Monday, 25 December 2017

The New York City Outsider - The Real Truth About Living in New York

To the general public of the world, New York is made up to be a place where all dreams come true. What it hides, is a harsh reality of insecurity and loneliness. Behind every stone-faced man and sharp-tongued woman is a story of sorrow and longing for a fulfillment.

When I moved here 5 months ago, I too believed that happiness was geographical and not emotional. It was silly, but for the longest time, the idea of New York held my heart in a sharp grip and I ached to find myself in the city which I have now named the city of lost souls.

The harsh truth of it all is that New York is crazy expensive! I guess it isn't all that surprising and I guess a lot of people have talked about it before. But the posts that I've seen floating around always tend to glamourise the city and rightfully so as most people tend to visit as tourists and the glamour does tend to fade away after a week or two.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Recent Beauty Favourites [Oct 2017]

I did one of these posts back in May [read it here] and it's interesting to see the changes in my routine. I'm actually following a rigid skincare routine now, something I never did. I guess this is only one of the many ways New York has changed me.

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I don't really swap out products from my routine. When I find something I like, I stick to it. Off late, I've acquired a lot of new products in my routine and I thought I'd document it on my blog for those who care and for future me who forgot what 25 was like!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Moving to New York - And the Anxiety that Ensued

True to my prediction in my last post (which was a rather embarrassing public breakdown, in my opinion) this post is coming to you from New York. I have moved, at last. The anxiety has passed, at last! And, to tell you the truth, the worst was in my head. Yes, it's only been 8 days since I got here. Yes, I'm broke and incapable of feeding myself. But, I am surviving despite my fears of living alone. To be honest, it is quite exhilarating.

Let's backtrack a little.

On the 22nd of August, as scheduled, I boarded a plane, travelled for a little over 23 hours, skipped more time-zones than I can keep track of, and landed in New York. This is my first time on my own, and it had to be miles and oceans away from my family and friends. But it had to be done.

While it may seem easy to some - you book your tickets, board a plane and voila! The crew gets you to NYC - it takes a lot to make that leap. If someone is looking to move to New York and is completely unprepared, I urge you, dear reader, have them read this post, for I shall I explain in great detail (as much as possible) all the things that kept me up at night and how they essentially resolved themselves.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Saying Goodbye - The Hardest Part

We are here now. At the brink of new beginnings. No turning back. I am finally a part of the swirling cosmos of life, not a stagnant onlooker. New York in a day and 23hrs of travel away and as much as I try to keep nostalgia at bay, it has me by the throat.

I still can't seem to grasp what I've achieved for myself. Three years ago, I was sitting at my usual table at Cafe Pascucci, a Tanya by my side, with no sense of myself or where I was heading. I had a heart full of dreams I was scared to speak out loud in fear that it would never come true if I put it out there. A head full of uncertainty and self-doubt. Today, I got into my dream school in my dream city and tomorrow, I am leaving for my dream city - New York!

I often thought that everyone around me had copious amounts of will power and strength. That they had the courage to follow their dreams. Unknowingly, I did too. Without thinking that thought, I worked towards making my dreams come true. I did my research, took it when step at a time, and made it happen. And now, I believe in myself a bit more than I did before.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Travel Diary - Chennai, India

Of all the years I've lived in India, I've never truly seen every nook and cranny of the country. I haven't even seen all the major cities! Not even the Taj Mahal! Oh, the shame!

Ironically, it took an American visa appointment to get me to Chennai. I spent two days there, during which time I had two separate appointments for my visa, but on the downtime, I decided to do some sightseeing in the blistering heat. Although only a few hundred kilometres from my home and native land, Bangalore, I never took the time to venture out to Chennai. Honestly, I didn't think it had much to offer apart from the beach. Yes, that might be exciting enough for some. But for me, beaches mean high temperatures, humidity, cloudless skies, which result in the anamolous expansion of my hair! I can't stand it and I don't venture out to coasts for the sake of the beach. Never.

My planning began with the means of transport. I was insistent on taking the train - by far my favourite means of transportation. To anyone venturing out in India, I beseech thee: when in doubt, take the trains. They're well connected, extremely efficient, affordable, filthy, overcrowded, but overall, enriching to the soul. The kinds of people you'll meet on an Indian train, you'll never meet otherwise. If you're a photography enthusiast, look at this as a goldmine of potential nat-geo-esque shots of streets of India and life.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Late Night Playlist - July 2017

My relationship with my music blog has been on-and-off in the past year and more. I initially started the blog as an escape from reality as I was having a hard time coping with everything going on. As time went on, I made an active effort to come to terms with the world around me and the decisions I had to make to take me to a place of true happiness. Today, I’m not at that place yet, but a few steps closer. I don’t know what’s in store for me, but I’m getting the help I need and have stopped worrying about the future.

Music, as sad as it is for me to put into words, had been put on the back burner for a while. My search for artists and sounds came to a complete standstill but I never forgot. In fact, in April this year I attended my first concert. I saw Beth Hart and she was beyond amazing!
Today I come to you with another midnight playlist. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that I did this quite often back in the day. It’s midnight right now. I’m up coughing up a lung. I’m listening to music. There’s no setting more perfect than this.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

5 Fool Proof Tips for Learning a New Language

In August of last year, I enrolled for French classes. Initially I thought I'd complete the first level and be done with it, but it is now May and I'm nearly done with my third level. Not only is it extremely interesting to understand the nuances of a different language, it also helps you get a glimpse into the culture and look beyond social stereotypes.

The secret to learning a new language isn't much of a secret at all. It is difficult because we think in the language we're most fluent in and choose to directly translate. Also, it's frustrating when all you can manage are elementary sentences and feel like you cannot be yourself in a different language. But, if you stick with, you'll be multi-lingual, a skill that would definitely aid you in your professional and personal life. 

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Recent Beauty Favourites [May 2017]

For as long as I've been blogging, beauty has never been my forte. I although I like the art of makeup, I was never extremely experimentative or even good at providing unbiased reviews. But, as this is a space for me to share everything I love, I also include the products I enjoy.

My favourites don't change from month to month. Most of the time, I stick to products that I know work well for me. Some of the products on this list are ones that I've talked about several times before and continue to use. Others, are fairly new to my collection that I've really loved.

Since it's currently summer in India, it's been harder to keep my face looking oily and tired throughout the day. Most days, it has been too hot to have too much of makeup on as it gets quite uncomfortable. I usually opt for some eyeliner and neutral lipstick. On the days that I have someplace important to be, I put in a bit more effort without making my skin feel heavy.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

The Woes of Reading Vogue

I recently purchased a copy of the age-old fashion Bible after months of abstinence. It isn't something I indulge in often as I don't feel the need to bash my self-esteem on the regular, and also, 150 bucks for a glorified picture book is a bit much, in my opinion. As much as I hate on the magazine and the trends they promote, I can't argue that their tactics actually work. I'm tempted every time I see a copy on the shelves of my local supermarket. Every single time I leaf through their ultra-glossy pages, I have the same thoughts running through my mind and I vow to never go down that path again. But, as always, I fall of the wagon eventually.

My relationship with Vogue began at the innocent age of 13. At the time, I didn't know what insecurities were and I rarely ever thought about my appearance. Vogue changed everything for me. At first, I wished I owned everything featured in the magazine.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

How To Improve Your Instagram Feed

Instagram is huge marketing tool today. As it's based solely on visual content, it can reach a wider audience especially the ADHD ridden populace of today. While everyone and their grandmother has an account on the platform, not everyone has a feed that could potentially draw in thousands to millions of followers. Of course, this is not the aim for most people, but for those who aim to achieve this goal seem to be plagued with more than their fair share of myths about the requirements to achieve such perfection.

I'm here to bust these myths and make things simpler for you. To be completely upfront with you, I don't have thousands of followers but I know for certain that there isn't one set of rules for you to follow to get there. Variety is the spice of life, or so they say!

Now, I do know of any formula to building a following and I have never been good at math, but two main factors are consistency and engagement. Apart from that, all you need to do is improve the quality of your images. I for one look for good quality pictures before hitting that follow button. I don't want my timeline to be littered with over-pixelated, over-edited pictures of the sky. I am by no means a professional or hardly even "great" at photography but I have noticed a huge change in quality of my photos over the last two years. So, I've made a list of everything that I can think of that has changed in that time period and decided to put it up here, where it collects dust but is immortalised for eternity!