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Friday, May 25, 2012

Even I could be a sunshine girl...

A season of flowers and holidays and ice-cream and fun;
Get set for adventure, for summer has come. 

Having colourless skin is hard. Well, okay, my skin is not exactly colourless, but it is unnaturally white. The fairer than fair type that not even fairness creams ever advertise. And because it is so light, the sun is my worst enemy. It wrecks havoc by causing ugly red sun burn and making me break out in itchy rashes. So it's hardly surprising that I hate summer.
But then, there's Lakme Sun Expert. My savior. It protects against the harsh UV rays and keeps sun damage  at bay. And it also smells pretty damn amazing, unlike other sunblock creams which can be quite pungent.
I've been using sunblock since I was just a kid, so I've tried a range of products, and Lakme is definitely one of the best. And no, I'm not just saying that because I want to win prizes in the Lakme Diva Blogger Contest at Indiblogger. I'm saying it because it's the truth. Honest. Try it for yourself by going to www.facebook.com/ilovelakme
So if this summer I had a lot of money, I would take a tip from Kyra the Sunshine girl and hit the beach for a luxurious holiday with my girl friends (in Goa, perhaps - since I've never been there). We would soak up the sea and the sunshine and drink endless glasses of iced lemonade. We would also shop for pretty summery clothes and pose for lots of photographs. Naturally.
And of course, do other blissful things like watch the sun rise and set over the sea, while writing poetry perhaps, or daydreaming. Or slurping on ice-creams while we lounge on deck chairs. Or just silently thanking God for being alive.
In the evenings, we would dress up and party like there's no tomorrow.
And who knows, in the course of it all, I might even run into a dashing stranger and have a dreamy summer romance of the kind that only ever happens in books and movies.
Oh, yes, with the right sun protection, summer could possibly be my favorite time of the year rather than the season that always makes me wish I could disappear into hibernation beneath the earth's surface until it's over.


Image from http://blog.protectmyid.com

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Like meeting a long-lost friend...

There is nothing that can make me quite as happy as books of the kind I like to read. Ok, maybe a snazzy new smart phone or laptop would, but that would be a different kind of happiness altogether. Books hold a certain power over me that I doubt anything can match. When I have nothing to do, I like browsing through Flipkart or Amazon, looking at all the books I want to buy as and when I have the money to. That's how I came across a certain title that had me more excited than I've been in a long while. It's called Sweet Valley Confidential and is apparently a follow-up to a series of books I used to read way back in school: the famous, unbeatable Sweet Valley series. It was a VERY girly, highly dramatic, somewhat stupid series but I did LOVE it so. I remember my school library used to stock a whole lot of them and I read every single one and then read them all over again. I had a small collection of my own which I unfortunately gave away to a used-books store when I left Kenya. I wish I hadn't done that. I kept a lot of my other books so I wish I'd kept those too seeming as they were so much fun to read and are not in print anymore.
Anyways, so the latest addition to the series - Sweet Valley Confidential - got me so intrigued that I just HAD to get my hands on it. I checked on Flipkart and they have copies which are slightly on the expensive side because they're imported and I checked on Amazon and they didn't have a good price either, so I spent hours and hours hunting online and finally got my hands on a free albeit illegal ebook. I sat  and read it all afternoon today even though I have something I should have been working on. And I can't describe the feeling that comes with reuniting with characters that you used to love reading about so many years ago. It's seriously uplifting and you kind of see how you yourself have grown and changed with them over the years. It makes you reflect and ponder on life. At least if you're anything like me, it does.
So my favorite part about the series used to be this romance track (hardly surprising, right?) between Elizabeth Wakefield and Todd Wilkins. They were like this forever in love couple even though they broke apart and got back together a couple of times over the course of their high-school and college years. But if I were to ever imagine what a follow-up to the series would be, I would have thought the two would get married and have a couple of kids and a blissful happily ever after. What I would certainly never anticipate is Todd cheating on Elizabeth with her own twin sister, Jessica and deciding to marry her instead, hence hurting Elizabeth like nothing and nobody has ever hurt her before and making her escape from her hometown in California to big, bad New York City. It's totally outrageous, almost blasphemous, and I hate it, but then again, perhaps that's what's keeping me so glued to the book: the whole shock factor. I know they're just fictional characters but I can't help feeling kind of distressed because it's like - if Todd can marry Jessica instead of Elizabeth, anything at all can happen in the world. It's totally over the top.
The book has a very nostalgic feel to it because it's like a final peak into what all the kids (or characters) of Sweet Valley High turned out to be in life. And it kind of resonates with me because I was comparing it to how all the people I knew at high school have turned out in life. A few people got married, or are going to get married soon; while others ended up at prestigious universities or cushy jobs. A few underwent drastic and complete transformation while others haven't changed at all. But on the whole, I guess everyone's turned out to be very different from what we all expected way back when we were just teenagers with overactive hormones and minds full of all kinds of fancy ideas about life. As they say, truth is stranger than fiction, and when I think about it, what Todd and Jessica did in Sweet Valley isn't really that much more shocking than what people do in real life too. Books are just an extension of the real world and all its madness, and perhaps that is why I love them so.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I wish I could see better.

I have a;ways been cool with my vision impairment. Well maybe not always but since a very long time now. I have learned to live with it and work around it. But it DOES get kind of difficult to handle it at the workplace. I feel weird working on the computer when I can't see the screen very well if I don't lean in very close. And if  do lean in close, people ask too many awkward questions and give well-meaning but pointless advice. Of course I have been to an opthalmologist. I have been to more opthalmologists than I can count. And nobody can fix my eyes. And the day that someone does manage to, I am going to hold a grand big party in their honor. And I'm not even kidding.
I would also hold a party for the first software engineer who comes up with a nice SIMPLE software for people with bad eyesight. I know of those that exist but none of them are quite useful, in my opinion. They're either for people who are completely or legally blind, or they're just too cumbersome to use (like most of those ridiculous magnifiers that are available for free).
Vision is such a precious thing; I'm happy that at least I can manage most of life's chores okay and take care of myself but every now and then, I can't help thinking how it would be nice to sit back in my chair and work on my laptop without having to strain myself, or how wonderful it would be to drive around on my own bike or in a car. Or even how helpful it would be to be able to read those huge schedule boards they have at railway stations or even the sign boards of station names. Oh yes, life would be a lot easier with better vision.
Not that I mean to crib. :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wiping the Slate Clean or Turning a New Leaf

For reasons that cannot be entirely explained, I've removed all the conent that used to exist on this blog. There was a lot of stuff here which I no longer relate to or no longer wish to share, so I'm making a new start with this post.
I love this blog too much to have the courage to delete it hence I will definitely continue writing here, just that I will try to write different kinds of things henceforth. 
Whatever I had poured out here over the four and a half years of this blog's existence so far was extremely close to my heart but it did have the potential to be misconstrued, which it eventually was. And that's what made me decide to start afresh, on a clean state.
I am also thinking of giving the page a new look and stuff as soon as I find a nice template.
And again, without sounding pompous, I want to thank all my followers and readers and friends who have inspired me so much that I simply can't bear the idea of ever ditching this space. :)
But I think I have finally realized that there IS such a thing as too much popularity. :P