Reasons I Smile

Hi everyone!

Hope you are all enjoying the very first stages of summer!

So inspirations been a little low on my end lately. I’ve had one jam packed day after another since my last day of college. Yes, a large reason is because I’m giving my body all the hours of sleep it has been cheated of the last four years (this, much to my mother’s dismay, means waking up at noon pretty much everyday), but beyond that I’m busy planning my post-grad life, A’s bachelorette party, A’s four wedding functions (Indian wedding are f-ing awesome…until you have to plan one), exercising (also for the wedding because let’s be honest, who in their right mind enjoys that s**t…seriously), and trying to keep up with my friends who are literally scattered around the globe right now.

I can tell you one thing…it ain’t easy. None of it is easy. And with all the stress going around, I have to remind myself of all the reasons to smile and be happy.

I know that everyone feels low sometimes, so I thought I’d share a few of my happy thoughts, hoping that maybe you can use them as yours too!

1. It’s summer

Sure, it comes every year, but that doesn’t make it any less wonderful! The warmth of the sun, the smell of chlorine, the sensation of freshly cut grass under your feet. Summer alone gives you over one hundred reasons to smile.

2. Family

Whenever I feel overwhelmed or down (and I mean whenever, even at 3AM) I pick up the phone and call someone in my family (depending on what the situation is). Having the most loving, giving, and beautiful family is always a reason to smile. How lucky am I, to have my mom, dad, and sister? The answer: so lucky.

3. TV

TV is good. Actually, it’s the best. All you really need when you’re feeling blah is a good show to watch. There are shows to make you feel like less of a failure, shows to make you feel less alone, and shows to make you feel nostalgic. My go-to show for an overall pick me up is The Mindy Project. Because she is amazingly hilarious, real, and people tell me I’m like her so I obviously love her. But sometimes all you really need is to get out of your shoes in order to realize that your shoes are exactly where you want to be.

4. Flowers

They’re beautiful. Need I say more? Hit up Trader Joe’s and put something fresh and colorful in every room. Then you can take artsy Instagram pictures and get a ton of likes and feel good about yourself (I’m totally being sarcastic…well kind of).

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5. Music

Turn off The Weeknd, Jeff Buckley, or whatever it is you’re listening to. While these are two of my favorite artists…are you trying to drown in self-pity? Put on some o’ dat Leighton Meester, Pharrell Williams stuff. Happy tunes = happy life.

6. Candles

It can be 90 degrees outside and I’ll still light candles. Because nothing is more beautiful than a dancing flame.

7. Kiddie foods

Popsicles, Dunkaroos, Moon Pies, Gushers. How can you not be happy in a world with all these delicacies?! The only thing that gets me through my beach/wedding workouts is knowing that soon I can eat all of these things. In one sitting.

8. My friends

I love ’em. I’m obsessed with them. More stuff you already know about me.

9. Anything colorful

I like being around anything that is bright and gives my life a little pop. I bought this turquoise blazer today with huge pink and red flowers all over it and I just wanted to sit with it all day. Being around pretty, lively things will make you feel pretty and lively…guaranteed. (This is also more proof for #4).

10. FaceTime

FaceTime is so fun. I could FaceTime anyone and the conversation would start with an ear-to-ear smile. Maybe it’s because it’s so awkward that you just have to have fun with it and smile. Or maybe it’s the thought that someone loves me and wants to talk to me so much that they’ll sit miles away from me, on their phone, staring at my face on their phone screen…I don’t know, but FaceTime is awesome.

11. Dogs (this is a bonus because the list was meant to end at 10, buuut…)

I’m obsessed with my dog. Every time I re-enter the room that she’s in I cover her with hugs and kisses and yes…baby talk. She’s happiest being at home, on the couch, with a comfortable blanket and a cuddle buddy. Which is perfect because that’s when I’m my happiest! We’re two peas in a pod. It sounds like I’m talking about my significant other but she’s way more significant than another “other” out there.

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12. Chipotle (another bonus…there are just so many reasons to smile!)

How could I have almost forgotten Chipotle? It’s been a long month without you…but I’m comin’ for you baby. Me and you, July 13th.

 

So guys, I’ve just given you twelve reasons to perk up and smile. Life ain’t so bad, sunshine!

 

Lots of love,

K

 

 

Bollywood vs. Reality

So, as most of you know (or should know by this point), I am a little bit of a Bollywood* junkie. So much so that a few days ago one of my friends informed me that one of India’s largest film production company’s was searching for a fresh new face and my stomach doubled over with excitement. This is my break. Naturally, my dad shot the idea down so fast and went on that whole “have you seen the filth in those movies”. I’m assuming by “filth” he means that on-screen kisses are now common in Hindi films.

Regardless, in effort to make myself feel a tad bit better about my now dead dreams, I have decided to write this post.

The differences between Bollywood and real life.

Time

The concept of time is highly skewed in all Hindi films. You’re probably thinking, yeah K, obviously, it’s a story condensed into a measly three hours (joke because three hours is NOT measly. Honestly, try telling that to the six year old being forced to sit through Jodhaa Akbar). Yeah, I get that but that’s not what I mean. In Hindi movies characters fall in love at first sight. No not like a general intrigue or a damn, that girl is on fire…actual “Hello madam, I love you” love. And this “love” usually ends up lasting a lifetime. HA. Okay. School days last for the duration of one four minute song, and going from post-shower, wet hair, to hair extensions in and perfectly blowing in the “natural wind” takes a solid one and a half minutes. So it’s no wonder why the typical nine to five seems like a total drag and that my bicep hurts after twenty minutes with a blow dryer.

Song and dance

One of the most disappointing things about growing up on Bollywood is realizing that real people don’t sing and dance. Like excuse me, but I was brought up to believe that when I had my first crush we would spend days and days together running through fields in different outfits expressing our inability to sleep (oh because it is common in Bollywood for characters to become insomniacs when they’re in love) to one another. Instead? Instead I had to sit at the dining room table doing my Kumon (by doing I mean opening the answer booklet and copying down the answers…I mean really…why would you ever trust a kid with an answer booklet?) and wondering if my crush would still be on AIM when I was done. Most days he wasn’t.

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No two guys have done this for me. Ever.

Boys and Love

There is just too much to say, I may have to break this down even further.

1. Daydreams

In Hindi movies both guys and girls only have one category of idle thinking…love. In reality, while I am over here daydreaming about   love, the guy I’m thinking about is daydreaming about motorcycles, brewing beer, and awesome facial hair. AREYOUSERIOUS?

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Day dreamin’ like whattt

2. The romantic late night scene

You know that scene that Shakespeare invented? The classic girl on the balcony, guy in the garden scene? Yeah, Bollywood stole that shit and reinvented it at least 200 times. So naturally here I am expecting that…or at least a nice goodnight phone call (talk about low maintenance right?). Instead? On a good day maybe us ladies will receive a “Goin to bed, night”. Oh really? Because Ram snuck into Leela’s bedroom to share forbidden pillow talk and you say “goin to bed”? You don’t even care enough to add the last G? What the…

3. In reality boys are a lot shorter, probably because they can’t get away with wearing man high-heels.

4. Courting

In Bollywood the male lead will pretty much harass and stalk the girl until she’s like “okay, yay, I love you too!”. So imagine the surprise of Indian girls all over when their first crush confesses his love for her, she plays hard to get, and then the next day he’s dating some other sixth grader who’s already had braces. Yo, you’re supposed to court me for at least 2 months. And by court I mean get a group of guys and trail behind me singing songs until I give in.

5. Protectiveness

Raj from DDLJ got his ass handed to him by a bunch of random Punjabi men at a train station when he refused to leave town without the love of his life, Simran. And you are just going to let that random drunk guy hit on me? Not only are you going to let it happen, you’re just going to laugh and walk to the bar and get a drink? YES I can take care of myself but chivalry was never meant to die.

Trains

As you can tell from the above story in #5, trains are sort of a big deal in Bollywood. Raj and Simran. Aditya and Geet. Kabir and Naina. As a Chicagoan, I take the L like…multiple times a day. And I have been doing so for the past four years. And the only remotely romantic thing that has happened to me on the train is when R and I caught a glimpse of each other as the doors were closing. R ended up on a different car than I did, so at the next stop with both ran to one another and met on the car in between and hugged in victory. R is one of my best friends…and a girl. Other than that it’s very much just creepy people saying creepy things to you or to themselves which is even creepier.

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The favorite Bollywood couple, Raj and Simran

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2013’s modern day train scene

In a strange twist of fate, this post has not made me feel any better about my dead Bollywood dreams. In fact, it has somehow made me love Bollywood even more. I guess I am that brainwashed by Indian cinema. Sigh.

Lamely yours,

K

* Bollywood is India’s film industry. It happens to be the largest film industry in the world, bringing in about…well I don’t know because my Internet is being really slow. But it brings in a lot of money and Bollywood actors and actresses are essentially royalty. Each film is roughly between 2.5-4 hours long and almost every movie has a few songs sprinkled into the storyline. It is easily the best past time ever.

Mother.

Where to begin on the topic of Mothers.

And not Mother like the company I work for, though it’s pretty cool to work for a company that’s all about “making your Mother proud.” Especially on Mother’s Day. When we have the day off. Awesome, right?

 

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K and I are in constant awe of our Mother. Whether it’s Mothers Day or not, obviously. She is incredible. She managed to be a wonderful Mom, even though she was 21 (yes, just legal drinking age. Remember what you were doing at that age? Or… do you not even remember?) when I surprised her and came into this world. She had just moved to the US, far away from her parents in India, to marry my dad. They lived in the attic of my grandparent’s house in Cleveland, and my dad worked and went to school, while she single-handedly took care of me (and maybe even my grandparents, a bit).

 

She is the most positive, strong, and independent women I have ever met. And I’ve met a lot of amazing women.

Thank you, Mom, for giving K and I such an amazing life. For keeping our secrets, for making us laugh until we’re crying, and wiping our tears when they’re not happy ones. Thanks for always making us a cup of chai when we get home after a long flight, or drive, regardless of the time, and always drinking one with us. Thanks for dictating the same recipe for me 45 times, and still putting up with me when I call you 15 times while I’m cooking. Thanks for showing us that Motherhood isn’t scary, and that being a Mom doesn’t mean you lose yourself. Thanks for showing us what an amazing daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, wife, and friend looks like. Not saying we’re the bees-knees or anything, but who knows what kind of crazies we’d be if you weren’t our Mom. So thank you. For everything, and more than that. And more than that.

And to everyone out there – we know our mom is gorgeous. But thanks for reminding us. We promise to never wonder “WHAT ABOUT ME?” and just accept that our Mom is the prettiest Gautam Girl.

Love you until the end of time, Mom.

A & K

Video

Look Up

Good morning, guys!

So last night as I was hyperventilating about my future (I guess my first day of post-grad life called for an epic freak out), KM showed me this video. He was trying to explain to me why he deleted his Facebook. Even though Facebook is sort of boring now, most people just can’t call it quits. I mean what would we aimlessly scroll through while awkwardly waiting for our friends to meet us up? I think at the most I lasted 3 months without one.

But when I saw this video it really hit me. I even teared up, although I’m not sure if that was more because of the post-grad freak out or the video. I was thinking about it, and so many movies begin with someone randomly bumping into someone or asking them a question. But these days, I know I avoid contact with all strangers. And most of the time I do get weirded out and even scared when a random person on the train talks to me.

KM said that he went to Panera earlier in the day and purposely left his phone at home. He sat by the window and just had some good ol’ me time. He said he took note of the people passing by and of about fifty people, only two were not absorbed in some form of technology. 4%.

In our effort to constantly keep up with our friends, we miss out on the opportunity to meet new ones and actually live in the moment. We need to look up.

Hopefully you take the five minutes out of your (dreary) Monday to watch this video because it truly is eye-opening.

Love,

K

College is Over!

Hi guys!

I know, I know, it’s been a while since our last post and even longer since my last post. I’m sorry, I feel like a total failure and like I’ve abandoned my Jointly dreams. Don’t worry! A & I are still madly obsessed with one another and our sisterhood and I’m not leaving my blogging dreams to die. I’ve just been insanely busy ya know, finishing college.

I just took my last final (maybe ever) and I’m officially done with undergrad!

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I’ve always been the type of person who’s ready for what’s next. And don’t get me wrong, I am definitely ready for the next step. I’m super excited to have my future confirmed in the next few weeks (hopefully) and be working and living in the city, spending time with all my friends, without the stress of 12AM deadlines. But today I wanted to take some time to reflect and just bask in the glory that is undergrad.

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I’ll be honest, I’m not always 100% sold on the fact that I made the right choice for undergrad. I’ve had my fair share of hating Loyola, crying to my mom, and saying “whatever, I’m over it” (I was never truly over it because I’m a total nerd who needs to study for every single 5 point quiz). Looking back I realized that, shit…I had a great time. And it’s Chicago (and this gorgeous view, and my amazing friends) that made my choice and college career so totally worth it.

So here’s to us, guys. Twenty-two year olds, done with college, and ready for round two with the best city in the world.

Love,

K

P.S. Yes, I made one of my best friends, R, have a post finals photoshoot with me. No I’m not ashamed.