Why I Loved Kabir Singh

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Like I said in my last post, I have a lot of unfinished posts on my laptop, but I chose to start with this one. I know this post would be controversial and I might lose some readers in the bargain. But, this is something I have to say. This is not a sponsored post and is just an opinion from a person who is a lover of movies. That's why I'll start by saying, as a person who appreciates good movies and good acting, I loved Kabir Singh. Yes, I did.

Action Replay + Gratitude List: October 2019

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So we're officially in the last two months of the year now? Wow! How soon did 2019 pass by? I still remember the first day of the year and now I soon need to start planning another new year's party! The past few months have kept me insanely busy and I just don't recall how the time passed. October was all about work and trying to stay afloat amidst it. The first fifteen days of October were swamped and I barely had time for anything else apart from work. I even wrote my first post of October pretty late into the month. I'm surprised I managed to write and publish four posts. I have quite a number of unfinished posts which I hope to complete this month.

Frida | #ThursdayTreeLove - 6

Home, Bangalore - October 2019

Although you can only see a branch of it here, on the right, this tree has to be my most favorite tree in the whole world. This one is a huge and mighty Peepal tree that envelopes the entrance of our apartment. It is almost impossible to capture all of her in a frame. One of the reasons why we decided to buy a house here, was this tree.

Light | #WordlessWednesday - 8

Home - October 2019

The wound is the place where the Light enters you.

~ Rumi

Book Review: The Golem And The Djinni - Helene Wecker

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Title: The Golem And The Djinni
Author: Helene Wecker
Publisher: The Borough Press (15 August 2013)
Genre: Fantasy/Myth/Legends & Sagas
Price: Rs. 230 on Amazon for the Kindle edition
Pages: 675

Honestly, I wasn't a fan of the fantasy genre. Exactly why I stayed away from the Harry Potter series while growing up. I was very happy with my Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steel and Jeffery Archer books and thought that I would not enjoy fantasy fiction. A couple of years ago, coaxed by friends, I read the Harry Potter series with absolutely no expectations. But, I fell in love with it. While it was more to do with the author's imagination and writing prowess and less to do with the genre, I still felt that fantasy was interesting.

Action Replay + Gratitude List: September 2019

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Fifteen days into October and this is my first post of the month, so, you probably can tell how busy I was. Travel and work had me tied up. Anyway, more on that later. After a not so good August, let's see how September fared for me. Thankfully, September undid all that August did. To a large extent at least. Sleep was better in September, thanks to the discovery of Lavender oil! No, it doesn't sedate me or anything, but a few drops of it on my pillow helps me calm down and relax. This in-turn turns to sleep and I have been sleeping with minimal disturbance these days. I have also been staying away from caffeine post 7 PM and try to hit the bed at the same time each day. While I have been sleeping better, I'm having difficulties waking up early in the morning. I think with time, this will get better too. I just need time to form a habit.

Eva | #ThursdayTreeLove - 5

Home, Bangalore - September 2019

My apartment community has a lot of greenery around it. After living in an area which barely had any flora around, my current home feels like heaven. We have many tress and plants around the entire community that give a beautiful element of green and surrounds the blocks of concrete. We even have quite some plants at home that we tend to with a lot of care and concern. Plants, like humans, can only grow well in a happy atmosphere. They need to be nourished, nurtured and appreciated.

Random Lessons From Life

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While posting my daily quote on Instagram today, I realized that we are in the last 100 days of the year. 2019 has moved with the speed of light but not without leaving behind a few lessons. Over the last month or so, I have been looking at life closely and the people in it. A few incidents that occurred and the situations that I got into, taught me a lot about life. Most of you might find this post silly, but this is something that I had to get out of my system. These incidents had a huge positive effect on making me a much better person. So, here we go.

Book Review: The Unlikely Adventures Of The Shergill Sisters - Balli Kaur Jaswal

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Title: The Unlikely Adventures Of The Shergill Sisters
Author: Balli Kaur Jaswal
Publisher: HarperCollins India; 1 edition (30 June 2019)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Price: Rs. 310 on Amazon
Pages: 320

Bridge | #WordlessWednesday - 7

Chain Bridge, Budapest - March 2018

We build too many walls and not enough bridges.

~ Isaac Newton

Dorothy | #ThursdayTreeLove - 4

Promenade Beach, Pondicherry - August 2017

10th September was World Suicide Prevention Day. I often wonder what goes through the mind of a person who has decided to end their life. It wouldn't be easy and yet they go through with it. Why?

Book Review: My Sister, The Serial Killer - Oyinkan Braithwaite

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Title: My Sister, The Serial Killer
Author: Oyinkan Braithwaite
Publisher: Atlantic Books (10 December 2018)
Genre: Crime, Thriller & Mystery
Price: Rs. 336 on Amazon
Pages: 240

Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2019, Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019 and the Winner of the LA Times Award for Best Crime Thriller 2019, and yet, I bought this book solely for the intriguing title. It is not very often that you come across a book where the story is given away in the title. I wanted to know more about it, hence I sat down to read this one.

It Is Okay To Not Be Okay

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Feeling lethargic, upset and low?
You are not the only one 
We all go through phases like this
Sometimes, it is okay to come undone

To rise from the arid ashes
We need to sometimes burn
You may not turn out to be a phoenix
But many a lesson you will learn

Action Replay + Gratitude List: August 2019

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August was my birthday month and I was thrilled to see what it had in store for me. Unfortunately, August was a month of unrest and turned everything upside down for me. No, it wasn't a bad month as such, but something about it just did not feel right. I had severe issues with my sleep cycle this month, and that's what caused a lot of problems in the days to follow. I have always been a light sleeper and I battle insomnia at regular intervals, but this time it was severe. I barely slept at night and this due to this I couldn't wake up early in the mornings. This caused me to miss my fitness classes for almost a month, not carry home cooked meals to office, irregular timings of eating, exhaustion and more exhaustion. This obviously did not go down well for my state of mind. As someone who has an innate need to have everything under her control, this took a heavy toll on me.

Karma | WordlessWednesday - 6

Shiva Cafe, Dharamsala - July 2019

Enough said.

Celeste | #ThursdayTreeLove - 3

The Golden Palms Hotel & Spa, Bangalore - July 2019

Why do we work so hard to fit in, when we were born to stand out?

The Impact Of Motivation

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Two and a half years ago when my mother went through her life altering surgery, I was in a terrible state of mind. My father was broken from the inside and I had to manage everything alone. I was drained physically, emotionally and financially. All my savings was wiped out in one shot! That took a terrible toll on me. The insurance barely covered one fourth of it. I know what mattered was that mom was doing fine, but that was like 10 years of my hard work. This one incident also showed me the true colors of people and that was not a easy thing to digest as well. After a month or so, mom was better and was recuperating at home, but it was getting tough for me to get past each day. Of course I had my partner with me to support me through it all, but inside I was fighting a raging battle and was losing my grip on life. Just as I was on the brink of a nervous breakdown, I decided to pull the reins of my life back together and get better. For me second, but first for my husband who was watching me break day after day. That is when I stared a self-project called "Project Getting Better".

Faith | WordlessWednesday - 5

Lake Tsomgo (Changu Lake), Sikkim - November 2017

Without faith, nothing is possible
With it, nothing is impossible

~ Mary McLeod Bethune

Combust Stories #NotAMovieReview

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A friend and I recently watched 'Lust Stories' together and we were going "What the F*ck" every alternate minute. Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Karan Johar come together after the mind-numbing 'Bombay Talkies' to create another anthology that highlights lust! Okay, if it was not clear already, it focuses only on the female side of the story. The idea was to talk about how the sexual desires of women are important too and a woman should do everything that she can to feel, err, satisfied. It is a nice thought, no doubt. About time people recognize women as equals in every sphere of life, not only sexuality. What bothers me, however, is that every time a movie is made on independent women or the concept of feminism, it always revolves only around sex. There is so much more to a woman than her desires and sexuality. I agree sex is really vital for both men and women, but one cannot be defined just by their sexuality. What about humanity then?

The Curious Case Of The Indian Tourist

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****Long post ahead****

Let's face it, not all of us needed the Bali video to show us how Indian tourists are actually like. I do agree that not all Indians are like that, but a large sect surely are. While the debate is on that not only Indians are bad tourists, most people claim that all Asians are, since my knowledge is only limited to the Indian clan, I'll talk about them. To start with, Tripoto recently put out an article which said that Indians do not travel to explore, but to show off their social status. I would agree to that to a large extent. You don't believe me? Take a look at your social media accounts to see the multitude of check-ins and pictures! It is really sad that something as refreshing, educating and life-changing as travel is reduced to a check-in or an album. The purpose of travel, unless it is work related, should only be to explore and have a good time.

Killing Anxiety Softly

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What has to happen will happen
They say that it is all written
Yet, we worry at every step
Always shy, always bitten

Excessive thoughts, unwanted worry
It is not easy to live with this
Every day is a battle for survival
You win some, some you miss

Action Replay + Gratitude List: July 2019

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Yay, July is over! Okay, I probably am more excited about entering my birthday month than bidding goodbye to July. As much as I'm looking forward to August and the beginning of a new year of my life, I cannot ignore the wonder that July was. July calmed me down to a large extent. It was all about retrospect, sorting of priorities, reflection on the physical and mental health and keeping the momentum going. My battle with anxiety continues, but I have been able to bring it under control to a large extent. Ever since I took a step back from work sometime last September and put myself first, things have improved immensely. Thankfully, work hasn't been too stressful and I found quite a lot of time to relax, breathe and take care of myself.

Brianna | #ThursdayTreeLove - 2

Musandam Dibba, Oman - March 2019

While on our holiday to Dubai this year, we wanted to do something out of the ordinary. Dubai is known for its bling and buildings and all the extravagance in the world. A three hour drive away from Dubai, lies Musandam Dibba. It is a part of the Sultanate Of Oman and the drive is highly scenic with curvy roads and mountains for company. Not many are aware of the existence of this place and hence it remains one of the best kept secrets of the Arabian world.

The Key To Balance | #WordlessWednesday - 4

McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala - July, 2019

The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you've lost it. 

~ Anonymous

Sixty Thoughts That Crossed My Mind While Watching 'Kalank' #NotAMovieReview

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It had been a while since I wrote a #NotAMovieReview post. With the shifting, work and everything else in between, I barely had time to watch movies. One day when the husband was out working late, I found some time to browse through Netflix, Prime and Hotstar. When 'Kalank' was being advertised on Prime, I was like wasn't this the movie that got really harsh reviews? Also, wasn't this the movie that Karan Johar said was his late father's dream project? Could it be that bad? Well, there was only one way to find out!

Aurora | #ThursdayTreeLove - 1

Bangalore, India - July 2019

I'm happy to have finally jumped on to the bandwagon called #ThursdayTreeLove. Can you believe it if I say that I did not be a part of it earlier as there were barely any trees around for me to click pictures? Of course one might argue that I could have taken pictures when I travel or visit other areas where there are plenty of tress. But, that would feel contrived. For me, pictures are about an impulse. That instant of seeing something differently and assuming a meaning of your own. That's the beauty of a picture, isn't it?

Book Review: Men Without Women - Haruki Murakami

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Title: Men Without Women
Author: Haruki Murakami
Publisher: Vintage (27 September 2018)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Short Stories
Price: Rs. 350 on Amazon
Pages: 240

Magic | #WordlessWednesday - 3

Home - July 2019

Those who do not believe in magic will never find it.

~ Roald Dahl

Action Replay + Gratitude List: June 2019

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We are done with half of 2019, really? Here, I haven't even started half the things that I wanted to do in 2019 and the year is just swooshing by! Having said that, 2019 has been fast paced yes, but it also has been wonderful. Speaking of wonderful, let's talk about June. To sum up what June was to me, I'd use the word 'sorted'. June raised my anxiety levels to the peak and yet by the end of the month it helped me calm down. June kept us insanely busy, but by the end of the month we could relax happily. June tested our physical and emotional strength and in the end we came out with flying colors. Now you know why I used 'sorted', don't you?

Sands Of Time | #WordlessWednesday - 2

Arabian Desert, Dubai - March 2019

You can't leave footprints in the sands of time while sitting down.

~ Nelson Rockefeller.

Why Broken Friendships Hurt More Than A Heartbreak

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This is something that has been on my mind for a really long time. There is no denying that every kind of relationship is fragile and care needs to be taken by all the parties involved to nourish and nurture it. Every relationship takes time and effort and if it is worth it, people will do everything in their capacity to keep it going. When you fall in love, sometimes friendships take a backseat. The new rush of love, the need and want to spend every second with them, the goosebumps, the conversations - it is very easy for all these to topple friendship. But, when the love goes kaput, the very people you turn to for the purpose of healing are your friends. They take you in wholeheartedly and help you get over one of most toughest phases of life. That is the power of friendship! But, who do you turn to when a friendship ends?

Book Review: The Color Purple - Alice Walker

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Title: The Color Purple
Author: Alice Walker
Publisher: Phoenix (1 December 2010)
Genre: Classic Fiction
Price: Rs. 378 on Amazon
Pages: 272

I have no idea how I came across this book. When I was looking at books to read during breaks at work, I found a PDF copy of this one in my ebooks list. When I started reading it, I did not know that it would one of the best reads of the year for me. This book tugs into your heart and soul, breaks you into a million pieces and then puts you back together again. Albeit differently.

Solitude | #WordlessWednesday - 1

View From My Balcony - June 2019

“Tea is just an excuse.
I am drinking this sunset, this evening.
and you.” 

~ Sanober Khan, A Thousand Flamingos

The Dependency Doldrum

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There are three things that I loathe the most in this world: Infidelity, Insecurity and Dependency. These are something that I just cannot stand or understand. The first two are self-explanatory, but people find it weird that I have a problem with dependency. From as long as I can remember, I have always been an independent person. I hate having to depend on someone for something or have someone depend on me for something. It creates a vicious cycle that I do not want to be a part of. While some think that depending on someone else makes the other person feel important, I honestly find it really annoying. Every one should be independent in whatever they do and help others become independent too.

Life Is Beautiful

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It is not always easy
But it is not always tough
You are trying your best
Trust me, that is enough

Let people talk
That's what they are good at
You do what you have to do
Give yourself that much needed pat

Book Review: The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas - John Boyne

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Title: The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas
Author: John Boyne
Publisher: Vintage Children's Classics (2 August 2012)
Genre: Children's Historical Fiction
Price: Rs. 177 on Amazon
Pages: 256

Action Replay + Gratitude List: April & May 2019

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It was a conscious decision to not write much in May, but, I never thought that I would end up with no post at all. While April was a hectic month in terms of work as well as the A to Z challenge, May was all about work and moving into the new house. April was a crazy month for me. Work was at its peak plus I had signed up for the April A to Z challenge and had to write a blog post everyday. I'm not the one to schedule posts, so every post was written on that day and posted. However, when I did travel towards the end of the month, I had to plan ahead and schedule my posts. It worked out well though. The theme was very close to my heart and I wanted to see it through successfully. I'm glad I did. Six successful years of A to Z, I can pat myself on the back now!

Z: Zohra Sehgal #AToZChallenge

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I'm gonna end this challenge with one of my favorite people who teaches me to never lose that inner child. Zohra Sehgal was an actor, dancer and choreographer and she was one of the longest living celebrities of the world. She died at the age of 102, but with the strength and the mindset of a 20 year old. If you still are finding it difficult to place her, think about the woman who played Amitabh Bachchan's feisty mother in 'Cheeni Kum', that's her!

Y: Ygritte #AToZChallenge

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You will only know Ygritte is you have read/watched 'Game Of Thrones'. She is a wildling from the lands beyond the great Wall on the continent Westeros. Her kind are called "Wildlings" because they are outside the feudal order of the Seven Kingdoms south of the Wall. But, she calls them "Free Folk".

X: Xena #AToZChallenge

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How many of you remember the Warrior Princess? Xena will always be the first super hero I have ever known! For those who have no clue what I am taking about, Xena is the main protagonist of a show from the 90's called 'Warrior Princess'. The series depicts her on a quest to redeem herself for her dark past by using her formidable fighting skills to help people. The character of Xena was first introduced in the series 'Hercules' and when she became immensely popular there, she got her own show. So well deserved, I'd say!

W: Women Of The World #AToZChallenge

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This is for every woman out there. Remember to be an inspiration and to be inspired.

V: Vartika Chaturvedi #AToZChallenge

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I'll let out another secret today, I feel immensely proud when I see a woman in uniform. There is something so inspirational about it. Vartika Chaturvedi is the cop from Netflix's show 'Delhi Crime'. This show states the events of the Nirbhaya case which shook the country. This character is inspired by the real life cop Chhaya Sharma who handled this case. For those who are unaware of this case, a woman and a man were harassed on a moving bus on 16th December 2012 in Delhi by six men. While the man was beaten up badly, the girl was raped and mutilated beyond recognition. Her intestines were pulled out of her body and she did not live long after the incident. 'Delhi Crime', in its seven episodes, attempts to show the effort put in by the police in capturing these rapists within five days of the crime.

U: P. T. Usha #AToZChallenge

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Much before Usain Bolt blazed his way into our screens and on social media, the only athletes we Indians were aware of were Milkha Singh and P. T. Usha. Since I studied in an all girls school, at every sports day our physical education teacher used to ask us to embrace our inner P. T. Usha and run like her. She's been the sole inspiration from the field of sports during our growing up years. I'm so glad we have Mary Kom, Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal, P. V. Sindhu, Dipa Karmakar, Sakshi Malik, Hima Das, the Phogat sisters and many more now.

T: Tracy Whitney #AToZChallenge

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I'm not going to lie to you, Tracy Whitney is a con-artist, and she will be my favorite female protagonists of all time. For those unaware, Tracy Whitney is the heroine hero of Sidney Sheldon's 'If Tomorrow Comes'. I read this book decades ago and I remember wanting to be like her when I grew up. That is the magic of books you know, and the characters they contain can mold your mind in a good way pretty early in your life. I read this book in my teens and I remember falling in love with the story, but more with Tracy Whitney. She's one of the bravest, smartest and strongest women in the literary world.

S: Sushmita Sen #AToZChallenge

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S was a very tricky letter as I have way too many inspirations whose name starts with S. Serena Williams, Sudha Murty, Sunitha Williams, Shefali Shah and some more. But, when I close my eyes and think of one Indian woman who inspires me the most, it has to be Sushmita Sen. No, it has nothing to do with the fact that she has been a Miss Universe and an actor, it just has to do with the amazing woman that she is. When Sushmita was applying for the Miss India contest in 1994, many other applicants were withdrawing their applications as Aishwarya Rai too was applying the same year and there was no way that they could win against her. Sushmita could have done the same, but she didn't. Armed with a few clothes stitched by her local tailor, she entered the competition and won it with grace. It did not matter who her fellow contestants were, she knew she was good and that's the confidence that mattered.

R: Rohini Nilekani #AToZChallenge

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While most people only know her as the wife of Nandan Nilekani, the co-founder of tech giant Infosys, Rohini Nilekani has used that as a stepping stone to make the world a better place. Not many people talk about her or her achievements, but Rohini is a philanthropist like no other. An active advocate of Indian philanthropy, Rohini believes that dialogue has the power to de-risk our future. Through her work, she seeks to address the extreme inequality between the ‘have-everythings’ and the ‘have-nothings.’ Rohini has spent several years as a journalist, working with leading publications of the time, including Bombay Magazine, India Today, MINT and The Times of India.

Q: Queen Elizabeth II #AToZChallenge

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I already have told you that I have a thing for the royals, and, it all started with this lady. Much before the 'Crown' on Netflix made her story popular, I was following her life very closely. Queen Elizabeth II is an enigma. Her strength, demeanor, courage and total responsibility for her people make her a very important and inspirational figure.

P: Phoebe Buffay #AToZChallenge

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While it is always debatable as to who is one's favorite character in F.R.I.E.N.D.S, Phoebe Buffay will always remain the most inspirational to me. Clearly the outsider among the other five, she still manages to hold on her own and serves as a rock to her friends in their tough times. Offbeat and ditzy, Phoebe is wonderfully weird. She has her own weird beliefs and sticks to it no matter what who has to say. She's been on her own since a young age and has had a pretty rough life, but she has never given up on a chance for happiness or to find love.

O: Oprah Winfrey #AToZChallenge

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She was born to a teenage mother who was dependent on government welfare payments and never really knew who her father was. At the age of nine, she was sexually abused by her cousin, uncle and other relatives. She went to school wearing clothes made of potato sacks and was ridiculed by her class mates. She fought obesity, depression and suicidal tendencies. A few decades later, she became the richest African American of the 20th century and also has been called the most influential woman in the world. Orpah Gail Winfrey's life has never been easy. But, here was a woman who did not let her past define her. She fought hard, followed her passions and made a life for herself that most people envy today.

N: Neena Gupta #AToZChallenge

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As an Indian, can you imagine having a child out of wedlock? No, right? Now imagine the same scenario in the 1980s. Neena Gupta braved society and their tongues to become one of the first celebrities to have a love child. Neena was in a relationship with former West Indian cricketer Vivian Richards who was married to another woman. She went ahead and had his child who we know today as Masaba Gupta, the vivacious and quirky fashion designer.