Sunday, December 29, 2013

Beauty & Choices:

Every woman’s life is the sum of all her choices, and Revlon India is here to support that. Choices by Revlon is a platform that will allow every woman to express her opinions and make her choices freely. This month, Revlon talks about Relationships. This is one of the many articles that aim to inspire women all over India in their choices about relationships. Start making a choice today. 
“Mama, I want to be as thin as an actress,” my 5-year-old child said to me as she pushed away a piece of chocolate cake.
I looked at her and realized this was my fault.
I’ve always been saying, “I’m fat!” I’ve cursed my grandmother and mother for giving me genes that never helped me lose weight. I wasn’t naturally thin or tall. I didn’t have a great metabolism that burned everything I ate. I smelt food and it went to my hips. I have been working out an hour a day since I was 12 and I’ve never been my ideal weight. I’ve coursed through magazines wishing that I would magically be thin. Moreover, this huge issue of not being slim was now foretelling on my child. What had I done?!
To be fair, it’s not all my fault. It is a curse of the modern age where everything thin is meant to be beautiful. Indians are obsessed with either being thin or being fair. Beauty is a tall, thin fair woman with long hair. And if we all emulate that, then we just become clones of an idea and lose out on any individuality or a great personality.
There are no fat actresses that Indian girls can look up to. There are no voluptuous women on magazines that housewives can emulate. It’s all about having flat tummies and perfect hourglass figures. We see women slogging it off in gyms, and joining weight loss programs that hamper not only their bodies but affect their minds. Because being on a “diet” just to have a flat tummy will make you depressed. Starving is not the key to a happy life!
As modern age women, we need to make a choice and just get off that stupid scale!
Your beauty does not lie around your hips. It is not defined if you have a double chin or not. Your beauty lies in your face, your heart, and your behavior. Why are you judging yourself through the eyes of a magazine?
Women meet each other and the first they like to comment on is their weight. We need to see each other in a new light. Just because weight is an easy start to a conversation doesn’t mean it should be the first option. Women have great relationships with their girl friends over so many issues. Let’s start talking about them first. Start with a compliment.
In our personal lives, men make us feel what we want them to feel. Men hardly care if you’re slightly plump. Our relationships can’t be labeled by how fat or thin we are. They’re defined by the beauty that lies within us. How much we radiate that inner glow that makes people want to be around us. How you make your partner feel about himself. How you support each other is what makes great relationships.
We women are a sum of far more experiences in our life than just a number on a scale. Our beauty lies in the fact that we have gone through heartbreak, childbirth, tragedies, joy, and given all of our energy to people to help them. Allowing ourselves to be imperfect and accepting the fact that we’re not super models will help us find happiness and peace. Because if the one thing that is not giving you that freedom to live and enjoy life completely is your weight, then you’re doing a disservice to yourself as a human being!
Working out everyday helps you live a healthier life. Cutting down on extra calories and refined foods prevents you from lifestyle diseases. So go ahead and be healthy. Just don’t deny yourself small treats and the occasional lapse in a workout if your body says so. Live healthy because you want to live longer, not because it will put you look better on Facebook!
Remove your focus from losing weight to doing something for yourself. Get a new haircut. Wear a brighter shade of lipstick. Get a fitted dress. Show off a new you that makes you feel confident. Accept yourself from top to toe. Your confidence will show in the swish of your hips as you walk the gloss of your hair as you toss it back and the curves in your smile as you laugh at life. That’s beautiful!
I looked at my daughter and picked up a spoon. “How about we share this cake and then we share an apple?” She nodded agreeing with the idea.
I took a bite and replied, “Do you know who I love the most in the world?” She looked up at me. I answered, “You. Because of all the good things you do. No actress will ever be as beautiful as you are. And they might be thin, but you are beautiful because you’re nice. And isn’t it always better to have people around who love you for who you are than just be thin?”
She smiled and nodded. I had finally got through! I would never curse my grandmother and mother for being fat again. Instead, I would thank them for giving me great values and making me take strong choices in the world that made me beautiful!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Giving Back on Christmas

I flew to Bangalore a few days before Christmas. My grandmother had a stroke that left her bed ridden and without the ability to speak clearly. It was horrible to see her like that. A shock that left me wondering what Christmas was really about.

Throughout the years I've put up a Christmas tree in my house and presents underneath for my family and especially my own daughter. Every year they open it with a small smile, a polite thank you and keep it aside to go back to doing what they were already doing.

Then everyone would go out for lunch and we would see massive decorations around the city with people shopping, eating and admiring the festivities.

This year I understood what a genuine smile was, an amazing present is and what festivities really mean.

I decided on Christmas morning that on behalf of my grandmother and I, I would go buy chappals for street kids and distribute them. I went to a store and asked for the best kind with cartoons on them, soft soles and great quality that would last at least the winter.
I picked up around 50 to distribute and went to the basti.

The kids went mad. They loved the chappals. I saw a few mothers snatch the boxes from my hand and a few boys pushing to get them. So I made a few girls wear the chappals on their feet instead of handing them over.

The children came and hugged me later and said Merry Christmas. I knew that it really was a special day.
I'm going to make this a tradition every year so my daughter starts giving as well and can pass on the legacy.
Needless to say we had yummy home food that day and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves without opening any presents.

I wish you a Merry Christmas! Be with the people you love, but love giving to the people who need it.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Revlon Begins Campaign with Relationships: Madhuri Banerjee Key Opinion Leader!

Photo: Madhuri Banerjee is a sought-after relationship expert, blogger and writer. She has authored three books which has sold more than 60,000 copies combined. 

Madhuri embodies today's women by speaking her mind and boldly expressing her thoughts through her works. Get to know her more this month as she'll be #ChoicesbyRevlon's relationship expert.
Madhuri Banerjee is a sought-after relationship expert, blogger and writer. She has authored three books which has sold more than 60,000 copies combined.

Madhuri embodies today's women by speaking her mind and boldly expressing her thoughts through her works. Get to know her more this month as she'll be #ChoicesbyRevlon's relationship expert.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Live Twitter Chat to Solve Relationship Issues.

Photo: Here's why Relationship Expert and Writer Madhuri Banerjee thinks Respect is important. 

Chat with her on Thursday (19 December) from 630PM to 730PM over at Twitter (@RevlonIndia) by following #AskRevlon.Here's why Relationship Expert and Writer Madhuri Banerjee thinks Respect is important.

Chat with her on Thursday (19 December) from 6:30PM to 7:30PM over at Twitter (@RevlonIndia) by following #AskRevlon and

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Madhuri Banerjee: Relationship Expert for Revlon's New Campaign "Choices" !

Choices & Relationships

Every woman’s life is the sum of all her choices, and Revlon India is here to support that. Choices by Revlon is a platform that will allow every woman to express her opinions and make her choices freely. This month, Revlon talks about Relationships. This is one of the many articles that aim to inspire women all over India in their choices about relationships. Start making a choice today. 

Are you married?

Oh you’re single?
Are you in a relationship?
How’s your love life?
Do you want to have kids?
Are you living with your parents?
We are asked questions on relationships every day. We are also judged by the relationships we have. Our society places emphasis on men’s success at work and women’s success in relationships. Is she a good wife? Is she a good mother? Does she look after her in laws well? Women need to understand what the important relationships in their life are, and how they can make them better.
It is a well-known fact that a stable relationship makes a healthy mind and body. People suffering from heartbreaks, conflicts and confusion are often distracted at work and tired in their personal lives. All they want to do is just fix it or move on so their lives will be “normal” again. Women read several magazines and talk to other woman so that they can improve on the relationships in their life. Today, every woman has one relationship problem; be it with a parent, in law, spouse, lover, friend or even their house help. Every day we tackle these issues to understand ourselves better. Because at the core of how we tackle our relationships lies who we are.
I read a quote on a social media site recently. It said “A lot of men think they doing women a favour by asking for her hand in marriage, but lets think about this: she changes her name, changes her home, leaves her family, moves in with you, builds a home with you, gets pregnant for you, pregnancy change her body, she gets fat, almost gives up in the labor room due to the unbearable pains of child birth, and even the kids she delivers bear your name. Till the day she dies, everything she does benefits you. So who is really doing whom a favour? Dear men appreciate your wife today, it is not easy to be a woman.”
While this is a powerful statement and one that we should make every man understand, we must also look at it another way.
A woman does go through several things for the sake of a man. But these are all her CHOICES as well. She chooses to fall in love. She chooses to give up her name. She chooses to have a child. Instead of demanding that men start respecting us for the choices we make for them. Let’s start teaching them how to respect us for the choices we make for ourselves.
Suppose we don’t want to get married but have a live in relationship. Let’s stand by our choice to parents, society and the man and proclaim that commitment, dedication and love have nothing to do with a legal paper.  
If we don’t choose to have a child in our child bearing age and are constantly hearing “time is running out,” let’s stick by our choice to live a free life for ourselves and our partners instead of giving it up for children whom we don’t understand.
So find a man who not only loves you but respects you for your choices. That’s the partner who you can grow old with. He is the man who will embrace your individuality, instead of asking you to mould for society.
Friends & Lovers:
Let’s choose our relationships wisely. It’s what makes us who we are. We are a sum of the five people we spend most time with. Let those five people be the ones who stimulate you, support you, love you, understand you, inspire you and most important who don’t judge you for your choices.  
I’ve realised that most relationships in our life are ephemeral. People enter our lives for a reason. They are a symbol of what we need at that time. They enhance our lives and we reciprocate by enriching theirs. Some associations come into our lives to help us find our inner strength. There are toxic relationships that make us value and appreciate the people who come into our lives and change us for the people we need to become. Sometimes women become so comfortably numb in their current scenarios that they never take the step to do something more with their lives. There are people who enter our lives and become a cataclysm for us to believe in ourselves and change it. They help us identify what we are capable of and what we are missing. The beauty of all this is that it may be transient. The person might be there in your life forever but not in the capacity that he she will be for that moment. Or that man might exit your life forever but leave behind memories that you will always treasure. Appreciate the transient nature of relationships. It will always help you cherish the people more.
So don’t hold on to a person when it’s time to let go. Heartbreaks won’t affect you as much when you recognize that the best thing in your life is not what’s gone away, but what’s coming up next.
Families will not understand or support us all the time. It is wrong for us to expect them to. Give each other space when dialogues get over whelming.
We are not perfect. Our lives are not Photoshopped. We make mistakes. We get angry. We have regrets. We lose friends. We suffer from heartbreaks. We quit jobs. We hate situations. We are tired from the roles we play. We must learn to take a step back and understand that we are beautiful and loved. It doesn’t matter if we’re short or tall, fat or thin, homemakers or businesswomen. We are all in the same boat. We must learn to be kind to others and to ourselves. We must find peace in our choices and harmony with our families.
Often women give too much of themselves in relationships. Between balancing their career and homes, they find themselves unable to find time for themselves. They are obliged to attend office functions, socialize with their contacts, take children for birthday parties, meet relatives for gatherings, be a shoulder to cry on for friends, and help sort out lives for several people. They always want to be available for people, in the hope that they are seen as good human beings and great in the roles they play.
We don’t always have to be available for everyone. We can choose to say “No” and be guilt free. Our first priority must always be us. Only then we can give freely and help better. When we deplete our energies in giving too much, we feel neglected and unappreciated. We must stop doing everything for everyone else. Only then will we find happiness in the relationships that are important to us.
We’ve often heard, “She’s a good friend. She came and helped me when I was feeling low.”
“She’s a good mother. She gives her child everything.”
“She’s an amazing wife. Look at the dinner parties she throws!”
We are judged by the actions we take. The roles we play. But rarely on the people we are. Our choices should also reflect the time we spend on ourselves. We must choose to ignore the people around us who judge us. And truly start living for ourselves.
It’s okay not to be perfect. It’s okay if we screw up our roles. Our choices need not always be right. But we must always try and learn from them. That’s what makes women wonderful.
The choices we make must enhance our soul. Our relationships are a reflection of us. Laugh, live, love with all your heart and you’ve done a good job with your life!
What kind of a person are you in a relationship? Go find out here and let me know!!/photo.php?fbid=543304465755970&set=a.346128485473570.82174.143756885710732&type=1&theater

Today I'm a Sensible Darling! But tomorrow's another day ;)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Launching Harlequin's New Series: A Revealing Evening

Let me get this straight. I haven't written a Harlequin book. Yet. But the ever so charming head of Harlequin Romance Amrita asked me if I wanted to be part of a panel discussion. And I thought it was a wonderful idea.

The evening panned itself out. I met Dolly Thakore, Ashok Banker, Aftab Shivdasani and Aastha Atrey. I sat on a panel chatting about romance, men, relationships and how society needs to change the way they read.

I remember the evening because:
1. The panel was scintillating. The audience was even more fun.
2. Aftab agreed to pose for a cover of one of my books.
3. Ashok revealed that he was a true romantic at heart. He also said he came out with 8 books last year and 3 this year which means he writes ALL  the time and I can take a leaf out of his book and start working harder!
4. Dolly Thakore still has spice in her to be blunt and scandalous.
5. The Sula white wine was chilled and really amazing. Could take on an Australian wine any day.
6. I met several new people who loved my books Losing My Virginity And Other Dumb Ideas as well as Mistakes Like Love And Sex.
7. My lovely friends came to support me.

I felt honoured and privileged to be part of this. Hope many people will read more romance. We need more love in this world!

Aastha, Amrita, Aftab, me, Dolly, Ashok

Stepping out with a smile on my face.

You shd be on the cover of a book. Sure, anything for u M! ;)

Sitting down after a long evening. Loved the ambience of Olive

Reserved for One: A poem

We don't trust enough We don't pour out our hearts  Telling all our secrets, our fears and surrendering to each other. Comple...