The Rich Vegetarian

An Examined Life

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Wandering Away

As I see friends, colleagues, etc. pass through various life stages, I cannot help but wonder if I am falling behind in this race. Ahh, what race, you ask. Well, this so-called race of life, you know. Silly girl, there is no race. Every individual is on their own trajectory, isn’t it? Actually, I wonder if that is 100% true. I think many people are following trajectories that were laid out for them. By parents, influential persons, society, whatever.

Marriage, child#1, new home, large car, child#2, job promotion, newer home, larger car… The list goes on, long and relentless. Then comes graduation, marriage, grandchildren, and so on. These paths are well traversed and the markers are clearly laid out.

Then there are some others who wander on paths less traveled. Are they lost? Well, it may seem so at the beginning. Some of them had to break away from the clear path, as its lack of meaning, purpose and authenticity became evident. For me, it was neither planned nor deliberate. I simply couldn’t buy into the many rewards and milestones of the path, so I didn’t even break away. I just strayed away. Wandered away, so to speak.

Call me lost or directionless, whatever. My husband tells me that I have escaped social conditioning, no mean feat. Well, I escaped nothing, really. One of the advantages of having a thin ego membrane is the lack of investment in milestones and markers. There is relief, certainly, at having broken free of social expectations and ideas. But that has always been my lived experience, so really, this does not feel new or adventurous by any means.

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.


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?