Friday, January 29, 2016

A year in a start up!

A few days ago I was told that I completed a year at the start up Stylewhack and I just couldn't believe it! 

It seemed just yesterday that I met the founder of the start up at a FB group who was looking for writers and I thought of approaching her for the opportunity. My life has changed dramatically since that message I dropped to this young lady! It is so cliched, right? Meeting even your new boss over the internet ;)

This young lady named Shweta liked my writing style and thus began my journey of being a professional writer for a real time website! I started small with a series called 'What makes me Happy' talking about small and minute things in life which make me happy but which we often forget about. At that juncture of time, I wrote one article per week and was pretty much content with that volume.

Then we were hit by the tsunami called 'Shweta's atma' which suddenly rose into a die hard entrepreneur mode and we wanted to do much more with Stylewhack with all our focus on how to make it BIG! 

My real development started after this tsunami hit us where I started writing out of my comfort zone, taking up topics which were not at all my genre. I wasn't a success in a fortnight for sure. I still remember an article which I wrote on Anarkali dresses and it was a disaster. Me and Shweta have a hearty laugh even today thinking about that immature article!! But yes, I had this insatiable hunger to do well, to widen my horizons, to try something new, to challenge my comfort zone. And I did exactly that! I asked Shweta what more can I do, how else can I contribute other than writing and thus began the exciting ride at Stylewhack. 

I started as a Creative Writer and today I am the Executive Editor at Stylewhack, doing a lot more than I could have envisaged myself doing when I first joined Stylewhack. I edit, I come up with ideas, I am part of strategies, I brainstorm, I own and run individual projects and of course I write :) My personal growth at this startup has progressed in leaps and bounds making me capable enough to take on any challenges in the social media or writing world head on. My husband today says that I can cook up a story if I am given just 2 words ;)

Another major influential factor in my growth was the people I met through this startup. The team is a close knit family where we laugh, cry and swear together. Every individual is unique bringing something new to the table. I also came in contact with different people because of my work at Stylewhack - sometimes interviewing them, sometimes making cover stories on them and sometimes just researching them to come up with some solid stories. The Social Spotlight section is one such section, for which I met people who are selflessly making a difference to the society. I also got to be associated with some celebrities and I made a huge deal about it, publicizing it within my close friend circle and family ;) 

Saying all this, I still can't digest the fact that I have not met my team in person as yet. My team met this month sometime back and it is then I realized how much all of them mean to me and how much I want to be there with them. But till USCIS decides to grant us our visa extension, I think I will have to be happy with watching them from here for the time being!

The wild, crazy, mad gang of Stylewhack. Many of the faces are still missing in the pic!

Stylewhack is at a very promising stage today, growing exponentially and spreading some unheard stories. We still have a long way to go, to transform our venture into the dream destination we have been waiting always. But I am sure, we will reach there one day.....soon.

I cannot emphasize enough the bright sides of working in a startup. It gives you the adrenaline rush you don't experience in an organized set up where there are defined processes. And if you have a boss like mine who lets you do anything, then there is nothing more you can ask for ;)

This mug gifted to me by my boss which traveled from Mangalore to Pune to Denver and then to me in Palm Beach Gardens, sits right in front of me on my work desk. As I work on my laptop completing umpteen number of tasks each single day, the mug reminds me the love and respect I am showered at, at this start up!

PS - Check out the venture at - 
or follow us on FB at

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Questioning my Faith

I have always believed that I am God's blessed child. I had it quite easy as compared to my sister or my husband. I got things the first time without much of an effort. Even during the worst of times, I always had something to look upto and smile.

There have been times when I should have questioned my faith, but I haven't.

Image Via

Most of my sister's and mine growing years, our mother was ill and bedridden. I think for almost a decade, she was up and down in her health graph. All those school years, my dad did everything for us. He cooked, he bathed us, he made us ready for school, he dropped us to school and then picked us up along with making a living for us. 

I was young then, yet to form the strong beliefs of faith. But even then, I never once thought that 'why is this happening to us?' My sister and me were good kids even then, though the home situation wasn't favorable for us. We were good in academics and also never ever created any nuisance.

My mom was recovering and then the Harshad Mehta scam hit us! My dad used to trade quite a bit in the stock market then and all our savings came crashing down due to one scam which shook the entire economy. Since then, life was difficult. But not impossible. Amidst the small pockets, I completed my education. I did my MBA in Human Resources, started working and things started getting better.

In all those years, I never questioned faith. Yes, there was a problem. But in that economic crisis also, God made sure that money came in when it was needed the most. Unlike my sister, who had to start working earlier to finance her later education.

These two are the only drastic situations where I should have questioned my faith and asked God, "Why me?" But I didn't. I didn't because inspite of the adversaries, I still was content. 

I started praying not to get something from Him. But to bow down to a supreme force and just feel it's supremacy. To feel content that I am being watched by someone up there. To know that I am in good hands.

But last week something hit me and I have been shattered since then. I don't even have the courage to spell out what happened but yes, it still haunts me. It crushed that strong cushion of faith around me, it made me doubt my beliefs, it made me question my faith. That why God, why with me? I have been torn apart and struggling to resurrect my faith, but with no success.

I was crying incoherently and sobbing to my husband asking why is HE being so cruel? Why is HE being so unfair? And you know what my husband said to me? 

What about the rest of the 100 things HE has done good for you? 

These words from a guy who has never got anything in his life easy. My husband has struggled always. He never gets anything that he aspires in the first go. A lot of struggle, a lot of delays and then maybe he gets what he wants. This person, this person who has struggled always was asking me this crucial question.

I was numb and pondered on what he said to me. 

Is my faith so frugal that a small blow shatters it down. Am I so vulnerable, that a disappointment makes me doubt my own faith. Are my prayers so weak that an adversary can cut through them? Am I so selfish, that I forgot all the other things HE did for me?

He kept our family together even after the shortcomings, He made us stronger and tougher, He gave me a job in 2008 and did not let me get fired when the economy was in shambles and I saw 25 employees getting fired in front of me, He gave me a husband who is a gem of a person, He gave me a new family who love me as their daughter, He gave me a job within a month after shifting to Chennai while my friend had to wait for 1.5 years to get back to work after relocating post marriage, He made my sister and me independant enough that we can take care of our parents, He gave me a chance to come to a foreign land and spread inspiration through my writing, He gave me a smile which rarely wilts, He gave me an outlook to tear down every adversary into pieces and find a optimistic ray of hope within, He gave me Faith to which I can hold tightly even in the worst times.

Yes, He gave me all that and much more. 

That one question made me stand up again. He just has not given me one thing and I am making such a big racket down here, cursing Him and blaming Him. My faith resurrects as I remember the 100 other things He did for me!

My faith is intact and maybe, maybe one day He will give me what he just snatched from me last week! Even if He doesn't, my faith is strong enough to face the truth heads up and restart.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Why I am an introvert!

Yes, you heard it right! I am an introvert, though the people around who don't know me well will think I am full of attitude as I don't mingle and people might think I have a smug face! Well, to people and their perceptions!!!

Image Credit

I am an introvert because I do not like a large group of people around me. It makes me claustrophobic. It makes me conscious that each one of them is judging me and that too judging me in the wrong way. A herd makes me extremely uncomfortable.

Second reason of me being away from all the social life is I like to keep my circle small with good people. I hate drama, I hate cheap gossip, I hate people talking at your backs, I hate petty fights which are turned into world wars, I hate the constant nagging to keep up with the group, I hate to fake smile, I hate to be pulled down by jealous people. When your social circle is big, all these things tend to happen no matter what and you cannot control. 

I am happy in my very small world with my husband, my family back home, a few good friends, my writing, my books, Toastmasters and currently my exhilarating stint at Stylewhack. I like being in my own cocoon and letting only the treasured ones inside that cocoon.

I love being in the warmth of my home with my loved ones doing something which I like instead of attending a party hosted by someone whom I don't even know that well. 

The other day I watched the local cricket tournament which happens in my Community! I was there because I love to watch my husband play. I have been watching him play since our dating days - Infosys football, Cognizant football, US football and now cricket. He is a different person on the field, I love to see the transition between normal Sujoy and sportsman Sujoy. Oops! Sorry, I got a little carried away with my love for Sujoy and his sports! So getting back to the point, I had gone to watch the cricket match and and I was the only one female in the audience for most of the tournament time! And it was liberating!

I love to see him dribble!!

Not that I didn't enjoy the last time I was there with a bunch of women, but this time it was different and I could enjoy every bit of the match swearing without thinking of the audience around. I did not deter for a moment also that what will everyone think that I have come all alone to watch the matches. I think that is what being an introvert means - being happy to be alone in a crowd and being in their own world!

But my closer circle knows how talkative I am, how caring I am, how positive I am, how pissed I get at certain things, how I love watching cartoon movies, how I get engrossed in books, how I get excited about Toastmasters, how I love writing, how I am obsessed with certain things!!!!! And I think that is what matters - my beloved people knowing me, rather than a bunch of unknown people trying to gauge me!

Me and My Happy World

Bottom line is - I love being an introvert and don't think I am going to change this any sooner!

Friday, January 8, 2016

8 Days into Forgiveness

As you all know my word for 2016 is Forgiveness. And as I am practising this virtue in my day to day life, I just thought about sharing my journey so far.

Has it been easy? 
- Definitely not! 

Am I liking it? 
-Sometimes yes, but sometimes I feel like ripping off the contact with a certain person rather than forgiving. 

Do I think I will be able to continue with this charade of pretending to forgive? 
Definitely No!

Come on, it is just 8 days into this new word and I think I am doing better as compared to what I envisioned. Just a few days ago I came across this poster from Sun Gazing and it explains my sentiments so aptly - 

I started with my forgiveness spree by getting in touch with everyone whom I had deliberately cut off from my life due to reasons which could not be forgiven. It was the most difficult step to take as it brought back all those memories of betrayal, insult, hatred and animosity. Getting back in touch with them and behaving nothing ever happened was an insurmountable mountain which I am still struggling to conquer. But what has kept me on track is giving the benefit of doubt that those human beings might also have evolved and changed since I knew them last.

Then there are some folks whom I just cannot come to forgive. At least not at this point of time. I am leaving them off my forgiveness radar at least for the time being.

What I have realized is someone admitting their mistake and saying 'Sorry' makes forgiving a little easier. Maybe. I have never found it difficult to admit my mistakes and say sorry to the person who was hurt because of my actions. I have done it every time without having any ego issues. But for some, saying 'sorry' is also a humongous ask. And it makes my life hell to forgive someone who isn't even apologetic of their actions.

But as I am inculcating forgiveness in my life, I have started believing that getting rid of that rancid hatred feeling is elevating. I am feeling liberated to some extent by taking these baby steps. Why to hold on to one small incident in life and break up all ties with a person? Why not to give benefit of doubt to someone? Why to hold on a grudge all life long? Why not forgive and move on?

These Whys seem simple on the outset but the way I figure out the answers to those Whys will determine the kind of human being I am. I am staying put on this mission of 'Forgiveness'.

Image Credit

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Top 3 Blogs of 2015!

I would like to thank each one of you who came and read all my stories, sent me messages of appreciation as well as constructive feedback, told me that my stories inspire you, shared your stories with me and of course those of you came again and again to read my scribblings! I am thankful from the bottom of my heart to all of you :)

I hope that your love and support is with me this new year and all the next years to come :)

That smile is because all of you mean a lot to me :)

As the year went by, here are the top 3 blogs at my everyday blog as well as the 52 weeks adventure gig blog. These are the stories you loved the most!

Happy Reading! Or should I say re-reading? :)

My Blog:

Guest Post on Gratitude: This is my most read blog of the year. It was a pleasure writing this guest post on a fellow blogger's website, who now is a very good friend :)

Nurturing Growth: My journey in US so far and how it has helped me to grow as a person. This one brought a lot of memories!

The Twisted World of Relationships: A glance at today's relationships and how bonds are deteriorating amidst the influx of unwanted desires, temptations and of course social media.

My 52 weeks of Adventure:

My Parasailing Experience: This is the most adventurous thing I did till I did ziplining later :P My mental fight while trying to tell myself that it is ok!

Warli Art: This was the first project, our girl's gang undertook and it was so much fun. Loved every bit of this experience and all the other projects we did as a gang!

The Tattoo Experience: Finally after a year of pondering I finally got inked in my favorite word and theme. Check out my tattooing experience down here -

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Word for 2016

You know my word for 2015 was 'Gratitude' and I lived every bit of my life in 2015 engulfing and assimilating the real meaning of gratitude. I was so influenced with my way of new life with gratitude that I even got inked in my gratitude tree. The journey with gratitude still continues and it is time to choose a new word for 2016.

That is my gratitude tree

The whole idea of choosing a word instead of some 10 new year resolutions is being true to yourself and sticking to this one singular goal. This one word represents who you want to be and how you want to live.

Choosing the word for 2016 was not that difficult. Since a month or so I have been infected with intense hatred for some people in my life. This is extremely unusual for me as I do not feel such intense negative feelings for anyone. I am typically a positive person looking at the good things in people as well as life.

The hatred has made me a little silly as well as turning me into a person which I is so not me. We just get one life, why to waste it in hating someone who does not even matter in your life. So my word for 2016 is 'Forgiveness'. 

Forgiving and moving forward. Not dwelling on someone doing wrong to me, forgiving someone plagiarizing my content, forgiving people using me, forgiving those gossiping and spreading rumours about me, forgiving those being insecure because of my presence, forgiving those being jealous about my journey, forgiving those who want to pull me down, forgiving one and all.

I know this is not going to be a cake walk. But in order to grow as a human being, I need to give it a try at least. This is more for me than those who affect my life in a negative way. Getting rid of all that extreme hatred is the need of the hour.

So join me in wishing me all the best in this difficult crusade I have taken up for this year. I don't know how successful I will be in this task, but I am here to give it a try at least.

"Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on."
-Criss Jami, Salome: In Every Inch In Every Mile

And trust me I am substantial enough!

To 2016!!!!!

New year, new beginnings!