Monday, April 7, 2014


Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof,

Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth,

Clap along if you know what happiness is to you,

Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do,

Because I am happy....

On a lazy sunday afternoon I felt like a child all over again when I danced to the Pharrell Williams song along with my Sundari. She was my teacher and I was her student. There were flips, Charlestons and shimmys in her choreography. Tossing her hair and clapping her hands, she jived - carefree and happy. Her innocence and exuberance permeated the air and I paused for a minute to catch my breath and savor my moment of "Joie de vivre"!

This is just one small example but imagine how many such simple joys life throws at us and we fail to acknowledge them because we are so caught up with the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Life wears us down and we forget to live in the moment. We are either bogged down by our past or we worry
about the future, thus completely forgetting our present. So this post celebrates life by recognizing those special moments and making time to savor them.

Last month I was reading Jamie Cat Callan's best seller " Bonjour Happiness- secrets to finding your own happiness" and I sensed how much I could relate to the stuff that she mentions in the book and it was then that I mentally started jotting down my "Ahhh - life is good" moments.

* However narcissistic I may sound, I strongly believe that it's very important to love yourself. I have realized that when you love yourself and life in general, you will end up doing everything with love. Even the most mundane things like drinking your morning cuppa will be a joy and you will start relishing it like it's your last cup of coffee on earth.

* After many years, I cooked something gourmet for MYSELF ( read made from scratch butternut squash ravioli topped with brown sage butter and caramelized walnuts). I sat on the couch, put my feet up, inhaled it's aroma, enjoyed it's texture and relished every bite of it. It was certainly one of the many moments of joy in my life.
* So what if it took me an hour and a half to eat a small order of Lao-Mein noodles with chopsticks? I still challenged myself to finish it, because it gave me a sense of accomplishment and I felt good about it. Treat simple things like treasure - Jamie Cat Callan has rightly said in the book.

* Every day is special, so why not feel and look special everyday? Why do we have to look our best only on special occasions? "Red lipstick" does the magic for me. It perks me up instantly, makes me feel powerful and sexy. Wearing one and walking confidently is my all time Joie de vivre.

* How many of you remember Alia Bhat in the ‘pataka guddi’ song from the movie ‘Highway’, inhaling fresh air from a moving truck with her mouth wide open? I liked that particular moment in the song so much that I tried it out many times and loved how it felt.......quite a refreshing feeling it was, a simple moment that made me happy.

* Well, the list is endless, be it sitting by the window and watching the rain or just looking at the full moon, writing letters by hand to my dad or making time to call and tell my friends how much I love and appreciate them, collecting original art or flipping through the pages of VOGUE magazine, admiring my newly grey strands without fighting them or cooking with fresh offers small but happy moments in abundance. It's just that we need to count our blessings, feel grateful for the things and people in our lives and cherish those moments that makes us really happy.

What makes people happy? I wanted to know. I am sure each person finds happiness in his/her own way but I found it quite intriguing to know the perspectives of some of my creative friends from all over the world who have influenced me in some way or the other. When I requested them to be a part of this post they agreed immediately and sent these pictures to me sharing their "ahhh, life is good" moments just for Sage&Slingback!

VIJAYSHREE SINGH: Sub- Editor, The Telegraph, Calcutta

My super confident, happy go lucky friend from Calcutta is always up for new challenges and she finds her Joie de vivre in TRAVEL. Our passion for fashion and Bollywood got us together.
In her own words: "Nothing makes me happier than being in a new place, meeting new people, being part of a different culture and trying the local cuisine".

DIVYA THOMAS: Owner/ designer of Karmasuthra

She looks like million bucks and is known for her bold and intriguing designs from her famous jewelry line "Karmasuthra". She lives in Cary, North Carolina and her joie de vivre is her Peekapoo, LOLA. ‘Lots of love always and it's unconditional’... she says.

KALYANI GANAPATHY: Illustrator and book designer

I fell in love with her paintings and soon started collecting her original works. When I asked her what her Joie de vivre was, pat came the reply "MOUNTAINS".
And this is what she had to tell me about her moment of joy: "I am a visual story teller, I draw stories about friends, strangers and myself. The mountains are my home. I love the fresh air, the ever changing colors of the sky, the vast expanses of forests and rocks, the chill in the breeze. Most importantly, the mountains remind me that I too am a conqueror, I've walked the arduous path to my summit and nothing is impossible".

FAWZIA AFREEN: A fashionista

My Madhubala lookalike friend is from Dhaka, Bangladesh and is a huge Sabyasachi aficionado. This stunner always stands up for a cause and never misses calling ‘A spade a spade’. When asked her about her ‘Ahh .... life is good moment’, she said with a smile, ‘wearing my gorgeous Sabyasachis and watching James Bond movies makes me very happy’.
Yes, it's all about simple pleasure in life folks!

ANNA SEN: Owner/ director - Rhythmax Dance

My fitness guru, my dear friend Anna believes in keeping it simple. "SIMPLICITY" is her joy.
I quote her here:
" I don't color within lines nor reside within a box many a time but that's not rebellion or wildness. It's independence and creativity, it's freedom, it's letting your spirits soar with simplicity and finding that inner sunshine amidst life's unique dance".

I call her my "Annie Leibovitz" as she loves portrait photography and always comes up with new ideas for posing. Her love for photography and my love for fashion & decor amalgamated into this fun photo-shoot in April 2012, resulting in the idea of my own fashion blog. The album "Joie de vivre" was well appreciated and "Sage&Slingback" was born.

On a bright winter afternoon, over a few cups of chai and some creative brainstorming, a fashionista and a shutterbug discover their "Joie de vivre".

I staged my house and we experimented with 4 different looks on that afternoon in a span of 3 hours. Sharing the excerpts from the album....





Today is the best day ever, because it's all you have and that's a blessing. Past is gone, let it go. Future is promised to no one, so quit worrying. This moment, this breath, this life, it's perfect and it's enough!


  1. Gorgeous Gorgeous Gorgeous!!!! Loved every bit of the write up and pictures and the setup..I think you should also start showcasing your home and give us some ideas where to get such lovely chests and decor from? At least i would be highly obliged! Nevertheless everything is beautiful.......

  2. Outstanding! Loved the concept..idea..writing and photography!! Jiyo meri jaan ;)


  3. What Amazing pics and the great joy oozing around. Enjoyed your JOIE DE VIVRE moments!

  4. Stunning visuals with equally powerful backdrops- I love your posts!

  5. Very well written and the pictures were beautiful. Well done Jay, keep it up!!

  6. This is definitely my favorite post on the blog! Love the way you made the little things you enjoy in life your GREATEST pleasures :) Inspiring!