For An Overdose of Royalty

They may be known for their stiff upper lip, but boy, show the English a tiara and it seems to turn them to mush.

The ‘Wedding of the Year’ saw about 18 million Britons tuned into the live broadcasts on their televisions, while an estimated 100,000 people packed into the grounds around Windsor Castle to catch a glimpse of the new favourite couple in town. The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead reported a 40% boost in visitors in the weeks leading up to the wedding. Continue reading For An Overdose of Royalty

All The Royal Fuss

This article was published in The Hindu.

“Are you excited about Harry’s wedding?” asked my mum-in-law. Was Harry a family member I’d forgotten about? “Err sure, when is it again?” I was mocked mercilessly for my failure to be tuned into the Wedding of the Year. The British adoration of its royalty centuries post any real political power puzzles me.

On the eve of the big day, the Slough station car park had transformed into a giant Coachella-style ground complete with marquees, queue managers, massive LCD screens, food stalls and tens of security guards in high-vis jackets. The only train into Windsor & Eton Central station next to the castle, is from Slough, which is accessible from Central London. Continue reading All The Royal Fuss

An Immersive Farmstay, a Lesson in Entrepreneurship

“The corporate world suddenly stopped making sense.”

Menaka Ramanan tells me over a lunch of steaming rice, pachadi, aloo, rasam and appalam her mum has lovingly cooked for us. We’re sitting on the terrace of her family’s home in Wayanad, surrounded by farms untouched by commercialisation. I can hear birds that aren’t crows – unfamiliar to my ears. Her father comes in to check that we’ve eaten well and are comfortable.

Traditional Kerala lunch served on a banana leaf
Traditional Kerala lunch served on a banana leaf

Continue reading An Immersive Farmstay, a Lesson in Entrepreneurship

Is Empathy…Bad?

For years now, I’ve been banging on about empathy and its crucial nature in the workplace. So when this article showed up in my news feed, in agreement with the author of ‘Against Empathy’, I had to drop the Dan Brown I was reading (gasp! blasphemy!) to see just what Paul Bloom had to say for himself.

How can anyone be against empathy? How does the world function without it?

Marketers consciously use empathy to build communications. Companies spend millions on intelligence to understand user behaviour, empathise with their problems, and worm their way into their lives to solve them.

If a business does not have empathy, it will fail. If we don’t have empathy in our personal life, it will fall apart.

Or will it. Continue reading Is Empathy…Bad?

Arture goes to London Fashion Week

Anybody that’s any kind of entrepreneur will tell you tales of intense highs, and disheartening lows. Of fears holding them back, and of wins propelling them forward.

And this was one heck of a win for Arture – a homegrown fashion brand that I’ve had the privilege to work with.

This February, Arture displayed at the London Fashion Week – the only Indian brand to be showcased at the Commonwealth Fashion Council reception held at the end of Fashion Week, hosted at the New Zealand High Commission in London. Continue reading Arture goes to London Fashion Week

The Best of Sri Lanka’s Stunning Southwest Coast

“This now looks like every other big city” was my first thought when we landed in Colombo. Over the last few years, the city’s cultural charms have slowly given way to modern skyscrapers and globalised aesthetics, at least in the financial and business districts. Perhaps appealing to investors and multinational businesses, its fading individuality makes the culture-traveller feel a tiny bit blue.

The Southwest coast of Sri Lanka offers an ideal break with plenty of interesting experiences. Here are 9 must-do things to add to your list for your next visit:

Walk Along Galle Face Green

1pm may not have been the best time, but the walk along the Galle Face in Colombo was one down memory lane. We started at the Kingsbury Hotel, and walked up to the Galle Face Hotel, checking out the old Parliament and the pelicans on Beira Lake en-route. Continue reading The Best of Sri Lanka’s Stunning Southwest Coast

Being #GirlBoss And Everything That Comes With It

Two and a half years ago, when I decided to quit the corporate world and try my luck at self-employment, little did I know that the path held whirlwind lessons and experiences for me.

One of the brands I’ve had the good fortune of working with, is Arture. The brainchild of two young incredible entrepreneurs Shivani Patel and Keshsa Vasant, Arture designs eco-friendly, vegan, sustainable, fashionable accessories. Think functional yet sexy bags, wallets, laptop and Kindle sleeves – all made from strong cork fabric.

Continue reading Being #GirlBoss And Everything That Comes With It

The Allure of Ellora & Ajanta

Are you embarrassed by your fellow-travellers? Do you cringe and step away to disassociate yourself from selfie-obsessed loud littering tourists? Do you groan at the sound of passengers unbuckling themselves from the shackles of the airplane seat-belt the second the wheels touch land? I do.

Why do people leave garbage at monuments? Why do we scribble on the walls? Why must we express our love for Mona and Shona and Ramesh on ancient structures? Nobody cares that you <3 Kishore, Laila!

This unsolicited marking of territory is no better than the apartment kitten I feed everyday, who has recently discovered he is a boy and must wee on my couch to announce his existence. He has been christened Lulu McSusuFace, and is not allowed inside my home anymore. Ah who am I kidding. Of course he is. Look at that moonji.

Lulu with his sisters

On this trip to Aurangabad, apart from the beautiful caves, I saw the following:

  • Morons climb up an ancient monument with their shoes on to get selfies, and then walk past the rest of the temples without even looking.
  • People scribble on the walls of the 2000 year old cave structures.
  • Families have a picnic in the lovely lawns, and then leave their garbage there.
  • Stone-carved goddesses with well-worn breasts and thighs because guess where people like to touch the statues the most.
  • Flash photography inside the dark caves that house the world-famous Ajanta paintings.
  • People scream at their kids to stand still for photographs inside the Buddhist shrines, while the serene chanting was in progress. 
  • People scratch the painted walls and then say “huh, it’s not very well maintained, the paint is coming off.”

If you plan a trip to Ajanta-Ellora, please do your bit to not destroy what remains of our heritage! Continue reading The Allure of Ellora & Ajanta

I’m A Trailing Spouse

My life will never be the same again.

“I’m losing my mind!” I text my friend N
“Write it, sketch it, thoughts you should pen.”

There’s nothing to tell, I think
It’s snowing nonstop, I’m on the brink.

This weather is unusual they all said
It’ll get better, it’s all in your head.

Look for work, the economy is great!
Where do you even start, it’s like going on a blind date.

“I’m a communications professional,” I say
“Okay, but do you even speak any UK?”

We can talk about this wretched weather if you like
Over a nice cup of tea, biscuit on the side?

Blue Planet or Madam May
Corbyn, Brexit, your NHS delay?

Let’s go for a walk! To my spouse I moan
“It’s freezing out, you’re on your own!”

I toy with it for half an hour
Screw it, brave the cold over staying sour.

There’s eerie silence on the street
And unfamiliar sounds of ice crunching under my feet. Continue reading I’m A Trailing Spouse