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Saturday, 26 August 2017

Desi and sassy

8/26/2017 2 Comments
Hi guys!

Did you have a lovely Ganesha festival? I most certainly did! I spent the whole day with my amazing family. When I woke up in the morning, the only thing on my mind was to drape one of my mum's sarees and take part in the pooja. But I realized it's more than that!

I've been having a terrible couple of days. If you have been following my Insta stories, you'd know that I missed my flight home, wasted lots of money and time waiting for a bus at the airport and took one home, got sick on the bus and some terribly stitched saree blouses for the wedding welcomed me home! (If you think I am unnecessarily stressed out, then please ask former brides about how big of a deal it is and how pressured we feel to look perfect on our d-day :D) Long story short, I was really upset.


When I woke up the next morning, I decided to help my dad with the festival decorations. In a few hours, I could see that my mum was really stressed. It took me a while to figure out why. She was the only person cooking for a family of 7 since the cook has taken off for a bit. For most of you that might sound normal but my doctor mommy is also a workaholic! (She works 16-20 hours a day and works on Sundays as well. I sometimes need to take an appointment to speak to her :D) In no time, we all started chipping in. I handled all the slicing and chopping of veggies, my sis-in-law took care of the frying, the men were made to go to the grocery stores and bring us the missing ingredients and my mum cooked us a delicious meal. Although it was tedious, it was an amazing experience to cook with my family and lend a helping hand. The main dish (bisi bele bath) had never tasted better! I had no idea that even for something as simple as pachadi (salad with curd), my mum would put in so much effort and make sure there were no ingredients missing. I realized the true essence of spending the festival with your family. We've seen on television or in the movies that people keep stressing on how Christmas is all about sharing and giving. Well, I had a dose of that on Ganesh Chaturthi and felt like a grown up!

Of course, I didn't plan what I was gonna wear. I opened my mum's cupboard and found this beautiful black saree. Since my sis-in-law has a great collection of embroidered blouses, finding something to go with this took us 3 seconds! I borrowed earrings and bangles from them and with a nice gajra around my bun, I was set!







For those of who don't appreciate all things done by your mum for you, please thank her right away by helping her in the kitchen and giving her a hug. You're not only going to learn a lot, but you'll also make someone's life easier!

On that note, here's me signing off by wishing you all a very happy Ganesh Chaturthi.

Love,
Hand On The Hip

Thursday, 24 August 2017

The splattered life of a Fashion Blogger

8/24/2017 3 Comments
Hello guys!

Blogging about fashion is an enthralling experience, but there are ups and downs about everything in life. Although our lives may look glamorous from the outside, there are a lot of hardships we face in the process. I am sure every blogger out there can relate to this. And before you get on to reading this, let me warn you that there's going to a lot of ranting and whining happening in this post, but to keep it light I have also created some memes to make this post more fun! :D


"Are you a model?"
I sympathize with those who don't know or understand what the job profile of a fashion blogger is, but when people ask me if I am a model, as much as it might seem like a compliment, it's not! Modelling is deffo a part of being a fashion blogger, but it's not the same! I mean, fashion blogging is such a popular concept these days. How about actually reading my posts for once and understanding what a blogger does?



Living a dual life
As I am not a full-time blogger, I am always working two jobs. It gets pretty challenging to go to office and attend events. I always end up missing all the great events because it happens on weekdays :( And even if I do manage to get a couple of hours, Bangalore traffic always plays a major role in wasting a whole lot of my time!


The constant need to look good always
I usually wear no make-up to work. If you saw me on a normal day, you'd probably not recognize me. But when people find it hard to believe that a fashion blogger has no make-up on or probably does not have the perfect hair, it gets a tad bit annoying. After all, we are humans too, right?


We got bills to pay, yo!
Getting paid on time or not getting paid at all is the biggest drawback of being your own boss. You have to constantly keep nagging the PR folks or the brand owners to pay up. It's very difficult to find people in this business who are professional when it comes to payment. A lot of PR guys or brands keep looking for free publicity, not even barter. Isn't it unfair for you to get your marketing done for free while we actually put in so much effort to make you look good? Well, remember guys, it always has to be a win-win situation, otherwise you're wasting your time!


Photographer tantrums
Although I have been blessed to meet wonderful photographers in my blogging career, there have been one or two outliers who have thrown a tantrum or two. "Hey, I like you in this bralette, can you wear just this for a shoot?", "Can you show your cleavage a bit?", "Can we take a trip together and shoot there?" are some of the most retarded requests I have received from photographers! It gets super tricky to deal with these people.


Irrelevant review requests
A fashion blogger blogs about fashion. Some of us do blog about food, travel and other related topics out of our own interest. But sometimes we do get a lot of crazy requests that are nowhere in the list of areas we would like to cover on our blogs.


"You don't have enough followers"
While on one hand, I completely agree that it's important to have followers so that there is high reach for your posts, but on the other, did you guys know you could buy followers? If you think about it, let's say Blogger A has bought 10000 followers and about 10% of the lot are genuine followers whereas Blogger B has around 2000 followers, but they are real people and not bots. Which one would you pick? I strongly believe in generating good content rather than gaining followers and that's something brands should focus on as well.


Creep alert
A lot of women get bombarded by DMs or emails from creepy guys or hate messages. This is a very common problem even otherwise, but it just increases by a large amount when your pictures are public. Thank God for the "Block" option on Instagram!


Picture/content theft
I have seen that a lot of my pictures have been stolen/not been given credits for. It gets tedious to track these guys down. But that's the risk we have to take, right?


Unwanted advice from irrelevant people
"Why don't you monetize your blog?" is a very common question a lot of people have asked me. Ideas related to fashion, design, beautification of my blog are always welcome, but there are certain things about my blog I don't wanna disrupt. For instance, I am not a big fan of Google Ads floating around. When the time is right, I will explore this side of the blogging world myself.


We don't always get free stuff!
Sometimes people just assume that everything you own is free! But being a fashion lover, it's just that we have this obsessive need to shop wherever we go :D And hence things just pile up!



My life as a blogger is full of surprises. I have enjoyed every minute of it. I have met some inspiring people too! But sometimes, things can get a little challenging. I am sure the rest of my blogger fam would agree. This one's for you guys! Hope you enjoyed reading it.

Love,
Hand On The Hip

P.S. To create this, I took the help of my bae Suman, who is not only my make-up artist, proof reader, concept curator and stylist, but also my newly appointed impromptu photographer :D Special credits to another friend of mine, Prateek, for being such a sport and posing for a picture.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

California, here we come!

8/10/2017 3 Comments
Hello everyone!

If you have read my earlier posts and know what I do for a living, you'd know that I recently visited the Tableau office in Palo Alto for a training. A lot of you have been requesting for this post ever since I set foot in the US of A and after a lot of procrastination, here I am, with my very first post about my very first trip to the United States of America. (Let me also warn you that this is going to be a very long post! :p)

The company that I work for sent me and a colleague of mine to Palo Alto for a Tableau training. Our joy knew no bounds when we found out we were flying to the States! The training lasted five days, but we insisted on going a couple of days early and extending our stay by a week. Although we burnt a big fat hole in our pockets, every penny spent was completely worth it! By now, you'd already know how crazy I am about travelling. I usually spend a day or two in a city and move on to the next one. My boyfriend doesn't really like my style of travelling, but I am crazy like that! :D

So on the 23rd of April, we boarded Dragon Air to Hong Kong and flew to San Francisco on Cathay Pacific from there. The airlines cost us around 80K return and the journey wasn't all that pleasant. We reached on Friday afternoon, took a cab to our hotel in Mountain View and chilled for a bit.



We then went to a nearest Mexican restaurant and had some delicious Mexican food for dinner with some beer. Now being a vegetarian, food is always one of my biggest concerns when it comes to travelling abroad. But this time I went well prepared. I took like 20 MTR Ready To Eat food packets with me and although I did not make much use of it, it was still a saving grace sometimes!



The following morning, we woke up early and boarded CalTrain to go to San Francisco. We were heavily jet-lagged, but how often does one get to see the USA, right? It took us about 2 hours or so to reach San Francisco.

 


 We spent a whole lot of time walking around Union Square and also witnessed the Science Protest as it was Earth Day. The best part of my trip to SF was heading to the Golden Gate Bridge. As a kid, I was big fan of Full House and always wondered what it would be like to see the Golden Gate Bridge. I had never imagined the bridge was that massive! Around 2000 m in length and 200 m in height, this bridge is a true beauty. We loitered around the Golden Gate park, took some pictures there. From there we headed to Land's End, froze a bit in the cold wind at the sea and ended the night at a nearby bar. I wore a tank top and a denim skirt I picked up from People with a really thin sweater, which I later realized was a HUGE mistake. Never underestimate the weather in SF! It's always cold!










The following morning I visited my aunt in Sunnyvale and had a chill time walking around, eating frozen yogurt and chilling. The greenery of the trees and the blue skies kept me amazed!







We spent the rest of the week in training. Not only was the training a life changing experience, but the amount of fun I had in Palo Alto was tremendous! Before I get into the details of what I did the next 5 days, let me show you what I wore on all 5 days of the training.

My jacket, jeans/leggings and white shoes were constants! :D

Day 1: Denim top from Lee Cooper


Day 2: Multi-colored print top from a store in BTM, Bangalore


Day 3: A sweater top from Shoppers Stop


Day 4: A tie and dye tee from Ralph Lauren


Day 5: A boho top from Koovs


The Tableau office was super chill. The pantry had lots of cool stuff to eat :D If you guys get a chance to visit any of the Tableau offices, do not let go of an opportunity like that!






We would finish training by 5-6 pm and not waste a single minute after. On the first day, we spent some time at this wine place called Calave. The food was spectacular and the wine was a delight.


 I also wanted to visit a local pub and drink what the locals drink. A friend of mine took me to Antonio's Nut House for a beer or two.




In between, I decided to pay H&M, Target and Walmart a visit and pick up a thing or two. You would have already seen that in my USA Shopping Haul post. But I'm still going to put up some pictures here.





On another day, Tableau took us to a Burmese restaurant called Burma Ruby. I was super excited to eat some Indian food after almost a week! I literally stuffed my face with samosas!




Since the Stanford campus was close by, we also drove to that place on one of the days and wished that we could study there at some point in our lives! Sigh!




And finally, on the last day we just had to go to the Facebook campus! Although, there was nothing much to see around the campus since we weren't permitted to enter the building, we got pictures taken in front of the "Like" banner outside.



The same evening we got back to our rooms and had to rush to the Oakland Airport for the next leg of our journey. Stay tuned! :)

Love,
Hand On The Hip