‘Be that girl, ‘The process of famous writers’, ‘The French girl secrets’, ‘Learn life from Jennifer Anniston’,’ Blue zone habits’, ‘The fancy lives of Royals’. Have you heard of these?

I am sure you have as you are here and not under a rock. In case you happen to just come out of that rock which btw is so cool and do tell me about your experience there but these phenomenons are what are famous on the internet these decades. Now, there are many out there and these are only a few that I find myself gravitating towards from time to time. Internet is crowded with more ‘how to better your life’ principles than I can possibly adopt. Every new person on the internet is talking about the life rituals that make them successful.

NOW, HOLD ON, I AM NOT BLAMING THE INTERNET. Ask any 80s kid if they never suffered from comparisonitis in their teen life? Sure, they did. Back then, you wanted to be like that famous kid in the school or in my case or like Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian woman to go to space. Good luck and bad luck that there were no internet outlets for the world to see their daily routines and the magazines were few and expensive.

In the last decades or so, I have heard it all from what to eat, what time to get up, what to not eat, what and what not to wear. And I have tried some from time to time ( I know – I am guilty) but even then, I feel like I am almost the same person as I was before binging these, or am I? Perhaps I am a sum total of all these things plus my strong personality.

After all these years of trying to be a better version of myself and of following the fancy lives of the internet sisters, I now know that there are a few things that this girl just won’t give up ( even if they are not perfectly good for me). These are the few tidbits of happiness that brighten my life and life is for living as much as it is for achieving the better version of oneself. I would like to think that the better version of me knows that these are few non-negotiables and I can still manage to have ‘My version of a happy – successful – healthy life.

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
― Rumi

These are the little joys of my life and I am not giving those up: full & final.

Many cups of daily chai

If you have a problem with that then leave, I mean right now.

I have been told to ditch this habit by everyone – my mom, my doctor, and my friends but this persisted. Dr. Huberman, do you want a specimen to test what tea addiction is? I am volunteering. I tried leaving it from time to time only to make myself every unhappy so finally, I decided that I AM NEVER EVER GOING TO LEAVE MY CHAI, EVER.

Photo by Harshit Mahabale on Unsplash

Give me some Cheese

Do you know that there are more than 1800 types of cheese in the world? I haven’t even tried 15 so far and I believe that I am on a journey. This one habit of consuming cheese in all its forms is for my future generations who can proudly say that granny knew 100s of cheeses. Now, what an invention is done by mankind with cheese. Clapps!

Those who know me now know why I wanted a picnic wedding theme with charcuterie board( because it has cheeseeee). This was lovely arrangement by my lovely sis-in-law, Allison.

Really is bread bad?

Okay, I bite. I will quit, say in…….never.

So much hatred on this lovely load of bread. I mean, leave it alone. Our ancestors ate this humble invention and lived their lives. Yeah, I know Gluten is bad and I do sometimes get allergies from it and I also know that these industrial bread are bad and I agree – they taste like cardboard. But you can bake one and I see people baking with gluten-free stuff all the time. Now, I have not yet acquired the bread baking talent but that is the plan for 2022 so stay tuned.

So far nothing has come close to this German Brotchen I had in Stuttgart

My love for bread and everything in between from croissants to bagels and this love is here to stay. But course I can’t enjoy these as much as I used to before being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes but still they stay in somewhat healthy form in my life. I aim to become that grandma who gives sourdough starter to kids in the family and no, I am not going for that oat thing that all the internet sisters are eating. I will eat my bread with butter and cheese and chai. Thank you!

I love cookies and biscuits and everything in between

Funny thing, when we were in Florida a few months ago, my lovely sister-in-law was on a spree of spoiling me so she asked me my favorite food items. I told her- bread and biscuits and her face lit up and she then took me to the best place in st Petersberg where you get the best biscuits in Florida. We sit there in excitement waiting for the best biscuit America has to offer me – here comes these: The Southern American Biscuits

Photo by Jodie Morgan on Unsplash

I loved these and they are coming into my house in 2022 too, so stay tuned (self-promotion). Honestly, I was blown away by these lovelies and at first, I was like – what are these as they surely don’t resemble anything biscuity to me but what an invention these are. Can’t wait for my parents to try these. So now, I have started to say that I love cookies and biscuits. Allison, I meant these when I said biscuits-

Photo by Thomas Bormans on Unsplash

Once again, being type 1 diabetic, I do have to make a lot of consideration before eating this favorite food item so they are now more than special to me.

Buying flowers now and then is expensive but it makes me happy

From the time I had the image of my house, I knew there will be flowers on the kitchen table. So far, I have not been able to live this dream but this is me and this stays. I never realized this but whenever I go to a new location, I make subtle observations of nice flower boutiques nearby. I am very sure that once I will start earning again, I will get this inner joy from shopping for these in the lovely boutiques.

Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash

Candles on the table, candles in bathroom, candles on work desk

Always happy to receive nice candles as a gift – hygge me( Jonathan this can not be the Christmas gift that you have to give me- this can be a side gift. Just thought I will clarify here).

I love the Scandinavian hygge method of burning candles – during the workday or to set the evening right. I did this when I was in India where not many did this and now, I am really happy to light my daily evening candle as this is normal here and we both love it.

Photo by Chelsea shapouri on Unsplash

The Comfy yet Classy clothes – what is fashion?

I am my own person – I don’t care if I am or I am not trendy enough for you, get over yourself.

That was a bold statement and truth be told, I have struggled my whole life to fit in. A mixed Panjabi -Malayali in majorly Panjabi society of Delhi, a somewhat Panjabi in a complete southern city of Bangalore, a somewhat southern city girl in ultra-modern Delhi MNC. Finally, when that girl moved to New York, she found herself yet again in the same situation. But one thing I have accepted now is that I love my style. I like to call myself a semi-chic francophile but who am I kidding – I have my own quirks.

I love jamming to 90s & aughts Bollywood music and give me some ghazals in between

Many kids in my school and then in the office found me weird for my taste in music. One thing people sadly do a lot is trying to like the new age hip music. During my phase of trying to fit in – I decided early on to not make compromises to this. I remained that girl who danced to 90s nanapatekar song Love Rap and refused to sing the new age hip song. Even now, when I get homesick, I play A R Rehman or hits of Shahrukh Khan or that of Prateek Kuhad in our New York City apartment. My neighbors haven’t complained yet so I am assuming I am not too loud. One of our favorite these days-

I Still love journals – the old style

I was journaling as a kid and no it was not fancy like today’s bullet journals though, a few years ago, I did try my hands at that. This one habit of buying, writing, and saving journals can also be a sort of hoarding trait of my personality. Recently I was sharing with mom on the real reason I write and there is a story here. So grab your blanket, set your bonfire as I am about to tell you a story from my life.

When I was a kid, we used to live in this big house where my grandparents used to live. The first floor of the house was empty and there was this big room that had all the junk. No one even opened that room and obviously, I and my sister had announced that Ghost stays there. Every time we would come from school, we would sprint to the 1st floor so the ghost could not catch us. Then one day, dad had to find something in that room so he took me there too. The room was not junk, it was filled with memories. There were things from my grandfather’s old army days pictures to my aunty’s block paintings. I had found a part of me there, in my family’s heritage. After that, I went there a lot and I loved the whole experience of wiping the dirt, cleaning the cobwebs, and then immersing into the history of my family. There one day, I found this diary filled with recipes, some life notes, and family accounts. I can’t say for sure whose was it and my best guess is that it was my grandfather’s but since then, I started to dream of making journals like these for my grandkids. There is something really cozy about finding what your ancestors thought and went through and as a teenager, I was surely going through a lot. And this would mean telling the future generation that they are going to be fine too as I will be fine.

Photo by Jack Cohen on Unsplash

Romance is not cringy

Whoever says that romance is cringy is not welcome to the sheetal party. I love romantic stories. I can spend hours reading about lovers separated during wars, a normal couple finding pieces of one other during a hard daily life and I also love the over the top- cringeworthy romantic gestures. Yes, I watched it all — the reality proposals, the big dates plannings and what not and I love those.

Personally, I am a bit shy in expressing and its awesome because my husband does that part for me. I love it that he is so damn romantic. Lucky me.

Binging is bad but I will watch the same movies again and again ( bingold is what I call this)

I am not promoting binge watching here, as long as we know that, we are good to go. What I am saying is that I am that weirdo who can sit and watch Rang De Basanti for the 100th time and still cry at the end. I think I got this one from my dad as he has been my partner in many of these rewatches. I have seen Hunger games with him more times than I can count and every time we both have our jaws open.

The Love of Buying Magazines

I love magazines and back home, I have such a big collection. A few years ago, I purged a lot due to space issues but still, I have a lot. And what’s not to love about magazines? I sometimes feel sad that this particular business is not thriving and I think it’s because of Instagram where people can anyways see all the bold colors and magazine kinds of content. I am still here and now it’s more fun as I am diving headfirst into American magazines. Yeee

BTW, you know there is a store in Manhatten which houses magazines from around the world? It’s not a shelf with magazines. It’s the whole store. I mean, the whole store. One more thing I am waiting for a splurge on once I start earning.

Photo by Visual Stories || Micheile on Unsplash

There is a term for Book Hoarder?

Do Not Tell Me. Do Not Tell Me. Do Not Tell Me. I simply do not care. I love it and I will do it for the rest of my life.

Hmmm, so this one I am actually trying to control for 2 years. Basically, because there are all these books that I buy because I want to read them and then something else catches my eye and I buy that as well and then I am reading one in morning and one in the night and then a third one comes in picture — you get my point?

So I tell myself, every year that I will buy a new book after I finish the one I am reading, and FYI, I am a slow reader. This love of buying books is actually becoming a problem. I am currently reading Indistractable, Show your work and then trying to squeeze in An Indigenous People’s History Of The United States. Frankly, I am struggling so this is one habit that I want to still love and continue but contain in 2022. Even then, a dream of my future house –

Photo by Ugur Akdemir on Unsplash

As Scandies says, “It’s about the small things in life. Like warm socks. A dim-lit room. A hot cup of tea in your favorite mug.” This pretty much sums up my existence — just include some pajamas too and then I am done.

This was my joie de vivre ( the joy of life) or my hygge. But all of us are so different. I really want to know what yours is. Its not an attempt to get comments on my blog but really, honestly, (imandari say), I really want to know what are those little joys of daily life that you keep alive. Comment Below.

One Response

  1. This was a beautifully written post and I am so happy to have read it. You are definitely someone of good taste who sees life in all of its vivid details.

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