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

This Thing Called Work-Life Balance

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

Project Upcycle: Boring Men’s Shirts to Pretty Tops

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!


2. The Long Puffed Sleeve

Continue reading Project Upcycle: Boring Men’s Shirts to Pretty Tops

Plastic Plastic In Your Trash

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

Why Can’t I Eat Your Cereal, Kellogg’s?

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?

How To Clean Your Couch

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

Can You Spot The Cat?

It’s been pouring in Chennai for the last few weeks and there’s been enough and more written about it. Check out some pictures here, but you just have to Google to see the extent of the damage!

In the middle of all this, the cats on our street have been struggling to find food. We’ve been feeding a couple of them but they are so hard to coax out of their hiding spots!

Please feed any stray animals you can – birds, dogs, cats, squirrels. They do find it challenging to hunt in the rains. Can you spot the white cat here? 

Continue reading Can You Spot The Cat?

Hey, I Put Some New Shoes On!

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.

All sorted
All set to go

Continue reading Hey, I Put Some New Shoes On!

Propose? My knee hurts, will you just marry me already?!

When you are a Punjabi girl and reach “marriageable age” you find out about relatives you didn’t know existed, they pop out of nowhere to play matchmaker. Suddenly everybody knows someone who has an aunt who knows someone who has a nephew who would be “absolutely perfect” for you! Continue reading Propose? My knee hurts, will you just marry me already?!