Sometimes, the best remedy is silence.

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I Don’t Belong In The Kitchen

What really gets on my nerve, more than anything, is the ingrained standard that women are to take care of everything in the house while men are free to do whatever they want solely because… 

Fill in the blank yourself, because there is no logical reason.

Now look, I’m not complaining about having to cook or having to clean. These are the concerns and complaints of an everyday teenager. Now what I am complaining about is that my mother chooses to come to me with these chores when my perfectly good, oaf of a brother is sitting on the couch playing on his iPhone, cackling to himself.

I’d be fine if I was the one to do the cooking so long as my brother was the one to do the cleaning. This, unfortunately, is not a scenario that will happen under my mother’s roof. 

See, if I complain, my mother simply turns this around and makes me look like the villain. She makes me look like the lazy, good-for-nothing daughter that does nothing at home (which is not that far from the truth, but still). She’ll then ignore me, and if she does talk to me, she’ll use herself as an example as to why I should help her in the kitchen.

First of all, I have zero interest in cooking. Second of all:

Dear future husband,

You are going to cook and clean just as I do. Capisce? 

Love, your future wife

Maybe I am a bitter, but I’m sick of these archaic traditions. Women are not meant to be in the kitchen; it’s somewhere we choose to be. For my mom, the kitchen is a place she chooses to be. She loves cooking. That’s her thing. But for me, this couldn’t be farther from what I want.

Problems of an eighteen-year-old Gujarati kid, I suppose.

Work Experiences

It’s been quite a while, but here I am! Hope you’ve all been well.

 

Last week, I got the opportunity to conduct my first official interview.

Whoever says that the only way you can get around is through connections is completely and utterly wrong. After months of pestering corresponding with the editor of a South Asian newspaper, she finally gave me the opportunity to write stories for the newspaper as an unofficial intern. While this opportunity is basically unpaid freelance work, I have no complaints because as a rising sophomore, this is an incredible opportunity.

Needless to say, I was incredibly excited to write an article for an established newspaper and conduct an interview. The interviewee was the director of a feature length documentary. This documentary is actually being featured in a film festival at the moment. I actually got the opportunity to watch it early, since I wasn’t able to attend the film festival considering my lack of a press pass. This didn’t deter my excitement. In fact, watching the documentary made me even more excited to meet the director.

The night before the interview, I was scrambling to find a professional outfit. Something that said “take me seriously” rather than “I’m a freshman”.

I ended up wearing a white button up blouse tucked into black harem pants and (cringe) olive Toms. To be fair, I wasn’t sure how casual/formal I should dress and I figured the Toms would add a pop of color. I also have a slight dislike for heels, so there.

Harem Pants: Cotton On, Shoes: Toms, Purse: Michael Kors, Blouse: H&M

Harem Pants: Cotton On, Shoes: Toms, Purse: Michael Kors, Blouse: H&M

I had to be dropped off, which is incredibly lame but at least the director/her PR manager didn’t see that part.

I actually didn’t know where the place was but I started walking in a direction, hoping to walk past it. On my way, I tried to walk past this man, who was being loud and obnoxious. He immediately came close to me and creepily watched as I walked by, trying to hit on me. I just looked forward and kept walking. Honestly, I shouldn’t have even had to deal with that man harassing me, because he had clearly been doing this to multiple women but I guess no one (including the two security guards standing a short distance away) had the courage to say anything to him. I personally didn’t want to put myself in danger, but I digress.

I met the PR manager and director soon after. To my surprise, the director was so down-to-earth. She was incredibly humble and truly cared for what her documentary was about. It was refreshing to learn more about her.

On a side note, I liked that she was so honest and genuine. She did not act like she was above me because she was older than me, or because she was an established director. It is difficult to sound sophisticated and witty, and it’s often tiring. I have a friend or two that I feel less than great talking to just because I know I have to be on my A-game when it comes to being clever, or they’ll just steamroll right over me. It’s frustrating and annoying. Don’t get me wrong – I love a good back-and-forth but to always be on my toes is a nuisance when it comes to a basic, friendly conversation.

Anyways, back to my interview. While it was only about 10-15 minutes, I really felt like I had learned a lot about where the director was coming from and that in turn made the documentary that much more insightful. At the end of the interview, she even asked about me which was crazy in itself. Maybe it was just polite talk, or maybe it was curiosity, but I’m glad that although the conversation was about her, she never made this apparent.

I learned quite a bit from this first experience. I need to work on saying ‘um’ less. I also need to learn how to sound less fake when laughing (oh the convenience of Voice Memos on the iPhone). But overall, I’d say I did a pretty good job for my first time out.

My article is to be published in the newspaper next week!

Best,

Shivani

5 Truths

I was talking to my friend about blogging, and she shared this quote by Brad Paisley with me:

Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one

And at first, I thought I would end up writing a list of resolutions. You know, the cliché “I’m going to work out everyday” or “I’m going to let go of my grudges”. I’m sure I will make that post sometime soon, but I wanted to do something different.

I think this year has been especially fundamental in me realizing truths about myself – truths that aren’t necessarily nice and pretty. Regardless, I feel that I’ve grown up a lot this past year, and while I probably have a lot more growing up to do in the next few years, I’ve learned one important thing. Don’t change yourself for others. And you know, I thought it was complete bull when people told this to me. I thought, why in the world would I ever change myself for someone? On reflecting, I realized that there are many different versions of me – who I am to my friends, who I am to my family, who I am to my enemies. I could go on and on, but I’ve decided it’s time for me to come clean starting with 5 truths about myself that people may not necessarily know.

1. I am an avid-reader of fan fiction.

Well, why not start by jumping off the deep end?

In middle school, I discovered the world of fan fiction. I thought it was embarrassing because I was reading stories by nerds who couldn’t let go of the fact that the book was over. Over time, it became clear to me that this was just a way for readers to explore the world the author had created for them. I find it a pretty neat concept, and I’ve read some amazing stories on these websites. Particularly, I’m still hung up over Harry Potter, so yes, I still do (on occasion) read stories from this website. Judge me or not, but I can guarantee that I’m reading A+ quality writing.

I actually tried to write some, but that was a bust. My mind goes a million miles per minute, and as soon as I get something down, I’m already ten new ideas ahead. Basically, I wouldn’t be good at sitting and working on something for a long time. (There go my dreams of being an author, oops)

2. I dance in front of my mirror. Always.

I think one of the saddest things about college is that I don’t have a mirror (well, I do…but I have two roommates). My imagination goes crazy, and it’s nice because I can dance however I want and no one can say anything. It’s so nice to be back because I can blast my music and dance like there’s no tomorrow.

If you’re judging, try it. It’s a great stress-reliever.

3. I spent more than $200 on my hair.

Okay, so technically it was my mom. When there’s so many other things I could be spending money on, I decided to do it on my hair. My natural hair is wavy and there is a LOT of it. It’s incredibly difficult to manage, and getting a keratin treatment done on it was the best thing possible. One, because it’s a lot more manageable and two, because it’s stick straight (which I find tends to suit me). Bite me about spending money. We all have to splurge sometimes.

4. My GPA is below a 3.0.

I think the worst part of having this GPA is that I know I could’ve done better. I skipped out on work for really no reason except my laziness, but I couldn’t even bring myself to complete my work. I think the freedom of college definitely got to my head, and I could sit here and make empty promises of aiming for all A’s. What I do know is that I’ll definitely cut down on the naps and actually make an attempt to succeed this semester.

5. Life is a wonderful thing.

It’s not really my place to tell, but my friends and I just had a scare where someone’s life was in danger. While it’s being resolved right now, I’ve never really been this close to such a situation. To be honest, the uncertainty is terrifying but I think the human spirit is a wonderful thing. Despite not knowing the person in question, so many people acted to make sure that they were okay. There’s something wonderful about camaraderie and how in the end, we only have each other to endure this mad, mad world.

To the person, I hope with all my heart that you’re alright.

To everyone else, I hope your 2014 is wonderful. I hope mine is amazing, or at the very least, surprising.

Dance: An Art Form

I’ve always felt that dance is my release, my escape from the world around me. It allows me to shine, and forget the rest of my problems. For those of you who don’t dance (because let’s face it, everyone can dance – it’s just a matter of how well), liken it to something you have a passion for. Whether that be running or painting or even writing, you’ll know what I mean when I say that this is my release. Once I start dancing, nothing really matters except for the moves.

Of all the episodes I’ve watched of So You Think You Can Dance, this has to be my all time favorite. The story, the expressions, and of course, the dancing. I feel that you can really see how dance is an art form through this piece. There are so many minute details that come together to form this, and it is amazing.

After watching this a couple times, I really do miss dancing.

Until next time,

shivaaani