Category Archives: Selftalk

POST 21: Let your daughters be yours forever!

Few days back my parents informed me that they are to perform Kanyadaan rites for the daughter of a distant relative whose wife is no more. To inform you the basic criterion for Kanyadaan is that a ‘couple’ has to perform it.

 Such delegations have been passed on in the family many times. My aunt had also got opportunities to perform Kanyadaan twice. She feels that she is lucky as performing Kanyadaan is a ‘Punya ka kaam‘ (auspicious act). She was so overwhelmed that she thanked God for the opportunity and took a pledge that after the performance they will quit one of their bad habits and so they quit smoking. Yes, my uncle quit active smoking and my aunt passive smoking. They took a similar pledge in the second Kanyadaan too of which I am not aware of. But yes as she has two sons she feels a sense of pride to have got the opportunity.

My parents would also be feeling the same next month however their intensity of pride will be a bit less as they already have two daughters for daan. Now I see a golden opportunity here. Keeping in mind their cholesterol level I can encourage them to give up fatty food after the Kanyadaan . This I could have done after my marriage if I had not declared my Kanyadaan null and void.

By now I have realized that I have totally deviated from the main topic.

In 1800s few good men came to the rescue of women and abolished barbaric rituals like Sati and introduced Widow Remarriage Act. This completely changed the world of women but some rituals are still lurking in our society which look harmless but have a very wide impact all over the country. I am talking about Kanyadaan.

To many, this won’t sound disagreeable practice at all. For me to realize its negative effects all I had to do was to translate it into English.

On translating it means donating or gifting your daughter and to see the effect of this translation on others I picked up the closest specimen and asked him, “Can you donate your daughter when required?” which made him jump in shock and scream something which I don’t remember.

People donate many things, some donate a particular percentage of their salary, some donate clothes , some donate organs after death , some donate food and some  people wait for Makar Sankranti to donate because by doing so the effect of donation increases manifold. Some people, like me , prepare a list and go for shopping and ask at the grocery shop for the cheapest quality rice , because it doesn’t matter , as Makar Sanktranti has the power of converting the effect of cheap rice to Basmati Rice.

Again I have realized I have deviated from the topic.

Among living things we donate cows and sometimes goat. Some chosen ones even get the opportunity to donate their maiden girl. Once a ‘thing’ is donated you have no control over it.  It is not yours.

Now this particular criteria of a donation has somehow manage to create a thought in the human mind that the girl is a liability and someone else’s property.   Now, who would desire a girl child ?

I remember my husband holding our new born daughter in his arms and innocently say, “How would I ever marry her off”. With the other family members getting emotional I had a face palm moment.

All I want to say is time is changing , daughters are being given a share in parents property. Then why are they not allowed  to share the responsibility of parents. Why  are people  hesitant in approaching their daughter after marriage ?  Why are they estranged after marriage?

Why donate off your daughters?  Let your daughters be yours forever!


Post 14: The Buddha

A monochromatic Buddha completed over a period of one month on a 24X18″  stretched canvas. The colors used are – Prussian Blue, Cobalt Blue, Teal, White, Ivory Black, Cadmium Yellow .

While preparing the underpainting I had a different picture in mind. However as the painting evolved many changes were made. This painting is made for someone who knew exactly what this painting should have. From its color , tones , glow every thing and before I could make a mistake of putting lotuses at the back she suggested me that a mandal at the back would be better… and here it is !!!!! (though this is what I could get closest to a mandal)


For those interested in the layering and detailing involved the photos of different steps are as below:

Post 3: Finding your style

I have been restless these days. Lately I have started painting a lot. Sometimes I paint from photo references; sometimes I copy other art work. I have realized that only way to improve your art is to practise, practise and practise. In order to take the time out in weekends, I have started doing all weekend chores on the weekdays and that includes doing laundry daily after office.


Even after painting so much I am not happy. I follow artists, sometimes try to replicate their style , sometimes I try to replicate nature but it drives me crazy to think that I don’t have any particular style which can be called my signature style. Then to keep all such negative feelings away I have decided to give myself some time. I need to work with colors as much as I can and maybe one day that style will just flow out of my brush.




Making of wild Lily. Final painting will be uploaded soon.

While trying to stay positive, I would make a special mention of Lena Danya – a self-taught artist. I follow her on You tube and Instagram, her regular updates have kept me gripped and motivated. Along with her videos and time lapses she keeps talking about her experiences, experiments and techniques which give me a lot of guidance.So inspired by her and to keep myself moving ahead I have made a small to-paint list which I will be painting for practice purpose.

  1. Nebula
  2. Fish
  3. Glasses and candles
  4. Portrait of a Tibetan girl
  5. Bold stroke sea painting (replication of original art work)

All these will be made from reference photos except the last one which is just to try a new technique.

Let’s see how much I succeed.

Week 41-43: Hibernation is over.

It was real cold here and I was hibernating the whole month, doing nothing but curiously watching what others are doing. I browsed a number of blogs and vlogs, mostly in field of art, food, lifestyle, and travel and started following  few bloggers and vloggers for their unique style and content. I will share the three people I loved.

  1. In oil painting space, I came across this beautiful girl  Lena Danya. It was not her beauty that struck me but her style of water series painting . I love the way she uses small brushes for detailing which is completely opposite to the way I do. She uses glass palette and bowls which are way lot easier to clean after the work. After following her for almost a month my favorite color is teal 🙂
  2. In travel and food section, I stumbled upon Mark Wiens and his blog What caught my attention was his expressions, especially how he widened his eyes and swayed a little bit every time he tasted something good and this is exactly what I do when I eat good food :). I was actually researching about thai food and this guy is the champion of thai cuisine for obvious reasons. Apparently, he  came to South Asia in 2009 to start his journey of food and travel and married his love, a native to Thailand, and now they both travel and eat together :). Though his culture and food choices are totally different than mine but his videos are very much enjoyable.
  3. In lifestyle, I checked this girl Lucie Fink . Lucie makes 5 days series in which she takes challenges/projects and accomplish/continue it for 5 days (Monday-Friday). Her blog has inspired me a lot and I am also planning to do something similar and interesting :).

Finally, after peeping into other’s life I realized that the time has come to wake up and to do something with my ongoing monotonous life too. First thing i did, I put my plants in the sun, did a bit of weeding and watering to throw new vibe in them. Hopefully the petunias will  bloom by next week. I also took out my canvas, easel, colors, and brushes to show them some fresh air. The greenry and the mini studio in balcony now inspires me to finish my butterfly series. I have planned to make four abstract butterflies, an idea actually inspired (copied) from someone from net. I am taking these small painting projects to explore new ideas, new color combinations and detailing before I can get back to my true self and start doing something original of my own.

Oh! and how can the New-Year start without a resolution post. Don’t go by the things I mentioned above, this year, I haven’t made any health, travel or lifestyle resolutions.

Actually, a very big thought struck my mind and without giving it a second thought I declared it as my 2017 target. I don’t know how I will go about it and whether declaring it on a public forum will make it easier for me or embarrassing but…” By the end of 2017 I want to have an exhibition of my paintings

Week 30-34

The Blogger is under maintenance ………

Content will be available soon 🙂

Week 18: Ab main Rashan Ki Kataaron mein Nazar ata hun…..

Few days back when I came home I saw that my passport had arrived. It could have been a Hurray moment for me and I should be dancing all over the place but nothing of that sort happened. Long story short – My toddler’s passport could not be processed because her father resided in a place which was his own but the documents didn’t confirm that. No I have not attempted any fraud to dismiss him off the property, actually the registration papers are mortgaged with the bank.

Now the short story long –

I had thought that getting a passport would be a cake walk. It could have been if I had been more cautious and had read the word by word instructions on ‘documents required ‘section while filling the application. Instead I was busy dreaming through travel blogs and checking Instagram. I became well versed with the ‘travelling with toddler’ tips which was secondary but fell short to primary requirement of getting a passport.

I expected passport office to be full of exciting people, the ones with smell of fresh breeze, camera hanging down their neck, at least a good camera phone with Instagram a touch away,  people wearing coloured goggles, hiking shoes, beach slippers, floral scarves, huge backpack, solo travelers, pack travelers and all sort of people.

I  reported before time in my brightest dress along with my toddler. Though my husband who doesn’t live in a fancy world, chose to wear his regular off white shirt.

When I entered the office there was no fresh breeze, no bag packers, no Instagram swiping solo roamers. Instead the place was full with people staring in astonishment as if my bright dress had made them blind. The air was suffocating with the smell of sweat all around. It was more like a municipality office where people had come to get the death certificate of their distant relative. My husband enlightened me that they are mostly labors going to gulf for jobs. Apparently they don’t write blogs or Instagram.

I was highly disappointed and wanted to leave the space at earliest. But the officer checking my documents was in different mood. He had forgotten his lunch box at home i suppose. His grumpy looks became grumpier document after document. Finally, he spoke showing his “Gutkha” filled teeth that my permanent address proof doesn’t match with my photo Id address.

I tried convincing him, pleaded, and even suggested he should read the instruction once again. But he shooed me away. My husband pacified me and when I was calm he reminded me that he had told me to get the address proof declaration from my office but I was damn confident that our documents are sufficient. I hate sometimes when he remembers everything and hits me back with it.

Highly irritated, I went back to the office and got the required document. After waiting for almost an hour in the sweaty queue, my turn came and my documents got an ‘ok’ from the same man. But this wasn’t the end of my chagrin. Now my toddler’s application was rejected because apparently the father did not have the proof that he is my husband and he resides with me. Now it was my time to let him taste his medicine. I collected all the frustration, irritation, anger, converted them into high pitched taunts and delivered them on my husband in short crisp five-minute blow and reminded him how irresponsible he is, and how much I suffer every time because of him. I know that “every time” I mentioned is actually never, but it gives weightage to my accusation spree while fighting. Soon I realized that people had started gaining interest in our family drama. Embarrassed I gave it a pause but swear to resume it later in the car after regaining energy.

My remaining formalities were completed in no time and within fifteen minute I was out of that freaking place with a lesson that how a simple document can cause so much hassle.

Sometimes hastiness makes you not able to think clearly and everything jumbles up in your tiny brain. After the fiasco, I thought of seeking peace by talking to my inner self under the banyan tree. But it did not work. Soon I realized that due the monsoon its branches had outgrown like antennas and were catching unnecessary signals from the surrounding and feeding my brain. It needed fixing. So I pruned them, now I can see clearly, hear my inner voice, and I feel more wiser.

PS: I have applied for address correction in all possible documents. Now the next mission awaits. Re-applying for my toddler’s passport.

Week 11: Dreams with wings and Phobia of flight.

Finally I applied for passport last week. Shocking right! Yes, while my friends have travelled around the world, I just sat on my chair and scrolled through their pictures on Facebook. The story of my melancholy doesn’t just end here.

I have flown only twice in my entire life, a to and fro 45 minutes flight from Lucknow to Delhi. It was forced upon me as you know democracy has no voice these days.  The moment my boss came to know about my fear, he strategically planned a trip for me to Delhi. And in order to prevent any midair scene I was accompanied by my colleague. I gave all sorts of excuses to avoid the situation but the whole world stood against me. Even my husband ensured that I boarded the flight by dropping me to the airport.

I think I was the only audience to the Hostess’s safety instruction. I stood up to make sure that the emergency exit door did exist.  As soon as the engine roared, I clutched both the arm rest and started chanting life-saving “Matras”. The big bird thumped shook and went up. For a moment I felt no heart-beat in me.  God was too in playful mood so before I could get my pulse back the monsoon shower came and bumps and turbulence complemented my whole journey.

This phobia was the reason I had my Honeymoon in the Royal Rajasthan.  Goa and Kerela were out of question as the train journey could have taken 36 hours.  While my friends proudly share their honeymoon photos of Maldives, Koh-samui , Los Vegas , Europe on Facebook I dumped all my honeymoon photos in the hard disk so nobody can peek into . We have some 300 photos out of which 236 photos are of the various museums, artillery, canons and forts of Rajasthan. Looking at them gives me a bitter flash back of those moments when I had preferred to sit on the stairs all tired while my husband had followed the guide taking mental notes of each maharaja and their methods of war . After that we preferred to not going anywhere.

My phobia has made me miss all of my friend’s weddings at Bangalore & Chennai . One friend was considerate enough to get married in Raipur from where we visited Kanha National park.  It was the peak season for weddings but an off season for the tigers so all we did was to sight wild bores in the morning and listen quietly to the jackals howl at night.

By the end of 2015 one of my friends wrapped up her year through a FB status update saying “76th and the last flight of 2015”. Reading this I sulked into my well. Soon I came up with 2016 bucket list and the irony was, I had ‘Japan’ on my list but no ‘apply for passport’ on my to-do list.

Now something was seriously wrong with me and some actions had to be taken. This vicious cycle of watching and sulking was pointless. In my recent ‘step-by-step nirvana’ sessions under the Bougainvillea pot aka Banyan tree I decided to overcome the problem. The best way to do was to confront your fear therefore I am here jotting down all this.  Then I thought what is it I fear? When I took that flight, I realized that the height didn’t make me nauseate, and the takeoff and landing were nowhere closer to the roller coaster rides as I had thought.  I enjoyed the clouds and the bird’s eye view of the city. It was so beautiful from the top. So what is it? Is it just my excuse to move out of my comfort zone or I enjoy the pitiable life I live?


Week 9:Life like an assembly line.

As I hinted in the previous post, I have started getting up early. Thanks to my mother’s visit and one of the pins of Pinterest that said” Life is … getting up an hour early to live an hour extra”

I know half of my friends won’t agree to it but for me it works. Morning is the only time when I feel peaceful as my night life is so happening that I don’t know when I crash after dancing on “ Five little monkeys jumping on the bed “

So these days I get up early and have a chit chat with myself. To feel more spiritual, I sit under the bougainvillea planted in my balcony in a meditative posture and pretend to move a step closer to Nirvana.

This self-talk however is getting very serious, I have started pointing out too many flaws in myself. Today was worst when I realized that I have, not one, but many personality disorders.
After college I have been living a very dull life. I started following the rule that ‘Minimizing human interface minimizes chances of error’. This rule worked for assembly lines so I thought why not try it! Forget friends I don’t even have acquaintances of my age. The people I interact daily apart from work are an average of four and if Kaam wali and doodh vala don’t count then it’s just two. I realized that being introvert and shy is not a part of my nature but a chosen veil to avoid complications in life.

Whenever I get close to people they either get touchy wuchy, angry, over friendly, interfering, manipulating, dominating, controlling, clingy etc. Having a conversation with the people while the devil and angel sitting on my shoulders, giving me tips on communication was too annoying. So my solution to avoid complication was to minimise the communication. I was living a peaceful and contempt life till today when I realized that my life is not a life any more but has become an assembly line!!!!!!