So far, so good.

I think reflecting on the year gone by is an exercise I indulge myself with to understand how far I’ve come as a person. Sharing some of those reflections below. 2015, has been a year of drastic change for me as a person and I can safely say it’s been so far, so good.

Above: Part of an ongoing project to document the salads I make for myself. #ASaladEveryWeek on Instagram.

Live healthy
I have not been the best advocate of this but it’s the best gift you can give yourself. I was supremely unhealthy with some of the worst lifestyle choices a person can have 9/10 months ago. I went through a fair bit of lifestyle change and have lost 20kgs, feel fitter, better than ever before. Some of the ways to do this is by — Learn to cook your meals, once you know what goes in, you’ll think about food differently; Cut out as much sugar out of your system as possible; Eat fruits and drink warm water.

Above: One of the many snapchat’s I post after my morning runs.

Find an activity that reflects your personality
Contrary to the image that most people have of me, I am a social recluse. On any given day, I’d rather sit at home with a book or hang out with my plants rather than sit through a dinner with people. So when one of my closest friends; Sameeksha badgered me to start running with her, I said okay just so she would not annoy me anymore. Now it’s safe to say that it’s become one of my favourite activities. I enjoy long distance running because it helps me shut my brain down for a temporary period and I find unadulterated joy in spending time with myself everyday.

Above: Part of #The100DayProject where I designed #100DaysOfGardenAndArt which has been one of the most challenging projects for me this year.

Do stupid side projects
I have a habit of over thinking everything I do so working on a side project is simply impossible. To counteract this habit, I decided to take part in the global 100 day project by combining two of my loves, gardening and art and make something fun with it. It was intensive, hands-on and taught me to think on my feet. But as I’ve said before; ask someone the exhilaration of reaching that finish line. It’s unbeatable.

Above: One of the few posters I’ve designed for TTT.

Every once in a while, work for free
Contrary to what most creative people believe in; I find that working for free occasionally is a great mental exercise. At the beginning of the year, I designed a bunch of short indie-film posters for Chintan and Anuj’s new collective launch; Terribly Tiny Talkies. There was no brief and certainly no money but it got me more opportunities than I’d cared to count. And the most exhilarating part was entering a new universe, something I’d never done otherwise.

Above: Holding my fabric at the printer.

Be your friends friendWhen Sanket asked me to design for his pet project, Taxi Fabric, 2 years ago, on impulse I said yes. If he ever thinks to ask me again, I will say yes. Taxi Fabric has been one of the few projects I have been most proud to have been a part of.

Above: Greens, pinks, blue hues scattered across the Urban Garden within a taxi; the theme of my utopia of the city of Mumbai.

Designing fabric that stays in a taxi for 4–6 months in the city/landscape you live in should be on everyone’s to-do list. The proudest moment was hearing him speak at the Creative Mornings lecture with his fabulous ‘Homework for Work’ where he discusses his merits and de-merits and how he learnt from his mistakes.

Above: Embracing, loving and growing the TamBram in me more profoundly than ever before.

Embrace where you come from
There is one thing to say about history and your roots, the more you embrace it, the more it becomes and enriches you. If you don’t know where you come from, how will you ever know where you can go?

Above: Growing a garden with plants both vegetables and ferns alike has been one of the most beautiful things I ever took on. Few things give me more joy and I’d never have made it this far without help. This is an old shot of my papaya tree now over 7ft tall.

Ask for help
This I have learnt far much later in life than I should have. People will help you only if you ask for help. You don’t have to carry all the weight with you and you’re most definitely not alone. Asking for help doesn’t make you weaker or silly, it just makes you more human.

Fare thee well, 2015. You have been beautiful, full of learning, surprises, tears and unadulterated joy.