I'm so thrilled to present the very first QnA of the year! Many thanks to everyone who submitted questions. I've tried my best to answer most of them so if your question wasn't answered, it's probably because I've tackled it in one of the previous QnA's. So let's get right into it.
Which is the best trip your life?
My very first flight from Trivandrum to Edinburgh has to be the best one. It wasn't really a holiday because I was just traveling to join my husband in the country he works in after forgoing my own career and deciding to see where things take me. I was apprehensive about my future and had no idea what I was going to do with my life. But we got on a 13-hour flight on a cool Dreamliner, and landed in Edinburgh to see this sign:
Everything felt right at that moment.
What are your 5 favourite foods?
Dumplings, sushi, ham toasties, bacon pancakes and my mom's ghee roast dosa with my dad's special sambar.
Could you share some of your favourite blogs?
One of my all time favourites is Twinkle Khanna's TOI Blog. She's one of wittiest Indian satirist I've come across and I love her. I also closely follow the brainpickings blog which is a nice nerdy space to spend endless hours absorbing interesting information. Other blogs I want to give a shoutout to are those of my friends, most of whom I met through the blogging community. Be sure to check out Aishwarya's Treasured Chronicles, Clare's Vocal Pendulum, Anirudh and Kirti's Beyond Our Horizons, Natasha's lifestyle blog and Persis' The Ink Notes. Some of them have taken short breaks from blogging but I truly hope they go back and pick things up where they left off :)
What are your current goals?
I want to have a fixed bedtime and wake up at 7 every morning and I've been failing miserably at it. I've also been working pretty hard on Season 2 of the podcast. We've put together a lot of fun new updates and lined up pretty much double the amount of work each week. I'm excited to tell you all about it soon. Another personal goal is to write more. Not to publish more posts on this blog but to write just for the heck of it because it's fun.
Could you list three healthy habits?
I've been trying to incorporate a few in my life since last September and I've achieved the goals of eating healthy food thrice a day and exercising regularly. One habit that does wonders to my mental health is reading at least 30 pages of a novel everyday. I tend to read two books simultaneously - one for self-development which is almost always an audiobook that I listen to it while working out, and one for the soul which is almost always a novel. But I'm not sure if reading two books at once is for everyone so do let me know if you're also like me.
How are you and Meenal related? Are you cousin sisters?
And one more thing, Ankita you look like Indian actress Madhuri Dixit. Did you know that? And how did you end up in London?
Meenal and I are not cousins. We're just friends (as shady as that sounds).
I've always felt uncomfortable accepting praise for my looks. So although I want to genuinely thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind words, and my parents for the genes that I in no way earned, I'm going to pray that Madhuri Dixit never finds this comment.
And to answer the last part of your question, I don't live in London. The pictures you may have seen of me and Meenal are from the time we met up in London while we were on separate holidays. I currently reside in Edinburgh.
What is your take on print vs. digital media? Fifteen years back, a good storyteller like you would be dreaming of her magnum opus, saving and compiling your work, looking at publishing platforms and contacting their agents. Now, you are an autonomous agency, with your daily posts reaching your audience directly. No rejected manuscripts and no editings of your work. But is there a book in you?
I feel so humbled by this question. Thank you for your kindness! I haven't planned that ahead in life and in a lot of ways I believe I'm lacking in enough self-esteem to even consider the possibility of seeing my name in print anytime soon. However, it would be wonderful to work on a book and publish at least once before I die. I guess all the extra writing I'm doing on the side for fun might come in handy one day.
As for my take on print vs digital media, growing up as a child surrounded by books and being enamoured by everything about them, I'm incredibly biased towards print. But at the same time, I can't ignore the power of digital media in its capacity to reach a generation that is used to having information literally at its fingertips. I myself cater to such an audience through my blog. So to record and share snippets of my life in the form of an online journal that I run and manage, I will always depend on this digital space. However, if I wanted to release something more detailed and finite, something that will have an ending, I will resort to print it. Because as of now, I believe that this online journal is an ever-evolving infinite space.
I just started my own personal blog and would appreciate it if you could go through my writing and give me regular feedback. Would you offer your guidance to a newbie?
First of all, congratulations and welcome to the blogging community! If you have any queries about how to set up and monetize your blog, do check out this entire series Shane and I published on the subject a few months ago. We've shared everything we could possibly share about our blogging journey and I hope you find it useful. As for reviewing your content and giving you feedback, I'd love to help but I honestly don't have the time. If I were to guide you, I'd expect myself to show up regularly and give you authentic feedback. But with the way things are looking for me right now, I won't be able to set aside a chunk of time for this purpose. I'm currently struggling to even respond to all my emails on time.
What would you pick: A cat-sized elephant or an elephant sized cat?
Definitely a cat-sized elephant because I'm not a cat person. Also, the idea of an elephant-sized cat gives me the creeps. It'll have more fur, it'll shed all over the place and even attack you with its sharp ugly claws. But elephants are always cute and having one that can sit on my lap makes my face look like the emoji that has hearts in place of eyes.
What's the most annoying thing about Shane?
He bites his nails and leaves the stray nails on random surfaces of the house as presents for me, he always walks barefoot around the house (although I even bought him a Star Wars themed pair of home slippers) and then he gets into bed with his dirty feet, he never leaves his clothes in the correct laundry hampers (whites go in the white basket - how hard can it be?), he leaves his socks under the coffee table every evening and never puts them in the wash, he always loses his keys and wallet despite the fact that I've left a little dish for him to leave them in, he sometimes leaves his wallet and keys right next to this dish instead of putting them in it just to fuck with my head, he tries to kiss me while I'm in the middle of something crucially important like straining pasta and that leaves me confused about my next course of action (I mean, is it ungrateful to ask him to leave me the fuck alone sometimes or is it okay get mad at him for being an annoying piece of shit?).
Wait, you asked me for one annoying thing about him. Huh.
Is the plant still alive?
Oh yes! Alive and thriving. I forgot to water it for a couple of days but then I had a discussion with Meenal about babies where I equated them to plants and dogs and complained about how plants never make any noise when they're hungry and suddenly remembered to water my plant for the first time in 5 days. It's all good.
How long has it been since you visited India and when will your next visit be?
As of today, it's been 1 year, 8 months and 17 days since I left India. I'll be going back this September to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday and we're all really excited about it. I hear that my dad's literally getting the house painted because I'm finally coming home.
I love the way you dress but looking at your Instagram feed, it feels like you never repeat any clothes. Is it that you have a big wardrobe or do you have tips to maximise a normal sized wardrobe?
Thank you! I've always loved clothes and shopping and I will confess to owning more clothes than I need or wear regularly. But how it works for me is that I invest in a few staple pieces that go with everything and those are the only branded/pricier items in my wardrobe. For example a good winter coat, a heavy-duty wind resistent jacket, a good pair of jeans that fit well, hiking shoes, walking/running shoes, fancy boots, at least one pair of good quality sunglasses, one or two staple black/white/grey tops etc are items I invest in once and never repurchase. However, I'm not very particular about the other items in my wardrobe and don't necessarily go for anything expensive. That's what gives me the freedom to let go of them and donate them after I get bored of them (or when the seasons change). I hope that answers your question :)
My boyfriend and I send each other your blog posts everyday to make sure that we've both read a relatable post. Do you have any advice for younger couples?
Hehe...hehehehe....younger couples? That just made feel 30 years old. Just kidding! My only piece of advice is this: don't be an asshole. Even if you tend to be an asshole in general, don't take that out with potentially the most important person in your life. I know people believe moronic things like, "But he/she is the only person I can be my true self with". Seriously, if your true self is an asshole, you need to fix yourself because no one wants to live with an anal gland. And by no means disrespect or treat your partner like shit. Peace out.
Will Shane be doing his own version of the QnA this time?
Probably not this time. Because I hate it when that guy comes swooping in to steal my thunder.
That's it for this month. Hope you enjoyed reading the answers to your questions! If you want to start submitting more for next month, you can do so in the comments below or DM me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or my email.
I hope you're having the best Monday wherever you are!