Good news, I wrote a book……..

Yes, I have recently put my book ‘A-Z of being an NRI’ on Amazon.

Those who have followed my blog, might remember that more than a year ago, I wrote on this topic as part of the A-Z blogging and some of you suggested I should compile a book. So, here goes, I’ve done it for what it’s worth.

All profits will go to charity. I am still looking out for a charity that is desperate for help.

Here is the link to the book, available on Kindle and in paperback form.

I would love to get feedback and /or a review. Most of all I just want all you NRIs out there to enjoy it as I did when writing it.

 

FORBIDDEN FOODS

Have you ever ogled at and salivated over something from a distance, but never had the guts to go the whole hog and sample it?
Has something teased and tantalised but failed to tempt you into trying a little bite?
Have you walked past something and often wondered ‘ “Hmmmm, wonder what that tastes like?”
Here is my list of forbidden foods. Some remain untried, untested, untasted and some are tried, but never to be tried again.
1] There is a certain type of egg bhurjee vendor who set up a tiny stall atop a wicker stand, in a bylane near VT, at twilight. The eggs sat at the corner of the round flat frying pan, they are cracked open onto a bed of masala of onions, tomatoes and what not and then ‘THAK, THAK THAK’, the metal spatula aggressively, but expertly scrambled the eggs into a bhurjee. A sight to behold, but not sure if the gut would hold up!
2] Neera: This summer drink is derived from ‘Tadgola’ which is toddy palm and then fermented. How many times, I have looked at a Neera Vikri kendra on the Bombay Pune road and wondered what it tastes like….is it like coconut water? Does it have a kick like alcohol? Why have I never seen a picture of it or seen a glass of it?
3} ‘Gola’: yup, never had one of those. School friends would eat these beauties which are simply compacted shredded ice balls with coloured sugary syrup poured and squirted on to it. Purple, dark green, canary yellow, bright red, even black[ kala khatta……….I’m still drooling on this one]…….the girls would slurp on these cold treats in summer and I would just ogle, but think of what bugs were in that icy water. Sigh! I haven’t LIVED!
4] Our maid used to eat a certain dessert on certain days. It was sabudana[ sago] kheer with jaggery in dilute milk, I think.
Every time she had it and I passed by, I wondered what it tasted like. I think I’m going to make this one day.
5] In First standard, there was a child in the playground who used to get rice with some kind of curry on it. I drooled over it and wanted it so badly. At the age of 5 I had no idea of the culinary delights of this world, so I asked my mother to give me rice and tomato ketchup in my lunch box…In fact I insisted on it…..obviously not the same thing and not a combination I will ever have again. The mystery baffles me to this day.
6] At that same age, our neighbours had lots of guests and they were eating some kind of gooey, cubical, sticky sweet-looking, jelly like food. They ran around playing and biting enticingly into the green and orange. For years it haunted me, this sticky toffee in different colours. I was sure it was sweet and finally I described it to my Dad who instantly knew what it was. Badam halwa? Don’t know I said but when we went to Chitale Bandhu and saw those delicately wrapped, cubes of translucent coloured thick jelly like sweets, I knew I had found it. Yes it was Badam halwa and it was as yummy as it looked.
7]Okay now the piece de resistance…… I was about 10 and my baby cousin from America was visiting. She ate this delicious looking carrot puree from a bottle. It was Gerber baby food.Forbidden food for a 10 year old. But I had to find out what it tasted like, so I helped myself to a spoonful……OMG! never again , will I do that again…..sugarless, saltless and tasteless! Serves me right for stealing a baby’s food!!!

Foreign foods on an Indian tongue

QUIZ:
A thin lentil pancake eaten with a spicy, tangy soup. Answer: DOSA
WITH SAMBAR!
Indian tempura, with delectable onion/ potato fried in garbanzo bean flour, served with a green cilantro dip : Answer: BHAJIAS / PAKORAS WITH CHUTNEY!!!
A triangular filo pastry with a delectable potato filling tempered with cumin. Answer: SAMOSA!!!!!
Vegetarian Paella flavoured with exotic cinnamon and saffron.
Answer: Vegetable Pulao!!!!!!!!
Golden dumplings soaked in syrup laced with a hint of cardamom. Answer: GULAB JAMUNS , of course!!!!!!
Steamed, square Garbanzo bean flour sponge cakes, tempered with mustard seeds and a garnish of cilantro. Answer: DHOKLA!!
Rice pudding flavoured with the scent of rose water. Answer: KHEER!!!
A crispy spring roll with gram flour noodles and delicate spices. Answer: BAKARWADIS!!!!![ I haven’t made this up]
Now, enough is enough….
We have gone too far Anglicising/ Internationalising [ if that is a word] to repackage and market our Indian foods to appease to the world.
But now it’s time to Indianize a few international dishes to suit our sensibilities. So here goes
A wada pav with mostly non-veg tikki. BURGER.
A thick spongy bhakri with tomato chutney and grated paneer, baked in a tandoor-like oven. PIZZA
A flattened meduwada without the cumin and coconut, eaten without sambar. BAGEL
A sweetened meduwada, very similar to a Balushahi except less sweet. DOUGHNUT
Semiya/ Shevaiya with a non-spicy thick tomato kadhi with non-veg koftas. SPAGHETTI WITH MEATBALLS
Seaweed wadi with bhaat/chawal filling. SUSHI
A rectangular samosa with a bland filling of fermented paneer, onion or non-veg. PASTY
Chana dal pakora in thick chapati with white chole chutney. FALAFEL AND HUMOUS IN PITTA BREAD
A soft sticky khichadi made with special arborio bhaat,that can be veg or non-veg. RISOTTO.
A long wada pav with non-veg tikki, eaten with red and yellow chutney. HOT DOG
CAESAR SALAD: a rough koshimbir/kachumbar without dahi, containing non-veg and fried pieces of pav.
Maida or makkai Chapati with veg/non-veg sabzi , soft rajma and chawal. Avocado chutney and sour malai served alongside.
BURRITOS!!!!!!
That’s it! What’s in a name? A gula jamun by any other name will taste just as sweet……….
The proof of the kheer is in the eating.
Bon Appétit or shall we say khao piyo, aish karo!!

E-Free Day :No electronics for 24 hours

Written for Indispire

 

 

Imagine getting up in the morning and no one greets you with a virtual Medu wada or a GM, complete with a bouquet of e-flowers!

Imagine getting  up when your eyes naturally open, without a digital alarm waking you with a cheesy film tune that screams-“Get up, Subah ho gayi- Its morning!’

That’s right , no electronics to nudge you or greet you before you’ve had a chance to let go of your early morning dream.

This can only happen on a day when someone confiscates your phone and all the electronic gadgets that you surround yourself with all day and night long, clinging to them for dear life as if they are your lifelines.

So anyway….it’s morning. No WhatsApp, No Facebook. You have no idea what your friends across the world are up to or whose birthday it is. In fact, your brain has lost the power to remember birthdays or dates. After all what is FB for ? And what good is a phone if it cannot tell you what date it is.

So E-Free day promises to shock the body and brain in more ways than one.

But just imagine, , what a typical day will be like without these gadgets glaring into our sleepy eyes and buzzing into our stressed, over-informed brains

7 am: Oops, over slept, but hey what is that sound? A rooster crowing? The ringing of the milkman’s cycle……..

8 am. I actually look at my breakfast as I eat it. There are no ‘jokes’ to amuse me. I don’t have to LOL at people’s forwards or send them e-‘namaskars’ randomly and so generously when I don’t mean it. I just enjoy my simple breakfast, chewing on every bite without choking.

8:30am: I look out of the window on the way to work, listening to the sound of rain and watching it quench the parched earth.

10 am . At work. I seem to have tons of free time. Why am I not feeling tired as usual? Something is missing. I hate to admit it but I feel lighter not just because I’m not carrying my wretched ‘over-smart’friend but because I’m not feeding myself useless, utterly useless information.

1pm: Lunchtime. I’m actually looking at other people, as in, looking at real people across me and looking at their food. I feel like talking, as in, actually opening my mouth and attempting a conversation, speaking. Yes, I can speak. I almost forgot I could! Hmmm feels kind of nice to speak.

5pm. time to go home. No games to play on the commute home. I am missing my Candy Crushes!By the time my station comes, I feel energised, because I managed to doze off for a few minutes. Hmmm maybe I will bring out the old badminton racquets and play with my cousin, this evening.

8 pm: I am at a fancy restaurant with my family, all without their ‘smart’ pieces of luggage. The food arrives. Alas! No food photos, no selfies. What is life without recording what we eat and drink!! So we admire each other in person, compliment each other and actually appreciate the aroma of the food, the presentation and eat our dinner slowly, cracking jokes and pulling each other’s leg.No ROTFLs needed, we just laugh wholeheartedly only when we feel like.

11pm: No one is wishing me Gn or Tc. Do people even care about me? But  today I actually managed to cuddle my child and say a proper Good-night.I look at the crescent moon outside.It’s been ages since I saw clouds drifting lazily across the night sky. The sky is lit with stars. Real stars. I can look at them for hours and hours.The breeze touches my cheek and I realise that I cannot ‘forward’ that feeling to my 1052 e-friends even if I had all the e-gadgets in the world.

At the end of the day, we realise that all the Es in our life have robbed us of the simple pleasures of life.

Our bodies and brains deserve better. Surely we can live one day of our important and busy lives without all the E- stuff that runs us.

Just ONE day- an E-Free day. Is it that hard? Who knows? Can we do it? Are we brave enough ?

E-Free can be any day of the year or several days of the year.

So unhook yourself from the thing that lives your life for you and Get a Life!

 

 

 

TRAIN STORIES-Part I. ‘Goosebumps’

The time was 7 pm ish
I was on a local train travelling towards VT. This was a long time ago when Mumbai was still Bombay and CST was Victoria Terminus.
Now, I am a veteran Bombay-Pune train traveller, having sat on many an upper luggage berth in 2 feet of cramped space, right next to the blades of a ceiling fan.
But there is something about local trains that is eerily different from the long distance ones.
Anyway, here I was on my own, in the ladies compartment which was steadily getting empty. As it emptied of women, some unsavoury looking male characters jumped in at various stations.I looked at them , pulling my handbag closer, contemplating getting off at a station and boarding the general compartment.
But I stayed put because there were a couple of other women in the compartment.
Masjid station was approaching and by then, the only women left in the compartment were another young woman and me. The ‘chokra’ boys were getting a little too animated for my nerves and I desperately hoped the other woman was travelling all the way to VT.
The rough looking boys in rags hummed film songs and I was inwardly freaking out praying that I reached VT in one piece.
The smell of masalas filled the air and to my despair the other lone woman got up and started to get off at Masjid. I looked at her in panic as she alighted, still wondering if I should get off and go to the ‘general’.
And then……. I saw her turning towards me, staring at me, smiling a smile that will haunt me my entire life. As the train pulled out of Masjid platform, through the bars of the wretched windows ……… the smile remained fixed, unwavering.
The next five minutes from Masjid to VT were the longest five minutes of my life. Who cared about those boys anymore.
That smile had unsettled me forever!

Cracked Cups: broken not shattered

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I’M PERFECT? or IMPERFECT?

Don’t we all just love the sickeningly sweet mugs that have super exaggerated  titles like : World’s greatest wife or Hot babe or Number one cook or Wonder woman or whatever?

Cups and mugs that are not for drinking mere beverages but meant as  trophies for the perfect woman.

The woman who can cook, clean, multitask, love, produce kids, work outside the house, look good all to perfection. Does such a woman exist? Maybe she does, maybe she doesn’t. Who knows? Perhaps, perfection lies in the eyes of the beholder…….enough to want to gift her a trophy that proclaims her number one status.

 

Well, I am certainly not one of those perfect woman as in all my years I have yet to be given a mug/cup/tumbler which declares me as a perfect being. Thank goodness for that.

Imagine waking up every morning to a message that implores me to live up to an ideal I can never be.The stress of trying to be this ‘best in the the world’ would be too much to handle.

So I have decided to invent some mugs/cups/ trophies for those among us, including myself who are in need of some cheer.Why do those teacup manufacturers wherever they are, in China or Muradabad, not make crockery for lesser mortals who fall short of the high standards, of being 100%, of being the ‘bestest’.

Why not have crockery that is defective but still proud of being so?

What is wrong in drinking from a cracked, chipped, stained, half-eared cup?

So here is raising a cup to all those less than perfect humans out there who need a trophy or two to honour themselves, the way they are…………………….

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STYLISHLY STAINED

 

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CHIPPED BUT CHIRPY

 

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LUKEWARM

 

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WORLD’S WORST COOK :)…….We can’t  all be the best can we?

 

 

Indian English that only we Indians understand

I’m starting a new series of Indian English terms that only we Indians use and understand.

We invented these terms/words and we use them confidently and brazenly as if they actually exist in the English language. Who knows? A few years down the line these might even creep into the English dictionaries. After all ‘shampoo’, ‘guru’, ‘avatar’, ‘bangle’, ‘jungle’ and so on are Indian words that made their way into the English language.

But lately I’ve noticed some terms being bandied about which are not Indian words but English words that Indians use and each term has a connotation that only we Indians understand.

So let us start with a cheerful term:

RETURN GIFT

 

What is a return gift?

Read on to find out.

When we were children, which was a very long time ago, we attended birthday parties and gave a present to the birthday boy or girl.

A couple of Amar Chitra Kathas or a pack of sketch pens with upto twelve colours but certainly not forty-four or one of those orange-yellow metallic pencil boxes with geometry set or if our budget was a little more generous, it was a single Enid Blyton book. But even that was really stretching it, because if I remember correctly it cost around Rs. 10 and we are talking about the 80s. The packaging was also with the same standard shiny paper and yes, it was recycled.

At the end of the party we were given a balloon, a pencil, eraser[ we called it rubber] and some hardboiled sweets like Ravalgaon ones[ or eclairs if the hosts were slightly well off]. That’s it. It was as simple as that. We called them ‘back presents’.

Sometimes we got nothing at the end of the party, aside from the balloon. But then our presents were simple too. The party was all about the party games and food.

A homemade cake with no icing or a shop-bought simple square cake with gaudy brightly coloured icing, hard icing flowers with silver balls which we all wanted to eat, but turned out to be too hard, samosas, wafers in a single flavour[ salted, oily, non-branded], home-made green chutney sandwiches and if we were lucky, there would be chole and bread or puris. If were were really lucky there were gulab jamun. Yes, most birthday parties, in our middle class homes had this standard menu.

Party games were standard ones- passing the parcel[ nope, no presents between layers of newspaper, only one winner and yes , everyone had to do ‘punishments’ like sing a song, bray like a donkey, slap the person on your right or something equally silly, if not outrageous for today’s touchy world, but perfectly sensible to us in those days and so on], musical chairs[ highly competitive, no political correctness, birthday boy or girl did not have to win and had to compete like everyone else, no second turns]. Parents conducted the games and the prize if any, was a pencil or sweet. That’s it. No clowns to entertain the guests, only Papa or Baba to hold forth and play clown, teacher, master of ceremonies and so on, while mother slaved in the kitchen.

 

Fast forward to the present.

First of all, the middle class is no longer middle class. Birthday parties are not what they used to be.

Venues are not necessarily at ones home. What are function halls for, anyway?

Menus are exotic, complete with ‘welcome drink’ and what have you.

Event managers thrive, themes are a must, clowns and Mickey mouse are already so yawnworthy…. Give us something new for goodness sake! No not Dora again and we had ‘Frozen’ last month. Yes, boredom sets in easily. We are difficult to please.

Presents are ostentatious looking, in grandiose packing, complete with a fancy carrier paper bag which costs a bombshell on its own.

Actually let us not even into what goes into a present.

I am more intrigued, actually , outraged by something that goes by the name of ‘return gift’.

What! What is a return gift? Is it a gift you return? Is it an unwanted present that is repackaged and forwarded?

Nope. For those who don’t know, a ‘return gift’ is the new age, exclusively Indian English term, for a gift that one receives at the end of a party. A term, much like the ‘welcome drink’ …….a sign of the times, of new money, actually lots of new money and all the means to flaunt it. Why not?

But why call it ‘return’ gift?

Well, who knows? Many happy ‘returns’ of the day?

It does seem like whoever coined it, wanted the ‘return gift’ to be like a return of favour.

You give me a present, you do me a favour. So what it is my birthday! I will magnanimously return the favour. So, I give you a present in return. So we are both even. Quits. Equal.

Is that what it means? Well, the word ‘return’ does seem to imply that doesn’t it.

Why blame Indians for coming up with the concept? We have the concept of party favours or goody bags in the West which do sometimes contain an obscene number of goodies that threaten to outdo the cost of the birthday present.

But somehow, the ‘return gift’ does so blatantly, without holding back. In your face.

Without a middleclass care, it is ready to outstrip, outshine and upstage the birthday present, if finances permit.

Now picture this.

Children love presents. Children being children, will, in spite of being well brought up and all that, despite their parents’ protests, refuse to leave a birthday party unless they have received their party bag, sorry ‘return gift’.

‘ Go ask Monty’s mother for the party bag because we are leaving soon’ might sound better than ‘ Go ask Monty’s mother for the return gift’, but they do mean the same thing.

But imagine if the ‘return gift’ is a couple of pencils and eraser. Is that a good enough ‘return gift’ in return for the 2 feet X 2 feet, one kg Monopoly set you gifted the Birthday boy or girl? No ? Are you thoroughly disappointed? Well, yes, if you were expecting a ‘return gift’ and it is your fault for calling it a return gift and expecting a return of favour.

Now if you called it a goody bag or party bag, you[ or your child] wouldn’t be so disappointed would they?

Think about it.

Anyway, the ‘return gift’ here to stay.

 

 

A DAY TO CELEBRATE THE WOMEN IN MY LIFE

 

It’s world women’s day today and it’s time to celebrate the women in my own world.

Not high-achievers, headline-grabbers and celebrities, but real women.

Women who are the unsung heroines that  have made me who I am.

My Mother: For bringing me to this world and being the most selfless, sacrificing person ever.

My sister: For being my true companion,my partner in crime, my best friend, my 2 am friend, my agony aunt.

My grandmothers: For being the genetic pool from which I derive strengths [ and weaknesses] that I had no idea about.

My female cousins: For being my source of worldly knowledge, from the birds and the bees… to food to  celeb fashion to just random yakkity-yak.

My female teachers: The ones who thought I could be something in life as well the ones who thought I was rubbish. Thank you for challenging me and bringing out my potential. The ones who bullied, tormented me and tried to pull me down- thank you as well, because you showed me  what the real world is like and it only made me more determined to prove you wrong.

My friends: For making me laugh and laughing with me. For celebrating life with me. For hearing me out even when I made no sense. For being there for me even when you are thousands of miles away- you know who you are 🙂

My female bosses: For believing in me and guiding me, holding my hand and pushing me when needed. Also, thanks to the one who didn’t believe in me- it only made me work harder until you were compelled to eat your words.

My mother-in-law: For showing me that a ‘Saas’ can be a friend too.

My daughter: For unconditionally loving an imperfect parent such as me.

 

Why celebrate these women only once a year when they light up your life every single day?

 

 

 

 

12 gorgeous fashions from my 80s past

I was looking at some old photographs of my youth. Friends and me posing for photographs at various strategic ‘cool’ locations of the time. Of course we looked different 25 years ago, minus wrinkles and grey hair, but other than that , we looked different because we were dressed in what we thought of as fashionable. It makes me cringe to see some of those fashions, but some of those styles make me nostalgic for an era which was the most hip and happening time in our lives- the 80s/ early 90s.

Here are some of the styles we wore with aplomb, some of the ‘looks’ which were ‘in’ at the time and some of the hot favourites.

  • French plaits:Yes, women of a certain age will remember the time we all went crazy for French plaits. We learnt to tie other girls’ hair into these lovely, woven braids and then we practised on ourselves in front of the mirror until we got it just right. You started at the top of your head and progressed along  the back of the head, until you reached the nape and then just tied it off, leaving a long ponytail loose. You could do it even with neck length hair and we were such experts, we could do them in the dark!
  • Aashiqi ribbon: This was a classic of the times. The film Aashiqi was a super hit.Mind you this was Aashiqi part I with Rahul Roy with his long hair, which was a novelty for the time and of course Anu Agarwal of pouting lips fame. Long before Bollywood heroines started injecting their lips with fillers, Anu had practised pouting and taken it to a new level. She had a permanent pout , wore her hair in a French plait often and in the film, wore a frilly, chiffon/georgette, hair tie. It was a cross between a ribbon and something that looked like bird feathers, but made of brightly coloured cloth. Now we adored this fashion and sure enough, it was the thing to be spotted wearing an ‘Aashiqi’ ribbon. Those who have never heard of this were either not born in that era or were simply not fashionable enough! Note: Many a time it matched exactly with the dress, made out of the same cloth.
  • Power-dressing with padded shoulders[ not quite]!: our fashions followed Bollywood, which in turn followed Hollywood. Power dressing was in- women in the west were wearing padded shoulders. Now we in India did not wear power suits. But we wore salwar kameezes or churidars. So the next thing we knew, our heroines were wearing these clothes with shoulders extended at least 3 inches beyond the actual shoulders.The tailor very cleverly made huge puffs at the beginning of the sleeves to mimic shoulder pads. There were no pads , only bellowing fabric ruched together and poking outward from the shoulders on either side. Think Madhuri and Juhi in their hit films and you will see what I mean. Of course we imitated the heroines and our tailors were very much in tune with all things Bollywood. There we were with broad shoulders on our kameez or our midis[ another fashion of that era] and sleeves that tapered to the wrist.
  • Bermudas: only the hip crowd wore these longish,knee length, very loose, shorts with a thick white cord [nada] and elastic at the waist. We bought them off the roadside vendors and they were usually unisex, but made mostly for men. One vendor had labelled them ‘Burma Das’….his version of this fashion statement garment!
  • Pedal -pushers: another fashion that was never seen again. Pants that extended to the calves and which had a draw string were very popular in my late school years. It was the ultimate thing to own a pair.
  • Baggy pants:This fashion was a reinvention of the 60s. Really loose at the bum, with pleats at the front,then tapering to the ankles, this fashion was the rage when we were in college.
  • Diana cut: It was the 80s, Lady Di was the craze….we had watched her wedding on Tv and of course we all wanted to look like her….even if we didn’t look like her one bit. So all we did was ask the beauty parlour lady for a Diana cut and she knew exactly what to do. Imagine us Indian girls,trying hard to look like clones of Lady Di.
  • Don’t know what this hairstyle is called : Funnily , in the 80s, we all looked the same- boys and girls and a haircut that was short at the top of the head with the hair puffing up, the sides had little hair, but just behind the ears the hair suddenly got long and extended in tufts to the nape of neck or even longer to the shoulders. Think Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Hollywood popstars- we all looked like clones of each other.
  • Banana clips: This fruit shaped hair clip was meant for bunching together all the hair into one long sweeping mane of hair that made even the shortest, thinnest head of hair convert into a luxurious ponytail. The trend was to keep taking it apart in public and redo the ponytail, all the while flaunting the silkiness of the hair and trying to make an even longer ponytail with every new attempt. ‘Higher, longer, fluffier’ was the mantra for a great banana clip ponytail
  • Perms: Only the really adventurous ones got this done. One day you had straight hair and the next you had a hair of curls. We wondered what some of these girls had had done. Not for the faint-hearted this one.
  • Balleys/ballees/ bellys: these were pumps, that were something new in India. Up until then we only wore chappals or sandals or proper laced up sports shoes. Or school shoes. But ‘Ballees ‘were a new fashion. Nobody knows why they were called that…..think it was Bally shoes, Bally being an international brand name in such shoes[ i just found that out]. In India we happily called them Ballees and you could bargain for them at roadside shops. I remember buying  Ballees bargained to Rs 10, which were all cardboard and cloth and magically lasted at least a year!
  • Long sleeved blouses: Somewhere in the early 90s, for some inexplicable reason, long sleeved saree blouses came on the scene. We had either a red or black one sewn and one had to wear it with saree draped in Gujarati fashion. We liberally borrowed and lended our blouses among friends for a bit of variety.
  • Multiple ear piercings:This was the epitome of all our fashion efforts. As if one wasn’t enough, we got an extra couple of holes in our ear lobes and studded them with all sorts of earrings- oxidised silver ones being the most popular!
  • Dhoti pant: Been there done that- worn a dhoti in public and not felt embarrassed. It was the thing to wear a dhoti pant as the bottom half of salwar kameez. Teamed with a shortish top, we were ready to take on the world. After all Madhuri our fashion icon carried it off with such grace!
  • Stone washed /Acid washed jeans : Wearing jeans was for the really fashionable ones.‘Gin pant’ could be acid or stone washed if you preferred.We also wore knee length pinstriped denim skirts which were actually really nice. But after a certain age, these were banned …pity!
  • Pathani dress: Eeks to think that this could actually be a female apparel. Typically a man’s dress, this fashion came on the scene briefly and exited just as quickly. So even before we had a chance to get it stitched from the tailor, it was gone. Thank goodness. It was taking power dressing to new heights!
  • Churi sleeves: One day i pulled out a really old kameez[ Indian top] from the past. Horror of horrors the kameez was for someone 5 Ft 3 inches, but what happened to the sleeves? They were for an Amazonian woman  of at least 7 foot 2 inches! But even more horror of horrors, I remember wearing this kameez and rocking it at a wedding some 25 years ago! Now how could that be possible? Well, these sleeves were supposed to pulled up the arm, to the elbow, until you got lots of creases like multiple bangles [ churis] . Much like the churidar[ Bottom half of a salwar-kameez set] except a hundred times impractical  and weird.What were we thinking? No wonder it took ages to dress up and get the damn thing off! A definite fashion faux pas,unlikely to make a comeback.

This was a time when there were no malls, no sizing[ yes, one size fits all….lucky if you were 5 Ft 3 inches and 48 kg.] Most of us were size zero thanks to living in a hostel and being malnourished. But we loved wearing abnormally loose clothes. In fact we wore comfy tents that could accommodate another human. We used lipstick on our eyelids and  cheek bones. We  used eyeliner on eyelids and to draw eyeliner bindis.

We rocked those days. Those were certainly the wonder years!