To the 15-year old girl

Hey girl,
You look amazing in that dress and them heels. When I was 15,I was wearing polo t-shirts,jeans and ponytail to everywhere. Not that I had many ‘everywhere’s to go. You are going to the clubs and parties. I received a couple of your invites on facebook. I can only imagine how much fun those would be. I just want to ask you,isn’t 15 a bit too early for the clubs? Why do want to see drunk people grooving away and practising infidelty because it’s “cool”,when you should watch Gumrah and know how they suffer? No,I am not judging you. No,I am not jealous since I never got to do what you do. I am actually concerned.

   

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I have been teaching you and many 15 year olds like you for past 2 years to bear my expenses. I see what you do. You take the pain of getting waxed at this age. Doesn’t it hurt? Why do you ‘have to’ do it? Because everyone else is doing it? Because you are otherwise weird? Because you want to impress that guy? You’ve got lovely young skin. I saw you getting facial at a parlour. I see you straightening your hair for school. You,by all means have all the rights to look pretty. But guess what,at your age,you are beautiful and can do without adulteration. Your natural skin is what women in 20s and 30s are dying to have. What is this pressure you’ve taken upon yourself? You’ll have all the time to do it. Right now is the time to beautify your mind and deck up your future. Why don’t you watch career-oriented videos instead of makeup tutorials?
    

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Source-parentsociety

I once asked you about your life goals. You said-“I wanna be an awesome mother to my kids”. I smiled. That’s a wonderful dream. Here at 20,I don’t get to hear that from girls my age or older. So kudos to you . But why don’t you have a goal to achieve for yourself before you become mommy? You and your “boyfriend” both take tuitions from me. You took Science because he did,so you can be together. But last year you said you want to study history,didn’t you? You stopped wearing black because he told you he didn’t like. Why don’t you become YOU before being his girlfriend? You put status  like “You are my life” ” You are my king”, “You are my reason of smiling” and then you put “I’m broken”, “I hate love”. The fact is you might just have no idea about life or love or both. You need oxygen survival. No guy. Never a guy.

      

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No. Don't dream this. Dream to earn it.

I am not judging you again,but what’s the need to get physical at this age? Why don’t you maintain a healthy relationship and make a career and see if you still want to stay with that guy who told you bright colors don’t suit you? Why do you ‘have to’ send him nude pictures or get a tattoo done? Why shouldn’t you want to be a woman of substance whose qualities make her DESIRABLE? What’s this craze about being ‘ACCEPTABLE’?

     

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You needn't feel this at 15

Your FB posts,pictures and whatsapp statuses irritate me first but then they worry me. I know I am sounding preachy but you are way too young for all that you do. I know you’ll learn the game fast and soon. But for that,you need to value yourself and create yourself before mingling in the ‘hep culture’. I am saying because nobody told me. I am there if you need a sister or an agony aunt.

Build your bed of sterner stuff,
Roses may follow.

Your Didi
Archita

Songs for July

I am a Hindi songs buff. The typical kinds who plug in earphones and walk on roads as if they are 70s ka heroes contemplating life and losses. A good number of times it is natural but then sometimes there’s acting skill at work. On other times I would be lying on the bed watching TV and get onto 9XM and it plays “Balam Pichkaari” and I’m jumping my way off with wackiest expressions. You get me,right?

I love Hindi poetry and when words get weaved into lyrics then music,that’s magic. I enjoy tracing a song’s backward journey-when it was just a collection of words.
For English songs I am a novice. I caught up on few famous numbers only to survive among people who think English songs and GOT are essentials of existence.

So here I have a list of 10 songs that I have given my heart to this July. Do tell me in the comments section if you like any of these:-

1) Raske bhare tore Nain
  Shafqat Amanat Ali, Satyagraha

This singer injects the words in your blood. If you have listened to ‘Fir le aaya Dil‘ you’ll know what I mean.
Raske bhare…  catches you at the first note. Classical,soulful and perfect chakna to your chai.

            

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2) Nain Parindey
  Shilpa Rao, Lafangey Parindey

You know Shilpa Rao’s husky calming voice from ‘Manmarziyaan‘. She grabs you,holds your nerve and takes you wherever the song goes.And the lyrics work wonders to a dreamy heart.
       “पंख झटक ये उड़ जाएंगे
       सपनों को अपने घर लाएन्गें
       मगरूर बडे मतवारे नैन
        नैन परिन्दे पगले दो नैन”
        

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3) A Certain Romance:-
   Arctic Monkeys

I got introduced to this phenomenon called Arctic Monkeys very recently(what a pity!). What I loved about them is that they know the things they do are not supposed to be that way.They do it nonetheless. And so wonderfully. This particular song,I love it for the guitar and bass. Lyrics secondary.

4) Saawan Bairi:-
   Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Commando

Monsoon. Rahat Saab. Sigh.
I have come along to admire Mayur Puri as a lyricist. He is so versatile. Does the peppy numbers as good as the deep ones. This song has some really passionate and power phrases and intimidating imagery.
   “छू लू जो, तुझे छू लू तो,
     खुद को ही चुभ जाऊं”

        

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5) Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon
  Shamshaad Begum, Patanga

There’s no way you do not recall her when you think “Retro”. The millenial kids would know the remixes of her songs with the dance steps. That also introduced us to Deepal Shaw,Barkha Bisht, Sophie Chaudhary, Tanushree Dutta. This song has all it takes you tickle your funnybones.

Oh and here we are,dancing it off 😛
  

6) Million Years Ago:-
   Adele

There are days when I have played this song for hours on loop. There’s melancholy,there’s nostalgia and there’s an attitude to it. Each single line telling a story of its own.
   “Learning to run
    I let my heart decide the way
    When I was young
    Deep down I must have always
    known,
    That this would be inevitable
      

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7) Sau Tarah Ke
    Jonita Gandhi, Amit Mishra Dhishoom  

You don’t listen to this song. You watch it. Because,Jacqueline. How could somebody look so so sensuous and cute the same time? That’s teaching. The song is mean,peppy and a for sure entry to party albums this year.

     

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8) Woh pehli baar
     Shaan

Shaan means old school romance to me. His voice is love. He breathes soft magic to words. And this song has an absoulte charm about it;takes you to the lala land.

9) Behke behke nain
    Anushka Manchanda,Aisha

Have you heard this song? No? Do it on priority. Maybe they do jazz on such music. The music just matches pace with your heartbeat and then raises it and plays around. Anushka’s voice is sexy. That would still be an understatement. And Sonam looks like a dream in it.
    

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10) Awari
      Soch,The Band. Ek villain

The word Awari itself does something to thoughts. The music is enticing. Lyrics so deep and painful,you almost cry. And Prachi Desai. Sigh.
    

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Source-Indicine

  

As the night descends

It’s 7:30 in the evening. The sun has gone down and there is an after taste of the light. Enough light to see people move. Enough to watch trees sway to the mild breeze. Not enough to call a place my own and succumb in there for the night. It has been a rainy day. My favourite kind,yeah. And I spent my time till the afternoon out there in the city because I had been longing to do that and because the dryness inside was mind numbing. I spent the morning treading on the Lodhi Road and finding Jamuns from trees. The rain continued. The umbrella was only a means to act sane. I then grabbed a lunch in Satya Niketan with a friend.
        

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On the Lodhi Road

      

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Satya niketan cafe(Canteen)

As I now watch the evening turn dark,I want to remember how I felt yesterday. Or the day before. This is probably the most excruciatingly painful(to say the least) bunch of months I have seen. You know how you have a certain belief that this is just a little phase but then it stays. You feel that it is abnormal and unfit and it would go. But it stays. It stays to become the normal and all your optimism gets convicted.

Relationships are a muddle. An oreo mud cake. Some parts crunchy,some gooey,some sweet,some sweeter,some having the tad bit bitterness of the dark chocolate. But there in your soul,they are satisfying. You are always so full and yet there is room for more. I had known relationships in no other way. But in past few months I have seen them turn one flavour of bitter. No matter how much love they are fed they have turned resistant. Worsened. That’s not even the worst part. To see the happiest hearts come and utter words of despair on my shoulder,is probably the most disappointing feeling ever.

The nights as they progress bring dreams or not. The relationships as they lopside sure do break them. To see ruthlessness,insensitivity,egoistic battles all around you all the time,makes you all but thirsty for love. That denied,wraps it all up.

Could I call the night my own? Have you ever? Hasn’t it always been there for you? Days bring so many emotions and people to us but on most nights we are solitary dreamers. Nights serve as a travel bag where we pack everything that we owned,or were gifted or took as a memoir. But that bag,is solely ours. I do wish to call the night sky mine for I can whisper away everything to it.

The dilemma however is,would it be the same sky tomorrow morning? Would the whispers linger around or come back to me?

I so wish none of you have ever felt this.

Love and hope
Archita
        
        

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The sky from where I see

For the love of love

I love love. Love in any form. And I believe that the easiest magic to create and find is love. Watch your mother smile,just goddamn give that brother a glass of water,call your best friend(ok give a missed call) and ask him if he’s fine and end up talking about a silly crush you had few years ago,watch the sky build up clouds,listen to kids talking among themselves when one thinks he can explain the intricacies of terrorism to the other and goes about describing devils and angels..There’s love everywhere. At times I have found love when I have been scolded for being lazy and rather than reverting back I have foolishly smiled at all the wonderfully cuss woven words thrown at me. I don’t know why but if there’s one thing I really wish to accumulate and spend throughout my life,it just has to be love.

I have been told that I go overboard with that and I end up messing things. To which I have no answer. Honestly I have messed up only once in life and that remains the most glorious mess I could ever imagine to exist in my life. Here’s the quirk-The cause and cure of that mess was love yet again. Thankfully,it is all sorted now. All the other times,I do not want to call them messy. I surely have lost people. Some may even have grudges against me(though I don’t hold any). I have given crazy amount of love and importance to people who do not even reply properly if I text now. But somehow that fails to hold me back. I still text them few days later to ask if they’re fine. There was a time when I texted out of love and in return I got cold,harsh,demeaning replies of a headstrong narcissist. That couldn’t stop me from letting him know that I still think of him(although I mended my ways). At times I want to question myself,as in, “Hello Archi,woman do you have any form of self value?”. But isn’t it a life too short for talking to ourselves only and not letting ourselves loose to love?

However,yesterday as I talked to a friend( whom I valued way too much at a time and he just didn’t get it so he had mastered the art of being rude) I realized that something is flawed in the whole concept of love these days. Here we are talking about the Man-Woman love. The romantic and everlasting kind of love. So as my friend and I kept talking,I suddenly began to feel negated. I asked him about his love life and he told me he’s looking for someone of his caste. I pointed out that for someone who has had impressive education and is doing well,this is a little baffling search. So I told him that ultimately compatibility matters. To which he said that compatibility can be built with time but if while dating he actually wants to take things forward,being of same caste would help. Rather disturbed,I wished him luck and good night. (what else could i say anyway).

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But I couldn’t really sleep. Something was not right in how he was seeking love. He deserves love;we all deserve love. Why does then his quest seem inappropriate. Meanwhile,I was on Instagram planning to upload a selfie with a friend. That it when it clicked me what was wrong. The filters. Not on my selfie but on love. He had put filters while seeking love. Filter of caste.

And as the night progressed,it made sense. These days mostly people find companions through these filters. Tinder,Shaadi.com..they provide a whole array of filters-religion,caste,education,skin color,height,job preference and probably sexual preferences as well(kinky or no kinky ,I guess). So what they ultimately get is a duly processed partner. Love follows. Or probably it doesn’t but at least people are satisfied.
So when exactly falling in love happens?

Are we even letting love happen? Are we even allowing attraction to develop? Even before the crush happens,we tell ourselves that he’s too rich,or tall or not my type etc etc. Relations look like an instagram picture to me now. Born of filters. Where is the love that happens organically?

And here I recall a wonderful line. When I told a wise elder that-“I felt I was in love when I was 15-16,isn’t that stupid?”. To which he replied-“प्यार तो उसी उमर में होता है,उसके आगे सब गणित है”, which means, “True love actually happens in that age only. What happens later is calculated Mathematics”.

Signing off with truckloads of organic love,

Archita

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Instagram filters on that note

Let’s talk Rains

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Somebody said I look like the Conjuring ghost in it but duck it,yeah

Being a Delhi person for a pretty long time,I have had the very justified love hate relationship with the rains. You can feel this even better if you have close friends living in Mumbai,Goa,Bengal or any coastal area where rain gods are bigtime generous. When they tell you that it’s raining there and you are here dealing with Surya dev(Sun god) you get super jealous.

Meanwhile, *Jo tu mera humdard hai* plays in the background.

I am a crazy Bollywood fanatic for one. So the rains just HAVE to be special for me. The dark clouds have been known to evoke all kinds of happy emotions and love outpours in me. I may have had most of my crushes on a rainy day. Maybe because that way it is easier to wash the memories away. Haha! Come thunder and I have an entire playlist of rain centric bollywood songs from “Ghode jaisi chaal” to “Lag ja gale” to “Saawan Barse” to “Idhar chala mai udhar chala”. The winds carry me away to all places of childhood to first love to breakups. Maybe that’s the thing with seasons; they have memorable roles in our lives. Or maybe that’s the thing with life;it touches seasons as well. This isn’t a very well developed idea so let’s leave it at that.

Last to last night,power was gone for good 7 hours(AAP,BSES are you listening?) and I had been cursing everyone sleepheadedly. I goddamn needed sleep but not without my cooling devices. But then the night sky became yellow and it was lightening and thunder all over the sky and the wind tickling each cell of my soul. All I did was to lie down close to the balcony and watch the colour show until it started to pour heavily. And boy! It rained for good two hours non-stop. Sleep? I dared the dreamy sleep to get lost coz I wanted to watch the magnificence the sky was showering down. I just smiled at each lightening stroke.  Many a times I have felt,it rains just for me.

But I also dislike something about rains and no it is not the mud or traffic or humidity. I am not into those things. I love the traffic in rains. I love the mud and the mess and I enjoy when people frown at it because that frown takes too long to be seen in Delhi. What I dislike is the world after it has rained. I hate it when the skies become crystal clear and the sun comes back to glory. I want the dark heavy clouds to win. I love the days when it is still cloudy after a generous spell. I do not really have any justification for this. Maybe I love the anticipation of rain more than the rain itself.

The song has changed to- *Zara Zara behekta hai*

I hope it rains tonight.

Love and breezy smiles
Archita

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All dreamy and Saawan struck

P.S Amongst all the romanticism,let us all pray for those affected by the cloudburst in Uttarakhand.

Meet Seema Bhoi,the Maths hating entrepreneur

Do you like stories,and people,and people with stories to tell? Do you feel like sitting with people and just listening to what they have gathered by far in terms of experience? For me,it could be my career. I love listening. I love finding stories that I relate to,and I doubly love those that I don’t relate to because they open up a whole new opportunity to see fresh struggles and dreams and victories and failures.
For the very same reason,I bring to you this MEET series,wherein I will put forth you,interviews of people who I personally admire. Every human is a fighter and survivor. I will bring to stories to celebrate the people who probably walk with you on the subway or travel with you in the Metro and you have no idea how inspiring can they be.I start this with Seema.

Seema Bhoi,is what becomes when hell lot of ATP gets packaged in a single body of cells. She is the co-founder of Vibaantta Group and Meethi Lassi.
Find more on http://www.meethilassi.com  and
http://www.vibaantta.com

Being an excellent content strategist,she deals in online and social media marketing,management and business development. She took to the startup route when she realized she isn’t the typical 9-5 person. Let’s just get to what this woman has to say to us.

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So the preface,what is your family background? Basically tell me how did Seema Bhoi grow up? What kind of a child and teenager were you?
I grew up in a liberal family! Very supportive and loving parents. I could get away with anything, but sadly I was a good child. A no-nonsense person and never took advantage of it…I should have! I would have had a bunch of good stories to tell you… As a teenager I barely had much fun outside home. Childhood was more into painting, crafts and debates. Leave me with paint, brushes and canvas, and I was a happy kid! I thought I’ll be a painting artist one day.

Tell me about your academic history, the kind of student you were, your favorite subjects. Anything remarkable that shaped up your mind?
Though I was always a sincere student, but I was not great with grades. I had difficulty in learning, understanding and memorizing things, but nobody gave me a hard time about it, except this one teacher! Haha!

Ah! Why did you ask about my favorite subject? It reminded me of subject I was bad at. I can’t say I had a favorite subject, but I’ll tell you about the one that gave me nightmares! I have never been great with mathematics. Till today, I struggle with my company accounts. I remember, my father putting his efforts making me solve mathematical problems. I am that terrible with numbers that even today he takes care of my accounts.

What was life after college? What were your plans? Did they work out? Did you take up a job?
As soon as I finished college, I knew years to come will be only corporate job, but for not long. I took up an executive job to start with and jumped from companies to companies to figure out whether is it what I want to do.

Your plans don’t work every time. And that’s why I say, keep plan B ready. As you can see today, that life did not work out. But yes, it did pave the way for where I am today.

Why did you leave job to take the entrepreneurial route? What was the inspiration?
Working as a paid employee, justifying your salary each day and saying yes to things you don’t agree with was not making me happy. The culture of running every morning to catch bus/metro just to punch in sharp at 9:00 am was somewhere not fitting in. I do not want people working with me to go through all this. All that was happening wrong was the inspiration.

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How was Vibaantta born? How did the child grow? Also, what does Vibaantta mean. What happens at Vibaantta?
Vibaantta was born years ago but did not have a name. Fortunately, business partner Paras Sachdev came in with motivation to materialize the idea to take it a level up. Vibaantta grew with immense support of both our families. Credit also goes to friends and everybody who have unknowingly contributed. We are glad that, in the journey, we added many clients who are now a vital part of Vibaantta family.

Vibaantta means living, alive, as opposed to the life I was living as a corporate slave. According to numerology, Vibaantta deemed fit. We help startups and established brands flourish on digital platforms offering services that includes, Radio advertisements, Newspaper advertisements, Social Media Marketing, Content Production etc.

How is Vibaantta doing now? Would you like to share few statistics?
We are in the 3rd year now. We plan to expand in other cities and overseas hereafter. We already have our network working across the country and representatives overseas. Our clientele includes both international and domestic brands. Today we have more than 100 writers and editors and have teamed up with various small and medium content agencies.

What are your personal creative interests? What is your idea of art?
I barely get time to even think about personal interests. Work keeps me occupied all 365 days. However, since the work itself is creative, you will find me multi-tasking between logo designs, brochures, advertisements, stories, write-ups etc.

Art to me is expressing your ideas visually!

What is the working culture at Vibaantta? Do you hire interns?
Experiencing the job culture in India for over 6 years, I never wanted to adopt a 9 to 5 work culture. We work all day and party all day! At our battle ground, there is no hierarchy and there are no bosses. Every individual working with us is a next entrepreneur. Vibaantta proudly says – nurturing entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

There is a huge opportunity for interns here. They work on live projects and get to learn with other team members at the hub.

Although I really hope this question stops existing but tell me, what is it like for a woman to step out in the market? Throw light on your struggles and experiences.
I have personally experience both advantages and disadvantages of being a woman. Trust me there are more benefits of being a business woman. I also can’t deny the fact that men in life have been pillar support to get me here. My father being a constant support throughout and business partner Paras Sachdev in all these years. I am glad that it has been painless struggle because of these two people.
When I started, I was only told that it’s not for women. Let me shout at those through this medium, that I am still doing it and you are most welcome to join. Like others, even I get to listen, that it’s going to be over after marriage. You have to remember that it’s not easy but it’s not impossible

What is your vision for Vibaantta 5 years from now? And where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

Vibaantta Group is slowly extending wings and we are working on various ventures with like-minded people. Few are crazy ideas and few being something that will help the society/industries.

Life looks complicated today between, work, family and relationships. I am a happy lucky person today, and don’t think it can be any better than this. I wish to see simple life ahead. Few years from now, if all plans work accordingly there will be multiple digital assets.

Apart from work what else does Seema indulge in?
There comes an interesting one! I watch a lot of food videos, I am bollywood movie fan…Sundays are about movies only. I watch a lot of inspirational videos. I read and follow Robin Sharma. I am big fan of Zakhir Khan (the standup comedian).. His videos are like stress buster.

One cause that you passionately believe in.
A helping hand for the ones in need.

Any message to the world out there?
That’s my favorite question! Message goes out to the parents, who still think their children will fulfill their dreams. We need to accept the fact that every child is genius. All he needs is your support to flourish. Who knew selling grocery online will be a big business today.

You can conact Seema here:-

https://incom/in/seemabhoi.linkedin.

https://www.facebook.com/seemabhoi

Email her at seemabhoi@vibaantta.com

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