The things we do for the corner office (and why)

The internet is flooded with articles urging you to stop glorifying the 9 to 5, to pack up your bags and set out on that adventure you set aside for ‘one day’, to ditch the monday blues and live a little.

It sounds poetic but decisions are not born of a whim. The corporate world teaches you some inexplicable things about your life. You don’t own it and you certainly cannot live it on your own terms. You will barely make it for your cousin’s wedding, miss a few, seldom have the entire weekend to yourself, skip being home for important festivals and it basically goes downhill from then on. But really, how did this culture really become so engraved in society that it became acceptable? Are we really given a choice?

I recently met someone who had a 4 year old son and I asked her if he had started going to school already. She told me how she wasn’t in a rush and once she put her 4 year old in a school, his life would practically be over. I was a little taken aback at first by her statement but then I had time to think about it. That child was going to be bound by routine, pressured for grades, would probably take a loan for college, get a job where he couldn’t complain so he could pay off his debt, get married, have more responsibilities, get a better job for a better pay to meet those responsibilities, save more for a rainy day, hospitals, children’s education and he would probably want to do something for his parents too.

It just doesn’t end. In fact, it feels easier just accepting the truth of life and work without complaining. How then, do these almost comical statements, “live the life you love” “do everything you love” fit in? Was it the brave ones who quit the 9 to 5 without a financial backing (lets be honest, money is a necessity) or was it the lucky ones who never had to experience it or could just leave it because they didn’t need the money?

I do think it is time for restructuring. While competition in the market may be good, I don’t know if it is healthy for life. Is it ok to be SO short on time, you forget to look up from your desk and watch the sunset, to actually achieve enough that you get your sea facing corner office but never enjoy it? Is it ok, to always want more, to “strive to be better”? What do you want your eulogy to read?

X : 19xx to 20xx – Fondly remembered because he was better than Y at Z”

The only thing you should want to be better than, is the person you were yesterday. If you want to spend 5 hours with your new born and you are unable to, that is what you need to be better at- being a parent. If your parents are old and ailing and all you can do is send them money, you need to be a better son. These are the things you need to be better at.

I am not saying everyone needs to quit their jobs. But I do feel everyone needs to re-prioritise and understand the importance of time. Of how fleeting it is and how little of it we have. And once we understand that, and be truthful in every interview we take about what truly drives us, perhaps, to be better providers for our families rather than whatever dishonest answer we have always been giving, fanning the ego of our interviewers, we would be a generation better equipped to design a more sustainable future for the generations to come.

It takes all kinds to make the world. Maybe you are built to be a corporate shark, then you must be that but do what makes you happy.

There are a lucky few who realise what their life’s purpose is. Those, that find their calling. I hope all of you do. And once you find the way of life you love, I hope you also find the courage to live it.



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For the love of Tragedy.

While I personally hold Shakespeare responsible for popularising tragedy, the glorification of it is deeply entrenched in all of us and is literally passed on generation after generation. I cannot say whether our love for tragedy was intended to be so, whether it was innate or acquired- but I can with some confidence say, we secretly imagine it and in its longing,  we eventually manifest it.

The number of times we watch a tragic love story or the number of hauntingly depressing songs that are made famous hardly put up a strong case for tragedy not being something we love and almost desire. Surely, we want to be happy but it seems we understand too well, that the joy that happiness brings is tasteless without a present that is depressingly dark.

How comforting is the sound of the saddest song you know as it opens up a crack so deep in your soul that you can almost rip your heart out as if you were subjected to the excruciating pain the singer is singing about. The problem is not with the hopelessly romantic, it is with the hopefuls.

The truth is, most of our pain is imagined and only a fraction of it actually suffered. We actually go through each emotion in our head while we listen to say Whiskey Lullaby or Fix You, lyrically imagine what is quite unpoetic, replay it and sure enough, we have manifested what we most think about: Tragedy.

We wanted it. We wanted to feel the truth of those words and so, like I said, in our longing, we make it happen. How fruitful it would be spending that much energy imagining all the wonderful things we hope to achieve in our lives.

This is why the life span of a self help book is basically infinite. There is always somebody breaking into the phase where they are quite done with finding comfort in tragedy and seek help. In the beginning, reading a self help book gives us innumerable revelations but when you reach your 4th or 5th, you think you are reading what you already know. Like preaching to the converted.

But even getting to the ‘seek help from a self help book’ phase has a pre destined time. If you are exposed to say, The Power of Now, prior to actually reaching this phase, you are going to hate it. Because you don’t want to believe in the now that is, you want the now that you imagined.

So wait for it, wait for the sorrow to become unbearable. It will. Then stand unashamed in front of the self help book section. You will soon find the courage to move to tragic but hopeful fiction. 🙂

But more on that later.




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When in Grief.

When grief comes knocking, life is unfamiliar territory and struggle is the order of the day.

To every person their struggle is unsurmountable at least once at some point during which it persists. No one can make you believe it will be ok. No one can make you understand that it could be worse. When you’re worn out and broken you believe that it is what it is and that is where you will always remain.

Words come to those who feel. And you feel yourself breaking you feel it harder than you think you will ever feel anything else. We suddenly have so much to say. Where was all of this hiding? There is a battle between your feelings and your reality and the sound of your knees hitting the floor as you surrender, is louder than anything else you’ll hear.

Your thoughts are deeper, your words are wounded and you basically believe there is no light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how many self help books you read, how many groups you join, you will only want enough time for yourself where you can be left alone to dwell in the comfort of our pain.

You only relate to everything that glorifies grief, heartbreak and everything that fortifies the belief that you feeling this way, is permanent. Truth is, you have to go through it all to come out on the other side of grief which will end, but you don’t believe it yet.

Nothing anyone says is going to be more powerful than the story you tell yourself. The excuses you make, for your current state or the excuses you make for others, because of whom you are where you are.

The reality of it all really is you are the beginning and the end of it all. You can dwell in a moment as long as you want to and just like that snap out of it too. But all these realisations will only come when the time is right. And the time is right only when the situation has taught you what you needed to learn.

Your decision to be alright is going to be as successful as your new year resolution. It will take a single memory to collapse you into the nothingness you became so comfortable in. Even when you feel you are ok, there will be times you will find yourself suffering, wanting.

It is a rough road, but there is an end and when you reach it, it will be unfamiliar territory.  The newness of your thoughts will surprise you and you will feel brand new. Till then, remember, you must enjoy what there is to enjoy and suffer, what there is to suffer. Nothing will come to you a minute sooner than it is destined to come to you.

Maktub. (It is written)




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Wardrobe woes? Not this weekend.

Just in time for the weekend! Heading out? Keep these things in mind Piccolas.

First, look at the featured image. Yes, you need to ditch your heels with a thick ankle strap IF you’re wearing a dress and if you are anything under 5 feet 3. These thick straps give the illusion that you’re even shorter than you already are. If you do fancy heels with ankle straps, go in for the thinner ones. Ideally, you should be wearing nude pumps – they make your legs look longer.

What you can do with your ankle strap pumps is- wear them with jeans or a maxi skirt/dress.

Second- unless you’re going out casually, don’t go in for wedges or block heels. I know they are amazingly comfortable and seem like a great alternative but seriously, wear that Saturday night outfit with wedges and then with pumps and your mirror will immediately tell you what I am talking about. You don’t have to wear stilettos or 4 inch heels girls, you can be comfortable in pumps too.

The only time its ok to wear wedges is, like I said, (a) when you want to keep it casual or (b) when you’re going for a garden party.

Next, your clothes. Piccolas you can wear the shortest skirt you fancy but NOT if you didn’t pay heed to my advice in my earlier post ‘Pics’ don’t lie (click to read) to get on that treadmill. You are not going to feel confident wearing a short skirt or dress with legs that are not worked out! And I already told you, if anything makes YOU unhappy- YOU need to do something about it- which includes how you feel and how you look.

So- the ideal length of a dress/skirt for you Piccolas is just above the knees. Not covering the knee, not below the knee but just above it. Any thing longer than that again gives you the illusion of being shorter than you already are. A shorter length than that- go for it if you’re looking after that body. Renovate, rejuvenate and tone that body- After all, it IS what you are going to be living in all your life!

By the way did I tell you, you can rock a Maxi. Yes, you can. Just make sure they’re ankle length and not hiding your feet. You also need to be careful about the prints on your maxi- nothing large. Go in for petit prints, dainty work, solid colours and accessorise.

Talking about accessories, chokers have been around for a while but they are not for you if you don’t have a long face. I see brides with heavy gold/diamond/polki chokers – it is just wrong- choke chains have a purpose, to look good- not one of them.

No matter how tall you are, if you have a round face or a slightly chubby face and small neck, chokers literally make you look like you’re choking. I seriously cannot imagine, a bride especially, looking back at those pictures and feeling happy about her most important day. But tall or short, if you have a thin, long face and a long neck- by all means- choke.

Nonetheless, if you do like to wear something close to your neck there is an alternative for Piccolas. Buy something dainty. A thin sting or a gold/silver chain with a minimalist design or logo. It looks lovely!

Now stop hunching and strut right in front for that group picture.

Enjoy your weekend!



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‘Pics’ don’t lie

I am not trying to tell you that you’re fat or that you must go on a massive diet and look scrawny and almost breakable (Thigh gaps are so passé). What I am telling you that if your weight makes you unhappy, you have to do something about it. For most of us, the ‘5 feet somethings‘, we unfortunately do not have the luxury of letting go when it comes to food. Let’s not confuse this with body shaming or idolising the ‘size zero’, but if you’re short and slightly healthy (like your proud mother would call you), you ARE going to look like a little tea pot short and stout!

I am someone with a whole lot of confidence and there is very little that can shake that confidence. Yet, there are obviously times when I feel dissatisfied by not just the way I look but also how I feel. How you feel and how you look are interchangeable really although I can say with some confidence that when you don’t look good, you won’t feel good but if you feel good, you most certainly are, my Piccolas, going to look good.

So what are the things that make us feel good? The hair- yes, good skin- sure, the clothes, the bag and happy feet- its the whole package and sometimes it takes some work. For the Piccolas, certainly, AND for celebrities we admire and follow to death.

First thing I am going to tell you, is to stop doing that to yourselves. You are never going to look like Kareena, Deepika or Priyanka. Do you know how many hours they spend in a make-up room getting their hair and face done before a single picture of theirs is made public? Sure you do. Can’t blame them either though. They’re scrutinised by the media, watching them like hawks ready to devour them for the slightest faux pass in the way they have dressed or even for nails that aren’t perfectly manicured.

So. What I am telling you is the only person you need to compare yourself to- is YOU.

The look you wear is your look. The one you will always wear best. 

Whenever I am not feeling good about my looks, I look through my pictures- on the phone. Don’t imagine me sitting in front of a rusted trunk pulling out photograph albums from the days of yore! It is more helpful than you think actually. I immediately know from my pictures- “Hey! I should have lost weight for that wedding” or “Hey! I look so good here!” And most often, its either the way my hair looks or my chubby face or actually even the wrong neckline I’m wearing that tells me what I did wrong.

The first thing I do, which is also the hardest thing I must do- I get on that treadmill. If it sounds like an easy thing to do from my writing, I have fooled you. I am lazy. I want everything but I want to do little to get it. So I procrastinate. And finally when I am seriously fed up to an extent where I don’t want to go out anymore, I get on that treadmill. But trust me, once you get in the habit of it, it doesn’t seem like such an ordeal.

While I am going to give you a lot of short cuts to wearing the right things to give you a taller look, a slimmer look, there is no short cut to feeling good and fit except exercise. I hate that I believe it, but I do. It is painful to look at your gorgeous holiday pictures or pictures from friends’ weddings where you wish you had just controlled your cravings for sometime before the weddings and run a few kms. a day.  That’s when you really want to be fit and feel good for more than just occasions.

So before we get to the hair and the skin and the shoes and heels, we need to cut back a little on our cravings and pick up just about any physical activity and get really fit.

I’m sure some of you have lived abroad during your undergrad or for you post grad studies. Did you feel that was your prime? I did. And I will tell you how I did nothing but I was fit as a fiddle and it was difficult to not look good in every picture during those days. 😉

I was eating RICE for dinner! Sometimes even mashed potato with mutton and bread for dinner- my favourite meal of the day.

We can all be fit despite that last sinful meal of the day. I walked. A LOT. I would do 5 to 10 kms. a day, EASY. Somehow you just end up walking a lot more when not in India. I would also play 30 mins of squash twice or thrice a week.

When back in India- because the weather and the pollution just drain you out – you have to therefore, pick up a sport or any form of physical exercise that you enjoy. It is important that you enjoy it otherwise you’re just going to give it up sooner or later. Take up kick boxing! I enjoyed that a lot. Cross fit maybe. Its too rigorous for me but it works for some. I suggest moving on to cross fit or kick boxing once you have had a month or two of regular physical exercise since they’re quite intense you don’t want to strain yourselves too much too soon. Ease into it.

While we are on the topic of weight, pay your gynaecologist a visit. Get checked for PCO. Polycystic Ovaries. It is very common in Asian women so don’t be alarmed. When you put on weight too quickly or suddenly, if you’re having a pimple out burst, or notice facial hair- you need to get checked for PCO. All of these symptoms don’t show up simultaneously. The best way to control it is to exercise and the medication prescribed clears up your skin and helps in reducing weight too! Just saying, maybe this could be your problem.

Also, girls- your pictures may be telling you to put on some weight. Do NOT ignore this message just because everyone around you is struggling to lose it. You are the lucky ones. Life is short. Eat that cake.

So, the rest of you, if you too want to eat that cake, get over your laziness and buy yourselves a nice pair of kicks and get on that road to looking fabulous every. single. day.

Feel fantastic. Shine. You are born with glitter in your veins!



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Unlike Demi, I’m not cool for the summer.

I wanted to write something for the Piccolas today but I think the Indian summer is not my time.

You have to be as unlucky as I to really understand what I am sweating about. If you’re unemployed in the summer, you don’t live in a metropolitan city in India, or in the hills, summer is murder.
Say hello to power cuts and no, don’t you dare pray for better weather because the moment you see ONE gray cloud and maybe it gets a little breezy, you’re going to be powerless, quite literally.
And when you feel, so powerless, what are you gonna do? (So you’re going to sing like Nelly now)?


Moving on, I cannot stress a better time to be employed than in the summer. I know when you’re travelling for the strictly necessary, almost obligatory summer vacation overseas you wish your leave was a little longer or that you were unemployed- but trust me you WANT to be employed for the 4-5 months of India’s scorching summer.

I miss wearing a sweater in June, complaining about the air conditioning being too cold- no really, I have had more paracetomol for headaches because of freezing temperatures in June than at any other time of the year.

I love to hear about digital India, incredible India- such fairy tales really. I could talk about an exemplary, progressive India, sitting in my enormous home in the Capital heady with power. (Wao a lot of puns in this piece of writing!)
You know with ISRO launching missiles after missiles, every Indian having a phone, every election campaign where laptops are promised to families in rural India- since of course, thats the need of the hour. You start to believe it is all really going somewhere.
But just outside of the metropolis, with power cuts for 10-12 hours easy, you really wonder if Calvin Harris, Demi Lovato, Seals & Crofts would feel the same way about summer as they did when they sang those songs we all love if they lived here. Only Lana Del Ray got it right with her summertime sadness. Perhaps, she was visiting & the words just came to her! Who tried to make this song a happy one with that remix?
Although old, give theses numbers a listen & maybe you’ll feel better about the summer unless you are employed & are thoroughly confused by my hard feelings for summer:
Seals & Crofts: Summer breeze
Demi Lovato: Cool for the summer
Calvin Harris: Summer
Lana Del Ray: Summertime sadness
The featured image of the surf boards by the way, is from Byron Bay, Australia. That is where you want to be in the summer. Byron Bay- where summer is LOVE. We’ll talk about it in better weather.
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Stressful Tresses? – ‘Feed’ that mane.

If you want to experiment with your hair like you’re in a science lab, use this before scissors or hair colour.

I am going to break down the repair therapy for tresses that stress into a few parts. This one is about 5 magic foods that will give you stress free tresses if consumed regularly. Next, I will tell you about the topical nourishment that your hair needs and also add a little unconventional advice to tame your mane.

This is coming from a girl who is forced to spend most of her time getting dressed – taming her hair.

May you always have glamorous hair! ❤


  1. Apple Cider Vinegar: THIS is your magic potion. I urge you to read up on the benefits of this elixir guaranteed to make you feel brand new. Pour a spoonful of apple cider vinegar (increase to two spoons gradually) in a glass, mix with water (room temperature) – have once a day. It may taste pungent at first but if you’re an alcohol drinker, you really cannot complain. Make sure you buy Apple Cider Vinegar with ‘mother’.
  2. Fenugreek Seeds: Soak a spoonful of fenugreek seeds overnight, in the morning grind the soaked seeds, make a paste and apply on your scalp. For weight loss and improved digestion, you can drink it on an empty stomach the morning after soaking.
  3. Kaala Chanaa (black gram): Soak 15-20 kaala chanaas at night and have them in the morning before breakfast.
  4. Aloe Juice: Even if you’re living in a Mumbai apartment, you can keep and maintain at least 1 aloe plant. Just take out one stem, snip it from one side, take out a spoonful of aloe gel in a glass and add water. The gel will not mix with your water but will settle at the bottom. Drink it up. This is the easiest and the most inexpensive way to nurture that mane. You can also apply the gel on your roots, leave it in for 45 minutes and wash.
  5. Almonds: Winter or summer, include a fistful of almonds to your daily dose of goodness. The nutritions it contains will solve more than one hair problems. From promoting hair growth to reducing frizz, make almonds your go-to snack for stress free tresses.