WOW – “Hello, Old Friend”


Theme: This Friendship Day, write a letter to your oldest friend, and let the world know your version of friendship. This week’s WOW prompt is- “Hello, Old Friend”

Hello, Old friend K,

I know that you must be wondering what happened to me after all of these years but I am sure we did not become each other’s far-distant memories. I write this letter as a way of completing the circle, a circle that represents our friendship that, to this day, serves as a pattern for every single one of my friendships I’ve had since you.

14years! It’s crazy that it’s been that long, by the way. When we last talked I was in college and you had just started working, it was your first job. I made friends who were very different from me, and I feel that the people, I met in college have allowed me to grow and change in ways that I never imagined. I am sure you remember I was very actively involved in dance and theatre when we last spoke but unfortunately that didn’t last very long. I switched from commerce to journalism, then advertising and ended up with a doctorate degree in business management.

I look quite similar to the way I looked during college. For one, I went through a stage where I was constantly growing and chopping off my hair. After I quit dancing, I came back on a diet of cheese, butter and colas which made me put on some weight and whenever I felt fat, I got back doing exercises losing all that baby fat. Still after few years of being completely content with my status as the funny girl, I am the same; I could not come out of this image.

I gained various passions and went through many stages over the years. I am now in a position to describe myself as a puzzle junkie, Ghazal fan-gal, a reader of every fiction novel ever written; a film fan, amazing poet, journal writer, a collector of quotes, web site developer with all the technical sense possible, a person obsessed with comedy shows, a dreamer, a comedian, and off course awards winning blogger. I could go on forever, but it seems I’ve already accomplished so I’ll stop now. There are, of course some things that haven’t changed. I still love to be the centre of attention yet I am particularly private about definite aspects of my life. I still love to meet new people and study them all the time.

When it comes to romance I am on the same page. I’ve never really given settling (call it getting married) much of a thought -mostly because I am a really self-interested person and I want to do so many things in my life, none which (presently I mean) involve husband or kids. I’ve always been a hopeless romantic, but over the years I’ve gained just enough level-headedness of that perfect romance, I am scared it might end up in catastrophe. But I guess I’m still hopeful for the ‘right’ one to come in my life.

Our friendship did not begin in hours or even months to be broken easily. It is here to stay eternally. Thank you for being loyal, that has been the hallmark of our friendship. You wouldn’t rat me out with others without showing your loyalty to me first. You were not afraid to say to the world that I am the best. You were proud of me ahead of every other person. You gave your heartfelt compliments and this I will never forget. Many others doubted my ability and my actions but not you. You believed in me, that I could make anything possible and I did because of your motivation. You believed in me, yes! And made sure I succeeded.

Thanks for sticking with me through this exceptionally long-winded update, and I’ll be meeting with you very soon.

Lots of love, Your best friend

R

“This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

So many books, so little time


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“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” – Cicero

Relationships may get detached but friendship with books has great bonding without any fear of detachment. Loyalty of books than anyone else has attracted me to remain attached with them. The books are interwoven with my life in such a way that I seldom forget to carry a book while travelling or while leaving home.

Growing up I played tagged at recess, went over to the neighbour’s house, played video games and ran around with the family dog. But still books became friends to me more than people. Every book, every single book in my house is my best friend. In a way books are like people to me because they are my best friends, but don’t be mistaken. I like books more than people. Books are my escape from the real world. You can do anything you want inside the pages of a book with no consequences. You can be whoever you want, man or woman, adult or child, hero or villain. You can hurt. You can kill. You can kill and nobody will be the wiser inside a book, because books keep secrets like best friends should. I have best friends that are short and best friends that are long. I have funny best friends and sad best friends and adventurous best friends. I have best friends with gay protagonists and you don’t and that’s really closed-minded of you.

Books are so much my best friends that they’re my family. I have the paperwork here that I found in a book that says I can make my parents not my family. I’m my own family, just me and my books, my real family. Some day I’m going to marry a man like Professor Robert Langdon. Books give me strength. Reading gives me power. I have unlimited power. The books tell me soon I’ll have enough power to make them live, to release them from their paper prisons. It’ll be the books’ world then, and because I’m their best friend they will treat me kindly. You really made a mistake, not befriending books. Books never expect anything from us. Books never hurt us through bitter words. Books never complain. Books are there for us when we need them the most! Yes, books are truly my best friends.

“This post has been written in association with Chaayos & Blogchatter on occasion of Friendship Day”

Chai pe charche


 

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One of the best aspects of studying in college(s) is the number of interesting people you stumble upon. I have been privileged by meeting friends and making fantastic memories over the years.

It has been pouring heavily; typical monsoons of India accompanied by flooded roads, traffic jams, laziness all over but still the beauty of rains remain magical. I sat by my big window, with hot cup of my mocha from Starbucks, allowing myself to fall in love with the weather and slowly drifted into memories.

The first memory I have of chai (tea), was in my degree college canteen. During your student life, chai bounds to become a part of your daily life, whether you are bunking boring lectures and being in canteen with friends, going for the tuition classes or coming home from college, or having group discussions or preparing for examinations, everyone falls back on cup of tea. Chai remains synonymous with studies and fun.

We were a gang of 6 girls – Humera, Sarita, Pooja, Monika, Reena and I. Except me, all the 5 were chai walis, where as I was the coffee wali and often called ‘Desi Firang’.

Canteens are an important part of college life, considering they’re the only place where you can find your stomach satisfaction with unlimited chai and yummy snacks, which gives all of us the best memories of life.  I remembered the time I spent with my girl gang, at the canteen where we together had those endless discussions over a milky sweet- not so hot cutting Chai-the typical Irani chai with Hyderabadi tadka or at times about my love for coffee and the never ending discussions on who would get married first and last, and how we all used to make the most uninteresting tasteless tea equivalent to dum chai and enact the ‘Arre huzoor wah Taj boliye’ advertisement.

I adore the entire picture that comes in my mind when I think about it, the canteen serving us idli sambar, cheese sandwiches, pav bhaji, tea and coffee, coca cola, the leftover cups, garbage, friends and seniors around you, and one step outside the college walls, we had the long line of autowallahs around with some more varieties of snacks being sold by the roadside vendors and also the mobile chai wala, our Shiv bhaiya. He was my girl gang’s favourite chai wala, stopping by him was a must on way back home especially during the rains. We often used to say to bhaiya isn’t it nice to have chai stall to yourself than being mobile; giving our own little bit in the conversation with him till the chai was fully favoured. I remember 6 of us would call out “Bhaiyaji Namaste” in accord to greet him. Spending at times there, my world was all about the chai vs coffee, with friends, gossip, serious dialogues and biscuits.

And then suddenly my mobile rang and I pounced back to normalcy. I wondered what type of life was going now at the canteen and whether Shiv Bhaiya could manage to have his own tea stall or is he still mobile. Somehow I tackled the thought that day and continued with my mocha.

Today it has been 12years when I am out of college and far from my friends who have gone to distant places from Hyderabad; but these memories appear in my mind very often.

Those college days, the small canteen and endless cups of chai over which we discussed the ways world can be changed for better, how we would try to rise up against the stupid rules imposed on us, the debates and the quizzes we had on various issues, won’t be back again as we all are lost somewhere in the realism and insipidness of life, while being crushed with responsibilities as an individual, daughter, sister, wife, mother and also employee.

What I learnt is that college life is the only time where we get to live our life to the fullest. The college memories are the best moments, a few minutes of immediate bonding where friendships are built for long, a little bit of life is built daily on those lectures, annual day preparations, exchanging of notes, around that favorite adda- the canteen and mainly over that ek cup chai and endless charchas.

Chai Glasses

“This post has been written in association with Chaayos & Blogchatter on occasion of Friendship Day”

Photography a myth


Theme: Jean-Luc Godard said : “Photography is truth”.  Agree or disagree?

Photography was initially thought to be a method to objectively represent truth and actuality, absolutely untouched by the perspective of a photographer. However, photographers tend to manipulate their photos in many ways, from selecting what to they’re going to shoot to manipulating the resulting image by using computer digitalization. The inherent manipulation of photography brings about questions relating to the disposition of truth. Every art form manipulates reality as a way of revealing truths not readily apparent to the untrained eye. Today’s photography has pretty much become a postmodern form of art and postmodernism asserts truths do not inevitably last, however truths shift and adjust with cultural changes. These truths which last are typically expressed in mythic archetypes and themes.

One form of manipulation has been vast improvement in film itself, with the ability to adjust for scratches or other types flaws of the film. Another rationale for this sort of image manipulation is for enhancing any subsequent degradation that take place when depicting three-dimensional actuality in a two dimension photo. Photographers intercede in every photograph that they create, whether through orchestration or directly manipulating the scene being acquired; by selecting, excluding, cropping, and in other methods of making pictorial selections as they shoot the photograph; and then by suppressing, enhancing, and cropping the final photo in the darkroom. Finally, they add captions and other types of contextual elements to anchor a potential meaning while discouraging another. While a photograph, professes to portray truth, in actuality entails manipulation of both message and object.

Even as a photographer attempts to precisely capture a scene, he may entirely miss out the real meaning of a scene laying in front of him. “Photography, even the most faithful type, can convey truths even when the facts may be erroneous while on the other hand, can be quite erroneous as to the core of a setting despite having the facts correct. Manipulation of photography could therefore be necessary as a way to depict a setting or subject as truthful as possible. Events don’t always appear to be self-explanatory or clear in photos, and devoid of captions many photo become ambiguous. In an Ironic twist, a photographer may feel obliged to manipulate an image as a way of representing a subject or setting as authentically as possible.

“This post is a part of #writingwednesdays at WriteTribe” 

Some ME time Please!!


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Theme: Write a poem or personal essay about what you do when you are alone – do you feel lonely or do you enjoy your own company

Is it just me or do people who can enjoy their own company gain more respect from others? An admiration, if you will. We are in awe of them because they are truly happy in their own skin, and being with their own company is something they clearly enjoy. Something that so many of us strive for. They exude self-confidence and self-respect. Who wouldn’t want more of that?  Turn off the phones, turn off the computer, TV and put some relaxing music on and just chill out.  Take this time to meditate, journal or read a book. This is your time with you. Embrace you and enjoy it and I often do that. Many of us need a friend or partner to help us face any sort of fear, but when we are forced to do it alone, we realize how brave and courageous we really are. Just knowing that you were able to do this by yourself is good enough reason to start trusting yourself more.  Yes, I’m not so bad after all. As a matter of fact, I’m really kind of fantastic. Take time to get to know who you are. We never give ourselves enough time in a day to have a relationship with ourselves and because of that, many of us don’t even know who we are. Our personalities are often overshadowed by the people we spend the most amount of time with, be it co workers, your spouse, your friends, whoever. But who are you really. Spend some time with yourself and you’ll find out soon enough. I’m gonna bet, you just might like you. If life and work demands get in the way of your alone time, try scheduling it on the calendar like you would a doctor’s appointment and stick to it. You are as equally important as your loved ones. Love yourself first.

I have just as much fun traveling alone. It’s a different experience, but no less enjoyable. When I travel alone, what I learn about is myself. I learn about my own strengths, and I learn about my own weaknesses and insecurities. I’ve never come home from a trip feeling anything less than a better, stronger person.  I’ve always held the belief that if you aren’t able to take interest in something, it says more about you than whatever it is you find uninteresting. To truly enjoy being alone, learn to look at ordinary situations in new and unfamiliar ways. Go to the park and watch people play with their children or their dogs. Go to the grocery store and watch how people shop for their groceries.

When you’re alone, you have an incredible opportunity to think clearly about your life and the direction you want to take it. In a world that’s often filled with noise, you’ve been given quiet. This is a time to reaffirm the path that your life is on. Are you happy and fulfilled? Should you keep doing what you’re doing? Or, are you feeling unsatisfied? Should you change something?

Being alone and happy doesn’t mean sequestering yourself from the world. It means being confident enough to know that you can surround yourself with people, but not depend on them for your own happiness. And one good way to get started is to surround yourself with good people—the kind you’ll find when you give your time to a cause that’s important to you.

“This post is a part of  #FridayReflections at Sanch and Write Tribe”

The Last Time You Wrote A Real Letter


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Remember the letter? You would take a pen or a pencil, and paper – paper that you can run between your fingers and cut yourself with if you weren’t careful – and you would carve the words into the page. The reader could see my thoughts unraveling – taking a step down one avenue, reassessing, having a change of heart, backtracking, and proceeding in a different direction. No such insight is afforded with a backspace. (The irony is not lost on me, as I type about how I miss the beauty in all that’s hand-written.)

Sometimes it feels like we have no interest in letters anymore. They’re antiquated, time-consuming, outdated. And we are impatient, impersonal, and too ensnared in the speed of technology to make time for the purity of unadulterated human interaction. It seems we prefer a disconnected communication, having grown uncomfortable with overbearing intrusions into our privacy and our space – weird, obnoxious impositions such as eye contact and the ebb and flow of conversation that is heard rather than typed. We have forgotten the nuances of human emotion and reaction that organically insert themselves into conversation – a smile rather than an “lol,” a tonal change, a warming of the eyes, a squeeze of the hand, an indication of understanding – emotions instead of emojis.

But I was lucky enough to have a childhood that existed pre-deluge — the avalanche of technology and social media that somehow makes communication faster but more shallow, easier but less appreciated, perpetual but less personal. So I straddle this line – I appreciate and miss what once was, while engaging in what now is. I text about the beauty in a hand-written letter, I tweet about how Twitter, while a great place to get news, has both exposed and exacerbated the worst in people. I tweet about how Twitter perpetuates a culture of accommodation, a deeply festering obsession with validation – and I check to see if it got any retweets or favorites.

We don’t meet up for coffee with potential romantic encounters, we exchange Instagram names and then swap occasional texts and like each other’s pictures for the rest of eternity. And when we cut off someone, when things don’t work out, when it’s time for a splitting of paths, we never really fully detach. We end communication but are still plastered throughout each other’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn timelines. We live in a one foot in, one foot out generation, where everything has a noncommittal feel to it, where our facades are more important than our feelings, where the best way to be cool is to be told so by as many strangers as possible. We end things with people but linger somehow because our online extensions of ourselves are too tangled, and let’s face it, your ex still likes your photos and every like counts.

I’m trying to be more conscious of the casual attitude I almost unknowingly adapted with regard to committing to plans; I tell myself that if I say I’m going to do something, that means I’m going to do it – and there is great value in that. There is great value in giving my word – for me, for those to whom I extend it. Yeah, I still Facebook, Tweet, post photos on Instagram, and text. But I promise myself I’ll never let go of the desire for the really meaningful, deep, substantial connections that only come when connectivity is hard to maintain.

I am participating in Half Marathon Blogging Challenge with Blogchatter.

Feast friends


 

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A friend who appreciates food as much as you do is the best friend of all. They know that feasting is always a good idea and that happiness indeed comes in a plate. They also get that the time and place for food is actually any time and any place. Bad day? Let’s eat. Great day? Let’s eat! Annoyed? Let’s freaking eat. These friends make for the best friends. Life is filled with hard decisions; choosing what entree to order should not be one of them. There’s a mutual understanding that you can order two appetizers and a main course without feeling ashamed.When you are eating, you’re bonding. This person is always ready to try new places and new foods, which makes for the best adventures. Staying in and eating is more than acceptable and highly encouraged by your foodie friend. It’s totally fine with them if you’re not in the mood to go out drinking because you’re saving drinking calories, which means you have so much room for food calories.Real friends let friends drunk-munch. But drunken eats are entirely different for you two than to non-foodies.Whether it is something great that needs to be celebrated or something bad that you need to feel better about, they will be there with a plate of mozzarella sticks. Food fixes everything and they know that, but more importantly they know your favorite order and favorite restaurant.

I am participating in Half Marathon Blogging Challenge with Blogchatter.

My heart is yours


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I know you exist. Somewhere out in this mad city or this crazy country or this beautifully ridiculous world, I know you exist. You’ve been walking on this planet, doing things and making things and being things that mean something to you. I know you’re working. I know you wake up every morning and go to sleep every night and in those hours, minutes, and seconds in between, you make hundreds of decisions that have yet to lead you to me. Your family and friends have the privilege of talking to you daily. They’ve heard your laugh and felt your embrace. They know your voice when you speak and they have memories that date back to years I’ve never known you. There are people who know your favorite dish, how you take your whiskey and what team you cheer for on Sundays at the pub near your apartment on some street in some place in some city. There are people who love you because you are already so wonderful.Call me crazy – which I know you will, in an endearing way, of course – but I already can feel your heart. I know it’s good. It must be to put up with an overly-romantic sap like me. I know it’s full of things that I need and full of things I don’t even know I need yet. I know there will be a day when all those thoughts we’ve had will seem meaningless and obsolete, just visions of how we thought our lives would turn out, in comparison to how they actually turn out. There will be a day when we realize nothing we ever envisioned was quite as beautiful as that moment when we said yes, yes, yes to love. The path may be broken and scattered the directions unclear and unsettling, but the love, the fever, the fire – it’s just getting started. I know we will meet. Not today. Probably not tomorrow. Or next month. Maybe not even next year. But we will meet my love.

I am participating in Half Marathon Blogging Challenge with Blogchatter.

Twitter & Me


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I have been using Twitter more 5 years. The first thing I do in the morning, before anything is to check Twitter – I mean a lot could have happened in the last 8-10 hours since I was sleeping, can’t miss anything.  I sometimes shake my head in disbelief when people tell me they don’t know what Twitter is.  That should be a crime!

Twitter is simple. Twitter does one small thing, and does it well. Twitter works like people do. If I’m interested in someone, I don’t have to ask their permission to follow them. I don’t have to ask if they will be my friend: that is something that evolves naturally over time. Twitter’s brilliant social architecture means that anyone can follow me, and I can follow anyone else (unless they want to keep their updates private.) People who follow me on Twitter learn that I’m experimenting a recipe, or watching a movie or riding bike with my brother or enjoying rain, things that I’d never (or rarely, since I’m doing it here) share on my blog. I know a lot more about many of my professional contacts that make them more into friends.

That was short and sweet about few of my Twitter habits or confessions. I would love to hear about your obsessions with Twitter and learn about even more reasons people are addicted to twitter.  It will also help me feel like I am a much more normal person.

I am participating in Half Marathon Blogging Challenge with Blogchatter.

If Trees Could Speak


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I feel  trees have life as do the animals and humans. They feel and react but rave no language or tongue to express their feelings. Only if they had the power of speech, they would express themselves in much the same way as we do. Leaves would say how they hate winter that heralds their impending death. Tree trunks would boast to one another of their advanced age and experience. Fruits would tell stories about their childhood. Branches would talk about the visits they have had from their insect, bird and animal friends. The spring would have sweet songs of welcome from them.

The trees would also react to express their pain. They would say ‘ouch’, if the leaves on their branches were pricked. They would be found screaming with pain, if we were cruel enough to break their twigs or branches. Leaves would say how they hate winter that heralds their impending death. Tree trunks would boast to one another of their advanced age and experience. Fruits would tell stories about their childhood. Branches would talk about the visits they have had from their insect, bird and animal friends. The spring would have sweet songs of welcome from them. The trees would also react to express their pain. They would say ‘ouch’, if the leaves on their branches were pricked. They would be found screaming with pain, if we were cruel enough to break their twigs or branches.

Even if trees cannot speak, their agony and bitterness has been forcefully expressed by a number of poets and environmentalists. Botanists too have repeatedly reminded us what the trees need and how great their usefulness is for us. It is for us to give them their due and by saving them save the very survival of the earth. If trees are gone, our Mother Planet would not have any trace of life, whatsoever.

Spas – for the Rich & Famous


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Spas today immediately conjure up in one’s mind images of a relaxing environment with one dressed in a robe and osho slippers listening to soothing music, sipping herbal concoctions and eating healthy designer meals. Life is supposed to be simplified in a spa with no distractions and work obligations focusing just on the well being of the client.

Today there are different kinds of spas – health, day, retreat, beauty, resort and detoxification. Health spas are about instant rejuvenation quite like the instant Maggie noodles that we are familiar with. Treatments in these spas are designed not just to work fast but to also provide visible instant results. Most spas offer five star facilities and are largely the destination of the rich and the famous. These spas that exclusively cater to the glitterati are generally situated in resorts. The rich pay huge amounts to get them off their dependence on substances and to get their lives back on tracks. The champagne dreams and caviar kisses that’s what luxury is all about in the spas. They are aimed at pampering the already pampered.

With less time these days for relaxation, these spas are minting money as popular vacation getaways for the rich to unwind. The idea is to be able to get mental and spiritual harmony by spending money realigned in a spa to be able to hit the road again.

I am participating in Half Marathon Blogging Challenge with Blogchatter.

Yellow Journalism


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In the late 18th century America’s New York World was owned by Joseph Pulitzer and the New York Journal was owned by Randolph Hearst. The term yellow journalism was first coined during the newspaper wars between these two leading newspapers. In an attempt to increase sales both these papers changed the content of their newspapers, adding more sensationalised stories and increasing the use of cartoons and drawings. In 1896, Pulitzer published a cartoon of his own called the Yellow Kid. Yellow Kid was an overnight success. Pulitzer built the New York World into the highest circulating and most popular newspaper in New York. The mix of solid news coverage with sensationalism made for a heady mix and the citizens of New York lapped it up. Eventually Hearst managed to lure many of Pulitzer’s staff to his paper. Their rivalry only served to stoke the competition. The news was largely over dramatised and altered so that it would evoke strong interest from the public. The term Yellow Kid became synonymous with sensationalised stories that discredited the stories of other papers. Somewhere along the way objectivity had been compromised. When Remington one of Hearst’s reporters sent him a telegram from Cuba stating that there was not much going on there. Hearst wrote back saying ‘you furnish the pictures and I will furnish the war’.

Yellow Journalism is now over hundred years old. Back then it emphasized on sex, violence and crime sprinkled liberally with emotionalism, inaccuracies and exaggerations. Most journalists claim that Yellow Journalism has now been replaced with informed, intelligent and unbiased reporting. They claim that the Yellow Kid is now dead. But critics beg to differ. Their views are amply supported by the news articles we see in paper these days and the new that is broadcasted to us throughout the day. It is increasingly apparent today that Yellow Journalism sells. Sex and violence are the most important topics after money. Television has taken it a step further. The line between news and entertainment is so distorted, one can hardly tell the difference anymore.

The newspapers carry articles based on the claims of unnamed sources that are given an opportunity to express baseless allegations. Journalists seem to increasingly display motives that have nothing to do with social consciences and the disclosure of injustice. They are not aimed at uncovering the truth. They no longer carry the voice of the voiceless. The goal of journalism today is profit and record sales. It is the new face of Yellow Journalism – news that is tainted and smacks of unprofessionalism, news that feeds off the lives of celebrities. A good example of Yellow Journalism is that associated with the death of Princess Diana. To what level does one stop? Has the need of sensationalism so superseded the need for truth that journalists are ready to drive the truth in to the ground? Where does Yellow Journalism draw the line?

Closer home the much talked about wedding of Aishwarya Rai to Abhishek Bachchan was covered like no other. Hours on end, channels showed reporters contemplating the type of Mehndi Aishwarya would chose to have it done. It was hilarious the amount of prime time TV that was wasted on the speculations of who would be invited to the wedding. Surely there were more newsworthy stories.

The absence of truth and propriety in newspapers today, the poverty of serious interest in reporting news as is without sensationalising it is what makes one believe that Yellow Journalism has not yet been done with. It is still Yellow only a different shade perhaps.

I am participating in Half Marathon Blogging Challenge with Blogchatter.

Always classy, never trashy, and a little bit sassy


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That everything we put on social media is a selfie as we choose to publicly share is meant to be a reflection on who we are via those things. Anything someone posts is as much about what that post says about the person who shared it as it is about the content of the post itself. I kind of love selfies, if for no other reason then they give you pretty direct insight into who a person is. I’m not saying it isn’t legit to judge someone based on their selfie, but if you do, judge them based on the content of their selfie, not merely the fact that they posted one.

Selfies defy the notion that a person should always look amazing but also be very unaware of it, and that we should do whatever we can to make ourselves look awesome, an important part of which is never appearing to be trying to look awesome. Every selfie is a biting little reminder that we’re all just out here online trying to make ourselves look good while attempting to keep up the illusion that we’re here for any other reason.

Selfies are usually a very spur-of-the moment type of thing that aren’t meant to commemorate any particular special occasion. The great thing about selfies is that they can be just what the name implies: all about you. I love taking selfies because there’s no pressure. You’re by yourself or with friends and you can take as few or as many as you like. Selfies challenge the idea that you need a justification to be seen. You’re announcing that you exist in the world and are going about your day.Ultimately, selfies don’t have to be about likes or comments. Sure, everyone enjoys a bit of admiration, but it’s also about your relationship with yourself. You don’t have to apologize for noticing yourself. Drink yourself in. Celebrate yourself. Never feel guilty for announcing your presence. You deserve to fill up space. If you’re feeling down, put on your favorite outfit, attempt a new hairstyle, or just make a funny face. Do whatever feels right.

Whether you’re documenting your strong hair game or just trying to pass the time, it’s your acknowledgement that you’re here and you’re pretty damn awesome. It takes a lot of bravery to post a selfie, so you should be congratulated regardless. Remember that it’s always okay to love yourself and feel proud of yourself. I don’t care if you stare at your reflection in the mirror for an hour, as long as you’re confident. Break out your camera and start snapping.  Embrace yourself with your selfie.

I am participating in Half Marathon Blogging Challenge with Blogchatter.

My Mighty Periods


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Recently, a male friend asked me “What’s it like to have a period?” I replied him “Bloody hell.” He laughed, but persisted by musing over the fact that we’ve all been taught about female menstrual cycles in Biology class, but other than that, girls are left to get on with it. All my friend knew was that when his girlfriend was ‘on’, it was his duty to turn up at her house with plenty of ice creams and candies. The pain that many of us feel whilst on our periods is difficult to explain to someone that doesn’t have a womb, or hasn’t begun their periods; certainly, even my own Mum’s explanation to me about a “heavy, draggy down pain” couldn’t quite prepare me for menstrual cramps.

And so, when my male friend asked me about my own experiences with menstruation, a question I hadn’t expected was “How do you cope, with so much blood?” That “so much blood” I thought. This question really got me thinking: how do we get used to menstruating? I realized that after 2 decades, I just get on with it. It’s something I expect, in fact, if it didn’t appear each month I’d get a bit concerned. Quite a lot concerned, actually. I’ve both giggled and sympathized with friends about the inconvenience, the months where it stops and starts, the months when a random, breathtakingly painful cramp hits you, the months when you begin craving food you’ve never even tasted.

Now however, I’ve realized, it’s not something to be ashamed of. Despite Instagram and Facebook’s recent censoring of photographs containing menstrual blood, the backlash against this has empowered me to celebrate my period. I see it as part of becoming a woman. I recognized, when a friend was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries (and so cannot have periods,) how sacred they can be. Many many women suffer hugely with them, having all sorts of injections and procedures to cease them completely, which is entirely understandable.

I’ve come to see menstruation for what it is: a representation of my ability to carry a fertilized egg, my future child. One day it will open the door to motherhood, which I personally, see as one thing. A blessing.

And so, the next time I’m asked “What’s it like to have a period?” I think I shall answer with:

“It’s a blessing in disguise and I am HAPPY TO BLEED”

And it will not stop me from finishing the tubs of Baskin Robbins.

I am participating in Half Marathon Blogging Challenge with Blogchatter.