Embrace Yourself: The Start Of Something Wonderful

Everywhere I went, they asked me, “What do you do?” I didn’t know how to answer that. I did so many things. And like Alice, I felt like I would change so many times over.

Dhruvi aka Alice
Dhruvi aka Alice

Then one day, it occurred to me. Who I was was more important than what I did. I was a strong girl when I began, full of thoughts and ideas about the way of life. I felt like I could take on anything. My words were my strength. I considered myself a writer. That was also my reply when someone asked me what I did. But somewhere in time, along the way, I felt I was being defined by words. I was slotting myself into categories. I was either a writer, a stylist, a blogger or a girl waiting to meet a boy. I went into a cocoon. I found comfort hiding behind these titles. I was static. Until one day, my heart started beating really fast. Every conversation I had was with another woman who had found herself. And somehow I was waiting. To break free from the cocoon. And emerge a butterfly. A happy creature with wings that could lift any weight on my shoulders. I came into my own and was truly my best self. I feel like that even now. Lighter, free and ready to take on the world. Almost as if my whole life has been a preparation for this very moment. Where I can put my best self forward and vibe on the same frequency as others.

I know there are many more who feel this way. And so, with this post, I am kick-starting a campaign. ‘Embrace yourself‘ is an all inclusive collaboration of cross-cultural and multi-faced creators who have one primary goal. To come into their own and give back to society and the world at large.

I have already embarked on this venture with a hugely talented and diverse set of women. I am going to trace their individual journeys for you. Keep reading until the end for a surprise. Continue reading Embrace Yourself: The Start Of Something Wonderful

The Alice Connection

It was November 2008. I was having a Facebook conversation with a new friend. The subject of movies came up. It always does. I confessed that secretly I would like to be called Alice, based on Natalie Portman’s character in Closer.

Natalie Portman as Alice in Closer | fanpop.com

I started this blog 2 years after that conversation. And I knew my pseudonym would be Alice. I also thought of myself as a wanderer. Someone who never stopped discovering and going on adventures.

Alice wandering...
Alice wandering…

People started confusing Alice wandering… with Alice in Wonderland. After a while, I couldn’t be bothered to correct them. Partly because the books have influenced me too. And so much more greatly since I started blogging. So, I became Alice in Wonderland. A wanderer, eating her way through fashion and film.

Alice in Wonderland tea party

And my obsession with all things Alice continues.

Two ways with one shoe

Alice says: This Celery is such a tease. In her introduction, we couldn’t see her face as she hid behind the camera. And now we’ll only see her feet. One day, we’ll get her to pose. One day. 😛

Even though I mainly jabber about food on this website, occasionally even fashion excites me. Especially if it comes in the form of new shoes neatly tucked up in a huge black box!

I recently got myself a pair of flat chappals from a brand called Sole’D. For those of you who haven’t heard of this wonderful brand, Sole’D is a facebook page-cum-online shopping experience that allows you to pick from a range of colourful and stylish shoes.

It is one store we love going back to for a dose of footwear every time monotony hits us. If you remember, Alice recently wore the cutesy pink, strappy pair of sandals at her garage sale with her gorgeous black dress. The look and the feel of her shoes excited me so much, I simply had to get myself a pair!

Even though my closet is brimming with all kinds of footwear, a new pair never hurts, does it?

New pair of shoes!
New pair!

The occasion for which I picked these sandals was a wedding in the family. Now most of us would opt for heeled shoes, especially to wear with Indian clothes. But I also had to make sure I was comfortable as there were thousands of errands to run that day. Therefore, I picked a flat silver-strappy number (similar to Alice’s) with a hint of gold.

To my surprise, the pair not only went flawlessly with an Indian lehenga, but I also wore it the day after with a comfy pair of yoga pants! The shoes have a classic-yet-boho feel that makes them gel with all kinds of outfits. On top of that, gold and silver are neutral shades that can be teamed with almost any hue. This is one multi-tasking purchase!

One way with two shoes
One way with two shoes. Picture courtesy- Tejit Sampat

If you too want to get yourself a pair of shoes from Sole’D too, visit their Facebook page.

Other must-lusts from Sole’D:

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Making a splash this monsoon with Bata

Before the rains actually set in, some of us were invited to the Bata store to take a look at their monsoon collection. In an outfit suited to the season, we picked the pairs we liked most and posed for a shutterbug. Do I get a thumbs up for my monsoon ready ensemble?

Monsoon Basics
Monsoon Basics
Monsoon ensemble
Monsoon ensemble

Seventeen and Done! Alice chats with author Vibha Batra

Seventeen and Done
Seventeen and Done

It’s a funny story of how Vibha and I got in touch. But read about the book and our chat here:

What’s Seventeen and Done about?

Rinki and her wolf pack (that’s how she thinks of Robin and Sudha) are back in action! And they have company. In the form of Google (Mr. Know It All. ‘If I don’t know something, chances are neither does the search engine’) and Adit (Mr. Goody Two Shoes. ‘Life is short. Study hard’). At last, Rinki has her wish. She has two boys fighting over her, er, mostly with her.

Meanwhile, Rinki’s brand new grandmother, Mausiji, is raising hell at home. Her Dad, lucky fellow, is away in Coimbatore. And it’s all up to Rinki to cool tempers down. Mom and Mausiji are always on each other’s throat. And so are Google and Adit. Aiyyo aiyyo.

At school, things are no better. Board Exams are looking large and the Princy is making her feel smaller than ever. Her grades are shrinking and her waistline is growing. Tuition classes are keeping her up at unearthly hours and the syllabus is putting her to sleep. Her gym routine is like her love life. Non-existent. For the very same reason. With all the madness, where’s the time?

School life is about to get over. But not before things get a lot more crazy. Read the next installment in the Rinki series and discover why turning seventeen is no walk in the park!

Penguin Inked
Penguin Inked

Seventeen and Done has been published under the Penguin Inked arm:

Inked is a hip new imprint from Penguin Books India with a focus on the best writing for teens and young adults.

Who is Vibha Batra?

Movies (the soppier the better). Meals (think unlimited South Indian thaalis). Mad sitcoms (compulsive viewing, season 1-100). Just a few things that make Vibha happy. In addition to mails (the gushing kinds) from readers, of course. She wants to keep writing till her last breath (or carpal tunnel sets in, whichever comes first). She wants to win an Oscar for Best Original Song. (Best Adapted Screenplay for any of her books will do just fine too). She was last sighted at a quaint café in Chennai, hunched over the laptop, writing away like a woman possessed.

Vibha Batra
Vibha Batra

Alice’s conversation with Vibha:

Dhruvi Shah: Even from your bio and what little I’ve read of the book, you’re largely influenced by pop culture. I believe we all are to a certain extent. How do you incorporate that in your writing?

Vibha Batra: Hey, I’m trying to have fun with it. Keeping an eye out, ear to the ground, tongue firmly in cheek. I suppose it’s a case of ‘If you can’t run away, run with it’.

Continue reading Seventeen and Done! Alice chats with author Vibha Batra