Figuring Life Out, Being A Miracle And All…

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32 and loving it!

What does your life mean to you?

I think we have all been there, asking ourselves that. In my experience, that question has always come with a burst of impatient energy, swiftly leading to frustration. It is funny how we are evolutionarily and socially engineered to think about all that we are not, before we even give a chance to all that we are.

I turned 32 two days ago. In general, I like quiet birthdays, celebrated only with people who are closest to my heart. I usually get my way and that is how I celebrated turning 32 too. I think I want quiet time on my birthdays because it is during this time of the year that I go into the height of introspection every year. I think each one of us is a miracle, which makes all of us unique. As oxymoronic as that sounds, it is the truth. Being born into this world is a miracle. I watched in a TEDx talk (by Mel Robbins, if you want to check it out for yourself) that the chances of being born are about one in 400 trillion. I don’t think anything else is qualified to be more of a miracle than that. Well except maybe the Milky Way and all things related thereto… which includes us, so I guess we are back to how we are awesome!

That is why I think it is apt to go into the deepest form of reflection about what my life means to me on and around the time of my birthday every year. What did I learn this year?

  1. That life has only come to mean anything at all to me because of the struggles it poses. We can’t escape strife in life. What we can do though is develop the kind of grit that will take us through adversities with grace. You also need to find out what spirituality means to you. For me, it is finding answers in my reading materials, switching off by disappearing behind my 50mm lens frequently, picking up my colours to paint and writing out my thought processes. Speaking of searching for truths in my reading materials, I hold on to this Nietzsche-ian philosophy very close to my heart, especially during those long weeks when doubts and frustrations come uninvited to pay me visits: “To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities — I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not — that one endures.
  2. Expect anything worthwhile to take a very long time. Also, things take the time they take and there is nothing we can do about it. Someone wise that I know once told me that life is not about the milestones, but the way we journey between the milestones. I think he is right. It is so easy to feel disappointed and helpless when we are not doing anything that is popularly deemed to constitute an achievement. We often forget though that achievements, in whatever form they mean to you, are just temporary culminations of our everyday actions. So, life’s meaning really can only be found in the everyday journey between our achievements. Achievements are really just life’s way of telling us to take a day off, give ourselves a break, before we journey again. To then put off our happiness until we reach milestones that we have set for ourselves would mean we will never ever be happy, not really, and never for long enough. Happiness is not the destination, happiness is the way. Find joy in the things that you do everyday. Find people who spread love and warmth within you and keep them close. Leave situations that do not make you happy. Love anything and anyone that means something to you deeply. We do not get to collect on the outstanding love at the end of life, and love is limitless.
  3. Know your worth, and never compromise. I know they say life is all about compromises, but what they don’t tell you is that whilst you may have to adapt to what life offers you instead of what you have wanted for yourself (you can either call this fate or compromise), you never should be less than what you can be, and you should try everyday to be a better version of you than you were yesterday. Also, do this at your pace, don’t slow it down for anyone else. Insist on the highest standards and set an example of what that means to you. I have come to realise that when you know your worth, and you are unwilling to compromise your standards, the universe bends to your will and finds a way to deliver the highest standards you dare imagine to you. You just need to believe in yourself and persist. You owe it to yourself to be every bit as awesome as you are born to be, and do not ever compromise on that.

So, whatever it is that you may have decided your life means to you, don’t ever forget that in the very least it means that you are a miracle. Spread joy, love and warmth and make your life count.


Put on a brave face and let life happen to you in all of its wondrous glory and intensity.



Don’t ever give up, even when life gets you down and you feel defeated. Also, I don’t know what I would do without you two! *big hugs and love*


Alistair & Grandparents: Play time!

Alistair is blessed with not just a wonderful set of parents, but also an amazing set of grandparents.


Whenever his grandparents visit him from Singapore, Alistair and his grandparents never fail to have loads of fun!




Amidst all that fun though are the beautiful little things that bring me so much joy to capture… the passing glances of unbridled love…



the hands that are seasoned with the knowledge of loving and protecting…


and quite simply the blanket of warmth and affection the grandparents effortlessly envelope the little one with.


Suffice it is to say that I truly enjoyed photographing this wonderful trio.



Special mention of course goes to the duo who slog day and night, ensuring Alistair has the brightest possible future. You guys rock!



Mirna & Family: Joy is Contagious

Mirna is without a doubt one of the most vibrant mothers I have come across. She has an amazing reservoir of energy. When she is with her daughters it is truly a sight to behold. I imagine one would find it very difficult to avert their eyes from all the fun and joy that naturally unfold in their presence.


I think one of the hardest traits to acquire is a sense of complete comfort in one’s own skin. Once acquired though it is by far the most captivating trait one can hope to possess.


When one looks at this family, love simply shines through. In the way they blend beautifully together…



in the father’s adoration for his little girls…


and in all the little things that are naturally too wonderful to miss.

DSC_0214One realises that joy is contagious when one is in their presence.




Lindsay, Paul & Baby Hazel: ‘Totally Owning It’

About two months ago, when I checked in with Paul as to how fatherhood was treating him, he said he was ‘totally owning it’. A week ago when I met his beautiful family for a beach photoshoot I knew that he meant every word, though I must say Lindsay seemed to have it a little more together than Paul did! 😉 Between them I know they are going to raise a wonderful daughter.



Hazel is lucky to have a set of parents who smother her with love and affection.

Parents who will stand by her side when she takes her first steps.

A daughter’s first love is her dad, the man who will (over)protect her but at the same time allow her to have it her way every time.



It is her mother though who will teach her to be thoughtful, kind, confident and independent, very much in the mother’s own image.


Throw in many other relatives and loved ones who will spoil her rotten and she is quite the little beach princess alright!


When Joy Becomes You

Lately I have been spending a fair amount of time photographing others either in their moments of genuine joy or in the very least, moments of their pretend-joy.

Whilst I was doing this, I had an epiphany. I realised that the more I tried capturing the joy in others in an effort to pass the photographic documentation of the same to them to use and cherish, the lighter I felt. In fact, after about two weeks of doing this every single day I started experiencing a warm, fuzzy, floaty feeling inside. I find it easier to laugh these days. I find that things that used to frustrate and annoy me endlessly have begun bothering me less. I find that I have become readier to embrace a ‘live and let live’ frame of mind.

That is when it struck me that there is so much truth in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s saying that ‘a man is what he thinks about all day long‘. Quite simply, the more I pursue joy, the more joy has become me. Now, isn’t that the most wonderful thing in the world?


Hannah & Baby Zakariya: Hope Is The Thing With Feathers

I had the opportunity to capture a few brief moments of new Mummy joy for a friend a few days ago.

When I looked at this adorable duo through my lens, I heard in my mind Emily Dickinson’s poem:

“Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words,

And never stops at all.”


Oh how much we hope for the little ones we hold in our arms and how we hope that they are always happy even when we know such is not the nature of things in this world. After all, hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.


Shweta & Baby Aria: Becoming a World

One of the most endearing things to behold in life is the miracle of how a woman transforms immediately from someone who lives for herself into someone who lives for another tiny little human being.


In my experience nursing is waiting. The mother becomes the background against which the baby lives, becomes time. I used to exist against the continuity of time. Then I became the baby’s continuity, a background of ongoing time for him to live against. I was the warmth and milk that was always there for him. My body, my life, became the landscape of my son’s life. I am no longer merely a thing living in the world, I am a world.” – Sarah Manguso, ‘Ongoingness’


Reaching Out Into Within

Ever felt like the one thing that you spend the most time on or you think most defines you (be it a job or a role you play in your life) does not truly resonate with who you are within? Well to put it succinctly, that is the story of my life.

I am a lawyer by profession, or rather, that is what I thought most defined me until last year. Last year I became a mother to a gorgeous little boy and since then I have not been the same. It was then that I realised what I thought most defined me as a person became a thing of the past the minute I laid eyes on my son. In that moment I understood the fleeting, transitory nature of life. It dawned upon me that life is not a moment caught in time but rather an ongoing journey of continuous personal development and growth and that you are never the same person you were yesterday.

This realisation firstly made me want to photographically document every moment spent with my son and my amazing husband, who has been my pillar of strength for the longest time. A second manner in which I document the moments in my life is through my writing. Going back to the things I wrote a decade ago almost feels like I have stepped into a time machine.

I yearn to capture moments not because I want to live in those moments but because I feel like once a moment is thus captured I am free to leave that moment behind as life demands me to do, and fully embark upon the next adventure it has in store for me. Strangely enough, capturing the moments I most enjoy through my writing and photography frees me up to live my life in the present without looking back and to fully embrace the ongoingness of life.

In a nutshell, this is my life (for now): I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a lawyer, a budding lifestyle photographer, a writer, a voracious reader, a passionate cook, an art enthusiast, a constant traveller, a Truthist (yes, this is a thing), a TED-addict and so much more. I have realised that only when I reach out into myself to discover and breathe life into all aspects of me and to tap into all my multi-potentialities do I feel truly free and at peace with myself. Happiness is not out there. Happiness is within. Happiness is an inside job. Happiness is the way.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for being a part of my life’s ongoing tapestry, which has been made richer because of all of you.

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I can’t smile without you two.