Feminism and Nail Polish

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This is not my photograph; not my finger and nail too.Its a photograph from the Internet.

February had been rough on the work front. I had been working late hours and weekends. I had been snappy with those I love. I was working today too since early morning with a very just a brick-in-the-wall feeling.

And then it rained. Long and glorious.Work came to a standstill.Everyone left for home.

Me too. Suddenly, I felt like buying a new nail polish . I don’t know why!

Actually, I do.The rains always  remind me of the Beloved who paints my nails beautifully.

So I bought this nail paint today.It is Colorbar’s Dusky Mauve 103. And I have also shaped my nails the same. I think my hands look nice 🙂

  I also bought a kick-ass red lipstick. A female friend and colleague was with me. We go back around 17 years. She told me that when she had first met me, she couldn’t quite categorize me,slot me. She comes from a very conservative background where wearing make-up was frowned upon. It was a sign of frivolousness and being dumb.  Good girls were supposed to concentrate on studies and prescribed books.  I had told her then that ” For I conclude that the enemy is not lipstick, but guilt itself; that we deserve lipstick, if we want it, AND free speech; we deserve to be sexual AND serious–or whatever we please; we are entitled to wear cowboy boots to our own revolution.” ( Naomi Woolf)  ‘Are you a feminist?”,  she had asked me. Very truthfully I had told her “I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” ( Rebecca West)

 I am a woman. I wouldn’t change this for anything.

I guess, truly glorifying in my femaleness ,also flows from my guy. Because “When you find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will stand in front of you when other’s cast stones, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who will hold your hand when your sick, who thinks your pretty without makeup, the one who turns to his friends and say, ‘that’s her’, the one that would bear your rejection because losing you means losing his will to live, who kisses you when you screw up, watches the stars and names one for you …..”, everything just falls into place. Just the way it was meant to be.

Here’s to make-up & Tolstoy! Both are not mutually exclusive 🙂

And here is a song that gladdens my heart all the time 🙂 Lennon had sung it for Yoko.

Sexy and Undaunted

Bollywood movies today without an ‘item number’ are un-thinkabale. An item number or an item song, in Indian cinema, is a musical performance that is often shown as a part of the movie but most of the times without any importance to the plot of the movie. The main aim of an item number is entertain and also to lend support to the marketability of the film because it usually is a  catchy, upbeat, often sexually provocative dance sequence for a song in the movie ( Wikipedia).

The item number has borne  and keeps bearing  the brunt of feminist ire and  venomously ridiculous statements of the moral police. The argument is, naturally , that it shows women in a derogatory manner.  I kinda of interpret that as  women shouldn’t  look hot ,great and  sexy ? Or dance with fabulous abandon? Oh yes, many also believe that item numbers urge and incite men to molest and rape. As the nation reeled under the highly despicable , traumatic rape of a young girl in Delhi, 2013 ( The Nirbhaya case) Bollywood came under attack for encouraging perversion through its item numbers. The humorist Ramesh Srivats tweeted — “So, we’ve moved from blaming the victim to blaming Bollywood movies & rap singers. Good progress. Hopefully, sometime, we’ll start blaming the rapist.” (http://blogs.reuters.com/india/2013/01/02/banning-bollywood-item-numbers-is-no-solution/ ).

Oh Jeez! Give me a break. I feel like screaming ‘One thing you can’t hide- is when you are crippled inside” ( John Lennon) That sums up my take on the item number bashers & baiters! Damn hypocrites 😀

I also find very few women who confess to liking item numbers.Perhaps, they feel that it is not ummm lady -like ? Not what a ‘good girl’ is supposed to favor? Something like red lipstick and high heels, I guess. I have been the victim of  the disbelief and  wrath of such  goody-goody, wish-washy ladies, countless number of times. And I always suspect that they wear really horrible, un-imaginitive lingerie. Actually, to think they wear ‘lingerie’ is blasphemous. Underwear, yeah. Ugh. Hey ladies,” A dame that knows the ropes isn’t likely to get tied up” ( Mae West).

Coming to Bollywood item numbers, it is performed these days by the leading heroines today. In between , say in the 80’s/90’s we had the ‘item girls’, while the leading lady remained goody-goody. Upto the 1970’s,this role was taken by the so called ‘vamps’, in Indian cinema. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Item_number )

If I have to choose that one woman actor who is my absolute favorite in this genre, it is always going to be Helen.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_%28actress%29 ). There can never be anybody like her. I was fascinated with her as a child,preferring her over established heroines like Hema Malini, Rekha etc.

I am going to list out some of my favorite item numbers in no particular order. I shall not include any of Helen’s. Because, I remember having this discussion with a good friend, who said ‘Helen is classy, not an item number”. Nailed it! 🙂

1. http://youtu.be/XzmQaEMD7Ps  Urmilla Matondkar, ‘Lajja’. I have always liked Urmila Matondkar. Bindaas and a fabulous actor 🙂

2.http://youtu.be/jJ9wT-OJtik Shushmita Sen, ‘Fiza”. I totally freaked out on the song actually…’mujhe mast mahao main jeene de’ 🙂

3.http://youtu.be/vt8cSLswQWc Isha Khoppikar, ‘Company”. Absolutely edgy. And attitude. Yee-haw 😀

4.http://youtu.be/F7jjpnte_Kg Aishwariya Rai, ‘Shakti’. The only time Ash has looked sexy, in my opinion. Or else she is so perfect, she looks cold.

5.http://youtu.be/QCvFxPRL_5g Yana Gupta,’Dum’. Great choreography, funky and an absolutely hot woman 🙂

6.http://youtu.be/1TxDOusA4TA Lara Dutta, ‘Khakee’. Again a huge favorite, Lara Dutta totally rocks it here 🙂

7. http://youtu.be/XLJCtZK0x5M Bipasha Basu, ‘Omkara’. Rustic, hits you in the gut 🙂

8.http://youtu.be/ZTmF2v59CtI Katrina Kaif, ‘ Tees Maar Khan’. What can be better than a beautiful woman who is incredible sexy too! Killer combination. And I realized later that she is not a bimbette. Very focused, disciplined and ambitious. Go Katrina! 🙂

9.http://youtu.be/BDSsW194IJU Priyanka Chopra, ‘ Goliyoon ka rasleela -Ramleela’. Total respect.That’s dancing with abandon!

10.http://youtu.be/1FJ9hTNLK4w Kareena Kapoor, ‘Heroine’. Kareena and her  great relationship with her actor sister Karishma remind me of me and my big sis 🙂 So I have a huge soft corner for Kareena. She also packs huge attitude and tends to live life large. Oh by the way, this song is also my ring tone on the mobile 😀  I love the expression on my colleagues’ faces  when my mobile beeps 😀 Most of them are sanctimonious and boring 😀

Well, would love to know what are your favorite item numbers, guys  😀 Tell me!

And chew on this  “She looked like the kind of woman I could fall in love with. Trouble is, she was standing next to the kind of woman I’d like to make love to. 
” ( Jarod Kintz, ” This book has no title” ) The statement kinda accentuated the difference in perception between the heorine and the item girl.

That difference no longer exists today. In as much, Bollywood has kinda ensured empowerment of women, non ?

Cheers to life 😀

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Wabi-Sabi Your Life

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This is my Golden Cocker Spaniel girl. She is called Ashlee Aishwarya. Her second name is from ‘Aishwarya Bachhan” who is a former Miss World and superstar in Bollywood. She is not a favorite actor of mine though, but undeniably beautiful. Well, my Ashlee is a rescue baby.She came to me when she was around 7/8 months old. Starved, tortured and beaten.She had terrible aggression problems because of sustained abuse.Gradually, with a lot of gentle handling she settled down. She regained her health, her coat is a mass of golden curls today. She learned to trust human again. Her attachment to my big sister , especially is very touching.

But, today my Ash baby, only 3 years old, can no longer see.She has become totally blind. Her eye sight was poor when she had come to me because she was not given any food when she was a pup.Let alone necessary nutritional supplements ! The damage to her eyes was irreversible, my vet told me, although we kept up a steady intake of Vitamin A.While she cannot see any more, her sense of smell is very, very strong and as the days go by, I think it keeps getting more acute.So also is her hearing. My sister’s gardener, who is Ash’s pet hate, has to tip-toe around the place!

I seem to love her more now though. She is damaged..but she is so brave, so beautiful , her  eyes shining with trust and so much love that  I am reminded of the Japanese concept of ‘Wabi-sabi”.

What is ‘Wabi-Sabi”? “Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It’s simple, slow, and uncluttered-and it reveres authenticity above all. Wabi-sabi is flea markets, not warehouse stores; aged wood, not Pergo; rice paper, not glass. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind. It reminds us that we are all but transient beings on this planet-that our bodies as well as the material world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace liver spots, rust, and frayed edges, and the march of time they represent“. (http://nobleharbor.com/tea/chado/WhatIsWabi-Sabi.htm) Loosely translated, “wabi” is simplicity, whether elegant or rustic; “sabi” means the beauty of age and wear. 

Some years back, the accidental sufi had met with a terrible car accident.Although my injuries healed and I was back to normal within a short span of time, a  long,perpendicular scar remained on my right forehead. I was very conscious of it. Put it down to female vanity, but it troubled me a lot. I would brood .Although my sister told me that I look perfectly fine, I cried and harped on getting plastic surgery done.

Then, my Shams, gifted me a rough clay bowl. It was cracked.The crack had been filled with gold. Somewhat like the pic below.

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( Photo Credits :http://sloannota.com/blog/crash-art-kintsuori-and-modern-dreams/)The art of filling pottery with silver  or gold lacquer to repair the crack and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken is called ‘kintsukuroi” in Japanese.

And Shams explained “the difference between the Japanese “kirei-merely” or  “pretty” and “omoshiroi”, the interestingness that kicks something into the realm of beautiful”. I stopped thinking about plastic surgery 🙂

Much later  there was this terrible  upheaval in my personal life.My sister told me   ‘scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on.’ My Ma gave me a photo of the Lord Jaganath to keep in my purse.Its frayed now…but  strength emanates from the folds.  My Shams wrote me this :”I know sometimes
it’s still hard to let me see you
in all your cracked perfection,
but please know:
whether it’s the days you burn
more brilliant than the sun
or the nights you collapse into my lap
your body broken into a thousand questions,
you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.” ( Clemetine von Radics)

All in their own ways living the wabi-sabi way and telling me to do so 🙂

So Ashlee Aishwarya, of the golden curls and the beautiful eyes , is wabi sabi-ing her life with me….we both heal each other everyday 🙂 Try adopting a broken damaged animal and heal it, guys, with your love.Your soul will smile, believe me 🙂

And what about love ? Well, wabi sabi love tells us to find perfect love in imperfect relationships .

And what is perfect love ? Ummm…anything less than mad, passionate, extraordinary love is a waste of time. There are too many mediocre things in life to deal with and love shouldn’t be one of them.

And what is an imperfect relationship? Ummm…the Shams sent me this pic.Says it epitomizes an imperfect relationship !  Oh by the way, he plans to make this the wallpaper in his house 😀

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( Photo Credit :http://waggingworld.com/2013/08/05/off-the-leash/ )

Alright guys, check this song. My kinda wabi sabi. It takes courage to attempt ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon. Its not perfect. But its beautiful because Eddie Vedder sings it with so much belief and passion ,non? http://youtu.be/KhrmkCW6Ph8

Ta ta, guys !  *curtsies low* .Jeez, I need to work them  ahem gluteal muscles 😦 Auto suggestion : Wabi sabi your a*** woman…its perfect 😉


When Does Real Love Begin ?

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“This is the kind of Friend
You are –
Without making me realize
My soul’s anguished history,
You slip into my house at night,
And while I am sleeping,
You silently carry off
All my suffering and sordid past
In Your beautiful
Hands.”- (Hafiz)

( Forever Mine is a fragrance which promises eternal love and symbolizes togetherness. Top notes incorporate lemon (cedrat), red berries and Baia rose, a heart adds freesia, lotus and jasmine petals. A base includes sandalwood, musk and patchouli http://www.fragrantica.com/perfume/Chevignon/Forever-Mine-for-Women-5779.html

(Amrapali Jewels draws inspiration from :Amrapali was a renowned royal courtesan said to have lived around 500BC in ancient India, she is also the timeless symbol of a Muse, one who brings you inspiration, intuition and higher vision through her timeless beauty and grace. Amrapali’s extraordinary beauty and charm was also known far and wide. She is mentioned in the old Pali and Buddhist traditions, particularly in conjunction with the Buddha staying at her mango grove. The timelessness of the legend, and its immediate association to feminine beauty, delight and India’s heritage make it the ideal association for the brand.http://www.amrapalijewels.com/index.php)