Sunday, 6 December 2015

Drive Design and Connect with Kolkata

I was really intrigued by this city where I lived in the seventies. Dominique Lapierre called it the “City Of Joy”. The book centers around the slums called Anand Nagar where people facing the most wretched of circumstances look at the brighter side of life. Thus the drive of the people is tremendous; A city with tremendous Joie De Vivre. It is a city that we connect with personalities like Mother Teresa and Stephen Kovalski who lived and helped the poorest of the poor. The people of Kolkata are very well read. There is a lot of cultural diversity in the city where the people live in tolerant coexistence. When Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was shot by her Sikh body guards 30 years back Sikhs all over India died in community violence. There were no deaths in Kolkata which was attributed mainly to a curfew but also to the ethnic mixture culture of the city. Kolkata has been called as the “City of Furious, Creative Energy” as well as the cultural capital of India. Kolkata is also known for its literary, artistic and revolutionary heritage. One can also connect with the city through a political graffiti depicting everything from outrageous witty banter and limericks, to caricatures and propaganda. Kolkata is the main commercial and financial hub of East and North East India and home to Calcutta Stock Exchange. Kolkata has many buildings adorned with Indo-Islamic and Indo-saracenic architectural motifs. Many buildings in Calcutta are heritage structures. In Indian Museum there are large collections that showcase Indian Natural History and Indian Art. Marble Palace is a classic example of a European Mansion. The Victoria Memorial is also well known. The National library of India is the leading Public Library in the Country while Science City is the largest Science Center in the Indian Subcontinent. In Bow Bazaar of Kolkata we find a cultural mix of Chinese, Jews, Buddhists, Portuguese and more. The main artery of Bowbazaar is B.B Ganguly Street. It has a vegetable market and, a carpentry quarter. We also see Chinese shops with prawn crackers, water chestnuts and Chinese breakfasts of fish ball soup.  The noodles, Incense sticks, dried mushrooms, and strings of Chinese sausage remind us of Shanghai or Soho. Chatwala Gali is well known for sweet treats. The Bengalis are known for their sweet tooth. Rasogollas and milk sweets are famous. Changes in Calcutta have been slow. It has not changed much over the years despite the fact that the Bengalis are well read. What is still so charming is the cultural heritage and the people of the place. It is best to visit the city during the Durga Pooja. The ethnic fervor with which the festival is celebrated helps us to connect to the city and its culture.

Note: This entry is written for Tata Motors for their #madeofgreat zonal war.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015


During my student days I always loved the company of my cousins and was really close to them. We were living very close by and I used to stay most of my holidays with them. We were of the same age group and watched movies and ate out regularly during vacations. I was the first to get married. My fiance was working abroad and had to leave India within a week after marriage. I got into a different world and slowly was losing touch with my cousins. Within a year they too got married and settled down in different states in India. About 20 years passed; I visited India 4 times but never got to meet them. We were connecting by Chat but it was so informal and can never replace the real.

Though I was happy spending my time with my husband, children and my new friends, I started thinking of good old days spent with my cousins in their house in Chennai. I was getting nostalgic thinking about the time we spent together eating Pizza's, watching movies and I decided to make my next trip long enough to spend some time with them. One of the main hurdles is the different school timings. I discussed with my husband and he agreed to take care of our school going child so that I can leave in Summer to India. He planned to join me about a month later with our child.

I discussed with my cousins and decided they will come to my house and stay for 3 days during my stay. I was nervous, waiting for those 3 days, not sure how my cousins would have changed during these 20 years. So when the day came I ordered Pizzas so that we can have enough time to spend together. Little did I realize that my cousin would propose a trip to a nature store. There had abundant groceries, vegetables and all were organic and grown without the use of pesticides and our old favorite Kissan. We helped ourselves to few bags of vegetables and groceries and landed back at home. We were discussing each of our stories and what we have been doing including our spouses and children over the last 20 years. In no time we cooked a delicious meal and had our lunch. We decided to go for a movie in the evening. We felt 20 years younger and waved an auto to stop with the same style as we used to do in younger days. We planned to visit our aging grandma, who took care of us in our younger days, the next day. Our grandma was very pleased to see the three of us together as we went down the memory lane. It was the feel of human touch that moved all of us. We spent the next visiting places in the city. We realized how much we missed each other and the inadequacy of being in touch by digital means. I promised to inform them in advance my trips to India so that we can plan real get together.

Note: This blog was written for Kissan.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Dabur Honey for good health

The saying Health is wealth is certainly true to a certain extent.  So
a balanced diet is very important. It is also very important in young
children so that they can function better mentally. For everyone
Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. We all lead
such busy lives nowadays and with the woman also  having  careers it
is important to remember to have healthy balanced meals. Healthy
balanced meals keeps our energy levels high and keep us way from
frequent visit to the Doctors.  With a lot of fast food joints
mushrooming the younger generation are eating in a very unhealthy way.
As a result of this they get  blood pressure and Diabetes at an
early age. They also want to look very thin and resort to crash diets
at home also.

A balanced healthy diet comprises of adequate amount of protein  and
five to six servings of fresh fruits and vegetables. Some certainly
seem aware of the importance of Balanced healthy diets and have
started including millets in their diets. Millets are healthy and have
adequate amounts of calcium iron and protein.  Millets like ragi,
sammai and fox millet have become very popular. Brown rice is also
becoming popular and replacing the white.

Honey has always been a part of our diets from ancient times and is
known for its health benefits.  Honey Diet helps in weight management,
helps to fight against cold and is also a blood purifier.  It aids in
digestion  and  also acts as blood purifier.  Honey moisturizes  and
nourishes  the skin making it look youthful.  Dabur honey is the best
grade of Honey available. It goes through strict quality checks
before being  processed.  The entire processing  procedure of honey is
done in extremely hygienic  conditions. The honey that  comes  out  is
very pure .  Nowadays  everyone  tries  to add a spoonful to their
diet  for  its nutritional properties. Children  love  smoothies  in
the summer.  It will be more nutritious  if they  added  a spoonful
of honey.  Some  recipes  that are delicious with  honey  are diary
free honey  bread.  Dabur  honey  is used  exclusively  for this
recipe. Granola bars with a mixture of nuts  can be  made using honey.
This is a very healthy  snack for young and old alike. Another
favorite snack  happens to be  cauliflower  fritters  fried in oil
and coated with a topping of honey and sesame seeds. Fruit salads and
deserts topped with honey are delicious.

In the past Honey was a thing in our grandma’s pantry. Now all of us
consume it everyday knowing its wonderful properties. For the beauty
conscious  Honey is a must as it makes the skin glow. It is always
better to go for a reputed brand while buying Honey. Dabur Honey is
certainly the best.

This blog is written for Dabur Honey and Honey Diet.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Technology to the Rescue

Cricket was always a passion for me from my childhood days.  I
remember playing cricket in the roads in Delhi with my peers. In the
seventies cricket was a rage among us youngsters. Sunil Gavasker
used to be the captain.  Ravi Shashtri and Kapil Dev were other
cricket players who held the nation's interest. We also used to follow
the personal lives of the cricketers.  Cricketers always get into
politics and also in the glitz and glamour of the film world.
Cricketers are always chased by beautiful film stars. All this
grapevine interested me and added a halo around the game. In the
childhood days we have so much time to watch cricket.  Parents took
care and all our time was spent glued to the television sets and
picking up all the gossip about the cricketers and their interesting
lives.  Now that I am married and I have lot of responsibilities I do
not much time to sit in front of the television. I am a mother, a wife
and a career woman.  I work from home as a computer consultant and
drop my children at various activities. Some time I am never at home
and I am always on the move.  Technology came to the rescue and I now
have UC browser in my phone. I am able to get hold of commentaries on
the move.  I am able to surf faster with U C browser.  I now have a
ball by ball update wherever I go. Technology makes our lives
enjoyable and comfortable.  This could not be possible twenty years
back.  Just like soccer in the United States, Cricket is a mania for
most of us in India.  Cricket now has come with a change. Initially it
was only through gluing to the television sets. Now through mobile
phones and UC browser cricket scores are at our finger tips every
moment of the day. I prefer watching cricket to watching movies. We
should have some form of entertainment to keep our lives stress free.
Most of us woman folk are busy throughout the day attending to some
task or the other. I find UC browser in my phone extremely useful
while we ladies are in the tennis class or dance class picking up our
children. With the regular cricket updates we young mothers are able
to have an interesting conversation in which the youngsters also join
in. So much for surfing faster in the phone using UC Browser.

Cricket is still is an obsession for us Indians.  With globalization
all of us have very busy careers.  This user friendly browser is
certainly a boon for us cricket enthusiasts. With UC browser I am able
to have time for cricket while paying attention to my family and

This blog is written for UC Browser.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015


I found the article on Beauty to be extremely useful and interesting. Beauty tips are always interesting. I love looking nice and make a monthly visit to the parlor to care for my skin and hair. Otherwise Pollution and the effects of aging will have its own effects on them. Indian Women were first only using basically turmeric for the skin and shikakai for the hair. Now for the last twenty years we use a lot of technology in both skin and hair care.

My skin has always given me a lot of problems. It is very oily. The article gave some wonderful tips on managing oily skin. It says to avoid being outdoors from 9 to 3 as being outdoors too much in the sun increases oil production.  I use sunscreen regularly. It is advised to use oil reducing salicylic acid sunscreen. We should keep the skin hydrated. Use minimum of makeup and foundation. Eat vitamin A rich foods like carrots and spinach that slow down oil production. I found all these tips very useful as I have a very oily complexion. I also have a lot of blackheads in my face and some excellent remedies were suggested some of which worked like magic.  Some effective methods which I later suggested to my friends were using an egg mask, cinnamon and Honey strips, Bentonite clay, Honey and milk pore strips. The antibacterial agents in the honey keep the blackhead causing bacteria away while acting as adhesive to pull out anything clogging the pores. Cinnamon improves the blood circulation and gives skin a healthy glow.  The Olay products were very good. The Olay Regenerist revitalizing cream cleanser proved to be a wonderful product and cleaned the skin without overdrying. The olay anti aging cream seemed a good product and I started using it after consulting my dermatologist.

The Hair care tips were also very useful. I basically have very thin hair and the Nioxin treatment advised in the article seemed very new and informative. According to the article Nioxin uses advanced technologies to deliver fuller denser looking hair.  The Nioxin therapy uses three steps. Cleanse optimize and treat approach. The therapy involves massaging the scalp to stimulate and nourish the scalp to help attain full growth potential.  I started using the Pantene conditioner after reading about it in the article.
Every Woman likes to look beautiful. All the beauty products mentioned in rewards me are new products so for those of us who have lost touch the article is really enlightening.

I am participating in the ‘Ready For Rewards’ activity for Rewardme in association with BlogAdda.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

A warm hug

My Dad was not somebody you could miss!  He had also been the Post Master General of Chennai before he retired. My sisters and I used  to be proud that he was such a prominent personality in Chennai. Our friends would be in awe of my father.  My father would come in the Television News Flashes and we would jump excitedly seeing him. As my father held such an important position, we lived in a sprawling bungalow with a bevy of servants. Apart from this, my father was a very interesting man who had a variety of interests. We shared his interests. He loved collecting stamps and also loved Music and Cinema. He had the most wonderful collection of stamps. Our love for music was inherited from him. I remember him listening to his  favorite  music before going to bed. He had a taste for Carnatic and Western music. I remember enjoying the Carnatic music season  with him and I still remember my trips to the concerts with him. Western Classical was  his favorite too right from Bach to Beethovan. He would take us for movies like "Sound of music", "Gone With The Wind " and "Fiddler on the Roof". I remember particularly enjoying watching "Fiddler on the roof" with him. We used to listen to the Bournvita  Quizz and my father encouraged us to play Chess and Scrabble and thus stimulate our intellect. When the grand children came our Lego blocks and Puzzles  were brought out and my father almost became a child playing with them. We were four daughters and my father loved us to dress up. I remember him complimenting us on our choice and we really used to enjoy his attention. 

Now that my father is in his sixties I feel he has slowed down. Age seems to have caught up with him. Lost is his vigour. He seems like a pale shadow of the man he was. He has lost  interest in music which he so much loved.  But his eyes light up when he sees us. When we get together with my father we try to forget our families for a bit and remember the good old days. This father's day we spent our  time thinking a lot of the past. We shared anecdotes and incidents. The house echoed with laughter.  My father loved every minute of the family time. There was a familiar glint in his eye and when I gave him a hug on Father's Day he seemed happier than ever before. 

This father’s day, I am expressing my love towards my dad by participating in the #HugYourDad activity at BlogAdda in association with Vicks.

Monday, 15 June 2015

An Unforgettable Evening at the Concert

Music and dance is in my blood. I grew up with Carnatic music as well as pop. Yes! We had a mix of the old and new as far as music and dance was concerned. Abba and Beatles interested me though my friends showed little interest in this kind of pop music. When I was growing up I hummed to various tunes of English and Hindi music. Dances also held my fascination. I grew up learning Bharatnatyam and Kathak. When I had children I had little time for music or dance. Parenting seemed serious business and I was quite preoccupied.

Then when the children reached their teenage years I became more free  and the idiot box and the audio system held my interest. I started attending music concerts during weekends. One weekend I saw the advertisement of artistes Allu Arjun and Anushka Machanda. I decided to go for the show. Allu Arjun danced with a lot of fluidity and ease in his moves.  He was a natural dancer with rhythm in his moves. I felt like dancing to his steps. Anushka's voice was really wonderful and her singing and Allu 's dancing mingled well. Anushka's pop number and Allu's dance seemed something out of this world. Anushka  seemed like a natural singer and the strains of the music were a feast to the ears on that warm June evening. Anushka had been part of the Pop group called Viva. I remember hearing her sing long time back and there was more maturity and appeal in her singing. Allu really danced well swaying his body well. Both the dancer and singer mesmerized the audience. The audience tapped their feet to the sound of music and clapped their hands. Such rhythm and coordination left the audience spellbound. I was really happy I came for the show. The evening that I spent at the concert seemed a change from my daily humdrum . The fast number left my heart soaring. Music and dance has been in our culture for years and as a result of globalization has evolved in its own way. Among the younger generation the interest for the traditional forms of music and dance are fast disappearing. Change seems to be in the air and Rock and pop culture is fast catching up and loved by the young. I really enjoyed this concert of Allu and Anushka and I felt I should attend more such concerts to break the monotony. Anushka Machanda's singing was really wonderful and later I heard many of her songs in Hindi and Tamil.  Music and dance are wonderful ways to de-stress and my husband and I felt very relaxed after attending the concert.

I am blogging for #MaxFreshMove activity at Are you?

Friday, 12 June 2015

Radiant Skin

Women are always obsessed by beauty. Cleopatra had bath in asses milk to look beautiful and have a good complexion. A woman's beauty is highlighted by her skin and hair. Indian woman can really boast of excellent skin. Our grandmothers and mothers have lot of beauty secrets that they share with us. Our grandmothers answer to beautiful skin was Turmeric and yoghurt. When we are children we have excellent skin but as time goes by we loose our beautiful skin.This is partly because of aging and the effects of pollution. Ayurveda and Vicco Turmeric has been on the shelfs and for the woman to use for the past twenty five years. Vicco turmeric is mainly turmeric and does wonders for the skin. It helps with oily skin problems and clears the skin of pimples and blackheads.

Other tips for radiant skin is to drink at least eight glasses of water. This keeps the skin moisturized. Eating 4 or five helpings of fruits helps to keep skin radiant. Pomegranates and citrus fruits keeps our complexion radiant. Coconut water is excellent for the skin. The more the antioxidants the better is the tone of the skin as it breaks the free radicular damage caused due to aging and other external factors like pollution. Green tea with its rich supply of antioxidants is excellent. Have a cup of green tea every day. Sunscreens are important as it protects our skin from the harmful UV radiation of the sun. Sunscreens protect us from aging. It's important to use a sunscreen even on a cloudy day to keep our skin radiant and youthful. It is important to use a sunscreen with SPF higher than 30.  A daily intake of spinach is recommended. Alpha omega fatty acids found in walnuts and flax seeds keeps our skin glowing. Fruit facials like papaya face mask enhances our beauty. Regular intake of papaya with its vitamin A content keeps our complexion glowing. Shahnaz Hussain  has a wide array of beauty potions for radiant skin. They are all herbal products. Her products are very reputed and mainly caters to the upper middle class and the Rich. Many Holly wood actors right from Liz Taylor used to buy her products and boast of a complexion envied by all. Shahnaz Hussain's  complexion is an advertisement of her products and how effective they are. With the advent of the working savy woman skin care has become very advanced. We have people going to the dermatologists for facial peels and dermabrasion. Dermabrasion levels the skin, evens the skin tone and reduces the effects of sun damage and other imperfections or flaws in the skin. A woman of Today wants to look beautiful even past middle age so the sunscreen and moisturizer has become a part of her daily regime. To keep the skin from darkening sunscreens are  recommended from the teenage years. Among natural products daily intake of Amla is recommended. Naomi campbell and other celebrities also take lots of supplements to keep their complexion glowing. They say "Beauty is only skin deep" but which woman doesn't want to look beautiful forever.

Note: This blog is written for VICCO Turmeric Cream

Saturday, 6 June 2015

"The Finish Line"

                            Statue of Liberty courtesy:

Dreams goals aspirations this is what keeps us moving and leads us to success in our life. Goals make us think big and reach greater heights.
Well I followed a goal and so I am the person I am today.  I pursued the American Dream and my mentor was my mothers cousin who had migrated to the to the United States in the nineteen sixties. The photos, the stories that they shared made me spell bound. I remember the photos of Walt Disney World  that they shared with us. Lovely glossy photos with the dolphins performing feats watched by millions. America! The land of plenty! The beautiful sprawling homes and the life style of the Americans beckoned to me. So I decided to to write my GRE. I passed my GRE  and left for the United States. Now it is twenty five years since I came to the United States and I have loved every bit of it. It was tough starting out in a foreign country though America is a friendly nation of immigrants. Every step was a challenge. Though I was a strict vegetarian, I had to try non-vegetarian food just so that I would not stay hungry. Many a time I used to think of home when the cold winds of New York
bit my face.  My perseverance paid and after my education at a good School in the United States I landed a job in a good company. I am now living the American dream in a sprawling house with four cars. If I had not a goal in front of me I would not be the person I am today. So dream big as every dream precedes a goal.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

'Fool Me Twice'

My husband and I had a whirl wind courtship and we finally got married. He was the dark handsome hero of my life. We were really in love with each other falling in each other's arms oblivious to the world. He was a very good looking man, a man who one could not miss when he entered a room. Full six feet tall, with rugged features  a man, women could scarcely miss. We had been married for two years and I still thought there was love and ambers still glowed. But I started having doubts when I found a perfumed handkerchief in his pant pocket. He confronted me saying nothing was amiss and his colleague's handkerchief had come to his pocket by mistake. I believed him. But fate had it that I caught my husband and colleague in a restaurant in very close quarters. I confronted my husband openly in the restaurant with his beau. What followed was tears and quarrels. My husband promised me this would never happen again. My parents who did not want the whole thing to end in Divorce adviced me to forgive him. I did it  with much reluctance. Five years passed and I almost forgave him and We had even a beautiful daughter. My husband was a doting father. One day when I was using his cell phone I came across some intimate messages from a woman called Rita. I could not bear it anymore and walked out of the apartment and left for my parents house. I sobbed at my parents arms and told them about his infidelity and that too for the second time. My parents sympathized with me and from than onwards my husband and I have separated. Marriage is a bondage formed with trust and when my husband fooled me twice we had to seperate. Not all marriages are made in heaven. 

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

At first sight

My brother who was studying in the United States had got engaged. I was very excited. He had got engaged to a girl in the Detriot. She had studied with her in Toledo University. I was to visit Toledo shortly. I had seen photos of the girl and heard so many stories of her. I was dying to see her. It excited me that it was a love marriage. My brother had really broken the arranged marriage trend that had seemed the trend in our family. As I got on the flight I was more excited than ever. I had seen photos of her but nothing like seeing her in person. I was received in the apartment by my brother and his fiancée. She was a cheerful petite girl. She seemed quite beautiful and I couldn't take my eyes off her. She had a easy wit and humor. I liked the way she kept the apartment. The Apartment was kept in a very artistic way. She seemed multitalented in a lot of ways. She seemed to be a dress designer and interior decorator too. She made me feel at ease and had cooked a variety of dishes for my first visit. Thus she seemed a very warm person. I felt very happy at my brothers choice. I conveyed to my mother what a lovely companion my brother had chosen. My future sister in law made a lovely first impression and I was really happy at my brothers choice.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

A Trip down Memory Lane

I remember as if it was yesterday that my daughter was born in the pink birthing room in a hospital room in Alexandria, Virginia in the United States. She was a beautiful baby right from childhood with lovely dark hair. All the other babies that were in the baby room were bald and the nurses and doctors exclaimed at her fair skin and beautiful hair that covered her completely. The first years were fun watching my baby coo and chuckle. Our trips to the paedritrician were informative as well as fun as we watched her grow anxiously. We spent a second childhood with her in many ways. I had always loved reading and passed my love of books to her. We proudly watched her trick or treating as Snowhite in tha Mall. We watched her with pride when she won a spelling bee competition in her school. She started driving her bicycle without training wheels which made me glow with pride. She would compete equally with the boys right from rock climbing to go karting. She got her  drivers lIcense quite easily and soon was painting the town red with her car. When we came back to India after being in US for fifteen years the culture shock hit us all equally. But I am proud to say my daughter adapted very soon. She continued her Bharathnatyam classes and soon gave her Arangetram performance. My husband and I wiped unshed tears as she gave dance performance with confidence, grace and elegance. The chief guest was none than the accomplished danseuse Shobana. My daughter completed her schooling with flying colours. Accolades and more Accolades when she came first in the All India Examination in  Pshychology. There were only two seats in the forward category in psychology and she got in the forward quota. So it has been always been Accolades, graffiti raining on us from the time my daughter was born. Among her many accomplishments have been writing, a gift which few people have. When she published her young adult fiction at eighteen our whole family was in the limelight. The media was at our doorstep and we enjoyed being chased by the Papparazi. Yes it certainly has been a joyous, fun filled and interesting childhood with my daughter full of happy memories. As I look at my daughter sitting beside me on the couch I cannot believe it was yesterday that I had nestled that cherub in my arms.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Pepsi Advertisements - My votes

I nominate the "Free Hugs" Crash the Pepsi video as the best advertisement. It is funny and also brings out how people love Pepsi. The music in the background is very nice and came alive and had a lovely lilt. It seems like a great advertisement and I really loved it. I particularly liked the advertisement on how the man draws the girl's attention by displaying the Free Pepsi sign and when she is drinking Pepsi, he changes it back to free hugs which even amused the girl in the advertisement. This advertisement is fun, brings out the craze for the drink and is sure to be liked by one and all. Overall this is a wonderful advertisement with a good chance of being voted a winner.

My second vote is for the "Sharing is Caring" Crash the Pepsi video. I almost danced seeing the advertisement. The three girls after opening their Pepsi cans and performing cheers with pepsi foam oozing out, sees a man who seemed alone and sad.  I particularly liked the advertisement because it was so caring. When they share the drink with the man, his face lights up and becomes very happy, performs cheers and starts dancing with them. This reminds me of the three musketeers that we all have read in our school days with a bit of modern day glamour attached. This advertisement, in my opinion is a close second.

My third vote is for the Crash the Pepsi IPL ad by Vallatic Films. It starts off with different people men, women, girls and boys of all ages opening Pepsi bottles and enjoying the drink. This shows how refreshing the drink is and how it is loved by people of all ages. As the ad shows more and more people drinking Pepsi directly from bottles, the music picks up tempo and starts beating faster. I really like how they create the collage at the end of the advertisement.

Most videos were really good and choosing the winner is no easy task. When you look into the details of the advertisement and the sublimal messages produced by the advertisements, some really stand out even in the case of stiff competition. The winning advertisement should be able to hold the attention of the viewer who is generally happy to switch channels whenever the advertisement starts. I believe the above three advertisements are capable of holding the viewers attention and fall in that category.

I'm voting for the best ads in the #crashtheIPL activity in association with BlogAdda from 8th May to 14th May. Are you?

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Book Review of Ramayana the Game of Life

Ramayana the Game of life is written very well. It portrays all main characters very well. Keikayi and Manthara seem ruthless in putting the king Dasratha in anguish. The scene when Keikayi  asks for her Boons and asks Rama be sent to the forest and Baratha  to  be  crowned as king is heartrending. The anguish and sorrow felt by Kaushalya is heart rending. Life comes to a standstill in Ayodhya when Rama is sent to the forest.  The devotion of Sita is worth commenting about in the book. She is the typical Indian woman of yore so devoted to her husband. The coarse grass where she sleeps in the forest does not make her complain. She is just happy to be with her lord. She wants to share her Happiness and sadness with him in the forest.  The other persons that one can talk definitely about is lakshmana and Bharata. Bharata is very angry with his mother for chasing away Rama and his devotion and brotherly love is very well described in the book that brings tears to our eyes. Thus this Ramayana written by Shubha Vilas once again brings our epic in front of our eyes and we see the characters come alive in our eyes. In this era of Harry potter, Princess Diaries and other such fiction our Epics have totally disappeared off our tables. The Ramayana has a lot to teach the present generation and I am glad it has come back with its same vigor and values with Shubh Vilas narration. Shubh Vilas simple language is appealing and the portrayal of the characters have been done very well. In a country like India where culture is slowly disappearing Authors like Shubh Vilas are keeping the beacon of our culture still burning. The whole epic of Ramayana revolves round love. Sita for her love for Rama. Lakshmana's love is also something we cannot describe in words. Lakshmana was engaged in serving Rama for fourteen years. And Urmila showed inertia in serving Lakshmana for sleeping for fourteen years. Both of them served the one they loved and showed mental proximity uneffected by physical distance. Ramayana as an epic tells us to handle life positively. It also teaches us to handle temptation. Shubh Vilas Ramayana teaches us how relationships work in this world and how we should handle love hate and other emotions. The Mahabharata and Ramayana and Gandhism are epics which are totally disappearing. It was certainly refreshing to read the Ramayana once again and go through that  merry go round of emotions and virtues. Kudos to Subh Vilas for making the beautiful epic come alive with all it's full meaning in front of my eyes. 

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Monday, 11 May 2015

My First Expert

My mother has always been a colorful personality. When we were growing she used to fill the room with sunshine. A woman full of sunshine and laughter. Even now my mother is a person whom one cannot miss in a room full of people and has a strong magnetic personality. Though I am forty years old I still miss her and call her everyday and pick on bits of news and gossip about our kith and kin. 

My mother would always be waiting for us when we got back from school. We lived in a number of places in India and my mother would easily pick up the language and culture of that place and share it with us. When we were at Calcutta my mother would  eagerly wait for us with "samosas" and Rasogullas and wait for us to come from school  and want us to share all interesting incidents from school. She would want to share all incidents that took place at school. We used to live in Calcutta  and it used to be a wonderful shopping haven and I remember the common love that myself and my mother used to have for shopping. The endless clothes that we used to buy and after coming home how I used to wear the clothes and my mother used to look at me proudly. These are some fond memories that I share with my mother. I used to be a utterly spoilt child and buy clothes for other peoples birthdays. Thus I grew up as a little princess during my teenage years and the spoilt daughter of my mother. My mother made my growing up years fun filled and made me a multitasker. I still remember the cakes we used to bake and the fun and laughter we used to share amidst flour filled hands.

My years at medical college were proud moments for my mother and I tried to share a little of my medical knowledge with my mother who seemed an interesting listener. My graduation was indeed a proud moment in my parents life, a moment that they cherish a lot and always have fond memories. 

My marriage was a very grand affair and I still remember my mothers involvement in it. I still remember my mother teasing me when she saw me blushing when I saw my fiancée. The saris picked by my mother were really fabulous and we still look at the album and congrajulate each other at the excellent choice of saries. We still remember fondly how many boutiques we trudged to make our choices. 

My most wonderful memories that I even share with my mom are when I delivered my  first baby in the United States. The whole novelty of the experience we share now many a time. The birthing pink room, the Lamaze classes, the short hospital stay and the epidural injection are all highlights of my daughters birth in the United states twenty years ago of which we both share vivid memories.  Bringing up my toddler was a joy and my mother was with me to share that joy. The lovely high tech toys and  the comfort of diapers made babyhood very easy and my mother and I still have vivid memories of how we enjoyed it. The theme parks at Unites States brought its own joy and we became almost like children when we took my toddler there. 

My mother still holds a special place in my life. Other than sharing memories and laughter I make sure I give her a very special gift on Mothers Day. 

This blog is written for Godrej.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

A New Beginning

Kapil Dev looks as charming as ever when he talks about the new league that is coming up. Initially cricket needs to be played with the heart but for the new league that was coming up you need to have more zeal to play. Times have changed and it is more difficult to win the new League. With ever increasing competition, it is certainly difficult to win the New League. Kapil is getting a little nostalgic about his retirement days. He talks about how his mentor would never allow him to take retirement and beautifully told him "Kabhi  nahi Kabhi nahi". He talks about friend Dhoni's upcoming retirement. He is once again talking about the new league and how he would get a hit wicket if he plays for the New League. It is very competitive to play for the new league. In Indian sports there is lot of money involved. Kapil Dev says that in his times he did not make much money while playing cricket. But the current generation of young cricketers and other sports people are really doing well. Kapil feels happy that Yuvraj was able to make as much as 16 crores while playing for the IPL. He played with his heart while playing the Game but the New League that Kapil is talking about needs something more than the heart  to play. Though Kapil has become a big star every one still  feels like calling him Bitoo. Yes! Kapil has been always been a big star but still everyone  likes to call him by his pet name. He asked to follow the Twitter handle and he will know what kind of League it is. So Kapil dev is saying it is a special type of League and it needs something more than playing from the heart. More enthusiasm and more perseverance to play in the League and make the game a success. Kapil Dev's drawling voice has a special charm and the message was appealing and to the point. Kapil Dev still has not lost his appeal and the message certainly seems to be a crowd puller. I was reminded of the Kapil Dev of the seventies and the man seems to have matured with age. Kudos! to Kapil Dev, truly the star of Indian Cricket. Kapil Dev may have left the cricket field years back but I feel he should continue with commenting as he has so much knowledge to impart to his peers. Watching him and his commentary filled me with new enthusiasm for the game. Cricket is played with much fervour in India and Kapil Dev is one of the cricketers who has kept the candle for this sport burning. Kudos to Kapil and let us follow him on his new twitter account.

Note: This blog post is written for Ek Nayi League.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Crash the Pepsi IPL

The Pepsi advertisements seems very alluring and appealing. They seem very romantic and sets my adrenaline  pumping. I loved the advertisement of a couple staring into each other's eyes and watching the  IPL. The tilt of music is a lovely punjabi  dialect. The girl lifts her chin and looks at the boy in a sexy way. In this lively advertisement the Pepsi can is opened and the Pepsi fizzes out. The dances are very good with the song IPL hall uh machao. The totally relaxing IPL advertisements are great.  One shows the calming waters of  the ocean which seems soothing for the mind. Watching the ocean is as soothing as watching a bottle of Pepsi being opened. In the beach hotties two people share a bottle of Pepsi together. The backdrop of the beach is alluring. The yellow top worn by the girl looks very colorful against the blue waters of the ocean. I loved the advertisements. It made my heart sing like never before. The advertisement by Karan Sagar is hilarious. The boys and girls look so chic and I love their dancing and fast tune of the background music. The cricket video by Paul J Kokkat was hilarious with the girls diving and catching the ball.  The action replay of the video is also very good. Pranav Bhasin asks for water and finally decides between water and pepsi. Pepsi wins as he chooses to drink pepsi. The pepsi can came out popping and the fizzing of the soda is nice to watch. All the Pepsi advertisements are against different backdrops and terrains right from beaches to sunsets to deserts. The direction and the action replay are fantastic. IPL is certainly lucky to have this advertiser as a sponsor. The light effects and photography are really excellent. It is nice to see a young population watching India's favorite game amidst jubilation applause and share so much excitement. The music accompanying the video seems excellent and I feel like dancing with the young population and share their exuberance. In mera secret the boy spends time in the auto rickshaw and spends time listening to cricket commentary on the way. Pepsi hai Sath me to kismat Hai. Once again an advertisement in the cricket pitch is Ek tarika Pepsi Chinneka. That is a lovely advertisement. Each of these advertisements take us to a different land and Pepsi certainly seems to add zing to our lives.

Check out the #CrashThePepsiIPL videos & participate in the activity at BlogAdda.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Dil Ki Deal in Las Vegas

I have always been a people's person. I love to laugh, mingle with people and share something with them. I grew up in a big joint family so I am what I am. A "people's person". Two very special people in my life are my mother and mother in Law.

My mother has always been a strong influence in my childhood. I am a good housekeeper a cook and a multitasker, all because of my mother. A person full of sunshine and laughter and very multitalented person . She still adds some spark to my life and I love it when she visits us. She is also a favorite with the grandchildren, tossing a favorite recipe.

My mother-in-law is another favorite person who has always treated me more like a daughter than a daughter-in-law. After marriage I studied and have a career even now. These are the two special people in my life. "Mothers day" was fast approaching and I wanted this mother's day to be special and something they would remember.  Two very special people who had sacrificed so much to see me happy. Well I decided to take them on a "Cox and Kings" ten day trip of the United States.

 Among all the places they visited, they loved Las Vegas. My mother and mother-in-law exclaimed at amazement  when  they saw the wide road and the beautiful greenery and landscaping at Las Vegas. They enjoyed and shouted at everything that was new to them in the United States. Then I took them inside the casinos. They were amazed at the dresses worn by some of the ladies and men. They were dressed formally some of them depicting fictional characters. Ladies and Men were seen playing Poker. My mothers eyes nearly popped out when she saw the casino. They gambled at the slot machines and won and lost randomly. But the experience was terrific for the two women who had never traveled  much from home. The glitz, the glamour and the fictional aura of the place made them exclaim with wonder. They loved being in Las Vegas on "Mothers day" a tale to tell all their family. When we went back to our rooms they hugged me and they said the day had been very special and they were happy I was sharing and returning their love. Other spots they loved in United States were Grand canyon and skiing in Colorado springs.

So by taking the two favorite women in my life on a ten day trip to the United States I fulfilled my dream by seeing them so happy.

I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdeal activity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal.

ASUS Zenfone 2/The great Smart Phone Experience

I initially had Nokia 3310. My husband gave it to me ten years back and I have been having it for a good many years. The Nokia proved to be an old fashioned but reliable phone. Not a great phone to show off with but something that came very handy and I loved it because of its handiness. Then when I decided to buy a smartphone I decided the Asus Zenphone 2 would be my next buy because of its many attractive features.

I  always loved all things bright and beautiful. And I liked its design  and appearance a lot. It had a bold elegant look. It is also rear mounted and the shutter button is ideally positioned for your index finger. It also has a seventy two percent screen to body ratio for a maximum viewing experience so that everything is bigger, brighter and more beautiful. 

The Asus Zen phone 2 is powered by a 2.3 GHz 64  bit Intel Atom Z3580 processor and has a 4 GB RAM and the gaming experience is 7 times faster than its predecessor. One can enjoy features like web surfing, smooth video play back great gaming experience and multitasking. The Intel Inside logo gives a lot of confidence.

The 13 megapixel master camera produces stunning high resolution photos with zero shutter lag. It's superior technology captures 400 percent brighter photos at night or in low light scenes without the need for a flash. The super HDR also let's you see clearly  through day time shadow and when more light enters Zenfone 2's  real tone flash ensures warm skin tones and accurate color. 

Asus Zen fone has an exclusive technology that charges devices much faster than traditional speeds.Thus the battery is charged upto 60 percent in more than 39 minutes and its battery is 3000mAH much more powerful than most other batteries. 

It has a dual sim capacity has its own advantages. It's technology is highly efficient so that you will never miss a call. One can make and receive calls on sim one and if some one tries to contact you on sim two you can switch easily. 

Just thinking of the Asus Zenfone 2  makes me very excited. My old Nokia  seems old boring compared to that. I am a person who loves  new technology and innovations. The new Asus Zenfone 2 seems to be a thing of marvel and beauty , I believe it is going to come with exciting accessories. I am sure by getting this phone I am going to be the envy of my friends and relatives. 

Kudos to ASUS Zenfone 2. Looks like it is going to be a dream come true and looking forward to flaunt it in front of my friends.

This post is written for ASUS Zenfone 2.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

My Dil Ki Deal story

I was in my third year of college living in hostel within the campus. The campus was really huge with good roads and we found it really exciting to ride bi-cycles inside the campus. On a sunny Saturday I was cycling around 3 in the afternoon when I saw a girl crossing the road ahead and fell down on the side of the road. I slowed my bike and realized she was in fits. I was about to cycle past but one look at her face stopped me. What if she gets sun stroke? I stopped the cycle next to her, took her hand and kept it on the cycle stand. Her tender hand grabbed the metal tightly and within minutes she regained her consciousness. She got up looked a bit weak but was steady. She mumbled something to thank me and said she can walk back home as it was very close. I followed her from a distance just to ensure she was safe. I realized that her father was a professor in the college and her house just 200 feet from the spot.

Two days later, I was surprised to bump into her near the temple inside the campus. She thanked me for helping her the other day and said her parents wanted to meet me and asked If I could come to her house for lunch during the weekend? I understood that her name was Uma. Her parents were a friendly couple and her father told me that he scolded her daughter for not even thanking me properly for the help. One thing led to another and soon I almost became a family friend to her parents.

I wanted to present something to Uma but was too shy. Internet came to my rescue and I decided to order a gift for her Online. She called me when the gift reached her and told me that the gift was wonderful and made her feel special.

I spoke to my parents, they were very understanding and said that they won't have an objection to whoever I choose as my life partner. I was soon caught up with studies and the campus interviews became very important. When I got a job I took some sweets and met the professor. I wanted to ask him something but he took me aside and asked me if I want to marry Uma, he will meet my parents the following week to seek their approval. I felt the dil ki deal magic playing in front of me while I accepted his request.

I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdeal activity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Wash a bucket challenge

My husband retired in his early fifties while I continued to work as a school teacher. My husband decided to retire early because of some health problems. Initially  when both my husband and I were working since he was on a touring job I was more of a multitasker and did most of the chores. I almost brought up my children singlehanded. After my husbands retirement we moved to the outskirts of the city. It was lovely living in the outskirts of the city. But servants were hard to get and soon i had to do all our own work. I soon became very tired balancing home and work. The house looked so dirty. The sink was full of dirty dishes. The floors  looked dirty. There was piles of clothes to be washed.  Finally I decided to take the matter in my hands. I asked my son and husband to share the household chores. Initially there was groans and moans. My husband had never done much household work. Finally after seeing an adamant feminist streak in me he decided to pitch in. My husband is person who hates messes. He decided he did not like the idea of doing dishes. Instead my son and he decided to the laundry the easiest of all household work. My husband knew that I am a systematic person and love things to be done perfectly. My husband and son segregated the laundry to colours and whites. They also used a whitener for the whites.  My husband and son soon started doing the laundry on their own to perfection.They used Ariel detergent and every morning I would have a set of clean washed clothes. Since they helped a little the house was more clean. I was also able to leave earlier for work and spend more time with my family. Seeing me look happier My husband felt we had done the right thing in sharing the household chores. 

This post is written for Ariel's #WashABucket challenge.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Breakfast with Guptaji's

I lived in the Delhi for two years. Being a typical South Indian I found it difficult to adjust to North India. The extreme climate and everything about Delhi depressed me . I missed the Idli Dosa culture and the security it had provided. Not knowing Hindi  proved to be a major draw back. Then gradually I settled down, starting enjoying Delhi. I started speaking a faltering Hindi which got me about the city. I started loving the jet set life of the city. I loved the Historical monuments of the city and started loving and sharing the " Joy of Living" which the North Indians are so well  known for.

I also found that the North Indians were real foodies. They loved exotic food. Even I share a wonder and love for food. I soon befriended my neighbours the Guptaji's.  Food has always been important  for us Indians. And  I found the Guptaji's made some very exotic dishes. "Nashta" is an very important meal of the day for them. Normally I found that the North Indians loved to  start the day with " poha". They prepare the poha  very well. The North Indian " poha" is a real delicacy and a treat for the taste buds. They make a extraordinary variety of parathas.  I love their Aloo, Gobi parathas. These parathas are served with raita. The Parathas made by the North Indians are a gastronomical delight. They are normally served with dahi. The North Indians also love sweets and I love their gajar ka halwa . Jilebi and malpua. The  jilebi's served by the North Indians are very special and mouth watering. I do not like to count calories and love the ghee laden sweets served by them.  I am a connoisseur of  good tea. I love the masala chai served by the North Indians and love to go to breakfast specially for their wonderful flavourful tea.

After I got married my husband was new to Delhi though he had changed his job and joined me in Delhi. He was very hesitant to try these north Indian food. We went to Guptaji's house (my Father's friend) who invited us for a day knowing that I got married and was with my husband here. After the excellent Poha meal at the Guptaji's house my husband confessed to me that he really liked the food he had at Guptaji's house.

We loved "The joy of Living" of the people of the North India. Other than their exotic food they have a warmth and a sense of sharing which I have not seen elsewhere. " Food" and " people"  are two favorite words in my dictionary and  "The Guptaji's " are the right place to be.

Note: This post is written for Kellogg's India. For additional information click here.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

My Happiness Project

Happiness is the state of the mind. Different things make different people happy. Our concept of happiness also changes with every stage of life.

I am a very simple person. A lot of things make me very happy and bring a smile and laughter to my lips. I love nature. Just being with nature makes me happy. I love nature trails , nature walks and trekking. Such activities gives me an adrenaline rush and puts me in high spirits. My recent visit to the grand canyon and seeing the sunlight reflect on each part of the canyon and seeing nature's splendor filled me with great spirit. Just a simple thing like watching the sun set and rise gives me great joy. 

Charity and helping poor people makes me happy. I love to see the look of surprise and joy in the beggars face. I do not like to spend money on extravagant birthday parties but instead give the money to the needy organizations. Likewise people form an important part of my life. Laughter and sharing with friends and family makes me happy.

I was brought up to believe that health is wealth. Being in good health makes me happy. I always go for regular health check ups.  I love to look good too by eating right and going to the gym. I use a sun screen and brush and floss regularly.

I love good food and make a lot of great recipes at home . We also eat at different restaurants and enjoy global cuisine. Making gourmet recipes and seeing my family enjoy it is my pride and joy. I love to keep my house clean and litter free. 

Doing things as a family make me happy. I love our dinner and lunch times to echo with fun and laughter and exchange anecdotes and information. We watch movies together and also go to restaurants as a family. We love travelling and have traveled extensively in India. We love culture and history and would love to explore other parts of the world.

My children are my pride and joy. I enjoyed playing with them during their childhood years. Now watching them grown up into independent individuals gives me a sense of satisfaction. I instilled in them the correct values from childhood. Being a savvy woman of the 21st century also makes me feel good. I am glad I am able to multitask so that I can balance home and career. In this way I am able to have something for myself and keep myself happy. 

I was reading an interesting book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. What really makes one Happy ? The concept of Happiness is different for different people and every one should go on their own pursuit of Happiness.

Note: This post is written for Coca-Cola India. For additional information click here.