- PonderingTwo June 2015 ~ Pondering Two The title of your home page

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

You held me as tight as you could,
Wrapped your hands around
And tried to do antics that you thought would make me good
Till I stopped the wailing sound;

As I grew,
Your love for me became much stronger,
A slight sign of flu
And you would stand by me like my soldier;

When things became tough,
Be it trivial or important decisions in life
Your guidance gave me enough
Courage to have my own decisions in life

I'm proud and happy to have you
A persona so charismatic and strong
That could handle my various hues
Who always taught me to welcome life like a song!

"A man of refreshing candor is very hard to find and once you find such a man, it is difficult to not to adore that man." Yes, such is his nature that his friends loves him and family loves him all the more. Though he is serious at most of the times, but, his candidness and always courteous towards others won him huge respect among friends and family alike.

It is because of this nature, that he is my man to go whenever I have any problems or doubt, be it during my school or college days or life in general. He has answers to all my questions provided I keep it crisp. Else, he has this uncanny ability to doze off, take a power nap and I would have to go over it again with very high chances that he would ask me to come to the point. 

During my younger days, I didn't had that privileges which I am having it now. But, I didn't even feel the need of those privileges as my dad never made me feel aloof and lonely. He tried his best to provide me with all the privileges which he could afford. For all my tantrums like 'I need this or that' or 'my friend has it and hence I need it too' were met not met with stiff no but a understanding of the practicality of the need of the hour. Though I didn't like that but I asked for an apt compensation and he in turn would spend the entire Sunday evening reading stories for me with a huge smile on his face. He never made a fuss about it. Such was his commitment towards the Sunday evening ritual that for once I asked him to skip it and he in turn made me to tell him some story as my punishment. This, in turn, made me what I am today -  A story teller.

As I grew from a stubborn teen-age-r to a marriageable age, he stood by me, never questioned my decisions and asked my opinion in all the decisions concerning my life. He never made a huge cry about my dressing style and about my friends. He allowed me to do things that I liked and trust me to have a father like him is a rarity now-a-days.

It is highly impossible for me to even faintly remember the things he would have done for me when I was an infant and things he would have secretly sacrificed for me and for my happiness. And how I miss that small secret we shared like eating packs of cookies late night when hunger didn't allowed us to sleep and gossiping about trouble monger relatives. What fun it was!

Just writing down all the above things makes me feel as if I haven't done enough for him. But one thing which will definitely make him happy is a hug from my side for all the things he did and is still doing for me and not those expensive gifts. 

So, I did hug my dad on this father's day and it was one of the most happiest feelings of my life. 

I am participating in the #HugYourDad activity for Vicks in association with BlogAdda.com

Friday, 19 June 2015

There are some privileges which the blogger community gets to enjoy. One such privilege which I as a blogger got was to attend a Rekha Bharadwaj concert at Phoenix Market City, courtesy Blogadda and I happily lapped upon the opportunity. It was a VVIP pass which allowed me to have a front row seat after the respected dignitaries had made their presence, seating on the rows ahead of me.

The live performance was held at the Dublin Square, Level 1 at Phoenix Market City and I was extremely eager for the concert to start. I arrived at the venue a bit early than most of the other concert enthusiasts and grabbed my seat. Rehearsals were going on stage by the Rock band Joshish. It lasted for few minutes and it was almost time for the concert to start.

Crowds had started to swell and it began with a little singing star Varenyam Pandya. With his soulful voice, he sang some of the famous songs from Bollywood movies and had the crowds in twist when he sang a couplet in Arabic. The crowd was simply left awestruck with the sheer control on his voice and modulation.

After the young prodigy, it was time for some Rock music and the Joshish band made it to the stage. The trio sang songs from their soon to released album and I must say the lyrics of each and every song were fantastic. I liked their last song 'Nasedhi Hai' which had the crowd involved and grooving to their beats.

Post which, it was the time of the evening when each one of us had eagerly awaited the performance from none other than the Sufi sensation, Rekha Bharadwaj.

She was on stage with her ensemble and we were all eagerly awaiting to be swooned by the melodious and soul stirring voice. She graced the stage with some of her hit songs like 'Tere Ishq Mein', 'Kabira', 'Darling', 'Genda Phool', 'Humri Atariya', 'Ranjha Ranjha', among others. She almost had the crowd swooning to her voice and touched a chord with us. It was mesmerizing to see her on stage, singing and grooving to the beats while we were left to enjoy her melodious voice.

Apart from the VVIPs, there was another section of crowd standing along the sides of the stage, just to get a glimpse of her and listen to her melodious performance. She is no doubt famous among young generations and the elder ones alike. The ambiance and the setting made the event even more exciting when she decided to introduce her ensemble and each one of them mesmerized us by playing their instruments. It was definitely a WOW moment especially for me apart from the songs Rekha Bharadwaj sang. 

Just about when it was time for such a lovely evening to end, the crowd was given a memorable surprise by her, when she, for the last time decided to sing 'Kabira' and she happily got an applause from the music craving crowd that was there.  

Overall, it was one of the most memorable evenings I had ever spent with enthralling music by my side. As all things comes to an end, I had wished this day would not have ended and I could have listened to the performance all night long.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

It was a rainy day in Mumbai when I was suppose to reach the venue on time. Luckily, I did manage to reach just before the pre-event snacks were just about to conclude. I grabbed my cup of tea and took a chair in the large and heavily illuminated hall of the 5 star hotel.

The event was a new product launch which I was invited by the super gracious team of Blogadda but the product was kept as a secret. However, I saw huge launch banner with Nivea written all over it and it was evident that it was a product from Nivea.

The catch here was that, since the entire room was filled with men, the product has to be related with men and soon I started my own guess. 

The event started with Mr. Animesh Gupta, Positive Conditioning Coach and Head of Training and Development at LimitlessEQ.COM

He kick started the event by dividing us in five groups and asking couple of volunteers from each group to smell some of the substances and relate it to a person you know. Of course, we were blindfolded so that we could not guess what the substance is. Everyone came out with unique answers. Some came out with a vegetable vendor, others like me came out with a guy out from the gym after exercising and so on. But, none came up with answers that were not filled with odor.

Post activity, Mr. Gupta talked about various points relating to the body odor such as:

1. Reasons for development of body odor
2. Food habits and the food that needs to be avoided
3. Importance of balanced diet and intake of water
4. How to confront a person with body odor and make him realize that
5. How to react when someone points out that you smell bad.

But, there was no mention of any product while the interactive session kept me involved with our interest levels at its peak. This was not only because of informative session but also because we all were awaiting for a Bollywood superstar. 

I guess, you all can now relate and guess the superstar. It is pretty simple.

Then, here he was, looking smart and dashing in a casual and relaxed look. It was none other than Arjun Rampal, the brand ambassador of Nivea for the launch of the product. We all had guessed that the product would surely be a new Deodorant after discussing body odor with Animesh. 

He talked about body odor, how it feels working with co-stars having body odor and took questions from the blogger fraternity. He was there barely for few minutes and we parted for lunch.

After having a delicious lunch, we were back where the hall was completely revamped with two huge screens, a dais and people from various media agencies were already seated. After some time, the product was set to be launched and they launched it with style.

Mr Rakshit Hargave, the M.D. of Nivea India finally took the centre stage and talked about body odor, Nivea and the new product. After a while he showed us a hilarious video featuring Suresh Menon that had the audiences in splits. 

Post which the product was unveiled and it was none other than Arjun Rampal standing with a tall can of Nivea Deodorizer as he posed for the shutterbugs to have a bite for few minutes.

He talked about the newly launched Nivea Deodorizer and how useful it is. He even emphasized that he is using all the products launched by Nivea and only then he recommends it and it is safe to use this newly launched deodorizer, a first in the segment. 

The launch came to an end with a Q&A session with many of the reporters got to ask questions to both the gentleman, Mr. Hargave and Mr. Rampal. Post which, he again stood for a pose and interacted with the media persons and left with a wave of hand.

Overall, it was a great experience to be at a product launch of a brand that we all have been using since ages as our winter cream and to shake a hand with the star, Arjun Rampal. Also, to see the brand developing such great products which not only are skin friendly but also serves the purpose is something that makes each and every product a success for the company.  

PS: I have been using the product for 5 days and it is simply amazing. With a refreshing smell that lasts for a day and skin protection  elements, the deodorizer is now a must use product for me.

I attended the #SniffSniff product unveiling event by BlogAdda in association with Nivea

Monday, 15 June 2015

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Any incidences mentioned here is highly coincidental and is for pure fun purpose.

Taunt is for Mother-in-laws
Class is for Daughter-in-laws

There would have come plenty of times in your married life where your mother-in-law had said something to you which you had not liked it. Be it for the choice of words or the tone or for that matter the situation or the surroundings we are in. She would have simply ignored all of that and have uttered some of the choicest of the words to you.

Source: memecrunch.com

Without any doubts the mother-in-law would have felt like a HULK, and you, on the contrary would have felt like a drenched cat, unable to do anything, forget even batting an eyelid. Probably, even if you would have tried to open your mouth to counter her, you would have met with eyes that were brightening and getting larger in size slowly and steadily, till it had turned red and signalling to shut up with the undertone that 'I don't care what do you have to say.'

Sulking is for the nineteenth century women. You are the 21st century woman who knows the difference between right and wrong and also knows to control the tongue and allows her actions to speak volumes for herself. So what do you do? I'll tell you.

Whenever such times had come in my life, I had always tried to put on the brave front and hang a smiling face around everyone. It does two things, first, it will allow you to calm down from outside and release any bad thoughts and sad emotions. Secondly, it will show that nothing is going to affect you. But, this will only work when you are correct, otherwise it will show as arrogance.

Source: fotolia

However, all these things will only provide a momentary relief. On one such day when I was generally down, feeling a bit low after entire day's household work, extremely tired and lacking energy after getting some below the belt from the mother-in-law, I only craved for a long and tight sleep. Instead, I happen to switch on the TV and started surfing the channels and that is when I started regaining my energy.

Alla Arjun, the famous Telugu movie star was grooving on the screen with some extraordinary moves that simply left me awestruck. I slowly caught up with some of the moves, started to loosen up and let my hair down completely. Although exhausted, I felt that I had immense strength within myself to start preparing the menu for the next day. 

Suddenly, Alla Arjun disappeared from the screen and it was Anushka Manchanda, singing one of the most happening and peppiest number from a Hindi movie. The voice was so inviting that I decided that I need a second dose of dance and started showing my moves to no one in particular but to myself, as I was alone at home.

I could imagine the magic that would have been created if both Alla Arjun and Anushka Manchanda came together for a song and what would it be like. I guess it would be nothing short of extraordinary, mind-blowing, brilliant singing and dancing performance that would have made even a non-dancer like my husband to start grooving.

Later that evening, the door bell rang, I took him inside and started dancing with him as he was pleasantly surprised. Later on he asked, "Baby, a couple of hours ago you had messaged me you were feeling a bit low and would like to sleep early. What happened now?"

I winked at him, gave him a wicked smile and muttered, "Some things are better left unsaid" and gave him a kiss to be remembered for a long long time.

Source: rantsfrommommyland.com

So next time, when you are having a tough time "for reasons best known only to you", you know what to do. Just energize your tough situation with some exhilarating moves of Alla Arjun and some peppy and youthful voice of Anushka Manchanda and groove and let all the troubles out of your system.

Also, always remember, 
"Taunt is for mother-in-laws and
Class is for daughter-in-laws"

“I am blogging for #MaxFreshMove activity atBlogAdda.com. Are you?

Thursday, 11 June 2015

As Lao Tzu had once said, "A journey of thousand miles starts with a single step" and it usually takes a single phone call to your heart and mind to come together for a much needed break. Be it a short vacation or a long holiday or as simple as a long drive to your favorite destination. 

This conversation with your mind and heart regarding considering a holiday is highly important in today's high stress and tension filled working environment where you find that you are not the one you actually were. You realize that the real you is actually lost in this conundrum. So once you have decided to be wanderlust, it is only a matter of time before you start travelling to your destination.

Therefore, I did this long conversation with my mind and heart, and decided to have a holiday at one of my favorite destinations, Goa. It is a destination that allows me to live free, be myself and express my feelings freely, do things that my heart says to do (proposing my wife again, going down on one knee with the sounds of water hitting the shore as a music to our hearts), live to the fullest without any worries, understand my existence and come closer to my family and charge myself to do things passionately once I am back from my holiday. 

And to accompany in this journey of mine, I'll take the help of one of the most trusted and safest MPV available that will allow me to take my world with me and #LiveLodgycal, which is the Renault Lodgy.

It is obvious that I won't be able to take my entire world wherever I go, unless you are the Vodafone pug, as it follows you everywhere. So, here are my top five things which I would like to carry in this journey along with my partner to soldier and maneuver the tricky terrain with a powerful and efficient engine while I hit the roads and vroom.

My Soulmate - I cannot imagine travelling long distances without my better half, without whom my life wound't be the way it is. Moreover, to have a vacation that too in Goa without her would invite serious consequences if she came to know about it. So it is wise to take her along with me in this journey and see beautiful things with different lenses and perspectives and yet be together. That will be much more fun. 

Also, I don't have to worry about bearing all her tantrums and mood swings alone. I have smartly chosen the Renault Lodgy which looks stylish, sleek and dynamic and will provide all the comforts that she will need in this journey. Also, the MPV has a central upper storage with lid on dashboard where she can keep her things, cup holders and flight tray to have some drinks and snacks and charging sockets for all three rows which will definitely keep her sane and allow to click selfies throughout the ride. Also, to handle two beauties at a same time will be too much fun! :P :)

Friends - I have always followed a mantra that more the people merrier the journey. So to accompany us we will have our best friends travel along with us in the spacious and class defining comfortable Lodgy. With 7-8 seating arrangements, cabin wide cooling and illumination, ample leg space and plush captain seats with armrests and recline, the Lodgy has ensured that all of us stay comfortable. After all, a journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.  

Books - Books are a man's best friend and I would love to carry plenty of my favorite authors and books which are still eyeing me suspiciously and begging me to read them. So while I will be driving the super efficient Lodgy, I will be also moving to places and reaching an altogether a different world with my set of fictions. In fact, the Lodgy  has ample amount of boot space, 207 litres, expandable to 1851 litres to be precise.  This will definitely be enough to carry my world of fictions with me. As Jhumpa Lahiri has said, "Books let you travel without moving your feet." Thus it will be double the fun and twice the happiness. 

Image Courtesy: Carewale.com

Myself - I would like to carry myself, as in what I actually am; free, relaxed and happy rather than my usual corporate look which is worried, aggressive and angry. I would love to mingle, chatter, laugh and share things openly and casually where there is no one looking down upon you. Also, the classier Renault Lodgy packed with multiple drive friendly features like cruise control and speed limiter, adjustable driver seats, tilt steering wheel, electrically adjustable OVRMs, parking sensors and MediaNav system that enables entertainment, communication, navigation and parking. Thus, allowing me to simply enjoy the drive and keep on blabbering with my friends and my soulmate. 

Hers Happiness - Happiness is always felt when others are happy. There is always a tinge of smile even on your tired looking face and that is because your loved ones are happy and in my case it is my better half. I always strive to make her feel like a princess, irritate her as less as possible (shhh.. that's a difficult part) and behave like a gentleman (which includes obeying her everytime). By doing this I assure that I get to see her smiling, happy, naughty and indirectly it brings a smile on my face and makes me happy too. 

Just as Renault Lodgy has features to keep everyone safe and happy like ABS with brake assist, dual front airbags, rear parking sensors and camera and central locking and keyless entry, even I strive to keep her happy all the time. 

Thus, by these five things, I will ensure that I have one of the happiest and safest ride by driving the all new Renault Lodgy where I will take my world, i.e the above five things with me.

Take a look at the video which will give you a more detailed understanding of the power packed features that the new Renault Lodgy has.

I’m participating in the #LiveLodgycal contest with Renault in association with BlogAdda to get a chance to be a part of the #LiveLodgycal Drive in Goa.

We all know that 20 years ago, the price of the petrol was close to around 40 INR a litre and it peaked to almost double before soothing a bit down to the current price of approx 71 INR a litre. Similarly, keeping the inflation in mind, it would be prudent to assume that 1 lakh INR now would value extremely less after 20 years. 

Now just imagine that you are leading a retired life and sitting on a kitty of 1 crore INR. Today, you can buy plenty of luxurious things with such a huge amount. However, keeping the inflation in mind, your 1 crore of INR won't be I crore. It would be much lesser in terms of value. Shocked? Yes! That is the sad reality of how inflation ruins the present value of money. 

So to lead a healthy lifestyle even after retirement without compromising on anything, you need to understand the urgency of retirement planning. 

In fact, the reality is very grim when it comes to retirement planning. People will invest their hard earned money in insurance policies and say that I have enough policies to take care of my life after retirement. But, sadly, they fail to realize that investing in mutual funds gives you a better return than investing in many traditional or market linked policies. Just as life insurance is necessary, as it secures the family after you are no more, similarly, retirement planning secures your life, after your retirement till you live. Hence retirement planning is necessary and this is where Reliance is urging the younger lot of the nation to start early retirement planning. 

Retirement Planning! WHY???

All this I came to know from one of India's respected asset management company, Reliance where few bloggers were invited for the meet.

Reliance Capital Asset Management has recently launched India's first ever retirement product, Reliance Retirement Fund which not only invests in equities but also in fixed income securities and debt market. It is an open ended mutual fund scheme.

Pi courtesy: Aayesha Hakim
The key feature of the product is that it has two schemes, Wealth creation scheme and Income generation scheme. 

Wealth creation scheme is primarily an equity oriented accumulation where 65-100% is invested in equity and equity related instruments and remaining in debt and money market securities.

Income generation scheme is the opposite. It invests 70-95% in debt and money market securities and remaining in equity instruments.

Thus, depending upon your age and risk profile you can choose the scheme.

The key features of the plan are:

1. Unlimited switches between schemes
2. Exit load of 1% on redemption before age 60, subject to lock-in period of 5 years
3. Auto transfer facility to move from accumulation to distribution phase i.e. from wealth creation to income generation.
4. Step up facility, where you can increase your SIP or pay lumpsum at any time apart from SIP.
5. Systematic Withdrawal Plan 

The plan is idea for both youngsters as well as those nearing their retirement. So what are you waiting for? Start planning for your 2nd Innings with Reliance Retirement Fund and have a healthy retirement. 

Also remember, we plan to buy things which will depreciate over time rather than planning for things which will increase your wealth in the future. So, start investing in your retirement now, where you will see a flow of income after your retirement.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Travelling in Mumbai has its risk. No, I am not talking about the divide on religion. I am also not talking about which team do you support in IPL. Neither am I going to talk about potholed roads which are in a competition with the craters on the moon.

Today  I am going to vent my emotions on a particular thing that my nose can freak me out within seconds. Ok, make that minutes in case your sensory organs fail to react and send signals to your brain instantly, which may only happen if you are in a midst of experiencing a mutual pleasure. You know what I mean, heh (Wink)?

So as I said, travelling in Mumbai has its risk. Risk of being forced into a box emitting various kinds of stench that can be nauseating at times and can also be a cause of excessive inhaling of foul smell leading to severe headache clogging the functioning of the brain. Even companies marketing various room fragrances will fail miserably in this case. The box which I am referring is a moving box which allows you to reach to your destination, but leaving you in a dazed state till you get out of it. Yes, you have guessed it right. I am referring to the local trains which usually and especially in summers are an olfactory of foul body odors.

Just recently, unwillingly and with a will of steel, I boarded a local at a peak evening hour to reach my home station. A slight push from behind and I was inside the chamber of dark nauseating pungent smelling humans. The train purred and halted at the next station. Again, a slight push from someone who had just boarded the overly stacked chamber of humans, led my nose straight into the raised armpit of a fellow passenger. For a minute, I thought of my lovely family, closed my eyes, expecting myself to reach the doors of heaven. I regained my senses, pushed my neck behind taking my nose along and winked plenty of times to come out from the hands of the death. I somehow managed  my journey without bumping my nose anywhere. Simply ask a Mumbaikar who has been travelling in the second class of smelly, sticky and sweaty chamber during the peak evening hours, I am pretty sure that the story of mine will match with his.

Then, there is another gas chamber. People over there release much more than they should and they usually release such foul smells with a silent blast of a hydrogen bomb within themselves. Or, in case he is unable to control the sound, he produces a grunt at the exact time, while exercising and concentrates building muscles as if nothing has happened. Is there a special place reserved for such persons in hell? I seriously hope so. So, you have got it right. I am talking about the gym, which you prefer to visit regularly but go once in a blue moon.

Source: Imagefav.com
Of late, I always prefer to keep distances from the ones who have just exercised and choose not to have a shower at the gym but at home. One day I encountered a series of such special species, who not only refuses to have a shower at the gym, but also prefer not to spray their armpits with deodorants. Hence, the next day I decided to wear a white coat with a sign hanging around from my neck saying, ‘Dr. Armpit’ with cans of deodorants placed strategically. However, I dropped the idea after thinking the reactions to my simple life saving action. So, the next day I decided to go to one of those specie and told them in exact words, maintaining an eye contact, “I am having it enough. It is time I gift you my special ‘Mantastic’ deodorant.” I pulled the can out of my bag and placed it in front of him. From next day onwards, I was awarded with exercising souls dressed aplenty with deodorants. I felt claustrophobic and a sheer facepalm moment for me. 

Anyways, the moot point is, our nose knows, can #SniffSniff and understands the danger coming towards us. The only things you need to do is keep calm and pray you get out of it soon.

I am sharing my odour story for the ‘My Nose Knows’ contest as a part of the #SniffSniff activity at BlogAdda.

"A baby is born with a need to be loved and never outgrows it." - Frank Clark.

Babies are the wonderful creation or rather a gift from the God which strengthens the love and bonding between people around them. They are always the #FirstLove for their parents. They are the bundle of happiness who with their one smile can bring the world on their feet. Such is their innocence. In everything they do, they smile and always be happy. That is the biggest reason why we simply adore babies. Their first crawl, first try at uttering something, stretching of their arms after a good sleep and many of their moves always brings a smile and happiness on parents' faces. So when it comes to babies, it is but natural that we tend to give the best to them. This is exactly what I did as a parent to my bundle of joy, started using one of the best product to massage and nourish the soft and smooth skin.

Initially there were rashes seen on the body, few months after the birth. We still persisted with the traditional method of massaging with the oil that was being used since generations. But somewhere I was left dejected and started consulting doctors. That time one of my friend suggested using Dabur Baby Oil with Olive and Almond. Luckily, at the same time I got this opportunity from BlogAdda to check the oil on my baby and see for myself whether it proves to be good or not. I applied for the product and to my surprise it arrived in style, just like my little one!!

The packaging and the labelling as you can see in the above pic by Dabur is quite amazing. As soon as I received the bottles, I was excited to apply the oil on my little one and the very next morning I tried it.

The oil is a wonder for me as it is the first baby oil that I have come across which smells great. With a mix of premium natural oils like almond, olive and jajoba it definitely spreads the fragrance all around. The oil is smooth when placed on the palm and spreads easily when applied on my baby. He thoroughly enjoyed the massage while I enjoyed massaging him with the all new Dabur Baby Massage Oil. Also, using it continuously for 5 days gave me a sense that my baby's skin seems to much more softer than before and there are no signs of any rashes on his body. I am now happily relived that my baby doesn't seem all reddish after massaging and moreover the product pack keeps him engaged while I massage him. 

All in all I am in love with the Dabur Baby Massage Oil and my #FirstLove and I highly recommend using the product.

The oil has following features which is highly necessary for the nourishment of the baby's skin and they are:

1) It is made up of Natural oils like Almond ,Olive, Jojoba, Sun flower and Sesame oils.

2)It provides nourishment to the Baby's skin.

3) Olive is known to help provide nourishment to the babies skin.

4) Almond is known to gently moisturizes your baby's delicate skin making it soft and supple.

5) It is Paraffins Free and suitable for the Baby's skin also.

6) It does not contain any artificial colours.

7)It is safe to use on skin as it has been dermatologically tested.

8)Regular massaging helps strengthen bones and muscles.

9)An attractive and playful product pack which helps engage the baby while massaging.

The oil is not at all heavy on the pocket as well. A 100ml bottle just costs Rs.110/- only. So don't wait for any other baby oil for massaging and start using Dabur Baby Massage Oil for a more nourished baby skin and a healthy baby.

Drumrolls please!!!! Here is the pic of my baby on whom I tried The Dabur Baby Massage Oil.

I am writing about Dabur Baby Massage Oil with the goodness of Olive and Almond for the #FirstLove activity at BlogAdda.com