What I learnt from Dorie Clark’s Body Language for Women

A few weeks back, I watched all 29 minutes and 44 seconds of Dorie Clark’s Body language for Women on LinkedIn Learning. One of my main motivations in choosing this particular course out of all available was its duration and seeming complexity (rather, lack thereof). It was a Tuesday night, I was tired from work, but I just wanted to learn something; anything that would add more value to my personality and I could feel great about afterwards. This was the best fit — it was short and doable. Plus I’d get a certificate in the end, which suited my vanity well. And after all, how mentally taxing could it possibly be to process a course on body language and behaviour, of all things? So I decided to give it a shot.

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Read This If You’re Attending An Indian Wedding

Last year, I got married with great pomp and ceremony. It was a magnificent and traditional Indian affair, our magnum opus that lasted all of six days. As a bride, I remember feeling special, emotional, ecstatic, overwhelmed, anxious, in-control and clueless all at once. Soon after, many of my friends and cousins got married, and I ended up attending almost ten Indian weddings over a one-year timespan. One particular group of wedding-goers at each of these weddings caught my eye: the non-Indian wedding-goers, the foreigners. Often a 1% minority in an alien setting with people they don’t know, music they don’t understand or food they’re not sure they can digest.

So this is for you if you’re new to Indian weddings. You’ve been handed the cream-and-red envelope, with a direct invitation from the Elephant God. You’re excited and keen to attend, but also terrified; there are just so many questions! What’s it going to be like, will I get diarrhoea, what am I expected to wear, where do I book a room…don’t worry. Consider this an Indian Weddings for Dummies, or an attempt thereof. Of course, every Indian wedding is different, with personal and cultural nuances. But this is a broad model that generally applies.

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Because I Was An Only Child

Have you ever wondered what makes you the person you are? Upbringing, experiences, interactions are some of the factors that come to mind. And of course, a whole bunch of factors contribute. But as I try to better understand myself; some of my formative traits, my choices in relationships and careers, even fears and insecurities that I haven’t quite been able to put a finger to; I find myself correlating it with the fact that I was an only child. And growing up as one certainly shaped my individuality to a considerable degree.

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No Country For Women

Most of you know about the horrific rape that happened in New Delhi on the 16th of December 2012, when 23-year-old Jyoti Singh, a medical intern in New Delhi was brutally raped and murdered by six men, well five men and a minor. An L-shaped iron rod was used both to beat and penetrate her during the act, causing severe injuries to her abdomen, intestines and genitals. She was flown to Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital for a multiple organ transplant, but it was too late. She died of a cardiac arrest during the 6-hour flight. What followed was a movement to bring the perpetrators to justice. Public demonstrations, protests, international awareness, media efforts and a mass response to outrageously sexist remarks led to what came closest to justice. Ultimately, four out of five of the men got death sentences, while the juvenile was let off after a year in remand. I remember feeling sick to the stomach, but also hopeful. Maybe now, things would change. Maybe these men, if you could call them that, would think twice before committing such morbid acts of sin. I wish I were right.

Six years later, matters have worsened. Another gangrape, but this time it’s 8-year old Asifa Bano. One juvenile and seven men, including four police officers. Asifa’s legs were broken and nails had turned blue. If this sounds disturbing, listen to this: around the same time, an 8-month old baby girl was raped by her cousin, with injuries to her vital organs. This is one of many, each as repulsive as the other.

So what are we missing?

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Once Upon A Cafe Hopping Sunday

Singapore has one of the most vibrant cafe cultures in the world. We love our coffee, especially if it’s served in creatively-designed, pretty places. As a result, there are countless cafes around the island.

The irresistible charm of quaint hipster cafes has not escaped the notice of the local blogging community. Burple, Lady iron Chef and Daniel’s Food Diary are some popular blogs that review restaurants and cafes across Singapore.

My friend Sanjana and I being avid coffee enthusiasts, decided to shortlist three such cafes and share our own experience at each.

Here’s what we thought.

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Engineering A Fashion Model

Saloni Khanna is a fashion model who has walked the ramp for some of India’s leading fashion designers, including Manish Malhotra, Ritu Kumar and JJ Valaya. She has also shot for multiple print ads and music videos. But here’s an interesting fact – one year ago, none of this existed. As of February 2016, Saloni was an Assistant Systems Manager at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). How did she switch to something so counter-intuitive? And successfully so? How does it feel walking the ramp in those gorgeous designer outfits? And do you really have to eat half a peach for lunch?  

Let’s find out.

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Central Perk : A tour of Singapore’s new F.R.I.E.N.D.S-themed cafe

It was a dream come true for fans of the hit American 90’s sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S, when Central Perk Cafe opened in Singapore in November last year. Its burgeoning popularity ever since could be accredited to word of mouth, social media and well – just plain old nostalgia. It all started when 28-year-old Mit Jin pitched the idea on international crowd-funding platform Indiegogo. And it was a decision he would never regret. With a long list of enthused investors and an official license from Warner Bros, he was on a roll. And he still is.

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