This is my time to compile the list of Jefree Star Giveaway entries, but my mind is so full of thoughts that I decided to write. Baby Sia is sleeping, helped by white noise playing on my laptop. Rati is getting her beauty sleep, and I’m sitting alone and working online. Life is kind of sweet and peaceful at the moment.
Sia is the love of our lives. While we are training ourselves in changing diapers, getting her to burp, making her sleep, bathe etc, we are always amazed at times to look at her, always asking “did we make her?” Since I am nocturnal, she is in my care the whole night, and I’m always full of wonder seeing a person with a clean slate, thinking she can be anything in future- singer, dancer, actor, doctor- and we don’t know yet. Rati and I do not want to give her a normal life. She is our biggest adventure and we want to make her life extraordinary. For which we would have to change our lives also.
It is really hard to say where our lives diverted from the normal. Was it a single act or was it a consequence of multiple acts in succession. What was the first step? A few months ago, before Sia was born, I was telling Rati ‘I don’t want our next 50 years to be similar to those we have lived so far.’ But as I was saying it, I realized that our years have been going different and different each year. Some because of our own doings. Some because god ordained it so. But most of it was because we Rati and I are two people who inherently believe that our future is for us to create. And we are not scared of desiring it, visualizing it, and going forward in that direction. And consequently, every move we make forward changes our lives. It is hard to say when this change started.
I would say that our first big step came from totalgadha.com, which Rati and I started. Not only it ended our 9-to-5 lives forever and gave us a taste of entrepreneurship, but also cemented our relationship. By cemented I mean we found a partnership where both the partners thought alike. If you want to turn a car, both the front wheels must turn. Same goes with married life. It takes two to change your lives. One person alone cannot do it. And we found that we both wanted the same things. Maybe the foundation started then. Even totalgadha started because we thought alike. We did not fill any form except CAT because we wanted to go for only IIM-B, and both of us crash landed when we spoiled our paper. Although I cleared 8 CATs in subsequent years (mostly to impress my TathaGat students), and got calls from IIMs, I had gone far away from seeking a job. But I would say that the big leap happened with TotalGadha.com in 2006. Rati and I still wonder what would have happened if one of us had cleared the first CAT and gone away. Well… you wouldn’t have been reading this then. 🙂
Our next few (ad)ventures happened in this order over a period of 12 years- TathaGat, our marriage, IMBB, Trigya, Rati Beauty app, and now little Sia. But the biggest change-maker happened somewhere in between these markers. The hunger of travel happened to us.
It is my favorite saying that people need only three things in their lives to make them happy- Love, travel, and money, in that order. We had been fortunate in having the first and the last one. In 2011- 2012, we decided to sort out the middle one. Our travel train started at Jodhpur, and then kept going to 24+ countries in the next 5-6 years. We climbed bridges and mountains, travelled in balloons, explored underwater caves, and shopped of course. On a bit of an aside, thousands of women asked us if our trips were sponsored. For once, I would like to clear that not a single trip of ours, was ever sponsored. Not because we couldn’t have. But because we are not the kind of people who write mails to brands and ask for freebies, and then be beholden to them to give them coverage on blog and social media. We are not made that way. We like to be free and do our own thing. And being free and seeing the world brought the change that Rati and started talking about a few months ago.
Jack reacher is the lead character in author Lee Child’s novels. Even got two movies made on him. The movies were complete rubbish and didn’t do justice to the novels (just like Harry Potter’s) and missed out the main essence of Reacher- that he is a traveler. An ex-army major, whenever he reaches the bus station he takes the first bus out, no matter where it’s going. He has no luggage and he travels with only three things in his pocket- his passport, ATM card and a toothbrush (he doesn’t carry a phone). So every three to four days Reacher changes clothes by dumping his old clothes in a trashcan and buying new ones. I did a Jack Reacher math once- 8-9 clothes changes in a month, and every cloth change costing around 2-3k, I was looking at 25-30k per month in exchange for no luggage and no strings. Anyhow, Reacher is extreme. But over the years, traveling around countries, Rati and I lost our sense of possession completely. For the last two years, everywhere we went we would dump loads of clothes before coming back. We’d buy new ones whenever we needed. When we came back from Paris last year, Rati donated nearly half of her designer dresses and shoes to daughters of our maids and in charities. I gave away all my suits and shirts to my driver, left with only 4-5 shirts and 3-4 jeans. To be honest, it was quite liberating to get rid of stuff.
It is funny how ideas get planted like seeds, and take their time to germinate. Three years ago, when Rati wanted to start her makeup journey, I said “if you want to do it, be the best. That means learning from the best.” Those words set us off across the world, from one country to another, from one city to another, where Rati could learn makeup from greatest teachers, be it Pat Mc Grath’s assistant or Zoe Taylor’s assistant. We searched and found them whereever we could. And Rati was doing makeup on everyone, from black women to Latinas to white models. And the thought took seed that this should be the way to go if Rati was to grow in makeup.
The idea germinated two-three months ago while conducting sales. We had already decided that we would do homeschooling for our child and wanted him/her to travel with us. With this thought in mind I said to Rati “why don’t we sell all our stuff by 2020, makeup included, and start traveling. You do makeup in the country we are in and buy makeup on the go and sell it off when we move.” The idea took hold of us the more we discussed. Fortunately, we could run IMBB and Rati Beauty app from any place in the world. But more important, Rati would get a chance to interact with makeup people around the world and expand her horizon.
And that’s where our next big adventure is going to come from- makeup and travel. And you guys on RB app are going to see it all. Not only that, we are going to explore new directions in makeup on Rati Beauty app as 2019 arrives. Our makeup world is going to expand. And by 2020 and beyond, I hope you’d see Rati exploring makeup in different countries and bringing it all to you on the app. 🙂 Not to forget, our sales and giveaways are going to get bigger and bigger.
A lot of people ask us why is Rati Beauty app paid. I give all kinds of answers depending on the moment- ad free, honest opinions on product, sale, giveaways etcetera, etcetera. All these reasons are true. But we withhold the real reason why we decided to do a paid app in the first place for fear of being taken as conceited and arrogant. But here’s the real reason we decided to do a paid app (or an app in the first place)- when Rati started her makeup journey, we started with a makeup school in mind. We wanted to change the makeup scene in India. Over a period of two years, Rati learnt both in India and abroad. And we found an inherent difference in thoughts between makeup in India and makeup abroad. Makeup in India is centered around bridal. People think of a makeup artist when they have a wedding coming up. Most makeup artist earn their living from bridal. And that is what the makeup education in India is centered around. There are extremely talented makeup artists in India whose expression becomes limited because their art can only be employed in bridal. However, makeup education abroad is taken as an art. Bridal is still a part of it. But it’s only a part. The kind of exuberance and creativity that Rati found in colors abroad really defined makeup as an art. In April, 2017, we were sitting in a park bench in Paris and discussing what would we do. Rati’s training had just got over and we were about to return to India in 2-3 days where I was supposed to look for an office for our academy. But we had come a long way in the past 3 years, and we did not want Rati to start a school to teach or practise bridal. We also did not want to give our knowledge for free, for people who did not want it even. Hence we decided to do a paid app. It would prevent any casual onlooker from joining us, and only people who were interested in our kind of makeup would come. A school also forced Rati to devote more time to teaching than practising herself. We both realized that she needed to spend a lot many years in makeup to find her own creativity and expression. An app would let her both engage when she wanted to and be free for practise when she wanted to. Hence we decided to do a paid app. And we are really glad that we did. Though we may sound conceited but we DO want to expand the makeup world in India, much more than bridal. We’ll do it one step at a time.
Everything begins with a thought. As you read this post there would be a lot of thoughts going through your head. Some thoughts will stick in subconscious and some will bounce off. The thoughts that stick will guide your action in some way in the future. And that is how your world will be changed. This is what we are trying to do on the app. We do not for a moment believe that these thousands of women joining us are all wanting to do editorial makeup or creative makeup. But we do hope that watching Rati and others on the app, their makeup thoughts will change. Maybe blue eyeshadow will replace a brown one, may purple lipstick will replace a pink one. Maybe some would find the courage to do makeup in the first place. The thoughts that stick will bring the change. And someday, some of you would do bigger and braver makeup that will change the world. 🙂
In the coming months, once Rati is back to work, we are going to take the makeup explorations in a new direction for our app users. Wait for it. 🙂
That is all for now. I really should get back to the giveaway list. Please do share in comments if RB app has changed your life in any big or small way. 🙂