I was in my shower post my evening workout thinking about life and lessons because clearly that is the only time we are ever free and constantly winning imaginary arguments. And guess what? I had unknowingly achieved something. After 2 years of constant self-motivation, counselling from friends and gyaan from the movies and novels, one fine day, it vanished. Naturally, like every other blogger, I thought I could write a post relating to this.
So I got into my sexy pyjamas and jumped on the bed to jot down. However, I look at my blog page and I’m shocked. It has been almost two whole months since I posted anything. My friends urged me to write now and then but I shooed their thoughts away thinking I will do it the next day. And the next day. And so on. So here I’m, approximately 48 days later, wanting to write something. If there is something I value now, that is definitely time. Where did it go? Maybe I was contemplating my thoughts on life, the people around us and how energy affects us all. Nah bro, I was just kidding. I was busy eating mangoes. Because food, baby! Always the first priority.
Anyway, back to my shower thoughts. So I had been dealing with a lot of negativity since I can remember. I still cannot pick on a certain issue but, maybe it was the incidents happening around me or the people I met or it could be just my stupid illusion. It still affected me in a big way. And in a bad way. It took me relentless hard work and dedication to lose all the baby weight by the end of 2014. Unfortunately, by the early of 2016, I gained all of it. Because? Stress! At the mid of 2016, all that revolved around my mind was WTF was happening to me.
I’m not getting into the sad and gory details of that phase. Not because it’s private but, I’m lazy now. Like someone-breathe-for-me lazy.
Come to think of it, the speed at which my over thinking brain was analysing things was just crazyyy. I really wish I listened to my friend when she said: “let go”. And she reminded me of it every single day. Let go of the worries. Let go of certain people. Let go of everything negative. Seriously, how did she survive repeating that to me for the last 365 days? I would have given up on the fourth day. Okay, not so soon but still! She is a boon to me.
So here I’m, with my waist size bigger and my hair thinner than ever, telling all of you the secret to my rather happy post. Yoga! I’m not here to propagate the principles of it and I certainly do not wish to get into the details. However, trying is never a bad thing. So go ahead and invest an hour into yoga. Screw the gym, ditch the weights and go on the mat. It will do wonders. Maybe not physically but, definitely mentally.
I’m more aware of myself and I learned a lot. Number one: you can be mindful. Number two: my body is super flexible. I could do wavy things with my tummy and twist my body to the point I do not recognise myself. Imagine that. How cool!
Whatsoever it did to me, it worked. Firstly, my mind is much clearer so I don’t have my brain speeding at 260km/hr. Secondly, I feel lighter and happier. I’m starting to move away from the negativity. I don’t stress excessively like I used to. And by the way, I’m still one size bigger but definitely better in my mind and heart. Weight will come and go. It is the heart and mind that needs constant effort. Focus on that.
I urge you all out there to try yoga. Get to know your inner self ’cause that is pretty badass! And finally, spend time with people that bring out the best in you, not the stress in you. Okay?
I know there are days when you feel directionless
I know you have thoughts about quitting yourself
I know you have nights of discomfort and utter silence
I also know there are days when you feel like sunshine
I know your eyes instantly light up watching your little brother smile
I know the beaming smile when you smell coffee
I know the sense of pride you own when you hit the five-mile mark
But why am I pining for more? What is this “more”?
Let me remind you, what you are going through is life. It tries knocking you down every day because it senses your strength. But, It treats you with small moments of happiness. Fear not, you are normal. You are just like every other being who craves to see the soul in everything.
I admit you have your flaws and imperfections. I know how you like things to move your way at times. I know the temper you possess. You love too much, care too much, give too much. There are days you try so hard and then again, there are those times you give up easily. But I’m here to tell you, you do not have to change anytime soon. Your good qualities balance it all and that makes you one hell of a strong person. You wake up every day to fight your inner demon but, you also live through it.
My dear self, you aren’t sad, you are just human. Let your light in and watch it do wonders to you. Give yourself a chance. Practice the act of standing up for yourself and being firm in your beliefs. There will be people who do not understand your journey and that’s OKAY.
All that hurt you have in you? Make art with it.
Write. Bake. Groove. Live.
After all, that is what life really needs: spreading your light in times of darkness.
I have been keeping a secret from all of you. It’s not that I’m ashamed of it and neither is it because of my personal issues. It’s just that I’ve never had the chance to express my feelings. You see, I have a love affair. Now I call it an affair because I heard it is unconventional to have a relationship with an already stolen heart. But I cannot deny the undying love and affection I have for my beloved. His touch is warm and makes me want to hug him tighter. He is probably the only one who doesn’t complain about my over expressive face and my hyper active mind.He is soft on the inside and firm on the outside, a porous heart big enough to fill in all my emotions and a beautiful taste to linger onto. Yes, I’m talking about my cake. My vanilla cake. And here you all thought I was talking about a man. Pff!
My previous relationship with mashed potatoes wasn’t entirely lump-free, as you all know. He was spud-tacular, no doubt about that. But time passed and I gave zero commitment to my potato. Meanwhile, I got introduced to this really gorgeous looking cake through my sister. We hit it off instantly and now here I’m, committed to my cake.
Chocolate and men are replaceable but a perfect vanilla sponge cake? Na! My sister recommended this recipe a couple of months back and let me tell you, this is all I bake now. Like literally this is all I bake now! Time and again, food has surprised me with my inner emotions. I can sense my inner soul doing backflips when I see the most luscious looking creamy batter getting ready to be enclosed in an oven.
Today will be the first time I will be making two batches of cake along with chocolate ganache(fingers crossed). I’m hoping to get it right. Wish me luck.
I have decided to share this recipe with you all because a) you will love it and b) it is awesome(duh)
A couple of things to warn you about:
- I have given the recipe for one 6 inch cake pan. You can multiply as required.
The first rule of baking: All ingredients must be at room temperature.
You can obviously get easier recipes but I swear by this one. This is the perfect cake mix I have come across in my rather avid knowledge for baking.
I’m a possessive lover generally but I shall excuse you if you fall in love with this cake.
- Flour – 86.3g (if you don’t have 86.3g, this will be a complete flop. kidding! but hey, good things don’t come easy. So take the damn kitchen scale and measure it)
- Baking powder- 3.26g
- Salt- pinch
- Sugar – 86.3g
- Unsalted butter- 57.6g
- 1 large egg
- Vanilla extract- 1/4 tsp
- Milk- 63ml
Preheat oven at 170-degree celsius.
- Sift flour, baking powder and add the pinch of salt in one bowl(dry mix).
- In another bowl, add your sugar and butter for creaming. Then add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat only until it incorporates. warning: do not overbeat as it can curdle.
- Now take the dry mix and milk and pour it in 2 to 3 intervals respectively into the egg mix. At this stage, I would suggest beating the mix less. Try mixing with your spatula just until it is incorporated.
- And your batter is ready. Pour the batter into 6 inch round pan which should be completely greased with butter and coated with flour.
- Bake for 35 minutes at 170 degree celsius.
- And voila, we are done. Wait for the cake to cool down for the application of ganache.
And this is how my cake looks like now.
For the chocolate ganache, it is a simple procedure.
Follow this ratio always; Chocolate compound: fresh cream = 2:1. Heat the cream and pour over chocolate. In case it still does not mix well, use the bain-marie method.
I was super confident that I could do this. All excited, I set my hands on the ganache bowl with devouring eyes. By now, my patience has gone and all I want to do is eat the damn cake. Despite constant warnings from my sister, I did not flatten the cake. At this point, my brain has convinced me that I have super powers and I could do anything, just about anything to achieve the perfect look. Because hey, who knows this cake better than me.
And voila, this is how my cake looks like now.
Haha, and you thought you would see the most perfect looking thing on earth. I said I had the love for baking, I didn’t say I was perfect at it. It was tasty as f*** despite all its imperfections. Well, everything is indeed fair in love and war.
Moral of the day: Do not keep expectations and do not look for perfection in love. It might look ugly occasionally, it might disappoint you at times, it can toughen your heart by showing how beautifully broken it is, but at the end of the day, you will back for its soul. You go back not for the way it looks, but for the way it feels from inside – comforting and fulfilling.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go indulge in some love therapy.
Have you ever wondered how these motivational posts pop right up in your instagram account and they describe just how you are feeling at that moment? It boggles me how apt those posts relate to me. It is a mind reader. Really. I follow my instagram account religiously and I’m shamefacedly admitting that I cannot live without it (well, at least as of now). It somehow motivates me in my horrible I-don’t-want-to-get-out-of-bed days. Having said that, I think it is okay to feel sad. And you know that moment right before you feel sad? You try to sidetrack your mind by checking your phone and texting all your friends “hi” in a row or you watch your favourite movie or dig on ice-cream tubs till you feel immobile? Right at that moment, you feel you are okay, you feel alright, but uh oh, here it comes! It erupts like a volcano inside your cracked sealed heart and gushes over your mind leaving you breathless. Let that sadness consume your soul, let it seep through the deepest veins and engulf you with burning flames. Introduce your soul to sadness and let it know what it feels like. Feeling sad is one of the greatest pleasures of life. You should give a damn and cry, but only about things that set your soul on fire. Quit hiding the magic that sadness can create. Cry out and get stronger, bolder and happier. And it is in those moments you learn about yourself and realise that you should love yourself more. Be the love you never received. Loving yourself is the greatest boon you can give yourself. Don’t give up on yourself even though you want to. The universe always falls in love with a stubborn heart. Find peace in knowing that your love is enough to conquer this world. Sometimes you don’t need saving, you need to recognize your power. When you recognize your power, your spiritual side gets in tune with vibes, frequency and energy. And when you get in tune, you recognize your own INNER “G” aka gut feeling!
Bell Hooks said, ‘Sometimes people will try to destroy you, precisely because they recognize your power – not because they don’t see it, but because they see it and they don’t want it to exist.’
Don’t allow the success or failure of your goals to determine your happiness. You cannot base your joy on whether something works or not. Happiness comes from within, or it will be frail or flimsy. While we are on this subject of loving yourself, let me tell you what all I have learned from such incidents. I remind myself every so often. Speak out loud when you read this. The louder I told this to myself, the stronger it hit me.
- I will listen to my intuition more often.
- I will not say yes when I really want to say no.
- I won’t accept responsibility for other people’s problems.
- I will be less moved by the opinions of others.
- I will put myself first more often.
- If it doesn’t feed my soul, I will let it go.
- I will not give people the benefit of the doubt when their character is unclear or not known to me.
- I will rid myself of all self-limiting beliefs.
- I will implement/maintain no or low contact with anything negative.
Trust me, this works. Every. Single. Time.
You know how it is to be a socially awkward person and show up at social gatherings? Conversations ending in awkward silences, getting all wooden when people look you in the eye for eternity and trying to put up a sexy yet subtle, welcoming smile when in fact you could be looking like a gremlin drunk on wine! Or you forcefully manage to stuff your mouth when people approach towards you only to realize the food is hot and you start breathing like a retarded dragon! Fortunately, I’m at this stage where I have successfully (at least I think so) managed to bear the ‘small talk’. Thanks to my friends and family for moving away from the city at the same time. I had no other option but to socialize. Now I don’t mean to sound like I was pressurized by all of it but it wasn’t easy either. It took me a lot of patience to listen to the chatter and banter (no offence to my dear ones) but I’m glad I did. Who knew I was a good listener! I guess I’m sometimes a social butterfly, sometimes a snuggly potato on the couch.
I love taking personality tests and I’ve found myself wondering, “This question really depends on the situation”. Even though I self-proclaimed myself as an introvert, I couldn’t tick all the boxes and it bothered me that I couldn’t categorize myself. A tip for all those out there like me: do not confuse yourself trying to pin down into the introvert, extrovert classification. We really, really can’t decide. It’s too complicated. But thankfully for the internet, I’ve stumbled upon the third category called ‘ambivert’. No, I’m not talking about an animal, it’s a personality type.
From all the articles I read and the experiences I had, here’s how I can simply define one: some people think you are quiet, while others think you are highly social. When it comes to parties or solitude time, too much is boring for you. You need a bit of that and this. Small talks do not make you uncomfortable but they certainly make you jaded. We typically slide up and down the energy graph when it comes to interactions depending upon the situation, place, and people. Trusting people can be skeptical but sometimes you tend to dive in. Personally, I’m on the journey to improve my people skills. Sometimes even the best conversation starters fail but fear not, I have sort of figured out the reasons.
- Small talks – Talking about the weather or anything disinteresting (according to us) in the first conversation is a big NO-NO. We may politely continue listening but it will bore us.
- We have two sides to almost every situation and our feedback on it depends on whom we are surrounded by.
- We struggle with informal greetings from strangers. I’m talking about the “yo-yos” and the “sups” (with a smirk on their face). A decent “hi” would be nice, though, just saying.
- Connection is everything. We are selectively social people. We may have an abundance or lack of social energy depending on who we speak to.
- Energy – the ultimate deal breaker! A person’s energy can tell us a lot more about them than their words. If your vibe is good, I’m good.
Once we find someone worth our time, there is no letting go (okay, I sound creepy now). But really, in this generation, it is hard to find people you connect with. There are times when politeness gets misunderstood as flirting. In such a case, you can slowly walk away. We live in an era that is highly skilled at allowing connections to fade away. Because of social media and cell phones, we think we are replaceable, and that’s silly. One important thing that I stress on is ‘energy’. You cannot replace the energy of someone who is genuine. Appreciate them, cherish them, those people are gold. Energy doesn’t lie. Trust it. Don’t tolerate people who drain your energy. You never know who needs you. Good energy is contagious.
If you find yourself equally energized by quiet time and interaction, then you may be an ambivert. Are you one of them?
Made new friends: check
Career problems: check
Pounds lost: minus one
Lessons learned: 46795
“At the end of the day, life’s about realising one’s potential. I don’t know if I have realised mine, but I’ve certainly gone a long way towards realising some goals and some dreams”
– Linton Kwesi Johnson
So here I’m, from failing to stand up for myself to being unfuckwithable! It is okay to be kind and compassionate and accommodating but it’s a whole other thing to be soft, yielding and fierce. Life is messy. It can be pretty overwhelming to fear of being perceived as imperfect. Give yourself the room to experiment, screw up and learn the hard way. Speaking of screwing up, I’m a pretty anxious person so I prefer having a lot of outlets. I hit the gym when I’m frazzled and cook when I’m sluggish. I write for venting out emotions. I know it sounds stupid, but it is my way of dealing with anxiety. I have a lot of worries (almost all the time unnecessary ones) and although I’m known to be a talkative person, I do not express much in my life. I’m at my best when doing something time constructive. Exercising releases all the endorphins in my body so I end up cheery and joyful. Cooking teaches me patience (one minute to make the cake batter, but 45 staring-at-the-clock minutes to bake it). And writing, well, this is a special one! It feels happy when people connect to one’s thoughts. It makes me feel like we are not alone in this world. All the people I’ve met this year either turned out to be a blessing or a lesson. And I’ve come to realise that there are those special ones who want nothing but the best for you.
Become aware of this: Life’s all about experiences and lessons. You are responsible for your success and failure. The sooner you realise and accept that, the better. As long as you blame others for the reason you aren’t where you want to be, you will always be a failure. Life is about the choices you make. Nobody owes you anything. Some incidents occur repeatedly in life until we learn from it. If someone compliments you, don’t shrug it off trying to make it look like modesty; embrace it, say thank you and move on. Don’t indulge in notions that make you feel mediocre. Life can be unfair just as it is fair! For the millennials that we are, it is important to realise that life is much more the virtual world. I know it is not easy to live without tech savvy items, but push yourselves away from your phone/tab/laptop at least for an hour before hitting the bed. And it is understandable to juggle between ‘live your life and eat the damn dessert’ and ‘you are an adult, be sensible and workout’, but appreciate your body’s worth. Too much of anything is unhealthy. Extremes are easy, strive for balance. Life is all about balance. Be kind, but don’t let people abuse you. Trust, but don’t be deceived. Be content, but don’t stop improving yourself!
An excellent year’s progress, if I may say. Even though I’m just 24 and I suck at driving!
What was your year like?