Ageing And Dyeing

I was, I think, in my late 30s when streaks of grey appeared on my head. I welcomed them with open arms. I thought it was a good idea to age gracefully with pride, just like one of my professors whom I admired greatly during my college days.

Two years later, however, my whole life turned upside down. I was now in a different career and a different industry. I could no longer afford to remain inwardly drawn as my job profile involved dealing with people. For the sake of my career, I had to unlearn a lot of things that were ingrained in me since childhood.  It was painful initially as I had to constantly worry about what others thought about me and adapt myself accordingly. Earlier, the only qualities that mattered to me were intellect, knowledge, depth of feelings and emotions, and internal beauty. But now, it was all about superficial beauty, pleasing exteriors, memorable appearances, and making great first impressions and all this obviously included looking youthful.

Every organization has some unwritten, tacit rules that they expect their employees to follow instinctively. Those employees who understand this do well in their careers and those who don’t either stagnate or keep getting fired for what they perceive as’flimsy reasons.’

I realized this the harder way after a lot of struggle. It was during the toughest part of my life when I discovered that being well-groomed from outside is the best way to demonstrate to the whole world your optimism, strength and courage and positive things happen only to people who look positive. Looking positive outside actually tends to work backwards too and before you realize it, your interior too begins to feel cosy, warm, and comfortable…

There are certain things, of course that you can’t control, your facial contours, the wrinkles, skin color, hair texture, etc, but there are lots of other things that you can do to embellish what you’ve got.

Apart from cosmetics (thank God, you don’t need to use them heavily in office) and perfumes, hair coloring is an absolute must for the grey heads.

If you look at this positively, it’s, I guess, a question of choosing between looking what you are and what you want to be.

I began initially with mehndi as it was a low-cost option without any side-effects. But the problem with mehndi is that it produces an unnatural orangish stain which doesn’t look nice. So I soon graduated to chemical dyes. I tried many brands,  Garnier, Revlon, Godrej, etc. For some time, at least, they fulfilled the purpose for which I used them.

A few years later, I had to return to mehndi as my hair had got severely damaged. This time, I used Indigo powder paste also each time after using mehndi to change orange color to natural black brown. During this period, I used many other things too, such as amla and shikakai powders, egg, curd, etc. My hair loved it absolutely! I could see that from the significant improvement in both length and thickness of my hair.

But now there were new challenges. I no longer had enough time for myself because of long working hours. It was not possible to spend weekends with my hair slathered with dyes for 4-6 hours. In winters, it was much more difficult because of my chronic allergic rhinitis problems.

Two months ago, my husband gifted me a few sachets of a ‘natural’dye that I had never heard of earlier (Noni Black Hair Magic). He bought them for me from the International Trade Fair at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. He said,”Try these. I saw a lot of people buying them today. They are claiming that this is safe and  will give your hair the color you want in just 10 minutes. All you have to do is massage it into your hair like a shampoo and wash it off after 10 minutes.”

I tried it out that evening itself with a lot of misgivings as it seemed to be a Chinese product and my experience with Chinese products has not always been a very happy one.

I was pleasantly surprised as it worked out the way it was supposed to. It did the coloring without spoiling my hair.

Here are the pics…

1. Starting point

2. Dyeing with Noni Black Hair Magic (I used 2 sachets. They come with gloves).

3. I emptied the whole lot into my hair with glove-covered hands.

4. Finally, 30 minutes later, after washing and rinsing with water, white and grey turned to black…

5. Here I am, in office, the next day with several years knocked off my age…


Today, as I share my happiness with all my dear readers about being joyfully alive, I would like to conclude by saying that every challenge gives us an opportunity to achieve what we have come to this world for and you just have to accept it with dignity.

In case you need more information about this product, look at this pic of the carton…

Chinese Oranges

About 5 years ago, our gardener Ram Kishore brought for us a new potted plant. We accepted it nonchallantly, without any enthusiasm, just like so many other cactus plants he had planted in our terrace garden earlier.

A few months later, little green fruits began appearing on it in great abundance. When they started ripening and changing to golden orange, I sighed and wished they were real oranges. I thought they were poisonous and their only purpose of existence was to add glamour to our balcony.

One day Ram Kishore overheard me when I mentioned this to my husband and he said, “Didi, these are Chinese oranges. They look like oranges, but they are sour like lemons. Why don’t you make a pickle out of them? You will like it. I am quite sure.”

I was pleasantly surprised and I replied, ” Alright, let me see.”

A couple of days later, when I had gathered about 200g of these fruits, I made a simple version on a tentative basis with just salt, black salt, ajwain, and black pepper. It turned out to be very good and the best part of it was that these mini oranges were fresh, straight off a plant, as in a farm house. For a landless city dweller like me, this is indeed a very exciting thing!

Here is the recipe along with the pics. 

1. Wash the oranges well and allow them to dry in a sieve.

2.Remove the seeds and keep them in a ceramic or glass jar.

3. Add salt as per taste.

2. Add coarsely ground black pepper.

3. Add some black salt and ajwain.

4. Close the lid and shake it vigorously to let the spices mix properly with the sliced oranges.

5. Keep it in the sun for 2-3 days. In case of cloudy weather, you may keep it inside and shake up the container a bit everyday. 

6. The pickle is now ready. Enjoy! Happy pickling!

Winter Kaleidoscope

We are at the peak of winter season these days in Delhi. With black, grey, and white clouds flitting around and tree branches shrouded in mist and fog, the sky turns into an interesting kaleidoscope that you can easily spend the whole day watching and admiring. Here are some pics that I clicked this week…

Cars & Flowers

My last 13 years’ work experience has been in the automobile industry only with different car dealerships. That’s a pretty long time, isn’t it?

During this period, I got the chance to work with various brands, viz, Ford, Honda, Skoda, BMW, Audi, and Porsche.

Today, as I look back, I feel that although each brand is trying hard to fight competition by trying to stand out in the crowd, BMW is the only one that has managed to achieve this aim through its strong association with an object that reflects the same qualities that it represents, luxury, refinement, elegance, dignity, and beauty: a jar of white orchids.

Whether you visit a dealership or you go to a BMW office, you will always find these jars strategically placed at all the external touch points.

Here is a pic that I clicked last week…

A beauty indeed! I love it because everytime I look at it, I feel a strange kind of calmness and spiritual joy descending on my soul…The same transformation probabably happens to customers too. That’s important when you are constantly dealing with irate customers. It helps when everyone is cool and relaxed.

Ginger Pickle

A few days ago, a colleague of mine offered me some ginger pickle.I found it absolutely delicious. So I asked her for the recipe. I was really amazed when she shared it with me. It was so simple. I made it myself the following Sunday. I added some green chillies too later on…

Ginger is very good for building up immunity and helps in digestion. This pickle is free of oil and spices and still gives a tangy touch. Try it. You would love it. 

Here is the 1-2-3 recipe along with pics…

1. I first peeled and washed the ginger.

2. Then I cut and sliced the ginger.

3. Then I put the sliced ginger into a glass jar along with lemon juice and salt. I stored it in the refrigerator.

Precautions: After you complete this process, you might get a very severe itching sensation on your fingers. I got it too. I got rid of it by washing my hands several times with soap and rubbing coconut oil.

photo-blog with non-fiction content

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