Hi there! My name is Manisha, I’m 22 years old and I’m the author of all the articles and posts you find on The Confessions of A Desi Girl. I know it’s probably weird to read all these blogs, reviews, and advice, without really knowing the person behind it, right? That’s why I thought it’d be fun to do a little Q&A as a fun and easy way for you to get to know me better.
Where am I from?
Simply put, I’m from the Netherlands. I live here, and I was born here. However, this is often not the answer people were looking for (which technically shouldn’t be my problem) so I always like to elaborate it a bit. The thing is, my parents were both born in Suriname (a small country between Guyana and French-Guyana, right on top of Brazil), as were my grandparents. However, their parents, my ancestors, came from India to Suriname at the end of the 19th century. This happened after slavery in Suriname was officially abolished in 1863/1873, so the Dutch colony in Suriname needed other laborers to do their work on the fields. That’s when many Indians came to Suriname to work, and they were promised a better life. They were not considered slaves, as there was a contract made up for each laborer that said they had to work for a number of years and after that they’d be free.
That is how my Indian ancestors started settling in Suriname and how hinduism is currently one of the biggest religions in Suriname. But don’t get me wrong, in fact, Suriname is also one of the few countries were this many religions live together in peace. Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Jews have been living next to each other in Suriname for decades.
Reasons I started blogging
I started this blog in 2013, not exactly knowing what I wanted to do with it. I was 14 years old and all I knew was that I really loved writing, it was a like a creative outlet for me. I used to write so many stories that were loosely based on my own life and events that occured in my life, and it was a great way to let my imaginative mind speak. This website went through lots of transformations (different purposes, different URLs, different layouts) before it finally made its debut as “The Confessions Of A Desi Girl” in 2016 (which, yes, is based on Sophie Kinsella’s “The Confessions Of A Shopaholic” novel because I was and still am obsessed with the Shopaholic-series).
Right now, I know exactly who I am and what I want to do, both in life and with this blog. I want this to be a personal yet public, creative outlet where I share my travel journeys, beauty tips & tricks and product reviews with the world. This is the blog you visit when you’re not sure whether the new The Ordinary serum is worth buying or not; when you’re planning a trip to Spain and you want to know what the must-sees are; or when you’re dealing with dry, dull hair and you want to learn about the natural remedies out there. It’s all on here. And the fun part is, none of my posts or products are sponsored, meaning that I will always give you a very honest review and I can tell you the (unpopular) things that major brands and influencers probably never will.
During my BA Studies in International Business and Languages I got the opportunity to travel; live, study and work in other countries and meet lots of incredible people from all over the world, which I am forever thankful for. Aside from my love for traveling, I always had a flair for languages, which made these studies pretty much perfect for me. During the past four years I also discovered my passion for media and digital marketing, which lead me to my new, current challenge: a Master’s degree in Business Communication and Digital Media. I am working hard to keep developing myself, to keep learning and to become the best version of myself. I like to constantly exceed my own expectations and limits by doing things that terrify me, things I never thought I would, or even could do. Living and working in New York for 6 months, studying in Spain and living on my own for a semester; 14 year old me wouldn’t have dared to dream about this. That is something I always like to think whenever I am about to do something that scares me,“the person I was one year ago would’ve been proud of the person I am today”.
Even after all the traveling, it was always clear to me that I would still like to keep living and pursue a career in the Netherlands. Why? Because living in two extremely different countries also made me realize how grateful I should be to be have grown up here, in a country where health care and education is available for everyone and not just considered a privilege, and where you’re allowed to take a stand and raise your voice and not get punished for it. The Netherlands is definitely not a perfect country with a very flawed political and justice system, but after having seen what it’s like in other countries I still think we’re doing pretty well over here.
What am I passionate about?
If I had opportunity, I would be traveling to the most wonderful places in the world right now. Discovering new countries, new traditions and new cultures is something I love to do, and share with other people. I think traveling brightens one’s view on the world and gives a different perspective, which is what some people really need. Just seeing a little part of the world that you’ve never seen before, can make a huge difference in one’s life.
“Travel far enough, you meet yourself.” – David Mitchell
For the past two to three years, I have been constantly traveling and barely had time to sit back, relax and unwind. Then the pandemic hit us. All my travel plans for 2020 and 2021: cancelled. During this period I started paying more attention to offline activities because staying online 24/7 just wasn’t it. It made me feel exhausted, and at times it even affected my mood. I continued reading English novels which I used to love before my hectic lifestyle took over. From Sophie Kinsella’s iconic Shop-A-Holic series to Kevin Kwan’s romantic comedies, I’ve read it all (and still going strong!).
Other than that, I picked up my love for running outside. It just hits different than running on a treadmill in the gym and it’s definitely healthier for both your body and mind. It makes me feel like I really accomplished something, especially when my body is all sore the next day.
See below for a list of my favorites!
Favorite cuisine(s): Spanish, Greek, Indian
Favorite music genre: (Pop) reggaeton
Favorite type of wine: White for drinks with friends, red for dinner evenings
Favorite makeup product: Concealer (and lip balm, does that count as well?)
Favorite jewelry item: Earrings, you won’t see me leaving the house without any earrings….And I’ve really been loving rings as well lately.
Favorite city: New York City, no doubt.
Favorite country: The thing is, I think each and every country has its own characteristics and features that make it lovable. Whether it’s the food, the people, the culture and traditions, the environment…, you cannot and should not be comparing countries. However, there are three countries I will always be going back to whenever I can: Suriname, Spain, and the United States.
Favorite accessory: That would be my bag? Or else, my sunglasses. (Fun fact: I don’t like to take pictures with my sunglasses on, I feel like my eyes are one of my prettiest features so I don’t like to hide them).
Favorite cold drink: Ice tea, Coca-Cola, cold water…., lemonade, so many favorites!
Favorite hot drink: Definitely coffee, no doubt there. I’m a huge coffee-lover. In fact, I think my body has gotten used to my daily caffeine intake so I might actually not be able to go one day without coffee. Oh god, I might have a problem.
Favorite fragrance: Chloé Signature Eau de Parfum
Favorite sport: Running (does this count as my favorite when it’s in fact the only type of sport I do?)
Favorite ice cream flavor: Mint chocolate chip (yes, the green one, don’t come for me!) but I’ve also been loving the combination of salted-caramel and chocolate lately.
Favorite body part: *Phoebe’s voice* “My eyes, my eyes!!!”
Favorite Holiday: Christmas. Even though I’m not a big fan of cold weather, I love snow and hot chocolates and just the overall Christmas vibes. Everyone seems to be in a great state of mind which is lovely to see.