Lavanya Opines


What are the things I carry in my handbag?

Whats-in-my-bag-395x354I solemnly promise I had a brilliant title for this post when I was rattling my brains on what to write next on Saturday!! It was third Saturday and I was working and I forgot as the day ended. I rattled my brains again but I couldn’t find the title. So you and I both are stuck with this title.

Now the next question is why did I even choose such an interesting and common topic to write about. This titular question is asked on most of the celebrity shows. There are even short videos with celebs informing about their essentials they carry in the handbag or purse. Lot many bloggers have also written about “what they carry and what they carry in that they carry”. But why me. Obviously, I wanted to answer this question like a celeb since I watched celebs answering this question. It felt such an important question that needed to be answered. As Heidi has said in her blog, “you can really learn a lot about a person by the things they tote around with them” (Do check out her blog, it has got lots of mouth watering snacks. :)..)

My interest in this question piqued when my new colleague and friend casually commented that I have asked for the biggest handbag in the store. I now realize that I did ask for the biggest handbag. Now, women carry different types of bags for different purposes. To put Heidi’s comment in perspective, I will direct this post towards carrying a handbag daily while commuting to office. I love to read. As such, books form an essential item in my handbag. At least two books are always there in my handbag. I have already blogged about how only travelling to and from office is my only happy thing on a working day. So I spend my time reading and understanding the author’s  intellect. And I am trying to inculcate a habit of scribbling my thoughts lest I forget (because I forget..!!). Naturally, my handbag has to be spacious enough to accommodate two books and a note pad. Not all women would like to read while travelling. They would like to keep their essential items list to minimum, and so the handbag would be smaller. I did figure that carrying a smaller handbag is easier and looks beautiful.

Now, I have also seen women carrying bigger totes with no books, including my mother. Here is what the essential items list is quite important. Women, like my mother, will have medicine kit occupying a larger space in their handbag. In comparison, some other women, including myself, will have an emergency makeup kit occupying a larger space in their handbag. As Ellie has said in her blog “someone always seems to need something so it’s good to be prepared”.  My mother has a smaller, much smaller, space allocated to items such as pins, hand cream, face wash.

Now there is fashion angle too. See, even if we only carry the handbag while travelling, the handbag reflects our sense of and attention to fashion. Affordable fashion, chic fashion, luxury fashion, …name it ..have it. Some women change handbags frequently. Some women, like me, change when current one has visibly worn off. As such, I purchase only durable handbags. I like to pride myself as sensibly fashionable. Of course, there is trend of what celebs are carrying.

Lastly, every women has her own essential items list and her handbag should be able to accommodate them without creating any fuss. So the handbag reflects more about her priorities for herself. Her expectations from herself. Her daily battles with the world at large. It does not matter whether she is a celeb or not. It does not matter whether she is an office-goer or daily laborer. It is true that a woman in herself is an enigma and her mind has lot of things going on. The same is reflected on the one thing that is truly hers. No one can claim right to the handbag.

And so choosing a bag, finding a bag becomes all the more important. There is a fuss about finding right color, right size, right fit, and so many other rights. It is an exhausting and daunting task. So the titular question is very important for every woman and every woman has own answer. And she will be willing to share the answer with you. Next time, when the question is asked and answered, try to see the pride the woman has for herself. It speaks a lot about her.

P.S. Oh, in this article, I have been conscious about not using the term “very” after I read about an article titled “How can I improve my English vocabulary?” on Quora. The article is old and was recommended somehow today. Has any of the readers have made such efforts? I would love to know about them and improve myself.

Image credit: Spiffykerms




Why this ruckus about “My Choice”?

my-choice1By now everyone has seen, heard, and read about the two video clips doing the rounds on youtube. One being the VougeEmpower featuring Deepika Padukone and 99 other women and the other one being the male parody of the same. Now most people, including I, have read the criticism the Vogue video is fetching, most notably from Gaurav Arora,, and Piyashree Dasgupta, First Post. (sources of both articles along with other articles are given at the bottom). And poor Deepika is at the receiving end too. Now what I don’t understand is why is everyone so irked and irritated by this Vogue video? Is it hitting the nerves very hard where it hurts most? It definitely seems so.

Lot of talk is about feminism. Lot of talk about ‘sexual choices’ and equating that with love. Focus seems to have shifted only to these two ideas. Everyone has a choice every time as said in Fantastic Four – Rise of Silver Surfer. But we seem to have found three things which do not merit choice – Religion, Sex & Sexuality, Marriage. Utter something about any one of these three things and you are in line of fire. This is evident from the above posts. And to drag Deepika’s professional choices is again a very bad example. I remember TOI making headlines about her dress and pole dancing in Happy New Year. Why don’t people understand that she was playing a character and the dress and pole dancing is required for the character? May be the reason we don’t see cinema as a medium of expression but rather a punching bag to be used as we please.

I wonder had there been no utterance of sex and sexuality in the video, the video would have been a hit. Even the above mentioned authors would have approved it. Sex and sexuality are both personal choices of every human. Whom you want to have sex with, how many times, premarital, post-marital, extramarital. Your damn choice. You want to be homosexual, heterosexual, lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual. You damn choice again. All I can do is support you. I may not understand first. But I will definitely make an effort to understand you, your reasons, and your decisions, and respect the same. I expect the same from you.

You would ask me then are we downgrading our moral values by encouraging extramarital affairs. No I am not. Let me ask you. Why would anybody go out of marriage to seek sexual pleasure? 1. Because sex with spouse is not satisfying for number of reasons. Solution: Talk with your spouse about the same. Research and understand what pleases you. Internet is a good and relevant source with hundreds of medical websites pointing you in right direction. Problem: We don’t talk about sex. 2. Because sex with partner does not involve love. Solution: Talk with your spouse about the same. Research and understand what pleases you. Internet is a good and relevant source with hundreds of medical websites pointing you in right direction. Problem: We don’t talk about sex. The ones who talk have filthy mind.

The choice of education, financial independence, and supporting families are not choices per se. Do you choose to remain uneducated? No. Then, may be you are talking about choosing a stream – engineering, medical, arts, commerce etc. I am doubtful because I choose a stream not because I have choice between choosing engineering, medical, arts, commerce stream but because I have an interest to study that subject. I research about the stream and I make efforts to get into good institution.

We have so many examples of women leaders who are leading the financial institutions such as banks. They wanted to make it big and made it big. They did not choose to either make it big or just be a simple housewife.

Again financially independent and supporting families are more of requirements now a days with increasing prices. True, people and especially women are working as domestic helps and laborers so that their children can educate themselves and come to better positions But then again it is not a choice but lack of resources and finances at their end. Do you mean they have a choice not to let their children study due to lack of resources and finances.

Choice is doing dream job requiring working late or odd hours. Choice is supporting the choice.

Choice is to choose whom you want to marry – the one with beautiful face or the one with golden heart or the one with simple manner or the one with inheritance or the one who is independent.

Choice is either to give gifts (read dowry) or not to give. Choice is either to accept the gifts or not to accept.

Choice is either to make your wife understand the value of parents or to leave her or to move out with her.

Choice is having sex with a man who says he wont marry you but still wants to have sex with you.

This is my choice, my life. I choose to be how my life will be. I choose to take responsibility. The video is all about this. The video is not about feminism , belittling men, or about becoming ‘Charlie Sheen’.

Links for the posts mentioned above:

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Why can’t I diet?

Diet-letterThis post is dedicated to all my girl friends and all those girls who are unable to do diet or better still unable to control eating habits to get slim. Yet we are happy. 🙂

Darlings..!! We fret a lot about getting into shape. But we can’t leave our food and go on diet. What’s interesting is we cheat a lot. No matter what we promise at the end of the day, precisely while on bed, closing our eyes, and before drifting into our dream world, we never break the one promise that we made to our love, food. So why fret? Lets enjoy because we are not the ones to be blamed but our parents. Here are my reasons of not being able to work out to get that hour-glass figure. If you have some more, please share. 🙂

1. Our parents, especially our moms are to be blamed for all of this craving of food. Bachpan se hi kha beta kha..dimaag chalega..kehke khilati rahi..ab dimaag tau chal gaya par subhah uth ke chala ni jaata. Moms, Indian moms, are fond of feeding their children. It’s some kind of feeling that has been ingrained in them that only food can truly show the love they have for their children. Yeah the food is tasty but when you have grown up eating such tasty food, how can one expect to control and go on a diet at a later stage??

2. College and First Job. The best places one can be and the best time in one’s life. College canteens and all the yummy food. How can one resist? And first job. The thrill of being financially independent. The joy of paying from own pocket at restaurants ranging from Dunkin Doughnuts to TGIF, from resto-bars to lounge bars, from family restaurants to pubs. First job lets you taste everything. If you don’t eat at these places then how can you strike a conversation with a complete stranger at your office. The thrill of being labelled as foodie and restaurant guide is better than being employee of month. If we have such a life style, then how can one expect to control and go on a diet at a later stage??

3. Lovely lovely sleep time. How can somebody deny that morning 5 Am to 7 AM is the best time to sleep? The cool breeze, the just coming out sun, the peace at home and in mind, and more importantly the quietness of all family members. These, my darling, can only be found between 5 AM and 7 AM. How can one get up and go for  a work out at this time and leave the sleep?

4. Lack of boyfriend or having a boyfriend who isn’t concerned about your figure. Having no boyfriend means you are happy and you don’t have to worry about keeping him happy or boosting his ego or worse his attention drifting towards a pathaka. We are free to do our shopping, having fun with friends, and enjoying our food. And having a boyfriend who isn’t concerned about your figure, ladies, we are blessed. He is with you because he thinks you are awesome just the way you are. He loves to go out and enjoy food with you. For him, it’s not your figure that attracted him to you but your charming nature and your some special quality, which only he knows. Yes, I admit, even he would want that you be in good shape but not a model shape. But both of them do not push us towards dieting and worse still working out. Lack of boyfriend does not need any explanation for lack of push. Having such an awesome boyfriend also does not help because he is not going to push you for fear of you being angry and because he is happy with you at the moment. How can one get motivation to get into shape then?

5. The most important point is our love for food. We love food. I am deliberately not saying ‘eating’ because ‘eating’ is somewhat uncivilized. We are civilized girls. The proper girls who know their manners well enough. We just love food. We love to experiment and try new cuisines. For us food is way to connect with a culture the food belongs to. Food uplifts the spoiled mood. For instance, when I am feeling low at office, I love to have a walnut brownie with hot chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. And when I am loaded too much, I love to have a butter scotch ice cream. They are just yum. They uplift the mood in minutes and make us the happy persons we were before being loaded. When we go home and see the beautiful plate with delicious food, how can we just turn our face away from them? How can then we betray our first love?

Darlings..!! We are happy the way we are. Let’s enjoy our food and let the whole world cry about we not looking after our figure. Everyone has their own agenda to get into shape. But we don’t because we love our food. So darlings!! we cannot diet or work out because of the love of food.

Photo source: Google images

Inputs: From my gang of girl friends.