Priya Ramani, the best Editor I could have hoped for

Priya Ramani has ruined my life. I’m sure she has done this to many others, but my story is the only one I know. I can barely remember my life as it was before she began to send me DMs on Twitter.

I mean it. I used to live behind this nice decent mask and say a few cryptic things on social media now and then and pretend to be a closet poet or something and then she said, “Write a column for me.”

If anyone else had asked me to do the same thing, I might have written a column and become famous and had a fancy collection of shiny new masks to hide behind.

I’m not sure how or why it happened, but Priya made me bold. For one, she’s always saying whatever comes to her mind. She barely edits herself. So I also started saying whatever comes to my mind. And now it is all out there and I don’t know how to stop.

Last week Priya resigned as Editor of Mint Lounge. She has been in this role for 8 years. I don’t know what is going to happen next. I didn’t ever expect an Editor of a fancy weekend supplement to start publishing real people’s commonplace feelings, or common people’s real feelings; narrated in first person.

I tested the waters a little in the beginning. For the first few months, every time I sent a column I expected it to be sent right back to me. For over a year, I would press send and then be sure that I had pushed the boundary a little too far this time. To put it more accurately, I would feel that I had pulled out something from a part of me that was too deep, fragile and vulnerable, and nobody was fool enough to publish this.

Apparently Priya, you are the fool I was destined to run into. On twitter, of all the godforsaken places possible.

And now you are going away. What did you think? Sardar khush hoga? Shabashi dega? 

Of course, khush hoga! Because I know why we do these things. Take decisions to start all over again in the middle of our life. Smash the chaos in our lives with a hammer and stand back and look at the smithereens. Tip toe away from the debris.

I feel like we should go for a stroll in the park and chat on a bench and then I will write about a friend of mine who walked away from something she loved because it exhausted her. It was time to let go.

She wants more of herself for herself. And for the Very Important People who love her. She wants to sleep in the daytime and be home when her daughter returns from school. She wants to savor her mid-life crisis. These things need time, we know that!

Thank you for inspiring me to drop my masks in broad daylight. I hope I inspire you to do the same. 

It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be really easy. Maybe you will continue to take a bath everyday even if you aren’t going to “go to work.” Maybe you will be more like me. Every time I feel like I should really get up and take a bath, I update my Facebook status. The less I comb my hair, the less it falls. Sometimes I comb my eyebrows, when I catch a glance of me in a mirror.

“Priya is going to re-invent herself so magnificently, you just wait and watch,” I said to a friend on whatsapp today morning. She was worrying for you. I’m not worrying for you.

I have hisaab to chukao with you. I’m watching you real close to see if I can get a chance to send you an idea as ruinous as the one you once sent me on a Twitter DM. Yeah, I’m looking at you, Priya Ramani!

For your eyes only: Handsome Indian men reading Mint Lounge

Beautiful and ugly

This is my mother’s face. 

This is me speaking at the Sheroes Summit in Delhi this week. 

I looked nice in the washroom mirror before I went on stage. I talked myself out of my nervousness the whole day. Just go and tell your story as if every word matters. 

I feel like I look ugly in this photo. Something has happened to my jaw in the last few years. It ages me. 

I also used to worry that my mother was ugly when she was my age. I was 10 years old then. 

Now she is 70. She is beautiful. Maybe I am too. I will learn to see it. 

When friends begin to crash

Two people I love deeply are in trouble these days.
One of them is talking. Reaching out, making small talk…trying to keep his head above water.

The other is sinking. I don’t know what to do. Maybe he needs to hit rock bottom. Maybe he is at rock bottom.

Maybe both of them will recover so well, that years later when I re-read this I won’t even be able to remember who was in trouble in November 2014.

God help us all. Hold him, don’t let him go.

Wearing Purple | Ochre Sky

am on a flight at Delhi airport, waiting to take off for Mumbai.

I am wearing a purple cotton saree, purple silk jacket, purple bindi and purple chashma.

You might think I am too purple, but my blouse, earrings and sandals are not purple. My petticoat is a satin beige… The one Mum got stitched for me for my wedding reception.

On 4th November, 2014, I spoke at the Sheroes Summit in New Delhi. I spoke about being a media professional with so many different roles over the years and then starting Ochre Sky with Rohit.

I spoke about my shame, embarrassment, fears. My ego and my class hang-ups. Speaking with candour is so therapeutic, why don’t more of us do it more often?

I’ll tell you more about all this soon. For right now, picture me in purple! There are pink fish and lotuses on the saree palla.

I used Opera Coast to blog this from my phone, btw. Despite the warning that this browser is unsupported. 

I could have used purple perfume too, but I forgot all about it!