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Childhood Home

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My first childhood home has retained a magical quality for me. We lived there from when I was nearly 6, to when I was 10 years old. Only five years, but somehow, that home has remained with me my whole life. In fact, just last week, it was in my dreams yet again. There is an innocence and fascination in that home, which is not in the homes that followed. The only thing I can speculate differentiates that home from the rest is the fact that I was always a child in that home - not a teenager or young adult, like I was in our subsequent homes.  As often is the case with childhood memories, they are larger-than-life. We had a lovely 'playborhood' culture, a term that didn't exist at that time, because that's how all neighborhoods were - you stepped outside your home after school, found other kids outside, and voila, there was your 'play date.' My school best friend lived three houses down the street - we walked back the 0.4 miles from school home together with her L

Why is slowing down so damn hard?

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This week was the first week of a new session in my dance school, Antara Asthaayi Dance. We are still a relatively new school - we started classes in Mountain View in 2019. The usage of the first-person plural 'we' is something I am still getting used to. For the longest time, I felt such imposter syndrome when I'd be writing the marketing/promotion materials for AAD with  the word 'we.' There was no 'we.' It was just me, myself, I, doing this all. Happily, there are now three of us who are on the team at AAD.  Starting a new class takes a lot of energy. The kids are ages 6-8, and unlike past classes, some of these children have barely attended kindergarten, thanks to the pandemic. Add to that, we're all wearing our masks and 80% of the energy I'm giving to the children is lost. I left the first class unsure - was that a good class? I had no gauge.  I'm barely two weeks out from having thrown out my hip & lower back. I've taken efforts to

Lesson learnt, point taken.

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Remember all those times you swore you would never do 'said particular thing' again? In my 20's, the phrase usually came up in reference to a late-night out drinking. "Let's never drink again." If I could go back to my 20-something self, I would remind her that it's as simple as 1-2-3 - 1) drinking water, 2) filling yourself up on greasy fast food before you crashed, and 3) two Tylenols and one ibuprofen. When you wake up the next afternoon,, you're golden for your brunch mimosas.  Hangovers - that was the big change going from your 20's to your 30's. “Newsflash - You had your first real hangover.” And then your second. And a third .... until you accepted that your body of this decade would regularly revolt against your insensitive judgements.   On a tangential thread, I recently read a fascinating best-seller called "Why We Sleep," written by a sleep scientist. Aside from the so many eye-opening (no pun intended) things I learnt abou

Perspective

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Today is International Women's Day. I only know this because a bunch of people sent me texts wishing me. I'll be honest, it's not a day that has had much importance to me. It just feels like another one of those days that they have created in the calendar. Like National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. Ok, not a fair comparison, but you get where I'm coming from.  When I saw the texts from folks, the first thought that came to mind was, "Oh, I should probably post something about this also." This refers to posting on my social media for Antara Asthaayi Dance. It really wasn't coming from the heart at all, and I had accepted that I wouldn't be partaking in the commemoration of this important day.  Then at my weekly meeting, my team member presented me with this: I immediately loved it, and the image/message sent my neurons firing away, sparking a desire to tell my story, whatever that was.  I composed a short message for my Facebook/IG that touched upon my tr

Filling up pages - a commitment to myself

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 I am revisiting this blog after over five years. How I got to this place ... I'll highlight the relevant points.  In 2014, I made a resolution: that I wanted to be an artist. I was surprised to find that exact blogpost where I made that commitment to myself. And that inaugurated a whole series of life-changing events, that unfolded over the next few years. I would tear down the current life I was living, and rebuild from scratch. It sounds like a figurative exaggeration, but it really isn't. I was forced to re-evaluate all of the closest people to me in my life - my husband, my parents, my sister, my Guru (not necessarily in that order), and most importantly, myself. Going a little further. back, I believe that my personal awakening began when I became a mother in 2012, which led to questioning who I am, which has in turn led to so many more, ongoing questions, answers, awakenings, and musings.  2016 Christmas was when I found myself at ground-zero.  I thought I had hit the l

China Zindabad

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  What Happens When a Socially Conscientious Citizen Loses Her Glasses FEBRUARY 17, 2021 Looking at white privilege, carbon footprint, China, Amazon and the joys and horrors of hyperacuity. ANTARA BHARDWAJ I’ve had perfect 20-20 vision my entire life. I was one of those annoying people who could read the smallest font of the menu board from the entrance of the restaurant. I remember going to an optometrist, and as he looked at my eyes through the opthalmoscope, he asked me if I was vegetarian. “Yes,” I replied. He was pleasantly surprised. Apparently, non-vegetarians develop a plaque around their cornea, of which I had none. That’s how amazing my eyes were.  Almost like clockwork, I turned 39, and I started losing that perfect vision. A slight variation in my vision makes me feel like I’m going blind. It is not acceptable to me that I can no longer identify which airplane is flying 1 mile high in the sky above me.  I finally made it to Lens Crafters, and found out that I needed  readin

Interview with Smriti Mundhra on Indian Matchmaking

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  “Indian Matchmaking” Wasn’t Made for a Western Audience: A Conversation with Smriti Mundhra AUGUST 30, 2020 The creator and executive producer of the Netflix series discusses the show’s global popularity and if it propagates stereotypes and biases such as colorism, casteism among Indians. ANTARA BHARDWAJ Most of us have at least heard of “Indian Matchmaking” on Netflix by now. If not, check out my  “Cringe and binge”  review of the series last month. I am ceaselessly fascinated by ‘process’ when it comes to the creative arts and wanted to share a chat I had with the creator and executive producer of Indian Matchmaking, Smriti Mundhra.  Smriti is a second-generation filmmaker. Her father was the illustrious filmmaker Jagmohan Mundhra, who is best known for helming biopics “Provoked”   (2006 Aishwarya Rai), “Bawandar” (aka Sandstorm, 2000, Nandita Das), and “Kamla” (1984 Shabana Azmi). Smriti began her own journey as a filmmaker in her teen years. When most of us were trying to get fak