All posts by jessicajoel

Why We Need To Love Each Other

If you haven’t already heard, a gunman by the name of Dylan Roof opened fire inside a church in Charleston, USA killing nine people. You can find the full story about that here. As with most things in life, I have very clear feelings about it. But for some reason this made me want to write a post about it so that many more people can hear what I have to say about it. I want people to hear about it, because I think we all need to love each other a little more.

Love is a simple idea. In its purest form, it is uncomplicated, true and so easy to feel. Today I saw an Instagram of a popular YouTuber’s ninth month old baby. I loved that picture and I realised that I loved that kid. I didn’t personally know her, but I did know that she was adorable and always made me smile. So why shouldn’t I love her? If we all simplified the concept of love, instead of layering it with disconcerting notions that did nothing but dilute the purity of it, we’d all be in a better place.

So, why should we love each other? Because the root of all evil is in hatred. Hatred of patriarchy, hatred of another religion, hatred of a race, hatred of a fellow human being. Now obviously I’m simplifying things here but I’d like to think that truly, if you get the very essence of it, hatred is what propels a person to do such heinous things. This man was reportedly mentally unstable, dark and fond of making racial jokes. When he took his pistol into a place of worship and murdered those people, none among us can possibly understand what went through his mind. But what we do know, is that for reasons that we cannot fathom, he hated the people of that race. Why did he target black people? Again, we cannot know the answer to that. But that isn’t important. The point is, that this man had such a burning hate for these Americans that he could murder them in cold blood.

This post, however isn’t just about gunmen or terrorists. It’s about us, as individuals, learning to love one and other despise all the things that make us different. Because when you open up your heart a little, it’s so easy to find forgiveness, empathy, contentment and a feeling of kinship with a fellow human being. And if you are armed with those feelings, then you would never be able to contemplate imparting violence on another person. Love has many facets : brotherly love, fatherly love, friendly love and love that brings passion. A well rounded person should be able to love oneself and love others. When you are loved, it is the easiest thing to carry it forward.

There is so much unpleasantness that people experience every single day. All of this negative energy that is focused on anyone and everyone for no apparent reason. Im not saying that everybody in the whole world should love each other and live in complete peace and harmony. Because utopia is a long ways away. But if we all tried just the teeniest bit to switch out the negative for the positive, we’ll spare someone the hurt and be better for it. For me, to be kind is always foremost on my mental to-do list. I have a notoriously short temper and sometimes a person will just make me want to spew something rude at them. But to contain these urges is of the utmost importance. Because humans are shockingly, desperately fragile. They might seem like the strongest people ever, and I’m sure they are. But when you are facing insult or hatred everyday or even occasionally, it breaks down your walls. No one can withstand having their soul stepped on, no matter to what degree. Soon even those who never intended to be vengeful will have the hate seeping through their words and actions. It spreads like a virus. And that’s why it’s so, so, so important to love each other.

If you haven’t seen it, there’s a video showing the Charleston shooter being talked to by the family and friends of the victims. And its the most beautiful and poignant moment of this whole terrible moment. Everyone present there gives him their forgiveness and instead of letting their grief contort their words, they offer him prayer and advice on repentance. It brought tears to my eyes. I’ve experienced the knife-sharp pain of loss but always due to sickness or old age. But to have your loved one stripped away from you by an act of pure violence and to have that offender in front of your eyes only to send him a prayer to aid him when he meets the Lord, well, that’s love that is unbelievable, unprecedented and inspirational. Not all of us can have such a capacity for forgiveness and kindness in our hearts. However, as with anything it doesn’t have to be everything or nothing. If you open your hearts a little more, walk a mile in someone’s shoes before speaking about them and just generally being a more loving human being, it will do a world of good for our little planet.

I didn’t know what about this incident provoked me to write this blog post. But I did know that it was an important message to put out there. So friends, let’s all do this together. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or one day of only kindness to revert back to our usual selfish ways. Let’s promise to speak only kind words, love everyone a little harder and put out only positive energy. Hope you all are having a lovely and safe day wherever you are. Sending you lots of love and prayers from my little dorm room in India.

Love each other. ❤

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My 2014.

In typical WJT fashion, this post is a few days late. But honestly guys, did you really expect me to upload a blog on New Years Eve or on any day that’s relevant to the actual post? Oh you silly folks!

Anyway I’ve had a more eventful New Year’s this year. Not based on what I did on the actual day but the fact that I was back in Dubai. I’ve spent the past 5 months in Kolar, India. So it was both ridiculous and impossible to upload on the last few days of being back home.
Now to get to the point. I want to recount my year to you guys. Purely for documenting it for myself but maybe some of you would enjoy reading it.

The year began spectacularly because my friends and I camped out in the glorious December weather for over 10 hours in Downtown Dubai to watch the record-breaking Dubai NYE fireworks display. It was incredible. We were cramped into a tiny place. Sitting on the hard, cold tile. Quickly running out of ways to entertain ourselves! I mean, ten hours is a very long time. But when the clock struck twelve, every hardship was forgotten. We screamed till our voices were hoarse and were utterly mesmerized by the fireworks.
Dubai Fireworks
But right after that it was back to the grind of school. Only two more months till I graduate and finals were on me with a vengeance. I struggled and somehow crawled across the finish line.
Fast forward to March 2014, after both mine and my brothers finals were over, we packed our bags and headed to India. We were supposed to take a small trip to a hill station, scout some colleges, that kind of thing. But every single plan changed when we arrived. My two uncles who we had come to see were in critical condition. My heart shattered into a million pieces when we went to visit them at the hospitals. They were unrecognizable. Every essence of who they were had seeped out. The tears wouldn’t stop flowing.It was just a countdown at this point. We were reduced to simply wait for them to leave this earthly torture and go to rest in their heavenly home.
On April 1st and 2nd, it happened.
After the funerals we had to do the unthinkable task of returning to everyday life. We still needed to find a college, and my parents return flight date was soon approaching. Long story short we found a college, Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College in Kolar, Karnataka. More on this later, as I’m trying to maintain a timeline type article.
My parents flew back and I stayed behind for another few months. I spent some time with my grieving aunt and grandmother and those were some of the best days of that year. Their capacity to love and care for me even when they are beyond themselves with sadness was awe-inspiring. Nothing eventful happened for those few months. Easter was a quiet affair spent with family. I got my final year results which were not what I expected and threw me off a little.
I flew back home to Dubai in June. I spend the majority of my time being a lazy couch potato. Friends marathons interspersed with meeting and friends, spending time with family and shopping for college.
I also had a burst of fitness motivation. Which didn’t accomplish much but I figured I should mention it.
Those days flew by before I knew it. Soon it was time for all of to fly back to India. We arrived at Bengaluru airport on the 18th of August. I had to be in school on the first of September. We took a family trip to Coorg. A hill station with fabulous weather. We had many adventures and it was lovely because it was big old group of people – my parents, brother, paternal aunt and grandma, maternal grandparents, my moms brother, his wife (my bff) and their adorable two year old. One particularly interesting moment was when I chanced upon my first snake and promptly had a panic attack. (Wanna know more quirky facts about me? I’ve got you covered.)
My dad flew back on the 30th and so it was my mom, me and my maternal grandparents who made our way to SDUMC for orientation. When my mom left on the third I had never felt quite so alone. I always fancied myself the most independent of souls and thought I would handle this college thing no problem.
The next three months were both brilliant and uh… not so much. I was lucky to immediately find friends who I connected with, a stellar dorm, experienced teachers and extended family less than a stones throw away. The first couple months flew by in a blur of college fests, extracurricular activities and discovering subjects I had never studied before. Late October and early November were probably the most trying times. Homesickness would be a punch in the gut. I was deathly afraid of my first exams coming up and  true friends turned out to be far from it. But December came to my rescue. After three weeks of exams and practicals , I got to go home. But before Christmas came, we had our own celebration on campus. We organized gifts for all the patients of our hospital and sand carols at each ward. It was the most fulfilling Christmas I’ve had.

I could have kissed the concrete pavements of Dubai when I landed on Christmas Eve. The next few days were magical. Christmas was celebrated at church and with homemade biriyani. I met up with my best friends and I never realized how much I missed them. New Years was a quiet affair. Just like I wanted it to be.
And here we are today, I’m back in India and tomorrow I’ll be back in class. Life moving smoothly into 2015.

Some might say 2014 was a pretty eventful year for me and I wouldn’t disagree. But more than that 2014 is when I learned more deeply about myself and my relations. I have a deeper sense of self. I am thankful for everyday because I’ve experienced the harsh pain of loss. I have felt a wonderful sense of religious community thanks to the church I go to. I realized the value of family and am grateful for the friendships I have been blessed with. So as I say goodbye to 2014, I will praise The Lord for helping me cruise through it with minimal harm and maximum blessings.

To 2015 I say, bring it on.

The TMI Tag!

Hi Internet friends!
I hope you all are having a wonderful day/night. It was one of those days you know. Sometimes you just feel like telling a whole bunch of strangers about things that they might not care about at all. And sometimes those things are kinda personal.

There’s 46 questions to answer so I better get to it. Enjoy!

1) What are you wearing?
A) My long t-shirt pajama thing. Comfy and pink, perfect.

2) Ever been in love?
A) Nope.

3) Ever had a terrible breakup?
A) Haven’t ever dated in the first place so, no.

4) How tall are you?
A) I’m 5’6!

5) Any tattoos?
A) Not at the moment but I will most definitely be getting more than one (oh yes.) when I’m older. I can’t wait.

6) Any piercings?
A) I’ve got my ear lobes pierced, but I want multiple ear piercings.

7) OTP?
A) Possibly the hardest question haha! Hardcore romantic here! I think I’ll do one from each of my favourite things I guess.
Youtube : Jim Chapman and Tanya Burr
Books : Tessa and Will from The Mortal Instruments
Television : Right now it’d be Dr Zoe Hart and Wade Kinsella from Hart of Dixie! But trust me I have way too many!

8) Favourite shows?
A) Friends, HIMYM, Suits, Hart of Dixie, Happy Endings, Gossip Girl, Masterchef Australia, Modern Family, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Parks and Rec and others that I cannot remember right now.

9) Favourite bands?
A) The Script, Coldplay, OneRepublic, Imagine Dragons, The Band Perry, One Direction, Foster The People, Fun, Little Mix, The Lonely Island, Maroon 5, Plain White Tees and tons more!

10) Something you miss?
A) Small answer, being able to make simple decisions and simple choices. Big and sad answer, spending time with my two uncles who passed away in April.

11) Favourite song?
A) My very favourite songs at the moment are: Am I Wrong by Nico and Vinz, Stay With Me by Sam Smith, Ghost by Ella Henderson and Chandelier by Sia.

12) How old are you?
A) I’m going to turn 18 in less than two months.

13) Zodiac sign?
A) Virgo.

14) Quality you look for in a partner?
A) Without a doubt, loyalty. And a nice smile wouldn’t hurt (extremely partial to dimples.).

15) Favourite quote?
A) This changes A LOT! But I just went through some of the quotes I keep saved and I picked this one: “Not all who wander are lost”. I think that’s beautiful.

16) Favourite Actor?
A) Soo hard. Uh, off the top of my head: Emma Watson, Emma Stone, Andrew Garfield, Jennifer Lawrence, Ansel Elgort, Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and so many more!

17) Favourite color?
A) Blue.

18) Loud music or soft music?
A) Totally depends on where I am, what I’m doing and what my mood is.

19) Where do you go when you are sad?
A) My bed. I pull the covers up over my head, if I’m crying I listen to music and get it all out of my system. If I’m just sad I watch my favourite youtube videos that are guaranteed to make me laugh. I find that I deal with my sadness better when I’m alone.

20) How long does it take for you to shower?
A) I’ll be in there till I run out of scalding hot water.

21) How long does it take for you to get ready in the morning?
A) Dress up kind of day: Half an hour.
Dress down kind of day: Fifteen minutes.

22) Ever been in a physical fight?
A) Only with my baby brother ugh.

23) Turn on?
A) Wit and humour.

24) Turn off?
A) Arrogance or being disrespectful.

25) Fears?
A) Snakes (ew nope can’t even talk about it) and also not finding someone who will love me as unconditionally and as wholly as I can love him.

26) Last thing that made you cry?
A) Brasil’s loss in the semi-final. I was a mess and it still hurts. Don’t judge. Also I am such a cryer it’s insane.

27) Last time you said I loved someone?
A) Right after Brasil’s loss, when my best friend called me and was on the phone with me for a long time to console me and help me get slightly over it. At least I remember saying it and if I didn’t then I love ya Aishu!

28) Last book you read?
A) The Pact by Jodie Picoult.

29) The book you are currently reading?
A) I’m juggling The Plain Truth by Picoult and The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck. I often read two books at a time by the way.

30) Last show you watched?
A) Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide. Yeah, you read right. It’s super fun to go back and watch random episodes of your childhood favourites!

31) Last person I talked to?
A) My mom.

32) The relationship between you and the last person you texted?
A) Aiswarya Kishor, my aforementioned best friend.

33) Favourite food?
A) Anything carby and cheesey but my all time favourite food ever is sushi!

34) Place you want to visit?
A) Right now it is Santorini, Greece. Also Brasil. Also I wanna go to Paris again. My ultimate dream is to travel to gorgeous places all over the world on some sort of “foodie trail”.

35) Last place you were?
A) My living room.

36) Do you have a crush?
A) At the moment, no. Well I mean I’m kind of in love with Neymar right now but I don’t think that counts.

37) Last time you kissed someone?
A) Ew cooties!

38) Favourite flavor of sweet?
A) I’m a little bit confused by the term “sweet”. So I’ll just say chocolate I think. Also most coffee flavoured things excite me greatly.

39) What instruments do you play?
A) None but I can play half of one song on the guitar. And I’m damn proud of it.

40) Last time you were insulted?
A) When I was in India a couple of months ago and a rude and snarky aunt said something to me.

41) Favourite piece of jewelry?
A) Any and all of my rings. I love em’.

42) Last sport you played?
A) I can dribble a ball around at a 7 year old level, play badminton fairly well and play cricket. Also apparently I’m good at discuss. But the last (non virtual) sport I played was a ten minute game of football with my brother.

43) Last song you sang?
A) Chandelier by Sia. Concerts in the shower are the best.

44) Favourite chat up line?
A) Do you like raisins? How about a date?

45) Have you ever used it?
A) No! That would be mortifying for me but its got the right amount of trying, being casual and humour to win me over!

46) Last time you hung out with anyone?
A) Two of my best friends and I went out to dinner last night before having a sleepover at my place!

Whew. Oh my gosh that was a lot of typing. I hope you guys find this at least remotely interesting.

Until next time!

Life Update | July 2014

I wish I could post more. I don’t think I can ever explain to people how much writing means to me. However I must also include that I’m an astonishingly lazy human being. This is my last summer before med school starts and I’m determined to be as lazy as possible in these last few months. This I believe, is the perfect excuse reason for why I’ve been so absentee lately.

But enough of the explanations as to why I don’t blog as much as I should. Because it seems as though that’s what all my intros are about. (I’m just gonna quickly add here that it is a nightmare to type this right now because my nails are so long right now. I hope someone reading this understands my pain.)                                                                                                 So as the title suggests I wanted to update y’all on what’s going on in my life right now.

While this is undoubtedly going to be the most peaceful summer of my life for very many years to come,a lot has happened since my last blog post. I travelled back to the spectacular city I call home, Dubai, after spending over two months in India (longest I’ve ever stayed). I got my final year results. I graduated high school. I got into a med school.  Even thinking about all that is making my head spin!

I miss India. I really do. It’s completely a different atmosphere down there. Seeing extended family on a regular basis is a complete novelty since we don’t have any family out here. But don’t get me wrong, it has it’s moments but there’s also been moments when I wanted to strangle myself because what they believe and what I believe are such different things. And I don’t think I can ever get away from the simple fact : I’m a Dubai girl.                     I’m accustomed to more freedom, to more ‘me time’ and to just more in general. So while I was a little sorry to leave my larger  family and return to my real home, I was practically running towards the baggage carousel so that I could see my Dad on the other side of the gates as soon as I could!

I’m currently listening to the Frozen soundtrack as I write this post. Man do I love this movie! Speaking of movies, they’ve become a slight problem since I’ve been back. While I am in no way an anti social hermit who eats alone and ignores her friends, I’ve also been watching at least three movies a week. And while for a lot of people that would hardly seem excessive, for me it’s completely new. It’s not that I don’t love movies or anything because I do, especially super girly movies. Ooh and wedding movies! But that’s beside the point.

Anyway I’m contemplating  doing some reviews here. So that might happen. I saw The Fault In Our Stars last month and I really really loved it! It was an amazing adaptation. It stayed very true to the book but still had its own originality. Another thing I did a lot is cook completely new foods that I’ve never tried before and that has been really fun!

I honestly feel like this is such a waste of a blog post. I’m not recording anything earth shattering, mentioning a profound moment or giving you guys any tips. But sometimes it’s nice to just write down whats going on in your life. Right?

Please don’t hate this post.

I’m just gonna continue chilling out for the rest of the summer. Reading, watching movies, trying out nail art and trying to get just a little more healthy. I’ll be flying back out to India on the 18th of August for admissions, moving into my dorm and starting my classes.  After that the craziness starts. But I’ll make sure to update you guys on what’s happening. So stick around. We’re starting a whole new chapter of my life together!

April Favourites 2014

To be honest April hasn’t given me much to be happy about. But I haven’t let things get me down and am putting a conscious effort to stay happy and relaxed at all times. A few disclaimers about this whole favourites thing. Every ‘favourites’ post will not have as many things featured as this one. Also it might not even be a monthly thing. To be honest, I’m a firm believer in completely finishing a product before getting a new one (scooping remains of expensive foundation using fingers or any other handy utensil) and that too after extensive research. So I just might not have accumulated enough products to rave about.

Anyway, we are done with the long intro, on to the favourites!

MAKEUP :

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The first makeup product that I have been loving this month is the Compact Powder from H&M’s makeup line. I have never tried H&M makeup before but I popped in to get some clothes and picked up this powder in the colour Deep Beige. I was just really in need of a powder and didn’t get it with a lot of expectations because after all, it is a clothing brand. But I have been very pleasantly at how great this powder is! It feels light on the skin and gives me that extra coverage when I’m in a ‘moisturizer and compact powder’ mood. Also super plus for a powder, it isn’t cakey in the least and looks very natural!

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The next makeup fave is the Rimmel London Match Perfection concealer. I seriously do not have more good things to say about this concealer! It’s the perfect consistency, blends like a dream and gives perfect coverage while also highlighting the under-eye area – super perfect when you are barely awake and want to pretend otherwise. I’m in the colour 060 Natural beige and it is just the right colour for a brightening concealer. It’s got a brush applicator which was initially a put off but I have forgiven it because the concealer itself is so creamy and amazing that it just doesn’t bother me!

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Another one of my purchases from H&M. This is the Nudes Eyeshadows by H&M in the colour Soft Nudes. Okay, I FREAKING LOVE THIS PALETTE. The colours are so soft and easily blendable. The shades don;t have names but are numbered starting from the lightest highlight shade. Colours 2 and 4 are matte while the rest are shimmery. The shimmery shades glide on gorgeously and don’t have chunky glitter. The matte ones are a joy to blend. I seriously cannot love these more. The one downside is that the pigmentation is not too great but it is build able. So as long as you use a primer you’re good to go! Here are some swatches:

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This lipstick is magical. It is the PERFECT red. Revlon’s Classic Red is exactly that. A gorgeous red that will look fabulous on any skin tone.  It glides onto your lips and does not budge! Love it to bits but there’s only so much you can say about lipstick…

So, here’s a swatch:

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So those are my favourite makeup products of April. All amazing and the best part : all affordable!

 

HAIR AND SKIN :

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I’ve recently changed my shampoo and conditioner. I am now using the Pantene Pro V Nature Fusion shampoo and conditioner. The shampoo is a clear formula that leaves my hair squeaky clean and the conditioner makes it so soft that I can’t help but touch it. Bonus : It makes my hair smell SO GOOD.

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Best. Face. Wash. Ever. I love this stuff! It’s the Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-in-1 Wash and Mask. You can use it as a mask or spread a layer of it on your face and leave it on for five minutes and scrub it off like a mask. It is clay based so it really deep cleans and gets rid of potential pimples and spots!

Nails :

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This is ultimate favourite of april. I was wearing it all the time. It is the B.O Crackle nail polish in the shade 12 which I picked up from the Japan at pavillion at Global Village. Gosh I just LOVE it.

RANDOM FAVES :

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This fine specimen is the Burberry Brit perfume. I’ve lost the cap and had to replace it with a Mont Blanc perfume lid but that’s beside the point. It’s top notes are lime, pear and almond and its heart notes are peony and sugared almonds with base notes of mahogany and vanilla. I can’t describe the scent exactly but it is just fabulous! Love love looove.

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Been my favourite song for this whole month. I just love how peppy it is and it really does want to make me move! And for some reason I just fell in love with the video. It was just a run of the mill pop dance  video but I just love it!

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This is the book I read this past month. Very Picoult. Strong likable characters, an expectantly complex and twisting plot and a signature ambiguous ending. I might just do a review on it soon. But whether I do or not its a lovely book that you need to get your hands on.

So that concludes my April Favourites. I hope you enjoy.

What’s Going On At What Jessica Thinks?

Hello Internet friends!

I’ve noticed that my past few posts have been a bit, well, melancholy. And it makes it seem as though I only publish serious, life altering and somewhat sad posts. So today I wanted to reintroduce you all to my blog!

It’s almost an advertisement of sorts. What can you expect from What Jessica Thinks? Well, basically it’s exactly what the name of the blog suggests. This is a place where I take all the crazy, unorganized, mundane and exciting thoughts that occupy my brain space and condense them into a comprehensive blog post. And let me tell ya friend, I think about a LOT of stuff.

Currently on the pipeline are my April favourites, a post on one of my favourite book series of all time and another post on my love of books. The reason I’m mentioning this is two-fold. One, it’s a little teaser to get you guys excited about future blog posts and the second and super important reason: I want you all to know what you are getting by following my blog.

With each new post I have been thrilled to know that more people are following my blog. Obviously it is not a very big number but even this small number of people reading my words is the hugest thrill. I don’t want you to think that all my posts will be like my previous two entries. I want you to know exactly what you will be getting from this blog so that you can follow or unfollow this blog according to your preference.

So, down to business. My two biggest  passions are reading and writing. This blog will feature reviews on any book that has caught my fancy and has proved to be worthy of a review. As for the writing part, that will not feature on this blog because I have another output devoted completely to it. WordPress’s sister site, FictionPress houses my writings of fiction and you can check it out here.

I also love all things beauty. I will post on everything from makeup products that I’ve been loving, reviews on new products, beauty tutorials, nail tutorials and more! So if you are a beauty lover then keep an eye on my blog.

And of course I will post on my life. Everyday experiences to those that have to be put down in text for me to move past them. They might be humorous, they might be saddening and they might be downright boring!

So there you have it. That’s what’s going on at What Jessica Thinks. Welcome and I hope you like it here. 🙂

The Thing About Pain

“That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.” – John Green

How seventeen of me to quote The Fault In Our Stars when I want to talk about heart wrenching pain. But – again super cliché – that’s the kind of pain I have been experiencing for the past month. A pain so all encompassing that my feelings outside it blurs together. I keep trying to push it away, but it keeps resurfacing. Slicing my heart open all over again.

April of 2014 will be a month that my family is not going to forget for the rest of our lives. On first April 2014, my uncle – my dad’s brother-in-law – passed away. He was fifty. The world felt like it was collapsing around us. Until we got the news, on the second of April 2014, my other uncle – my dad’s own eldest brother – had also left us. He was forty nine.

I couldn’t breathe. Air wouldn’t push itself out of my lungs. I gasped and choked even as tears streamed down my face. I tried to put this post off for a very long time. The pain is still so raw that even as I type, my eyes are filling up and brimming over.

Sundar Kalainath, my aunt’s husband was first diagnosed with cancer in his thigh. After several misdiagnosis’s, the doctors confirmed the tumour and proceed to simply remove the tumour from its location – instead of the more common method of treatment in his case: amputation. They told us that they had gotten all of it. They were wrong. The tumour spread to his lungs. Ironic how I quoted The Fault In Our Stars huh?

My uncle could have let his cancer define him, but he was always better than that. A nicer, gentler human you could not have even conjured up. He was a gem, one in a million and I miss him so much. I have never heard him raise his voice, hell I’ve never heard him say one bad thing about another human being. And his faith, oh his faith. My aunt and uncle were always very close to God. They were an integral part of the church and they reveled in it. He kept his faith till the very end and if anything else, it only got stronger as time wore on. My uncle was always making plans for the future. His eyes would light up when he spoke about investments and new developments in his city. They were unable to have kids of their own, so they showered me, my brother and all our cousins with extra love. He would always be talking to us about college and further studies and oh god he wasn’t supposed to die. After struggling with the cancer for three years he left us to be with our Father in Heaven. Although he was too tired to speak during his last few hours, when his pastor prayed with him in the hospital, he said it clear and strong: Amen.

Pastor Samuel ,my uncle. The family and most of the world called him Thamban even though his official name is Samuel. There’s a word in Tamil for his relation to me. I’d call him periappa. Peria meaning big and appa meaning father. He is my dad’s older brother so he was my elder dad. And boy did he fill that role with aplomb. My father and him had a bicycle related accident when they were kids. My dad had a broken leg but – and I’ll always be grateful to the Lord for this – was otherwise unharmed. My uncle however was paralyzed from the waist down and spent the rest of his life bed ridden. But he didn’t let that stop him. He forged a stronger relationship with God and began preaching the gospel. He started his own church and was a pastor and a servant of the Lord till the day he left us to join him. My memories of my periappa are innumerable and it hurts me to recount them, but I’ll say this: I would give anything to have had more time with him.

All of us have felt like a piece of us was lost forever. A day doesn’t go by when I don’t think of both of them. It still hurts everyday just like the day we found out but we’ve come out of it and we’re stronger and grateful. The Lord has given me and my family strength beyond measure. Without him I don’t know what we would have done.

That’s the thing about pain. It numbs you and electrifies you at the same time. It makes you want to lock yourself away to grieve and yearn company like a sapling yearns sunlight. It’s inescapable but eventually forgettable. I wait for the day when the pain is forgotten and I can think of my two uncles and smile, till I can join them again.

Freedom: It Tastes Like Fear

Yesterday I wrote my last high school Final. I am now a high school graduate. At this exact moment, it hasn’t really hit me yet. I’m still thinking that after this I need to start studying for my next final. Except I don’t and for the next few months at least, I don’t have to even consider studying. This feeling is absolutely exhilarating. To know that I don’t have any commitments, responsibilities or deadlines of the school variety is unbelievable. Especially considering the kind of school I went to. Indian schools are not afraid to load the students down with everything and anything. But the wonderful thing about Indian schools is, it’s glorious structure.

I went to an all girl’s school. And while many of you might recoil at the sound of it, it was and still is completely natural sounding to me. I’m not going to lie, school was very easy for me. But what’s painful is that if I had been anywhere else, I would have been in hell. It breaks my heart when I read stories of bullying and of girls and boys suffering for just being who they are. Not once in my school life have I ever felt disliked or lonely or really any negative feeling. I’ve always been a big girl, I have glasses and a lot of times I’m painfully shy. A recipe for disaster. But through it all, my friends and fellow classmates never made me or anyone else feel ostracized even in the slightest way. I’ll always be grateful for that.

But no matter how lovely it was being in an all girl’s school for the last eight years (and it really was lovely as this hilarious post nicely sums up.), it had its disadvantages. I mentioned structure earlier and this was a big part of why school was so easy for me. Everyone knew the invisible rules and everyone had fun. There were no physical fights, no isolation, no rude barbs or comments (unless warranted). We didn’t feel like it was against anything we believed in and we loved it because it provided a comforting cocoon of safety.

But now, all that is over. And that is terrifying.

Frankly this whole prospect is pretty scary. I am hoping to get into med school but the actual process of getting into med school isn’t the scary part because I am applying only in India and if you have the resources, I’m sorry to say  but anyone can get into med school. I’ve maintained a pretty good overall CGPA (a 4.0 basically) till tenth grade. My last two years weren’t too bad either. Anyway, that part isn’t worrying me. What’s worrying me is the uncertainty of it all after I’m into a college. I have never been away from my parents and worse I’ve lived for the past thirteen of my seventeen years in Dubai. The difference in lifestyle between the two places is palpable. But the colleges, oh the colleges. A scarier place, I cannot imagine.

It’s called “ragging” in India. It’s basically my nightmares come to life. Seniors can make freshman do whatever they want. Added to the fact that I’m a freshman, I’m chubby, shy and have completely different interests than anyone else there. It’s terrifying to know what might befall me there. Another fear is loneliness. I have always had a big group of friends. It was easy because we all had similar back stories, we were into the same things and laughed at the same jokes. It keeps me up at night, the thought that I won’t be able to make friends.

I’m free now. Free of the confines of school and staying at home and the rules and the structure that came with it. And goddamn it all I’m terrified about it.

Who Am I?

Sigh. Aren’t those some of the hardest words when strung together?
Now, luckily this isn’t some in depth description of my myriad qualities, flaws and such. Although, a post about that will, hopefully, make an appearance in the near- or far, future.
But today, I’m simply introducing myself to you all.

My name is Jessica
It’s clearly apparent what my name is. I mean, from my url and all. Right?
Moving on, I’m seventeen and currently have but a mere two months before I graduate high school. I’m an Indian who has lived all my life in the absolutely spectacular city that is Dubai. Now being an Indian, my school follows the Indian education system. Which means, among many many things, that my finals won’t be until March and after my last final, I’ll have to wait till May to get my results. The reason I’m undoubtedly boring you all numb with this information, is because it’s a neat little segue to something that I wanted to get out of the way as soon as possible:

Those finals that I was talking about? They’re pretty important. And by important, I mean they are the single factor that decides my life
So basically, I won’t be as active on this blog as many people would like because I’ll be studying for my finals. In fact, my posting will be sporadic at best.

So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, onto the fun stuff!

Here’s a list of ten things about me:

• If I was stranded on a desert island and I could only bring one thing, I’d pick an industrial size crate filled to the brim with books.

• I LOVE food. Love.

• I have a basic need to surround myself with music as often as I can without being the nuisance I often tend to be.

• I’m painfully shy, unless you start talking to me. After that, you can never get me to shut up.

• I’m so socially awkward sometimes that I have wanted the earth to open up and swallow me on several mortifying occasions.

• I watch YouTube videos all day. I’m addicted to YouTube.

• I have nothing more to say…

• I am, at different moments, a perfectionist with a ridiculous amount of motivation AND a procrastinator like you’ve never seen.

• I love dogs! Most animals really. And I have an incapacitating fear of snakes. *shudders*

• One day I would like to travel the world, and explore as many places as I can on foot and preferably on a foodie trail of some sort. And I would like to write about every single beautiful experience.

So yes. That’s my list of random (read: useless) but crucial list of things you need to know about me so that we can build a rickety bridge over the wide chasm that is separating us – the Internet.

Hope to have another one soon.

P.S. : If you’re feeling friendly, tell me a few things about yourself! So we can all be friends forever and we’ll share a bunch of stuff, like opinions and thoughts and memories and no one will be as amazing us and one day I’ll lure you to my basement and dismember you. I mean….

Hi.

Hello Internet!

I’ve wanted to start a blog for as long as I can remember, but I never had the courage to. What if I wasn’t good? What if no one reads it? What if I have nothing to say?

If I’m absolutely honest, I’m still terrified of all those things. But, I decided that it was time to take that crucial and torturous first step, so here I am!

On this blog, you’ll find everything from random posts about experiences, to reviews on makeup, books and brands, to nail and fashion inspiration.

Hope you all find this blog to be helpful or inspirational or just a quick and fun read.