Sunday, 29 November 2015

Memories unsold, stories untold...

In the flinching light, I saw.
I saw traces of memories
from last night,
unpenetrated by the harshness
of morning reality,
strewn about the floor
like virgin jasmines.

Maxi Dress - Sudder Street, cuff - New Market, neckpiece - Linking Road, shirt - Nuon, lipstick - Passionate by Colorbar

It's an understatement to call this maxi my go to piece of clothing. Bought from a random shop in Sudder Street during a lazy afternoon walk with a friend on a marijuana hunt for some 250 bucks, I have worn this maxi at least thrice in the past two years on the blog itself! Same goes for the cuff that has been my staple accessory for the past four years. And even though the neckpiece is no more alive, thanks to a wild encounter one Saturday night, it has served me well for the past six months.

I'll be back with my 'oh how I miss Kolkata winter' posts but till then, take care and like I always say, keep it stylish.
P.S. If you are travelling from Kolkata to Mumbai any time before February, you can also get me some nolen gur. *Wink*

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Setting priorities

A considerable part of my childhood was spent making plans on things to do once I get a job. Buying all the books under the sun, going on a shopping spree and signing up for expensive, day long dance classes topped the list. It hit me the other day that working has only taken me far, far away from the person I had aspired to become once I start earning. I've not been able to pursue my hobbies as much as I used to while studying, let alone more. I kept wondering whether it was worth it. Sure I love my job, I love living in the fastest and arguably the biggest city in India, I love being independent...I love it all! But with every passing day, I lose touch with my true self a little more. I wake up every morning - fresh and beaming with energy, ready to take on the world but what about the early morning newspaper I used to read till 12 p.m. before researching more on the topic the editorial that day was written about? What about the leisurely breakfast I used to make myself and wonder if it'd feel this satisfying even when I'm eighty? What about the hawker I used to chat with every afternoon irrespective of whether I buy Popsicle from him or not?

Life is cruel. It lures one with promises of things they have always fantasised about and then takes even their bare necessities from them. I've learnt it the hard way and therefore, decided not to let go of the few principles I've, the few people I care for and the few things I'm passionate about, come what may. I decided not to give up on my early morning exercise, reading a few pages at least once every week and talking to my parents everyday. Putting my foot down and taking this decision not only made me feel empowered but also a lot lighter. Setting our own priorities is important in order to stop disappointing ourselves everyday. What are your priorities? How do you ensure you don't compromise on them?

Pleated maxi skirt and tan tote - Jabong, tussled crop top - Max, black oxfords - Simpark Mall, silver neckpiece - Linking Road, lipstick - Arresting Pink by Colorbar
Picture Courtesy - Anu
These pictures were rotting in my draft for almost a month. Crazy working hours and hectic travelling(and a laptop that's obsessed with crashing) didn't help. But I finally showed them the light of the day! Looking at these also reminded me of the super, super fun evening I spent with my best friend during her Mumbai trip for Lakme Fashion Week almost a month back. This skirt has been my go to piece of clothing for almost a year. The crop top was a gift during my recent Hyderabad trip. Together, they make for such an effortless, chic look even though I wish I had enough energy to take better pictures.

These days, I've also been introspecting a lot regarding my blog. More on that later though. Meanwhile, if you are in Kolkata at this moment, do let me know how the kaash phool(the nerds tell me that they are called saccharum spontaneum but I find it very difficult to believe) looks now and if the Dhaakis have already started beating their drums. Oh how I miss this pre - pujo madness!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Unequal Role Perceptions

I was fifteen when I had told a friend that I want to be a single mother because "I don't want to share my baby with anyone else." I told her that I felt my mom was capable of doing everything that my dad does if she wants to but my dad can't do the same. So, I can imagine her bringing me up on her own but the idea of growing up with only my father scares the shit out of me. I also admitted that I like boys but I'm not sure about sharing things I love with them(chocolates and books being my obvious choice back then). My friend was horrified and even though she didn't tell me, I'm sure she thanked God for not being my daughter. A decade has passed but the story remains the same everywhere.
                                                                                                                        I'm not a staunch feminist. In fact, I have chosen to call myself "not a feminist" for at least the past five years. So, the idea of some people perceiving women as weak, fragile and dependent doesn't annoy me, it amuses me. Yes, I have seen women who always need someone to fall back on but I know for sure that I can bloody well protect my child in this big, bad world and provide for them as long as I have a job and I'm physically fit.
                    On a related note, I was reading an article the other day about male rape victims finding it difficult to share their pain and seek medical help because being raped isn't "manly" and trying to carry on with their so called normal life despite the regular bleeding and the pus-covered anus. A little more research on the same topic made me throw up and cry. I kept wondering what purpose such skewed role definitions of our society served other than alienating people and breaking their hearts. Putting your wife through indirect mental torture because she earns more than you do is as bad as leaving your husband because he is a rape victim. Forcing your son to go for Cricket coaching instead of Odissi classes is as bad as not letting your daughter go to school. When would we accept human beings as human beings? I see so many brave, intelligent, powerful women wasting all their energy on the eternal I-can-do-it-better-than-you fight with men instead of trying to find out what it is that they are originally good at and focus on being the best at that instead of always trying to be better than someone. If one always strives to be as good as someone at something, the person would never be able to rise beyond that someone. I should aim to be my best. If I end up being better than a few people in the process, that's only an added bonus. Is it that hard to achieve? I dream of a society where sex would be just as menial an information as someone's blood group on a form which is meant to be used only in case of emergency. I dream of a society that welcomes both a masculine woman and an effeminate man with an open embrace. I dream of a society where I won't be judged for being a single mother and my son won't be called names if he finds my aanchal comforting even after the age of eighteen. I dream of a society where I'd be a human being first and then a woman.

Maxi dress- Emami Market, cuff and rings- New Market, silver kolhapuri- Shreeram Arcade, lipstick- Orange Punch by Colorbar

Monday, 1 June 2015

Inspiration - Muse-ment...

Oh, happiness is not what I seek.
Give me the saddening Summer creak.
And the Autumn sand.
Also, the contraband
of wars going on inside
where despite my best efforts
the devil wins bona fide.

When I pass by
your place while
being on the sly;
for me, shed a tear
or two as I welcome
like a tired child, my fear
and look it in its eye,
resigned yet calm,
kissing our dreams goodbye.

After almost a year long phase of being able to imagine only in Bengali, inspiration happened quite by chance. Dreaming, imagining and writing only in Bengali was extremely satisfying but among other things, Bengalis are also famous for being "truly bilingual". As one of my favourite authors Kunal Basu puts it, "...Because we, the Bengali intelligentsia...are this rare species on earth that is truly bilingual...Bilingualism doesn't mean being able to read street signs or being able to read newspapers in two languages. It means having two streams flow inside our consciousness. And being able to dip into one stream without abandoning the other. The educated Bengali actually had their toes dipped in both these streams. They read Samar Sen with a passion which was no less than the passion with which they read Sylvia Plath." So, being the true Bengali that I'm, not being able to pen down my thoughts in a few coherent English lines was painful and I was elated when inspiration came in the most unusual form - a few lines scribbled by fellow blogger Kshipra! And there it goes! My creative block(in English)coming to a pleasant end. And in order to celebrate it, I took the new cape out for a spin. Mixing prints is an absolute personal favourite while monochrome and stripes happen to be my ultimate solution to any fashion crisis. And that's how this outfit was born.

Shorts- B.K.Market, shirt- Colaba Causeway, cape- Myntra, brogues- Simpark Mall, lipstick- MAT4 Bold Matte by Maybelline

I'll be back with my Summer staple- maxis and a painful journey I keep fantasising about. Till then, take care and like I always say, keep it stylish.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Summer Stories...

Summer is officially in full swing, fellas! And for some reason, this year, I'm hating it less than I usually do. It might have something to do with the evening breeze here in Mumbai or the weekend beach outings though. Humid as it is, there's no denying that Spring-Summer shouts out 'bright' and 'happy' loud while my favourite season Winter can't really escape the 'dark' and 'gloomy' tags. Given my obsession with layering, I try to find ways to layer even in this heat. Back home, Summer used to be about kaal-boishakhi(Nor'wester) followed by post-storm raw mango collection, shorbot (sorbet is close but not quite the same)made with gondhoraj lebu(a variety of lime available only in Bengal), himshagar aam( again, a variety of mango available only in Bengal), staring at the scorching sun during lazy Sunday afternoons while reading and wondering if life, too, is as unforgiving at times. Things of course, have changed quite a bit here but it has been a welcome change, to say the least. The clock is ticking and with every passing day, the dreadful moment of leaving Mumbai and going back to my least favourite place is approaching closer. But this time, I'm on a mission to be happy and enjoy myself till the doomsday arrives. On that note, say hello to my daylong semi-sexy tan and my current obsession with this denim shirt!

Over-sized denim shirt, eagle ring- Colaba Causeway, maxi dress(worn as a skirt)- Sudder Street, earcuff- Linking Road, jooti, cuff - New Market, lipstick- Arresting Pink by Colorbar
I'll be back with my third obsession stripes(denim and monochrome being the other two)hopefully before leaving. Till then, take care and like I always say, keep it stylish!

Monday, 6 April 2015

The City of Dreams

You know how some people say the entire concept of a place having its own distinct vibe is overrated? Well, let me tell you they are ABSOLUTELY WRONG and I'm a living example of that. If you are a regular reader or connected to me on social media, you'd know about the slow and dangerous depression that started taking over my life ever since I had moved to Indore. I tried embracing the place- exaggerating the quality of dahi at 'Joshi ke dahi vada' and extending the time in the gym but with its not-so-charming small town vibe, closed people living in an age where women are supposed to do all the household chores and keep quiet if they are harassed on the streets, banners and hoardings urging people to quit drinking and eating non-veg or be hanged if the non-veg happens to be beef...Indore just never worked out. I was slowly turning into a person I didn't know- introvert, pessimistic, cynical, irritable and snappy. I also kept falling sick often and the experience of going to a doctor and describing my problem in Indore had been so bad for me that I preferred gulping medicines down day in and day out and stay indoors instead.
                                                                                                As they say, after every dark phase, there is a silver lining. In my case, it was an intimation from the Management regarding my temporary posting in the Mumbai office. Even though I was still recovering, I was elated and couldn't wait to leave! And then came the much-awaited day when I could finally say goodbye to Indore even if for a few months. I woke up the next morning, somewhere near Sion, already feeling the infectious positivism I find Mumbai synonymous with. I could already smell the fish and seafood, see the bustling vada pav stalls, feel the sand and water under my feet, hear the Colaba hawkers calling out to me in my mind. The City of Dreams represents the undying, indomitable spirit of life to me. People do everything they can here to earn themselves a livelihood. And despite poverty, inflation and all other common problems(other than safety of women) Mumbai shares with the other Indian cities, the people in Mumbai just refuse to let these get to them and make them unhappy. Every person has different sides to their personality and each place uncovers one of these. I'm no exception either. The moment I arrived in Mumbai, gone were the depression, the urge to lock myself in a room and cry for hours, the withdrawal symptoms and everything else I had been struggling with. When I ordered my first vada pav in two months at a roadside stall near Chandivali, I was a happy soul and it hasn't changed since then. Small, small things make me happy in this city- a long walk all alone post 11 p.m. without the fear of getting groped, watching people rushing about in one of the local railway stations during the peak hours, looking at the street lights and the cars whooshing past them when I wake up after a rare nightmare(traces of Indore I'm slowly and methodically getting rid of), the city talking to me when I stick my head out of the auto to embrace the fresh morning air on my way to gym early in the morning, the vada pav wala near LnT crossing who never forgets to make my vada pav with extra green chutney and no sweet chutney...and all I feel coming out of my heart is gratitude. Gratitude towards life for giving me a chance to be happy again, to get my dreams back in exchange for the nightmares I had been dealing with for the past few months, to live...
                                                                                                                                         And since this city has healed me so soon and so perfectly, here goes an outfit as a tribute to my second favourite city(Kolkata would be Kolkata and hence, my favourite city always, no matter what)-
DIY distressed denims and crop top- Jabong, satchel bag, ring and spiked loafers- B.K.Market, waistcoat- Colaba Causeway, shades- Myntra, lipstick- Orange Punch by Colorbar

Ever since Debi distressed this pair of denims for me, I find myself reaching for it at least once every week. And since my love for layering refuses to die even in the humid Mumbai weather, the waistcoat had to find its way with the crop top. The serene beach, the wind in my hair and the sand under my feet took care of the rest. I'll be back with more florals, pastels and everything girlie and meanwhile, you take care and like I always say, keep it stylish.                                                                               

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Pushing yourself too far?

Sorry for the absence on ze blog, people! After almost a month long sickness and a week long stay in the hospital, I'm slowly getting back to normal life. Well-wishers everywhere have been reproaching me for pushing myself too far, for continuing with my grilling schedule despite being very unwell. And that's when it struck me. We, the so called independent women today, often struggle with striking a balance between being tough and neglecting oneself. Managing everything from household chores to working for at least nine hours to sweating it out in the gym on my own taught me valuable lessons. It taught me to value my health. It taught me to be grateful for being strong enough to take care of myself. It made me nostalgic for the home-cooked meals I had grown up with, the smell of turmeric-cumin-coriander wafting from the aanchal of my mom's saree.
                                                                                                                Speaking of saree, I wore this beauty by Howrah Bridge for the grand wedding of the designer herself. The royal colours, the traditional atpoure drape, the heavy jewellery...everything added up to the grandeur of the evening otherwise known as my bestie's wedding. Those five days of eating like a starving soul, dancing like a drunkard on loose and crazy, crazy fun ensured I survive the coming dull months(thanks to my empty pocket)without a complaint.

Saree, blouse- Howrah Bridge, earrings, hand chain, bangles- Vardaan Market,bindi- local shop, lipstick- Passionate by Colorbar, wedges(not in picture)- Metro Plaza

With the groom

And with my favourite bride under the sun
Summer is officially here! So are the happy florals, pastels, shorts, maxis, evening breeze and delightful fruity concoctions. Go indulge into a few poolside parties flaunting your skimpy shorts or flowy maxis depending on your preference while I nurse myself back to health and hope to start working out soon. Till then, take care and like I always say, keep it stylish.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Angry Lover's Valentines' Day Look

With my Valentines' Day gone as unceremoniously as every year, my sincere apologies for not painting ze blog with all the red and pink fest most of the fellow bloggers have indulged into. I'm not much of a believer in this 'Day' culture whether it's Indian or Western. However, when Dailylook asked me to be a part of their ' Style your own LBD Look' initiative, I couldn't help lusting over their gorgeous collection to put up my LBD Look.
                                                                                                  Now, LBD or Little Black Dress is a must in every girl's wardrobe. Some prefer to go the feminine route with soft makeup and dreamy curls. Some prefer to go bold with red lips and some prefer to neon it up with a pop. I, however, chose to design what I call an Angry Lover's Valentines' Day Look. The fuss-free LBD with its edgy leather feel and pockets, the fringe purse and the intricate oxford make for a 'I am too tough to be broken by the heartache you caused me' vibe. The blingy blazer scream out 'I am perfectly capable of having a life of my own' and the oh-so-in marsala lips make for a bold statement without going the mainstream red way. The gun metal ring set and spiked earcuff add to the 'Do not mess with me' feel. This is an outfit I consider perfect for all those strong, independent women who have been struck in the face but refused to back down, those who have been left scarred again and again but never shattered. This is women power at its fashionable best!
                              So, what are you waiting for? Go shop this look here or put your favourite outfit together from here! Trust me not to exaggerate when I say you'd be spoilt for choices.

Beautysets - Angry Lover's Valentines' Day Look
Angry Lover's Valentines' Day Look

I'll be back with bestie's wedding shenanigans and more. Till then, take care and like I always say, keep it stylish.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Shop till you drop with the latest Winter Fashion Trends(Guest Post)

Wondering what to wear in this cold weather? Shop and buy some of the best Fashion Trends this Winter. Catch all the latest Winter Fashion Trends and tips that would leave you in awe.

Is there any woman on earth who does not love playing dress up? Since the Winter season is here, searching for the hip Winter Fashion Trends for this weather could be quite a tedious task. There may be plenty of style statements and tips doing the rounds, but you to need to choose the best among all. Make this Winter merrier with Classic Winter Wear outfits, accessories and Fashion Trends inspired from all the Fashion Capitals in the world.
So before you get thinking, here are some of the best takeaways this season:

•Flaunting soft and peppy colors: ‘Tis the season to be jolly’ is the line hummed by all. So, in keeping up with a happy theme, bright and white pastel shades are dominating the Fashion front. Contrasting colors are not far behind when it comes to the buzzing Winter Fashion Trends. Undertones of gray and black have found a great spot in terms of party wear and red carpet outfits. Right from hues of olive, maroon to chocolate brown, all earthy shades seem to be the ideal colors you need to watch out for. Snowy shades too make for racy Fashion Trends this Winter.

•Maintaining that mane: Gorgeous tresses with stylish cuts and highlights are raging this year. Why should you be left behind with styles that have faded out? Opt for classic and bold celeb styles right from shoulder-length bob cuts, bangs, and layers. Even funky hairstyles like fishtail braids, waterfall braids, plaits, poker straight and soft wavy curls are among the top favorite fashion trends this Winter season. Another crisp look is tucking your tresses into your Winter clothes like tops and wrapping them with mufflers.

•Donning the right hat: All hat lovers are in for a pleasant surprise. One of the hottest trends in winter wear that have caught peoples’ attention is hats. Pair large knitted beanies or Moroccan hats and large hoods with your warm fuzzy outfits to keep you all warm. Choose from a selection of elegant French bow hats to classic mascots and ball caps that will work wonders and add class to your overall ensemble.

•Wearing coats that make the cut this winter: Soft and thick fur coats that with tousled sleeves and funneled collars are among the most sought after Winter Fashion Trends. Over-sized jackets and faux fur coats create a bold appeal for parties, work functions, and events. Lightweight wool or reworked cotton form the fundamental base for all trendy designs and Winter Wear creations.

•Wrapping scarves and mufflers: This style accessory is a worldwide favorite in Winter. Coordinate them with any outfit. Available in classic colors, animal prints, neon and earthy shades, these small and large sized mufflers and scarves protect you against the cold weather as well as create a chic look.

•Walking around in the best shoes: The classic high-heel boots are never going to fade away in the world of Fashion. Be it ankle-length or knee-length, boots are majorly responsible for stealing glances from passers by. The comfort and warmth that they provide make them a sure shot winner and get them scoring on the list of the most happening Fashion Trends this Winter. Transparent laced slippers and ballerinas lend a Cinderella effect. Be very sure to pick up the right size and color as per the length of your outfit. Dazzling pumps and sandals are soon catching up and creating a trend. Wear them with laced stockings and furry Winter clothes to create a retro look.

•Playing with makeup shades and sparkling chunky jewelry: Gold and silver shimmering hues of eye-shadow create a dramatic effect along with your Winter clothes. Colored eyeliners and cherry red lip glosses too create a mystified glamorous evening look. Sport some chunky imitation jewelry like cufflinks, colored nose rings, snowflake pendants, large broaches and dangling mistletoe earrings.

•Creating effects with fabric designs and textures: Layering outfits and pairing them up with denims bring about tangled effects. It is important to blend looks and not stick to one particular look the entire season. Be more versatile with cashmere wools and mohair fabrics that protect you against the strong winter breeze. Color shaded denims of different cuts and styles add a casual appeal to the pleasing bunch of winter fashion trends. Skinny jeans and high waist denims look adorable when teamed with funky tees and oversized coats. Try as much as possible to not stick to one color. Instead of matching everything in one single shade, experiment with your shoes, Winter clothes, and other accessories in a variety of primary and secondary color palettes.

So what are you waiting for? Pick up your shopping bags and head towards local stores or designer boutiques as per your budget and grab some of the best deals. Create unmatchable Winter Fashion Trends to be the most sought after Fashion Goddess in town.

P.S. Say 'hi' to Manisha- the first guest writer on ze blog! Other than being an avid follower of this space, she has also written articles for various brands. Read one of her very helpful articles here if you haven't chanced upon it already, that is.
                                                                    Meanwhile, I'll go give my wardrobe a much-needed Spring-Summer makeover.I'll be back with some Wedding Wows and more. Till then, you take care and like I always say, keep it stylish.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Winter Lookbook-2015

Winter happens to be my favourite season for more reasons than one. And for a layering lover like me, it's the ideal time to dress up. Even though I haven't been my dressy best this Winter, thanks to the work pressure and lack of occasions to dress up for, the collaboration with ebay made me go through my archive and these are the three Winter outfits from 2014 I chose for the Lookbook-
                                                     Girls' Day Out

Sheer shirt- Nuon, black peplum- thrifted, floral pants- B.K.Market, Jacket- Talking Threads, Metro Plaza, oxfords- Simpark Mall, beanie- local market in Gangtok, aviators and stacked up bracelets- borrowed from Anu, lipstick- Passionate by Colorbar
Picture Credits- Anu

I wore this outfit on a day trip to north Sikkim with two of my best friends. The abundance of grey and black in this outfit has been balanced with the happy pink and I chose to layer with my accessories too, thank God for friends who don't believe in travelling light. *Wink* This outfit is appropriate for a day look when the mercury has dipped significantly.

                                                     L(o)unge Forward
Palazzo, denim button down and metallic ring- borrowed from Anu, lace booties- B.K.Market, lipstick- Orange Punch by Colorbar
Picture Credits- Anu
This outfit is perfect for one of those less chilly evenings you want to go clubbing. The warm palazzos and the button down with a tank thrown inside take care of the nip in the air. The metallic ring gives you the edge and the happy yellow well, makes you happy!

                                                  All That Glitters Is Gold

Skirt, belt, pumps- B.K.Market, striped shirt, midi rings- Colaba, bag, red jacket, tights- New Market, pearl earrings- Chandrani Pearls, lipstick- MAT4 Bold Matte by Maybelline

This look is for your glam evening in Winter. I've been digging monochrome and metallic hues for quite some time now. Stripes happen to be my another favourite. The striped shirt added a little drama to the otherwise boring black skirt-shirt-tights look and the hint of gold in the midi rings and the pumps balanced it perfectly. A glam evening is synonymous with red lips.  But you could go adventurous with oxblood lips too.

2015 promises to be an exciting year for ze blog with a lot of travelling and collaborations coming up. Meanwhile, go take a look at the Fashion Blog of ebay because I can't seem to have enough of it! Also, the new year collection is live on ebay! Go shop to your heart's content before someone else buys that piece that you have been eyeing forever on a super discounted price! I'll be back with Indore Diaries and more. Till then, take care and like I always say, keep it stylish.