To All the ‘Me’s I’ve Been Before

The ‘me’s I have been were all not so hard to handle, except that since they didn’t come with a manual, no one tried to understand how to. Perhaps I still am a strange creature to some. A mystery whose answer lies right at their fingertips.

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I have owned and nurtured a vast variety of ‘me’s under the same skin I wear today. The ones which were vibrant and brimming with life. The ones with empty eyes. The ones whose hearts sang, the ones who wanted to touch the sky, and the ones who lumbered in the shadows. All my pasts, and all pieces of my present.

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To all the ‘me’s I’ve been before, I love you. All those bruises you gave me, I tried to wear them the way the other girls wear makeup. I squirm at the stupid things you did, the terrible things you said, and I laugh at how the ugliness of your persons make you all the more beautiful. And I mourn at the fact that I can never go back, I can’t sail away into the easier world you lived in.

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I dream of the lives of the ‘me’s I left behind, and I recoil at the same thought sometimes. To all the ‘me’s I was before, I don’t love you all the time, through all things, but I would never trade anything for the messy past you wrote for me. So many things about you I still don’t understand.

Maybe I went and stupidly rummaged through your personalities to find my own, and it was just scarier than I expected to find myself unlike all of you. But when I brush my fingers against yours, I realise that so much of what I am is what I have been.

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Candle Shops and Streetside Whatnots// Photoshoot

So here’s the thing- I despise shopping, books and paint being exceptions. Don’t judge, it’s true. However, I don’t despise photography, and when you’re out touring India (which is my country but is so huge that you can’t really tour it enough), it’s not uncommon to come across photo-worthy, bizarre and beautiful things.

These pictures are pretty old, to be honest, but I recently found them and thought they were worth a post. Most of them are from a candle shop we came across at one point in time, and some are random streetside pictures.

Hope you like them! 😀

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Thanks for sticking around. I’d love to know what you think!
If you’d like to see pictures with an Indian bazaar spotlight that I did a while back, click here.

Until next time! ❤

New Year Wishes, Highlights from the Time I Haven’t Been Around, and Something You Might Be Interested In

Long time no see!

Yeeeahh… I’m pretty sure a bunch of you thought that I’d probably never come back here and had eternally disbanded my blogging life, but here I am, so sorry to disappoint. 😉 So I guess I did miss you guys. Though I won’t admit it.

A lot of things have been getting in my way, and I suppose that isn’t an excuse or anything, but oh well.

On the far brighter side, it’s 2019!

…which is pretty great, huh.

Even though today feels just like yesterday and new year parties aren’t a thing for me, and it doesn’t feel like a new beginning and I don’t feel like a new me and it’s all completely and utterly the exact same life I have been living for the past something-teen years.

But I suppose everything starts somewhere, and I know this year won’t turn out half bad!

Happy new year, you guys! ❤

Also, please read this post to the very end! I might have something you would be interested in. 🙂


Highlights from the time I haven’t been around

One

I’ve been doing a lot of Photoshop for the past month. The other day I thought- why not combine my anime interests with graphic design and do something cool? And I ended up with this (which I am extremely proud of because it took over 5 whole hours)

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I admit the face looks a little dopey but… don’t look at that okay

I did the whole thing from scratch (from the drawing to the background textures) and it was exhilarating but super satisfying and that makes up for the exhilarating part.

Two

Let’s see… I also went for another hike a week or so back. It was about 9.5 kilometres and had gorgeous views and I took a whole bunch of pictures. BUT. Something went wrong and now the pictures won’t download. -_-

Anyway these are a few of the better ones I managed to get on my phone.

Note that these pictures are unedited and subject to copyright!

Three

I took the Goodreads reading challenge this year!

Okay, I admit that 50 books is a teeny goal compared to most others, but considering how busy I am with life, it’s not so bad. And the best part is that I read a whopping 58!

You can see my year in books on Goodreads here.


 

Lastly… something you might (hopefully) be interested in

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Where do I start.

My friends and I recently began writing a manga of our own. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, manga are unique, Japanese style comics that are usually read right to left.

For those who are familiar with the term, you could call what we are doing a doujinshi.

But manga sounds much easier so I’ll stick to that.

Anyway we’re putting a lot of effort into what we’re doing, and I’m doing this as part of a group of four. One of us handles the character drawing, one does backgrounds and tiny details, one fills in the black, outlines etc. and I’m basically the one who scans, Photoshops the page into its final form and yells at everyone all the time.

Back to the point- I’m looking for beta readers! Okay, we’ve barely done a chapter yet, and it’ll probably take forever to do the next, and this might not even end up the way we’re expecting, but your support would make me really happy!

If you fill in the form below, I’ll send you a copy of the first chapter by email. I want people who think they can be appropriate critiques for a graphic novel. I would also love it if you spread the word on your blog!

Please note before applying that all of you might not end up becoming beta readers. You might also not end up receiving the chapters as soon as you expect. This takes up a lot of time and the first itself would probably need a month or so before it’s emailed. The story might not even end up having a proper finish or going beyond a few chapters, because we’re all living our own busy lives.

 

I’d like to thank all you guys for sticking with me this whole time. A huge hug whichever kind soul nominated me in Megan’s Best of 2018 awards! The voting is here. 🙂

Adeiu as of now! I’m going to be seeing you again tomorrow for a post I’m very excited to make!

Love,
M

Say Hello to Pique Studios! 😆

Pique was a dream that I had months ago- maybe a distant one back then, but a dream nevertheless. I wanted to take Design Pique a little further, make it unique and versatile, and today, it’s all here.

I’m probably screaming right now.

So what’s new?

What’s new, you say?

THIS. IS. NEW. (click on those words and you’ll see what I mean)

Pique continues to offer everything it has, but with a new policy: pay-as-you-like. I started with free designing to build up on my experience, and in a year I’ve had plenty of experience (more than I’d ever hoped, to be honest), and now I’ve decided to start with optimal charges. You will only be charged at the end of the process, and you can choose what amount would be fitting for your experience- starting $0 onwards!

Also, the shiny new site is WordPress.org based and has a truckload of cool new features which I’m so excited about! Plugins and a built-in site, for starters, and a lot more which I am yet to explore.

There are also animated videos I can make for you that I’ve never formally introduced before at $5 per minute, and you can learn more about them here.

The feature I’m most excited for is the products. I’ve compiled a small range of apparel and notebooks that you can order from here. They come with a handwritten note, and if I know you as a blogger, I might slip in a little something along with your order like a bag of authentic Indian chai, bookmarks or something along those lines. 😉 As of now, since I can’t find anything better, it’ll take about 3 weeks for your order to reach you, but I hope to find a workaround soon enough.

I’m all pumped up to see where Pique Studios goes! 😀 Also, in case you were wondering why I chose today to launch the site, 3rd October 2018 marks 1 year of Pique! 🎉

Please note that this site is not fully developed yet and you may find imperfections in random places. If you ever find anything that needs fixing, I would appreciate it ever so much if you could send my a message through my Contact page or drop a mail (piqueconnect@gmail.com). If any of you are WordPress.org users, I’d love to hear some tips!

Also, for those of you whose orders went on hold because of this, thank you so much for putting up with me! You can expect a mail soon.

Make sure to check out all the new features, guys!

Thank you for all your continued support! I hope to hear more from you in the comments! ❤

Love,
M

The Thought Behind Born Free

Written as part of HARPs Round 5
Team: Butterfly, Points: 3+8+2=13

What I want to share with you today is unlike what I usually post. I’ve seen many ‘identity crisises’ going on around the blogosphere, and that has gotten me thinking- what is the identity of my blog?

The reason my blog is called Born Free was initially this- my name itself means free, and I was raised with constant reminders that I was free to decide my course in life and make my own choices.

But perhaps there’s more to the name than just that.

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At a time that feels like so long ago, I used to think that I was misinterpreted and that I was a part some race of people that was impossible to comprehend. And regardless of the fact that I didn’t understand myself in the first place – and probably still don’t – I chose to sulk about how others didn’t understand my mind.

Without having unearthed what was beneath my skin on my own, I convinced myself that this world was full of insolent, selfish jerks who would never try to look at me as I ‘truly was’. Perhaps that’s an exaggeration on the point, but that is what I thought, plain and clear.

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But I can say that time has removed the jagged edges to those thoughts.

My life was never hard. My family and friends and environment saw to that. Well, more accurate than saying it wasn’t hard is to say that it was easy.
Everything came easily to me, I had everything I needed to live a good, content life. And today I can see that the insolence and the selfishness was not in the world that I thought didn’t understand me, but in me.

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So many people in this world are suffering and I chose to wrap myself in a cloak of troubles I had never faced! My life was such a good one and still, I would write of unreasonable gloom when I should’ve been grateful for that perfectly good life!
I should’ve stopped sulking and stepped out into this beautiful world. I should’ve broken out of my cocoon and have realised that I was a butterfly, and plunged headfirst into the world, powered by optimism. I should’ve stopped feeling lost and tried to find myself.

And that is why I want to do more than vent out pointless feelings. I want to acknowledge and spread and create beauty. I want to show my long-gone former self that I did not come to life to be someone who simply sat and complained at nonexistent problems. I want to be more than that.
I was born with hopes and dreams and a chance to make something good from my days. And you were too.

That is why we are born free, me and you.

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Our Ironic World

You know, just the other day, I was thinking about how wrong everything is. Society is messed up, the world is an avenue of hate, the people are egoistic and vain and crude, and everything is so endlessly and unconditionally wrong.

But as it turns out, our world is an ironic place. Evil comes with good, lies come with truth, and wrong comes with right. That’s just the way things are.

Since the beginning of our kind we have done so much. We have organised ourselves, set up our own worlds, we have recognised beauty and created it. We’ve come here and done things.

Even the simplest things you see around you are society’s doing. The world is as much our creation as it is nature’s. You reading this, and me writing it; there is always someone to thank for the most casual things.

So I feel that sometimes, even though it is most definitely messed up, society needs to be reminded less of what it’s done wrong, and more of what it’s done right.

I Return With a Bang (Sort Of)// A Life Post With Too Many Pictures

I was supposed to be all excited to write a post some ten days ago, but apparently, I wasn’t. 

Well, hello there! Long time no see!

A lot has been going on in my life in the time I wasn’t around. Most of the things that’ve happened are pretty unimportant little things, but it’s the little things that matter, after all. 😉

Unlike what you may have thought, I actually did stuff during my break over the past couple months, which includes some swimming, running, photography, a lot of travelling and an even bigger lot of reading manga. Manga now rules my world.

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I discovered new watercolour techniques, I saw new cultures and realised that sometimes you don’t always fit in. Time has passed and I’ve learned new things and I’ve grown a few months older.

I read very few books, unfortunately, but I am sure I have found a new obsession with a series. Anybody else out there who’s read Foundation?

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I’ve also been doing some interesting work as a designer. This is a little something I made for a blog I’m designing currently, though it isn’t quite final. I actually drew this by hand and Photoshopped it for the colours.

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This is copyrighted material! No stealing, please!

Apart from that, I also went mad. That is, I made an aesthetic on a Pinterest board about… Me.

See it here!

My cousin and I spent some quality hours together bombarding this board with pictures late into the night. To say the truth I have not been sleeping enough for a couple days. I just hope I don’t fall asleep writing this.

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I discovered music from a group called Sleeping At Last that I really love. All thanks to Ruby for introducing me! I finally have some good stuff to listen to while working out and painting and stuff.

Speaking of painting I have been doing a lot of it, my favourite being this messy one of some hydrangeas (Pin-inspired). I don’t really know why, but I cannot stop looking at it.

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This is copyrighted material! No stealing, please!

This weekend I woke at 4 (am I not great) and ran my second ever 10k. It felt amazing and surprisingly easy and now my thighs are hurting and I cannot swim with these legs.

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So, how have things been for you? I’ve not been very consistent, so make sure to tell me what’s new!

I shall leave you with a song that my cousin has recently been a little too obsessed with.

Thanks for sticking around. 🙂

~Mukta

The Change Award, The Month, and The Hiatus

When I first began to get tagged for awards and such, I used to be super ecstatic. That’s when laziness took over. It’s been the ruling party for so long, but now, the opposition (me, basically) decided to make a move.

Today I’m going to be doing The Change Award, a really neat tag by my good friend Gracie, in celebration of her well-deserved 500 followers! *confetti*

So this time, I’m going to be taking a different angle. Since these questions are rather thought-provoking and I like making things unique, I decided to write my answers in verse. 😀

The Rules: 

  • Link back to me, as well as whoever nominated you (check)
  • Include this: I, Gracie Chick of A Light In The Darkness, created this award to highlight the importance of young people taking responsibility for the future of their world. The Change Award also gives them the opportunity to share with others what they believe in. (okay, I suppose that does it)
  • Answer the questions below (I’ll get to that)
  • Nominate as many people as you like. (that’ll be at the end)

Okay, guys, let’s plunge right in!

Make a list of the things you want to change about schools.

May learning not imprison us
But rather set us free
May grades not be stamped on us
Like they’re our identity.
May we be taught that what we’re learning
Is really for the good
And the reason to seek knowledge
Is not simply because ‘we should’.

Make a list of the things you want to change about local communities.

May kindness be a weapon
Over society’s constant hate
May people learn to respect opinions
And learn to coordinate
May hearts welcome each other
And love, not lies, be exchanged
And when we look back later
May we beam upon the change.

Make a list of the things you want to change about the world, your world.

I want to seize every joy
And fill it into cartons
And take it to my inner world
And finally care for its gardens
Then I want to pluck their flowers
Before they wither and fall down
And proudly place them atop my head
Like a flower crown.


Now that that’s done, here are my nominees (I have tried not to include the ones already nominated, so there)-

Madi
Arunima
Michele
Rutvi
Rae
Rebekah
Lissa
Clara

I’m sorry if I missed you! If you want to do this, there’s nothing stopping you. 😉


Highlights from January

I GOT SO MANY DESIGN ORDERS I ALMOST DROWNED IN THEM

My average bedtime is now 11 pm. I suppose that’s enough said. -_-
So far I’ve had 20+ clients, all in a matter of three months from starting Design Pique Studios, my free web design service! Okay, it’s getting hectic, but sometimes I have to admit that hectic is fun. Plus, it’s one of the main reasons I haven’t been around in a while.

Right now, the site’s on hiatus because it’s getting too much for me to do at once, plus I’ve got waaaay too many exams coming up next month. But some new updates to the site since I first created it is a video which you can see on the home screen, plus a Portfolio page for all my projects.

I STARTED ATTENDING ALICIA SOUZA’S DESIGN MENTORSHIP PROGRAM

Okay, you have NO IDEA how excited I was about this. A couple months back I entered a mentorship program, and I was all over the place when I found out that I got selected and- maybe you should check out my post on Design Pique in which I talk all about it and drive you mad. That’ll be much easier.

I READ FIVE BOOKS (working on it), AND BOUGHT THREE PHYSICAL ONES

Haha, five books is nothing for some of you, I know. BUT with my crazy life and orders and assignments from my program alongside, that’s saying something.

Also, we bought three books. OH, COME ON. We never buy physical books. My dad always insists on ebooks because they don’t take up too much space. If you want to know what made him change his mind this one time, it’ll be quite a bit of a story.

We were on vacation to Bombay, and then somehow we figured that there was a certain “book street” in Colaba (read more about that here). I had no idea what that meant. Being a curious family, we decided to check it out.

If you’re a book lover, this is one of the reasons you have to visit India.

It was- you guessed it- a complete street lined with tons and tons of books. Secondhand books. For about half the usual price.

Naturally, I went cuckoo, and so did my dad.

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MY ART RATE WENT DOWN AND THEN… IT CAME UP

I hardly did any art in January. And, well, this probably doesn’t count as a January highlight, but today I took part in a painting competition in our locality. It was conducted by the husband of a late artist, which made me feel nice about taking part.

There was no theme, and I had no time to think something good up, and what I ended up with was… this. Excuse that it looks sort of dark.

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Another little detail is there were three age groups and one winner was to be chosen from each, and my painting won in my category. 😀

I’m not going to talk too much about what my prize was, because I don’t like talking about things like that. But I would like to mention that it included a paintbrush which that late artist used to use, and I will treasure it forever. ❤


The Hiatus

Yep, the worst part.

Orders are too much for my puny being to handle. Plus exams. And then there’s life. This site’s going to be taking a bit of a rest for a few months, but hey, a few months! I’ll be right back in late March. I may sneak in that occasional post, with updates or something like that, and I will be reading and commenting on your posts, but no consistency.

We all need a break once in a while, hm? 😉


Thanks to all of you for reading! See you here again in March, and I hope you have a lovely day!

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A Mirror to My Self

An aesthetic to reflect my personality, inspired by Gracie’s post (which was inspired by Lonelymeme’s post). Haha, good ideas travel far. 😉

aesthetic that defines me

i love:
stars, the ocean and the play of words,

seeking songs that are whispered, too vague to be heard,
 the fog in the mountains, sunlight through the trees,
a walk by the seashore, an afternoon breeze,

the dance of the wind and beautiful blue,
and things people don’t notice but i do, i do.

Roadside Markets// Indian Bazaar Photoshoot

One of the most prominent things about India is its street markets. They are many things, fascinating, colourful, and bustling with life. But today we’re dealing with colourful.

There is much I did when I was on vacation last December, and apart from tripping, breaking a nail and getting a blister, which is all only natural for someone like me, I also did quite a bit of photography. I’m going to be showing you a few select takes of a local Bazaar in India.

Some people’s impressions of India range from the craziest things like snake charmers everywhere to elephants trampling the streets, but then you actually get there and say hey, where did all of that go? Well, while I don’t deny that it was there once upon a time, I must say that now it just ain’t the same. Fortunately, some things- like this- are not destined to die.

When you talk about Indian markets, they sell everything from fruit, to veggies, to food, to clothes, to daily necessities like soap and toothpaste, and even things made of copper and occasionally even gold. This post will highlight all that and is going to be over real quick. The ride may be shorter than you think, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. 😀

Buckle up! Continue reading Roadside Markets// Indian Bazaar Photoshoot