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

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O Christmas Tea { GIVEAWAY }

211 O Christmas Tea { GIVEAWAY }

Giveaway#4 is LIVE! Remember I had said that I wanted to host one more giveaway before the year ended… Well, it didn’t honestly seem likely or possible. Abandoned hope of sorts, and then a cheerful connoisseur of trunks of tea in the form of Snigdha Manchanda came a-knockin’! Christmas miracle, y’all. Okay, chitter-chatter aside – I am very excited to be giving away this box of tea. Part of a Limited Edition range by Tea Trunk; Mulled Spiced Tea combines the classic flavours of Christmas (That would be cinnamon, star anise and clove, accented by hearty apple, orange and cherry notes… Teas really are a lot like fragrances!), and sports a package coat designed by none other than (one of my favourite illustrators of all time… ) ALICIA SOUZA! Wowza.

Reminiscent of a rich, indulgent plum cake, I could not think of a better giveaway for this time of the year. This tea is inspired by mulled wine, and is made with whole leaf black Assam tea. Snigdha suggests drinking it as is, or adding in a splash of dark rum (Don’t mind if I do!)… Would it not be lovely sipping it as you sit by an open window at home on Christmas day, and while some of your folks are sleeping, you are happily reading a copy of Little Women (Okay, I am too excited!)… And now, the steps.

What’s in the Box?

1. Christmas tea! The BOX of Mulled Spiced Tea is what you are going to win, oh sweet reader. I believe it would be perfect for all of you tea drinkers out there, more so if you love Christmas just as much as I do. 

2. Favourite feature? Snigdha was gracious enough to sponsor this box of tea for the giveaway; and, also, the illustrations created by Alicia are reason enough for me. (They are so adohreebal!)

Rules?

The rules are simple! (This giveaway is for Indian residents, only.)

1. Comment here on what excites you about/why you would like to win this delightful tin of tea.
2. Follow Tea Trunk on both Facebook & Instagram; this is not optional either. :-)

(Brownie points will be awarded to you if you are to ‘Like’ my page on Facebook, and/or follow me on Instagram.)

What happens after?

I’ll choose ONE winner in exactly four days, from now – save the date – December 14 is when this contest comes to a close! As soon as I announce the winner – which will either be on my Facebook or Instagram page (and through an e-mail, perhaps) – please write back to me with your postal address and phone number right away. (Will share the contact details with Snigdha who will directly post the tin of tea across to you, then.)

The “Fourth Year of Festivities” remains yours for the taking! Giveaway-gift-makin’.

{ Tea Trunk is a tea label founded by Snigdha Manchanda, a certified Tea Sommelier; she specialises in creating hand-blended teas. She can perhaps create a blend for you if you request for one, I would want a birthday tea complete with colourful sprinkles, if ever… Would that not be exciting? The packaging is so adorable, that the tins can be used as memento boxes for use, after consumption of the tea. I still have mine from last year! }

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes, illustrations by Alicia Souza and picture by Mitwa A. V

A Tale of Two Teas

125 A Tale of Two Teas

It all began one very rainy afternoon last week when I was horribly late (by fifteen or twenty minutes) to a tea-tasting session with Snigdha Manchanda (the founder of this little tea business called Tea Trunk). I was meeting my friend, Magali there as well, along with the two girls who sweetly invited me (LaToyah and Gayatri, I was first introduced to them once before at a Pipa + Bella meeting). Even though I was late and ushered in hurriedly, Snigdha who had already begun talking about some teas with Magali, shook my hand and smiled ever so nicely at me (I kept apologising for my tardiness), and we got down to business right away. She spoke to us about her collection of teas (six of them are being retailed currently through her e-store), how she sources and selects them and how she’s looking forward to gathering new tea flavours and varieties to add to her trunk.I was surprised to hear that Tea Trunk has been around since 2011 because I had only heard of it this year (there was a Kala Ghoda workshop mention, and she recently conducted a tasting session at Le 15 Pâtisserie as well).

We tasted just two of the teas – the Vanilla black tea and the Lemon green tea – while we were at the venue (it was Vinoteca at Worli, by the way), and both of us (Magali + me) decided that we liked the lemon-flavoured one the most (perhaps because it was more zesty). The vanilla tea was nice too, then, but I think it falls somewhere in between all those acquired tastes (and I think it tastes better when you pair it with complementary foods, or desserts).

Snigdha immediately struck me as a very warm person, and the whole session was a lot of fun (I wished it was longer since I know zilch about teas as such). Ooh, some more exciting things! :-) One of the main reasons why I was so eager to make it to this tasting session was because I LOVE the Tea Trunk illustrations on the packaging and recipe cards – and you know how I crazy I am about the little details. As you can see in the picture, the cute little elephant totally won my heart over! By the way, each of the tea bags come inside an envelope (crafted out of tracing paper, I suppose), and I’ve saved a few of mine to do something D.I.Y-like with them (oh yes, we were each given a tin of tea too containing a few of the different flavours and I’m waiting to try the Rose oolong tea because of the rose petals in the leaves). The weather certainly added to the whole experience of spending a rainy afternoon with good company while sipping on some fragrant teas!

P.S. I happened to ask Snigdha about personalised blends and flavours, and she does take up custom-orders whenever she can! I would personally like to try a birthday cake flavour (I’d seen it in a store once). And I definitely think she should consider retailing some of her tins of tea at Marry Me – The Store, they would go so very with the whole vintage vibe (and gifting theme) of the store.

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Pictures by Roanna Fernandes