Wednesday, 26 June 2013

LASIK- Is it for you ?

Here's a brief intro to my eyes- I am wearing glasses from age of 5- that's when myopia was diagnosed. And since I am a girl and since girls grow rapidly in first 15 years every year my numbers increased exponentially .All doctors said nothing can be done to my parents.In my case my minus number[ myopia] increased because of rapid increase in my height. By the age of 14-15 i was already 5ft 8" tall.So when 1 was 15  I had -15 or -16 in left eye [L.E] and -14 in R.E. My height therefore i consider a curse....

Myopia is genetic in nature due to the father.As i grew up in 1990s , i was wearing thick glasses [the kind people make fun of].At age of 15 i started wearing contact lenses- hard ones and then semi soft because my power was available only in these. The problem with these lenses is you can wear only for 6-7 hrs. And dusty city travel by bus etc made life a small regular hell for me. i got infections small and big. Here i was a college going teenager who couldn't do many things because of lenses. My life revolved around lenses and manipulating myself so that in college nobody could know i had very very thick glasses i had to wear.

I did things as i thought right. My parents couldn't understand really what i was going through. I used to come home remove lenses and not really go out the rest of the evening.I spent reading ,knitting and embroidering my teenage years at home and only rarely went out.Of course at that time it just seemed normal to make sacrifices pick and choose lens wear time.
I grew up like this finished college and studies and nobody really knew what was going on in my head and nobody in college or friends knew i had such thick glasses.
Marriage prospects because of these were always a question mark for my parents..Of course i knew too. So here i was a 20 year old who thought i would never get married because of this. Every one knows indian Marriage market- so i don't really need to get into details.Its a different thing that i still haven't got married because i never really found a compatible person because of my height etc.

The point is my parents were on a look out for PRK [ another procedure to reduce eye numbers]which was done in hordes by Surya hospital  et al. Camps were carried out but it was a highly invasive procedure and didn't seemed worth it. So when i became 20 someone told us of this new procedure called LASIK with minimum invasiveness and most importantly could be done for kind of numbers i had in my eyes
   So with permission from our religious head Syedna- i got LASIK done at Bombay. Things went well. My doctor told me i will still have to wear glasses because my number was very high to start with.
We had understood it - atleast what the surgery was and what happens immediately after.In the informed consent, that the doctors take there was lot of fine print.But can someone like us or my parents really understand the implications and complications??? Still my parents being cautious must have asked all that must have really known to ask - after all me and my parents are not doctors to weigh in medical facts and make a decision.Nowadays doctors don't even want to take responsibility in critical and required operations so for elective procedure like LASIK i am sure they won't take any.
For comprehensive and right information on LASIK go here

Its been 15 years for my LASIK - i got it done from the best and the oldest LASER CENTRE there is.Yet, when i google LASIK today  there is no debate over it. I don't see doctors or clinical trials studying long term effects of LASIK on the cornea and quality of vision or if they have studied talking about it and making it known to the general public.The earlier procedure i went through where a corneal flap is cut and cornea is lasered is still being done.Lots of improvement have come up and last i read BLAdELESS LASIK has come up[ unfortunately this procedure hovers around a lakh of rupees for both eyes]

At the time i underwent LASIK, longterm safety effect on eyes were still not known and it seems the case even now. LASIK is purely market driven and it is a cosmetic procedure.

After 15 years,here's the truth about LASIK as i have dealt with:

1. I knew it was a cosmetic procedure. I knew i had to wear glasses after it too.
Here's what doctors didn't tell me:
  • That i would have dry eyes for the rest of my life. They told me its mild discomfort for a few weeks after operation. My dry eyes have become only drier over the years. Now with gluacoma medication they are even more dry.Blurry vision because of dry eyes is no fun.
  • Eyestrain is real and quicker than if you would normally have according to your age and workload.
  • I have double vision in both eyes which has persisted and become worst over the years.Harsh vehicle lights shining still cause discomfort .I don't drive vehicle so i don't really have to deal with this everyday.
  • Night vision is poor.
  • Overall even though my myopia was high my quality of vision after wearing glasses was quite good.Its not same after LASIK. what with double vision etc.
  • LASIK causes permanent changes in the cornea.
  • Eyestrain is frequent even reading for an hour is troublesome.Working for long on computers is even more problematic. But I ignore/ manage/sacrifice to work on computer or read or even watch TV. I don't know how long i'll be able to do this.
  • Some people get eyepain as a side effect.
  • Only now i know Intra ocular pressure readings in LASIKed eyes come inaccurate. And in future cataract operation which practically happens to every one becomes tricky as compared to non LASIKed eyes.
  • And after a year of operation, my numbers again increased and little by little they have increased in last 15 years. So its not true when doctors say LASIK results remain stable.I suspect high power or low power most people must be ending up wearing glasses again years and years after LASIK.

My viewpoint: 
LASIK is not easy and sideeffect free procedure that doctors make it out to be.Dry eyes [ google dry eyes for more info] for rest of your life and double vision is really problematic.
Consider LASIK only after careful delibration and only if your numbers are above -8 etc.You will have to wear glasses maybe after LASIK too.Doctors have not really done follow up studies on how many people end up wearing glasses over the years- so the marketing advertisement of 'crystal clear vision','freedom from glasses or contacts' is not true in all cases.

Do LASIK if your eye numbers are high like me especially if cornea and retina are normal but be prepared to live with dry eyes and double vision.


Don't do it because your friend did it. 

If you are managing with specs and contact lens fine, DON'T do LASIK.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Your beautiful clothes.....

Your beautiful expensive clothes ,with all those natural fibers like SILK or Cotton require lot of love and even more care than babies.

Expensive luxury wear is a LOT of work especially if you have never done it, or have neatness, labour gene missing from your life !That's one reason certain things i never buy - but then its me. I don't have time or energy to take care of SILK or even branded zari or gota but then for some occaions you go and buy expensive stuff and then bang your head against the wall if it gets destroyed or fades during washing !

I have few branded stuff which i love that i want to wear preferably till it starts to fall off :P. So i take care of those few things and have learnt taking care of clothes - all kinds of them along the way. I loved wearing clothes but when i was growing up i was a fool [ just like you] and IGNORED what my mom kept saying about clothes.

Then i started embroidering my ridas[ a kind of burqa] and  Mom stitched started because i used to not get adequate cloth in ready to stitch ridas for my height.My height has caused me a lot of woes ! So ,when anybody praises my height [ and not me] i roll my eyes and just laugh a sarcastic laugh !

Anyway ,here's some unsolicited advice for taking care of your expensive, very expensive and hard earned clothes especially things like silk sarees and salwar kurtas. Why ???
Because my heart literally bleeds when you lose your coveted branded apparel just because of your stupidity,ignorance and laziness.

1. Don't buy real silk expensive sarees if you work 10 or more hours daily at your job,travel through public transport and have no MIL/mother at home to help you. And especially if you have children ! Luxury  ,branded attire and silk requires regular attention and care.And even after all the care, one slip up is enough to mess up your silk saree/kurta.

2. Buy if you have good full time help,a nanny for kids when you go out, a proper cool aerated wardrobe/closet where you can hang your clothes or fold and keep them.And if you wear your silk saree/kurtas frequently and often.

3. Buying costly branded apparel means - HANDWASHING !. One item at a time without soaking or using harsh detergents.

4. That's where semi automatic washing machine comes in! It is the gentlest way to wash any clothes however for sarees etc any kind i recommend a bucket with either reetha water or something like Surf Excel Liquid.

5. Dry clean your pure silk sarees - preferably just before you want to wear them so it means no last minute yanking off the pile and wearing it but a lot of planning and trips to your dry cleaner.

6. I don't buy clothes which require dry cleaning- since i make my own kurtas and simple cotton clothes. I buy materials like cotton, khadi etc and soak them for the first time in salt water for half and hour and wash them either in clear shampoo /reetha/ or a bathing soap. Yep, i use bathing soap for first time wash.
But if you buy off the rack dry cleaning may be the only option for you especially if you buy organza,tissue, silk based kurtas.

7. Handwashing delicate and new clothes is a pain. One has to squat in the bathroom fill 2 buckets with water . Wet the clothes and gently apply whatever soap you are using to stains  and then to hemlines ,collar etc.Remember the work required when you buy clothes. Will your maid wash like this ? No !

8.Even when you use semi automatic washing machine don't spin dry more than a 2 minutes for most clothes except towels and bedsheets. Our indian summers and sunlight is great for drying clothes. Especially if you time your laundry post 3pm drying and early evenings.No damage from sun .

It goes without saying treating stains the moment you reach home increases the life of your clothes.Cotton and synthetic are great that way so it lessens your laundry.Yep , the same way removing makeup before you go to sleep is most important.

If you don't want to handwash just dry clean all your costly pieces and sarees. Or do like me- if you are a regular working gal who requires maintenance free clothes buy most of only that.

I like cottons and don't really bother with wrinkles and the rugged and simple look cotton gives.I wear khadi too a lot actually especially things like salwar,kurtas ,pyjamas and sundry. i don't know if its 100% cotton but the cloth i buy from khadi bhandar gets only softer and softer like mulmul after every wash. Don't ask me why ! I have bought cloths of all kind from Gandhi bhandar from 2 different cities and all the kurtas are strong ,with non fading color and no color running. Cotton is not cheap especially 100% cotton.Mangalgiri, kalamkari,bandhani and jaipuri cotton suits if you can get hold of original stuff is great stuff.Terycot[ blended cotton] comes in various yeah i have take care of my cotton clothes too.

All in all dressing up is a lot of work !

Friday, 7 June 2013

The curious case of Indian Doctors !

We are surrounded BS in what i call 'Bullshit Age'.Bull shit is most articulately spoken nowadays and educated people are spreading more myths for their personal gains than ever before. You don't need a con artist to swindle you and make you a fool these days! Educated con artists are everywhere !Thanks to MBAs, we even market and advertise myths and lies till they become 'truths' !
Gosh, it'll all come and bite our backsides one day ..........

Seeing that India is making strides economically , the doctors too have jumped in to spread bullshit ,get more lab tests done and generally scare and confuse patients to astronomical heights. These days i long for crisp, practical blunt doctors who will tell you to go home to die if need be !And not run costly tests or use you as scapegoats ! i long for responsible doctors who can examine you and not need hundred tests to find out what's wrong with you. I am sure they are there- those few dedicated brilliant ones !
I stay in quite a big city -Pune so i thought that gimmicky doctors usually ruled in rural  and semi urban areas where well educated population did not exist in high numbers. But recently i went for a routine gynaec exam which somersaulted into an expensive and emotionally draining exercise. I have internet and scientific education at my side so i could get through my doctor's scare mongering and complicated explanations for everything but i wondered how many can navigate the complex Indian doctors.

Not so long ago, doctors were next to God ! Period! The faith people had in doctors and the reverence was next to only GOD !Then why fate loving Indians are becoming more and more cynical about Indian doctors and their way of treating. Professionalism is supposed to be good then why medical profession commands less respect.
Look at my journey- i went to gynaec and told her my Mom's  breast cancer history and asked for routine exam since I am 35.She asked me to get sonography and mammography done. She scared the hell out of me and i spent next 5 days in pure hell. When my reports came normal except for a single cyst on ovary. , she told me we'll need to treat cyst and can't really do much about fibroids in breast and on uterus.
All the while she looks sombre and makes it look like a very big thing. I go to Internet and find many people have cysts in reproductive age and usually smaller ones are only monitored. So she gives 10 days of hormone pills and call me next during my periods. By now, I have already spent 500 on sonography and 1200 in digital mammography and her consultation fees.

I went again today where she prescribed me some pill for 21 days. She doesn't tell me directly that she is giving me OCP - oral contraceptive pill but makes it sound as if its a big, important course of medicine. I speak to her in English and most people can gauge my education through my flawless english so its not that i am a regular middle class woman who wouldn't know ' Oral contraceptive PILL'. Instead, in complicated way she explains how she is giving me tabs to suppress ovary function.Meanwhile, she keeps asking whether anyone has diabetes and blood pressure. Now come one, we are Indians - who doesn't have Diabetes and blood pressure after age 45 in India. What's family history has got to do with it?

I find family history a latest clutch to scare the shit out of patients- you need to be alert and i know few people who are insulin dependent at age 45 without family history of diabetes and people who have got cancer without any family history !By the way, its true certain diseases and disorders are strongly genetically linked- those are genetically transmitted diseases and they are usually the whole different ball game !Cancer in the family only marginally increases risks usually when it comes to breast and ovarian cancer along with other risk factors ! But there are many cancers which can happen to anyone without family histories too !So cancer is a bummer by and large !

On confirming that my Dad has diabetes she writes down a battery of blood tests- Like lipid profile ,TSh,Blood sugar and CA-125.Remember, this is after i have visited her thrice already.

Not only that, she tells me to do this tests at a particular pathology lab nearby. I have visited her in an hospital's OPD - and when i ask her if i can get it done somewhere else, she tells me- ' this is a lab,they do the tests here only while other places collect blood samples and send somewhere else to get the tests done. Now CA-125 is  a costly test- a marker which is elevated in ovarian  tumours but its also present in other indications. So she was asking me to go through a battery of blood tests without any reasons or symptoms but just for the heck of it.

Maybe she thought these tests are routine- people do them anyway in those fancy health checkups packages i might else well make some money out of it !

The point Satyamev Jayate brought out was- what doctors are doing hand in glove with chemists and pathology labs to earn more money through commissions . So i guess , Indian doctors have begun to do away with any propriety and are openly practicing and forcing emotionally the patients to go through tests.These blood tests will cost me Rs1650. I have already spent Rs 2400 on just a regular ovarian cyst.

I have from childhood visited eye doctors because of my very high myopia and now because of Dad's Glaucoma history. There the same story repeats !

I have more than my share of doctors - Indian doctors think patients in india are dumb stupid people ! They don't think its important to 'explain ' or be ' appropriately truthful' to patients. Heck, they don't have time for it !

What i don't understand is why these 'uncaring ,dry and cut people become doctors. In India , its only because of family history- doctor father /mother begets doctors, prestige and to make money.

To make money there are so many professions- you can even eat commissions there and no one will say anything ! Why become a doctor ? Doctors are supposed to be- 'Next to GODs' . That means limited money,only patient's well being in mind and appropriate care and truthfulness. Medicine is the only profession where there is no room for dishonesty- i mean zero !

Its a cycle - Pharma makes drug at pennies ,markets it at thousands,advertises to doctors, chemists get their profits, pathology labs need their full profits plus an extra amount to pay the doctors.So, pharma cos greediness gets passed on !

Just like a toothpaste is made in pennies and sold for 50 times more price- established generic drugs can be provided at fraction of costs- same goes for laboratory tests.And do we even need fancy hospitals to go die or pick up a nosocomial infection - we just need scrupulously clean and well maintained huge hospitals !
I am writing this for 2 reasons- be alert and don't get scared when a doctor scares you- nowadays he is only after your money and in maintaining a corrupt system. I am going to change my doctor and will never recommend her. 

Don't become doctor, or nurse or even physiotherapist to make money especially if you have no empathy or any care giving abilities. Go become a banker/stockbroker or even lawyer for full on cut throat money making spree. Do jobs where you require very little conscience if you don't have any values!

If you are a patient :

Be frank, read on the Internet.I recommend Web MD and Mayo clinic website for appropriate information.Be cynical, doubtful and don't trust a doctor blindly unless of course he has earned your trust !

Ask questions- indian doctors don't answer clearly and frankly ,still do your homework and get second opinions.

Learn to read between the lines- and know your body.

Don't do any tests unless asked by the doctor- Its a waste of money, and unnecessary load. Those preventive health check ups are another money making rackets. And doctors are going to run the tests any way all over again !

 Its only human beings who can see death and disease as profit making business.Since greediness is uniquely human, i really don't see a way out ! Its a jungle out there and the worst animals are humans!!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Bathe in Milk ??

This is not for people who find milk's smell yucky and in general dislike milk.
My easiest skincare routine? Slather Milk as cleansing milk,as face mask/pack and over scorched sun burnt skin.
 I have been using milk as mixing agent for years now especially when i had no money to spend on rosewater in school and college !Now, when i am spending more freely I use rose water !   
 Decades ago when Afghan snow and Pond's cold cream ruled minds of indian women, there was no concept of using readymade cleansing milks to remove oily foundation bases.
   I still remember my Mom pouring cold milk in a vati,dipping cotton and wiping her face to remove makeup after a wedding function.
   Zoom to circa 2011, i now use cleansing milk as a face wash. I use face wash but its usually after sweaty ,dusty outing otherwise cleansing milk seems to do a fine job.My belief in cleansing milk as face wash confirmed when i found that i did not get acne or dry stretchy skin as a result.My favourite cleansing milks are Garnier, Butic lemon milk and Lakme Deep pore cleansing milk !Butic is the cheapest amongst the three and its very good.
But i use cow's milk curdled with lemon juice for a alternate pampering session.I don't like milk's smell but what to do ?I like how silky clear my skin feels after using it.
  Summers make my skin more dry and a day of sauntering in sun is enough to tan it.Shower gel and soaps dries it further.
  I am already using curdled milk as face pack/cleanser so i decided to go ahead and 'bathe in milk'.
 Take a 1/4th cup milk and add half lemon juice ,let it curdle add ambahalad and any other herbs of your choice 3/4th tsp riceflour to thicken it- just enough so that application becomes easy.
 I just add ambahalad and use it runny !Just apply this over your whole body,it dries up super quick and the wash off with water.Use it just like a ubtan.
  The cleansing effect of milk is superb- you would think only soaps and gels get you clean !In summers when most people bathe everyday, this is easiest way to moisturise and cleanse at the same time.I was shocked that curdled milk could actually give a clean feeling to the body.
  Like Cleopatra, you can actually bathe in milk without wastage or vanity and without breaking the bank !

Friday, 12 April 2013

The Girl revisited ....

Some articles are just well written. Do read this one...lets keep revisiting,let's keep talking about it till something solid and substantial comes out of it.

The Girl Who Fired an Outcry in India

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Do you save water ?

Or are you one of the urban higher middle class who use and 'require' more water than the rest of us?
I don't belong to arrogant,impervious,bratty society who doesn't 'wish' to see what happening around the world and their neighbourhood and is busy maintaining her social standards?
   I consciously save as much water as i can. I use only that much that is required.No , i don't face any day to day water cuts or shortages.I stay in a 2 bedroom flat.But yes,i have seen and experienced first hand what 'no water' means.
My early childhood was spent in a South mumbai chawl.Those old buildings where people stay in 2 rooms or 1 room but are lower-middle class not poor !
  Yet ,when i think of water i see my parents climbing 2 floors with buckets in hand. Even after we shifted to Pune 2 decades ago, the first thing my parents did was to install Sintex ka taaki. We still have that taaki in the small bathroom installed on metal bars near the ceiling.Fortunately, we have not faced any water scarcity in so many years.
   I am very thankful for that. I thank God every day that i don't have to fill buckets of water because i don't think i am physically upto lifting weights on daily basis.
   I know 2-3 people like me whose primary concern is how to minimise daily usage of water.In contrast, over the years i have seen maids who throw buckets and buckets of water  to get balconies and bathrooms clean.
  The area where i live now, has become dusty and grimy due to increase in vehicular traffic , new construction - basically 'development' .To make the mall near my house, 1 sturdy very old Pipal tree whose branches came to my 4th floor balcony was cut down and another jungli badam tree and gulmohur[Cesalpinia] were also cut down.No new trees were planted by the builder !
  Maids who themselves wash with very less water [ and soap] because in their slums they have to carry water to their homes suddenly become arrogant and wasteful in memsahibs/ madams hflats and bungalows. They don't want to scrub so they use more soap and then to rinse that soap they run the taps louder.
  We had maids of all caste and creeds in so many years. Only 2 of them didn't waste water and used water judiciously. The last maid I had was like an arrogant cow. I implored her to use less soap and therefore less water and not throw water in the bathroom like a mad woman.But she never listened to me. She continued to keep the tap full on while washing utensils and threw buckets of water to clean the bathroom. My mom was very sick so i had to keep her and also in my past experiences i knew 80% maids waste more water and soaps.
    A week after my mom died, I threw her out ! I use a vacuum cleaner to clean and since the vacuum cleaner[ i have a dry vacuum cleaner] is inefficient in removing grime and stains, I mop the kitchen and doorway areas and balconies every time i vacuum but  i don't mop the entire house all the time.
   The ways in which i try to save water:
1. I don't keep the tap running while i brush my teeth or wash my face. I use a small mug most of the time to gargle or wash my face.
2. I use overhead showers only in hurry or when washing my hair. For day to day baths, i fill a bucket and use that.
3. I use a Gala /Scotch brite mop and use old cotton torn shirts/dresses as use and throw wipes. I usually make pieces of old rags to clean fans etc and don't rewash i just throw them.
4. I wash utensils cleverly- soak them ,clean the grimy bits with stainless scrubber and then wash with green scrub pads. I use liquid gel Vim only.It rinses clean at one go and is very good on hands too.
5. I use a semi automatic washing machine and reuse detergent soak water for atleast 2 load runs. I recommend semiautomatic machine which is the next best option to handwashing. It allows the reuse of detergent water- I run the whites and new clothes first and then put household linen and clothes jeans in second run. I use water in the machine only as required and since i use a good quality washing powder like Surf quick wash , it rinses clean in an single rinse cycle.That's the beauty of using enzymatic detergents.Here i would like to mention that the water quality i get is good so i don't need to use more detergent to get clean clothes. I also prescrub the stains with laundry soap- Foaran. Foaran is an excellent natural soap especially for hand scrubbing and wash.I use the old fashioned biolaundry soap[yellow] from Foaran not the newer syndets cakes !
6. I mop only grimy areas regularly and the kitchen.But i know if you have children at home, you may have to mop the whole flat. Still restrict your maids to mopping the balconies everyday and not throwing water to get the dusty balconies clean . My balcony which gets so dusty and with bird shit that i have to use water once a week with a broom.Still, i use only half a bucket -no more.
6. To clean basins and bath room, i use liquid soap - Cleanol.Its an excellent find. I think its a local liquid soap brand which I found in Dorabjee. It cuts grease which is especially useful for bathrooms and just scrub with the plastic broom and little water gets it clean.
7. For flush tank i have got it adjusted to half the tank of water. So that, it fills only upto half the tank so that not much water is used in a single flush just the bare minimum required.

 As i said, i try and work around to save as much water as possible .And i can do only this much at my end,since rain water harvesting etc is more of a community effort than an individual's.But i believe, if we truly use water as 'a precious' commodity just like our gold and money then i think we'll be much better off. In future, water like other things only higher middle class,rich and superrich and powerful people will own !For the rest of us,God help us !

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Badtameez dil....

Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor and Kalki Koechlin

Have you seen the trailers of this song from Yeh Jawani hai Diwani? Well,I thought we will probably only hover around 'item girl' and so ...but ranbir kapoor is an 'item boy'.

I was blown away by Ranbir's performance in this song..and after a long long time there is this high energy song with fun,cheesy,bold 'streetsmarty' 'alecky' lyrics.

God, i was so sick of seeing close ups of Katrina Kaif's and her ilk's kamars,bosoms and butts [ Priyanka Chopra has jumped in too- suggestive and boring outpouring of overt sexuality moves in some Babli song] .In this song, they had to bring in the girls but thankfully their shots were less and only in supporting role !
I loved Ranbir in this song and love the song too. It compels one to hold and watch through the trailer and instead of changing the channel.
   But then, I am weird when it comes to what i like in Hindi cinema.I cannot tolerate most songs - especially their visuals. I don't mind 'listening' to some of them on radio or otherwise. You know ,just tracks ! Just the other day, X was telling me how I got the movies wrong for 7/10 newer tracks i really liked !
    Let me tell you , this is only for most movies post 1985's. Ask me about Hindi cinema's disco tracks,and anything really old 50s,60s,and 70s and I’ll probably get the answer right. I have grown up playing gramophone records well through 80's - my golden years when dancing came naturally and all i and my sister needed is a gramophone record!
    i still have a gramophone and those records !By the way, i still love Disco and rock and roll !

Monday, 8 April 2013

When DIY is plain stupid.....

I do lot of DIY, fact there are so many things which i do at home and therefore blog about those which work well for a long time too. So me saying that DIY could be nonsensical is a little oxymoron !

So, here's what i think :

1. Don't trust all the bloggers and their recipes: Why ? Because some people try them from someone elses' recipes and get excited after 2-3 times use ,blog about it in superlative terms and then abandon it  !So the cycle continues !
  Internet is littered with a lot of people blogging about poorly thought out and useless DIYs ! E.g Baking soda for hair wash and to wash dishes as well - not as and when required but daily use!
 Trust recipes which people having been using for years and ALWAYS make a little ,use it for months before raving about it!One man's honey is another's poison !

2. If DIY is an expensive replacement:
     Why would you want to go buy raw materials and then combine to make a mediocre product. DIY is usually about saving money, having the pleasure of making a product which you like and which performs great too.
For e.g: Making a scrub soap with oats and soap which you have at home is a great idea.But if you don't eat quick cooking oats but you go and buy 200g pack [ near my house usually available in 400gm and 1kg packs ] oats to make a scrub soap then isn't it stupid ?
 The same thing applies to herbs: Herbs work well when they are fresh !For e.g:Though ritha and shikakai whole pods keep well when stored properly, but if you are the kind of person who has rushed mornings and wants to only laze in weekends or forgets to use them or whatever , there is no point in investing in them if you not going to use them regularly. The last time i bought ritha 6 months ago it cost me, 80 rs for half kilo and i use them regularly.
 Let's face it: Its much work and planning and cleaning the bath room afterwards ! Though i am used to the drill, on lazy or tiring days i use shampoo happily.
    And i usually buy only Reetha these days not even shikakai or other hair care herbs - I am using up shikakai which i bought 4 years ago and i have 25- 30gm of nagarmotha and jaswand lying around which i use only with egg hair pack  which is rare in itself !
    If you are going to use besan face pack once a month- there is no point in collecting skin care herbs just because recipe calls for it. Besan and milk work fine in itself ! Ayurveda is not cheap anymore.25gms of good quality packed herbs,if you atleast use 3 of them for face pack will cost you double of what brands like Lotus and Himalayas sell the whole tube of face mask or pack.To give fancy feel, you'll atleast need 3-4 herbs plus besan/multani mitti.
     So, if you are one of those people who use a DIY only once or twice a month , then i think buying the readymade tubes from good brands makes more sense !
     I have been buying only rose water- rest of the herbs i use which i had bought years ago and i still haven't finished them !I use face packs only 4-5 times a week that too if i make it a point to use.
     If you don't suffer from soap/SLS or commercial shower gels allergy or don't have issues like eczema then there is no real need to invest so much time and energy in herbs/powder ubtans especially if you are assembling them on your own !
    I use reetha/ soapnuts as hairwash /bodywash/facewash [especially in summers] when i make the liquid twice a week. So the effort vs advantages works quite well for me.Spent /used reetha works as fertilizer/bulking agent for my potted plants too.
    The feel of hair with reetha in any form is NOT same as using a shampoo so that requires getting used to. So think before trying out any DIYs especially for skin and hair care.

3. If DIY doesn't have shelf life:
     I do sewing,make chutneys,pickles, masalas ,pasta and pizza sauces because i have learnt things in details and also these things have shelf lives. My mom had a sewing machine - the traditional table one- i oiled and took care of it,learnt to use it and now i sew on it. It was free of cost- all i had to do is learn sewing from mom and actually Sew !
     I usually buy whole khada spices- so making all masalas on the go and as required comes easy to me...
I make preserved lemons, amla murraba because they stay well and are easy to make !
  So if your DIY doesn't have reasonable shelf life, it is less of headache to buy ready made especially if consumption vs effort vs time required to make it is not proportional !
   In contrast, i never make namkeen at home except puris for sev puri [ My mom started tradition of making pani puri details at home- we bought puffed puris from outside though].
Deep fried snacks are to be eaten only once in a while anyways.So,i don't bother making them at home anymore and also its only me and dad at home!We buy from reputable shops for ourselves and guests. That way, our consumption remains less and under control !

   What do you think about this?

Saturday, 30 March 2013

George Carlin

Amongst some of wise people i have heard and read about, George Carlin is my favourite! If I’m in mood for some philosophy, i watch his stand up acts. He's sarcastic,blunt and uses too many english gaalies which sometimes distract me.

Here are the links to my favourites:

Arrogance of mankind


Enjoy !

Friday, 29 March 2013


While i believe shopping for right foundation is absolutely important, Indian [ and imported companies] absolutely, positively make it difficult and a useless expedition.
I personally am still fact finding, yearning and i still go bare faced to malls now and then in hope to find the right foundation.

Here's what i think is making 'foundation buying' a hopeless and tedious and frustrating task in India.

1.Untrained staff: At the department stores, those poor salesgirls themselves are made up so badly and sometimes so thickly made up that the thought of taking her advice on ANYTHING is already counter productive ! I would advise people to IGNORE their advice especially when it comes to foundation.We live in a culture where 'fair is beautiful'- believe me no matter how ignorant you are when it comes to foundation a wrong shade match is like signing a suicide pact and whenever you'll wear it - you 'll look WEIRD, BIZARRE and TERRIFYING.
       Please don't buy a foundation shade listening to online advice or by any advice !Go to the shop and apply it on bare face ,come back home and see how it fares on your skin - in daylight ,night and indoors !

2. No samples: We buy so much make up in India ! There is no return policy - that means you can't return a wrong foundation !And the imported prices for drugstore brands abroad are nowadays sold in India with at least 15 to 25% higher markups. The least companies can do is give 'samples' at their department counters.
I have never received a sample of anything at the department store. Sure there are freebie offers...but everybody knows in india the freebie offer is either junk or even non existent per se. Buy 1 get 1 free- chances are you are already paying for both !
          I am even open to buying samples of foundation to try  before I commit to it! Till the companies, don't give/sell foundation samples in india, I won't be buying a costly foundation at all !

3.Limited shades: Do all of us Indians fall in ivory, beige, or toast shades? What about light, medium and dark Toast ?
Or do companies think that since majority of Indians don't use foundation and those who do use are ok going out of their houses- ghostly,cakey and 'whitened' that we don't need more complementary and wider range of shades to choose from ??
     I mean you conglomerates have the know-how - Then why not make flattering and complementary shades for Indians or Indian type skin tones !

Personally, I use foundation as tinted moisturiser. I have dark circles - the bluish ones and i don't know where to get Correctors/concealors for it . I have heard Kryolan can help. But since a counter is not in my city....... i chug along without a concealor.
Concealors are non existent for dark bluish under eyes circles and for Indians in general. Most of the ones touted on makeup blogs are simply inappropriate for severe dark circles- so don't waste your money on it. We require correctors to camouflage dark undereye circles.For undereye concealors, i have tried even MAC which proved useless for me!

And no, i don't use foundation to hide undereye circles !
All in all, i have really sobered up when it comes to foundation hunting ...anything new hardly excites me these days and right now i use Panstik and revlon Colorstay in combination to get right shade match and coverage.

Am not happy but what to do ?

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Henna henna...

i have always loved the khushboo [aroma] of mehndi. My mom is also an influence here..she loved putting mehndi on her hands and then in her 30 + years on her mane. Her enthusiasm rubbed off on me and i used to put henna on my hair whenever she used to prepare the mix during my college years. Then the frequency reduced to 1-2 times per year only in summers.
     Let's face it: applying henna is too much work ! Mix the mehndi overnight, next day apply it and then keep it on for atleast 3-4 hours.And then on white hair the best you'll probably get is orange color.In her 50s my mom usually sported dark brown orangish head.Well, she had tried coffee powder, iron vessel and everything else under sun to get a dark brown head of hair.
In conclusion, getting henna to go black or brown DOESN'T WORK ! Atleast not without chemical help !. Well, that's what 'kali mehndis' are all about !
I personally, have accepted Henna's personality- Orange and reddish orange to red brown !
So after 4 years i applied henna to hair again. Just for the heck of it ! Because i like the aroma, and because it reminds me of Mom !And the orange color make me happy. I have sinusitis and allergic rhinitis which had kept me away from henna for so many years so since summer is here..i thought i'll take a chance.

As i have grown older, i have lost patience with things that take let's see if i can keep it on my head for than 3 hours.

For those who are interested here my way of mixing henna for hair:
  1. Earlier i used use plain henna but this time i bought Nupur henna pack and added my herb mix of shikakai,amla,jatamansi. But plain henna works just fine and is cheaper to buy too. I think branding has made henna expensive ..its just the same stuff under different brands.All you need to check is shelf from henna wholesaler if you put henna regularly on hair !
  2. I mix henna with tea water and lemon juice. Make thick paste and keep overnight.
  3. Next day, just thin out the paste with 2 tbsp of curd or as required apply with gloved hands.
  4. Take your time apply properly especially if you are looking to cover greys.I start on top of the head ,take a few strands,coat with henna and make a bun. Repeat and keep piling the bun till you finish all sections.
i know many people put eggs in their mix and its a good idea too because the smell of eggs gets diluted and conditioning effect is tripled.But since i can't bear egg smell in summers i avoid !

After washing hair with water,i usually use a cheap conditioner as a shampoo to get a cleaner feel but if you have applied henna on oiled hair i guess you could shampoo a bit !

Personally, i think henna dries hair and does not condition it. Use it for colour or for tinting hair...don't expect moon out of it ! If you want to condition hair apply eggs/curds with herbs like nagarmoth,jatamasi,brahmi or bringhraj or mix of these herbs.They relieve dandruff and actually improve quality of hair. Keep them for hour or so just like henna mix.

Monday, 18 March 2013

The Journey

In last two years, i went through a journey where my aim was to look superficially good,colorful and vain. I went from painting only lips to painting eyes,cheeks and face. From owning zero blushes to 3 and also added various lipsticks especially from hues of pink and red and a plum which i avoided earlier since i have dark pigmented lips and because i really have nowhere to wear a red lipstick to !
    Now i wear brighter lipstick even to a supermarket and banks !Earlier i used to care how people would percieve me , now not so much !
      Now my new stress buster is following and reading up 2-3 blogs which i find give honest opinions about make up and skincare products. I instantly readup before i buy if there is a review about it.
      When i started trailing make up blogs a year and half ago my expenditure know,....'this is a must have' 'this is superlative' and ' oh if you don't wear an aqua blue eyeliner you are definitely missing something" and 'sale at XYZ site'.
  Soon, I realised that on some blogs opinions expressed are vague, superficial and plain bland and orchestrated !. Its like 'everything is ok' and really their categories were 'ok' and 'superlative'. They seem to never ever encounter DUDS !And i used to wonder...hey i have used this product - 'its far substandard in performance both for the price and claims.'
     Eventually reality set in -   I don't really need that super expensive eyeshadow in yellow, parrot green and pink  because i can't really use it daily...infact i won't. Too many rushed mornings, too much work and too many disapproving looks at work and on public transportation!
So untill and unless you are an actress or model- you don't really need gazillion hued eyeshadow palettes. All does an average and above average working brown/ wheatish or fair skin Indian girl needs is a nude to brown eyeshadows and a couple shimmer colours for wedding and parties.
        Another thing i realized- 'hey, you still have to get out of that morning slumber,prepare breakfast, cook lunch and then eat breakfast in time and then get dressed and then comes make ? I never really have the time to blend that stupid foundation which seems to set so fast, forget the prepping and moisturizing ! Oh boy,now i have to hunt for a new foundation which suits my skin colour and blends like a beauty in flat 2 minutes !
Stuff will expire just sitting in the cabinet and accumulating bacteria!

When Pond's TM died, i cursed Pond's people ! You see, i have never got a foundation [thanks to ALL salesgirls  and companies in India] which suits my skin to the T. Its not all the gazillion brands even exist in my city for me to try out !
Now i think a perfect foundation is a mirage- you know, the one which blends in 2 minutes,and gives good coverage and is pocket friendly ! Its really not there no matter what all the beauty blogging fraternity says ! Some may work for you not all !And then search begins all over again because companies go ahead and DISCONTINUE products !
        Right now, i do jugaad ! I mix my Panstik with moisturiser and it blends like a dream and i don't bother whether its longstaying or not etc etc.For summers, i have found Revlon's Colorstay for combination skin but i had to get it from Amrika and luckily my guess work paid off and its a perfect match for me. In India, for all makeup companies we fall into : Light/Ivory, Natural Beige , Golden Beige, Dark. That's it !
      My fascination for blushes - well did not exist ! Before now,I had 'blushed' only once or twice for weddings.That too with a lipstick! Now i 'blush' all the freaking time ! And i love it. I blush and blush and then blush some more ! You see, earlier , i had no idea how to apply a blush ! Now I do thanks to Lisa Elridge !
Lipsticks i use more as blush and i love using only one color on my face - on cheeks and lips and eyes. It just looks so much better and wearable,not to mention quick .
      I even use my Lakme Earth trio as eyeshadow - just any one color on eyes, cheeks and lips. For lips i apply plain lipgloss and then dab the powder. I am so much happier because i am going to probably use up all my blushes then just throwing them away !
For skin and hair care, i think beauty blogs could be used only as guidelines- more like introduction to new products in the market ! They are of no help at all since everyone's skin is different and really shampoos and conditioners performance is more dependent on the type of water [ hard,soft or medium] you get in your bathroom , your diet etc !
   I do experiment when i am itching to try new products but i never really deviate from my general rule of thumb: Face wash to only clean face, moisturiser to supply / preserve moisture and sunscreen - well my only criteria to buy suncreen are the suncreen agents used in the formulation,price and feel on the skin. I absolutely hate suncreens which make skin more oily- i am afraid many do ! I just dab powder on -what to do ?
   All in all, i do believe i have become more colorful....but then that's it. People and stuff around me has not changed, neither has my life and its challenges. Applying make up for me is still secondary - i find i am more interested in sewing,cooking and walking ! Nevertheless, when you are down and out and feeling blah....there is something about picking up that lipstick and painting the face. Literally. You can hide behind makeup as long as you want,whenever you want !
Its worth finding that foundation which hides everything with as little work as possible. And its worth finding that lipstick which makes you want to use it everyday no matter what and brightens up your mood.Even if you don't know how to do make up - you could learn. I did ! No, you don't have to follow makeup trends and you definitely don't need eyeliners or lipstick in rainbow colours but you need that one black kohl or dark brown eyeliner and that one lipstick to shine !
Believe me,it doesn't even have to be costly just has to be what you like and love and want out of it !

Thursday, 21 February 2013


I make masalas at home. My Mom used to make but now i do. People wonder what i keep doing at home and why do i make everything at home when everything is available in the market.
There are many small and big reasons but the most important ones for food are:

1. I get 4 times the quantity with less raw materials.
2. I know what is going into it.
3. I have access to internet which is a guru in its own right and many enterprising talented people share experiences, recipes and what not. So might as well make use of it.
4.And as with most homemade stuff, some of the ingredients are always at home so no need to run outside to get it.

Here I would like to reiterate that i get a major kick out of : researching,trying and perfecting the recipe for homemade stuff. I feel like an accomplished queen when i see the final product ,be it sewing or food !The day i stop getting the kick out of doing things at home i'll quit doing so.......because everything can be bought at the market !!

In that way, i think making stuff at home is for yourself because outsiders don't appreciate it and family members don't really care untill it starts pinching the pocket! Its not that your husband or inlaws or parents, sisters and brothers are going to give you a medal for it !

 If you are a normal indian upper class,well to do woman [why women? ....because men don't really care what is there in their masalas and most indian men can't differentiate between the spices because they don't cook] earning well,you'll probably snort at doing stuff with your hands and would believe in paying for it ,buying it ready made, or pay someone else to do it.There is nothing wrong in that especially if you couldn't be bothered and don't care about homemade stuff in general.

Chaat masala - My tweaked and tested recipe

  1.  100g coriander seeds
  2.  50-60g cumin seeds
  3. 1.5 teaspoon ajwain/carom seeds
  4. 50g black salt/kala namak
  5. 50g rock salt
  6. 5-7 kashmiri red chiles, stems removed
  7. 3 tbsp dried mango powder/amchur
  8. 1teaspoon dried ginger powder
  9. 1tbsp black peppercorns
  10. 3 tbsp dried mint
  11. 1tsp citric acid crystals
  12. 1" cinnamon stick,4-5 cloves 
I am an andaaza person- i eyeball everything. So i use andaaza in the above recipe too.

Roast coriander,cumin seeds peppercorns,cinnamon,cloves chillies . i prepare dried mint at home and store it in fridge in newspaper packet.To prepare dry mint ,take 1 bunch mint ,pick the leaves, wash it well, spread on the newspaper,dry it to crisp in sunlight in summers or very low setting in oven. I air dry for 24 hrs and then heat my dosa tawa and turn it off and spread the leaves on tawa. In few minutes it crisps up.

Another important aspect are salts- both black salts and rock should be equal in amounts. Grind everything together into fine powder and store in air tight container. This recipe will give more than 200g of chat masala at fraction of cost.

I use chaat masala everywhere: on cucumber slices, in chass[buttermilk],in cooking,on fruit, salads,boiled chana and practically everything.

Garam masala:
  • Star anise    1-2
  • Black cardamom   2
  • Black peppercorns    21/2 teaspoons
  • Cinnamon     5" inch stick
  • Cloves     1 tablespoon
  • Green cardamom     4-5
  • Mace     1 blade
  • Coriander seeds     4 tablespoons
  • Cumin seeds     3 tablespoons
  • bay leaves      3-4
  • red chillies     3-4   
Roast the spices lightly and grind it to fine powder and store in airtight containers.

Have fun !

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

TLC for feet

Feet bear the brunt of practically everything. It starts with bad tight footwear-open toe sandles makes them even more open to abuse.
Then comes the torture of being overweight. Very few people realise that being more than 5 kg overweight puts quite a bit of additional pressure on ankles ,heels of the feet and knees. When we walk our whole weight is borne by lower legs and feet.Being overweight and wearing high heels constantly is a recipe for disaster !

I am overweight and since the weight hasn't being going anywhere, relaxing tired feet seems to be the only option right now.I have always taken good care of my feet.I know many women take care only of their face and do nothing for their feet.I mean nothing..........not even plain scraping of heels and application of a plain moisturiser !

I have grown watching pretty ok looking women,rich and poor, with or without class having gaping,crack heels showing through their chappals,sandles and expensive footwear. Its always surprises me to see well- to-do rich women who don't do any housework nor walk on the roads since they travels in cars, bikes or ricks with ugly feet !
One of my aunt had bleeding crack heels which required medical intervention and prescription creams !

My mom like most of everyone's moms also had visibly cracked heels which turned painful in winters.I learnt pedicure from Mom among other things ! :-)
 My mom did pedicure at home regularly . She has used Krack cream,Vaseline pedicure kit [not available since ages- this kit is a classic e.g of discontinuing useful products]

Anyway, from Mom i learnt cracks on heels don't really go away for good ! They come back when you walk on dry potholed roads in open sandals,in winters, and when feet are dry and not moisturised regularly ! I started wearing plain chappals at home to prevent cracks because open feet got more dirty and more dry !

The great part about taking care of your feet is it doesn't have to be laborious, lengthy or fancy - it just has to be regular ! Its a habit like any other and in few days you'll have pretty,soft and even colored feet !

Those who think taking care of feet is not really required amongst other things in life then may be they need to think again - especially if they are diabetic ! Being diabetic,means healing of minor wounds and cuts on extremities like foot is slow which in turn means neglected feet can lead to deeper wounds and sometimes turn gangrenous ! So having a feet TLC routine in place is a good habit to consider !

A simple Pedicure plan 
A simple non time consuming routine means that you'll follow it often and be more regular. This pedicure routine requires only 15 minutes extra in shower once a week.I soak feet once in a while since i am not patient to sit soaking feet more than 5 minutes i have to force myself to stretch it to 15 minutes.

My short quick version:
  • Mix 1 tsp epsom salt [ or take cheap rock salt- khada namak] in a 1 tsp body wash or clear shampoo.You can add ambahalad,vetiver or mint oil or powder for more fancy pampering.Mix for one time use only.
  • Wet and scrub feet ardously with this mix till you get tired or bored or lose patience !:-)
  • Use a foot scraper to scrape heels.
  • Wash off with warm water.
  • Apply a thick lotion preferably non greasy quick absorbing one. If you do this routine at night i will suggest Kailesh Jeevan for tired nerves,feet and aches.You can wear socks if your lotion is greasy - i wear them because i can't sit still and long enough for the lotion to dry up.
  • You can use any body moisturiser if you don't have wounds on feet.
  • I recommend doing this procedure twice a week if you have a hectic lifestyle which includes abuse of feet and hands. Yep same thing for hands too !
 The longer version is nothing but washing feet with shampoo /body wash and soaking in warm salty [Epsom salts] water for 15 minutes and then doing the remaining steps.

Don't forget to enjoy the relaxation that massaging feet can bring. Its feels as good as a champi !

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

women and Public space

The main objection of Indian men seems in a narrow concept women sharing more and more of Public spaces which earlier belonged to men. Men think roads ,public toilets,hotels ,airports and everything associated with public transportation is primarily for their daily use. Men in municipality of any city have never thought of making more amenities for women on the move because according to them women don't travel much so they definitely don't need clean toilets at bus depots and local inns.

One way to show equality to women and respect is by sharing of public spaces so that she doesn't feel crippled of travelling because there are no toilets on the roads,safer and friendlier modes of transportation so she doesn't feel that she cannot travel in public transport at 11pm because she'll be the only women  amongst men.

Men don't understand the kind of restriction on movement women have to face because of their staring and leering and catcalls and snide remarks or patronizing tone.

Read this blog post about women in public space and about the book Why Loiter HERE

Saturday, 5 January 2013

indian men - 1

Here is the view of Anna Vetticad, journalist and a woman who probably works odd hours,and is 'independent' in aftermath of Delhi rape case.Worth a read !


Let's keep talking about sexual violence that happens to girls and women of all ages in india and how society condones it , how plain wrong attitudes and 'culture' condones it. Let's keeping talking about it till- something changes drastically. Till Indian men stop enjoying the pain of Indian women after they abuse, molest and dish out second class treatment to their women in their every day lives.Till Indian men and women stop blaming victims and instead speak to their boys and pull them up for their bad behaviour !

Let's keep talking!Make noise !

Hair wash mix-part 2

You know how it is...dry damaged hair, no time or whatever you are doing isn't working. Then you go out and ask more and try more.So i thought i'll simplify and declutter ,go minimalistic !

I just finished my stash of all different shampoos which had accumulated over the years. Some were freebies some were given by family to finish off because they didn't like them.So they accumulated.

I use expired shampoos to wash sweaters, silks  and dry clean only clothes. Sweaters become ultra soft and silk and costly cottons don't run colors and handwash becomes easy chore.
I also finished shikakai and reetha powders which i had bought thinking that i could eliminate soaking and boiling time with pods. But no, it didn't work !

I soak aritha and methi and/or pressure cook to speed up things.I use shampoos in between especially if i have run about the city a lot since pollution levels are pretty high in my city.

I was looking to finish masoor dal powder i use for face so one day i tried to use it to wash hair. I was so happy i tried it because the mix works beautifully on my hair. It works as conditioning pack cum wash in a jiffy.

Here's what i did:

I tbsp for masoor dal powder + I tsp khus powder

i used only these two ingredients but i think you can use any hair friendly herbs on hand.

Then I add 1 tsp brewed vinegar [ i love vinegar for hair] and 1 tsp dahi. You can increase dahi quantity if you want. But believe me i rather eat dahi than put more than necessary quantity on hair. Make paste with water.
The paste should be smooth and not very runny- just right so that application becomes easy. The whole idea is to make things easy for you.
Keep the paste [soaking time] outside for half an hour and then add 1/2 tsp shampoo, mix well. Apply to wet scalp only ,massage well. Keep for 15 mins only and then rinse it out properly. I use Biotique fresh lift shampoo.

If your hair is not very dirty you can omit shampoo and replace it with any conditioner[ about 1/2 tsp] .

I had heard how well dals clean hair.Infact, i have being using besan ,rice powder, sugar as body scrubs since my teenage years.Never felt the need to buy any body scrub.But with this mix ,after my hair dried, it was conditioned and squeaky clean. I loved it.For oiled hair, I suggest increase shampoo quantity to 1 tsp other wise you may have to rewash.

Do try and let me know.My guess is you may never want to use huge quantities of shampoo alone.

Friday, 4 January 2013

The necessary stuff

There are so many things we need on day to day basis.Sometimes the need is just one time use and then things just keep lying around and accumulate. We accumulate stuff. Sometimes just to please our vanity and sometimes on impulse we accumulate, gather and then we buy some more.

We indians were about recycle reuse and using things till its either broken down or till we find no use for it. We were ok with using second hand stuff ,sisters and brothers wore each other's clothes.Sometimes when you are lucky one rarely needed to buy those one time use items.

What happened? Americans are shifting away from consumerism and blatant mall culture and here we are lapping up more and more stuff. We buy and then we throw.China made items in all budgets have enabled everyone to buy everything brand new so even maids,drivers, watchmen are very reluctant to take all kinds stuff off your hands.What i have seen is they take only utensils,only barely used clothes and clothes in recent fashion. In short they take stuff that they can sell or currently use!

Only the very poor in India are willing to wear your pricey good quality second hand clothes ! There is absolutely pithy second hand value for plastics,some value for metals and i don't even know where one can sell second hand clothes. Everything used has become scrap. Or may be we are told so by savvy marketeers.

I am tired of clutter ....what i would really like is bare open well lit house with well placed wardrobe, linen closet and well designed bathroom. Only required furniture and a sit down baithak. I like to sit down so a baithak with pillows is very important.

I reuse ,recycle and upcycle.I do things which i can and make stuff mostly at home. I buy what i really really need and make place for it by removing other stuff. I like stuff one can wash and reuse.....less load on the environment.I would like to give away or sell many more stuff but i don't know where.

Do's if you want to lessen all kinds of clutter at home
  1. Those B1G1 deals.....not a good idea atleast 90% of the time. Think carefully you are spending bloody so much that's why they are giving you that kind of deals.Chances are you'll use one stuff and probably get bored over time and not want to use the same 'free' item.Another bad deals are those buy at Rs xyz and get p, q and r free ! Those big jars with tonnes of product at discounted price which you may not use completely or it may expire before you finish it!
  2. Online sites i have seen have increased free shipping quota.At first they sold at MRPs and had free shipping at Rs 250 or 300.That was fine. But now most of them have made Rs 500 for free shipping and plus a COD charge. So untill and unless your item is not available in your city, its pointless to bill uptill Rs 500 for one Rs 125 product you really need and which happens to be 5 rs off.
  3. I don't buy clothes online because they are more expensive ,less variety and for my body and height type inappropriate. I don't trust the sites. In real life too,when one goes to the shop there is so much BS by the salesman about material, how many meters that trusting info on sites is too much for me.Buying clothes online may be appropriate for people who are of standard size and heights.
  4. Amnesia: We forget that its already there in the house, or your husband or dad forgets. And then we have two or even three of the same items. So trim and recheck your closets,wardrobe periodically and share. Do you really need one more green color dupatta when you rarely wear dupattas? See if you can exchange ,share with mom,sisters etc. Old stuff especially your mom's is in and something like sarees you can probably even upcycle to salwar kameez or skirts.
  5. Useless gifts: Repack and gift them to someone who may use or even needs it.People usually gift when there is any occasion but for small things you can gift any ways.You can even ask your friends or family if they want stuff you don't want.This is getting difficult i know.........because many people associate respect with ability to buy or don't like to take unwanted gifts.This is the main reason i gift only money or gift vouchers now.
  6. If you have a small family and no time to clean, sort food grains,spices etc buy only those things in bulk which you'll sort and can keep pest free.Rest of the food stuff buy when you need or want to cook.This will reduce your load,keep kitchen pest free and reduce clutter.
  7. If you are fashion conscious and love to wear different kinds of attire, ladies ...things can get pretty much out of hand. As women, our weights keep fluctuating and very few of us can go back to previous weigths.That means, blouses will get tight beyond extra silai and ready made clothes  DO NOT have extra seam which one rip and adjust.So if you wear ready made kurtas buy probably 2-3 a year and wear them off ! Don't hoard because local fashion changes every year. Buy stuff which will ease into your daily style and fashion and which you can wear off. If you are extremely fashion concious you'll probably accumulate more than you need. The tailoring costs for blouse and salwar kameezes are rocketing so can you imagine the amount you spend and then actually wear ?
  8. If you are neat and tidy and handwash silks and good pure cottons and take good care of your clothes chances are they are going to last long. I recommend washing machine and semi-automatic at that to a bai ! Please wash your silks, embroidered clothes,woolens in reetha/Ezee/clear Shampoo.
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