the essential internet/ 38


Social media enabled confessional- style posts about daily struggles with mental health go hand in hand with the emergence of (what I like to call) therapy- lite, a constant stream of well meaning messages in pretty fonts. Most want us to ‘practice gratitude’ like it’s some hopelessly atrophied muscle. Does it work? Can actively practising gratitude get you to a calmer, happier place? I was both surprised and not surprised at the results of this examination

Still in love with this essay, even though I read it four years ago- Why Can’t A Smart Woman Love Fashion? 

Sometimes you think you’ve got it all figured out- life, goals, relationships, yourself. You’re so protective of your knowledge, your system, that you don’t leave any room for doubt or introspection. And then one day you wake up feeling, for no apparent reason, that everything’s wrong, that you never knew yourself that well after all. If you’re quietly going through a similar existential crisis, this account might help

If you loved Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette (Netflix), because how could you not and are hungry for more, she’s done a delightful, all-too-short series of art lectures called Renaissance Women (YouTube). Watch Venus On A Clam, Nativity Marshmallows and The Three Wise Men And Entourage. You’re welcome!

A beautiful song about the one that got away. Not clingily pining or self- pitying- just a detached, affectionate, grown- up wish for a former lover’s happiness. Nooran sisters Jyoti and Sultana are a force. I like to think of them as lady Nusrats, no- better Nusrats. Their grandmum Bibi Nooran was a singer too. Rooted in the sufi music traditions of Jalandhar, Punjab, the sisters sing in a sweeping, bellowing timbre that gathers all the air up into a room into a tight knot which then unspools slowly, only to go back and unspool, over and over again till you don’t remember when the song started, knowing only that you don’t want it to end

Image- Madhubala and Nargis in classic white shirts and trousers, one of my favorite looks for every season. It’s hard to tell from these grainy pictures if these are button- downs; did you know there’s two kinds, button- down and button -up? A button – up doesn’t have baby buttons at the collar to hold it down, a button- down does. There are two schools of thought on the best way to wear a white button-down. Some like it crisp and fitted, with overlarge collars. I prefer mine a smidge oversize and slouchy, in a relatively flexible material like cotton silk. Not too pressed, with a small soft collar. I own several in all shades of white- ivory, eggshell, stark- and light blue. I like to wear these tucked into dark trousers with paperbag waists (pleated at the front and short at the ankle), jeans ripped and shredded at the knee, black faux-leather pencil skirts or expansive floor-length cotton ghagras. I’ve shared this here before, but here’s my favorite video that teaches you how to cuff your shirtsleeves properly. (The relevant bit starts at 00:49) 

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