Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Book of 2009

The last pages of this year are almost ready to be turned over, but the book of 2009 is really something. Its 360+ pages hold stories of so many interesting happenings in my life that I am compelled to look back and highlight some of the incidents/thoughts that touched my heart and contributed towards making me the kind of person I am or aspire to be. So, where do I start..hmm, let's just take it from the top:

  • Went to India for the first time as a married woman, and basked in the love and attention from my in-laws and my happy grandma (nani mamma, I love you and I know how you wanted me to get married!) and all my masis and cousins
  • Found out that my lil' sis Shikha is pregnant -- was in denial for sometime, and then it hit me - and then super happy 
  • Very upset with some changes at work, but didn't mull over it for long, pulled myself together and worked harder than before
  • Launched Banno Raani...and this blog! Oh, what would I do without either of them! :) This step was taken after much deliberation on Shikha and my part and we just knew we had to do so - we are learning so much about business and ourselves in turn...(if you want to be an entrepreneur, don't wait - its totally worth it!!) 
  • Practiced more positive thinking and implemented more of the related philosophies 
  • Went to Europe- loved every second in those beautiful countries. it was my childhood dream too :)
  • Started writing down and actually making lists - trust me, accomplished all the items and screamed with joy everytime I crossed off the item on the list
  • My dearest Bauji - the best grandfather in the world - passed away, taking away a piece of my heart. I miss him so much, and am working on implementing some of his teachings
  • Learned to be more thankful and complain less (to be continued in 2010 as well)
  • Birth of Sana - my beautiful and lovely you my lil' darling
  • Reluctant to move to Newport, but it worked out fine. Infact so fine, that I love it here!! In other words, opening my mind to changes - personally and professionally and learning how to make changes work for me as opposed to against me
  • Loving and laughing more...yeay!
I think that wraps up the year in as concise a form it can. But ofcourse, there was much more in life - the small footnotes and fine print without which this book wouldn't be complete -- there were some tears because things didn't turn up the way I wanted them to, there was frustration (a lot of it), there was fear (of the unknown, and of consequences for standing up for myself), there were smiles (a ton of them), there was stomache, headache, PMSing and the silly arguments that ensued...ah, so much more.

But then, it these incidents, these footnotes and fine prints of life that make us who we are - it these stories that we always remember and these moments that we hold on to forever...


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Style File - V3...oh, wait!

I know I know its been a while since I did the last Style File post (here and here). But, darlings, it was so hectic with moving, and then unpacking all the things, and then organizing a few parties, and then just relaxing for a bit that, truly,  I didn't even realize that time had flown and I should do something about it.

So, I did - today.

After brushing aside the regular chores of the day (yes,the boring but mandatory stuff), I took out a dedicated time slot to focus on creating these Style Files. Yes, I said files, as in plural, because I got two posts for you!! Really, how generous am I?? :)

Lets roll with the Style File # V3 - this outfit is a heartening mix of glitter, brocade and oomph. When I saw it, my eyes popped in splendor and fell in love with the style and color. Perfect outfit for a sangeet or formal holiday dinner hosted by your Kapoor aunty or for even attending a mehendi. But, then how to accessorize? Well, Banno Raani has a really good style that will just pull together the outfit perfectly, adding the right amount of "yowza" factor. Its the Pari Pankha jhumke with deep amethyst stone drop. Ok, enough of me talking, just check it out for yourself below.

Style File - V4
A while back, a friend I know told me about a party she was going out to - you know the NYC party full of shi-shi people, air kissing to the hilt, and dressed up to the nines. I was excited that she had reached out to me  to help her with the styling issue. She was wearing a black skirt with net and sequins (very similar to the skirt in the pic below) and a black top, and needed a pair of earrings to 'pop'. I showed her the following pair and she screamed with joy because she said that it brought the right statement to her style. Oh, believe me, I was super happy to see her this excited and was glad that Banno Raani's Tri-Stone Ruby had done the needful.

Well, I hope you enjoy the variety that Banno Raani has to offer - but know there's a whole lotta more!!


Monday, December 28, 2009

Attack of the Food network

After watching all these food shows on Food network and having my senses attacked by these yummy savoring images, I am  really really really hungry now - and I just had dinner!

I can't keep my mind off the delicious looking spicy jambalaya with hint of lemon, chicken sandwiches made with pretzel bread, pepper and red chilli glazed lamb chops with rice, garlic and cinnamon infused vegetable stew, french pecan salad, creamy light custard topped with almonds and hazelnut powder, chocolate ice cream over delicately thin brownie slice...oh, what am I to do?? I need to run to the kitchen now and fix myself a colorful, flavorful ensemble of veggies and spices (sorry, no meat on Monday) before I go crazy... :)

3 Idiots

Yesterday, Kartik and I watched '3 Idiots' and loved it. Simply loved it. The characters made us laugh like there was no tomorrow and the flow of the movie kept us aptly engrossed. While we both have read the book, '5 point someone' by Chetan Bhagat, on which the movie is based, the director (Rajkumar Hirani) did a commendable job of creating a really good screenplay along with his writer partner Abhijat Joshi. There were scenes where it got a bit too "bollywoody" for me - you know where the baby kicks when Amir Khan says "All Iz Well" - but it was ok because in the bigger scheme of all came together perfectly.

Oh my god, can't tell you how much we laughed...and snorted! Kartik moreso for he could relate to some of the things that were portrayed in the film -- the kind of things that go on in an all boys college. And, me, just couldn't believe all the things that go on in all boys college!! I also loved the character of "Chatur" (played by brilliant Omi Vaidya) - his speech in one of the scenes had me laughing until tears rolled out of my eyes and my stomach ached. And, oh I think I may know someone who talks and looks like him in real life!: )

So, Sunday ended with a medium box of popcorn and endless peals of laughter. If you want some of that...go ahead and see the movie!


Friday, December 25, 2009

Good Times and Christmas

 Its a day when the world comes together in giving - giving love, smiles and what I call "something something". Its a day when glasses filled with drinks tinker till the very last drop has been consumed, laughter reverberates until the same joke has been repeated thrice and good times roll until the last tick-tock of the day. Tis' Christmas, and this day always lightens up the world for me - everything just seems happier, livelier and funnier to me :) Oh, and not to forget -- colder!! :)

Merry Christmas to all of's wishing and hoping the essence of this day marches up to a fantastic New Year, which is, like, just around the corner!!


ps. will be posting pictures of Christmas parties sooon

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wish for

oooh, its Christmas eve!!  So, what do you wish for?? Know that whatever you ask for, there is someone waiting to make it happen!! :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A million little things

So, New York streets are blanketed with snow...some untouched and white as pure cotton, while some darkened to the hue of a coal tar. Yuck! But, then there is something else.
A million little things buried underneath the gigantic piles of hardened yet slushy ice - a kid's glove, broken umbrella, dog poo, candy wrappers, woolen scarf, gatorade bottle...and so many other things that I wouldn't know. And, when all this snow melts, it will morph these million little things into nothing nothingness.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Bazaar by Banno Raani

The Holiday Bazaar by Banno Raani is on!

So, if you are reading this, please feel free to stop by at the venue and allow the sparkles, colors and designs of our unique earrings melt you heart! You don't want to miss this, for rreal!

Please email us at: for more details.

Hope to see you!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

The madness that is Walmart

There used to be a time when I was a frivolous shopper. I shopped at any store without thinking about the price or the fact that perhaps I could get the same thing at a much better price at another department store. Or the fact, hey, maybe I am better off using a coupon et al.
I was like that eons ago.
But, today, I think before I pick up anything, especially clothes, and ask myself - how many times will I wear this, is it a color that will match with most of the basics I already own, is it worth it? In those three simple questions, I get my yeay or nay on whether I should go ahead with the deal. I am also a lot smarter with picking the best deal - as if I am in a competition to prove who is the best shopper around!
Through the course of my transformation, one store that has stood its ground is Walmart  - whenever I shopped there for basics (sorry, no clothes, shoes or bags - I am very picky about those things :) ) I just always smiled at my final receipt. From toothpastes, to detergent to stationery to juice - it was always a nice surprise to walk with a few extra dollars still tucked away in my purse.
So, few days ago, I had to go to Walmart to get those basics, but wow, was I in for a surprise - of a different kind. The minute I stepped in the store, I went o-ho! Not that something was wrong with the store, it was more like something was wrong with the people. They were tons of them and all jamming each other with their carts filled to the brim with things. Some even had two carts - god bless them. In few seconds it hit me - but, ofcourse, tis' the season!!! And, so all the mayhem was expected. I saw the anguish in some people's face as they found out that that particular style of sweater was out of stock, I saw the kids jumping on their parents to get them that jazzed up bikes...the emotions were everywhere and I had my own up in the air. Yeah, the milk was all sold out!!! I almost screamed at a lady who hit me with her cart - and she had 2 gallons already! But, I calmed at myself, looked up at the huge Santa doll hanging in the air, and smiled at idiosyncrasy of  holidays! I love it, but nothing compares to the madness that is Walmart.

Have a fun filled shopping bonanza and don't let those cart hitters discourage you!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Try something new

Sometimes we are so comfortable with the way things are, we are afraid to try something new. And then, the only thing holding us back from that success, that satisfaction that we sooo deserve is how comfortable we are with the "new" stuff. Interesting, na?
I am setting up Banno Raani's holiday bazaar at my new apartment, and I am a little scared and have all these questions-  is it a good plan? is it the right set up? is it the right platform? Well, I wouldn't know all this unless I try it, correct? So, I am opening my mind and the doors to my apartment to try this new strategy and see if this flies with the  new set of client group, and, if it works with Banno Raani's overall business plan . I'll be honest, I'd rather be comfortable doing what I have done before, but then I wouldn't know what I am missing out on. So, I am going ahead, being bold, and trying something new! Wish me luck! :)


Could it be

Could it be that I saw Santa sitting in a Lincoln towncar waiting for a passenger?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Some expected changes

I am a workaholic. There, I admit it openly. Not funny, but true. Am going through a year end process right now at work, and I can't help myself but log into work from home during downtime on weekends. How crazy is that? Well, new year is on its way - so time for some new changes: work life balance!
Actually, I look at the new year as a starting point for so many things that I always thought about but never did anything about it. Aha! change # 2: don't just say, do!
Watch out this space for more changes I expect to implement in me.. :)

My beautiful niece

I can't help but share a cute pic of my beautiful niece, Sana. She makes me very happy :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Forgiving weather

The weather was pretty forgiving today. I did not have to bundle myself up like I was living in Antarctica - you know, thermals, down coat, woolen scarf and cashmere gloves - almost looking like a fur ball :) So, the walk from work to the Path station was very pleasant. And, as I was walking, I reveled in the happenings around me - school kids laughing loud and playing pranks on each other, an old lady walking her big hairy dog, a couple walking with one hand entwined and the other one holding a grande Starbucks latte, few tourists holding a giant folded map and asking around for directions, a traffic policeman chatting up on the phone and not noticing a car that jumped the red light...oh, so much was happening. I walked through all this like I was walking through a museum, observing and smiling at so much life around me. It's really nice to have a forgiving weather, I tell you.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A bummed poet :)

I am so bummed. I had created like 6-7 poems a few years and had submitted to {hey, even got one of those 'Poet of the Month' certificates} and then the site became, and now all my poems are gone - I just can't find them on the site!!! I am soooo bummed. Cherry on the proverbial bad cake: I forgot to save my work offline!! Help, what do I do next?

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Just when the fall weather had started, I asked Kartik to pose for my awesome camera...he obliged, and asked, so what do I get in return. Hmm, while it was easy to answer that,  I did , however,  mention that I will put this collection on my, although its a month old, I just love this set of pictures, and hope you enjoy them too : )

{click on the image for a better view}

Getting ready

A month ago, when I found out that the Columbus Circle (NY) holiday market still had few openings left for booths, I got very very excited. Then I saw the price chart, and I got very very sad. Shikha and I wanted to take part in the holiday market so bad, but our budget did not allow us to take a huge strain on the capital just yet. So, we strategized as to what would be the appropriate thing to do. We could take part in the holiday market, acquire debt, and connect with prospective clients or we could wait another year, gather enough capital and inventory and then participate with a full bang. Luckily, it didn't take us long to go with the latter option, and in a way I am glad that that's the road we took.
Sooo, here's our plan: we are getting ready for hosting a Banno Raani's first ever holiday season party. Details coming soon....stay locked in here! You will love it, promise!!


Monday, December 7, 2009

Holiday Cheer

When I look around and see every corner of the street decked in holiday cheer, I can't help but smile. Every giant bow, every holiday banner with snow flakes drawn on it, every amaryllis peeking from behind a revolving door takes away the stress of the day and reminds me to enjoy the moment, and expect joy, happiness and awesome shopping sprees!
So, a big yeay to holidays and a bigger yeay to the cold weather that comes with it. Trust me, it wouldn't be half as pretty without the chill and the snow,  people.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

A room with a view

Does it get any better than this??
{This is a view from one of the rooms of our new apartment...}

Friday, December 4, 2009

The night is velvety

The night is velvety, and I quietly place my face on the window glass, to stare at the magnificent view in front of me. My eyes twinkle with the lights from the sky high buildings, and I blink in marvel. There is beauty to be found in all the concrete and steel after all.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


True results come from true discipline. I always knew it but did not care to follow this principle. But now, as I grow older and wider wiser, I cannot help but keep my mind focused on this simple equation. It seems to make so much sense now. So, what changed? I am still the same, my spirit is the still the same, but it is my mind that is now accustomed to a more relaxed, rich and robust style - a style that truly yields results.
A good example - my commitment to this blog. Although, this blog is meant to showcase what Banno Raani is all about (and, which it does), I also use this as a platform to paint  my thoughts, my feelings and my life. I have set aside an hour each night to dedicate my thoughts to this 4x6'' box of white space and transform it into a colorful play of words (hopefully you will agree : )). I know this blog allows everyone to not just see Banno Raani's awesome collection, but to also get to know the people behind it and the situations they go through in their daily lives. Yes, there are struggles on this path to entrepreneurship, there are uncertainties, and things that Shikha and I cannot even anticipate - but we continue to take full hearted steps and keep moving forward. And, therefore, the blog is a testament to that discipline. It is also a simple way of staying connected with clients and a unique way of sharing lives!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Blank answers

Today was one of those days when life just didn't feel good. I questioned why it were the case? But the answers came back blank. Hmm...maybe I need to ask the right questions or maybe blank answers are indeed the right answers. I don't know. I guess only time will tell. Until then, I dream of yummy cup cakes and happy places.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I sit amidst strewn boxes, folded rolled up carpet, tons of bags with "things" and haphazardly placed furniture - contemplating a good plan to arrange everything the way it should be. Oh, the pangs of unpacking after packing it all up.

Happy December! Tis' almost time for the new year :)


ps. I am lovin' the new apartment, and the commute is a dream.


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