What’s in my closet: Makeup

So exhibit A can either be your worst enemy or best friend.
And for my husband and a very dear friend, Sephora is their arch nemesis.
I don't blame them, the poor souls have been made to stand for an hour in my quest for a clear mascara.
Now trips to my beloved Sephora are the butt of all their jokes.

So when a friend told me that I might as well make use of my blog and write about makeup I had tried and tested, so a lot of you out there wouldn't have to, I decided why not?

We all know, it takes a lot of effort to even look like you've made no effort!
Unless of course you're one of those souls blessed with the worlds most perfect blemish free skin……
Still I wouldn't take it for granted girlie! Be careful what you slap into your face and in what order. Else you'll be looking for my list soon!

I never wore makeup till I started working. Usual college getup was a terrible Kajal and chapstick.
And even after I started work, I was pretty terrible at how and what I put on my face, often opting for drugstore brands in place of spending money where it mattered.

Drugstore brands are pretty awesome, and I have my stash of things from them, but for long wear products I tend to steer clear of them, and I know because I've learnt the hard way! Nothing looks uglier than a cheap lipstick caking away midway through date night.

I'm going to give you my list, but no, you may not judge me for everything I own and neither am I asking you to dress up like a tart.
Please use everything at your own discretion, and btw, it never hurt anyone to watch a you tube tutorial(or many) to learn what they are doing.

Sunscreen: The holy grail. Please don't leave home without it! I use Cetaphil. Use whatever, but make sure the SPF is not under 15.

Lotion: I love nice smelling lotions and own ridiculous amounts from hand to foot to body. I love bath and body works and Victoria's Secret equally for their rich lotions.

I am a free spirit in my makeup application and I've learnt what works for me by making some pretty ugly mistakes. But I love certain routines, but your order is your decision!

Primer: I use 2 kinds.

This guy for when I've been treating my skin well, and I just want it to look brightened.

And this guy for when I'm sleep starved and my skin needs some real TLC.
Please don't think you can just slap foundation right into your face without spoiling your skin. Primer makes everything better.

Concealer: For me, there will only ever be one, Mac, because it matches my skin perfectly and is super lightweight.

Foundation/BB cream:

Meet my dream team! The Pixi tint is the lightest water based formula and in my opinion the best BB cream.
L'Oreal infallible is a great drugstore foundation with good coverage and doesn't budge.
Too Faced is great full coverage foundation for longer nights.
And Mac, is water proof( I vouch for that), sweat proof (tested!) and lightweight, longwear awesomeness!

Setting Powder: Again Mac!!

Contouring: I'm still trying to get a hang of it, but it promises to hide your double chin , give you cheekbones and give your face definition.

I use Hourglass, it has nice buildable colour. And Hoola from Benefit for a bronzer on top. And sometimes just Hoola by itself works really well too!

Highlighter: Again, learning by failing( often miserably). So I end up using what's available here, instead of the fancy stuff I would spend dollars on and still look like an idiot.

Both from Benefit, one has a pearly sheen and the other one is matte. Both look super pretty and are no brainers in the application department.

Eyes: I am colossally bad at a cat eye. I don't wear eye shadow, and my brows are whatever, ok? So here's a straightforward lay-man's(or woman's) eye kit. And you're going to thank me for showing you the eyeliner which never fails to give straight lines. Oh, and also the awesomest mascaras!

Mac eye pencil is longwear. Rollerlash is a push up bra for your lashes. Falsies is the prettiest everyday wear mascara. And if there's only one eye product you're going to own? Let it be the eyeliner!

Blush: Jeez! There's so much stuff right?? I mean all this for looking like a no makeup look?
I used Stila as a creme blush and Mac for powder blush for the longest time, till I bought this beauty. Such pretty shimmery colours!

And Finally!! How does all this goop stay put on your face the whole night? ( Sometimes till morning if you've slept with your face on)

Setting Spray!! Doesn't let a thing budge! Tried, tested and loved! The Urban Decay one does what it says, and believe me, nothing budges.

Do your thing, make your own mistakes, watch a LOT of instructional videos and please go to makeup stores to learn how to do what you should be doing! The only idiots are the ones who don't ask!

Now, now, I told you not to judge me!
Save that for after I've done my piece on lipsticks ok?

P.S. None of these brands paid me to say ALL these nice things about them. Imagine!

The Delhi Devil: Part Deux


I promised I’d be back! And back with bashing the wonderful men, that thankfully, God decided only to give North India.

You Mumbaikars, and whoever else you are, need not gloat. I’m sure there’s a blogger somewhere dissecting you as well. Oh Joy!

And, as I’ve had to remind everyone a million times, specially the ones who send the hate mail, this is not about the famed fight between genders. So get with the program ok?

*knuckles crack*

Shall we begin then? The rotund, misshapen, strangely dressed creature that co-inhabits our world surely deserves his due. But an entire blog? Let’s show him the mirror as well..

Walk into a bar in Delhi, head to get a drink, and you’ll spot Exhibit A. He’s wearing some sort of collared t-shirt with obnoxiously large branding across the front. Because the brand couldn’t afford a billboard, you see. And the logo is either a) stretched across his bulging stomach hiding the designer belt, or b) steroid infused biceps. But either way, they forgot leg day at the gym, because those skinny jeans look better on those toothpicks than on most women. And the piece de resistance? Patent leather shoes, branded with the LV or GG shining like a 10 carat diamond. So. Many. Brands.

Exhibit A is slipping the bartender a fat note and expects the poor guy to fix him and his entourage drinks asap. Waiters are on a first name basis. “See Bro? I come here all the time, regular…”. Yeah……sure.

Exhibit B is pretty much dressed the same, but is sitting at the couples kitty table. Surrounded by well manicured women, but has his lecherous eye on the drunk 20-something year olds. Sipping some expensive wine because he was told it’s good, or even bubbly with his moustache dipping into the glass of Moet. He’s so creepy. Avoid eye contact at all costs.

Recently, we also got our share of the artsy-fartsy ones. Unkempt beard, kurta, jeans are so passe. They have been replaced by barolo sipping art connoisseurs who dine by the moonlight on their yatch nibbling on beluga caviar. Now that’s a tongue twister. So many put-on accents acquired by secret finishing classes. Swirl, Swish, Spit. All while pushing the metrosexual vibe…think pants in which you can’t sit down, cocktail pants dummy!

Business-man-uncle / my papa is a businessman, is loud, obnoxious, has an unnecessarily large car, maybe even a security guard. He knows everyone, has all the contacts and can get your work done. No matter what. He works from 12 noon till 5 pm, lunch break not included. Where the heck is all that money coming from man? Even I want your job.

Then there’s the corporate variety. It’s a sea of blue, grey and black. Type A personalities. They are the go-getters. They got this, ok? Presentations, balance sheets and air tickets, all in one stride. Identified by that laptop bag they carry around like a hernia. Women are either meant to be subordinates they can lech at, or secretaries. Women bosses are there because either the company needs “diversity” or because she found an alternative way to ‘climb’ the ladder.

Give this suited fellow a couple of drinks, and watch him unleash his magic. The impeccable English gets replaced by profanities in the mother tongue. Dance moves are pelvic thrusts. Yup, that’s the guy that handles my portfolio.

The biggest disappointment is the eye candy: Greek God looking, perfectly built body and looks amazing in whatever he wears, and he can wear most stuff so well!

But please don’t open your mouth and shatter my dreams. Ssssshhhhhhhhhhhh, forever.

For good measure of grossness, and because I can, I’m going to add one last guy, though he’s seasonal. The hairy guy who wears his vest to the swimming pool. Wax or shave it bro, women have done it since the beginning of time. See how nice we look? I really don’t want to get into the pool imagining some of your fur has floated off. *gags*

So much diversity! And we say we are not a tolerant nation!

See what women put up with? Each one of you can give yourself a pat on the back.

And the men who haven’t had the fortune of finding themselves on the list (so far), please applaud yourself for being semi-normal.

But don’t relax and let loose just yet, I’m still watching you…………..

The Delhi Devil : Part Un


Life is thankfully back to normal. Vacations are long over….phew.

But does Delhi ever rest?

Instagram and Facebook never sleep.

Social media is my best friend and worst enemy. What else would I read on the pot no? You all do it, I just say it.

So in all the entertaining pictures, Facebook updates, location tags and check-ins, I’ve found the reason why I would never leave social media!

After all, where else would I find the weird and wonderful animal that inhabits the social space on our phones and laptops? Who would fill the void? What would I do with all my free time?

Here’s a short break-up of the best of the best of the best:

On Vacation : Pinky went to London. Pinky checked in at IGI, mid-air and Heathrow. Pinky checked into the Dorchester, even though she was staying in an air bnb with washer-dryer and mini kitchen( but that’s between Pinky and hubby, ok?). Pinky made a pilgrimage to all the spots her friends told her, from Hakkasan to Sexy Fish, because she needed to go back home and tell her friends that she can too. Pinky also posted hourly pictures on instagram (it’s more private naa babe), because how else would we know that she’s carried 10 pairs of shoes for a 7 day vacation and bought a new bag!!! Oh come on! You really were born yesterday, no?

Party-Animal: Sweety has a huge social circle. She does couples night, girls night,   family night, cousins night, school friends night, college friends night…..are there any nights left? And you know where she is, because Facebook is updated with every ‘crazy’ night she’s had. Every. Damned. Day.

Kitty Aunty: Bunny is the busiest of them all. She has cooking kitty, cards kitty, couples kitty, neighbours kitty, tambola kitty, dandiya kitty, teen patti kitty and a religious kitty thrown in for good measure. And they all have names, because “kitty” is so yesterday. They are social groups and meetings. Just so no one questions where papa-ji’s money is going. Bunny is making good use of her time ok? Haters……

Mother India: She’s taking care of her children tirelessly. Drives them around everywhere. Her ailing in laws live with her, so she’s also perpetually on a hospital run. Often identified by a frazzled look, bottega bag, diamond earrings, always on the phone. Once she starts talking, she will be done only when she’s told you every tragedy that’s befallen her and mummy-ji. She know mom’s side, dad’s side, in-laws side, your side, all possible relatives, and all their stories. Ear plugs complimentary.

Body Buff: She’s running at 5 am, in the gym at 7 am, personal training at 9 am, quick massage at 11am. Carbs only for lunch. 5pm is yoga, 7pm is a long walk with the girls. Dinner is only salad and proteins. HDL is high, LDL is low, and what Tri glycerides? You seriously want to eat chocolate?

Exhibition hunter: Where? Hyatt at 12, tomorrow? Me and Sandeep aunty will be there beta. Pinky’s sister in law’s cousin has a stall at London market selling ‘designer’ bags from China? She will be there.

DeBo Chick: Organic clothing (but only designer), chunky silver jewellery, kohlapuris, a little too much kajal….know her too right? Because one should never leave one’s roots. And when one does dress up DeBo, don’t stop till you’ve tried too hard. Totally authentic Indian looking babe. Reminiscent of butter chicken sliders…. giving a WTH feeling , with a fuzz of familiarity.

Parlour Pest: Kitty just loves the beauty salon! Permanently blow dried hair, perfect manicure, hairless and glowing skin. Has to be porcelain perfection because she’s spending half her salary and every lunch break there. Beauty doesn’t take a break.

Cine Blitz: You know she knows what you know but you won’t say you know because you think she knows that you know she knows. Comprende? She knows before it’s happened. A faster-than-light relay of information on everyones life and powers to know what Kitty’s husband said to Pinky’s husband about Sweety’s derriere …..hawwwwwww.

Wonder Woman: *eye roll ensues* She’s got her shit under control. With her picket fence house, perfect children, jet-setting career and arm candy husband. She must be on cocaine. Witch. Black magic even.


And all the other vanilla in-betweeners we know, find your own shade of weird!

Reality is so much stranger than fiction…much like your wardrobe…

What would I possibly do without so much action in my cyber life!?

Thank you Delhi Aunties/Babes or whatever the heck you think you are, for making my life (or pot life) a little happier and a lot more entertained.



BTW: Part Deux is on its way to explore the Desi boyzzzz. Muhuhahahahaha.

Oh, and also, remember my motto: You (just) thought it, I said it!!

Mid life crisis and how NOT to handle them

I’ve always looked forward to my birthday, I love the presents and cake and a good party.

But this year, as the day approaches, I’m getting a knot in my tummy.

Last night, a bunch of us were discussing how old we are, and all my closest friends are now categorised as mid-30’s and 40. *choke*

When the heck did this happen????

I was young and wild and free. 

Now I’m suddenly mid 30’s?? 5 years I’ll be 40?

The thing about age is, you don’t feel it, but you sure as hell look it and behave it(or not).

Sitting in bed, I asked the husband, “Do we look that old or that age?”

Husband: “Of course babe”. 

End of world drum roll started.

Me: “No, but when I look in the mirror I can’t tell how old I am.”

Husband: “Nobody minds looking at their own face babe.” *slap*

I know I’ve not felt these aches and pains before. I’ve not loved early bed times more. And a light meal at night….but I thought I was growing up, not growing old!!

Damnit. Where did all the good years even go?

One moment you’re feeling all confident, like “I got this”, ” I haven’t felt better than my 30’s” and all that bull.

Next minute you’re having a full scale breakdown, palpitations and meltdown all rolled into one.

I’ve really never thought of age as more than a number, but this Birthday has really got me riled up.

It might also be causing me to act out, act immaturely(hey,hey, it’s not a common feature ok, I can be a grown up), and not be myself in general.

It’s making me take some risks, say and do things I normally don’t see myself doing.

Classic mid life crises.

But I thought I already had that when I hit 30, with all the irresponsible behaviour, but apparently you hit new levels of stupidity every 5 years.

Now do you feel my meltdown?

It’s a full scale panic attack.

I know, I’ll eventually calm down. I won’t get another tattoo. Or colour my hair purple. I won’t do something overly foolish(or so I hope). 

It will all blow over and come under control. 

But it’s these moments that inspire people to take some amazing risks as well(playing my own devils advocate).

They do stuff with their life they didn’t have time for before. Take up passions. And they stop being so complacent. Stop being lazy.

It’s inspired people to make career changes, get fit, run, write, basically do so much more with their lives!

Yeah, maybe that’s what I need!

Or maybe, just wait till my birthday rolls around, and realise that it’s not that bad. It’s just another year, and it’s not the end of the world. (So dramatic, I know!)

Or maybe I’ll still fight it. Growing old but not growing up. Not in a maturity perspective, but in a fun aspect. Be Peter Pan. 

Age is just a number right? Right?

Not JUST a Mom



There’s no feeling more amazing than holding your child for the first time, something awakens in you.

You become a mom. And every feeling you ever felt is negated in face of this over-whelming new emotion.

You redefine love. Because you realise you never knew it like this before.

It’s the strongest experience a woman can feel.

It defines you….. or does it?

I’m not going to go all femi-nazi preachy, so hold onto the keyboard just yet!

Unfortunately, the opposite sex has no clue what I’m talking about. Sorry guys, but no. And don’t defend yourselves, because you did not carry an entire human around for 9 months and then birth it. So sshhhhhhhh.

I was a career woman. Independent.

I went out with my friends and didn’t have to disguise them as “girls nights”.

I spent without guilt.

Now, like many many other mommies, I can’t go to the loo without an audience. And I’ve learnt the word Power-Shower (or the art of bathing in under 5 minutes).

I gave up my career, and previous life, fully aware of what I was doing. I was never forced into it. On the contrary, my husband, parents, and in laws, have encouraged me to go back to work. But I’m just too lazy now. Plus I’ve taken the opportunity to pursue the interests a full time job wouldn’t have afforded me.

Working moms, and people like me alike, however, seem to have put ourselves on the back burner.

Letting ourselves go physically in some cases, and mentally in others.

I found myself in a place along the way where I was frustrated and angry. Who was I anyway??

I’m sure every mom has felt the pressures to balance our work,children, one hundred relatives, husbands and social lives. And we crack.

The anger comes out on the people we love the most, and, the people we are doing all of this for in the first place.

We forget that we are also fully functional adults. We don’t need to be guilty of wanting me-time.

We lose our essence and our identity,  we lose the definition of me!

I don’t mean thrust your kids on the nanny and walk off in your high heels.

But a more pragmatic approach.

Stop feeling guilty. Find the time to do things for yourself. Relax yourself. Mentally and physically. Don’t be afraid to take a vacation minus the tots. Do that dinner date you planned. Get a massage. Lock your bedroom door for a bit. Read that amazing book.

Don’t make excuses, make time for yourself.

Being a mom is not a punishment. So why do we punish ourselves by taking on too much?

We have amazing support systems all around us and we should really tap into them ever so often for sanity purposes.

Delegate to the husband. He won’t say no.

Give responsibility to your children. 9 out of 10 times, the house is not set on fire. No apocalypse, relax.

Call on your parents, I personally don’t trust anyone more with my kid than the people who raised me.

And everyone will love the calmer, saner version that you become!

Go on girls, show yourself a little bit of TLC before you spread the love.

And you can thank me for this advice later (even though you knew this all along)!


The Inconsiderate Idiot: Travel diaries



Finally back home, unpacked and settled. Suitcase living is over! Yay!

Not that I don’t love travelling, don’t get me wrong there, new places, clean air, beautiful sceneries, blue seas, pools, margaritas……..

But what jolts you back to reality are the flights back home *sharp breath* *grimace*

The flights that leave for home from any destination in the world are not planes, they are buses. Filled with screaming and unhappy children, and adults. Rowdy men with too many whiskeys already in their stomachs, mummies cajoling kids into eating one biscuit more, honeymoon romances with choodas upto their necks and aunties loudly discussing their latest shopping.

Somehow, when we as a people are abroad, we know manners. We respect queues. We know which side of the escalator to stand on. We know to step aside on the metro.

And as soon as we reach the airport to come home, it all goes to shit.

There’s always this guy yelling at the ground staff in Hindi. Dude: she’s barely speaks English.

There’s the guy who uses his belly to push the check in lines forward.

There’s the family with so much luggage that it needs to be repacked right at the check in desk.

And no disrespect, but there’s the aunty who can sprint through the mall, but requires a wheelchair at the airport.

On the flight, the zoo goes worse with people with no regard for announcements.

Dude: you will be boarded according to your row. And I don’t care if you know Modi. The entire process I meant to minimise the torture for souls like me, who just want to put on their headphones and pretend to be dead for the rest of the flight.

You cannot have cognac with soda and ice. Your child cannot get a beer on your behalf. Who even drinks whiskeys like “Hong Thong”??

Moreover, you absolutely cannot open your own booze on the plane and have a party in row 48, finishing up all the water while I die of dehydration. Then Honey Singh and company will listen to songs, clap, sing loudly and curse, just cause you normally call your friend a BC………Jesus!!!!

No wonder air hostess and stewards are constantly pissed at us and airlines save their worst planes for India bound flights.

We honestly behave like we have never travelled before. We ask for it, like a misbehaved bunch of toddlers.

Indians are travelling like never before. With a yearly growth of nearly 20% just on domestic travel and over 988 lakh people taking to the skies annually, yet, IGI looks more like a mega fish market than an airport.

And unfortunately, we lack the basic etiquette towards one another that will earn us the respect of flight staff and fellow travellers.

We want the frills, the respect and the service. But do we deserve it?

Couple of things alien to us:

Queues. Seriously, queues. Like in school. Lines? Comprende?

Leaving loos clean as a courtesy to the poor guy who throws up at what you left behind

Saying “Please” “Excuse me” and “Thank you”

Also, just wait till the plane reaches its dock for heavens sake!! Sit your bottom down!

My list is pretty huge, but this current rant has probably explained the look on my face as I race towards my car from the doors of the aircraft.

It’s not that hard. We do it when we are abroad, why can’t we do it at home??



P.S. You might have your own opinion, so write a blog about it no? Don’t rain on my parade, I’m not in the mood. Touchdown!

Eating my way through San Francisco: A photo blog

So my much awaited vacation has come to its end. I couldn’t be more depressed as I write this blog. 

I’m sure most people are getting over their summer hangovers from all the beautiful places they traveled, be it nani’s home or some exotic foreign locale.

I spent a month in my favourite city on the planet. Beautiful, sunny, free spirited San Francisco(well Berkeley technically).

For everyone unaware of how much I love the city, I would make it home any day.

It’s progressive. People are liberal and are trendsetters( of the mental variety). They care about the environment, drive Teslas and carry reuseable shopping bags. They hike, run, and make the most of the beautiful hills. Basically make the most of life. And love dogs. 

The food scene is no less vibrant thanks to a massive immigrant population from all over the world. 

From the obvious pizza to craft beers to Korean food, any cuisine you can dream up. And every restaurant, be it big or small, has absolutely delicious food!

So we ate and ate and ate……. and never got bored! If you know me and A, you know our passion for food…… brace yourselves.

This beauty is from Barneys, massive burgers and brilliant milkshakes(not to forget a pretty nice beer collection). And of course I couldn’t walk home after this meal. 

We had our customary 2 stops a day for ice cream, because when the world ends, you don’t want to regret anything……

Bi-Rite has the best-est salted caramel ice cream. So much so that the non ice cream eater(sacrilegious, I know) husband loved it.

There is a reason why Mama’s is an institution. Any cabbie knows where this is! The omelettes were massive and the pancakes tasted like cake. Also, chocolate crumb cake. Needed to walk up a hill post that. But then ate ice cream soon after. You know, just in case.

True Food Kitchen, real food that was really really good. I don’t have a picture of the charred avocado, but oh my god, it was oh my god!

Also, cupcakes are always a good idea….

And brunch is always a winner. Specially the crepes at Maison Bleue and the decadent spread at La Note! Also, very easy on the eye wait staff always makes a meal better, hehe. 

I also had my favourite bar: The East Bay Spice Company. 

I know they do Indian food really well, but what brought me back over and over again were the exceptional cocktails( fine, the bartenders as well). And the view into Berkeley campus is really nice too.

I also ate at a Spanish place called Duende twice. I loved it that much. Amazing tapas and they make their own tonic, so of course the G&T happened. And then the flight of tonic happened. Basically, the waitress knows us now……

Oh and I have 2 words for you: spreadable chorizo. Damn dream come true.

Korean food is up there amongst my favourite cuisines, and Berkeley Social Club just happens to be around the corner from home. That’s where baby A discovered that KFC means Korean fried chicken……. 

Namu Gaji in SFO is also a family favourite with the stonepot rice. And Korean style fries. Love at first sight.

So not only does California take its wine seriously, it takes its beer very very seriously. Point in case, Rare Barrel. 

They do sour beers in a very cool warehouse type setup, and serve nothing else. Just remember to book an uber home.

I’ll also give an honourable mention to the Mexican food we ate, but the pictures don’t do justice to the flavours, so I’m not putting those up.

And our grand finale was Off The Grid. The mother of all food parks. A bar in the centre serving up beer, wine and cocktails. Food trucks all around. It was like I died and went to food heaven. You really NEED to go there!

So in case you see me randomly salivating, rounder in the middle or dreamy eyed, you know what I did this summer. I ate the world!!

P.S. Any questions are welcome!!

Do Nothing Days

It’s sunday afternoon. I’m in the sun fake attempting to write my blog while Di has band practice on the deck, A is writing in his new journal and Foz is sleeping the most blissful doggy sleep a dog can dream of. It’s the most beautiful day in sunny california.

But in case you missed the point, and it’s not the Cali part, it’s the unwinding part. Do nothing days.

They make a huge part of our vacation agenda. Our weekends also regularly feature them. And now you’re wondering if yours do…..they do right?

It’s the day of the week where the whole family just chills around. No plans. Brunch featuring pancakes and bacon. Maybe even ice cream for brekkie. Lazy showers. Reading a book. Family movie. You do that right?

The thing is, we get so stuck in routines, in rat races, in commitments and obligations, that we forget to unwind. To switch off our phones and laptops.

The smaller and larger pleasures of life get quantified by raises, cars, homes, parties and stuff that gets left behind.

And you forget to feel the experiences that actually enrich and recharge you. Your babies laugh, your mom’s lovingly made meal, the book that you’ve been meaning to read, the long walk with a friend, whatever rocks your boat.

One feels the need to constantly take a vacation, the need to just not get another email, to switch off somehow before one burns out.

I know , I know, I really sound like a mom when I take off like this.

But seriously, take time out before time runs out.

The biggest pleasures of life are mostly the ones we overlook because we are just running through life “living it” and getting from one imaginary milestone to another. A bigger house, bigger car, fancier vacation, some imaginary bank balance.

Whereas what we rushed through are the things that really matter. The memories we made and what will keep us company in the days when time abounds and our thoughts roam free.

You won’t remember the business deal that made some conglomerate richer, not the car that drove faster, not how amazing your designer jacket was.

What will keep you company, will be the memories of that sunny afternoon you spent listening to music, making boats and floating them in the rain, the smell of books, your child’s face full of ice cream and your do nothing day.

We only have that much time, let’s spend it well.

~Good Vibes~

White on the inside: The confused immigrant

I’ve been here ONE week. Just one.

I kid you not, in my mind, I’m a white person. I absolutely look like them, no doubt. Seriously, none.

I’m watching tv, I see absolutely nothing different. Nothing extraordinary.

I’m walking around in the mall today and there is no shadow of doubt in my mind that I look like all the other people walking right past me. Shorts, t-shirt, flip flops.


Till I walk up happily to starbucks to get a coffee and out of my mouth comes the thickest Indian accent.

Ohhhhhhh, that’s what I was missing!! A reality check.

I’m brown. B-R-O-W-N.

It’s not just me. It was also the aunty in Macy’s who stared me down, like how dare I buy a ticket to the US. It’s all of us who travel abroad for ‘the summers’. It’s for the time warped immigrant who came and settled in the promised land.

Identity crisis epidemic. Temporary escape from reality. Reads like a mental health advert.

Everywhere in the world there are massive immigrant populations who make that country their home and their own. But there are few as enthusiastic as Indians, to discard their identities. And their colour.

A quick look in the mirror and a short conversation with the starbucks guy will reassure you of your identity.

Point in case: Pammi Aunty who visits ever so often from the US bearing a suitcase full of made in China gifts. She’s wearing her salwar kameez from 1989, still sports a horrendous perm and wants to eat chaat. Familiar?

In my observation, all the Indians who left India, got warped in the year they left. (Unless of course, you visit every year).

Say suppose you left when puff sleeve polyester suits were in fashion, that’s what you’re still wearing( trust me I have THAT relative also). *le sigh*

I don’t want to rain on your parade Pammi Aunty, but get with the program. I travel everywhere and I don’t want your size 14 hand-me-down from the clearance rack at Walmart. Also, India is in the year 2017, so you might want to catch up??

So basically what I’m trying to say is…… I discovered I’m not a white person. And neither is my relative with the puffy sleeves. 

No matter where we travel, where we live, our identities are strong. It’s great to mingle but don’t blend. We have a very vibrant culture and heritage. Something that shouldn’t be hidden by that sketchy accent you tend to develop over a few years.

Go ahead and learn new things and bring in relevant change. 

But don’t forget your roots, where you came from, where your mom dad came from. Don’t forget your daal chawal, churma or dosa. It’s not cool.

Because no matter what, you’re only white on the inside and very brown on the outside.

Peace out.

Visa and want: Chronicles of a travelling mummy



Summer break is a few days away and the quintessential Delhi question has been doing the rounds: “So where are you going for the summer babe?”

Bhilwada, Bawal and Bhairaunch. OK?

Seriously this question gets under my skin. For two reasons:

  1. If our destination is the same, I seriously don’t want to run into anyone I know. No offence, but I escape the heat as much as I escape people. If I really wanted to see you, the plan would’ve been made, maybe even together! So please “babe”…..
  2. Your inane questions are teaching my kid to ask me the same question. How does he even know Switzerland exists? He’s 7. And frankly, I’m appalled that kids in school are discussing international vacations.

When I was growing up, summer vacation meant Nani’s house minus mom, dad and discipline, for 1.5 months. Just me, my brother, coke, lalaji ki dukaan, contra, mario and a ridiculous amount of hindi movies.

Today summer vacation has become a tamasha of sorts, with everyone making a beeline for visa offices, ‘babes’ exchanging notes over the kitty party and husbands clutching chests and cheque books.

Ok, my rant is over. So lets get to the point, I’m also travelling this summer ‘babe’. *kicks self in ass*

And my pilgrimage is nowhere close. West Coast, USA. The land far, far away. Short 22 hour flight. *slient sobbing*

And I’ve been traveling to the US with my son since he was 7 months old(a lot of our family lives there). And boy , was it hard to begin with. I had a toddler who insisted that his entire life’s worth of crawling be done in that 17 hour flight. AND I spent the time on ground changing diapers and disinfecting bottles. *swift death*

From the initial challenging times, baby A has turned into a travel superstar who handles my passports while I furiously stuff my suitcases overhead. He stands patiently in queues, and even holds his pee when I’ve been in situations with no way out. (Flip side: he’s vomited at every international and domestic airport possible.)

If it’s like this to travel with one, imagine what two can do!! So if you’re reading this and don’t have kids, please don’t give us dirty looks while we try to contain ours.

Here’s what I carry in my overnighter on long haul flights:

  1. A change of clothes (for everyone, i’ve landed in Koh Samui with no luggage, so trust me on that please)
  2. Wet wipes, my best friends.
  3. Medicines with a prescription please. Certain places in Europe tend to be sticklers for prescriptions.
  4. Headphones because the plane ones usually don’t fit little ears.
  5. Plenty of books and activity kits, please try to restrict toys as they only add weight and noise.
  6. Toothbrushes and tiny toothpaste, airplane breath and death smell the same.
  7. A scarf for mom that doubles as an extra blanket for the kids.
  8. A snack or a small meal. Since we all know much much airplane meals can suck. And a bottle you can refill with water/milk.
  9. I have baby eye masks for A because they keep turning lights off and on at all bizarre times
  10. Disinfectant. God only knows how much we love this as moms. Oh, and lotion and chapstick please.

This by no means is an exhaustive list. With babies it’s triple with the bottles and formula and changes and diaper and food. Ai yai!!

But it mostly covers the stuff that I would like to travel with. And has been fairly consistent no matter the duration of flight I’ve taken. 

(If you have something to add to the list, do put it in the comments section and I’d love to keep updating my own list!)

Kids are a handful and everyone has a unique set of challenges with their own. So don’t worry about it and don’t be embarrassed. We have all had our fill ( and continue to) of the unique things kids can say and do.

Hope you have a great summer vacation and I’ll be sending you pictures of mine soon. Aaaahhhhhh on my way to clean air!!