Here I am sitting before the screen for the last half an hour, however not working. Instead I am advising my friend on how to overcome the stress of her hectic schedule, not snap at people around and also be creative, all at the same time. Difficult na? And the advice is coming from me…that’s the joke. Because I myself, have been so muddled the last few days. The problem is that I want to do too many things. I love to paint, teach, meet and talk to inspiring people, want to be there for my child and spend time with her, learn Bharatnatyam (And I don’t even know the A B C of dance), love to write, am learning pottery, want to travel and explore, be a great cook, maintain my garden, keep my home spic and span (that’s a big challenge for me)….there’s just too much to do and half my life is over! So there is so little time. And I haven’t even found my calling!



a strong urge towards a particular way of life or career; a vocation.
Calling - Immersed in Dance

Immersed in Dance



Calling – Inspiring people at ‘Under the Raintree’

I wonder why is it that I can’t just be, happy that I have a good life. Maybe it’s because I am still working on my calling? Have you found yours? There must be something that calls to each one of our souls….what I can’t live without, may not even matter to you. And that’s the beauty of our life. Each one of us is so unique. I don’t think our mothers and grandmothers had the luxury to pursue their passion…many a times limited by society, family and their own circumstances. But even with those constraints, they did manage something.




Pic credit- Arun Subramaniam, budding photographer but a techie too.


My paternal grandmother was from a rich family but my grandfather had a business and it was not always great. My granny loved craft, knitting and weaving wires. She was creative to the core and found a unique solution to her problem. She would ask my neighbor to buy her the materials and would weave them beautiful bags. Though she didn’t get to take them, she had the satisfaction of doing something she loved (My kind neighbor gave me the bags after my Granny passed on). She was also an expert at desserts and different savories. Even today, 16 years after she passed on, the images that come to mind are of her sitting and frying malpuas, preparing murabbas( of star fruit, gooseberries) and my mom asking her to taste the pickle and see if it needs any adjustments in seasoning. I was reading this book ‘For She is the Tree of Life’ which is a compilation of memories, poems and stories by women writers on their grandmothers. With this book, my grandmothers have been on my mind for quite some time now. When it was time to plant saplings in the garden, I made sure there were one of gooseberry and one of star-fruit. Looks like I did get some genes from her after all. The murabba is out of this world…and just with equal measures of sugar and fruit. You have the best murabba in the world.

Calling -Woven by my grandmother

Calling -Woven by my grandmother, a good 60 years back.


Then there’s my Mom who loves to sing and is a big fan of Mohammed Rafi. Now in her sixties, she is enjoying bhajans (Devotional songs), Rafi’s songs on YouTube and also singing as part of a Bhajan group. She hates going away from town as it means missing her singing classes. So I guess it’s never too late to start doing all that we love to do.

Calling in Dance

Calling in Dance

Though I haven’t been productive for the last two weeks, the coming few days I am going to make up for it and bring to you many such inspiring people. People who found their calling and changed tracks, talented people who made it big through the internet, people who are still looking for their calling….real people who are on a quest. The journey is as important, as the destination.


But off course, my problem remains! I love too many things…..


Lots of twinkles to all of you.




Women in Society

Women in Society

At the offset let me warn you that this is an unplanned post. I doubt if it’s got the minimum number of words to qualify itself for a blog post either. But that’s just fine. If I don’t say it here, it will never be said (Let me admit it. I guess I am a feminist of sorts). This is triggered with the the Supreme court judgement against Triple Talaq in India and all the arguments and counter-arguments thereafter. Even as we acknowledge that we should preserve our culture, we need to question all that which it constitutes. Any reformation in India, especially where personal laws are concerned, becomes a political issue. What is the role of women in society, don’t they have a say in their lives?

Until the 1820s, Sati was also practised with prestige and furore. A practise which implied a woman’s life was of no value without her husband. A practise which forced a woman to burn on her husband’s pyre. But luckily for the women of this century, it is something we only read about in our history textbooks and shudder.

Women need to be more alert, to all that glorifies their downfall, all in the name of religion, customs and practices. This is after all still a patriarchal society. Equality is still far away. The arguments against the judgement on prime time surprises me. We are in the 21st century, but it looks like some are yet to catch up. But there is hope for us. When women take up their own cause and don’t wait for any man in shining armour, there is hope. When we can walk the streets, be it in saris or skirts and are not leered at, then there is hope. Hope for our society and our children.

Women in Society. Supreme court judgement against Triple Talaq, a ray of hope.

Women in Society. Supreme court judgement against Triple Talaq, a ray of hope.

Let us preserve, uphold and nourish all that is good -in our society, religion, customs and practises. Let us do away with all that which diminishes us. Let there be peace and life, both for men and women.

Confessions of a shopaholic and 7 ways to control that compulsive shopping disorder.

Confessions of a shopaholic and 7 ways to control that compulsive shopping disorder.

“Live with intention and not impulse”

The inspiration for this post is my Amma’s(mom’s) comment. Whenever I do some shopping, her standard dialogue is, “Do you really need this?” If you see your parents, your grandparents or one generation before them, they would have had a disciplined approach to material possessions. But we belong to a generation who can never have enough or so it seems. As the clothes in my wardrobe are falling all over, I decide that I have had enough. As I was browsing through for a solution, I came across this blog by Joshua Becker…. The best part is the minimalism suggested here, is not bare walls and no possessions, but your interpretation of minimalism and what works for you. So the good news was that the clutter I already had could be dealt with… but what about the future and my shopping impulses? I had to look for answers. So here I have for you 7 effective ways of helping yourself….

1. Acceptance

You may laugh it off, but it is as simple as that and as necessary to proceed. Until you accept that you have a problem and you acknowledge the urgent need for reform… It’s not going to work. so first step is to accept ” Yes…I am a shopaholic”..

2. Make your Pal a promise

So now you need to look for a friend who can be firm and yet not judgmental (like a pseudo parent maybe)… Promise your friend that you will not spend, unless the need arises and let this be for a trial period of say one month. If you feel like shopping, put it off for a few days, and it will die a natural death. Maintain your integrity and yes keep your promise on not shopping… “Aakhir Izzat ka Sawal hai” (It’s a matter of your self-respect)!!!

3. Shopping is retail therapy, but sweets are also great

And yes, it’s true. Many times we shop to feel better. There’s a misunderstanding at home, stress at office or you are generally feeling in the dumps, shopping has become our answer for all of this. And with online stores you don’t even need to lift a finger (not strictly true..haha). Now since we are onto tackling the shopping virus, for the time being, just switch over to sweets…believe me they are very effective. And the best way to do this is to take the person who is the cause of your misery for the treat…you can bond over desserts…


4. Gratitude is also a great replacement

Next time you have that impulse to go on a buying spree, stop for two minutes and take a good look at something beautiful you bought last time. The lovely watch, the elegant dress, or maybe the beautiful handcrafted showpiece? Just experience its beauty and feel grateful. The urge to spend will just melt away. Try it!

5. Vicarious shopping

This is the fun part…. Even though you have decided that you will not shop because you don’t need any of it, there are many who need to shop. So identify a couple of friends and relatives who need to shop and offer them your excellent company. You enjoy the shopping experience without spending!
Ps. Did I mention, “You need to leave your wallet behind!!???”

6. You CAN do SOME shopping….There’s a SALE!

Yes when the urge cannot be controlled, I do have a solution. Ear mark some occasion or festival for which you need to buy, for yourself and others and make the best use of the opportunity. Do your shopping in advance…go use that sale. You get to scratch the itch and not feel guilty about it. Before you start from home make a list of items and the number of items you are going to buy and stick to it. And yes, don’t forget to take your friend along.

7. Pass on the love and cheer

According to me this one’s THE most important. And let me tell you I have seen this work wonderfully. Now whenever I visit an exhibition, I always feel like buying. And of course the ‘temptation’ is such that you can’t deny yourself. It’s like being in a chocolate factory and not having any chocolates… In such a case, think of your distant aunt, friend, mum or lovely neighbor who keeps giving you yummy goodies. Think of others and buy them gifts for their special occasions. This is a win- win-win situation (and yes, I made up the last one)

win – you get to shop(yippee!!!!)
win – someone dear to you lights up with pleasure because you thought of them.
win – you also encourage the artisan who is super talented and needs your business.

I tried this one and gifted my cousin a beautiful dual coloured kantha saree and she loved it. So you are passing on the love for the beauty of the handcrafted to another. Pat your back…

So yes… These are my 7 simple yet effective ways to go about your reformation. And did I mention online shopping websites are not to be opened at all? If I could do it…. Then anyone can do it. So all the best….let’s go back in time to the way our ancestors lived.

I would love it, if you could share some innovative way you have devised, to overcome compulsive shopping syndrome. Share your ideas and let me know how it goes…

Twinkles to you…have a happy day.