Sunday, March 23, 2014

Cruelty-Free Beauty

The shampoo that does not burn your eyes, the fairness cream that makes you look gorgeous or that lipstick that gives you instant pout may have a darker side to them too. Most cosmetics makers use brutal animal testing to check the effects of their beauty products, like the levels of acidity or the side effects on skin, to name a few, before launching their products in the markets. It is a known fact that lipsticks contain fish scales which make them more glossy and shiny. However, here I am more focused on products that are tested on animals rather than those that contain their parts in any way. Such things take place at high levels and that too quite discreetly so we cannot be sure completely. To be on the safer side, it is always better to go for beauty brands that are cruelty free and if possible, vegan as well.

A few days back, I and my blog friend Katrin discussed about the right cosmetic brand and animal testing. Well, the term ‘right’ for us means a brand that is completely cruelty free. Since then I have been reading quite a lot about this topic and fortunately have found a few brands that are not only cruelty free but vegan and chemical free too!

Animal testing is one of the cruelest things one can do to the hapless creatures. To check the levels of burning sensations of shampoos and conditioners, they are commonly poured into the eyes of rabbits, puppies, kittens and chickens leading to extreme pain and mostly permanent blindness. Bleaches and creams are tested on their skin that leads to severe skin irritations. These creatures experience a living hell and brutal torture that ends only with their lives. If this is the cost of beauty, it is better to ditch such cosmetics and opt for natural products that are gaining fast foothold in India. We do not need to compromise on quality because that is the biggest concern that stops people from switching to more environment friendly cosmetics. Various herbs and natural products are far better than any chemical could be. We just need to be a bit careful and check out for a few symbols.

  • This leaping bunny is a sign that the product is free of any sort of animal testing.
  • This Green dot means the product is 100% vegetarian.
Before you pick that beautiful bottle that can make you look like a goddess, just close your eyes and try to remember that poor animal that suffered unending torture and died a brutal death to make you look a bit nice, that too only for some time. I believe that real beauty is just another form of kindness.

In our little ways, we can contribute much to abolish such obnoxious testing and most importantly, 

When buying will stop, killing will stop too

Images have been sourced from the Internet

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Far From the Madding Crowd

This is my entry for the contest 'Go further to get closer' by 
British Airways @ Indiblogger.in
As I sat down to express my love and affection, it seemed every word pulled me back to memory lanes. Only a few years back, I paced my room, sulking.
“No more drama; you are giving us a lot of headache, girl. What is your problem?” my grandmother shouted from that side of the door while I sat brooding on the other side.
“I have told you a thousand times” I cried
“And we too have told you a thousand times” my father replied
“Listen, come out, we can talk” finally, my elder brother said in his usual calm and soothing tone that made me open the door.
“He is very average and there are no six packs. Look at his hair, no spiking, no in-thing, and no fashion sense” I lamented, beating the dining table.
“See, are looks the only thing? I know him and he is one of the most sincere and hardworking man I have seen” brother replied, patting my head.
“And spiked hair and funky T-shirts suit on college students; people in real life are not filmy heroes. I don’t want you to learn it the hard way li...” my elder sister said loudly as if choking on her words.
“You are a fool didi, you will never appreciate jijaji” I replied rolling my eyes.
“Alright, Ok, listen, you still have the final word” said my parents.
But finally, I decided to go ahead; after all, apart from his looks, there was nothing, I could poke holes in. Now, lying down on my bed, right under the air conditioner with a pen and writing pad, planning to add to the surprise I have for him, I scribble a line.
‘Far from the madding crowd’

I go back in time and recall the day I married him. It was a cold November evening. I silently cursed my fate and felt a pang of jealousy for my sister, who never cared for her dashing husband. I would sometimes gape at jijaji’s visible six packs when he would come to take her home, for she often arrived unannounced with a sullen face, to stay for weeks together.
I fiddle with the AC remote and scribble one more line, smiling to myself on that tattoo drama I did after a month of marriage.
“Wear my name-tattoo if you love me” I demanded
“I do not like them” he said
“You don’t love me, you are sick. You are a complete pakau, I am stuck, oh God!” I cried and stomped out of the room
“Alright, please relax” he replied calmly and that weekend, he was there with a temporary one on his left wrist.
“Keep smiling” he had told me in such a loving way that cannot forget. Slowly, it seemed he started to sort me out. I was way too entangled in mindless dreams that made me constantly compare everything to films and TV.
“I want to have a bob cut, just like that heroine in that movie” I cried one day out of mindless rebellion and of course, to spite him.
“Alright. I love you as you are, go ahead and do what makes you happy” he replied with a smile.
Of course I did not cut my long hair but that smile certainly disarmed me! I look at my notepad and after a few lines that I could relate to. I close my eyes and lie supine. Tapping the fingers on the notepad, I get up and write one more.
‘Where no mob treads, no noise prevails’

I recalled how I would rob him of his every free moment after he would come back from work. Even then, a busy office schedule and my nonstop blabbering at home did not irritate him. My brother was right, he was one of the most family oriented person one could meet. Looking after his parents and obliging duties at every step. Some eight months after marriage, I confessed I loved him. I really did! Now, after four years, I realize he is my life. I wondered how didi would spend so many days alone sulking at parents’ house.

‘Peace and love dripping from the sky’
I write another line, and blush! Love is a feeling that can give immense happiness and a life worth looking forward to. I recall and feel like laughing at myself, my inability to comprehend important matters and situations. He, who manages every member and nurtures us lovingly like a gardener tends to his precious flowers, deserves a break from the daily drudgery and the toll it takes, while I spend time either at home, ordering servants or tending to my pets, kid and garden.

‘Hold my hand and step into a new world’
I scribble another line and read the entire work again and make a few changes, here and there. I rewrite the lines on a scented paper and put the poem and the surprise in a pink decorative envelope, waiting for him eagerly!
You must be wondering! Well, after two hours, he came back from his office! He opened the surprise and I saw a smile and wetness in his gentle eyes! He looked tenderly at the London tour tickets and the poem. I could not describe the moment when I saw that smile and a particular calm on his tired face, I realized, what we had been missing! He took the paper and read the poem aloud, hugging me tightly! You can read it too!

Far from the madding crowd
Far from this silent pain
Far from this cacophony loud
Far from dull days mundane
Hold my hand and let us dive
Miles away from a humdrum life
Where no mob treads, no noise prevails
Stepping on the clouds, following the trails
High up in the air no eye could see
To a world where no madness could be
Peace and love dripping from the sky
Far from daily grind eating into our lives
And everyday drudgery that takes a toll
Hold my hand and step into a new world
That belongs to us, none else allowed!

Now, we sit holding hands, watching the limitless sky and the twinkling stars. It seems as if the moments of tenderness are calling us from the horizon. We spot an airplane in the clear sky and looking at each other, smile!

Check out this sweet video!