Good Over Evil, Happy Over Sad- This Diwali, May The Choice Be With You

Shubh Diwali

Shubh Deepavali! I couldn’t resist pulling up this beautiful shot taken by Subashini Vanangamudi at the Satori Studios and making a little Diwali-gram!

Every time someone asks me what Diwali signifies, my throat dries out a little bit. India is so complex and our festivals are rooted in so much scripture and celebrated with so many rituals, that it makes me dizzy. 

In my defense, how am I to explain, in proportionate detail, the story of Lord Ram and good triumphing over evil (and all the other demons slayed during the five days that entail our very illustrious celebrations). This would just open up the conversation on the millions of gods we pray to. How am I to explain why we buy gold on Dhanteras? How do I sort the days which are dedicated to celebrating marriage or siblings or our ancestors correctly? How do I explain why we celebrate by lighting a million diyas and bursting firecrackers on the already tumultuous streets of India? How can I bring into light, how this festival unifies a very diverse population in a very large (and often divided) country?

So, I cop out and just say its a celebration of light and love. And money. I suppose, in all practicality, its a celebration of property and good fortune. 

To me, however, Diwali signifies family-time and an opportunity to hit the reset on my life and change things I don’t like. It also ends up making me feel pretty darn grateful. Anyone who knows me knows that there isn’t a day when I don’t light candles. They soothe me and remind me of what a great lady had told me once, ‘the hottest part of the flame is the smallest and the coolest to the sight.’ Most importantly, it reminds me of the power of choice. To always choose good over evil. To always choose what’s right over what’s convenient. And most importantly, to always forgive myself when I falter, because I will. And that’s OK.

Happy Diwali everyone! May you chose how you live your life! <3

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Permission to Be Kind

New Friend: I’m just gonna be real with you…The first time I met you, I didn’t like you. There was no way someone like you would be so nice. It’s like sugar-free kind of sweetness you know? It’s sweet but fake…I just like…thought you were a faker. I mean you dress up to go down the street. It’s like…why do you care so much? You’re not that important… (laughs awkwardly).

Me: Yikes.

NF: But, after getting to know you, I realize it’s because you care about people who don’t deserve it. I mean, who haven’t proven that they deserve it.

S: How are they supposed to prove that? That they deserve to be cared for?

NF: By, I dunno. Doing things unconditionally for you. Without profit. Being nice, not expecting things in return.

S: Exactly.

You can imagine what an impact that ‘conversation’ had on me… But in order for me to convey my point (I promise that there is one), some back-story might be in order…

All my life, I’ve travelled, never sticking to anything. Eventually I got adjusted to the change-up so much that I almost had it down to a ritual. I started to love it. I could be anyone, see new people and have new experiences. Every few years.

Before I was out of my teens, my family had hiked up the social ladder, and in that process, I had seen more than a quarter of the globe and most of it’s people, in various strata of society. 

When I was barely a teenager, my family moved back to India temporarily. I was out of friends again. I was an alien again. 

That year, I met a girl who would end up becoming my best friend and teach me some of the most valuable lessons in kindness and empathy. She was welcoming to everyone, remembered people’s birthdays and made people feel special. She was everyone’s best friend. She was everyone’s confidant. And she valued all relationships equally.

You know what’s the best thing I learnt from her? (THE POINT!) 

The fact that everyone, essentially, deserves kindness, even if they never recognize it. Because even if you end your relationship with them on bad terms, if you did your best to appreciate that person, without intention to receive anything, they will eventually use that experience to empower themselves or others (for however brief a moment that may be).

 Most people are hard to understand, let alone love. But when you find the complexity in their story and the choices that brought them where they are, it’s often easy to empathize with them, even if they are villainous.

Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to force yourself to be around toxic people! But if you happen to be around them, it may be a cool experience to see what made them who they are.


Over several years, I have been lucky enough to become close friends with a handful of amazing individuals in my life (not to mention the family of badass individuals I grew up with). I’m talking about-totally amazing, high-performing individuals with integrity, character and (sometimes) da bling bling. These are people who break stereotypes and boundaries and honestly don’t give a care about what anyone thinks about them. They’re my own personal heroes. (And yes, they will be getting personal links to this blog because they should know how inspiring they are to me). 

People are constantly telling me how nice I am. And how they didn’t expect it. It makes me sad that somehow my exterior doesn’t represent my interior. At the end of the day, however, it’s an opportunity for me to learn something new. A new way of communication, a new form of behavior, a new way of thought. Every exchange that I have with people, somehow, always ends up enriching me (or sometimes makes a great blog topic lol). So give yourself the permission to be kind without the shackles of expectation and see how it works out… <3 I’ll be right here cheering you on! <3 Shilpa


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Less trick more treat

Loved creating this day of the dead mask on my face for Halloween. Irrespective of my questionable line work, I can honestly say that makeup has single handedly my reduced my costume expenses! More money for treats! Hallelujah! ❤️❤️

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Fall Welcome

Shilpa tripathi Actress

Good Bye Summer Hello Fall

Nothing celebrates summer like Sunflowers! As I carefully pack this happy tank top for fall and get ready for the flurry of holiday music and high calorie goodness, I hope that you enjoy this last day of summer with a summery drink on the beach (or, since it’s Monday, at your office or school, in your favorite summer outfit, drinking watermelon juice!). Happy fall! <3 Shilpa

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shilpa tripathi self portrait

Self Portrait & Daylight

Chiaroscuro… When light plays hide and seek with our eyes, moving quickly to expose parts of the subject of your interest that you never saw before. It makes beautiful things heartbreakingly stunning and simple things fascinating. It’s a secret of this world… Chiaroscuro… Or so I would imagine. ❤️

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Tiki Time

I just realized that I never shared my tiki on my blog! What a misdeed! :P Incase you missed it, here are my insta-posts on it! I gifted the tiki to my dad for fathers day… <3 Shilpa

#Tiki #Glaze #Ceramics #Clay #Sculpting

A photo posted by Shilpa Tripathi (@shilpat3) on

#TikiMan #ClayTimePlaytime

A photo posted by Shilpa Tripathi (@shilpat3) on

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How Are YOU Doing?

I spent my afternoon at a five-star hotel and realized what I loved about it. I loved that every person (whether working for the property, or staying at the property) made eye contact and smiled. They were courteous and polite. 

It was no different from my experience in Alaska where people genuinely wanted to get to know ‘how you are’ and ‘how your day is going’ or ‘what brings you to Alaska’. It was one of the reasons I want to build a house there one day :)!!! It is also akin to my experience in India (well, atleast most of the time, unless people are trying to dodge shady folks on the road, which is understandable). 

Seriously though! People shouldn’t be scared to look at other people in the eyes and smile. It doesn’t suck out your soul or anything. Just saying. ❤️ Shilpa

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My Daddy Taught Me


Today, on my dad’s birthday, I just wanted to share four wise things he has inculcated in my sister and I (always through his actions, never just words):

<3 Integrity above Individuality. Standing for something is better than swaying every-which way. Even though I’m in search for many many answers, every experience I have must be founded on what I truly believe in.

<3 I don’t have to put myself first to be important. My (and my sister’s :D) dad is a BOSS. But he never takes credit. He enables. He steps down. More importantly, he puts people first, in order to let their true natures blossom (even though sometimes they blossom in ways that are less palatable lol). His quiet demeanor is the mark of a true leader: a person who lets people ‘do them’ to their very best abilities.

<3 Karma takes care of it. I remember incidences when I was younger and people would mouth off nasty things. My dad would tell me to just shake it off (and always with a smile on his face). He always tells me that what you do is the only thing within your control. Everything else will run it’s course. And that’s where the secret of life lies: if you’re truly doing your best all the time and treating people well, you create a life that you’re always satisfied with. Karma does take care of all those factors that make life a little less awesome. You better believe it!

<3 Most Importantly, stay humble, stay adventurous and stay happy. It’s all within you!!!

Love you daddy! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! God bless you and your every endeavor. <3 Shilpa

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