Just over three years ago a random twist of fate led me to take daily photos of what I wore and post them on the internet. In hindsight I know there were many lessons to be learned from that project, some of which included; how to dress better, use wordpress, develop a brand on social media, manage multiple projects, apply make-up, curl my hair, and in short – accept and love myself. Pink Chai Style was a vehicle for healing myself of doubt, judgement, and negative beliefs from my worst critic; me. Today I’m a changed, and dare I say it, healed woman.
On the flip-side, I’m also addicted to writing now, and I can’t imagine stopping the creation process. I’ve wrestled with the idea of quitting blogging or changing my blog topic and writing about something completely different since last year, but all the while something has been silently calling me. This concept has come to me in my dreams, my day dreams, and in many of my free writing sessions, and as my literary love Rumi so aptly said; “what you seek is seeking you.” I want to write about my everyday life as a ‘desi’ (or as mainstream media would say South Asian) woman, but the truth is, I’m scared to go there.
Side note – the term ‘desi’ has it’s origins in Sanskrit and refers to the people, cultures, and products of the Indian sub continent or South Asian, and their diaspora.
I’m scared to identify myself or this blog as South Asian (even though it’s pretty hard to miss), because I hate to leave anyone out. I’m a people pleaser by nature, and saying this is a space to write about my experiences living in two cultures makes me uncomfortable on some level; after all, I’m just as much Canadian as I am Indian. I’m the girl who who starts her day with a cup of chai, has an afternoon double-double, and quite often finishes off the evening with a glass of vino. At the same time; I can’t shake the feeling, that I’m meant to preserve the stories, rituals, beliefs and history my ancestors (and more importantly my mom and grandma gave me).
Something I’ve never shared on social media or written about is the fact that both of my maternal grandparents (who were a huge part of my childhood) became very ill last year within a few weeks of each other. They’ve been married almost 70 years so it makes sense. Processing the fact that I could lose them is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, and I’m nowhere near okay with that concept. At the same time dealing with their possible mortality highlighted to me how important it is to hold onto the history that my family has given me. There are so many things I’ve learned from my ‘Bibi’ (grandma) and I don’t even know where to begin; but I know I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without her stories, her genetics, and most importantly her love.
Does that mean that I want to turn this blog into an educational resource or a history lesson – hell no! I’m still the fiery, quirky, pink girl you’ve known me to be – there’s just a side of me that you don’t know. There are my experiments in the kitchen trying to recreate the dishes my mom made, my DIY attempts at Indian embroidery, my love of Bollywood, and my inner ‘desi girl’ dying to bust a move to the latest bhangra track. (Little known fact, I can count the number of English language songs I know on one hand).
In media today there are so many voices talking about how hard it is to balance two cultures, I want to share how easy it can be. I was blessed with such amazing female mentors and role models in my life who taught me to appreciate and celebrate my Canadian heritage while showing my Indian roots with pride, and now I feel like it’s part of my story to share those stories.
Here’s where it gets tricky. How do I tell my loving amazing readers who’ve helped me come this far that I’m making such a big change without them feeling excluded; I honestly don’t know. The content I’m planning to create now is a mix of DIY’s, recipes, fashion, beauty and lifestyle with a decidedly Indian slant; but it’s for everyone. I want the whole world to know my mom’s ancient Indian remedy for chapped lips, or puffy eyes – not just the desi girls!
In short if you are interested in fashion, food, DIY, home decor, travel, and all things pretty, pink and sparkly, and you don’t mind the occasional ‘behind the scenes’ peek into my desi life; this space is for you. I hope you’ll stick around for the new adventure and update your bookmarks to reflect my new home on the internet!
With Love & Gratitude … Raj
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Just a few housekeeping notes for you too …. a few of my friends that I gave an ‘advance preview’ of the site thought I was going to start creating content under all these new categories; the funny thing is – it’s been there all along! The old format of the blog didn’t highlight everything I’d written about over the years, now I’ve just laid it out so you can find it.
Moving forward I will be accepting limited guest posts, but the majority of content you see here on Pink Chai Living will be written by me…promise.
*PS: Thank you in advance for your understanding as I go through the technical side of making a domain name change. We encountered some major issues with the images on my old site and I am currently manually adding back images where they are missing (which is a lot of places), just in case you are getting an image error.