MORINGA GLORY

Ta-da, here it is!

Don’t know if I have said this on the blog before, but I love The Body Shop – it is one of the few bath and beauty brands I buy from, constantly. Perhaps not as often as I used to; stuff’s expensive, and it’s harder still, when your sources of income aren’t guaranteed or stable – no more. – Every once in a while, when I do visit the store – it is because I want to restock on a product or two, etc. Anyway, I chanced upon this particular fragrance, last year at the outlet which is at the domestic airport and haven’t looked back, since.

Light, lovely and summery as this fragrance is – I knew nothing about it when I picked it up. – At the time I bought it, I was on my way to a friend’s wedding in Goa, and hadn’t carried any perfume. (Chunky bottles are difficult to cart around and/or pack, and I prefer not to because what if the bottle breaks?) So I stopped by The Body Shop to get an inexpensive bottle of ‘body mist’ or perfume. As it were, I decided against getting the Shea fragrance (I had tried it before, it isn’t the greatest) – Vanilla would’ve been too sweet (though I usually like the smell of vanilla) and then, my eyes fell on the little Moringa bottle and I was, like, “Hey, let’s get this.”

The funny thing is I didn’t quite bother taking a great, big sniff or even spritz it on and let the fragrance envelope me – well, enough to linger, etc. as I usually would’ve done. Yeah, okay, it’s just a small bottle of EDT but still! That was a first for me. (It wasn’t totally cheap, anyway.) And well, as soon as my holiday began and I sprayed it almost everyday, I was slowly realising that I bought something good. It turned out to be really mellow. All the things I said before, and then some (faintly floral, also; I was worried Moringa would smell like jasmine but as it turns out, I know zilch about flowers!). Mildly-fresh and pleasant, it is unlike any other fragrance I have ever had or liked (so I think). The bottle is travel-friendly; if you’re the type that flutters from fragrance to fragrance, the quantity is just about right, too.

What I don’t dig is the price for the quantity being sold (Rs. 895 for 30 ml is not cheap); I think it is Rs. 925, now? (On a sultry day, you might have to give yourself a spritz every couple of hours.) From then to now, I have only used two bottles of the stuff (toldja, been watching my finances). If my income was stable, I’d be buying this pretty often, it’s handy to have on you.

{ Rating – 7.8 / 10 }

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Artwork and picture by Roanna Fernandes

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CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT

Glass houses ought to be carefully constructed (they must be); never having built one, myself – I wouldn’t know what it takes to make one. The ones I see in my mind’s eye – there’s light filtering in, making everything luminescent within (I very much like the glinting of gold metal ridges). But that’s a romantic way of looking at it. And as you and I know, there is a lot under the surface or even that that we see that we don’t, truly.

In a sense that is metaphoric maybe, I did try to build a glass house out of this space. I wanted everything to be and look perfect. After all this time away, I wasn’t sure I wanted to return. I still am uncertain. Is this over? The truth is: it might be. I mean, it is difficult to be articulate about this – I do want to start something new, however, over the past night and this morning… I felt something else, too. Volver.

There were feelings of angst and unrest amongst the colloidal particles settling around me. What use were the objects I was carefully tucking away? The book of stories I kept to myself? Was this glass house a home, and if so, what did it protect me from? I felt an untoward gaze upon me, anyway; I possessed no cloak of invisibility. Cobwebs formed, specks of dust everywhere – nothing I did felt good or worthy. I was too busy taking care of glitches, didn’t I say? Everything had to be perfect.

No more.

P.S. There are other one-sided conversations I would like to have; I should tell you now to expect a flurry of posts – as the weeks unfold.

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

OUT OF THE WOODS

Okay, I have been gone a long time. I am not sure how it happened so, then again – I think I know. Can I just say that I am really excited to be back? I have sincerely missed you too. Sorely! (I am breaking into a huge grin as I type.) How are you? How have you been? Everything good? Not bad, not good? Figuring things out?

I would hope you are well. (I am, too.)

Where do I begin?

There is not much to tell, of course, but it has been long and I feel like talking. Okay, so here is one something: I have purchased a monthly subscription to Adobe Illustrator so I can use it alongside Adobe Photoshop and it is one of the better things that I have done, this year! I have much to learn (re-learn?) but yes, finalmente. (I have developed a mild obsessive/compulsive way of thinking over the years – I could have just said Photoshop without the Adobe when I used it in the previous sentence – you would have got it, but I just could not bear to not. I would have not used the word at all, then.)

Because of which, I have drawing on there some more than otherwise, and I randomly thought of making a project/series etc. of it on my Tumblr blog. The series is called Women of My World and I am protective/proud of it. Of course, some of the women may have some ‘drawing defects’ (sorry, my beautiful women) but I do not know! These women are special to me, they were my friends when I was bored at home – feeling dejected/depressed/lonely (about two months ago). I also have been meaning to acquire more work (of the illustrative variety, etc.); usually, a few folks reach out to me every year but it would be nice if I could manage to hear of interesting projects outside of this ‘tiny pool of reach’, and pitch for more projects (not too many) etc.

Oh yes, and the title of this post. Yes, somewhat apt, I could say! I have not been hiding but I have been scuttling about in the woods… I have been looking for something, walking on an unbeaten path (Don’t you hate the way I talk or write sometimes?), and falling down deep tunnels (not as intriguing as Alice’s adventures) and feeling beaten and broken etc. – however, every now and then, I seek refuge in a cosy hollow; ferns, leaves and saplings have been growing all over the place or I bump into worker bees who want to teach me that working hard is one of the world’s oldest methods to make the brain feel good. So I am happy, in a general sense. It is the little stratosphere around me – that bit is okay. It is good. There are pollutants that infiltrate etc.; some, I have no protection against. I am not trying to control every little thing, I am making decisions on my own, and I am trying. Really hard. (I want it to hurt!)

I am hoping to make something better of myself.

I am scared, though. (Though I think immersing oneself into a body of something is good; the word itself is light, it is not coercive or forceful or persuasive – it is healing. It is letting you breathe/do/make – complete with a very faint prickle of urgency. All in good measure, to get your ‘floating situation’ in order.)

There is more to come.

P.S. This post may have been all over the place; I do not apologise for it being so. I am happy to be writing here, again! Over the last few months and weeks, I was in a mind to delete a great big chunk of my posts from long ago. They were bothering me. There was a disconnect. I did not know what to write about. Shallow and superficial were two of the words hovering in my mind’s eye, all the fucking time. I do not directly help anyone through this platform, I know this… I am not sure if that is/was the primary purpose of this blog. But I have feelings I would like to express, and some thoughts too. Lots of in-between tales, I would hope you understand that this space has its shortcomings – I can accept that. It is dear to me; I love my other children too. I hope you do not just see this as a puerile place, it would feel horrid. I want my work to have meaning (whatever I do in life, no – not just jobs, necessarily.)

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

THE FOUNTAIN OF FAIR FORTUNE

258-the-fountain-of-fair-fortune

It has taken longer than expected (or so I thought) for me to resurface. I went on a two-week holiday with my folks (early June) and yet when I came back, I could not muster the will to work on any posts. I enjoy publishing these stories and knowing that someone out there is reading them or even not, basically I like the feeling of having done something. Something I really want to. Why did I need four months away? Was I developing ah-mazing content, was I revamping this webzine of sorts, was I going to be back with a BANG? Was I sad, and needed time to collect my thoughts? No, no, no and no. I just wanted to take a break; it felt good, four months was goooood and long.

And here I am! We went to Europe, visited four cities/countries there, and I could not be happier that it happened. It was not so much the food or the men, but the sights/sites that had me intoxicated. I definitely want to cover my travels in a series of smaller posts, soon – and I hope you will like reading these tales. But yeah, extremely grateful that everything worked out, and we got to visit some truly wonderful places. :-) Since coming back, I have been working on writing assignments, one illustration project (the business has come from a dear set of friends so I am happy), and another (that I hope to acquire) etc.

Erm, I am also learning a new language online (it has been two months, and I am happy with my progress so far); and I have been watching a lot of movies and shows. I need to stop! But first, let me say this – I discovered the best series yet this August, Stranger Things, it was so fucking good that I re-watched the entire series immediately after completing watching it, the first time. Uh-huh, that level of psychitude, homez!

What is with the title of this post, and the illustration?

Well, I think sometimes we all need space and time to figure ourselves out. And journeys! Not just to places, but within our minds as well. We need to breathe, be free, let go and just be. Experience things or not, develop our wits, learn lessons and move forward. We might feel like we have deeply unsettling problems and that we need cures, and yeah, maybe we do but sometimes we also do not – we are good yet missing the point. Much like the folks in this story; should you dig J.K. Rowling, you will know.

So whether you are hoping to chance upon magical keys or mirrors, ingest a few drops of a magical elixir or potion, interpret the patterns the tea leaves form in your cups, wear some quartz to tap into its energy etc. – also know that you have it in you. Failures and mistakes are okay, I am learning this better with every passing year; plus it does not seem all that nasty when I think of who I am becoming or growing into. I like this person. I have liked me for a long time now, more than I thought I could admit. I have flaws, and want to make the best of all this lesson-learning. I do not want to wither away, I would not like my work to be forgotten or deemed worthless.

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes