Uncategorized: being childlike de-cluttering life Decluttering Your Life life changing project Lifein2suitcases Pratishtha Durga Sunita Shrotriya The Big Purge The Big Purge Challenge
by Pratishtha Durga
Isn’t music amazing? It can give so much meaning to every day life. We all find our very own special melody: that one number we call “our song”. Music speaks to us. It gives wings to our dreams, and words to our longings. Whenever I am down and out, music has rescued me. When I am up and flying, it has given meaning to my celebration. It helps me shut out the world’s noise and it helps me “listen”.
And most importantly, it helps me dance. I hum a tune in my head, and walk down the road, and my spirit is dancing. At home, I let go and dance freely, with just my shadow for company. Music and Dance, perfect companions! I hear music and see dance steps in my head. Dance is a canvas you can use to paint meaning into music. Using your body, you create art. And the fun bit is, using dance, you can create this special place, this spot in which only you exist. On a crowded dance floor, you can isolate yourself, create your own space, into which no one else is allowed.
I have this impossible milky way… with stars gleefully giving me company in my cosmic dance through time and dream of dancing across a galaxy, jumping from a meteor on to a comet, racing through the space. For now, I dance on the planet, re-scripting my perfect ending. Dance, music, friends, food, travel, and a life filled with promises and opportunities. Not doing badly, are we?
Uncategorized: being childlike de-cluttering life Decluttering Your Life Lifein2suitcases Pratishtha Durga Sunita Shrotriya The Big Purge The Big Purge Challenge
by Pratishtha Durga
So, well… some days you walk down the road… and strangers see you smiling to yourself. You are humming a tune in your head, and feel like breaking into a dance. Has that ever happened to you? Used to happen a lot to me when I was a teenager. I would spend hours dancing, and music was second skin. My days at college were spent dreaming about reaching home and dancing. It was the purest form of joy I could experience; the sheer thrill of letting your limbs go and move to the music. I would watch my shadow falling on the bedroom wall to see if my steps flowed smoothly. I did that a lot. I did that every single day of my life.
And then, just like that, I stopped doing it. I don’t remember exactly when that happened. I remember that I shifted to Delhi to study advertising and then other things started taking over. I lost the sheer joy of my life. Then, a stupid little accident made me give up on a dream forever. Pursuing dancing as a way of life was no longer an option. But I wasn’t unhappy. I had found other dreams. Don’t we all? And so it happened that ten years passed, and I was on the other side of 30s and looking into the mirror and wondering… “What?!!!”
For years, I haven’t walked down the streets and felt like breaking into a dance. The old Me wouldn’t have cared who watched and who laughed. But I do worry about that now. And then, today, just like that, I ran into the old Me… This began just like any other morning. And by the time the morning ended… I was walking down the road, and all I wanted to do was … Dance. I did not. But I hummed an old tune in my head. And I smiled. And strangers looked at me, and wondered what or who that smile was for. Of course, maybe no one even looked and no one wondered. But that’s not important. What’s of significance is that I ran into a trace of pure joy this day. And I want to find it again. You know, just like you lose your voice if you don’t practice for decades, you lose your body’s rhythm too. I have lost mine. And it will perhaps take years of practice to get it back.
So today, I spread my arms wide open and welcome that joy back into my life. My lost rhythm touched me today, and I am ready to look back and greet my old friend. I am ready to watch my shadow dance on the room wall. There was time when I believed that you can dance to almost every song. So I purge myself of this shackle that I put upon myself years ago. Today, I start dancing again.
Uncategorized: Celebrating Friendship Decluttering Your Life Lifein2suitcases Pratishtha Durga The Big Purge The Big Purge Challenge
by Pratishtha Durga
Today is my friend Roseanne’s birthday. I don’t really know what defines “best friend”, but whatever does, Roseanne comes close to it. We can talk for hours, and not speak for days. We respect each other’s space, and know when the other needs company. We can do girl talk, and we can do grown-up talk. We nurse each other’s heart-aches, protect egos on bad hair days, and watch badly reviewed chick flicks together. We disagree passionately on many things, and silently respect each other’s individuality. We don’t try to force opinions and she has never complained about my cooking. I love her for her kindness, her quirks, her unfailing wisdom. And she stands by me through heartbreaks, mood swings, and panic attacks.
And so it happens, that she turns a year better today. And in about 20 minutes, I will be at her doorstep, with a home made cake to kick-start her birthday celebrations. On my birthday, I had written a post on why it’s now become important for me to celebrate my loved ones’ birthdays. You can read my post Happy Birthday To Me!? for more.
So well, today is Roseanne’s day. A day to pray for her, to wish her all the beautiful things in life. To hope that if she ever hurts, I will be there to see that she heals. To want to see her scale new heights and to see her realize what she is capable of. Today is the day to dream of seeing her shine and smile and conquer her limitations. Today is the day when I hope that we will still be friends when we are old, when life is simpler, dreams different, and heartaches and heartbreaks are behind us. And when that happens, I hope that Roseanne and I would have many stories to tell, of long lunches and bad movies, and cookery books, and garage sales, and old clothes and new fashions. And most importantly, I hope we’d still know that it’s important to first be yourself to be able to become what others need you to be.
Uncategorized: 100 Thing Challenge Dave Bruno Decluttering Your Life Lifein2suitcases Pratishtha Durga Simplifying Life The Big Purge The Big Purge Challenge
by Pratishtha Durga
Oi everybody! Day four and going strong. Woke up with a big grin on my face. Feeling full of energy and relieved of physical and mental toxins. Planning in full swing for my best buddy Roseanne’s birthday on Friday the 15th. And YES! The Pizza and Pasta party is on this Sunday!
Today is a bit busy at work. I like when it’s a bit busy at work. It’s like this awesome workout for the mind. Yesterday, I walked back home from office. Since the weather was beautiful, it was hardly a task. I plan to do this as often as possible now. So well, I am still waiting for those recipes for an Italian dinner. Mercedes shared an awesome one, and am using that. Will post pictures of the preparations and the party. So far, there are about 12 friends on for the party. It will be on the terrace, and hope the rain Gods will be kind. Friends are bringing in their own stuff, and I am making the Main course and desserts. I have always loved cooking and hosting, and feel bad that the age old tradition of calling friends over for home cooked meals has been dying out with our generation. We now prefer to meet at a bar or a restaurant. Well, I still like to work it out in my own kitchen, and can’t get over the excitement of watching friends relish the food I have so lovingly made for them. From scratch!
On the home front, dad’s health is improving, and that is another reason for my mood upswing. His appetite is improving, and there is a definite improvement in physical strength. If it continues, we just might be able to go for that small family vacation he has been dreaming of.
I have been reading up on de-cluttering projects all across the world, and it’s heartening to know that this idea has strong roots. Blogger Dave Bruno’s 100 Thing Challenge is along the same lines. It’s a big help getting to know the others who have done this, and to follow their process. I am very keen on starting a forum where we all can share ideas and opinions on this project. My tasks for today: Watch a movie (Lars and the Real Girl), workout, and do some more research on the project. Have a great day, you all!
Uncategorized: Decluttering Your Life Emotional baggage Lifein2suitcases Pratishtha Durga Simplifying Life Sunita Shrotriya The Big Purge The Big Purge Challenge
by Pratishtha Durga
Isn’t it amazing how some people can be in your life and just keep taking from it? And some people whom you have never even met just make such a deep, lasting impression on your life! I have never met Mercedes De Marchena. She lives in Miami, I live in Mumbai. But I am always amazed by her wisdom and wit.
So today, inspired by her, I am listing “Emotional baggage” as enemy number one! No matter how much stuff I get rid of, it’s the bad memories that will always weigh me down. So today will be the day to remember all that is beautiful and warm in my life. Today, I will smile. And remember the good bits. Ma’s awesome but simple dinners. Practising karate with my brother Prashant. Holding my new-born niece for the first time. Playing hide and seek with friends. The first night of summer vacations. A night spent awake and with friends in Barcelona. A lazy lunch with Roseanne, talking love and longing over an expensive bottle of still water. Ritika’s first day at Kala Ghoda Festival. Coffee at Westside with Neha. Watching Elbert cook pasta. Meeting Ruth Schmidt for the first time. Making apple tea with Reema. Eating home cooked meals at a guest house in Ladakh. Watching Tarun read his poems at a slam. Watching Aneesha walk down the aisle. Or waking up to see Scrabble ready to go for a walk.
Now that I think about them, they all come rushing back to me. And they calm me. It’s been a life well lived, even though it’s a bit hard to remember on certain days.
Uncategorized: Cooking for friends dealing with separation Decluttering Your Life Eat Julia Roberts Lifein2suitcases Love Pratishtha Durga Pray The Big Purge The Big Purge Challenge
by Pratishtha Durga
So, this is Day Two and I watched two films – “The Wackness” and “YPF”- in last two days. This week, I resolve to finish reading “The Beauty Game”, a non-fiction book I have been trying to read for the past two years. The house is a huge mess because I am sorting stuff. There is barely space to step around. So today’s task is to tidy up.
After a dry week, it has been raining all morning. While it’s usually a welcome change, I am a sunshine girl, through and through. I hated the grown-up knowledge that sun can cause cancer, ageing, and what not. When I was growing up, I loved playing in the sun, and no amount of cajoling and threats could get me to come back home. And mind you, I went through my teenage without sun-burns, acne, and any other skin problems that could have ruined my Wonder Years. Sunshine has always been my friend. I love rains, I really do. But come and come, come and go, like a good guest, please. Don’t STAY! Like this monsoon that just refuses to show its rear.
Yesterday, Roseanne and I saw “Eat. Pray. Love.” Well, whatever. I slept through half of it, so it would not be fair to review the movie. But I guess I will now have to read the book to know what all the fuss is about. Roseanne and I are perfect buddies. The movie reaffirmed our belief. The part in Italy, where Julia Roberts eats and eats, left Roseanne with a Pasta and Pizza craving. And it left me with an overwhelming desire to cook pasta and pizza. So here is what I am going to do. Next week, after the fasting is over, I will call my friends over for an elaborate home made meal of pasta, salads, and pizzas! Will keep you updated on the menu and preparations. And you know what! I would LOVE it if you could post a recipe or two in the comments. My friends and I would love to try it!
So well, Day Two, people. Let’s see how this goes.
Uncategorized: Decluttering Your Life Lifein2suitcases Pratishtha Durga Removing Clutter Simplifying Life
by Pratishtha Durga
Wow! It’s such a crazy feeling! I want to kick myself. I am going through my DVD collection that I accumulated over the years, and there are over 50 movies I haven’t seen! And this is just ONE of the DVD boxes. It’s amusing and bizarre at the same time. And I keep complaining that I don’t have anything to do with my evenings! When you stop to take an objective look at your life, you find so many things out of place. Well, I am about to try and fix at least a few. So, The Big Purge begins today. I am keeping aside the movie DVDs that I have already watched and will watch a new movie whenever I can. I aim to be done by Mid-December. That’s when I will be done with the unused DVDs. And that’s when they ALL go on SALE!
Among the unwatched movies are timeless classics like Il Postino, Wild Strawberries, Amarcord, Discreet Charm of the Bourgeois, and Lumiere! I decided to start with something light and am watching “The Wackness”, starring Ben Kingsley and Josh Peck. It’s a coming of age drama. It’s appropriate that I should start with it.
Today will be a busy day, with books, clothes, shoes and accessories to catalogue, and I am emptying some space in the living room where I can keep my exercise equipment. By the next weekend, there will be boxes filled with stuff, on their way out. I am filled with a feeling of exhilaration mixed with dread. I am a creature of habit, and I love my material acquisitions. They have been bought with hard earned money. Never mind that they should not have been bought in the first place. But I am beginning to see that letting them go is so much better and liberating than keeping them in the limited space in my house. Do I need the beautifully colored juggling balls when I have never juggled? The balls, that is. Ummm… No! What am I doing with Toy Figures and more Photo Frames than my walls can take! Nope. All this must change.
Will tell you how the movie goes. Undoing several years bad habit takes time. I am sure I will live up to the challenge.
Uncategorized: Decluttering Your Life Lifein2suitcases Pratishtha Durga Simplifying Life The Big Purge
by Pratishtha Durga
Hi. My name is Pratishtha Durga. And I am 33 years old. I live in Mumbai. And for the past few years, I have had too many shoes, too many clothes, too many bags, too many books, and far too many accessories. I had a crowded closet, and a cluttered life. It got so stuffed with all the extra stuff that one day, it all came undone. But there is more to my excesses. The more I bought, the less satisfied I was with my life. I stuffed my face with cupcakes, pizzas, chocolates, and all things fattening and unhealthy. And as my wardrobe grew, so did my girth. Then one day, I stopped looking at myself in the mirror. I tried many things to make myself feel better. I cut my hair, colored it, bought more clothes, bought more shoes, bought more bags.
I never really stopped to think where my life was going. Or what was making me unhappy. Or what I really wanted any more. It did not matter. And what was worse? That there were far too many others, just like me. It felt like such an unhappy, unfriendly world. I know that I am painting a grim picture here, but there it is, the disease of our generation. We accumulate, because that’s what we think will make us happy.
I was fortunate enough to have my life thrown completely off track last year. I say fortunate, because I was stripped of all my dignity, my false sense of security, and my need to be dependent on others. With the bad came the good. And I began to rebuild my life from scratch. It’s an everyday process, mind you. You don’t change overnight. There is a day-to-day struggle that happens. But the past one year has taught me that true happiness does not come in velvet lined boxes. That you find it in the strangest of places. Provided you go searching for it. I learned that joy is not made up of credit cards and privilege memberships. It’s a choice you make everyday when you gather enough courage to accept and acknowledge life’ many bounties.
So well, I still have too many shoes, too many clothes, too many bags, and too many books. Though not as many as I originally had. And I am now ready ( or so I think) to take that one big step. I am going to give away what I can, sell what I can, and use the empty space left by all the excess things, to fill my life with happiness and satisfaction. And I am calling it The Big Purge. So welcome ebay, garage sales and charity. Bye bye extra hair dryer, mini food processor, unworn shoes and accessories. My Purge will not be limited to downsizing my life. It will also include a massive reduction in my Carbon Footprint. I will try and walk to office whenever I can, have more potted plants, stop using plastic bags, and simplify my life as much as I can.
Phew! I have been implementing these changes into my ife, and trust me, it feels so good! Will keep you all updated on the next garage sale, and hopefully, inspire a few to do the same with your life. So, let’s get started. PURGE!