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Old Fox 004

Monday, May 6, 2013

Do the new at Oldfox 004 dot in!

I'm moving on again, but only dropping the 'blogspot' this time. Yes, I'm moving onto my personal domain at 'Oldfox004.in' - a gift from my dear hubby. If you want to know more about why this special gift, then hop on to my new blog right away. But, I can be generous too and let out a little clue before you click on the new blog. 

So, here's the clue - "No, its not my birthday!" Another one - "It'll need to be renewed for happy returns of the special day".

Keep guessing and do visit me at my new home. Do note the change in address so you could be updated with my inane ramblings, and don't forget to keep blogging!

"Every day we wake up to a new conscience, a new beginning and a new unknown. Let's make the most of it." ~ Oldfox 004

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Love your hair and it will always love you back!

For someone who has been flaunting a boy cut till her late teens, my life has come a full circle after three decades of ‘hairfree’ existence. I am now blissfully aware that thick wavy hair can also be tied up beautifully or played around with to look just as feminine as the ones with naturally straight, silky hair. All thanks to the internet, my hair is well maintained due to the regular hair care regime I began to follow only a few years back. A hot oil champi followed by shampooing and conditioning after two hours coupled with a happy heart, can do wonders for your hair and skin. Trust me!

As a little girl, the boy cut was convenient though I wanted long, beautiful, Rapunzel-type hair just as all the little girls of my age did. But, the boy cut was a big time-saver enabling my mum to get me ready for school on time. And, that was all that mattered when compared to running around the school playgrounds thrice for getting late!

But, sadly, what started off as a favour to my mum, stayed on till junior college as I was just too lazy. I was one of the boys. I was free from bad hair days. Dandruff, split-ends, dry frizzles, nothing of all this bothered me.  So while others found boyfriends, I joined a gang of boys and that started bothering me!

I grew my hair long and faced the issues that come with hair, but without much of an effective breakthrough until the moment I began to love my hair. Yes, the defining moment came when I received an email from a former male colleague of mine, who confessed to being attracted to my thick, wavy hair calling it an ‘asset’ I had, and that changed the perspective towards my hair completely. I fell in love with it, it was my identity to being attractive; it was what made me feel like a ‘woman’. The tomboy in me wanted to explore her feminine side finally!

Being old school, I relate to yesteryear actresses like Audrey Hepburn with those bun hairstyles of hers. A little search on the internet led me to various tutorials that demonstrate step-by-step instructions just as the ones you see in the TRESemmé YouTube channel.

So here I am...yes, that's my first twisted hair bun...something I got inspired by while going through the interactive channel. I have been exploring more about better hair care products and hairstyles that go well with my kinda hair, ever since I learnt that salon-style treatment is possible in the convenience of my home. Do check out the various do-it-yourself videos they have in there; you might just make something as lovely as this ;)

My first twisted hair bun
At the cost of sounding immodest, I would like to state that I'm really proud of this achievement. I just love this twisted bun look, moreover it took me roughly 5-7 minutes only, though I would have loved to decorate it with an accessory like a flower or a butterfly or maybe little shiny sequins. Remember, girls just wanna have fun!

The mister, also the photographer was quite amused with what I was able to do, both of us were unaware that such hairstyles could be self created at home. Anyways, let me share the steps in my own words: tie up a ponytail wherever you want your bun to be made. I tied mine a little high though you could try sideways too, to create a side bun. Divide the hair into two equal portions and begin twisting one of the strands while also circling it around the ponytail. Keep twisting till the end and finally secure it with a hairpin. Do the same with the other strand but twist it in the opposite direction, while circling it in the opposite direction. After twisting till the end, secure it with a hairpin and voila, you are done!

It only gets better with practice. This is the second time I tried this and it was easier than the first time. Next time I will pin up a nice hair accessory and use some hair spray to give it a more professional look :)

Meanwhile, I have found this beautiful 'Ballerina rope braid hair bun updo hairstyle' tutorial by Bebexo, and plan to save some time to learn this. Thanks to TRESemmé, my love for my hair has only grown. And, don't forget - the deeper you love your hair, the stronger are its roots and your confidence too!

P.S. Post idea triggered by the TRESemmé blogging contest at Indiblogger.

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

जिन खामोशियों से डर रहे थे . . .

जिन खामोशियों से डर रहे थे
आज उन्हीं खामोशियों के सहारे हो तुम,
जिस जगह दुबारा आना नहीं चाहते
आज वहीँ आ रुके हो तुम।  

जाने यहाँ कौन सा सामान पड़ा है तुम्हारा
पुरानी चीजों का तुम्हें शौक तो नहीं
देखो, यहाँ राख बना पडा है सारा
किसी भी तस्वीर में तुम्हारा नाम ही नहीं। 

"हम यादों मे जिंदगी बिता देंगे" कहकर
अपने ही अंदाज़ में जीते थे तुम
शहर को छोड़, अपनों को भुला कर 
नई राह पर चल दिए तुम । 

वक्त ने ना साथ दिया तुम्हारा 
यादें खीँच ले आयी दुबारा, 
बिन बुलाये मेहमानों की तरह
आज फिर लौट आये हो तुम।

जिन खामोशियों से डर रहे थे
आज उन्हीं खामोशियों के सहारे हो तुम,
जिस जगह दुबारा आना नहीं चाहते
आज वहीँ आ रुके हो तुम।

Image courtesy: InternetMonk

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

The real beauty called Annie

Courtesy: Desicomments.com

Annie lay still, as still as a corpse. But she was alive, more alive than any of us. For she had to fight; she had to win over little battles that made up her life.

Her room was not a room at the working womens’ hostel I stayed in. Rather it was the space that joined two rooms with the main passageway. She occupied one of the two aluminium beds that lined the sides of the space, and had a medium-sized suitcase underneath the bed, to call of her own. She used the common bathrooms, and hung her wet towel and worn clothes on the metal railing that roofed the bed. She did not own a locker as in all probability, she did not need one!

Very few of the girls were aware of her existence. She worked nights while we slept inside our comfort zones. On Sundays, while we lazed around the common mess and consumed the ‘news-sance’ blaring from the mounted television, one part of the mind hovered around Annie. What would she be doing right now? The girl who occupies the side bed and owns only a suitcase that lay in gay abandon, what kind of a girl was she?

Was she simple living and high thinking or careless and wanton? The latter was an easy assumption while the former got us nosy, and in good spirit too!

A girls’ hostel is crazily busy on a Sunday. Girls are running around beautifying themselves – exfoliation, deep pore cleansing, herbal hair oil massage, pedicures, manicures and facials made from all kinds of ingredients from the kitchen. Basically, just about everything that society has burdened them with eons ago.

But, a chosen set like me, stayed at the rooms and indulged in small talk. While we flipped through our news dailies or women’s magazines, and spoilt ourselves with extra Sunday coffee, we got talking and somehow the conversation drifted towards that girl who occupies the side bed. This is how I came to know so much about her.

But, one day I stumbled upon much more of her story. Being an immigrant, I wasn’t much welcome by my then room mates.  It so happened that they locked me out of my room, as part of their torture tactics to drive me away. Banished from my room, I set up a temporary base on the unoccupied bed, adjacent to Annie’s. I took a day off from the job and stared at the motionless body in the next bed.

There she lay – the girl with a suitcase and no room of her own. Having no willpower to reclaim my room, I continued to wonder about Annie. She had no room to reclaim!

Annie, eventually awakened from her light dream world, and I smiled at her at once. She was frail with dark circles under her alert eyes. She might have travelled a hundred life years but her body belied that – she looked like a partially malnourished adolescent girl with no dreams shining in her eyes. I wanted to know her story.

Annie took a liking to me as I was exiled just as her, even though for a frivolous reason. And she lightened her heart to me –

Annie was a single mother of a six-year old girl and worked at an outsourcing venture, mostly in the graveyard shifts. Very harmful for the human body cycle but a great boon for people who study or work in the day, just like Annie.

Annie's mother had passed away after a long illness during her school days and later she got a step mother. Her step mother didn't bother much with little Annie and the family grew to include two more step brothers.  Her dad gave her all the love in the world; he even took her on foreign trips. But, as destiny played out, Annie's dad passed away from illness too, eventually leaving Annie to fend for herself. All the property and belongings were taken by her step family.

Annie then worked as a teacher and found moral support from her paternal aunts. But, this too did not last long as love invaded in the form of a man who said he cannot live without her. She married him and soon found out he had no stable income nor the will to give her a good life. He was a loser looking out for someone to fend for him.

Then there was trouble with the in-laws so much so that a small gathering of all his relatives accused Annie of being a loose woman. She left to never return but to her horror found out she was carrying a baby in her womb. Since then she has been working hard to make ends meet, however, the poor soul missed out on the joys of life with her daughter. She had to be at work the whole day so the little girl stayed with Annie's aunt.

Her story was getting brighter. Annie had by then managed to save enough to bring her daughter - who was turning six - to stay along with her. But, destiny had more in store. Her daughter's headaches were diagnosed to be caused from a tumour developing in her brain. Annie took help from the church and the community, who all roped in enough money for an operation to remove the tumour. This chain of events had taken a toll on Annie for the last seven years, without her ever realising it since the time she had left her own home.

Annie said she cannot cry. She knows no pain for she had surrendered to God above.

But, I had tears in my eyes and they just wouldn't stop!

Annie left the hostel soon thereafter as she was able to rent a decent flat near a school for her daughter. And I know she will be very happy in there always.

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Your choices are half chance!

Today as my Sunday coffee regime was happening on one side while I was mulling away on the other side, the words 'Sunscreen' lit up in my mind. Somehow I could recollect the title 'Everybody needs sunscreen' but Google corrected me out and also led me to the source of this song - 'Everybody is free to wear sunscreen'.

It is actually an essay by Mary Schmich that was published as a column in the Chicago Tribune in 1997. Her essay was written as a commencement speech to graduating students, in case she ever got a chance to deliver one! Now this was news to me as I had connected with this particular song during my college days.

I can remember being swayed by it's distinct style of musical wisdom, even faintly recollect being inspired and awed by its depth. Adoloscence has its own charm of belief and uncertainty, so a naive me related to only some of the parts in it. Then years morphed into decades and once again I found myself at the alter of this timeless classic today. And I was swayed again...

This time some more lines hit me. But the one that had me shaken all over the most is this -

"What ever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either, your choices are half chance, so are everybody elses."

How true! This one came almost like a tight slap of loving advice. Since a month, I've been recuperating from a lower back sprain and this has opened up new opportunities to re-think my life. The stress I underwent in the past year either bawling away or jumping on cloud nine with every little step for the startup, had taken its toll.

Had I been dispassionately passionate with everything, the  stress wouldn't have built up. Had I enjoyed the journey without a care for the destination, even complex tasks would have been simplified. Had I believed that my choices are all half chances, I wouldn't have worried about the money not flowing in. I would have given a damn to our performance dashboard, goals, content plans, and all that jazz.

Anyways, better late than never! This year I have embarked on a new path where I will strive to find a balance - To be anchored with my destination yet free to stand and stare. To believe in the divine plan and let go of all my worries. To surrender to the Infinite and find answers intuitively.

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Monday, December 31, 2012

As 2012 draws to a close...

The year has drawn to a close and what a year it has been - we survived the 'End of the World'! 

I'm neither ecstatic nor gloomy though. The internal and the external have all collided into one big mass of chaos within me. I'm quite numb with what's happening in my country right now. I'm scared I'm a woman. And then again, its also required a whole defragmentation process for me this year. It's been 15 days that I've been lying unruffled... well, almost!

As I was getting ready to pick up tasks on my to-do list, I heard a faint tear like a tectonic shift in the middle of the Arabian Sea, but only it felt like it was within me. The next thing I know is that pain erupted like a volcano from my lower back and I fell down unconscious before which I had managed a feeble shout out to the hubby. 

Probably 5 minutes later, I came back into consciousness to sense tremendous amount of pain shooting out from my lower back to all the neurons in my body.

Oversoul by Alex Grey
It was 9 hours of excrutiating pain as I lay on the floor motionless, having ended all attempts to fight back. But, those 9 hours were a God send. I don't really believe in the idols or religions but a bright ray of hope hidden in the human spirit has to be God. It was this hope that served as my crutches - I began to crawl and finally walk with the hubby's support and somehow managed to make it to the hospital. The verdict was clear - I had stretched myself too far this time!

I'm on medication and rest for a month now but I've realised that the duration depends totally on me. Every moment that I feel hope, I'm able to walk but the very moment I give up, the pain returns. It is like the Satan is just waiting around the corner for Hope to leave. I was so traumatised by the shock waves passing through my body that sleeping at night was a task in itself, but hope has opened a new door.

Incidentally, I've begun to read 'Man's search for meaning' by Viktor Frankl, which is a rather painful account of his stay at a concentration camp and how his search for meaning ultimately saw him survive unspeakable cruelty.

We, as a species, have survived for so long that sometimes it builds a complex and I don't know whether I feel superior or inferior. But, every living moment has a meaning so I guess 'Time' - being the biggest teacher  - will tell! 

2012 started off into the unknown. Me and hubby had decided to bootstrap our venture with a little savings and no viable business model. Today, at the end of the year, I can't believe we made it through 12 months without a salary and heaps of multi-tasking. It is true I broke my back, but it is also true that I could manage to keep a little of my 2012 resolution of inculcating a strong sense of discipline in me. 2012 also saw our first marriage anniversary as well as the second one for the startup, so the year sums up as one of juggling between two unknowns - a marriage and a bootstrapped startup!

As I bid adieu to 2012, I look forward to the new year and hope to listen more and talk less, to stop running and start walking, to just be in the moment and feel the meaning. And 2013 will hopefully ring in a miracle because that's just what the world needs now!

Happy 2013 to all my readers!

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

The laughing club lessons and more

Every morning I'm awakened by an orchestra of sorts - a myriad of laughter sounds in various sizes and shapes emanating from the neighbouring ground. When we shifted home in the middle of this year, all we were in search of was a place with a good broadband connection. But, as luck would have it, we were blessed with much more. 

I love the lush greens surrounding my compound walls and the colourful birds nestled amongst the branches. I love the hollering boys playing cricket in the grounds, while a few serious ones practise their yogasanas in the shade. I love the karate class kids too, especially the really little girls and boys. But, what I love most about the ground is the lessons I have learnt just by observing the laughing club members.

This group mainly consists of bright senior citizens - the politically correct term for elderly people - with a sex ratio of 1:1 and I find them really adorable. These guys start coming one by one to the ground beginning 6 am. Only when the entire group is present do they start and that happens in half an hour around 6:30 am.

Members of the Gateway to India Laughter Club in Mumbai
They quickly assemble in a circle with women and men forming half the circumference each. After the initial introductions and the calling out of consequent numbers by each member, the motley group is all energised for a session of laughter and joy. 

The session begins slowly with soft giggles and then catches pace with a laughter barakhadi (ha-haa-he-hee-hu-huu-hey-heey-ho-hoo-houu-humm-hahahahaha) followed by bouts of weird body movements and sounds. Sometimes, they scare each other with a simple 'boo' or sometimes its a little startling roar by sticking their tongues out. Its adorable to watch the old men and women claw the air and play animal-animal. The session that started with frail laughter and gestures, then reaches a crescendo of sorts, to finally end in a full-bodied laughter, by which time the onlookers have also had a laugh or two.

But, it was never a cacophony of laughter. It had rhythm, it had style!

I remember in the beginning during my morning jogs, I was way too embarrassed to be crossing them. There they were, the wise old group laughing away to glory without a care in the world. And here was me with my extra tensed neurons and all, so conscious about my rising weight and striving to burn it out frantically as if that is the cure to all my ills. 

Gradually, as the days turned into months, I developed an attachment towards them, so much so that if I did not wake up to their laughter, the day would feel incomplete. Come rain or chill, the group was always out there on the grounds, but it was only me who woke up late and missed them. I saw a month of summer followed by four months of monsoons with heavy showers welcoming the early mornings. Now, it is winter and really chilly. I don't venture out in the morning; just a little verandah watching suffices me. But, the laughing club goes on!

As I sit beside my work table, adjacent to my large window, trying to concentrate on the smaller things in life, the things outside creep into my thoughts. More precisely from the laughing club. The discipline, the dedication, the sheer energy and will power of the group amazes me. Their approach towards laughter, the motivation they share with each other, the laughter sounds reverberating in the air is all so inspiring, that I'm all charged up and raring to go.

Yes, were it not for laughter, we would all go insane!

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