Tag Archives: Reema Prasanna

What’s Your Poison? – Addictions You May Not Know You Have

Mondays always feel like a good thing, even in the hardest of my times. They’re a chance to start afresh, turn my back on whatever has gone on in the past week/s Β and begin anew. This is true whether the times in the past have been good or bad because both of them wear me out equally. I am a different person from myself when I am sad or stressed. I also don’t quite feel myself when I’m partying or receiving an undue amount of adulation. Neither extreme feels normal and it’s a bit disorienting.

My friend Aditya has been on a journey away from cigarettesΒ (Read his post ‘5 Things I Learnt From 100 Days Of Not Smoking‘). I’ve always been very proud of the thought that I don’t get addicted easily so perhaps I have not been as considerate or compassionate to those who struggle with nicotine, alcohol or other addictions. But it has occurred to me recently that abusive/emotionally manipulative men are my addiction. Their bad behaviour is not my fault but might I be gravitating towards conversations and situations that put me in the proximity of people like this? And why? Because it feels familiar. I know it’s bad for me but it feels known and thus, safe.Β Isn’t that exactly what chain smokers say? I did not realise it because no one around me other than women’s magazines thought that it was a thing. But it’s a pattern that hurts me, impedes me and that I do not know how to get out of.

Marian Keyes’ ‘Rachel’s Holiday‘ opened me up to the idea that addiction is not entirely about willpower. It is also not about alcohol, cigarettes, drugs or the substance/habit being abused. It is about a behaviour pattern in response to something else, that does not serve the addict very well. But in the addict’s mind, they’re still trying to combat whatever caused them to form the habit in the first place, never mind if it has outlived its purpose (or if it ever fulfilled that purpose well).

We all have problems and all of us face situations that are new, alarming and scary to us, frequently; this is the nature of life. This must mean, we are all creating potential addictions for ourselves, every single day. The kind of lives we live today, millennials – with the pressures of the digital world, an unstable world economy and insecure jobs, heavy gaslighting from other and our own generation – we are at high risk.

Cigarettes and alcohol seem minor in comparison. The world acknowledges these. We have nicotine patches and Alcoholics Anonymous. But what of the millions of other ways that we find to escape realities we cannot bear, and then find ourselves trapped within that escape route?

My ex spent an unnatural amount of time in his gaming universe. He owned three console devices, not including controllers and his computer. He’d reminisce fondly of the times when he could spend entire weekends gaming, never even getting up to brush his teeth, let alone anything else. He’d also invite me over then make me watch him play, resenting every instance that I protested. Every minute that he couldn’t spend with his games, was a reason for him to hate the world. And since I was a part of that, I was the recipient of his hatred. Gaming sounds like an ‘If you’re not cool, you won’t get it’ habit to a lot of us, so read this paragraph again this time substituting gaming with alcohol. See what I mean? We know the term Alcoholic but have we come up with Gameoholic?

Reema keeps me on the straight and clear in many ways. She embodies the healthy lifestyle right from herΒ food habits to the way she thinks about people, work and life. But I worry sometimes that she overdoes it on the fitness regimen. She is almost always reasonable but I catch a glimpse of her possible addiction when it comes to exercising. There are times when I want to ask her whether that particular exercise or activity is really for better fitness or whether she’s just used to pushing herself and wants to prove that she can do it. These are two very different reasons and I think the only reason to do a fitness activity should be because it builds fitness. If it’s the second reason, it smells suspiciously like addiction.

A habit is only behaviour that we compulsively repeat. The only thing determining good or bad is its proportion in our lives with respect to other things.Β What’s tricky is keeping our sense of perspective. With so much going on in all our lives, just out of sheer exhaustion, most of us sink into one or two things, a few activities, a few people, a few ways of thinking.

Try this experiment. Go to your cupboard and take out all the clothes in it. How many of them have you actually worn in the past month? I’m willing to bet that it’s only around 10% of what you own, which you’ve repeated over and over again. Everything else gets pushed to the back and the chances are you forget a lot of that exists. A lot of our life is the same way. Our habits (addictions) push the rest of our lives to the back. And unfortunately for us, most of life isn’t like a nice tee-shirt. It won’t look the same if you retrieve it two months or twenty years later.

The onlyΒ action I can think of is just that – keep thinking constantly. Have I missed anything? Am I doing this because I’m just used to it or is it actually furthering my life? This does not all have to be efficient, money-generating or socially respectable things. But when you spend two hours of your life with a person, is it just because there’s no one else around or is it because you really want to meet them? If it’s company you crave, does this company fulfil you the way a good meal would when you’re hungry or is it like a Β cigarette that suppresses your appetite and coats your lungs with tar? If you prefer being by yourself, is it because you feelΒ invigorated and recharged by solitude or do you fear the world’s company? If summer is your favourite season, is it really because you enjoy the heat or is it because you’re grateful that it’s not raining instead? This last is a question I am asking myself and it’s not an easy one to answer. So rest assured I really do understand.

Our addictions are very dear to us because we feel they’ve protected us from something unpleasant or scary in the past. They’ve also stayed with us long enough to feel familiar. But be aware, the walls that keep out the elements can very easily turn into prison bars. Windows and doors exist for a reason. All that stands between freedom and captivity isΒ remembering how to get out. And we do need to get out frequently or forgetting becomes a habit too.

I wish you all a lot of courage and hope in addressing your own addictions. And I hope this week dawns easier for us all.

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m onΒ TwitterΒ andΒ Instagram.

I Wear: Fashionista In The Wild

I managed to catch a rather reluctant Reema on camera and she agreed to stop and tell me what she was wearing. This woman manages to look effortlessly chic even in the middle of a warm, sticky summer day in a suburban mall. Well, we are not all born with Libran taste, I suppose.

*Β If you enjoyed this style post in video, check out the other I Wear posts andΒ videos.

β€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”

If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m onΒ TwitterΒ andΒ Instagram.

I Wear: Bohemian Rockstar

I was invited to feature as one of the performers at the US Consulate’s event for 100 Thousand Poets For Change, the theme being ‘Women Empowerment’.Β The event was in Kitabkhana and Reema agreed to come along so we decided to make a day of it. Here’s us suburban girls in town, on town!

And this is what I wore for a day out, traveling and to perform in my kickass, fashion-forward, sex-positive feminist avatar.

I Wear:

  • Pink top: ONLY
  • Black jacket: Life
  • Distressed jeans: United Colors of Benetton
  • Red handbag: Baggit
  • Red shoes: ONLY
  • Red fascinator: Mumbai local train

Reema was dressed in her classy-but-ready-for-travel avatar and here’s what she wore.

*Β If you enjoyed this style post in video, check out the other I Wear posts andΒ videos.

β€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”

If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m onΒ TwitterΒ andΒ Instagram.

 

 

I Wear: Women At Work – Diva Minimalist Or Tomboy Chic?

Reema moved into a new place last month and I helped her (slightly) by keeping her company while her new place was professionally cleaned. The rather mundane circumstances didn’t stop both of us from dressing up. And this is what we each wore:

I Wear:

  • Yellow hoodie: Cou Cou
  • Blue racerback: Zivame
  • Loosened skinfit jeans: Levis Diva
  • Lavender jockey hat: Baggit
  • Snow quartz pendant: Magick
  • Checkered socks

and Reema in style!

I Wear:

  • Pink (almost bespoke) top: Miss London
  • Severely distressed jeans: Ross Dress for Less
  • Black socks with pink toes

*Β If you enjoyed this style post in video, check out the other I Wear posts andΒ videos.

β€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”

If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m onΒ TwitterΒ andΒ Instagram.

I Wear: Feminist Fashion

My weekend began on a wonderful note. Any day that has Reema in it is wonderful anyway. And then a visit to the India Culture Lab usually provokes a lot of delicious ideas. To top it all off, I met not one but three fabulous women, all of whom knew me. The event was on ‘Fashion & Feminism’.

The evening brought up so many intense ideas that I decided to put them on both my blogs. So do trot over to XX Factor to see why I think fashion and feminism are linked. And then come back here to see what I wore.

I Wear:

  • Leopard print peephole top: Lokhandwala boutique
  • Flared jeans: Jabong
  • Snakeskin boots: Clark’s
  • Pink lipstick: Faces Canada

I also had a chance to run into the wonderful Neha Ramneek Kapoor and we struck an instant connection.Β Here she is in I Wear‘s first ever interview video.

* The first video was shot by Reema PrasannaΒ and the second by Shaunak De.Β If you enjoyed this style post in video, check out the other I Wear posts and videos.

β€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”

If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m onTwitterΒ andΒ Instagram.

I Wear: Peacock Power

I stepped out for a few errands and to catch coffee with Reema at the end of July. Fed up with the plastic and synthetic fabrics that characterise monsoonwear, I dipped into my summer wardrobe.

One of the many things I love about this outfit is that it’s comfortable and convenient without looking sloppy. The kurta, particularly, is the kind that gets sold only under ‘menswear’. Most shops seem very rigid about this and salespeople seem highly reluctant to let women try on the garment. Women’s kurtas in comparison, tend to be all frippery and flowery, focussing on tight fits rather than comfort. AND NO POCKETS WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE DON’T WOMEN HAVE TO CARRY A LOT OF STUFF? Anyway, I picked up this delightful peacock-blue khadi kurta in Lokhandwala (of all places, the place is such an ode to chauvinistic, overpriced, trashy style).

I Wear:

  • Peacock blue khadi kurta: Cotton Cottage
  • White jeggings: Linking Road
  • Beige handbag: Baggitt
  • Turqoise sandals: Clark’s
  • Clear lip gloss: Baby Lips

I managed to stay comfortable and spotless despite traipsing all across Andheri East and West in wet, muddy weather. Incidentally, this is also the day that I Wear videos got its first guest (see the post here).

* This video was shot by Reema Prasanna.Β If you enjoyed this style post in video, check out the other I Wear posts and videos.

β€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”

If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on TwitterΒ andΒ Instagram.

I Wear: The Drama Of Reema

Reema is my co-conspirator in lot of things, not the least of which is style, colour and fun! I credit her with bringing red lipstick and sunshine back into my life. She has also pushed me into trying styles, garments and colours I might not have considered earlier (and that’s a lot considering I’ve never been a shrinking violet!). And finally, it was Reema’s idea for me to take the I Wear posts to video.

Here she is as I Wear‘s first guest. She had a lunch meeting and I was out running errands. We managed to catch one of our surprisingly frequent unplanned coffee dates. This is what she wore:

Reema wears:

  • Blue gumboots: Paean
  • Black highwaist jeans with back zipper: Vero Moda
  • Striped tie-up shirt: FBB
  • Canvas backpack: House of Tara
  • Steel watch: Jet Airways
  • I ❀️ NY rain poncho: Memorabilia store, New York

And this is what I wore:

I Wear:

  • Turquoise khadi kurta: Cotton Cottage
  • White jeggings: Bandra streetshops
  • Turquoise sandals: Clark’s
  • Silver jhumkas: FabIndia
  • Beige handbag: Baggit

*Β If you enjoyed this style post in video, check out the other I Wear posts and videos.

β€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”

If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on TwitterΒ andΒ Instagram.

No Generation Of My Own

I was 30 before I got into a β€˜proper’ relationship and it was with someone younger. Someone asked my father,

β€œDoesn’t it seem like Ramya is five years behind her generation?”

He said,

β€œOr maybe, she’s five years ahead of her generation.”

Yes, that is a wonderful reference for a parent to set and sustain. I didn’t see it that way myself till I heard it.

I never identified with my age-peers. When I was 16, I couldn’t see what point there was in getting into any manner of flirtation or relationships. I could already see that there would be all manner of drama, family, friends and self-caused. Weren’t there already enough things to torment a teenager in India in the 90s?

I also never really β€˜got’ the marriage thing through my 20s. Why are you marrying him or her, I’d ask my friends and get answers like, β€œBecause it’s the thing to do”, β€œbecause my parents said so”.

And finally when I first quit my important corporate job to stop, think and catch my breath (the term β€˜sabbatical’ was not common then), NOBODY got it. But a few months in, surprised at my okayness, people would keep saying, β€œOh, lucky you, I wish I could do that!”. Why not, I’d ask, do you have a family to support or loans to pay off? None of these conversations ever happened with anyone who would have to say Yes to that.

All in all, I’ve never gotten the generation that people say I’m a part of.

On the other hand, my work, my hobbies, my love life and my life style are populated by people about 5 years younger than I. Since they came into the properly adult world in their mid-20s, they’ve felt more like my rightful generation, my crowd than the people I shared classrooms, playgrounds and career levels with.

But there’s something else. Haven’t I often said I feel old? I do. I carry the point of view of a 37 year old in a generation of 31 year olds. I have the memories and lessons of an 80s upbringing in a world of 90s and noughties kids. This is not about maturity because I don’t think that is a linear thing. Maturity has a great deal to do with personality, with experience and insight and time doesn’t exist on the same dimension as those things. This is about perspective and priority.

I tire often of the younger men I date because they are struggling with managing time, health and newfound economic freedom. I’ve already gone through these teething problems and woes and I know what works best for me. I have no desire to relive them in someone else’s problems this time.

I find myself getting impatient with my younger friends for their ineptitude, and in what silly ways they let ego blind their promises and work quality. It’s not that I was any better when I was in my late 20s. But I’ve passed through those tests of fire and I don’t struggle with them anymore. Even the very natural insecurities and diffidenceβ€Šβ€”β€Šit’s starting to wear me down, how much there is in everybody around me.

Were we also that scared of everything? I’m sure we were but we were each so consumed in our fears that we scarcely paid heed to each other and the world around us. And therein lies a β€˜we’ that I dislike. I suddenly have something in common with a generation that I never felt I fit in with.

But they don’t feel like a comfortable fit either. They’re grousing about struggling marriages (well, what did you expect with the reasons you got into them?), deadend careers (again, follow the rules not your independent mind and are you surprised?) and how β€˜today’s kids’ spend so much time on Facebook and Twitter. I’m shutting that door already, saying oops, I entered the wrong room.

My two closest friends are both six years younger than I am. One of them has moved across the country for a girlfriend then moved back and changed careers. Another has quit a super prestigious corporate career, gotten married, started an unconventional (and seemingly uncool) business and then changed. These experiences undoubtedly put them beyond their age-peers in terms of perspective. They are exceptions as am I. It makes it possible for us to be very good friends. But exceptions have to be loners because we tread such unique paths.

This isn’t an angry or even a sad place. I don’t anymore feel like I don’t know my place in the universe. I know that it doesn’t have to do with what other people say and each day I’m getting a little closer to knowing what it is. I’ve gone a full circle from sitting by the phone with no one wanting to speak to me to switching off my phone to hide under hoods so I can get some private time. No, it’s not a desolate place at all. But it is a lonely place, waiting for the world to catch up, knowing maybe no generation ever will.

β€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”

If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

I Wear: Cheerfully Primary

I remembered this look when I was writing my ‘Dark Girls Have All The Fun‘ post the other day. I dipped into my Drafts and there it was sitting, all ready to be published but forgotten in the complications of April. This is what I wore the day Reema and I went to check out tattoo artists.

I had woken up to a heavy day – a bad dream, an ex’s birthday that I wished I hadn’t remembered, a message from a friend-of-a-friend asking if I knew about her getting married (I didn’t and I hadn’t been invited). The only thing that cheered me up was the prospect of meeting Reema who always knows when to make me smile and when to give me wisdom. ColoursΒ and style are her minor superpowers so I thought I’d give her something to work with, while improving my mood. And here’s what I did:

Don’t anyone say Ronald McDonald!!

I Wear:

  • Yellow skater dress worn asΒ tunic: Amazon.in
  • Distressed and embroidered denim jacket/top: Forever 21
  • Glass beads: Delhi
  • Owl dangly earring: Kolkata
  • Arrowhead wooden earring: Bangalore airport
  • Coral backpack: Westside
  • Red and blue nails: Maybelline ColorShow
  • Red lipstick: Revlon ColorBurst
  • Eyes: Faces dark blue eye pencil onΒ lash lines, Faces teal eye pencil on upper lid

*Β Check out the other I Wear posts andΒ videos.

β€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”β€Šβ€”

If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m onTwitterΒ andΒ Instagram.

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