Getting my first Ink

It has been a long-pending dream of mine to get a tattoo. I don’t know what came over me, but I made a decision to ‘gift’ myself a tattoo for my 25th! Something that I never thought I’d do, so….impromptu. In fact, I still check my wrist every few minutes to check if I’ve really done it.

Getting my first ink was such a great experience. It took months of planning but the actual process got over in a flash. That left me with so much disbelief, yet a sense of accomplishment.

I got mine at this cute little parlor, Dragon Eye Tattoo at Saibaba Colony, Coimbatore. Why I refer to a tattoo parlor called ‘Dragon Eye’ cute, is a story for another day. But it’s got something to do with the tattoo lady there (who goes by the name of Shree) and her most affable and humorous nature. The lack of substance abuse and burly dudes at the place, contributed a little too.

These are the highlights of the whole experience. There are some tips for those of you who are looking to get your first (or whatever number-ed) tattoo.

Getting ready.

Before settling for one design, I crossed out soooo many options. I took nearly 3 months deciding back and forth on what I wanted. Finally, I fixed my design a mere two days before the D-day! I like to wing it that way. Otherwise, I’d forever be ‘deciding’. I’d never come to a conclusion.

My number one advice is to take time to think of your design carefully. But when you’re close to the tattoo day, just go with your instinct. 

It is not easy coming up with a tattoo design, I tell you. Imagine if we were given the choice to decide what shape of eyes, nose and hair-type we want to live with the rest of our lives. (I can hear some of you go, “I know exactly what I want.” Trust me, you don’t. Us humans, we function on envy. We ride our whole lives on a jealous-scale. We don’t ‘know’ what we want. We get something, then make comparisons with others’ somethings and complain about ours.)

Choosing an ink-pattern was just as difficult as choosing a permanent facial feature. I stumbled upon crown tattoos while stalking Pinterest profiles.”Shravs”, I said to myself, “Don’t you like the idea of a crown to remind you of grace, pride, patience and character?” And the idea stuck.

I considered this Celtic crown design. Briefly. I really liked the details, the curves and the Celtic knots. It had a touch of royalty and raw tribalness. As you can see, my brilliant artistic skills helped me decide the placement.

 

At the last minute, I threw out the idea because of its complexity and settled on this British crown instead.

And after many, many scribbles and trials…

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I was finally able to pick one that I liked.

Tattooing.

The excruciating part was over. Yep, the choosing part was the most difficult. The actual act of having a needle dig into your skin, was surprisingly, not painful at all.

Pain level (for girls): Greater than waxing but lesser than upper lip hair removal.
Pain level (for guys): More painful than holding in a fart, less painful than a wedgie (hopefully)

Shree was super cool and super calm about the whole thing. She looked at my design, made some tiny changes and got the stencil ready. Once she got to work, time flew. Hardly 15 minutes in, and she was adding the final touches.

There we are showing off. Not the double chins, the tattoo.

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After-tattoo care.

Day 1

Immediately after tattooing, your skin is going to be raw. The first 24 hours are most crucial. When the tattoo artist says, “No water, no touching and no soap”, it strictly means no to all three. The first few hours of care will grandly decide how your tattoo will turn out and it’s life.

Mine was reddish around the whole area. I used up nearly half of the ointment within the first few hours.

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In a couple of hours and dozens of ointment applications later, the swelling and redness reduced. The skin was still rough. Touching or scratching with nails was still a No-No.

The skin around the ink looked like a welt. This lasted nearly 4 hours.

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Day 2

I was told there would be itching and skin peeling. It was the morning after and there were still no signs of any skin flaking. But there was a tiny bit of itching. Every time I had the inclination to scratch, I had to distract myself, preferably with a Jon Snow poster, long enough for that urge to die down.

I’m not going to lie to you. Sleeping and showering were a pain. This was the day I found out that my left hand alone could bend in 46 different orientations while I slept and that placing the hot shower tap on the right side is  HUGE mistake.

Anyway, by day 2 with my incredible nurturing and loving affection, the tattoo’s blush had gone down so much. I gave it slight touch-ups every two hours. Sometimes the excess ink would come off, sometimes there was nothing. My only aim was to keep it well-oiled for the next 48 hours.

Here’s how it looked by the end of day 2.

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Day 3 and counting

I’m just one sleepless night short of giving my tattoo a nickname (how does Princess Blush’ sound?) It’s been a couple of days now and the ointment is over. My redness and swelling have all gone down. It itches occasionally. I’m able to touch the area without experiencing any harshness. The inked area still feels rough, as if it were sandpaper. Hopefully all this coconut oil should help smooth it and replenish my skin.

Oh, and yeah, this tattoo came at 1500 (plus taxes) bucks for 2 square inches. Pretty economical, I’d say. Job well done.

This has been the easiest item off my bucket list ever!

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Pizza for a place in the heart

I sat there in the traffic watching the red numbers on the traffic lights count down.

125..124..123…

The latest song hummed in a slow buzz, while I drummed my fingers lazily on the steering wheel. And bored as I was, I checked my phone:

A: wru?

B: On the way. will reach dominos in 10 mins.

C: Me too!

Me: stuck in traffic… 😦 will be late guys

After sending that text, I casually flung my phone on the passenger’s seat and glanced up.

A man came up to my car. A beggar. Around 60 years old.

His black and (mostly) white hair was in clumps. It was clear he hadn’t washed it in days. He had stubbly beard that had grown out. His last shave must have been three or four days ago. His frame was not-too-haggard; it seemed like he was in good health, but right now he was ravenous. That much was apparent.

The checked shirt and the lungi he wore fit him perfectly. I could see that they weren’t hand-me-downs. So, this man was wearing clothes he owned, was healthy in general, but somehow, right now he couldn’t afford a meal.

I wondered what poor fate had befallen him.

Surely, he can’t have been in this dilapidated state for long.

I got the strong feeling of a middle-class businessman who had a family back home. A family he could no longer go back to, because he wasn’t welcome.

My guts told me that this was a man who had been shunned from his own house.

He reminded me of my dad. My late dad.

Of course, all this was in my head. MY JUDGMENTS.

I opened my window slightly, and looked at him closely. His eyes — oh god the eyes — were shouting out for help.

I asked him, “Are you hungry?”

He nodded.

“Do you want to have pizza?”

He nodded hopefully.

I once again picked up my phone to send one instant message:

Me: U guys carry on. Can’t make it today.

It wasn’t too late to change things between me and my dad.


The ending is open to interpretation. Maybe the driver connected with the beggar and found a father figure in him. Or maybe she sought redemption for doing all the mean things she did to her own father. Or simply, an act of kindness.

This piece is a work of fiction based off my daily experience. I never talk to people on the streets. I admit, I’m scared. I’m terrified of the creeps who come in all shapes and sizes.

But that never stopped me from wondering what would happen if I decided to take them out to eat and had a heart-to-heart conversation with them.

Translation:

lungi — a one-piece loose garment, tied around a man’s waist.

Trek Diaries : Dhoni Hills

When the four of us set out at 6:30 a.m. on a chilly, cloudy Sunday, we had no solid plans.

We contacted the Forest officers at the Palghat forest department the previous day and had been informed that until the 31st of May it was the ‘fire’ season and the trek was closed.

Our journey date? 29th May. Bummer. 

Also, an enquiry about the timings, brought out a strict reply, “After 11:00 a.m. only”.

And our ETA?  9:00 a.m. Double bummer.

We decided to make plans on-the-go.

The journey was pleasant. There was a slight drizzle when we hit the road from our very dear Ukkadam.

To me, Ukkadam is like the place where all the adventures start, you know. Any Coimbatorean would agree that waving goodbye to Ukkadam is just as exciting as exclaiming, “Hey! Ukkadam vandhachu. Home, sweet Home” after the trip is over.

Journey:

Geetha drove while I called shotgun. The two guys were having a blast from the backseat. I switched off my mobile and then took a deep breath of the freedom from technology. It was electrifying, ironically.

Since it was quite early in the morning, there was no traffic and the road was in good condition. As we drove on the Palakkad road we crossed the Siva Siva temple and within a few minutes we were getting some serious chaaya cravings. So we stopped at a roadside chaaya kada and had piping hot tea in the quintessential glasses.

As we drove towards the mountains, we could see storm clouds swirling atop the hills. Prashanth got excited when he saw the mountains. He took out his DSLR and started clicking away.

 

The mountain-view in those wee morning hours, was priceless. I remember telling Geetha that I haven’t been appreciating these mountains enough. They are the primary reason we have enjoyed this cool climate and have been putting off buying A.C’s, until this fateful, hateful summer of 2016.

mountains

Conversations about the five landscape categories of the ancient Tamils paved way to more serious stuff. Thankfully, (!) we stopped at a Sri Saravana Bhavan for our breakfast. After loading up on ghee roasts and idlis, we came out feeling frisky and adventurous.

It would be a shame if the falls was closed, we thought. Yet, our collective intuition kept us moving.

Kerala was a beauty of it’s own. The moment you cross the TN border, you can notice the change in the atmosphere – the architecture, the men in lungis, the small shops, and the lush greenery contribute to the charm.

After taking a right from Palakkad, the entire scene changed. We were suddenly cut off from traffic and the rush. The route was sprinkled with two-storey houses, small shops and farmlands. No commercial stores or hoardings. Just us and nature. We stopped at a place to buy water bottles and candy (poppins, anyone?) 😀

As it turned out, our collective guts was right. Would you believe it if I told you that when we reached there by 9:00 a.m., they were just opening the trek point after the long summer? Yep, they had rescinded their ‘fire’ season statement and their strict timings.

Yayyyy!! 

I should mention our special ‘host’. He was a tiny, tawny puppy with a fox-ish face. He welcomed us from the minute we got down from the car and lead us to the office and escorted us a little ways up the trek.

When I think of him now, I’d like to give him the name Major Tawny because he took care of us so well and commanded respect.

Major Tawny
The canine who acted as our host

Dhoni Hills has a nice, winding pathway all the way to the top. The path is cleared of mud and big rocks and trees and is roughly laid with stones. It is an easy path for anybody who wants to climb. I don’t think any special gear is required if you want to take this path.In fact, we saw ladies who were dressed in sarees and wearing regular slippers walking on this path.

Dhoni hill pathway
The pathway laid out in stones. This leads all the way up to the falls.

Uphill:

Thus started our trek. A slight drizzle was gently tippy-tapping on our skins. It felt like the forest and the skies were giving us tiny welcoming kisses. Both sides of the pathway were lined with tall trees. You can hardly find any short shrubs or dense foliage here. Dhoni (curious question: Does this falls have anything to do with our CSK Captain?) was all about the high trees topped with green leaves. Greens and browns are about the extent of the colors you can find here. Rarely, would you find a red streak among the branches and even that would duly turn out to be the young leaves, or a bug that is an absolute eye-candy!

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The only shade of red among greens and browns

There we were, walking up the designated path, and what did we do?

That’s right, we cut across and took the path that was less-trodden, Robert-Frost-style.

We spotted a small stream to the left and we climbed down to this tinkling stream. The guys went ahead of us and climbed down really fast. I was just about to step into a huge stone and use it as a step-down, when I head rustles.

We halted.

And then to our right, we saw an animal run past us and over to the other side of the stream. At first I thought it was a deer, because it was nearly 3 feet high was really light on its legs. Then, I crouched to have a better look.

A dozen foxes raced past us.

I saw their burnt-brick colored fur and those white-capped brushes ( fun fact: The tail of a fox is called a ‘Brush’) and my, was I thrilled! There were nearly 12 to 15 of them of all sizes. I’m guessing the older ones were leading the group (another fun fact: a group of foxes is called a ‘skulk’) and bringing up the rear were the younger ones. They were so tiny…awwwww ❤

When the skulk of foxes were beyond our range of vision and smell, we unfroze. Geetha and I joined the guys at the stream and just stood there absorbing the morning sun and the fresh air of the forest. The stream that we had hit upon was only a dead end.  So we turned back and joined the pathway.

Once again, after walking up the boring pathway (we needed some rough and challenging terrain) we found one uphill track that seemed to cut the long route and take us further on the pathway. This climb would let us bypass one or two bends.

We set about and easily trekked this first climb. Easy-peasy. Then came the second one which was neither easy nor peasy. I was heaving and huffing when I was on the last leg of the climb. Prashanth was really nimble – he was carrying his backpack and had his DSLR slung around his neck – and he was the first to reach the pathway. Geetha moved up in her own pace and joined us soon.

While climbing, I instinctively went down on all fours. That was how I made my journey uphill – like a big cat on her paws. It felt awesome climbing the hills on my limbs. It felt like the most natural way for me to move. I would put my front limbs out and grab trees or latch on to stones. And then when I had a firm grip, I’d move my hind limbs. Feeling the constant drizzle on my head kinda boosted my senses. I was able to smell the mouldy odor of the leaves and plants and my hearing also became sharper. From time to time, I’d pause and take in the jungle, the stormy skies and the adjacent mountains.

The jungle felt more like home and Coimbatore felt less like home.

Uphill climb

We continued on and took a few breaks from climbing. We’d catch our breath while we walked a few meters on the pathway before starting off on the next trek.

The third trek, according to me, was the most difficult of the lot. I could climb up most part of the hill – nearly 80% – but the remaining 20% was challenging.

The drizzle had become heavier and there were only a sprinkling of trees. This combination meant that there was loose mud.

Prashanth was already ahead of me and he was standing there taking photos of us from above.

That’s when I slipped.

I’m fine, don’t worry. I happened to claw my way through the mud and hang on to the rock. I lost my footing for a minute but everything was fine in the end. It was only after I climbed up that I noticed that I’d scraped my hands and they were covered in dirt.

Getting my hands muddy has never been so much fun!!!

I walked, trekked, skipped, ran and reached the top of the hill. From there it was a beautiful walk to the falls. When we reached near the falls, we heard a bark. Guess who?

Yep. Major Tawny was there to welcome us once again.

After this I can’t really tell you much because it seems like the water has washed away so many things inside of me. And now, when I think back to that time, it feels dream-like.

It is almost as if my brain’s got a motto – ‘See water. Forget everything.’

We played in the stream (one can hardly call it falls) for nearly an hour before deciding to go back to civilization. For the first day of the monsoon there was a good amount of running water, but I really hope that this year’s rains show some mercy upon us and shower us graciously.

Downhill:

There’s nothing much to say about our downhill journey. We moved more silently and notably more easily. Geetha wanted to experience the silence in solitude. So, she went ahead on the pathway, whereas the three of us climbed down the hill.

I joked that coming downhill was like landing on the 48th square on ‘Snakes & Ladders’. You just slide down so fast, you’d reach the 2nd square in minutes.

I was close. We found an untrodden path that lead us straight down, skipping past many, many bends.

Downhill trek
Downhill trek that lead us to the pathway

We reached the foot of the hill by noon. We changed clothes comfortably in the rest rooms that were available at the office. Then it was time to say bye-bye.

Our most gentle host, Major Tawny, was back again at the office at the base of the hill. This didn’t surprise us anymore. He escorted us to our car and bid us adieu.

Return:

Needless to say, we were ravenous. Geetha was talking about Pazhampori and had Pazhampori-shaped eyeballs. smiling-face-with-heart-shaped-eyes

We stopped by at Indian Coffee House, at Olavakode. But they didn’t have any Pazhampori. My craving for bread omelette and Geetha’s desire for Pazhampori were still at their peaks. So, we drove to the Mazhampuzha dam in hopes of finding some street food.

Sadly, we forgot the most important aspect of our trip – it was a Sunday. So no shops were open along the route to the Dam. However, we struck gold when we reached the food court at the Dam. We had our fill and then started back to Coimbatore.

Dhoni hills is a serene place to trek, specially in the mornings. It is a very easy trek if you take the laid-down path, but can get a little difficult towards the top if you decide to take the jungle route. It was a boon to have such a pleasant climate while we were trekking, and to me, the whole experience was exciting, enjoyable and fun!

Dhoni Trek

Trek details:

Destination: Dhoni Falls
Location: 10.4km North of Palakkad
Distance from Coimbatore: 60 kms from Ukkadam
Difficulty level: Easy
Timings: 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Entry fee: Rs.20 per person
Uphill trek: 1 hour
Downhill trek: 30 minutes
Amenities: Changing rooms and Toilets at the base of the hill.
Trip Cost: Rs.340 per person

Translations:

chaaya – (Chai) Tea
chaaya kada – Tea shop
Ukkadam vandhachu  – We have arrived at Ukkadam
Pazhampori – Banana fritters
Landscape categories of ancient Tamil – Kurinji, Mullai, Marutham, Neidhal, Palai

Moments from the Trek:

I’m a big sister with a big responsibility

I stopped at my usual spot, the roadside tender coconut stall, after a particularly strenuous yoga session.

Now, this coconut stall  is owned by a family – a husband, a wife and a little girl – and the wife has become a good friend of mine. I have been frequenting their stall for many months now and akka has been really sweet to me.

It was only recently that the little girl plucked up the courage to come talk to me. And might I say, she is such a chatterbox! She would run up to my car window and peep in. She would bombard me with questions like – What is my name? Where do I work? What does my job entail?

Sometimes, she asked really difficult technical ones too: What was the light on my stereo used for? How do the a.c. vents work? How did it feel like to drive a car?

She was a proper little girl who wore her school pinafore, and had her hair down in two plaits, with the tails ending in matching ribbons and all. When I (occasionally) asked about her, she would demurely reply with single-worded answers.

I could see adoration in her eyes wherever she spoke to me. I recognized it because I have had the same look in my eyes, countless times.

I could tell that she was at an impressionable stage in life, and my words could influence her.

One day, I happened to ask her “Do you go to school regularly?” She replied, “Yes.”

The next statement at the tip of my tongue was “Nithya (name changed) , you should study well in school. You should study really hard, okay? Studies are very important.”

A lot of you might not understand what is wrong about this innocuous statement. I’ll make things clear.

Why did I assume that only studies can help her? Why not arts? Or sports? Why didn’t I ask her what she was interested in, before concluding that she had to study well?

Heck. How did I assume that she was NOT good at studies? 

And that was my big revelation. Thankfully, this thought hit me before I could give the poor girl a lecture on studies.

Disclaimer: I’m not against education. In fact, I’m a firm believer in primary and secondary education for kids. 

I simply assumed that she struggled with subjects at school. I simply took it for granted that if she didn’t pass her tests, she wouldn’t grow up to support and uplift her family.

When I break it down, my intention to encourage her was right. Her parents were doing their best, sending their only daughter to school while lumbering in the hot summer selling coconuts all day.

Yeah, I have to encourage the little girl. But I had no rights to steer her into a path she wasn’t interested in.

The biggest mistake I made was to assume the proverbial ‘big sister’ role and begin a lecture even before I knew this girl completely.

C’mon. I had only known her for what, 10 days, and I never bothered asking her what she ‘liked’. What if she was an artist? What if she was the next super singer? What if she was really good at sports ??

Of course, as a responsible adult, I do have the rights to tell her about the importance of education. But I should do it only, and I repeat, ONLY after getting to know her better.

We are at the edge of a paradigm shift. A Court denied alimony to divorcee woman because she is empowered to find a job for herself. There are celebrities who prefer ‘single motherhood’ over marriage. And then, there are young entrepreneurs and young creatives who prise themselves away from the society and blossoming on their own, in their niche.

It is awesome that we are sending kids to school and providing them with basic education. That’s amazing. That’s progressive. That also means that in 15 years, those children are going to hit the cul-de-sac of graduation – engineering. Then where’s the progress?

It is really important to identify an individual’s strength and do our best to encourage that. We have got to ask more questions. We probably have to ask a million questions before we can get close to an answer. But these million questions will help us in the long run.

Nithya and many more Nithya’s are quite shy. They hide their superpowers in their tiny little pinafores and their tiny little ribbons. 

I’m going back there tomorrow and figuring out who Nithya really is. I’m going to understand her better through her likes and dislikes and get to know her dreams. And then, I’m going to give her my big sister lecture.

 

In…completeness

Incomplete

Twinkle Twinkle little
How I wonder what
Up above a world so high

Damn. This is for that nagging feeling that is left behind by incompleteness. Especially incompleteness in things that we trust the most. Like a nursery rhyme, for instance.

You make great sandwiches! Happy Women’s Day

So, I saw this advert in the newspaper today:

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And I thought, “Wow, women empowerment programs by The Hindu and PSR. Must be really good”.

And then, THIS caught my eye.

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Imagine my disappointment. Strike that. Imagine my rage.

Seriously guys? A cooking competition???

A leading newspaper and a giant in the garment business – both of them claiming to be modern and progressive – are acting in the most backward manner.

STRIKING DISCLAIMERS: 

I am NOT calling cooking a lowly activity.

I am NOT insulting cooking or the people who enjoy cooking – be it man or woman. 

 

My point is this – a contest doesn’t fulfill the purpose of empowerment.

Competitions (it just so happens that here it is a cooking competition) can’t be classified as ’empowerment’, especially women empowerment.

In a competition what we do is pick 3 winners. That means nearly 97% of the participants go home feeling like losers.

They leave the event feeling the same or feeling worse than how they came in.

How is that empowering??! Someone please explain that to me.

The purpose of events like cookery shows and the purpose of an actual program to empower women are very, very different.

Purpose of women empowerment

 

Now, I don’t want to transform into a super-feminist and complain about the state-of-affairs in our city. But I do want to suggest some activities that I consider to fall under women empowerment.

Here’s what you could do on women’s day if you really want to help women break out of their shells:

  • Initiate small-business opportunities: If you want to do something cooking related, go ahead and conduct a small session on how to start her own small business making and selling her special item (personally, I think that home-style Biryani would be a huge hit).
  • And when I say start business, I don’t mean a Facebook page alone. Yes, that’s a starting point, but she can be equipped with other business-related skills like inventory management, website development, sales, marketing etc. without relying on anybody else to do the ‘technical‘ work for her, while she (ironically) slogs in the kitchen.
  • Give her some personality and professional training so that she can not only start out, but also make a thriving business for herself.
  • Leadership training: Bring women together and bring a consultant trainer to identify the leaders and pick them out for further training. We need more women leaders.  We have lost them to diapers and dirty dishes.
  • Start a purpose-driven networking session for women from different backgrounds and watch the magic unfold. Women will instantly start networking with the right kind of people. Say, Mrs.Latha (totally fictional) is in the IT and is looking for someone who can do some content writing for her website. She can meet Miss.Divya (also fictional), who does freelancing. And there you have a working relationship. Now, women will be grateful for such opportunity.

If you think that all the above is only for aspiring business women, don’t fret. There’s more:

  • Conduct ‘talent hunts’ to find out the hidden talents in housewives. You’d be surprised how many  latent prodigies are hiding behind that coy demeanor.
  • When you organize an event, bring an expert from a field and conduct a workshop on any new skill you think would help her future (NOT sewing. We have had enough of those in our craft classes in school. Besides, we learn to sew when necessity hits.)

Think  IT training, Website development, Android app development. 

  • Teach a new skill/ enhance their existing skills – drawing, singing, painting, DIY crafts.A lot of them learn arts till they’re about 17 then stop all of a sudden. Who knows where her singing skills might take her one day!!

Please encourage women artists (however small).

  • Expose housewives to the world of soft skills like business etiquette, phone and email etiquette, language training – now I’d be impressed with anyone trying to do that. I know it costs a lot for this stuff, but I’m sure that a few hundred chairs and one trainer is much cheaper than the LPG and raw materials you need for conducting a cookery show.
  • Conduct a workshop on how to manage  Biowaste better – there is a group that does a wonderful job and my mother herself is involved in it. She has been talking about biowaste management in various settings. I’d like to see some big players show some interest in it.

So, those are a few suggestions from my side. I’d like to see a world where cooking is disassociated from the women sector and is simply a task for a human being’s survival.

The hungry can cook for themselves. Let’s support Women pursue their dreams.

P.S. I cook more than noodles. I make decent south Indian meals and nobody has been severely injured or taken ill because of my cooking. So please don’t turn this into a mockery of my culinary skills.

Let's get more empowered

 

New Year Starts on 15th December

New Year’s — it’s just another day, in your regular life. Except, it’s the most hyped up day for fresh beginnings.

I don’t understand this at all.

We tend to imagine that somehow, miraculously, everything is going to change once the sun rises on New year day.

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When it’s a new year, I can’t even get into the habit of writing the correct year and date, until the end of January.Heck, what sort of insanely stupid confidence do I have that I will start a new and more difficult habit ?

But, we always end up making New Year’s resolutions lists. The reasons are myriad.

Some people do so because they get a new beginning with a clean slate. Some do it because it’s a good feeling to start a year with positive goals.

Others do it because it’s a tradition and ‘making New Year’s resolutions lists every January’ is on their list, every year.


Why it’s not wise to start anew in January

Two reasons:

  1. It’s a harsh jolt after the holiday mood
  2. There is a lack of inertia

The former is self-explanatory.

You know how difficult it is to get up and go to work on a Monday morning. January 1st is the granddaddy of Mondays.

As we get closer and closer to the end of the year, we bury ourselves enthusiastically in Christmassy merrymaking, and follow it up with straight-up partying until New Year’s Eve.

After all this celebratory shenanigans, it is not rational to expect our mood to change on the morning of the 2nd. A sudden change from the holiday mood is not going to be easy for your body and mind to adapt to.

Are you really going to ask your hungover self to run 10 miles the next day morning, just because a few digits have changed on the date?

Absolutely insane expectations.


Now for the latter, Inertia:

Let me quote Newton here —

An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

this-year-will-be-different

Remember how you were absolutely sure of yourself when it was still an optimistic December, and you’d say things like:

“I’ll definitely start exercising from the 1st of January”

“Come 2016, and I’m quitting smoking.”

“I am going to start learning a new language as soon as I get back to work in Jan.”

We inevitably wait until the ill-fated ‘1st January’, to jump start our habits. But it’s sad that the conviction and will power we had in December is just gone by January.

whatexactlyisanewyearsresolutionitsatodolistforthefirstweekofjanuary

Every year, by December, our lazy genes kick-in.

And we unwittingly postpone things like — starting a diet plan, starting a new habit or even quitting a bad habit — to the next year.

Try as you might, the urge to pursue a habit isn’t very powerful in the beginning of a year, where there is a stretch of 364 days ahead to get it started. That urge is strongest and more determinate in December.

Moreover, a habit can take anywhere between 18 to 254 days to set in.

254 days!

There’s a good chance that you might find yourself in mid-September by the time you’re comfortable with your “New Year’s Resolution”.

Inertia is what keeps us ( aka habit machines ) going.

If you can change your habit somewhere before the holidays, then it’s going to be a cakewalk in January. If you start working your ‘New Year resolutions’ in December, your goal is already in motion. It would be awfully easier to just keep moving with the momentum you have set up and breeze through the new year’s goal.

Here are some of the ways you can keep motivating yourself without breaking your habit.


Time is ripe

So if you want to have the cake and eat it too, you will have to avoid these:

  1. A sudden change from the holiday mood
  2. The a lack of inertia

Considering these, I feel that 15th December is the best time of the year to start anything new.

We need to gradually set into new year. Habits take their own sweet time to set in and it’s different for different people. But if you can challenge yourself to stick to a habit for 10 consecutive days, then maybe you can see it through till the end.

So, here’s to a Happy New year!!

….I’m 15 days too early. So, what?


This is just my way of looking at the largely unsuccessful New year resolutions. 

Of course, you can pick any other date that you are comfortable with like David Seah, who started his new year resolutions on groundhog day — February 2nd — just to give ‘all the Holiday madness a rest’  

You can even go one step further and add easy-to-remember review dates — March (3/3), April (4/4), May (5/5) and so on.

Disclaimer: 

I’ve written this article by keeping in mind that the reader knows the following: 

  •  Effective and achievable goals
  • Strategic planning for new year’s resolutions and habits
  • The Habit cycle of Cue →Routine →Reward →Cue
  • The limitations of setting unrealistic new year’s goals
  • The combined effect of will power, smart planning and self- awareness in the goal-setting process

I have a bucketful of Hatessiveness ( = Hate + Possessiveness )

Have you ever felt so much hate for a person, that when it comes down to saving that person’s life and picking out an ice-cream flavor, you would be weighing Belgian chocolate vs. Butterscotch in your mind?

Don’t lie. I know you thought of at least one person.

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Hair troubles – shampoo and conditioner

I never seem to have enough conditioner to complete the shampoo bottle!

Am I the only one with this woe? 😦

Shampoo and conditioner

To cakes, balloons, and real togetherness!

I recently turned 24 and in Indian lingo that means my parent’s 25th anniversary is around the same time.

Yayyyyy!!! A Quarter of a Century ! Silver Jubilee!! Time to Celebrate!!! 

Mom and Dad’s reaction

This was the reaction from my parents. 😐

I’m an only child who grew up with strict parents – a formula for creating utterly lonely children who grow up to be utterly lonely adults, a.k.a Bloggers 😛

Point is, strict parents meant no celebrations that included cakes, balloons or midnight wishes. Just no. Even vegetarian cakes weren’t allowed ya. 😦

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