Breaking the Habit

241 Breaking the Habit

There is no time like now! The mood particularly called for a post such as this. Do you ever feel like crap on days when everything does not seem to be going right? Or perhaps when you wake up late, find yourself with no purpose, get irritated with yourself and sometimes wish you could go back to sleep and start all over, tomorrow? I do feel like that on some days (even a few days in a row), and I know if I keep it up… It will build into some sort of mild depression (if it hasn’t already – okay, to be honest, it has but I am working on it).

There are a few websites (MoodGYM, etc.) that encourage you to do a bunch of exercises for your mind and gain some perspective, when you’re feeling absolutely pathetic. Other times, I try to just get over it which is easier said than done. Mostly, what I hate are those days when you want to cry, cry and continue to keep on crying – the kind that never really stops (those tears that are shed for no particular rhyme or reason), and that as a process is not really cleansing but that alters all the sadness you’re feeling into anger, or something equally bitter. And so, I’m breeeeeaking the habit, tonight (you are crooning with me, yes)

Clean out your closet, head, etc. Whatever bro! Cleaning really helps me at those times when I feel like a useless person. It occupies you, which is something you definitely need… It opens your mind, and just gives you something better to do rather than hate on yourself. 

Communicate what you’re feeling, erm, talk to someone maybe? I know it’s easy for me to say but trust me, it actually really isn’t. Because I prefer keeping things to myself and self-healing or whatever. It works, on occasion but I think talking to either a close friend or sibling, perhaps even a counsellor or professional helps tonnes, too. (Ooh, maintaining a journal is gold! I haven’t actually been writing very often in mine; I know I should.)

Drink uh, nothing intoxicating perhaps, at a time like this! Tea is the potion. (I know you were thinking I would have said coffee!) I prefer tea in times of distress, I love the aroma especially if it’s of the clear, herbal variety – ooh, like rose tea. Or camomile! Lavender is one to be tried.

Exercise (I know, d-uh!) But I have only come to recently appreciate the goodness that comes out of an intense work-out sesh. Good energy is what you need to snap out of it! And it’s a lot easier to tap on some good vibes through an old-fashioned run in the park, some yoga for your head, and some movement for your muscles.

Experiment with something completely new (not acid, you doof)! Be brave, just go with it. I used to think I wasn’t exactly a camping or forest sort of person until I went to one, this summer. And it was a really mild experience but nonetheless, so good for me. Much as I thought to myself that it wasn’t me, and I would be bored, that my legs wouldn’t be able to take it (making excuses, etc.) but once I was there – it wasn’t bad at all. I got to spend an entire afternoon semi-floating in the cool waters of a secret, inlet pool there, sit on pebbles that grew hot through the afternoon (steam even rose from them), lie with my head resting on warm pebbles as foamy, gushing water massaged my temples… Well, it was something! So don’t be like me or dismiss things before you know how they can be, you might hate or love it but it is better to have known, and/or tried. Promise? (Okay, just listen to Brave by Sara Bareilles if you think I’m talking out of my arse or something.)

Learn something you never have before, or that you always wanted to. I looked for some of those online courses that you can do for free and didn’t find subjects I liked, but then I was inspired by my friend Abhishek (Khan) who is teaching himself the art of drawing lettering types so I think I’m going to do some of that, myself. (Personal projects are good for you!)

Listen to good music, old sounds (read: Linkin Park), whatever inspires you or gets you going, etc. Music is like love for me, it just speaks to me whenever I’m feeling things, good or bad. I relate to it, and I think it mostly helps alter my mood or makes me feel instantly good about myself.

Rest well, and good, my sweet friend! (I gotta cut down on my daily caffeine intake, dude.) 

Shower (ing) is my favourite-st, fail-proof method to physically break out of a funk; cold or hot, take your pick but make sure your gel or shampoo smells like the best fragrance you have ever smelled. (I like the Wild Argan Oil shower gel from The Body Shop or anything that smells good to me, when I feel depressed!)

Smell fragrances that make you feel empowered or invigorated, etc. I know this sounds shallow or weird, but it does help ease the mind, etc. I think that’s why I’m overly fond of wearing perfume, lighting agarbattis and scented candles, and what-not.

P.S. Do you ever/really feel like this? Basically, I think every step is simple, is heard of and usually works. A combination of some steps work, too! I just thought of writing this post on a very random note, because as you now know; I feel like this on-and-off and it really bothers me. I just want to do more, feel more, and live more. We should not have to worry so much about making money or dying young, or not having done things; we should work at being happy, do things instead (worry less) and just be ourselves. 

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

The Cocoa Butter Solution

240 The Cocoa Butter SolutionOkay, so it has been a while! To be fair, there was this, and oh, this. But were you keeping track? Maybe not. (THIS IS A PRODUCT REVIEW!) ♥ Getting into the heart of matter, I knew of Palmer’s but never felt a need to buy anything from them before. (Besides I haven’t seen their products, here.) So when I received a full-sized product of their Skin Therapy Oil (60 ml) in the beauty box sent over from ELLE (India) a few months ago, I was exciiiiited! This body oil is from Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula (with Vitamin E) range, and it is one of those “Holy Grail” products known to take care of scars, stretch marks, dry or damaged skin, an uneven skin tone and aging skin.

Started using the body oil a few weeks ago (not regularly) but I love how it smells and feels on my skin, especially on the elbows and knees. There are times when I add a few drops of it to my bath water, too! It’s a product I want to save for the colder months because it would work even better, then. The shorter review? Yes, it is non-greasy, in fact, a coin-sized amount can cover both of your hands, including the elbows; and it smells delicious (cocoa butter, after all) in a non-overpowering way. It’s kind of like a dry, moisturizing body oil!

This body oil is good to slather on your legs when wearing skirts with/without stockings outside during winter; better protection, when you are exposed to the harsh cold. I would prefer applying it on exposed skin when I go out, because I do not know if it stains clothes! Ooh and, it isn’t sticky like some mousse-esque body butters can be; the price of a 60 ml bottle varies from website to website, Rs. 480 and/or Rs. 840, et cetera, et cetera.

{ Rating – 8 / 10 }

P.S. I was lucky enough to be sent this box of goodies because I was one of first 300 folks to register on the ELLE Beauty Week 2015 website! Registering entitles you to avail of discounts when it comes to booking appointments at select salons or receive the word on cool make-up classes to attend, etc. (during a certain period); and of course, if you register early then you also receive boxes like I did! Apart from the body oil, there was a felt-tip eyeliner and bottle of nail polish from Maybelline along with a Calvin Klein perfume sample, a dainty bottle of Moroccanoil potion, a tiny tube of a Za face cleanser, and a bar of Soulflower soap in the Sexy Strawberry fragrance.

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Artwork and pictures by Roanna Fernandes

Black Coffee

239 Black Coffee

Well, the origin of this post can be attributed to the Persepolis movie (I watched it, last month), and there was a scene (or two) where these patterned cups make an appearance. They’re simple to draw, but for me, it’s much too exciting because of late, I’ve developed a mild obsession for collecting dainty cups that one may drink their coffee in. (Other than my usual ramblings, I had a crazy but very COOL idea about what I should make the rest of this post about… A few poetic lines on my favourite coffee shops in Bombay, hooray! Ooh, alphabetically haan.)

Café Zoe

I don’t go there often because it’s far from the homeland, and is expensive. But the few times I have been there, I enjoy catching up with folks over coffee (and sometimes, Zoe’s seared chicken legs if I’m really, terribly, achingly hungry. Goooood!)… A great place for people who like their space, even while being on separate tables – the place is like a house. A cool house!

Candies

This place will never lose its charm, in my opinion because when I lived in Bandra, Candies used to be our (ex-roommates) favourite and only haunt. The Americano there, too is made just the way I like my black coffee!

Chai Coffi

Discovered this place ages ago, all thanks to Minila (Louisa)… We went there sometime ago, and had a ball chatting and stuffing our faces… I think we should go back, soon!

Costa Coffee

Their double chocolate chip muffins are LOVE! Apart from that, I went there a lot when I used to work at Matunga (and later, Bandra)…

Gloria Jean’s Coffees

Ah! I miss the one that used to be at a corner between Manuel Gonsalves Road and Waterfield Road in Bandra… We (ex-roommates) used to go there all the time. Our Central Perk minus Gunther! Also, the coffees were top-notch. (Used to go there between 2008 and 2012.)

Indigo Delicatessen

Though I have gone there before a couple of times just for the food (the one at the Palladium mall), I think it was sometime around last year when I re-discovered it as a coffee shop with Zainab (Badani). There’s a favourite table I usually always sit at, when I go there; and the salmon bagel with cream cheese paired with an Americano (or a single order of their Vietnamese iced coffee) is perfect! Not a bad place to sit by yourself, and a good place for a date.

Le15 – pâtisserie

Erm, so I haven’t actually been here! (The one that opened at Lokhandwala.) But it’s Pooja Dhingra! Who gets the concept of macarons, coffee shops, and Parisian places… I have heard that this outlet serves hot beverages including coffee from Blue Tokai (apart from desserts) and well, is also slightly bigger than the Bandra shop (been here) so you can probably sit down and enjoy your order. CANNOT WAIT TO GO! (Going to get Nina to come with, since she lives so close by.)

Le Pain Quotidien

One of the places I reviewed for burrp! way back in 2011… This is the Le Pain Quotidien at Apollo Bunder (Colaba). Their interiors are very French, spacious, non-intrusive and is another place you can sit by yourself and read, or draw in your journal, whatever. And while it’s always filled with folks, nobody bothers you… I would ideally pick a corner table to people-watch, or go there on a late afternoon to meet a friend for coffee. Ooh, and I love those bowl-like cups they serve coffee in! (Gotta be careful while handling the cups though, but still so much fun.)

Moshe’s

Out of all these places, Moshe’s is the one I visit the most. This is irrespective of the area it’s located in, because I love all of the outlets… Minila introduced me to Moshe’s and I can never get enough of their food, desserts or well, coffee. The whole place, really… I can spend hours there going through magazines, drawing in my journal, etc. Their oven-baked pasta and salmon bagels get my top vote. Ooh, and the (baked?) Philadelphia cheesecake is a favourite, too!

Pali Village Cafe

To be honest, I have been here all of just two times. But it’s a lovely place really, to catch up with a close friend or when you’re out with your lover, hahaha!

Starbucks Coffee

Okay, so if it’s not Moshe’s, then Starbucks is where I am at! Call me a hipster or whatever, but I always liked the coffee chain back from my time in the Arabian desert. Apart from that, something about its global branding and presence just always impressed (er, intrigued) me. Ooh, and the siren! (It’s one of my favourite logos.)

The Pantry

Bright, cheery and very cottage-like is what I think of, when I step inside this little restaurant at Kala Ghoda. The food’s about okay-good (their portions are heavy, so you might want to split it with your partner); I really like their espresso which they serve in dainty, dusky blue cups. I told you so!

The Table

THIS PLACE IS EXPENSIVE. (I do think it’s nice to go there on an occasion though, or when you feel treating yourself… Delicious meals, minimalist interiors and good coffee!)

The Yoga House

This is one place I go to faithfully whenever I am in the area (Bandra); it’s a serene place to read a book, meditate while looking at the sunlight streaming in through muslin curtains, et cetera and basically drink your coffee in peace. (Their raw chocolate mousse is goooood!)

P.S. There might be a few shops that I am missing, or yet to discover but for now, these will have to do. Also, this post was very impromptu… I would like to, at some point, shoot posts at some of these places – Coffee places, ooh! ♥

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

Super Mario

238 Super Mario

It took me a while to be in complete awe of his work, I don’t exactly know why, but I just knew of Mario Miranda before (like I had heard the name, knew very little about him) and enjoyed seeing some of his drawings and vignettes in select places in Bombay, etc. That was about it! I never really took care to go through his work, or such. Last month though, I went to Goa for a few days; I was staying with my ex-roommate Nandini (Velho), and well (unrelated), her house reminded me of a modern day tree-house, from the furniture to the rooms, etc. Everything just looked so interesting, and the home – so very inviting. Anyway, her dad, Luis (d-uh, a Velho too) is an architect (felt I should inject that, here), and a complete Mario Miranda loyalist.

The walls of their house are covered with some of Mario’s coolest works (there were some outlined drawings in black over fluorescent yellow paper)… And that is where I discovered more artworks apart from the few I used to see at Cafe Mondegar in Colaba. On my last day in Goa, Nandini took me to the Mario Miranda shop in Panjim, and I wanted to buy nearly all the greetings cards, postcards and some of the prints, there. However, I picked up a handful of ten assorted cards for Rs. 200, and can’t wait to stock up on some more, the next time I visit the store. (This card featuring the Le Crocodile bar in Paris is from Mario’s Impressions of Paris set.)

P.S. Oh, and yes, I definitely did learn a little bit more about him now, and otherwise, really want to get some of the poster-sized prints. Also, inspired! Very, very.

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Artwork and picture by Roanna Fernandes