip balm, the colour of lipstick, and the shine of gloss. The make-up industry’s been at work, I see!

Ask me, what is it about the lipstick that makes me partial towards it. I’m not saying that I love my eyeliner, or my blush or my mascara, or any item in my make-up bag for that matter, but there’s a special place for my lipstick, or rather, my lipsticks. For there’s nothing like a dash of my favourite lipstick to act as the perfect pick-me-up. To make me feel that I’m ready to face the world. And were it just me, you could have said I’ve been exaggerating. But centuries and decades of women have testified to lipstick not only being their beauty staple, but also their secret weapon and armour in disguise. Just try imagining  Marilyn Monroe in that flowy white dress without that gorgeous red pout. Or Audrey Hepburn without her rosebuds.

If you ask me, I think what makes make-up so special in my opinion is its versatility, the fact that amongst the endless sea of countless shades, there’s only a few that come across as the ‘perfect fit’. The pleasure of finding the shade that makes your face look a million bucks. And how the shade that you wear will probably never have the same effect on another, for when worn effectively, every lipstick looks different on every lip.

Just writing this article has made me want to go on an inspection of my make-up bag. And my red suddenly looks too red, and my pink looks to too pink. I can do with something in between. Umm,  excuse me, for I’m off to buy, you guessed-it-right, another shade of lipstick!

An Ode To the Shoe

Once upon a time, there was a Cinderella, who went to a Ball, and found her Prince Charming, and lived happily ever after. Yes, we know she was hardworking and that she deserved to go the Ball, but let’s face it, what got her Prince were her sandals. Without them, she’d probably be scrubbing floors all her life, for all we know.

Such, ladies, is the power of the shoe. There was a time when the shoe was the poor cousin of the handbag. Who’s going to see those feet anyway, splurge on the handbag instead, we thought. And before we long realized that the woman may carry the handbag, but it’s the shoe that carries the woman. And shoes became celebrities in their own right.

Just as we began to appreciate the shoe, like sheer serendipity, came Sex and the City, where our very own Carrie Bradshaw took shoe love to another level. Carrie’s open adulation for Manolo Blahniks taught us that after cosmopolitans, stilettos were the modern girl’s best friend.

After the episode where Carrie gets mugged, and lets her mugger take her purse in return for her shoe, we decided that if our favorite fashionista adored stilettos to death, then so would we. A pair of Blahniks suddenly found their way into every woman’s wish list, and the brand, which has been credited with the revival of the stiletto in the 1970s, has chosen to keep the stiletto as its mainstay till today. Because classic six-inches are to our wardrobe what diamonds and blue denims are, timeless.

It’s probably no wonder that when shoe conjuror Christian Louboutin opened his Flagship store in India at Mumbai’s Horniman Circle, an entire bevy of Mumbai’s crème-de-la-crème ladies turned up, wearing his signature red-soled pumps, just to show how loved and popular he was even before he decided to enter the Indian market.

Closer home, Malaysian shoemaker Jimmy Choo knew he’d struck gold when Princess Diana’s patronage and open admiration for his creations made him the toast of Fashion Town. It wasn’t long before, throughout the world, a pair of Jimmy Choos became the epitome of effortless, chic style.

We love heels. And we despise them. We proudly flaunt them with our best LBDs, and dance the night away, and then after soles that hurt and toes that cry, we promise ourselves how we’re never wearing them again, only to find ourselves yet again, in another outfit, but the same heels! And the entire cycle of ‘I-know- I promised-I-wouldn’t-wear-them-again-but-what-to-do-they’re-so-pretty-starts again.

What is about these six-inch beauties that make them uncomfortable, painful, yet so irresistible? Some say, you feel taller. Some say it adds that extra glamour to your outfit. One woman even proudly pronounced her heels as her secret savior. ‘Why do I need a man to protect me when Im wearing stilettos?

If you asked me, I’d say that the stiletto is what makeup is to the face, what nail polish is to our nails. We can surely do without them, but life wouldn’t be the same. It’s that sheer pleasure of seeing those beauties on your feet. Of feeling that sweetish pain when they hurt, yet knowing that they bring out a more glamorous, confident you.

When I was little, I had dreams where I was (you guessed it right) Cinderella! Where my Fairy Godmother came, got me lovely shoes, I went to the Ball & met my Prince Charming. And then I grew up. My dreams remained the same, only now, I say, forget the Prince, I’d rather keep the Choo, oops, sorry the Shoe!