On Keeping It Real And Going In A New Direction

Oh Well I Tried

For months now, I have been looking for an appropriate headshot to use for all my social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Now I have quite a few potential photos that I could use—and have been actively taking just for this very reason—but my search stopped as soon as this photo came into being.

Mahevash

Hmm, you’re probably wondering what’s so special about this one. For starters, look at that hair! It could sure use a liberal dose of some heavy-duty anti-frizz and anti-sweat volumizing serum. Photoshop would definitely work wonders on my tired eyes and slightly swollen lips. And don’t get me started about my outfit…it looked a hell of a lot better on the model than it did on me. I could go on about all that could be fixed…

Yeah, it is beyond obvious that this photo is far from perfect. But in a sea of heavily filtered and posed for photos, I wanted to keep it as real as it gets.

A candid shot taken by my wonderful husband, Aamir in Chandigarh’s fascinating rock garden, this snap has so much mojo! The moment we arrived at this particular spot, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and calm.  And despite the sweaty hair, tired eyes, allergy affected lips, and a not so flattering outfit, don’t I radiate serenity? Maybe it had something to do with the lush and quiet locale, but I am pretty sure it was mostly because unlike all the other photos, this was one was completely natural. You see, cutesy poses and wide grins aren’t really how I am in front of a camera. This photo here, this is how I am and Aamir captured it perfectly. With so much truth and meaning in this photo, should I really be worried about my flaws? Isn’t having a real image far better than a fake one?

I may sound all Zen about it now, but at the time of uploading this shot, I did consider altering it”the way it should be”. Resisting that urge was tough.  Even after I was done changing my profile photo, I was terrified of receiving nasty comments. Thankfully, none have come my way so far. But if and when they do, I have made up my mind to ignore them and remember that I took this step because I didn’t want to create a false identity AGAIN (no judgment intended for those who choose to edit, enhance and retouch their photos. After all, to each his or her own and the pressure of perfection is unmistakably on the rise – and hard to battle).

Speaking of keeping it real, I have been thinking of changing the way I have collecting quotes for my book. In Reaching Out To Influencers, I spoke about getting personal experiences from influencers to add value to Busting Clichés. Unfortunately, this hasn’t taken off as well as I thought it would. A few weeks back, I went in full on introspective mode, wondering how I could ensure that more big names responded positively. After all, these folks are not regular people like you and me, they have far too many people demanding their time and attention.  I was in quite a state of despair and felt like getting them interested was as easy as communicating with Martians. I thought,” I can’t really relate to these guys, how then can I figure out the best way to get their attention?” And that’s when it struck me: if I am having trouble relating to them, won’t my readers also feel this way? Would adding their personal experiences really add value to my book, or alienate people because they cannot relate to these bigwigs? After all, we do tend to put the rich and famous on a pedestal, don’t we? For a few minutes, I wondered whether I’ve made a huge mistake, Gob-style. (Arrested Development fans, anyone? :D)

Luckily, I then got an unexpected brainwave: what if I mixed things up by taking quotes from influencers and regular people? Wouldn’t that be far more meaningful to you and me? 

And then I did what any long-time netizen would do: I Googled to see there was any truth to my theory. I came across posts like Can you be friends with rich people?, 28 Things Celebrities Do In Real Life That Normal People Couldn’t, and We prefer people we think are similar to ourselves that backed up my idea. But of course, your opinion is ultimately what counts. So tell me, dear reader, what do you prefer and why? Quotes from famous folks, quotes from just as amazing but regular people, or a mix of both? Do share your views in the comments below. Also, feel free to let me know your thoughts on my photo, and what all goes through your mind while uploading an image of yourself online. I’m all ears 🙂

When Will The Quest For Perfection Stop?

2010 Hawaii Models

First we had IQ.
Then EQ came along.
Going by the current state of the world, we will soon have a new quotient: GQ aka Gorgeousness Quotient.

Honestly all it needs is a name, because today people are being judged―even valued―solely on the basis of their appearance. No doubt, looking presentable is important. But where must we draw the line? Who will decide the difference between grooming and obsession? Only time will tell.

Image Source: Rogier

Writing: What’s Coffee Got To Do With It?

What Happens Without Coffee

Source: Tumblr

I need a strong cup of black coffee twice a day – once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Sometimes, I even need three cups to ensure that my mind and eyes are open and functioning. Of course, there have been days when I have gone without it, and they turned out to be blah and creatively disappointing. There’s just something about coffee that boosts creativity, isn’t it? It may just be a ritual or a means to keep perpetually sleepy me awake, but it almost always helps me when I write.

What does coffee do for you? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Ahem, one last thing…Mahevash Muses finally has a Facebook page. Go here to check it out and clickety- click on Like to get updates and whatever else normally happens on a Facebook page.

Minimizing Regret

No matter who you are or what you do, you’re always going to have regrets in life.  And God, do they sting! It is only wise then to minimize them instead of hoping for total elimination.

And how do you minimize regrets?

By taking chances.

By doing the things you want to do, not the things you are expected to do.

By being brave enough to stay true to yourself.

‘Cos at the end of the day? You have to deal with the person staring back at you in the  mirror.

 

Hey Oscar Wilde!

Oscar Wilde said,”Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood.”

A great quote, no doubt. But I beg to differ.

Women are meant to be loved, THEN understood.

Why?

Because if you try to understand one before you love her, you will most probably give up mid-way. It takes a lot of time and effort to get to really know a woman. But it is well worth it in the end, isn’t it?