Last April, I quit the corporate world to go down the path of self-employment. One year on, I finally feel brave enough to talk about lessons learnt, skills gained, fears felt, and priorities re-adjusted.
People are often stunned that I made the decision to leave. “You were so close to the mark, why’d you quit?” The reasons were many (and complex), one of them being I wasn’t sure what this magical “mark” was.
But the most pressing element that drove me over the edge is a seldom talked about issue – Burnout. And I was not alone, my colleagues and I danced around with our heads on fire, smoke coming out of our behinds. We all dove headfirst into the blazing corporate volcano, and forgot to take the extinguisher with us. Continue reading This Thing Called Work-Life Balance
It was like opening the closet to Narnia – I had no idea what I was going to find in there. I looked at the perfectly good men’s shirts gathering dust, trying to remember which one was a wedding gift from whom two years ago. It occurred to me that these have been worn once at the most, before being rendered unwearable by the inevitable post-wedding weight gain. Not having the heart to give them away, I wondered if cutting up a new Arrow shirt into kitchen rags would just be cruel.
Two thoughts crossed my mind. One, why are all these shirts blue?! Do men not wear any other colour? And two, if these were in my size, I would totally wear them all the time. Maybe there’s a way to shrink them to fit me? Pinterest came to my rescue and I found loads of shirt-upcycling ideas. I set to work finding a tailor who could help me with this mammoth task. Shehla, a lovely lady who runs a boutique called Kyra in Kilpauk said she was interested to see what I wanted, but I was met with unsure looks and a lot of head-shaking when I explained my mission.
She agreed, however, and we set about turning these oversized shirts into tops I could pair with jeans, pants or skirts (but mostly jeans cuz I’m boring like that).
1. The Sleeveless Chinese Collar
This Woodlands shirt is my favourite so I’ll start with it. I told Shehla I wanted to turn this into a sleeveless shirt.
The collar was too big to retain, so she cut under it, cut out the arms, sewed up the centre (but retained the buttons and pocket), and made a pretty new Chinese collar with an opening on the top. I LOVE how it turned out!
I recently anchored a conference on ‘Positive Attributes of Plastics and its Waste Management’ backed by the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India. It sounded technical and when I looked at the programme sheet, I knew I had to pay extra attention to draft notes and comments. To my utter surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed every presentation and learned a few cool things!
The speakers and audience included industrialists, recyclers, educators, NGOs, government officials from the Pollution Control Board and Corporation of Chennai, along with a few students. I was honestly startled at the participation from the audience, having rather ignorantly expected silence and boredom.
In a nutshell, the conference discussed domestic and industrial use of plastics, its manufacturing techniques, technological innovations in the field, and most importantly – managing plastic waste.
I learned about how plastic itself does not pollute, it’s its mismanagement that affects the environment. I learned that most plastic is recyclable and that there are companies in India that are treating and recycling PET bottles and other plastics to produce wires, pillows, clothes, food packaging, zippers, carpets etc. I learned that it takes 6 PET bottles to make a T-shirt. Who knew! Continue reading Plastic Plastic In Your Trash
Since being married I have learned rather well, the true value of a hot breakfast, missing mum’s parathas, pohas, idlis and Bournvita at just the right temperature. What I would give to wake up to a delicious breakfast every morning. Scrambled eggs and toast will do too! And so predictably, I have acquired a taste of appreciation for cereal. Continue reading Why Can’t I Eat Your Cereal, Kellogg’s?
About 18 months ago, I was forced to do something I absolutely do not like – shop. For a couch. What followed were weeks of velvet monstrosities they call couches, bulky faux leather things occupying unjustified space, colours so ugly they drove me to tears and an increasing liking for sitting on the floor. Continue reading How To Clean Your Couch
It was the evening of my wedding party – the last event of the seemingly never-ending spectacle. I wore my favourite LBD and the strappy black wedges that seldom saw the light of day. Very aware of the eyes watching me closely, I strutted towards my waiting cab with feigned confidence, stepped into a pot-hole, twisted my ankle and landed face first on the tarmac – limbs and dress flying everywhere. I still shudder at the memory. Fortunately I didn’t hurt very much. Just my poor, brittle ego.
I have always had functional shoes and shopping for them was the easiest task in the world. One pair each of sneakers, open sandals, flip flops, and formal black flats never let me down.