The Rich Vegetarian

An Examined Life

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Ooh… Style.

Can you resist talking about yourself? I cannot… I admit. I wonder if anyone can. That likely explains why memes are so popular.

So, here we go… Q & A, suggested by Archana at To Universe with Love, borrowed from How to Spend It.

My personal style signifier is my hair.

Moi

I have silky, black-silver hair that falls straight down. No bounce, no wave, no drama. Until I found an excellent stylist in 2005. She has given my hair all manner of styles including simple bobs, layered bobs with side-swept bangs, blunt bobs, pixies, and more. She is a keeper, indeed! My hairstyles have always drawn compliments, and now my husband goes to the same stylist as well. He has a thick head of hair, and she cuts it beautifully (and patiently) with a pair of scissors.

The last thing I bought and loved is a set of tops from LOFT. It was my first time shopping at this place, and I found three rayon tops that fit me beautifully, almost perfectly. I scooped them up, took them to my alteration guy, and voila, they now fit perfectly. It isn’t always easy finding clothes my size, so this felt like an unexpected bonanza. A grey-blue-steel shirt-style top with long sleeves, a sleeveless top in metallic dark pink-maroon, and an aqua shirt… Beautiful.

And the thing I am eyeing next is nothing. No, I don’t need any more clothes. I have a good collection of things that can be mixed-matched, and that actually fits me well. I am really set for a good while now.

The last meal that truly impressed me was made by my husband. He pulled out an eggplant from the backyard and roasted it with an onion and a couple of shishito peppers (also from the backyard). We layered them over multi-grain toasted bread with tomato slices, Earth Balance vegan spread and almond milk ricotta. Ahh, bliss.

The people I rely on for personal grooming include my hair stylist Sarita Singh and the ladies who thread eyebrows at my local Indian salon.

A recent “find” is what I found at LOFT, I guess. I also got a couple of great skirts in my size. Well-fitting clothes make ALL the difference. I couldn’t emphasize this point more.

The last items of clothing I added to my wardrobe are the ones I got from LOFT. I also bought a couple of linen tunics from Uniqlo but they are probably going to my sister.

The site that inspires me does not exist currently. I used to adore reading Youngna Park‘s blog. Yes, it inspired me. But it seems to be offline since a week or so. I have read and re-read that blog SO many times.

The best gift I’ve received recently has come from our backyard garden. Actually, there are so many gifts. Heirloom corn, mint, Thai basil, eggplant, peaches, Swiss chard… A real bounty of riches.

The best gift I’ve given recently also came from our backyard garden. My husband potted a bunch of Tulsi plants and I gave them away to friends.

An indulgence I would never forgo is my evening cup of chai. Black tea, coconut milk, fresh ginger, mint, tea masala.

The last accessory I added to my wardrobe is a pink fabric bag I got from TJ Maxx that is charming and simple, and in need of a wash.

My style icon is… I don’t really know. I am working on finding my own style path, so I look inward for inspiration and ideas.

The place that inspires me is my home. It feels equal parts charming, cozy, comfortable and me.

An unforgettable place I’ve traveled to in the past year is Colorado where I visited my cousin. Gawked at the blue expansive sky, ate delicious food, walked many miles of trails, listened in on interesting conversations.

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighborhood in one city, I’d choose… No idea, really. I have no preferences, truly.

An object I would never part with is my diamond ring. Also my diamond earrings. Such exquisite little things, beautifully crafted.

In my fridge you will find ginger, cilantro, lots of flours (freezer), coconut milk (for chai).

The books on my bedside table include “La’s Orchestra Saves the World,” a book I greatly adore.

If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be doing something else, perhaps?

Desire for Offspring

PonderingAs a child, I always imagined that I’d grow up to have a family of four myself.

I regarded our family as a perfect foursome. We shared secrets (at least I did, with Mummy), indulged in spirited discussions on almost every topic under the sun (“Really, apart from breasts and penis, what is the difference between men and women?” Ahhh, the earnestness. I am sure my sage Mom gave nothing away), went to concerts and dance performances and movies and restaurants, and so on.

I thought, clearly this is the perfect template for a happy family. Yes, I would have two children as well.

Then came adolescence, teens, glowing youth. Along came a guy, all thick eyebrows and dark eyes and intense expressions. I promptly fell in love. The years that followed were filled with happy adventures and philosophical discussions as we eagerly tried to understand each other, savoring the new relationship. I wasn’t thinking of marriage at all but time passed soon enough… and marriage happened. The boyfriend became a husband. Then came the honeymoon phase, as I tried to wrap my head around the new role I was playing. Everything felt new, exciting and fresh.

The beginning of marriage also coincided with my introduction of meditation and spirituality. That was a whole new adventure in itself (that continues to date), bringing me so many gifts — friends, fun, awareness, clarity, confidence.

No thoughts of children arose. As the years passed by, I turned my mind to the question. Thought back to the sepia-toned picture I carried in my mind through childhood — me, the husband, two children.

Nothing about that picture seemed relevant any more. I realized that I had no desire for offspring at all. As a child, I had effortlessly internalized the “happy-family-of-four” dream but as an adult, seemingly more self-aware and mature, I let go of that dream. In fact, it simply vaporized. It had no legs at all. It was empty.

I know a few women who say that they ALWAYS knew about their desire to have children. As they became adults and found fitting partners, they promptly acted on that desire. I am incredibly thankful that I recognized my lack of desire, and acted on it.

(Human beings have a strong survival instinct. My uninitiated opinion is that the desire for sex as well as the desire for children function as means to fulfill that instinct. Perhaps an evolutionary biologist might know more. We are well aware that our life span is limited. Producing offspring is how we stave off the threat of death and subsequent extinction. Now, everyone knows that humans are in no danger of extinction, so we have no real reason to procreate. Except that old desires die hard, so we continue to birth and raise and nurture children. Ahh, well.)