Yoga and the Stretchy Pants

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How am I literally the only unfit person at my yoga class? Here I am sinking deeper into my pool of sweat with my big belly and all, while all around me is a sea of stretched out rubber bands.

Sometimes I think people who really need to work out often don’t because they feel fat shamed into staying home and eating their emotions. The giant mirrors, the itty bitty outfits, the unsmiling women staring at your love handles – it’s all intimidating and it makes you feel like a bit of a failure.

If you’ve ever felt like that, just chin up and go for it. You don’t owe anybody perfection.

I’ll admit though, it wouldn’t hurt if someone cracked a smile once in a while. But I guess, peeps are just being super introspective while decidedly checking out their ass in the mirror.

Patron Saint of Side-Eyes

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I heard you are mouthing off about me. I know everything you’ve ever said about me. I see you lurking around my LinkedIn profile every other week. I know you tell people I am cantankerous because I am “always talking about feminism and racism”.

Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. If that makes you call me a bitch, let me introduce you to my Patron Saint of Side-Eyes and Not Giving a Single Fuck.

A brew will see you through

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coffee melbourne blog

Did this on a napkin over the packed weekend. Packed with fun, not work, in case you were wondering.

Now that it’s Monday, I can feel it’s full effects. Hopefully a few brews will see me (and you) through.

Reading 50 Shades of Grey

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It’s not a secret that I think 50 Shades of Grey is total bollocks. It’s a bit sad that after the likes of Anais Nin, this is what passes as female erotica these days. Anyway, I digress.

One day, I was in the middle of my usual rant when someone I know, who is a routine fat shamer, said that she didn’t think much of the book either. Then she went on to add, “Only the really fat, lonely women in my workplace, the kinds who have nothing going on in their lives are excited about the book.” This is verbatim.

Immediately, I had visions of sassy plus sized women in bikinis, reading the book while getting their BDSM supplies ready. Taking pointers. Finger on the button.

I have a sneaky suspicion she wasn’t really going for this imagery.

Mugshot Monday

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mymugs blog

I am obsessed with china. Especially tea cups and coffee mugs. These are actually pretty accurate representations of all the mugs I own. O and if you are going to give me a mug as a present, please resist the ones with cheesy/corny/lovely messages in cheesy/corny/lovely typography. The thought of reading something deep before my first sip of morning coffee is just too much for me.

The Type of Woman

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So much is being discussed everyday, everywhere I go — in real life or virtual — about what it means to be a woman. In India. In the Middle East. In the United States.

Despite the good intentions of the world, the public discourse is all about finding the right receptacle to provide female identity. To be of the female sex is not enough. To be of skin and bones and blood and guts is not enough. To be a fully formed human of sound mind is not enough. Are you a good mother? Are you the wife who is fighting to have a career?  Are you the sister who rebelled against your brother’s idea of honor? Are you India’s daughter who wasn’t protected enough?

Everyone needs a place. It shouldn’t be inside of someone else. -Richard Siken

Edit: The words in my illustration are from Sarah Kay’s poem, The Type.

Hipsters, Coffee and The Grounds of Alexandria

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A friend who lives in Sydney told us we must visit “The Grounds” for brunch. So we did.

Built on a repurposed industrial compound, The Grounds of Alexandria is a eatery, bakery, produce market, flower shop and farm — all rolled into one mega cafe.

They have a small farm section with hens and goats, which means adorable human babies petting adorable goat babies — hours of fun for me. You can then choose to sit out at the pergola in their magical garden with flowers,  fountains, and fairy lights. Or you could sit in the overcrowded main section and order a breakfast board (average) and artisanal coffee (absolutely divine). Across the cafe is Garlands, a flower shop selling just-cut flowers, some of which come in strange psychedelic colors. A few steps behind that is a produce stall, where you can buy fresh handmade pasta, cheese, meats and some very expensive Himalayan rock salt. Bare, minimal industrial space covered with lots of green and flowers – it’s all very beautiful.

We went on a week day and the place was full to the gills with very stylish people and a lot of hipsters. I am never clear on this cultural phenomenon being Indian and all, but guessing by the number of flowing kimonos, geometric jewelry and wide brimmed hats, I might be right.

Blue Mountains

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blue mountains blog

The Blue Mountains near Sydney are best viewed on a rainy misty day, in my opinion. Because that’s when they are magical and shrouded in mystery, with The Three Sisters playing peek-a-boo from behind the clouds.

The Three Sisters is the Blue Mountains’ most spectacular landmark. They are essentially an unusual rock formation, with three peaks representing three aboriginal sisters, who according to legend were turned to stone in an unfortunate battle for love.

Legend has it that three beautiful sisters of the Katoomba tribe had fallen in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe. But it was against tribal law for them to marry. So the brothers decided to fight for their love in a fierce battle and take the sisters away.

To prevent this from happening, a witchdoctor from the Katoomba tribe turned the three sisters into stone so they couldn’t be taken away. Of course, he had intended to reverse the spell but the witchdoctor was killed in battle and noone else could undo his spell. With his death, the sisters’ fate was sealed and to this day they remain rocks, as reminder of the fact that innocents are punished when battles are fought among the powerful.

Feeling Good

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feeling good blog

Back from my travel to Australia, which is a ridiculously beautiful country. Literally, the photos need no filters.

Friends and family pampered us no end with lunches and dinners and pretty presents all over the place. We were like Hollywood celebrities, leaving the airport at various cities in our big ass sunglasses and being scooped up by friends in their huge cars – no taxi queues.

The food in Australia was outstanding no matter where we were. So was the coffee. And the wine. And the beer.

We slept for 18 hours last night and this morning was all about swaying my hips to Nina Simone, while I made my coffee and looked through the hundreds of photos I took.

PS: There’s a new BUY MY WORKS button to the right side bar of the blog where you can, you guessed it, buy my works. Also, some changes to the Sketchbook Store page, so go check that out if you have time :)

Looks like we made it

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Seven years ago, on this day, against the wishes of a lot of people, I married you.They said we would never make it. They said we wouldn’t go far.

But I knew you. That you are kind even when others are unkind to you. That your love has no conditions attached. That your trust is complete and your friendship is unwavering.

That you will forgive my gravest errors and still give me the freedom to make them. And most importantly, you will put me first. Always.

Tonight we found a quiet spot among the mountains and we looked up. The Milky Way stretched out as if to welcome us with a carpet of diamonds on a rich velvet sky. Surrounded by a million stars bearing frail witness to our fragile lives, our small loves, I became certain that if there is heaven on earth, it is here and in this moment.

I looked up at the constellations winking at me playfully and realized that they have been conspiring all along. To bring me to you, to make me happy.

Happy Lunar New Year!!

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CNY blog

The lunar new year is the best time in Singapore. It’s busy but beautiful. There are pretty lights everywhere. Things slow down while everyone prepares for the festivities and the weather is so amazing. Every time the lunar new year rolls around I discover some new food that I fall in love with. This year it’s been the cream filled “love letters”.

We are taking a vacation using the long weekend and going to Australia tonight. I can’t wait to met our friends and family there. My brother’s new baby is waiting :)

To all you beautiful people, may this new year bring you lots of luck and prosperity. Gong xi fa cai!

Bath Bomb

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Ok, first, the Lush bath bombs are insanely good.

Next, I have had an epiphany. After a week or so of being unwell and out of sorts, I met Ashleigh. The coffee and wine aside, just hanging out with someone funny who also gets my funny was better than therapy. I also had the most amazing weekend (I probably don’t catalog the good times on Facebook as much as other people) because I felt like something heavy had lifted.

It could just be that my sinuses had cleared after two weeks. Or, it could also be that I was thankful to God for raining good people in my life.

So the epiphany was this. I am happy. And I think that this is a 100% true: “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.”

PS: In the sidebar, there is now a “BUY MY WORKS” link. Some of my illustrations are available as prints there. Its FREE Shipping within Singapore. And about the pieces that are not there, I am working on getting a vendor. As soon as that happens I’ll let you know.

Me and You, Just us Two

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The waves are erasing the footprints/ Of those who are walking the beach.

The wind is carrying away the words/ Two people are saying to each other.

But still they are walking the beach/ Their feet making new footprints.

Still the two are walking together/ Finding new words.

— Kemal Ozer

Days like these

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There are days when my bed is an island — surrounded by murky stormy waters and dark thunderclouds. Stepping off this island doesn’t feel safe. Not even to open the curtains and let in some light. Not even to eat the leftover chicken in the fridge. Not to speak to mother or answer the door.

There’s nothing to do but sleep, waiting for the storm to blow over.

Rainbow without rain

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Can you be heartbroken and hopeful at the same time?

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