Saturday, 28 February 2015

QuickrNXT making life easier

We lived in the United States for almost fifteen years. We were young just starting out in life and had little money. We mostly lived in places that we were poorly connected by trains and buses and  so had to relay mostly on cars for transport. As students since new cars were expensive we bought second cars from dealers hitting very good bargains. This was our tryst with second hand cars.

Right now we have a Maruti Zen. It was bought six years ago. The silver grey paint seems almost faded, The engine makes noise. There is a dent on one door when I met with an accident a month back. I am not happy with the gears either. The tyres also needed change. And the car also needs an oil change. With all these problems I decided that it was not worth repairing the car. I needed to buy another second hand car. Thinking about  my son's college expenses I thought I would go for a second hand car once again. 

I decided as I had limited time to waste on phone calls I decided to buy my car through Quikr. Time seems to be precious for everyone and chat and e- mail seems to be a better and easy means of communication. I logged on to the Quikr site which seemed organized and user friendly. There was a column for bikes and cars. I went to that and looked at cars listed there. The cars that we could choose were from a wide category from Maruti, Honda, Hyndai, Toyota etc. The fuel types whether petrol or diesel were also indicated. My neighbour had a Toyota and I also wanted one. So I checked the Toyota category. Quikr made my life easier as all the details were given well. The advertisement  for the Toyota pointed out details like colour whether single ownership or sold by dealer , how old the car was , whether it still had insurance and the price. Since I was a busy professional Quickr chat came in handy. I clarified my questions and fixed an appointment through chat. Both the seller and I could communicate at our convenience unlike using phone, an efficient way to communicate in this computer savvy world. I test drove and finally became a proud owner of a Toyota Etios bought through Quikr, a lovely bright red car. The car was four years old bought from a single owner. It had power steering and windows and a sensor while reversing, a boon while travelling in Chennai roads. It had 1.6L engine with dual air bags and leather seat covers. I loved the Quickr shopping experience in our busy lifestyle. I have listed my old Zen for sale and have started getting enquiries. 

Note: This post is written for Indiblogger's Get a better car with Quickr NXT! contest sponsored by Quickr.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Rock a bye baby!

Motherhood is a very challenging task. Motherhood and parenting is also very satisfying. Society in India is very close knit and when a child is born the entire family from Parents to grandmothers to great grandmothers help in their own way from advise to physical help. Bringing up babies is an art with each stage a challenge and culture wise we Indians are very good at Parenting. Parenting is a joy and we Indians try to keep it as much as in the family. 

The new gen parents seem an educated lot and seem more independent and confident in handling the baby when it comes to this world. They seem also more well informed. Pediatricians  books and peer groups help in educating the new parent.  Bedtime are rather nightmarish for new parents. Reading bedtime stories is the best way to hold the attention of a crying child. So new parents can have small collection of books and read to the child. Simple books hold attention of the child. Pick books that can also test the intelligence of the child. Reading helps the child to pick up language skills easily and is also a hobby . Lady bird books like "Little Red Riding hood"  "Hansel and Gretel" have always been the favorite of children. Nowadays Scholastic has  published books for children which are well liked.

Singing lullabies to the child helps to soothe a crying child. In the olden days in India a kind of cloth hammock would be in the threshold of the house and the babies would be rocked to sleep by singing lullabies in it. Hammocks are growing out of fashion and we see a lot of new fashioned cribs. Nowadays there are musical mobiles that can be tied to the crib. Nursery rhymes like " Jack and Jill ", Twinkle, Twinkle little Star " and the like are mostly used as lullabies.

Other bedtime rituals that help put a baby to sleep can be soft toys. Fischer Price has excellent toys that can keep the baby happy. Giving the baby a bath before bedtime can be soothing and comforting and easily put the baby to sleep.

For babies to sleep well they have to be clean and dry. A good night's sleep is essential both for the baby and the health and comfort of the parents. Cloth diapers though more comfortable have to be frequently changed. For the last twenty five years synthetic diapers and  thus disposable diapers are more common. Synthetic diapers are expensive and difficult to recycle but still seem to be used widely as they are easy to use. There are different brand of diapers but New Pampers baby dry pants is ideal diapers as it keeps the baby dry in the inside too. These are ideal diapers to be used while traveling.


Note: This post is written for Indiblogger's Bedtime Rituals contest sponsored by Pampers. For additional information click here.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

My Dreams

All of us dream. And are often reproachful about things that we have not done. As I step into my forties and see my children all grown up I feel a lot of empty time in my hands. Its then I feel that I should have been more qualified. When we are young, we are very playful and do not listen to our parents. I should have studied to be a doctor, engineer or an architect. Yes! Pangs of guilt on not being professionally well qualified and also not being an independent woman.  Dual incomes come in handy in this day when everything is so  expensive.

 In my childhood years i grew up in an independent house with a garden. Now we  live in a 1200 square foot flat. We have to use space saving furniture for a family of five with a dog as it is cramped. My regret is that we did not buy a plot at the right time to build a house. Now to live in an independent house is a distant dream.

With economy soaring, petrol prices rising it is important to be independent and drive one's own vehicle. In the eighties young women in India had just begun to drive two wheelers. I wish I had learnt then to ride a motor vehicle. It is a distant dream to drive my own car and be independent.
We have two married children. I am a typical south Indian and though I have lived in the north we have always lived a lifestyle that is mostly South Indian. Both my children gave me a shock when it came to marriage. My son when he was doing medicine married a Bengali and my daughter a Punjabi. I almost fell into depression when this happened as we now speak a khichadi of languages. The temple towns of Kanchipuram and Madurai which always had a special place in my heart with its cultural and religious identity have lost their significance. My grandchildren speak a mixed dialect and I feel it is like an unhappy dream of us losing our tamilian identity which is so glorious.

My husband is a retired bank officer. We have been a normal middle class family striving to make ends meet. We gave our children the best of education and put them through professional college. Now with some savings we are leading a normal middle class life feeling the pinch with shooting prices. I wish my husband had found a job overseas when we were young so that we would be more comfortably off. This would  have satisfied the travel bug in me too.

I also wish we had enough health insurance during our younger days. When my husband had an accident, we had only fifty thousand insurance and had to pay the hospital two lakhs for the treatment. Because of this I had to take loan from my brother and father and we struggled till we repaid the loan. We understood the importance of derisking against unexpected incidents.

Note: This post is written for Indiblogger's Befikar Umar Bhar contest sponsored by IDBI Federal. For additional information click here.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Chat versus Phone Call

Since the telephone was invented people have been conveniently talking and thus communicating with each other. Women are great chatters and sometimes are hooked for hours talking over the phone  exchanging information. Cell phones are more handier than normal phones and we are more mobile with them . With cell phone era coming to age landline connections are becoming less. Computers have started playing a big part in people's lives in the last twenty five years. And so has Chatting.

I remember Fifteen years back when computers had just become common I loved chatting with my husband typing on the keypad. I felt important savvy independent and excited to use this new technology. My husband would be at work in the United States and I would be in India glued to my computer and we would exchange pleasantries anecdotes information without disturbing anyone and without having to pay for an international phone call. Yes when you have an Internet connection it is cheaper to chat than pay for a expensive phone call. People are relying less on phone calls and communicating more through chat. Even old people seem to resort to chat loving the novelty of technology. With iPads and tablets coming to the market old people do not have to strain themselves over stiff computer chairs. So Savvy independence, technology and Cost effectiveness are the primary reason for preferring Chat over phone call.

Whatsapp has become a excellent medium through which people are communicating and chatting effectively. Friends and family from all the world are able to connect and chat exchanging good news and information at a flash. Face book seems to be a little outdated now and the present fervour is whatsapp. Chat can very personal in its own way with users making it very friendly and communicate by saying "Good Morning", "Good Evening" "Bye Bye, "Have a Great Day!".  Jokes and brain teasers make chat very light hearted among family and friends. Ability to form groups and communicate information among the group members seamlessly is the second reason for preferring chat over phone call.

Third reason I prefer chat over phone calls is because it provides privacy and flexibility. Loud phone conversations are overheard. The servant maid and others can hear them and being a part of a joint family I prefer to use chat to keep my conversations private. When my daughter spends hours during research she prefers to chat with me. We are able to communicate with each other even though both of us are not available at the same time.

With Technology taking such leaps and bounds soon phones and phone calls will be a thing of the past. Online and Offline Chats have become very important to keep up with our busy lifestyle.
Note: This post is written for Indiblogger's QuickrNXT contest sponsored by Quickr. Click here to access their website.