Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fuchsia Fever

The weekend went by just the way I wanted it to. I got the time to laze around at home with hubby dear, watched romance flicks to my mushy heart's content (in case you want to know, I watched Valentine's Day, 500 Days of Summer and a very cute animated Disney movie Tangled) and stuffed myself with heartwarming comfort food. And in between, I shopped! Oh yes, I shopped like I hadn't shopped in a long while, or more like, in the past few weeks. I bought fabrics for new Salwar suits, bought a couple of girly magazines to keep me company in these dark days of unemployment and lots of makeup stuff. But the highlight of my recent shopping load is a lipstick I fell in love the moment I first laid my eyes on it at the crowded stall at the Dhaka International Trade Fair. It's a beautiful shade by L'Oreal and it's called Fearless Fuchsia.

Now, let me tell you, I've never been a big fan of bold lip colours. I'm more into nude glossy hues with very subtle hints of colour. But something changed in the past few days, and it's all because of Penelope Garcia (the technical analyst of BAU in the TV series Crimininal Minds)! Yes, I'm watching a bit too much of that lately, but more than the horrific scenes of murder and blood, what has left a mark in my mind is Garcia's eccentric style statement! What may come as a surprise is that she's not one of the sultry bombshell types, she a plump, nerdy chatterbox of a technical analyst, but her stylist sure did a fantastic job in making her stand out! She's always dressed in a kaleidoscope of colours, all of which stand out, and yet, never clash! She wears huge statement jewellery pieces like pendants and cuffs and rings and  accessorizes her hair, the colour of which is always changing by the way, with attention-grabbing headbands. And my, she colours her lips in the boldest of hues! Fiery red one day, hot pink the next and a flaming orange yet another. And to my surprise, I've been finding myself wanting a similar look for me in the near future!

Yep that's her!

I don't know whether I have the personality or the guts to pull this look off, but I think I'm going to give it a try! For the past few days, I've been craving to break the monotony of my everyday look and try something different. So these are stuff I plan to incorporate into my looks for the coming spring/summer :

1) Bold lip colours (fuchsia, scarlet, orange, hot pink...i would like to try them all! I'm especially attracted to the sassy fuchsia, i don't know why. The colour is very out there, rebellious and loud, yet so feminine and cheery! Yes, I'm in love with fuchsia at the moment )

2) Dramatic eyes ( I'm a big fan of eyeliners in green and blue)

3) Funky statement jewellery ( I love large rings and neck pieces, so I guess I'll get me some nice new ones)

4) Everyday wear in bright, eyecatching colours, not the usual pastels I try to stick to every summer

5) A dramatic short haircut ( I haven't cut my hair short in a really long time, and I'm itching to get a short bob soon)

Well, I guess I shouldn't dare more than this, or else it just might be too much too fast. But right now, I'm really looking forward to breaking out of my mould and trying something new, something daring and conspicuous with my looks soon. Let's see how that works out. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Castles in the Sky

I admit it. I'm a dreamer and a hopeless romantic. Always a bit too hopeful, somewhat delusional (NOT in a psycho way!), not very practical and mostly just a big dreamer. Almost everyday, I put on a mask which makes people perceive me as a strong, practical-minded woman who knows her way in life. Very few people can see past that façade into my core where all they will find is a starry-eyed girl whose dreams are bigger than her eyes can hold. True, I often dream up things that I know I may never be able to fulfill, but that doesn't keep me from building castles in the sky . I tell myself I should learn to live life the way it is supposed to be lived, in the real world, but how I can deny something that is as much a part of me as my DNA? 

Often, a dream falls flat on its face and shatters itself into pieces, and my eyes water watching it bleed its way out of existence, but in no time, there's a new one replacing the old and I immediately get to work on nurturing the newborn, trying to ignore the scars left by the old. Sometimes, I close my eyes and let my mind drift back to the memories of my deceased dreams, and try to put together a picture of how they would look, had they obtained the chance to set foot in reality. I ache to bring them back to life, and knowing that it's too late is never a good feeling. So I move on to another dream, and work on bringing it alive. I feel like Ghepetto working day and night, trying to bring little Pinochhio to life with all his love and attention. In my case, I'm working with a hundred different Pinochhios, some of whom I cannot help but love more dearly than the others and on whom I cannot help but lavish all my attention and care and hard work. But often times, these are the ones who hurt me with their untimely demise, and who leave the biggest scars in my heart which take an eternity to heal. But like I said, there's always another one what needs me. I can only hope that at least some of my Pinocchios will not fail me, because I need them for my own existence as much as they need me for theirs.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world, She took the midnight train going anywhere

" To you, Dhaka

I remember walking reluctantly into your arms. Furious at having been snatched away from where I belonged, from the one I really loved, I sulked and fumed my way into my new life. It didn't feel right, I'd never get used to it I knew.

“You'll never be the one I belong to. I'll never love you.” I said.

“I'll wait,” was your reply. Little did I know then you didn't have to wait long.

I remember you tolerating my tantrums silently, never complaining. I'd scream and cry about how you were not at all what I had expected you to be, that you were so different from the one I had before, my one true love. Yet, when all was said and done, you were the one who took me in her arms and calmed me as I shed silent tears in the darkness. Sometimes I wanted to be left alone, you understood. You gave me my own space, but you were never far away when I needed you. I pretended that I didn't notice all this, but I did.
You understood my ups and downs, letting me blend in with the crowd when I needed to, yet helping me shine the brightest when I felt like. You gave me wings to soar as high as I wished, but kept me rooted so I wouldn't go astray. You accepted me with all my idiosyncrasies, yet inspired me to be much more than I had aimed for. With you, I learnt the lessons of life, most harsh, some bittersweet, but all memorable. And between all these, we shared our moments, moments that told me I was changing.

And before I knew it, I fell in love with you, Dhaka. "

This was what I wrote in the year's first issue of Star Lifestyle in the year 2009. Two years have passed by since then, and much has changed. I have not seen the face of old lover in the past couple of years, not because I am so in love with my new love that he matters no more, but rather because I am scared of revisiting old wounds that have the power to snatch away all that I had gathered of myself during this time. You see, what I did not write about in my Lifestyle article was my relationship with my old lover. I did write about how much I was in love with him, what I did not talk about what how much he loved me in return.

Our relationship, my old lover's and mine, was unconventional, to say the least. It was not 'rainbows and butterflies' ; it was a need-based relationship, my need for him. He was the one I had opened my eyes to, he was the one I had seen ever since I had the sense to understand things around me, and he was the only one I knew. My whole life was bounded in the perimeters drawn by him and I was happy to be confined there. I did not need anything else, I did not want anything else. What did not matter was how he taunted me, tortured me, bound me to himself and held me back in every possible way. I accepted that to be the norm and never dreamed of anything more, never questioned. My undaunted loyalty never wavered, even when I wasn't treated right, when I was denied my freedom to live my life my way, when every action of mine was questioned. I felt like a prisoner, yet the thought of breaking free never crossed my mind. Often, I cried silently, wishing him to be a bit more empathetic towards me, to feel a bit more loved, needed: the way I made him feel. 18 years I waited in the corner, until one day it was too much to make. And I moved away, forcing myself to shun the loyalty I felt towards him all these years.

As you can imagine, it was tough at first, staying away, trying to learn to love another. But I moved on.  For a while, I went back now and then, lest the old familiar smell of my first love washed away from my body. And each time, I returned more determined to adapt to my new life, with a love that treated me just the way I wanted, needed. 


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Faith Reinstated

“As we grow older, it becomes difficult to just believe. It's not that we don't want to, but too much has happened that we just can't.”- Anonymous

I start my days quite late these days. The morning mist that enshrouds my home makes it quite difficult for me to pull myself away from the warm embrace of my blanket. It's not like I am asleep the whole morning, I wake up mid morning but lie in bed till almost noon. And since I never take breakfast, hunger is not a problem. I laze around in my cosy bed with my laptop and start my daily round of Facebook-ing :) I browse through the recent uploaded albums of the dozens of known faces who are either getting married or are attending weddings of people they know. The past year has been quite crazy I must say, it seems like almost everyone I know have got married or at least engaged, so there's never a dearth of pictures to check out in Facebook.
So, while browsing through the different profiles today, I came across an application called 'On this day, God wants you to know'. Well, it's not like I believe that God will speak to me through a Facebook application, but I went ahead and decided to give this application a try anyway. And the result was like this:

... that prayer is real only when done with your whole heart. Reserve the sound of your voice for other people. God hears only what's in your heart.

I thought for a while about how I had recently become detached from prayers. I was never one to sit down on the prayer mat with the call of the Adhaan, but one thing I always did as a child was engage my heart in quality conversation with the Divine Being who I believed was listening; it was like a mental blog. It's not like I always had something to ask for, but the feeling of being in touch with Him made me feel lighter. It felt good to get things off my chest, like I was transferring some of the burdens that I had to carry within me to someone else who was willing to take it on. Whether my prayers were answered or not didn't matter,this was something I did ritualistically every day. 

So the message from this application reminded me of how that ritual slowly dissolved into extinction with age. Because as we get older, reality gets in the way of faith, and faith doesn't seem too real any more. But, after a long time today, I allowed myself to be free from all inhibitions and questions and delved into a one-on-one again. As the familiar feeling of relief and serenity flooded my being, I knew that I could do better than wasting precious hours of my life worrying about things I could never control. I remembered I had someone else to leave my worries to, that I was not alone and never would be. And I knew this ritual had to make a comeback if I wanted to keep my sanity intact in the future.

"When you have come to the edge of all light that you know, And are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or You will be taught to fly”- Anonymous

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Amar nishitho raater badol dhaara

Sunny and I visited Shama at her new home yesterday along with Brishti and a friend; what was amazing was how well  settled she already looked in her new surroundings. Seeing her so at ease in her new abode, it was hard to tell she had only been living there for several hours. And it definitely was heartwarming to see her genuine happiness. It was as if she was radiating joy from within, that was adding the glow to her sleep-deprived face. During the couple of hours we were there to give her company, she told us about how her new family, immediate and extended, welcomed her into the clan with arms wide open. Apparently, Marzuq's aunts had welcomed her into their home with a well-known Tagore song 'Esho esho amar ghor-e esho, amar ghor-e' which roughly translates to 'Come into my home, dear'. I left Shama's home yearning to soothe my tired mind with some Tagore songs before I called it a day. Once we were back  home, Sunny was happy to play along the keyboard while Brishti, my mother and I sang along all the Tagore songs we could remember the lyrics of, albeit a bit out of tune. The lyrics were food for the mind and balm to the soul.

Tagore's songs have always been an enigma to me. As a child, I would listen to my mother humming some of her favourite Tagore numbers and I couldn't comprehend how she could love the slow melodies so much. Of course, my mind then never paid attention to the lyrics. It was shortly after I fell in love, for the very first time, I decided to turn to Tagore for some explanation of the alien feelings that jolted through my heart all day, and Tagore did not disappoint me. 'Tumi kon kanoner phool, kon gogoner taara' became my favourite because it seemed like my beloved was a mystery to me and I was always looking for ways to figure him out. 'Tora je ja bolish bhai, amar shonar horin chai' stuck to me during the time I was fighting to hold on to my dreams while people tried to me throw reality at my face. 'Amar nishitho raatero badolo dhara' was my trusted companion during the long bouts of insomnia I faced at a certain point in my life. I now believe Rabindranath Tagore had the unique ability of understanding the mystifying intricacies of the human heart and empathizing with almost every emotion that a human being can possibly experience.

I must admit, when it comes to Tagore songs, I'm not a regular listener. I put away listening to them until and unless I really need to, which is usually when a familiar heartache pops us now and then or my soul needs some rejuvenating, like a special bar of chocolate stashed away to be relished only after an exceptionally tiring day or a bottle of rare wine carefully preserved to celebrate that one special occasion that calls for nothing but the best. And when I do envelop myself with Tagore's melodies and words now and then, it's pure rejuvenation that I treat my heart/soul to. And if I ever met Tagore in person, I would give him a bear hug or maybe a kiss on his right hand, and I'm sure he would know why.

Well, I have rambled on for long enough, I guess I'll get going now. Sunny is playing the keyboard to his heart's content, paying no heed to the fact that it is now well past 2 in the morning and tomorrow is a weekday. I guess I'll join him for a song or two before we bid the world 'goodnight'. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Best Friend's Wedding

This week has been busy. In fact it's been the busiest week of my life, apart from the week of my own wedding a couple of months back, and it seems like I'll have my hands full for the next 7 days to come as well. And the source of all this busy-ness is the wedding of my best friend Shama. Her Holud was held yesterday (one of the events of a Bangladeshi wedding) where my husband Sunny and I performed dances we had choreographed (and rehearsed) to tell the story of Shama and Marzuq (her husband). For us, the friends, it was the perfect opportunity to dress up and let our hair down, dancing and photo sessions continued till midnight. Marzuq had his Holud today, in the comfort of his front lawn which was beautifully transformed with colorful fabrics and flowers in the brightest hues. Steaming finger foods and coffee complimented the chilly winter evening where my stylish Pashmina refused to suffice. But nothing, not even the outside temperature of 12 degrees Celsius, was enough to beat the excitement of attending my best friend's wedding out of me. After all, it's SHAMA's wedding.

If any one asks me who my best friend is, the response would automatically be Shama. Well, one of my best friends, technically, because I have 3 more, but she's definitely the oldest, not by age of course. She's the one I share my oldest memories with...memories of gleeful rides on swings, monopoly games, chocolate milkshakes and playing house. She's also one who was the first to know when I finally fell in love, when I decided to move to a different city after 18 years of living in one, when I decided to get married. Heck, she was always the first to know everything, all these years. And the first one to hold my hand whenever I had my heart broken. I cannot remember pulling through a difficult time without her by my side. A walk down memory lane tells me what an amazing friend she has been. To have a friend who's ready to stand by you come rain or shine, or even hail and thunder, is indeed one of the most precious gifts of life. And what's more amazing is when you have a friend you don't need to open your heart to, because she already knows what's going on in there. Shama really is all that and much more.

So, well, Shama and Marzuq's wedding ceremony will be held tomorrow. I know I'll be on my toes all day, getting my makeup done and taking pictures and walking Shama to the stage and attending guests. But I do know, that somewhere amidst all the rushed activities and chaotic bustle, I will find the time to take a long glance at my best friend, at her glowing cheeks and twinkling eyes, and thank God for blessing me with a friendship that has the strength to withstand anything and everything. And I will happily see her off to her new abode in Dhanmondi (even though it's miles away from my home in Uttara) knowing that no distance will ever be wide enough to to weaken our ties. So here's to my best friend Shama and her beautiful new beginning!