Whats in my Bag?

What’s in My Bag

Hi everyone! how is everyone doing today?I thought of doing this post to talk about what I carry in my bag, I will also be making a video a short 10min youtube video showcasing what I always carry in my bag. Again this can be different for different people as we all have different tastes and needs when we go outside from time to time for work, leisure or otherwise.I like to carry a tote bag if I am going out for more than a few hours. I also sometimes love a universal backpack like the kinds by fjallravel kanken. I have one in navy blue and I absolutely love it. Carrying a medium to large bag ensures I have everything I need handy and accessible. Its sustainable and environment friendly as I am not contributing to thrash or getting plastic bags.

With that said let’s get into what I would typically carry in my handbag.Starting in the decreasing order of relevance, first comes my smartphone and its charger.I keep a wander wallet attached to my smartphone with some cards ad cash for easy access.So that I wouldn’t need a big ass purse or bag every time I step out for an errand. Next,I would never go out without a pair of sunglasses They provide protection from UV light.

Next item would be a snack, I usually carry small packets of almond biscotti, chocolates and such. Sometimes a fruit like a banana, an apple or berries are great to have. They are full of energy and helps me stay full. I also like to carry a small water bottle just in case.You want to make sure you are well hydrated at all times.

Next up would be a scarf and a spare pair of flats, this is absolutely essential if I am going anywhere at night or if I have big shoes on. If I am travelling in cold weatherI also add a small sweatshirt or jacket in my bag for quick access and to stay warm.I also like to have sunscreen, a hand cream, a tinted lip balm and an eye liner for when I want to look a little bit put together. I don’t usually prefer too much makeup because its really dusty in India and it tends to clog pores.No one wants that so minimalistic makeup. I like to carry moisturising wipes for both sanitation and to wipe my face as one does.

Next up, your wallet.I feel I should have mentioned wallet on the top but I guess with digital wallets becoming so popular most of us don’t carry cash on our person. I usually have a wander wallet attached to my phone and that is where I keep a couple of my credit cards, a few notes of cash if needed.I also like to carry some change just in case.Don’t forget to carry keys if you have any.Given we live in a digital world I also like to carry a portable power bank for my smartphone just in case I run out of battery juice and yes my smartphone.I also carry a scrunchie for my hair and a clip-on.I am in love with face masks, especially if you’re on a long haul flight or just travelling in the city for too long.

Since we are in the middle of the pandemic I never go out without a mask and a small bottle of sanitiser.Masks are essential for most places and I strongly recommend having them with you at all times.I also like to carry a couple of my favourite crystals and lucky charms, rose quartz, an amethyst and a pyrite crystal. This is again something very personal to me.I also like to carry my secret perfume which is a personal blend that I selected for myself. But you can carry your favourite fragrance you love.However , if you were to ask me I would recommend Charlotte Tilbury Scent of a Dream.

That’s all folks !

I hope you enjoyed reading, love your support and encouragement. I love hearing from you all, comment down below and let me know what you like to carry in your bag.

Much Love

Akansha

Magical Crafting

Hi everyone ! welcome.This is my first blog post on magical crafts and I am really excited to share with you some of my favourite blends and spells I use for day to day. Today, 30th December 2020 marks the beginning of the cold moon, the last moon of this year.I know this year has not been easy for most of us.There has been a lot of anxiety, fear and stress.Our mind is riddled with negative emotion and living in the constant state of overwhelm has become the norm. There are things I would recommend to do while you’re home to calm your nerves and add mindfulness and gratitude to your life.

No matter how hard things have been this year always remember to live in the moment.There is one thing this year has taught us and that is we must value everything we have because its finite. We learn to value things only after they are long lost. Another important practice that has helped me during this year 2020 is practising gratitude before I start and end my day. Little things every day make a huge impact. When we truly understand our lives purpose and indulge in our higher self , the higher vibration, the one that truly resonates with us we are one with the universe.

I know I transgressed but it was important. Your mental, physical and spiritual space must be your own. A common and simple magical craft is protection magic, most people prefer to first cleanse , banish and protect in that order. In this post I am going to be talking about a powerful and potent magical condiment – the black salt. Its easy to make and requires very few inexpensive ingredients.

However, as with most things in life and in magick, Black Salt can have a darker, more sinister side as well. In addition to all of its beneficial uses in light-hearted witchcraft,Black Salt is also said to be a popular ingredient for crafting magickal hexes or dark curses to ensnare one’s enemies and make them suffer. That said, the use of such dark and toxic magick goes against everything that I believe in and strive for as a good witch, so I will only be focusing on the use of Black Salt for powerful protection and spiritual cleansing.Metaphysically, witches and other magick practitioners use black salt to absorb negative energies, spiritually toxic vibes, and to protect us from our enemies. I love to use it for everything from soaking up a bad mood to driving away toxic people from my life. This stuff is truly amazing!

Black Salt

Please feel free to customise your black salt as you like it. I typically like to start by cleansing my space by burning sage and incense. In my black salt I add table salt, ground up egg shells, frankincense, myrrh, peppercorns, resin, rosemary, coal, thorns from a rose bush, lemon verbena, camphor and left over ashes.I have made a small video for purposes of illustration to serve as a visual guide and to give you some idea on how to get started. I feel this is my personal blend for black salt, everybody does it slightly different.

Home Cleansing Ritual and Black Salt Recipe

I posted a few snaps to Instagram from when I was making the black salt.Follow me on @akan_s_ha on insta for the deets and live updates.

Spiritual Protection

Be it an individual who doesn’t like you and is throwing magical shade or be it an unwanted spirit, witches HAVE to learn how to protect themselves from spiritual attack. I’ve been through it all with spirits and witches trying to attack my psyche. Here’s how I get rid of unwanted entities and protect from all sorts of spiritual intrusion on a regular basis. It’s something I like to call protective magical maintenance.

3 Important Steps for Spiritual Protection(credits: Steven Lewellen)

1. Cleansing (Your FIRST Step for Spirit Protection)

Cleansing is so important to keep you and your home free of negative energy build-up. Negative energy builds and stagnates. And if it’s not removed spiritually, negative energy causes all sorts of problems in the home: depression, discord (arguments), illness, and it attracts malevolent spirits. Negative energy leaves you more susceptible to psychic attacks. It weakens your shield.How often should I cleanse my house and self?Some people think one smoke-cleansing ritual in their house is enough to protect them from future intrusion and attacks. Sorry, folks. One cleansing ritual isn’t enough. I recommend cleansing your home once a month. Or after illness, death, or other tragedies or intrusions of any kind. If you sense an unwanted spirit is in your house, cleansing combined with banishing is required (see below for more info. on how to eradicate a spirit).

Cleansing your space with smoke is one of the most effective methods, but not everyone can use smoke. Other cleansing rituals include using sound (bells and high vibe music), sweeping with your besom, and/or spraying a cleansing infusion all over the house. Here’s our full article on the various cleansing methods, if you need to learn more.Cleanse yourself AT LEAST once a month. Once a week is better! It’s as easy as taking a cleansing ritual bath OR shower. Or smoke-cleansing with an herb bundle of your choice. I prefer rosemary but sage, palo santo, cedar, sweetgrass and juniper are also great options.

Burning Sage along with Frankincense & Myrrh , Cleansing your space with smoke

2. Laying Wards (And Re-charging Them)

Once you’ve cleansed your home and self, it’s time to lay wards around your home and/or property. What is a ward? A ward is a magical object that’s job is to “ward off” negative energy, spirits, and dark magic. Your choices for powerful wards include: 4 pieces of black tourmaline or obsidian, OR 4 small statues of a protective god/spirit/angel. Yet another option is to use rocks from your property and paint or draw protective symbols on them.

Charge your wards with your intentions to protect your property and home. Hold them in your hands and visualize your intentions. I anoint my wards in protection oil to give them an extra kick. Place your wards in the 4 corners of your property, praying or invoking your gods and guardians over each ward. Bury them. Then I like to visualize negative energy trying to intrude on my property and see my 4 wards creating a fiery shield around my home. When the negative energy tries to come in, the shield extinguishes it or shoots it off into space.

How often should you re-charge or replace your wards?

Once you’ve laid your wards around your home, don’t forget they need a re-charge or to be replaced every 3 months. If you used a perishable stone or crystal, replace the crystal entirely. A stone with protective symbols, dig them up and draw the symbol back onto the wards. If they were statues, dig them up, clean, cleanse and re-charge by whatever method you prefer. Lay your wards on your altar and ask your gods and/or ancestors to bless them and charge them with protection.

3. Sealing

Something my mom and I call sealing is an important part of spirit protection maintenance. Sealing refers to a magical ritual that symbolically “locks out” negative energy and entities. There are two ways I seal my home: by drawing symbols on my windows and doors AND/OR by spreading salt or some other protective powder over my thresholds. The salt absorbs negative energy that’s lingering in the doorways AND keeps negative energy out. The symbols drawn on your windows and doors act as a spiritual lock. Only YOU should know what symbols you use to protect your home.

When should you seal your home or refresh your seals for spirit protection?Every Waning Moon, I cleanse my house and seal my doorways and windows with symbols and salt. Sometimes I use my own recipe for home protection powders instead of salt. Or red brick dust. Change it up and see which ones you feel are most effective for spirit protection.

Spiritual Protection: Banishing Spirits

Banishing. Eradicating. Exorcising.Whatever you’d like to call it, sometimes spirits slip through our defenses. Sometimes spirits are sent to us to torment us by other witches or malevolent practitioners. Wherever the spirit came from, now it’s in your space and bothering you. Maybe even harassing you or your family members. How do you get rid of unwanted spirits? Go back to step #1: cleansing. But while cleansing, you’re going to tell the spirit it’s not wanted in your home. That it’s NOT invited and not welcome. That it must LEAVE immediately and never return. Be stern and stand your ground. Once you’re done, call on positive energy to replace the negative in your home. I typically invoke my ancestors and guides’ presence. Then move along with laying your wards and sealing your home, etc.

In addition, a cleansing bath to free yourself of negative energy is important. I also recommend trying a cord cutting ritual to make sure there are no harmful attachments to others.

Other Means of Spiritual Protection

My way is by no means the ONLY way to protect yourself against negative spirits. But it has served me well. But be aware, even if you do everything you can to protect yourself sometimes things slip through. That’s why it’s important to know how to banish an unwanted spirit. If you cleanse, ward and seal regularly, you will notice a difference! In addition, I recommend making and burying a witch bottle if you suspect another witch is casting magick against you. Bury it close to your bedroom window. Reversal spells are also sometimes required, particularly for witches who are in the limelight. Who have to protect themselves from jealous conjurors, etc.

Crystals that Protect from Psychic Attack

I’ll never tell you that a crystal will prevent you from psychic attack. Because I’ve found this to be false. At least for me. However, crystals can help prevent psychic attacks and strengthen your protective bubble. Selenite is a wonderful crystal to raise the vibrations and bring in divine white light in a dark situation. Obsidian is a known spirit-deflector, in particular in the case of psychic attacks. Black tourmaline is another favourite as its main function is to absorb negativity. Tiger’s eye is a great crystal for spiritual protection too.

Amulets for Spiritual Protection

Just as you placed 4 protective wards around your property, you can WEAR a magical ward. Amulets are magical items a witch wears to keep spirits and dark magic away. Amulet = ward away. Any of the crystals mentioned above make great amulets, especially when charged in the moonlight with intention. OR when blessed with the energy of our gods and ancestors. See how to choose and charge a protective amulet here. Re-charge your amulets once a month. Amulets can also be pendants with protective symbols, patches sewn into your favorite jacket, symbols painted on the bottom of your shoes.

Relationship with Gods and Ancestors

One of the most rewarding and protective experiences you could have is to develop a relationship with gods and ancestors. Your ancestors will become your biggest protectors (in fact, they have been protecting you your entire life)! My gods are also protective of me, my house and my family. When you have a good relationship with protective spirits, call on them to ward your home of negative energy. Place your amulet on their altar and ask them to bless and charge it. When doing protection spells, call on your gods and ancestors’ energy for ultimate manifestation.

Raise the Vibration for the BEST Spiritual Protection

What do we mean when we say “raise the vibrations”? It means to elevate your energy, mind, spirit and align with positivity. The best spiritual protection is being a healthy, self-aware individual. When our energy is low and our auras are cloudy, we have tears in our defenses that allow negative spirits through. Evaluate your life and think of things you can do to raise your vibrations.

Spiritual Cleanses for 2021

All the transformations that happen in the world affect us in one way or another. For these and other reasons, you need an energetic cleanse at each end of the cycle to remove blockages, purify and prepare yourself for the new.The following is a complete ritual, both for your home and for working on personal energies. You can do this, like any other spiritual cleanses for 2021, on the last day of the year or during the first week of 2021.

Spiritual cleanses for 2020

You will need:

  • 1 white candle;
  • A glass of water;
  • 1 handful of coarse salt;
  • 3 incense sticks;
  • 1 handful of rosemary;
  • A container to burn incense and rosemary;
  • 1 spiritual cleansing bath (we recommend rosemary or seven herbs).

Light the candle, asking your Guardian Angel for divine protection. Then pour some coarse salt into the glass of water to take care of your emotions and absorb the negative energies.Now place the incense and rosemary on the appropriate container, lighting both. Once they really start to burn, take the container and carefully take it to your front door.Turn clockwise all the way around the house; when done, leave the container by the glass of water and the candle. Rest in silence for a few minutes and then go to the next step.Prepare your spiritual cleansing bath by boiling one to two liters of water and pouring the contents of the bath into the liquid. Strain the herbs and let it cool a little.

In the meantime, take a hygienic shower and, in the end, spill the contents of the cleansing bath down your neck, making it clear that all negative energies are going down the drain. Do not rinse your body; just lightly dry yourself with a towel.When the candle and rosemary have finished burning, throw them away in the common garbage, as well as the salted water. However, refill a glass of water and coarse salt every day during the following 7 days to absorb all the negativity of the environment and feel clean-minded for the rest of the year. Happy 2021!complimwnts of wemystic.vom

I hope you enjoyed reading.Please leave your comments and suggestions down below. Keep safe.

Much Love

Akansha

Christmas Shoutout

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays , We wish you and your families all the best, happiness and health for the year 2021

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

“Like a comet pulled from orbit, As it passes a sun. Like a stream that meets a boulder, Halfway through the wood. Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better? But I have been changed for good.” Those are the words I console myself at year-end. For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning. Goodbyes had never been my strong suit. But farewell, 2020.

Guide to a Minimalist Closet

Minimalism has taken the world by storm. Not only does a minimalist lifestyle eases the burden on overused credit cards, financial uncertainty and environmental concerns it also teaches you that there is more to life than material possessions.Being a minimalist is a state of mind, and not a set of rules.It helps you focus. Decluttering is therapeutic and helps relieve the stress.Open spaces also spark creativity and joy.

Less stuff means more money 🙂

Lets declutter and reduce our possessions in the holiday season and start the New year on a fresh note.Get rid of anything that doesn’t spark joy and happiness in your life. I will tell you my experience. My closet was crammed with what used to be my favourite clothes, most of which I’d only worn a few times. The room was filled with all the things I’d taken up as hobbies and then gotten tired of.I had a photography backdrop with a huge stand lying in one corner, a yoga ball in the other, an old grill in another corner just rusting away. Once I took a pledge to get more organised my whole place changed. I have lot of space in my room , its bright and clean and so open.  

“Less is More “

How to cleanse a.k.a closet detox ?

Getting rid of things can be a daunting and overwhelming experience. I like to make it just a little bit easier by breaking it down into smaller, more achievable steps.Clean by category Handbags, Purses, Clothes, Shoes, Accessories , Beauty Products, Office & Media, General Household Items, Junk drawers, Kitchen Items, Phone & Apps, Email Inbox, Personal stuff like photos, cards,Hobby supplies, sentimental items.Most important of all clear your mind.

Tips for a Minimalist Closet.How to develop new habits and get rid of old ones ?Basics of a minimalist’s closet.Cleaning your closet can be quite hard. There is stuff in there that has sentimental value and of course financial value. Have you ever cringed looking at an outfit that you spent hundreds of dollars to purchase but hardly wore? Here is a tip, if there is anything in your closet that you haven’t worn for more than 2 months, its time to say goodbye to it.

If there is anything worn out, washed off or faded or just something you got bored wearing, take it out and donate to someone who needs it.Drop it off at a NGO, or a orphanage, those people will thank you.The mere fact that you can bring happiness to someone in need is a great feeling.If someone asks me to pick 10 items for my closet these would make the cut:

Shirt – white, blue, red

Outerwear – a denim and a faux leather, a  

Extra – a khaki trench coat

Tank Top – black, white ,grey

Tee — black, white ,grey

Jeans – a dark blue and a light blue

Trousers – a black and a navy blue 

Dress – a LBD, a sequinned dress

Shoes – black pumps, canvas sneaker or an espadrille

Accessories- a watch, a pair of earrings and statement necklace 

Handbag- a convertible tote with a clutch or a backpack 

For beauty and cosmetics I would like homemade soap, body scrub, butter and lip balm. Two lipsticks , one in red and one in coral would be great, a lip gloss in baby pink or nude would be perfection. One perfume, red must by bodyshop and for hair, Moroccan coconut oil base organic shampoo & conditioner.

Hope you enjoyed reading, do try out the DIY products and share your experiences in comments. If you wish to connect with me or share any ideas or suggestion feel free to write to me at mailto: theclosetweekly@gmail.com . Before you go, don’t forget to download the free quick guide to help you get started on a minimalist lifestyle.

Much Love

Akansha

Qoi Porter

Qoi Porter “Affordable Fashion”

Quoi Porter is french for ‘What to Wear’ which sums up the dilemma every woman goes through in the morning.Don’t we all want to stay up to date with the current trends and wish to have couture in our wardrobe? But what happens when we go out shopping and find the cost exceeding a weeks paycheque ?Do I really need that pair of boots? Should I spend 10k on that exquisite leather biker jacket? to answer these questions go ahead and read my post on splurge vs save 

Nevertheless the struggle of refreshing your workwear and your wardrobe can be a daunting task.Everthing these days is expensive be it a pair of casual denims or formal trousers.I would recommend you to shop in times of discounts and launches.Keep your shopping cart ready and bill when you get free coupons or otherwise.Some items will come on sale within a months time and clearance sales can be quite effective to stock up on trousers,shirts,tees and denims where the styles doesn’t go out of fashion.Make sure you’re on track for your basics and essentials.

Plan what your outfit will be the night before to avoid wasting the wee hours of the morning and draining out your energy.This goes a long way and reduces the daily mental fatigue of picking an ensemble to wear. You wont realise you would be tiring yourself out making trivial decisions and choices be it for clothing or accessories or what to eat.Plan these the night before and you will realise you have a fresh boost of energy and feel much more refreshed throughout the day.Freeing your brain of useless trivial decision making will make you more productive at work.

Where to Find Affordable Fashion?

  • As I mentioned earlier watch out for sales and discount coupons.There are quite a few e-commerce websites like Myntra, Amazon, Koovs which giveaway great items on surprisingly low prices during sales.Keep a track of the sales and offers by downloading their app.Set an alarm to avoid missing discounts on specific days. 
  • Look out for luxury brands and try to get the same items in knock-off sales or get them  
  • tailor-made.Investing in a good tailor will go a long way in custom fitting your clothes as well as helping you getting designs stitched instead of buying in stores. 
  • Go shopping the first day of the sale, the later you go the worse it gets.Sizes go unavailable real quick. 
  • Brands like Max,Pantaloons,Bata,People,Aureila are very affordable and they have started coming up with good designs also.For items like essentials,tees,scarves go ahead and  
  • bulk buy at these stores.Invest in monochrome pieces as you can style them for almost any occasion. 
  • Buy in local stores and during carnivals, a little bit of street shopping never hurt anyone.You can get some real good stuff in places like Goa,Commercial Street in Bangalore,Janpath,Chandni Chowk in Delhi.YES you’re right I mean THRIFTSTORE FASHION.I was never a brand freak myself and I believe style can exist in the most unexpected places.Thiftstores have a lot of vintage and gypsy styles. 
  • Get creative with your DIYs , add a trip of tribal fabric or some lace to a thriftstore jacket and creative awesome designs for yourself.

Thats all for now, hope you enjoyed reading.Share in comments about your shopping habits for daily wear pieces in your closet.

Much Love

Akansha

Tales from My Hometown ~Lucknow

 LUCKNOW-The City of Nawabs  

         Lucknow is the place I spent most of my childhood and adolescence days.Its a town with simplicity and long history.The town is popular all across India as “Tehszeeb Ka shehar” meaning city with culture.Language spoken here is a Hindi with a tough of Awadhi and Urdu, it’s soft and respectable to hear.Lucknow is famous for its TUNDAY KEBABS and CHIKAN EMBROIDERY and has quite a few HISTORICAL MONUMENTS.Lucknow is also known as a education hub,SGPGI,KGMC,IIM-L,IET and several other colleges and institutes here. 

     Lucknow has a warm humid subtropical climate with cool, dry winters from December to February and dry, hot summers from April to June. The rainy season is from mid-June to mid-September. Average temperature of summers is 40 C and of winters is 25 C. Best season to visit Lucknow is winter season between October to February. When compared to Bangalore this city still has the charm of the old times.Cost of living and travelling is dirt cheap.If you take public transport you can eat your hearts full and travel in 200 rupees a day.Food and Culture are key selling points of this city besides the architecture and the monuments that have stood the test of time.

Vidhan Sabha  

The city played an important role in both the First War of Independence and the modern Indian freedom struggle. Whether it was the Lucknow Pact of 1916 or the Khilafat Movement, it brought the citizens on a united platform against the British rule. 

In 1901, after staying the capital of Oudh, since 1775, Lucknow, with a population of 264,049, was merged in the newly formed United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.However, it became the provincial capital in 1920 when the seat of government was moved from Allahabad. Upon Indian independence in 1947, Lucknow became the capital of Uttar Pradesh, the erstwhile United Provinces.

FOOD SAFARI

1. Galawati Kebab

Galawati Kebab or Galauti Kebab is a special delicacy which was once made exclusively for a Nawab in Lucknow. Galawati means melt in your mouth, and the dish does exactly that. Once finely ground meat and unripe papaya is marinated, a mixture of spices is added to the dish. This one must be high on your must try list when in Lucknow!

2. Boti Kabab

Tender pieces of meat heated under intense heat, Boti Kabab is one finger-licking starter you should definitely not miss! A popular Mughlai recipe, this is one the many famous kababs that Lucknow has to offer.

3. Tunday Kebab

Tunday Kebab have a rather interesting history. Tunday means handicapped and they got their name because the person who made them first was handicapped. Over a 100 masalas go into the making of this royal kebab and they ensure that you don’t feel uneasy after having them. They literally melt in your mouth like ice cream and are best served with rumali roti. To enjoy the authentic flavour, make sure you eat the original Tundey as there are many a copies in Lucknow.

 Kababs

4. Rogan Josh

Rogan Josh – even the words make you go weak in the knees! Soft meat in spicy curry, this delicacy warms you up from the inside. Even though you might get it in Delhi or Mumbai, you haven’t really tasted it if you haven’t tried it in the City of Nawabs!

5. Lucknowi Biryani

This sumptuous dish is straight from the streets of Lucknow. The rice is cooked separately in garden-fresh spices and the marinated chicken is added later.This technique infuses just the right amount of flavour in the dish and the final product is something that you just cannot resist.

6. Tokri Chaat

Chaat is undoubtedly Indian’s favourite go-to snack to add a little spice to our monotony. The filling leaves both your stomach and taste buds satiated. The crisper the tokri, the better! Also called Basket Chaat, Lucknow offers a variety of these in the streets.

7.  Paya Ki Nihari

Lamb trotters broth, Lucknowi Payai Ki Nihari is a slowly-cooked dish usually prepared overnight for 6-7 hours. Nahar is an Urdu word which means morning, hence the dish usually sells like hot cakes for breakfast.

8. Malai Ki Gilori

If you have a sweet tooth, sink your teeth in the oh-so-soft Malai Ki Gilori in Lucknow! Savour it melting in your mouth within seconds and we are sure you won’t be able to stop at just one!

9. Sheermals

A sweet naan, this one is baked in tandoor and goes well with anything spicy! Sheermals are made with warm milk which is sweetened with sugar and generally flavoured with saffron. Totally mouth-watering, this!

10. Lucknawi paan

No meal is complete if you don’t end it up with paan. Lucknowi paan is not like just another paan! Paan lovers would be in a for a treat because this paan is more than just patta, supari and gulkand put together. It is an experience in itself and if you haven’t tasted it, you are missing out on life!

11. Prakash Ki Kulfi

Last but definitely not least, make sure you end your Lucknow sojourn with Prakash Ki Kukfi –  because if heaven came in colours, yellow would be the one! So special is the kulfi that the shop serves only Kulfi Faluda! Served in front of you in seconds, its flavour is perfect and leaves you wanting for more.

SHOPPING PARADISE

Lucknow besides being a haven for non-veg lovers also offers a lot in terms of good areas to go shopping-chikan embroidery,handmade shoes,silk cotton/khadi shops and more.I have captured below the best places in lucknow to shop.Do add them to your go to places the next time you plan a trip to Lucknow

Hazaratganj Market: 

Hazaratganj is situated in the mid of Lucknow. This market is 100 years old and was built by Amjat Ali Shah. This is the most posh market of Lucknow. All the branded stores are here. People come here in evening just for chill up. In evening you can see the real beauty of the Hazaratganj.. You can shop in Janpath, Lovelane and also in Sahara mall. You can taste multi cuisine food here in various restaurants and food court. This place is closed on Sunday

Love Lane – Now a shopping destination in Hazratganj

Love lane is now a different place altogether with the numerous shops lined up. These shops sell trendy clothes, fashionable accessories and stylish shoes at dirt cheap prices. The small market that has come up in the lane is vastly frequented by the fashion savvy in Lucknow. 

The highlight of the place stylish clothing made available at reasonable prices. Moreover, being located in the center of the city, it gets customers from all parts of the city. In fact “Ganjing” remains incomplete if the visitors don’t venture into the Love Lane. Though Hazratganj has many big showrooms along with some swanky malls in close vicinity, Love Lane has still not lost its sheen and continues to be an integral part of Hazratganj and the Lucknow city.

Lucknow city has always attracted attention for the atypical appeal it carries in everything. Love Lane is one such feature of the city that has kept its soul alive even after decades. It’s not just a lane in Hazratganj. 

Aminabad Market 

Aminabad is the most famous and oldest market of Lucknow. There is always  rush here all the seven days of week. You can buy almost each and every thing from this market.

You can buy cloths, shoes, cosmetics, hardware, books, bags, wedding accessories etc from this market. On Thursday the main market is closed but there is footpath market from where you can buy cheap items.

Chowk

Chowk is a different kind of Market in Lucknow. As Chowk is the main place of Chikan Garment Manufacturers, so if you want to purchase good quality Chikan Garment, then Chowk is the ultimate place for you.

Sarraf Bazar of Lucknow is situated in Chowk. In this market you will find plenty of Jewellery Shops. In this Bazar you will find almost anything related to Sarrafa.

If you are a food loving person then don’t miss going Chowk, here you will find the best quality of non-veg food available in Lucknow, Delicious Kabab Paratha of Tunde, Tasty Biryani, A lot of variety of Milk Products(Kesaria Doodh, Thandai, Rabri, Malai, Malai Pan, Garam Doodh etc.) . 

Bhootnath

Bhootnath Market is situated in Indira Nagar. People from Trans Gomti Area perefer to do their shopping in this upcoming market of Lucknow. In broad manner, you can say that Bhootnath Market is the mixture of Hazratganj and Aminabad.

In Bhootnath Market you can find Big Showrooms as well as medium range shops. This market provides latest trends and latest brands. In terms of price this Market is costlier than Aminabad and economical than Hazratganj. Bhootnath Market is having few good resaturants also, so you can enjoy Chinese, South Indian, Fast Food and Indian meals in this market.

SPIRITUAL JOURNEY

Chandrika Devi :

Chandrika Devi Temple is old and famous templeof Lucknow.It is situated around 28 Kms. away from the city of Lucknow  at the Sitapur Road near Bakshi  Ka Talab.   This place and nearby areas have relevance and religious significance since the time of the Ramayana.

People come here whole year but there is rush especially in Amawasya and Navratras.People come here for Mundan Sanskar of Children.Temple opens in early morning till late in the evening.Aarti is done at 7 am in morning, 1pm in afternoon and at7pm in eve.

Ramakrishana Math:

The Ramakrishna Math started functioning in Nirlanagar seven decades ago. Made of marble and located amidst a garden, the math contains idols of Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda.

The Math centre is engaged in the expansion of cultural, religious and spiritual activities according to the universal principles propounded by Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda and exemplified by their divine lives.

Sankat Mochan Temple:

Sankat Mochan Temple is located in the heart of Lucknow(near the bank of river gomti), Uttar Pradesh. The presiding deity here is Lord Hanuman. With a height of 6.5 ft, the one-piece marble idol is visible from all corners of the puja hall. The temple is also noted for its astounding architecture, a perfect blend of old and new.

The unique thing about this temple is that many a devotees write letters to Lord Hanuman describing their problems and all letters are read before the Lord and Lord Hanuman shower thy blessings to the devotees.

Sri Hanuman Badi Temple:

The Sri Hanuman Badi temple is situated at Lucknow, in Uttar Pradesh. This temple, dedicated to Lord Hanuman, was built by the Nawabs, the Muslim rulers of Lucknow, in medieval times. People of both Hindu and Muslim faiths offer worship in this temple. The temple, though small in size, attracts a large number of devotees.

Hope you enjoyed reading,chime in for inputs 🙂 

Love,

Akansha

Yule DIY Decor + Vlog

Hello everyone, I hope you all are doing well and taking care of yourself. Happy Yule! Yule marks the winter solstice, the return of the light after the longest night of the year, a celebration of re-birth and new beginnings. Yule, Saturnalia, and Christmas are just three of the traditional holidays celebrated around the Winter Solstice. Yule taps into the never-ending cycle of life and death and hope for sunshine. It is after all the rebirth of the sun and warmer days to come.

I never knew this but the story of the Grinch, set in Whoville, was based on Ted Geisel’s (Dr. Seuss’) hometown of Easthampton, Massachusetts. The mountain that the Grinch calls home, Mount Crumpit, was actually based on Mount Tom. The cartoon version of the Grinch was the most expensive animated program made by CBS at the time. “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” – Dr. Seuss, How The Grinch Stole Christmas!

Anyway I know you didn’t come here for a history lesson, so let’s into how to celebrate yule. Starting off with the yule log. The Yule Log we know and love today was not always a delicious frosted cake or beautifully decorated centerpiece. It was actually an entire tree (preferably oak, birch, or cherry) that was cut…A Yule Log (also called chocolate roulade or bûche de Noël) is a chocolatey dessert made from a rolled-up sponge filled with cream and frosted with chocolate buttercream decorated to replicate tree bark.

Once the family had chosen the right tree it would be dragged back to the home to be burned over a twelve-day period to honor the twelve days of Christmas. From burning the logs to celebrate the holiday, to creating a Christmas ornament, to eating this chocolatey treat, this is one festive tradition we hope is going nowhere.

Makeup Tutorial

Hello, my darlings! I hope you all are doing great and staying indoors. These are trying times and I hope we all get through this soon. Put your best face forward every day. While a smile is your best fashion accessory nothing beats a simple- correct, conceal, contour, brighten routine. Let’s get into some basic TLC. You are going to need very few products and drug store makeup will suffice as well.

Typically you are going to start with a fresh clean moisturized face. Next up you are going to apply a primer of your choice to make sure your makeup has something to hold on to. If you have under-eye dark circles or any blemishes I recommend using an orange corrector to hide them, you can use a green corrector to neutralize any redness or pimples you may have.LA pro comes with these tiny tubes of orange, green, nude correctors that are my personal favorite. Next, you are going to put on foundation, I prefer a product that blends well, preferably creamy and light.

Now your face is ready, we are going to add some highlights along with the nose of the bridge, your forehead, and around the lower lip. This would look like an inverted triangle if you well. We want to highlight portions of our face where the sun naturally hits. Next, you are going to use a strobe or highlighter to your cheekbones, nose bridge for maximum effect. Make sure you also apply concealer to your eye region for a well-sculpted look.

To start with eyes, tight line your lower and upper lash line along the waterline with black kohl liner(larger eyes), white liner(smaller eyes),brown liner(neutral effect).For a winged effect I recommend using a washitape.

Follow along with the graphic guides

Now for those of you who wear glasses, I know how difficult it can be to put on makeup without having your glasses or contacts in so I made a list of things that can help and really make a huge difference to your makeup game.

  • Now if you’re long-sighted or just extremely short-sighted you know how hard it is to apply makeup while barely being able to see a thing. A handy dandy magnifier mirror is your best friend, yes it did hurt my self-esteem to suggest this but hey you can see your reflection at least (depending on how bad your eyes are, folks whose prescription are -5 or worse you know what I am talking about)
  • Start by filling in your eyebrows because they frame your face and your glasses. Go for smaller frames that accentuate your features. I got this tortoise colored rectangular frame with a bit of a cat-eye finish towards the edges. The higher your prescription the better it is to go for smaller lenses to avoid any distraction.
  • Hold your makeup brushes towards you horizontally to allow yourself some room to lean into the mirror. You can also use your hands which I find the easiest to work with.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CHp24mvspGT/?igshid=1hkh2im6ife2c

  • Line your lower lash line with a white eyeliner and then finish off with a dark brown 3/4th of the way instead of black eyeliner to make your eyes pop
  • Apply a pink or peach blush to your cheeks to give your face some definition and prevent it from getting flattened by your lenses.
  • Use a powder or cream-based foundation for easy application and let it bake. Make sure you use a primer first to prevent your makeup from sliding or getting on your lenses
  • Opt for volumizing mascaras and don’t bother with fake lashes because they tend to hit the frames and lead to a clumpy mess

Don’t forget to smile and if you liked this post go ahead and give it a thumbs up. Leave your comments below and if you have any suggestions for videos you’d like to see let me know.

XOXO

Akansha

Things to do during the pandemic

#selfcare #staymasked

Let’s be real folks this pandemic has gone long enough. It almost nearing the end of 2020 and we have no end in sight. Yes, there has been some progress on the vaccine front but we won’t be getting one till probably Feb next year. Cabin fever has started to set in and most of us are bored out of our minds, honestly, what are we supposed to do? We are social animals and this era of social distancing has taken a toll on our mental health. If you are reading this I hope you are doing well and taking care of yourself. We are living in unprecedented times and it’s ok to not feel ok. Besides the pandemic and a health crisis hitting the world we also had to deal with social injustice, civil war, and a stock market crash.

With the economy in the crater and nothing, good happening for at least the next 12 to 18 months things look as grim as ever. Sometimes I wonder if we are living in 1984, BIG BROTHER’S watching. I think all salaried people shouldn’t be paying this high of a tax. What got me really furious and I am sorry if I am digressing is that I have to pay double tax on my stock and my awards, which is just unbelievable. I get nothing back for the taxes I pay, the infrastructure, roads filled with potholes, and ever so corrupt government in India crushing the hopes of every new graduate. Surviving in a dog eats dog world where it feels that almost everyone is after your hard-earned money. I hate putting my money in the bank now but what else can I do?

Financial education was never a part of our education system and for good reason. When the schools were instituted in 1920 this important piece of education was left out so that we would work till the day we die, keep paying taxes, work up to our bony knees and fingers give up. What baffles and enrages me the most is the fact that we never modified our education system to match the needs of today. In the 21st century, we need to get away from the factory model schools, where people had to know how to work for a fixed number of hours on the conveyor belt and operate like a machine. Jobs today are more creative and require mental capacities like never before. Globalization has led us into space where we are literally working for every goddamn moment of our lives. Anywho we need money to pay our bills and ranting about this is not going to make this any better.

Sorry, I yammered on for so long but now let’s get to the meat. Here are five things you can do from the comfort of your home and maybe maintain your mental health and keep yourself occupied. None of these are in any way a substitute for socializing or meeting friends over for coffee but hey we got to find some dignity in the situation we are in.

Journaling

While we stay indoors saving ourselves from the virus raging this planet it may feel that the walls are closing in. It’s important to acknowledge how you feel and writing your thoughts, your goals, ambitions, maybe even a vision board are a great way to keep yourself positive and motivated. These positive affirmations go a long way in maintaining good health and an optimistic attitude towards life. Writing about things that you’re grateful for can really help alleviate some of that pain that is caused by lack of a routine or whatever disruption you’ve faced over the past several months.

(1) Journaling

The next item on the list would be gardening. Regardless of the pandemic, I find gardening to be so therapeutic in nature. I couldn’t recommend this hard enough but get yourself some house plants, you don’t need a lot of space and it’s so comforting to engage a few hours of your day with plants. A little bit of greenery in your room and outside your house inspires creativity and restores vitality. When you’re a perceptive, quiet human, plant language makes sense. If you listen close enough, you’ll hear it. And the lessons embedded in the leafy whispers are human, too.

(2) Gardening

Next, another great way to spend time indoors is to get to your favorite reading list. There is never been a better time to indulge and pick up the classics, books you’ve always wanted to read but tend to put off for reasons like – ‘I don’t have enough time’, ‘Oops! I would love to read but I just don’t know when’. Hey now is the time, you’ve got all the time in the world. This is starting to feel like home imprisonment. Especially being in India where there are billions of people you just don’t have an option but to self-isolate. Everywhere you go there will be people and it’s not possible to maintain social distancing because of the population density. Dying is not an option so stay home and read that book.

(3) Reading

Next, this is the obvious choice and I am sure most of you are doing this already. Netflix and Chill !! what more do I need to say, we all are guilty of spending a countless number of hours watching Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube, etc. We have seen hours disappear into some sort of wormhole when we come out on the other side. There are a lot of good documentaries to watch as well if you are not that into movies or tv shows.

(4) Watch TV

Next, get into some art ! You won’t believe how calming home DIY can be. Whether it’s clay art, or painting or decoupage or any medium you prefer. Embracing your artsy creative side will do you good.All you need to do is order supplies online or got to the nearest dollar store, you get these items practically for free.Who knows you might even be able to open an Etsy shop and start a small side hustle.Not kidding people have done that. If DIY isn’t your thing you can always teach online on zoom and various other platform and make some money while you’re at it.

(5) Get into some DIY

So, there you have it-Five things to do at home while we all are riding this pandemic.I hope you enjoyed reading, leave me a comment down below on how you’re spending your time.I love to hear your ideas and suggestions.

XOXO

Akansha

Loneliness

One of the biggest epidemic hitting our generation is not any disease by loneliness itself. It’s time we acknowledge the elephant in the room. Loneliness is a dirty word carrying a stigma of shame. Loneliness does not stem from solitude per se. You can be surrounded by 100 people and still feel lonely. The major reason for this loneliness is the technology and how hooked we are to our smartphones all the time. Most of us have forgotten what it’s like to make human contact and connect with another human being. It’s so much easier to maintain virtual connections, even blocking people online is 1000x better than dealing with an uncomfortable conversation in person.

Reliance on consumption instead of connection is killing us

Some people who are socially isolated don’t necessarily feel lonely, and some people who are lonely are surrounded by people who make them feel more alienated, not less.Having said that Isolation can be killer. A strong physical and mental regime is needed to offset the impacts. Awareness is the first step towards the solution.While it feels like opening a Pandora box of problems for employers to resolve, a well devised ‘system’ can resolve most of responsibilities.

Lack of human connection and warm relationships has turned us into zombies trudging through our day.Life has lost meaning because there is less to experience physically than be intoxicated into a world of our creation. Black mirror is a great example of where society and civilisation is headed.

There is a study that states that loneliness is as a bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. We are responsible to take care of our emotional and mental well being. A large population of remote workers, stay at home spouses and old parents are at risk of suffering from loneliness and depression.As you age it becomes harder to make friends. The need to share with one another is ingrained in our DNA.Our brain is wired to help us make more connections,when something unforeseen happens we have a strong urge to share. This strong urge stems from the underlying need for survival. Our brain knows what’s best for us.

Wherein lies the conundrum: How can you meaningfully articulate the experience of being alive if you yourself are only in tune with the broken clockwork of your own anxiety, the echo chamber of your own skull?

The western world tells us to know ourselves and to be social. Contradicting its own facts we never learnt how to be alone with ourselves. Most of us are so scared of solitude we would rather hang out with people whose company we don’t even enjoy to avoid feeling bored.When you surround yourself with moments of solitude and stillness, you become intimately familiar with your environment in a way that forced stimulation doesn’t allow.

Loneliness is a self inflicted wound.You have the strength to heal it.“Social isolation is the best-established, most robust social or psychological risk factor for disease out there. Nothing can compare.”

Would love to hear your thoughts, share them in comments down below or write to me at theclosetweekly@gmail.com.

XX,Akansha

Letting Go of Ego

Starve the ego. Feed the soul.

Letting go of our ego is an exercise to finding fulfillment, peace, and calmness in our lives. Ego is an identity we create for ourselves.its a self-image we have created to help survive the harsh realities of day to day life. Ego is comparing our positive attributes to someone’s worst attributes and the other way around. We have gotten so busy attaching labels to everything, marking everything in the world that we have forgotten who we are, why we are here on this planet earth and what’s our life’s purpose.

We complain all the time, we are so unsatisfied with almost everything around us that we fail to enjoy what we have. Ego makes us believe that we are not enough or that we don’t have enough. Ego is behind our eyes and our knees, manifests itself in different kinds of behavior. Online selfies, using social media for gratification and approval. Addressing the symptom not the root cause has become our daily part of our life.

Let’s deep dive into how we can keep our ego under control. Performing selfless deeds and adding value not just to us but also those around us. Being in the present and truly grateful for what we have is another great way to break out of the habit of complaining. We need to consciously watch our whinging, whether it’s online or in person. We have to learn to accept things as they are and let go of anything not in our control. This also means we reflect and not react to every unfavorable situation out there.

On the highest throne in the world we sit only on our own bottom — Michael de Montaigue

Shift your focus from what should be to what is and appreciate your gifts. Ego destroys relationships, a powerful 3 letter enemy. Don’t feed your ego, take the high road and stay happy.

Ego is the false sense of who we are. It is incredibly fragile and subject to self-judgment. One meager and almost insignificant action can cause our ego to come back cowering with its tail between its legs because it failed to live up to what we think others want us to be. Our ego enjoys feigning perfection. It likes to say the right thing at the right time to make the right impression. There is no depth to that false sense of who we are. They ego is born out of self-doubt and insecurity.

Hope you enjoyed reading. Share your thoughts in the comments down below or write to me at theclosetweekly@gmail.com

XX,Akansha

50 Things to Be Happy About

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Well you don’t really need a reason to be happy. But with the capitalistic and materialistic society we live in , we need “reasons” to be happy. so here is a list. Print it out and add it to your refrigerator. Let the gratefulness warm your hearts everyday.Do what makes you happy and you will never have a dull moment.Own less do more, think less, worry less be happy.Being happy already you will suddenly realise that the things you were always seeking did not matter so much after all…

Let go of things that worry you, frustrate you or make you sad. Practise mindfulness and feel centred. Practise deep breathing in times of panic, anxiety and distress. With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at 50 classic “list” things to be happy about. Make your own list of things or just use this list of reasons to be happy (and maybe even spread a little link love).The secret sauce to happiness is being content and grateful for what you already have. Remember on a bad day, ..

“Surrender to what is , make peace with what was and have faith in what will be”

Live each day as your last and you will never have any regrets in life.Do more of what makes you happy and what sets your soul on fire.Happiness is silence and reflection. Increase your proximity from negative people.Live a life where you compare yourself with your past self not others. Start taking control of your life by taking the responsibility for what happened to you in the past and the present. Quit complaining and the constant habit of winning. pageI am also linking a happy printable planner (from Pinterest) for you to later work on. Stop trying to impress everyone, thats the perfect recipe for sadness. Also set daily goals and work on achieving them.

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Here goes the list.

1. For being healthy

2. For being able to see, touch, smell, taste and hear everything around us

3. For having a roof over my head

4. For having enough to eat

5. Being able to follow your passion

6. Having the freedom to travel

7. On giving & receiving kindness

8. Having enough money to get by each day

9. People who you care & love

10. Special Moments and Memories

11. Victories and small wins

12. Blooming flowers & buzzing bees

13. The sound of birds chirping

14. Sunshine

15. Air,Water and access to both

16. Cupcakes & coffee

17. Pretty Shoes

18. Warm hugs & kisses

19. Interwebs make you more connected

20. Hot Coffee in the Morning

21. Umbrella in the Rain

22. Walk by the Ocean

23. Early Morning Jog

24. Chocolate in all forms

25. Lavender scented candles

26. Discounts when shopping

27. Flowers & Ikibana

28. Pottery & Paintings

29. Watching waves in the sea

30. Swimming

31. Doing Yoga everyday

32. Playing with little kids

33. Making your dear ones feel special

34. Feeling Loved

35. Cooking a lovely meal

36. Playing with a Fluffy Pet

37. Connecting & sharing with others

38. Buzzing bees and Cicadas

39. Fireworks on Christmas & New Year

40. Watching your favourite team win

41. Lighting Diyas on Diwali

42. Weekend DIYs

43. Binge Watching on Netflix

44. Movie Marathon on Weekends

45. Game of Thrones all the way

46. Reading a Good Book under the Shade of a Tree

47. Taking a hike through the wilderness

48. Cycling on the mountain trail

49. Watering your Garden

50. For being alive !!

Don’t PROCRASTINATE and live in the present. Wallowing about the past or fretting about the future not only robs your today of happiness it also depletes your energy to take action.

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Hope you enjoyed reading. Visit my website www.theclosetweekly.com for more if you like. And , don’t go without downloading this free printable , link. Happy Diwali and share your thoughts in comments down below, or shoot me an email mailto: theclosetweekly@gmail.com.If you’re on Facebook, please give a thumbs up !

Much Love

Akansha

How to Beat JetLag

Even in an era of perpetual electronic availability, these automated missives land in our inboxes with shocking frequency.

While most vacationing email recipients keep it simple (listing the contact information of their next-in-command and making a vague promise to get back to you by a certain date), some cannot resist the opportunity to inject a bit of their personality into their correspondents’ inboxes in absentia.

Summer vacation kicking in!

Always wonder how flight attendants do it, smile posted on their faces. Is it a vacation hangover? Is my body fooling me? Insomnia fatigue anxiousness is so common.

Scientific term : desynchronizes or circadian dysrhythmia

Makes you cranky, impacts your body, hard time focussing, grumpy, exhausted. Adjust your watch ( if you wear one ), the psychological trick to adjust your brain and ease your transition

Social jet lag is real, you don’t really need to travel to get jetlagged.

When you’re traveling east it gets harder to fall asleep and when you travel west it can be hard to stay up. Caused due to variation in light. Jumpstart your sleep, minimize shock to your body

Sleep early or sleep late; change your clock to the destinations time zone; Stretch your legs and your entire body ( thank you for legroom )

Solutions

First cycle –> body’s circadian rhythm Second cycle –> food clock, starvation, and re-feeding

  1. Meal timings, Space out your meals, high protein breakfast, high carb dinner. Heavy food will make you more sleepy
  2. No matter how painful don’t sleep in ( it will make it harder to fall asleep at night )
  3. Dehydration makes jet lag works avoid caffeine and alcohol
  4. Sunshine — embrace it, fix your body clock
  5. Gets too unbearable, take short naps ( under 20–25 minutes ) any longer will make you groggy, worse than before you went to sleep, making jet lag worse. To reset your circadian rhythm sleep at the proper time.
  6. Turn off all electronics before going to bed ( never happens ), light suppresses melatonin production (sleep hormone)
  7. Ground your self, release-static charge, walking on grass, step onto the pool, connected to the earth, disconnect resolves
  8. Exercise in the morning ( plenty of sunshine ), alert during the day and sleep like a baby at night.
  9. Drink plenty of water, mild dehydration due to air travel, alcohol-based sanitizers, rough soaps, and frequent washing can leave your hands dry, carry a moisturizer. Avoid coffee tea when you land
  10. Be in the moment, don’t compare present and past destinations. Different sleep cycle re-timer.com.

I hope you enjoyed reading, share your thoughts in the comments down below.

XX,Akansha

House Plants

House plants, this post is an excerpt from my 8m² balcony/garden. The pandemic has changed our social lives and it seems we are living in our minds and our homes pretty much 24X7. Spending time with nature can help a lot in alleviating symptoms of depression, loneliness, anxiety, and stress. House plants are super fun to maintain and good pass time when there is absolutely nothing to do. House plants purify the air and improve health and wellness overall.

If you are staying by yourself, house plants could give a good company and add a small routine in the morning. Caring for plants is an extension of self-love and discipline. You don’t need a lot of space, to begin with. House plants are a great asset to any home in non-virusy times too. Let’s get started on turning our rooms into a forest oasis.

Productivity Tidbits

Before we jump ahead a small note on productivity and how our brains work. Our brains are not as evolved as we think. We have a tendency to avoid things that are hard to do, survival mechanisms in-grained to conserve energy. Our minds feel reluctant to do tough things as a measure to save energy and help us survive. This prevents us from picking the A items on our to-do lists. Assign a carrot to your to-do list and cut down items that seem easy to do but aren’t as fruitful.

When encountered with unfairness our mind jumps to fight or flight mode, a response hard-wired in us for survival. When confronted/ put on the spot it’s a natural tendency of our brain to be defensive and be less objective. Human beings aren’t entirely driven by reason and rationale, a lot has to do with irrational decisions and emotion. The split-second difference swaying our decisions, either way, is a good example.

We constantly have to make decisions every day, every minute, every second. The more things you put on auto-pilot, the more productive you’d get. Avoid making your day to day tasks tedious. Decision fatigue is real. Whether it’s deciding what to eat, what to wear, what to buy it all comes at a cost. Keep things that are important to do within your closest reach and you will NOTICE the difference in what you do As Marie Kondo says let go of things that don’t spark joy, apply the same to your daily routine and you’d find for yourself how effective and fulfilling your life would get.

When making your to-do list → be clear to add in an A, B, C, D, E to your tasks, ensure you absorb in your mind how doing things that are going to help you in both the short and long run are higher up in your priority lists. Do them before the “easier” and “brain fulfilling” tasks you chose over in your daily routine. Optimize your energy and you will optimize your life 🙂

A little bit of greenery in your room and outside your house inspires creativity and restores vitality. Some great plants that are low maintenance and hard to kill would be snake plant, pothos, Syngonium, jade, holy basil, monstera bamboo palm. You could add ferns, vines, and even succulents if you wish to get more involved.

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To quote:

“[People] laugh at the stupefying odds against anything accidental growing exactly like this, like us, out of mindless wood… The odds are nothing compared to the first great rolls of the cosmic dice: the one that took inert matter over the crest of life, and the one that led from simple bacteria to compound cells a hundred times larger and more complex. Compared to the first two chasms, the gap between trees and people is nothing at all.”

When you’re a perceptive, quiet human, plant language makes sense. If you listen close enough, you’ll hear it. And the lessons embedded in the leafy whispers are human, too.

I hope you enjoyed reading, please feel free to leave your comments and suggestions down below. Stay healthy! Stay safe.

Akansha

Gender Inequality

Writing this post pains me deeply because so much of it is about personal experience and pain. While it makes me quite uncomfortable to write about this topic I think it’s important to address the elephant in the room. We are living in the 21st century but unfortunately, most people around us seem stuck in the 18th century. Sometimes it makes me wonder if they took a time machine from a time where misogynistic tendencies used to be thought of as chivalry. Time and time again women have been suppressed, mansplained, and even looked down upon in the society and our workplaces.

Our offices are no longer safe for women to work. This problem is further worsened in tech where the gender ratio is skewed all the more. I speak from experience as a woman who is educated, privileged, and shielded from a lot of things that women take for granted. Nevertheless, this is a topic I feel very strongly about, so much of it is about being in your truth, being naked and exposed.

I have faced countless instances of gender inequality and harassment in the workplace and each time I learned that it’s important to step forward and fight for your right. You cant be passive-aggressive or ignoring what is happening around you. If you feel something is up, it is! trust your instincts and take timely action. Despite the sexual harassment and sensitivity training, I see a serious lack of empathy, understanding, and even common sense in dealing with such situations among leaders. I have had pretty disappointing discussions with my team members, managers, and the namesake leaders who need to be educated enough to handle these problems in the workplace. Women must not be told to contain it, or live within boundaries. Enough is enough and there needs to be strict management and policies when such incidents are reported by women. I don’t want to publicly shame some sexual perpetrators but if you’re reading this post you know who you are. Consider this a warning because there is more coming. I have found that our corporate law doesn’t support women when an untoward incident/accident happens. There is a natural tendency to blame women for being too vocal, open, or in some way responsible for being harassed. It’s NOT your fault, period.

Over the past several years a number of high-profile stories of pervasive workplace sexual harassment at “leading” companies has been exposed.Sexual harassment is an issue that really matters. You cant talk about gender equality when women are always treated as second class citizens and objectified. A women’s job is not to “brighten up the room” get an effing plant duh !

Okay I know there are more pressing concerns right now, First off, as we all know, there’s a pandemic raging the planet. 2020 has truly been the worst year of my existence. Not only are we social and physical distancing we are losing on precious time and memories. Unbelievable!

That said, this would forever be a dark spot in my memory a big scar. To all the victims of sexual harassment, my heart goes out to you. I am so sorry for whatever you are going through right now, please don’t blame yourself. Here are four things you can do to help prevent sexual harassment.

1. If you see someone being harassed, don’t be silent. But, call the harasser out and tell him to stop his action. 
2. Speak out. Or if you can, make a campaign about stopping sexual harassment.
3. If you hear people excuse sexism by saying, “boys will be boys then, and girls will be girls” just call it out. 
4. Don’t be afraid to raise your voice because your voice matters, really.

Remember, every little action counts. We can do just a smalls step to bust gender stereotypes. For instance, remember that chores have no gender. Maybe, your family often assign tasks in a very old-fashioned way without even realizing it. For girls, they’re the ones who take care of domestic things like washing dishes, cooking, setting table while for boys, they do more physical tasks like mowing the lawn or climbing ladders. Next time teach your boys some household chores- let them do the laundry, cook food because when you are living on your own not only do these life skills come in handy you are setting the standard for generations to come.

I think that’s all for now. I wish I could talk more about it. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great day, and be safe

Much Love

Akansha

How to Manage Yourself During the Pandemic

Besides the virus-induced pandemic raging the world we are also dealing with one of the biggest epidemics hitting our generation is not any disease by loneliness itself. Its time we acknowledge the elephant in the room. With every person being a potential carrier of the coronavirus which till-date has no cure, we are forced to quarantine and physical distance from our near and dear ones. Loneliness is a dirty word carrying a stigma of shame. Loneliness does not stem from solitude per se.

You can be surrounded by 100 people and still feel lonely. The major reason for this loneliness is a technology and how hooked we are to our smartphones all the time. Most of us have forgotten what it’s like to make human contact and connect with another human being. It’s so much easier to maintain virtual connections, even blocking people online is 1000x better than dealing with an uncomfortable conversation in person.

Reliance on consumption instead of connection is killing us

Some people who are socially isolated don’t necessarily feel lonely, and some people who are lonely are surrounded by people who make them feel more alienated, not less. Having said that Isolation can be a killer. A strong physical and mental regime is needed to offset the impacts. Awareness is the first step towards the solution. While it feels like opening a Pandora box of problems for employers to resolve, a well-devised ‘system’ can resolve most of the responsibilities.

Lack of human connection and warm relationships has turned us into zombies trudging through our day.Life has lost meaning because there is less to experience physically than be intoxicated into a world of our creation. Black mirror is a great example of where society and civilisation is headed.

There is a study that states that loneliness is as a bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. We are responsible to take care of our emotional and mental well being. A large population of remote workers, stay at home spouses and old parents are at risk of suffering from loneliness and depression.As you age it becomes harder to make friends. The need to share with one another is ingrained in our DNA.Our brain is wired to help us make more connections,when something unforeseen happens we have a strong urge to share. This strong urge stems from the underlying need for survival. Our brain knows what’s best for us.

Wherein lies the conundrum: How can you meaningfully articulate the experience of being alive if you yourself are only in tune with the broken clockwork of your own anxiety, the echo chamber of your own skull?


The western world tells us to know ourselves and to be social. Contradicting its own facts we never learnt how to be alone with ourselves. Most of us are so scared of solitude we would rather hang out with people whose company we don’t even enjoy to avoid feeling bored.When you surround yourself with moments of solitude and stillness, you become intimately familiar with your environment in a way that forced stimulation doesn’t allow.

Loneliness is a self inflicted wound.You have the strength to heal it.“Social isolation is the best-established, most robust social or psychological risk factor for disease out there. Nothing can compare.”

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Akansha