Why Someone Like ME Shouldn’t Go Through With A Wedding

Megha + Arjun Wedding 5D-219

PC: Sudeep Bhattacharya

 

Don’t get me wrong, I love being married. I love when my husband calls me cutesy names like wifey and jokes about how he’s hiding his divorce papers somewhere in the closet. I love how in all the forms I can write Mrs. and finally write Relationship = HUSBAND under emergency contact information. I love that I don’t have to lie to my parents when I meet him and instead have to explain to them constantly why I’m not with him. I have been blessed to have a great mentor/manager who allows me to work from home for a week in a month from Dallas(which is where my husband lives), which I don’t think he would have had I not been married. We now have only 1 amazon account between us, which is bad in a way because I can’t buy things impulsively anymore. I catch myself just before adding items to the cart to save myself from all the scrutiny. Well, its not actually a bad thing because I’m also saving some money and a trip to the post office to return almost everything. I really wish someone would come up with a global size for all brands. Can’t wait for that One World Order that everyone’s dreading. We finally bid adieu to Splitwise but I haven’t deleted our group yet. I’m keeping it to add expenses when I’m mad at him – “You owe me $50 for pissing me off”. We can add photos on social media with hashtags like #onelove #datenightsbesoromanticevenafter3months #breakfastinbed and #where’smydiamondset without all the aunties and uncles going crazy gawking at it. You get my drift. Marriage is fun, there’s no denying that. Its the wedding part that I have a problem with.

After going through the whole ordeal of a wedding, I have realized why someone as cynical(read hypocritical) as me shouldn’t do it. Its not just about being a cynic. I have found that ages 25-30 are quite crucial in everyone’s lives. I think this age range should be called the “formative years” and not those when we are whiny lame kids. We find jobs, quit jobs, find love, move out of our comfort zones, have fun and at the same time we’re constantly trying to find ourselves. We are trying to find a thread to tie our stories together, forming all these ideals and principles to live by, ditching old ones or upgrading them, structuring our morals, coping with competition and differentiating unrealistic dreams from realistic goals. I realized that with so many things on my mind it was hard to deal with a wedding because it encompasses many things that I was striving to fight. Trust me, I had a longer list during the wedding with points like “Annoying salon ladies trying to tell you how ugly you would be if not for their special aloe-honey-mustard gooey crap”, “Annoying vendors who smell your desperation from miles and act pricey” and basically having to deal with a lot of other annoying people. But for now here are a few things that I thought I could do without.

Patriarchal Indian Wedding Customs

Indians reserve their patriarchy for special occasions. All through your childhood they tell you that you are no less than a boy (atleast in most middle-class families) but when it comes to traditional and outdated customs that are dictated by patriarchy, they will happily engage in them making you wonder if, all along they actually believed that you were upto no good and are grateful that a boy is ready to marry your sorry ass. In South Indian Brahmin custom, the bride’s parents beg the groom to marry their daughter, wash the groom’s feet and bestow him with gifts to please him in a ritual called “kashi yatra”. I was kind of dreading this bit of the wedding ritual but my husband is so very sweet and loves my parents. He made sure that the whole thing wasn’t too awkward and although I did not witness it, the photos speak of his modesty. But I would like to be bestowed with gifts too and I wouldn’t mind a feet wash considering how long I had to stand! I would love to see these customs fade away. They are clearly hindering the progress of a balanced society. Some day patriarchy, some day!

Silk Sarees

Yes, after writing a whole post about going cosmetically vegan I ended up wearing silk sarees. S-I-L-K. Silk sarees are really pretty but also inhuman. I tried to bring up the conversation with my mom but she wouldn’t have any of my vegan crap. What’s with these South Indians and their obsession with Kancheevaram. I probably wore about 5 of them and with every crease, my brain kept yelling “fraud” at me. This is what I meant by formative years. Here I am with my ideals of veganism and all the talks about how nice a cruelty-free world would be, but in front of the long standing customs, I had to give it all up just to please people and look traditional.

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Kancheevaram Saree

Gold Jewelry

After Kancheevaram, gold takes the cake for inducing obsession in South Indians. Maybe North Indians too, I don’t know. When I started looking at artificial jewelry at a store, my moms eyes went wide and teary. I knew right away that I had to give up and wear all the kilos of gold she had so dearly saved up for my wedding. I’m not trying to be mean here. Yes, I understand the sentiment behind it and what it means to them, but I wish someone would understand what it means to us too. For those wondering, gold mining has raised concerns for various reasons such as environmental impact and labor conditions for the miners. In one article I read how it is impacting the Amazon and it was really alarming.

So Much Wastage

Food, clothes, jewelry and what not. I will never look at my reception clothes again. So there goes my lehenga down the $2000 drain. I actually gave my lehenga back to the store and saved some money there but it was still a huge waste. I don’t know what happened to the food at the end of the day because I was meaning to call this organization that picks up left-over wedding food but I was so exhausted by the end of the night that I completely forgot about it. And all the gifting each other thing that parents do is really exceptionally wasteful. My parents gifted clothes to my husband’s family and they gifted clothes and things to mine. What if, this might sound crazy, what if,  just hear me out, you bought things for yourself, things that you would use and cut down on this whole ritual of buying each other useless things. Well, I can only hope.

Planning Much?

In my native tongue there’s a saying that translates to something like this: “Try to build a house, try to plan a wedding” which essentially means that you understand the true meaning of stress when you’re either building a house or planning a wedding. I really stressed out about every single thing. I had all kinds of nightmares ranging from not informing any vendor the date and place of the wedding to my husband turning up 5 hours too late to the wedding. I am the kind of person who likes to plan ahead of time. To that end, I wanted to know exactly how many guests were coming and when they were coming which I realized was too much to ask for. I tried to adult a little too hard. This took quite a toll on me and honestly, I should have let some things go. But I held on and tried to fix everything which leads to my next point- disappointment. I was so stressed that I ended up with acne and was the talk of the town. Every person I met suggested a remedy which stressed me out more.

Disappointment

I feel the need to emphasize that at every step we tried to do things our way. I tried not to wear silk, not to adorn gold and most importantly we fought real hard to beat down sexism which exists at large in the society but under a veil. Initially we tried to push a simple temple wedding down everyone’s throats. When that didn’t pan out, we made it clear to our parents that we did not want more than a certain number of guests at the wedding. Its not that we don’t like people. I love being around family and friends, I feel energized with them. At this point, we just want meaningful relationships in our lives and not forced relationships that turn sour at the drop of a hat. Despite having this kind of control over the wedding that others my age can only hope for(not kidding, ask other Indians), many things did not go the way we wanted it to. I’m sorry, I mean the way I” wanted it to. I was disappointed with a lot of things. I spent days looking for the perfect wedding dress, but in the end I wasn’t happy with my reception clothes at all. I always thought I wouldn’t look as ugly if I had a professional clicking my photo, but I didn’t magically look like angel in any of the photos. Some of my friends got featured on these acclaimed wedding blogs and I was despondent looking at it. It felt like all those months of efforts weren’t worthwhile. I don’t want to be a narcissist here but some of my relatives commented on the photographs and with every comment I heard, it seemed like my big day wasn’t special at all. 

One night I started weeping talking about it and my husband was miffed.

“He told me what the wedding meant to him personally and I could literally feel a cloud of darkness lifting off of my brain. He told me the best part of the wedding for him was the feeling of calmness he felt when the two of us were sitting down amidst all those people and how he felt like it was just the two of us in that moment for him. It absolutely made up for everything that I thought was wrong with our wedding. He also sweetly reminded me of the hypocrisy I was exhibiting.”

For someone who did not want a big wedding in the first place, I sure was disappointed a lot. I did not want to waste money on an expensive lehenga at first, I did not want to indulge in pretentious displays, I did not want to be privy to a lot of things. But I did indulge in all of it and when things did not pan out the way I wanted, I was disheartened. Why? Did the enchanting world of weddings mesmerize me so much that I lost a grip over my own ideals? Was I failing at being the person I wanted to be? How did these frivolous things come to mean more than the person I was with?

I realized that self loathing and pessimism would only ruin the beautiful memories of our day which was actually really special. We had a beautiful ceremony surrounded by mango trees and laughter. I don’t want to taint those memories. In that moment, I also realized how much effort everyone had put into it, our parents, our relatives and our friends. A lot of people flew in from different parts of the world for us. My friends shopped with me for days, organized games for the mehendi event and danced endlessly with us . My mom put in all her evenings after work for 6 months. My dad tried to please me endless by taking me to so many clothing stores and put up with my NRI attitude. A lot of our friends and relatives made donations to the organization we requested them to out of respect for us. They took time off of work and did their best to make us feel their warmth and love. Not their mistake that I am such a cynic.  Now I know that all that matters is that in that moment, it was my husband and me, holding hands, running off into the sunset with my family wishing the best for us. In our case it was more like running to the bed to rest our feet 🙂

 

Megha + Arjun Mehendi D750-1236

Dancing away into the night. PC: Sudeep Bhattacharya

Well, in the end I guess this post was really about why a girl like me “ABSOLUTELY SHOULD” go through with a wedding – to face the hard-hitting reality of endless love that reminds us to count our blessings! Also, I need to remind myself to see the goodness in things. I need to learn to fight harder against insecurities and misguided ideals.

 

Stay Loved!

Megha

PS: Link to our wedding video:

Havasupai Falls Hike

Please encourage and follow my favorite blogger:

 

An experience is worth a thousand pictures.

If you are one of those people who get sucked into clicking on links titled ‘Places to visit before you die’ or similar, you have almost certainly come across Havasupai falls and the surrounding area. Conveniently located in the middle of thousands of acres of Arizona desert, a simple 2 hour drive and 10 mile hike from the nearest town, the falls are something you can simply not forget once you’ve seen them.

After my recent and unlikely visit to the falls, I thought I’d have a short write-up about the trip somewhere and share the pictures I took with some context. I will be going from the start of the hiking trail till the end. If you are absolutely busy right now and have no time for my non-sense, I urge you to take a look at the following photo before you leave. Thanks!

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Yes, that blue is real!…

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Bidding Adieu to MAC

A few months ago, a realization as haunting as a dentist’s visit struck me. I am a vegetarian by birth and have continued to stick to it despite all the challenges. But does staying away from meat define a cruelty-free ideology ? I realized that there is much more to it than just saying no to meat. In a world so consumed by interpretations, it is hard to define what exactly drives your motivations. To better my stance for a cruelty-free world, I decided to take things a notch higher and deeper. I decided to rid myself of all things that are not cruelty-free!

What motivated this post is my last night’s dream where I was faced with a question that nibbles away on my mind constantly. When I go out to eat with friends, I am invariably made fun of for eating “grass and leaves” and every new person I meet asks me this horrifying question – “What would you do if you found yourself with no chance of surviving if not for eating an animal?”. All these taunting questions surfaced as my dream last night where I found myself dying in a desert and my only chance at survival was to eat a dead snake. Well, honestly, I don’t have an answer. But what I do know is that all of you need to stop harassing vegetarians and just let us be! I have never forced anyone to stop eating meat, I can only hope that they will.

In my attempt to go cruelty-free, I sold my couch because I couldn’t tell if it was pure leather or not. I have decided to get rid of all cosmetics that test on animals, I’m just waiting to empty some of them. It really is a hard decision because it entails saying goodbye to some of the best cosmetic brands and those that I am very accustomed to. I was so sad to find MAC, Olay, Cover Girl and Bobbi Brown on the list of cosmetics that test on animals. For a while now, I have loved Aveeno’s cleanser and body wash and sadly, Aveeno turned up on the same list. If anyone’s interested in checking the list for products that you use, here’s the list organised by PETA:

http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx

Here’s another comprehensive list: http://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/companies-that-test-on-animals/

I am yet to find alternatives to some of the products that I have removed from my closet. Some of my favorite cruelty-free brands are : 100% Pure (I have a review of their shampoo and conditioner on my blog, I also love their lip balms), Urban Decay, Smash box, bareMinerals, Bath and Body Works, Stila CosmeticsPhysicians Formula, Josie Maran Cosmetics and a few more. Here’s a list of cruelty-free cosmetics:

http://www.mybeautybunny.com/cruelty-free-brands/

As a consumer, I believe each of us has a responsibility to educate ourselves about the consequences of our indulgences. It is easy to turn a blind eye to the intricacies of a self-absorbed consumerist market such as ours, but it should never become a choice to evaluate the tangents to it. I understand that it is everyone’s prerogative to decide what may or may not constitute their lifestyle, I only ask that we are mindful of our choices and decisions.

“With great power comes great responsibility.”  – Albus Dumbledore

Stay wise!

Megha Kaiwar

Do It Myself? Say What!?

Being raised in a modest middle class Indian family, I was very accustomed to never doing anything on my own. Why fix a bulb when you can get someone to fix it, right? Yes, that’s how pathetically entitled I assumed my life to be. What’s worse? Assumptions of independence. My parents worked all day and I was left to stay at home by myself. My interpretation of independence was serving cooked food for lunch, locking the doors after my parents left, going to the store to buy a few candies and a few other meager self absorbed activities. Well, don’t blame my rationale. My parents never warned me of the days to come where I would be thrown into a world, oblivious to most things, unaware of how to fix anything. Oh wait, my mom always did warn me! She always told me how my parents-in-law would expect me to know how to cook and how to clean. Had she not camouflaged her life saving advises with expectations, had I not considered them to be outrageously sexist, I would have probably made a better 25 year old today.

Living in the US has made me more self-aware, self aware of how naive and insolent I have been. I knew how a tool set looked like, I had never used one. Now, I buy loads of things from Ikea just so I can put them together using my tool set. I love watching DIY videos and trying out a few simple ones. In case you haven’t already guessed, and my overly dramatic recounts of my past failed to build towards what this post is supposed to be, let me help you. This post is about a few DIYs that I have enjoyed trying out, nothing with tools though. I save my tools for Ikea binges.

Lip Scrub: My favorite and most useful DIY. 1 part Brown Sugar, 1 part honey, 1/2 part olive oil or coconut oil. It works as a great exfoliant with all the natural ingredients.

Potpourri: I found a mason jar lying around and wanted to see why everyone is always raving about mason jars. This DIY potpourri changes every time for me, but here are a few consistent things that I never fail to add. A slice of lemon, rosemary, cinnamon sticks, lavender essential oil and a few mint leaves. It smells so refreshing and if I could make a perfume for myself, I would definitely use these ingredients!

3D Wall art: I found this great website that explains great wall art ideas in steps. I found this one really fascinating with vibrant colors. So I had to try it out and the result:

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Wall Shelves: Let’s just say I had too many shoe boxes and did not want to throw them out. This one caught my eye on the same website. I now have beautifully colored shelves and I’m waiting for someone to gift me things to be placed in them!

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Flower Vase from a tissue box: Why use an expensive jar to place your flowers when you can use an ugly jar in a tissue box? All you need is a tissue box, cut-outs you want to paste on the tissue box(you can also use the box as it is), flowers and of course, an ugly jar. My flowers have dried out, so no photo of that for now. Here’s the link I referred to. Maggie is so great, I love all her posts.

Do let me know your favorite DIYs, y’all !

Stay warm, winter is here !

Megha Kaiwar

Did Life Just Throw Lemons At Me ?!

Behold the post that is supposed to be whiny and nauseating, the one I was talking about in my earlier post. I am going to try and tone it down, but I am allowed to crib in front of people who don’t really care and expect them to console me, aren’t I? It all began in May of 2015 when I learnt at a party that I was going to get laid off. My company decided to shut down their office in Phoenix and lay off everyone working there. Naturally, I panicked, abandoned my sister’s baby shower, went home and wept myself to sleep. The next few months were really difficult for me. Well, not really. I woke up later that evening, went star-gazing with a few people from the astronomy club, saw some of the most brilliant spectacles in the universe and it put everything in perspective. I was never scared, panicky or worried about my situation after that night ! What’s a silly girl’s job in front of the universe’s creations right?!

I did find a few things difficult to deal with the next few months, like knowing I wouldn’t be working with some of the finest people who had come to be a big part of my world, leaving one of my favorite cities and the hardest of all, leaving behind my best friends. I started looking for new jobs immediately after I learnt about my lay off. Living in the US on a Visa imposes a lot of constraints on how many days you can remain unemployed and worthless to the US economy. What surprised me was how many people were willing to help me out ! I always assume the worst of people and it was a good way to learn how wrong I can be. People who did not even know me were more than happy to vouch for me and recommend me. It really touched me to realize that there are always a million hands to help you, you just have to set aside your ego and graciously accept the help.

It turned out my visa situation was trickier than I had imagined and when my company offered me a relocation to the headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama, I pounced at it, grabbed it and chewed on it! I was a little worried about the place but I consoled myself that I would live in Huntsville for as long as the policy required me to and I would leave the very next day. I took a few days off, binged on Netflix and other mind-numbing shows, visited my boyfriend for a while and took in as much of Phoenix as I could. When the day to say good-bye finally arrived, I felt like I was leaving behind a piece of me that I had come to cherish so much. It was just as hard as leaving Bangalore, India, three years ago and I cried just as much 😉

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Aerial view of Huntsville. Look how green !

Well, I am now in the Rocket City, Huntsville, deep South as they call it, and it is not as bad as I had imagined it to be. It, most definitely, is such a contrast to Phoenix, the beautiful greenery, the laid back country-like atmosphere and did I mention the vastness of beautiful, dense, fresh, lush greenery? I have made a few friends, rented a cozy apartment and I am exploring what little there is to this town 😉 People are really friendly and so warm. Not many desis around, so some people are very alarmed by my brownness. Oh, also, I am totally digging the southern accent 😉 I am not going to taaawk like them and make a fool of myself though. I try to find things to do every weekend. It’s Museum Day this weekend and I am pretty excited to bug a few people to join me on my visit to the NASA Space and Rocket Center. Hence, the name Rocket City, in case you missed that.

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My cozy apartment and a rainbow!

More about Huntsville coming up in my next few posts.

Hope y’all enjoyed this post and didn’t need a lot of tissues!

Stay Merry,

Megha Kaiwar

Things I Love About Phoenix

I started writing a post about how life threw lemons at me and how I made my lemonade out of it. But I just realized that instead of being whiny about the whole ordeal, I can make a fun post out of it. Oh don’t you worry, the whiny, nauseating details will definitely be in the next post! To sum it up, I will be moving from my beloved Phoenix, Arizona for good. I am relocating to Huntsville, Alabama (I know, right?!). Well, before making the big move, I thought I’d write about all the things I have loved doing in Phoenix/Tempe area. So here goes a list of things to do in Phoenix if you are anything like me.

Beautiful Sunrise, Tempe

Beautiful Sunrise, Tempe

Food:

  • The main cuisine in Arizona would be Mexican. I love Mexican food and you will be sure to find a Mexican restaurant around every corner. There a couple of places that I go to religiously every week: Mi Pueblo’s and Chino Bandido’s in Phoenix. Chino Bandido’s, as the name suggests is a fusion between Chinese and Mexican. While you are in the Valley, be sure to check out Los Sombreros. I love the vegetarian options here and my friends tell me that they have the best pork.
  • Phoenix also has a wide variety of Indian restaurants, my favorite being Chennai Chettinad in North Phoenix. The buffet here is totally worth the money and it suits Indian and Non-Indian palettes alike (I don’t know if my friends lie to me, but they always seem to enjoy it). Chandler also has numerous Indian restaurants considering the number of Indians that reside there: Woodlands, Aachi, Shalimar. I love the Indo-Chinese chain Inchin’s Bamboo Gardens and never tire of their Chinese-Bhel.
  • Next on my list would be Thai and Italian alike. The best Thai restaurant would definitely have to be Soi 4 in Scottsdale, with a wide range of vegetarian options. In Italian, would be Avanti on Thomas Road with homemade lasagna and the best tiramisu ever.

Shopping:

During school, I frequented Tempe Marketplace, since it was the closest option for me. But the valley has numerous shopping centers with unique, upscale architecture. A few on your list if you ever visit Phoenix should be: Scottsdale Fashion Square, The Shops at Norterra, Chandler Fashion Center and Biltmore Fashion park (many restaurants and specialty food here). There are a few premium outlet malls like Arizona Mills, Outlets at Anthem and Phoenix Premium Outlets that have exceptional brands from Old Navy to Armani. Can you believe Huntsville has no Zara store? My heart broke when I found out.

Hiking:

I hate hiking because I am so clumsy and I trip over myself on flat ground all the time. I cannot even begin to explain what I go through while hiking with no sense of balance and direction whatsoever. But I have hiked and the view at the end is usually amazing(makes all the bruises and concussions worth it). Camelback is the most popular among the hiking nerds. It has a few trails that go around the hump of the camel, Cholla trail(easier of the two) and Echo Canyon Trail. South Mountain has many trails with different levels of difficulty. I have tried the Mormon Trail and that was one of the easiest ones.

Road Trips:

I cannot describe in words the beauty of Arizona and all that it encompasses. You have to be here to appreciate the sheer exquisite backdrops while driving around the city and outside. There are many road trips you could indulge in while in Phoenix because everything seems so close and all the drives are enchanting. Here’s a list of places you could drive to within a few hours and not feel like you have wasted time on travelling.

  • Sedona, Flagstaff and Grand Canyon: One of a kind places that are a must visit. The change in scenery while driving through each of these is inexplicably picturesque. Within two hours from Phoenix, you are surrounded be red rocks in various formations with a deep sense of beauty engulfing it. In the winters, the red rocks covered in snow are a sight to see. Within an hour from here, you are deep into coniferous trees and wilderness. It no more feels like the dry Arizona you are used to. An hour or two from here lies one of the greatest wonders of the world, The Grand Canyon, which is every bit as grand as the name suggests.

    Sedona, AZ

    Sedona, AZ

  • Page and Monument Valley: Four hours away from Phoenix, captivating with its ethereal beauty, lies Page which is home to Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe bend and Lake Powell, none of which can be described merely with words. Monument Valley, which so frequently appears in movies, extends to Utah and the valley lies within the range of the Navajo Nation Reservation. The trip would require two full days but is worth every minute that you spend there.

    Antelope Canyon, Page

    Antelope Canyon, Page

  • Tuscon: Tuscon is pretty much like Phoenix. One of the main attractions here is Mt Lemmon which is a host to skiers during winters. Tuscon is surrounded by caverns, rich in minerals and history like the Kartchner Caverns and Colossal Cave. While you are here, you might want to check out Biosphere 2, an initiative by UoA that mimics earth’s vegetation based on self sustenance, something like in the movie Interstellar where they try to build a self sustained atmosphere for humans to reside.
  • Lakes: ASU’s favorite spring break destination Is Lake Havasu which houses all the crazy spring break parties by a lake joining the Colorado River. The lake in itself is beautiful and worth a visit. There are other lakes like the Saguaro Lake, Lake Pleasant and Roosevelt lake that offer boat rides through all the magnificent canyons around the lakes.

    Saguaro Lake, AZ

    Saguaro Lake, AZ

  • Las Vegas: Yes, yes, yes! Vegas is just about 4 hours away and who wouldn’t want to go there every weekend right?
  • San Diego: Five hours of driving will take you to a land that has the one thing Phoenix is missing, beach !
  • Los Angeles: I would give LA a minimum of 6 hours of drive, but why would that stop anyone from going to the land of Angels?!

Nightlife:

ASU is known as the biggest party school in America so that gives you a rough idea of the nightlife around. Mill Avenue is every college-goer’s favorite on Friday nights. The whole street has so many nightclubs that you never fall short of a place to hangout at. Old Town Scottsdale has all the upscale places like Mint and Maya which have dress codes and long lines. Devil’s Advocate in Tempe on Thursday nights has the biggest crowd ever because of its happy hour Thursdays. We always have a blast when we go out because the crowd here never gets boring!

Astronomy:

Arizona has the darkest sky in America and is every amateur astronomer’s dream destination. Some of the best astro photos are from the observatories in Arizona, Lowell in Flagstaff and Kitt Peak Observatory in Tuscon. Oh, how I’ll miss the wonderful view every time I lift my head up.

Writing this post did tear me up a little and also made me hungry and thirsty. If you ever have a chance to visit Phoenix, do not pass it off and if you have a chance to never leave, DON’T! I am taking solace in the thought that I will always have a home to come back to. So many memories, so many friends, so much left unexplored!

Stay Beautiful Arizona!

Love,

Megha Kaiwar

Hair Scare & Hair Care

It’s a typical Monday morning in Bangalore, birds chirping, cars honking, street vendors fighting for a spot and amidst all the chaos I hear loud noises from the kitchen. I can tell my mom hates Mondays just as much as I do. My limbs are in a state of inertia, refusing to climb out of bed and my bed feels cozier than ever. Did it feel the same yesterday? But my mind can think of just one thing: My hair! What do I do about my hair today? I know I tried to set it yesterday and I also know it’s going to be back to its crazy self today. So what do I do?! With the sole purpose of finding enough time to set my cranky hair, I wake up early going against everything that I believe in. That is, sleeping until it is absolutely necessary to wake up. So I wake up, blah, blah, blah, set my hair, not regretting waking up early because my hair is finally manageable and I also make it to my first class for the day. I excuse myself to the restroom and Ughhhhh! My hair is all tangled and I look like I could scare a kid or two.

Well, this has been my story since I was a teenager. Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, PCOD struck, leading to hair loss and what not. I never really had long, thick, sumptuous hair that I could afford to lose ! Moving to the US took a big toll on my hair and it refused to acclimatize to the weather, water and chemicals here. The water here is lead treated and can be disastrous for sensitive hair and skin. I live in Phoenix, dry as hay with 48 degrees of dry, scorching heat. I tried hanging onto the shampoos that I used in India for as long as I could, but in vain. I never once tried setting my hair after that, for the fear of losing more hair. During the 2 years of my Masters, I hardly had any time to give my hair the attention it needs. Hence, everyday has been bad hair day ever since.

Now I am back to caring for and supplementing my hair growth. I recently started using an all natural shampoo “100% Pure Shampoo” and haven’t regretted switching to this shampoo. I use KELP & MINT VOLUMIZING SHAMPOO which has helped reduce hair loss. It doesn’t weigh my hair down and leaves it looking healthier with every wash. It does make my hair a little frizzier than before but I would pick frizzy hair over no hair any day! The best part is the shine it adds to my hair that no other shampoo has ever done. Well, for what it’s worth, I am glad I am not subjecting my hair to chemicals anymore, names of which I cannot even pronounce. The ingredients of this shampoo make me very happy: Aloe, Coconut, Kelp, Neem, Calendula, Honeysuckle, Burdock, Peppermint, Organic Green Tea and many more.

I also use a combination of Honey, Coconut Oil and Castor Oil before washing my hair, leaving it in for 2 hours or more. This has helped keep the scalp free of dandruff due to dryness and it also conditions the hair. I have been supplementing my hair growth with Biotin, three times a week (only because I hate tablets). I can’t tell how much any of it has helped, but I have decided to not think too much about it and stress myself out. For all the girls out there suffering from similar problems, I would suggest you stick to a routine and give it a few months before you decide to switch to something else. Also, don’t stress!

I regret not listening to my mom about hair care. When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to start using all the shampoos advertised and get rid of all the “natural” therapies. I hated applying shikakai or any other home made products. Now, I give my mom a earful for letting me use shampoos 😉

Moral of the story: “Moms know best, listen to them!”

Stay Natural!

Love,

Megha Kaiwar