Sunday, November 30, 2014

Why Don’t You Shave??

The stubble that grows like wild foliage on a guy’s face can turn things upside down. Think of a man who looks prickly as a cactus, trying his best pick up lines to woo a lady but she simply gives a royal ignore just to avoid his thorny face! That would be a huge insult. So, apart from basic essentials like good clothes and shoes and also, no body odor, there is one more thing that attracts a woman prima-facie. This is a fact that looks attract first and then only one gets to see the beauty and care of heart. The face gives a good peek into our habits and levels of discipline. A man with an unshaven face looks like a free radical, a vagabond or a couch potato just like a girl with uncut and untidy hair looks like an uneducated moron or a lazy bone, too sloppy to even manage her own self! Gone were those days when stubble was considered a sign of manliness. Now, as the concepts themselves are changing, stubble indicates a man too indolent to take care of himself, a depressed soul or a philosopher cut off from the real world.

A few years back, one of my friends got into a relationship with a boy who came from an extremely well connected business background. I remember it was a hot afternoon of July and I was sitting in the canteen with my friends when I saw her coming with a guy wearing a T shirt and jeans. She came towards us and excitedly, with a child-like enthusiasm, said “He is here!” We stared at each other in silence and looked at the boy standing beside her. He looked more like her driver or someone, just out on a bail. “He is the one I was talking about…remember?” she said, blushing a bit and pulling the mannequin like boy a bit closer towards the table.

The first impression he gave us is not even worth mentioning. In spite of his well fitted branded clothes, he looked like a drug addict or someone, too lazy to take a bath. His stubble and unshaven face spoiled the entire joy of meeting a friend’s special someone. He sat there quietly and gave us a quite smile. I do not remember if anyone initiated a conversation with him. After some time, they left and later that day, my friend called me up. She wanted to know my opinion about that boy. However, just like my other friends, I too did not like him much, mainly because of his unshaven face and sloppy looks. I do not know if she continued her relationship but it is highly unlikely that I will ever take that kind of a boy seriously in future if, by chance, I come across one. 

This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette

Amrit tagged me for this post

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Speak Up With Montu!

I sincerely believe in the power of team work. After all it is this synergy only that makes the work happen in reality. There are many issues that plague our society at this point of time. Even after the advent of technology, things hardly have gone better as far as cleanliness and sanitation are concerned. The electronic junk and the hell lot of plastic waste that we have been generating for the past few years is posing a serious threat to our eco-system, to the cities and towns we live in. Take a stroll down any busy road and the first thing you will probably notice will be the heaps of garbage lying here and there along with the waste like empty plastic bottles and paper cups, flying like free radicals all along the road. This can be stopped and it will only take few simple steps towards the solution, which is ‘recycle and reduce’. 

There are various ways to make India ‘Swach’ and trust me, this does not involve a long broom and a mask but only some spare time and a dash of creativity. Prevention is always better than cure so it would be far better to avoid the stage when we will be forced to sweep through the streets and before the garbage becomes as toxic as it can, we should recycle the waste first hence reducing its quantity. Let’s start with recycling. As per dictionary this term refers to
  •         Convert (waste) into reusable material.
  •         Return (material) to a previous stage in a cyclic process.
  •         Use again.

So basically, when we reuse a thing, say an empty bottle or a bag, we are recycling it. This not only generates less waste per capita (per head) but also reduces your carbon footprints in the long run that means you end up doing something worthwhile for the ecosystem that sustains you. It is like giving back something to your parents or maybe like donating a helpful amount to your alma mater. Hence, recycling, I think, would be the first step towards ‘Swach Bharat’. 

This is a small fish I made using a waste CD and waste plastic sheet and it was fun! Plastic bottles can be used in gardening and for making decorative vases. The Internet is flooded with such simple and interesting DIY craft ideas. Papers must be recycled and you can use the back of calendars (the plain white side) for book covers and waste A4 papers for random sketching or for making grocery lists. Another important thing is to reuse stationary. It is illogical to throw an entire pen just because you do not wish to take up the gigantic task of buying a new refill! Come on! Imagine if millions of Indians will reduce their carbon footprints and waste every day, we will become ‘Swach’ within a very short span! 

There are many ways to reuse the things we throw into the bin, that too without any segregation, every day. That empty bottle with a wide neck can be a good pen-stand if painted something upon and that old fashioned sari can be a good cushion cover. Donating things that are no longer in use instead of disposing them in garbage is another good idea. Old clothes, old toys and books, I think, must be donated to the needy. This way, in the long run, we won’t be bothered with the heaps of garbage parading themselves on the road sides.

Now, there is no need of bearing the agony within yourself for you can speak with ‘Ab Montu Bolega’ campaign brought to you by Strepsils! Just visit this amazing website http://www.abmontubolega.com/ and say whatever you have to regarding social changes. You can join Montu in speaking against socials plagues at FaceBook and Twitter as well! So, just pop and Strepsils and bolo whatever you wish to and please do not forget to recycle and reduce the waste!

‘Kyuki Bin Bole Ab Nahi Chalega’ #AbMontuBolega 
is a campaign that empowers people to speak up, raise their voice to make a difference against the ills that plague our society.   

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 Images From:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


This coldness in your eyes
It haunts me day and night
     Pursed lips and harsh stares
Silence, as bitter as a curse

This coldness in your eyes
Is enough for me to realize
That pain is what I gained
My prize in your fav game

This coldness in your eyes
Makes my heart rip in sighs
See, what I’ve got in your love
Murk within and darkness above

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bring Back the Touch

‘Why are you after my life all the time?’ An angry Karan banged the receiver. Jia, his wife of six years had once again failed to put her point across. Ever since he had ventured out on his own and opened his dot com company, their life had changed for the better but sometimes the price we need to pay can be quite heavy. The penalty of enjoying the abundant luxury had cost them their relationship. Earlier, their holidays were never foreign but at least they remained close, but now after two short vacations in Singapore and Belgium, they felt as if they were classmates on a random college trip. Staying together yet still inside their own limits and fences. These invisible fences pricked her heart night and day and gave her much agony whenever she felt how busy and insensitive her once loving husband could be. However, things are mostly not as they appear to be. Karan too, felt the distance and the coldness that had crept between them, like poison ivy slowly covers a valley full of fragrant flowers. 

He tried to maintain calm and provide his best he could though he considered it un-manly to shed tears of regret and open his heart like a diary in front of his wife. ‘What would she think of me? After all I am a man,’ his heart would often argue with his mind and won easily.

It was a cold December evening and Karan sat all alone in the huge flat they had bought recently. Ever since Jia went to live at their old house, he had been trying to run away from the void that was growing deeper each passing day. This morning, when Jia had called him to speak to him just like that, he had banged the receiver but now in the moments of stillness he realized what she must have been going through. The darkness, the frost and a weary moon outside as if reflected his soul.
‘Don't I provide for her?’ he murmured
‘But she too tried, many times,’ his heart replied
‘She should understand. I work and I keep very busy,’ he hit back.
‘She gave you a ring, just to hear your voice,’ heart said.

After a few blank indecisive moments, Karan picked up his car keys and drove straight to her place. Sweet memories flooded his mind while climbing the steep stairs. Their celebrating festivals together, their making Rangoli together and random hugs that as if assured them of each other’s presence and support. He pressed the bell and a disheveled woman, with her hair loosely tied in a bun and puffed eyes opened the door.

‘Jia?’ he was shocked to see her in such a bored and tardy state. He felt choked and responsible for her emotional disturbance. He stood for a few seconds in silence and then, went ahead and gave her a hug, the same old bear hug that always reminded them that they were there for each other. Jia as if came to life and their smiles lit up the entire place that was dull and gloomy a moment ago!

Such is the power of touch. It makes us feel the love and realize the warmth and care.

Check out this cute video of how a couple, Maya and Nikhil recover lost love by the power of touch, just like Karan and Jia !

Click  www.pblskin.com to see how  'Parachute Advansed Body Lotion' can help you to discover the magic of touch

Hashtag #BringBackTheTouch.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

My dream 24K home with Porcelanosa

“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”  Maya Angelou

There is no place like home and a beautiful home is reflection of a refined mind. Indeed! There are no second thoughts about that. In this age of technology, virtual communications and home-deliveries, most people spend a considerable part of their time at homes that are fast turning into highly individualized cocoons esp in the urban and upwardly mobile areas of India. People whose homes are haywire with cupboards and drawers overflowing or stuffed with useless and old stuff and carpets and tiles grimed in the layers of dust, are themselves confused in person too. A nicely kept and tastefully decorated home not only shows your will towards life but also that you have got that panache!

There are many ways to beautify your home and the most common is to stuff it with useless artifacts and showpieces but there is a better option: that of using fewer things but with such a class that they change the entire look and appeal of the place. One such brand that falls into the latter category is a Spanish company Porcelanosa that is now operating in more than 100 countries around the globe. They provide amazing products from tiles to bath tubs and from wardrobes to modular kitchens. So, let me browse through it supposing I have to shop for my dream flat, a space of my own, the things that I wish to buy for myself from 24kliving

Let’s start from the basic thing- Floor Tiles: Porcelanosa has presented anti-slipping ceramic tiles that use ‘Nanoker Technology’ and have been developed in the collaboration with ‘Instituto de Tecnología Cerámica’ (Institute of Ceramic Technology), and require almost no maintenance.  So, I would choose wooden-designed anti-slip tiles for floor.                   

Then, the walls are the most important things that add to the grace of a house. I will choose mosaics that are compositions made with small pieces by combining different shades and tomes, and hence can never look dull and boring! In this range, I’ll go for ‘Green Mosaic’ range that is made using recycled materials and are therefore environment friendly!

Lovely kitchen furniture that is as versatile too, can be easily picked from the website and I’ll go with this these that match the wooden flooring. 

Another space where we all love to spend time and even sing is...right! The bathroom and there are various things that impart class and use to bathrooms are available with Porcelanosa. From basics like sanitary-ware to funky rain showers, all look really beautiful! I’ll go for ‘Touch’ rain-shower. 

Coming to living rooms, I’ll want a nice dressing room too and being a girl, that literally becomes a necessity! I am in love with this very chic and functional design – NaturaRoble Blanco Cal / Lino Habana Textil / Roble Nature

Thus, I can design my space as I want it to be. Porcelanosa fills the gap between dream and design. Check them out if you wish to add that dash of style to the space you love the most- you home!

Porcelanosa ventures into Asia for the first time with Kolte-Patil Developers Ltd. for their luxury brand #24KLiving. Website- http://www.24kliving.com/

 Images from: 

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A Toilet for Each Babli

A few years back, we went for a rural India project and, needless to say, on long highways with nothing but wild foliage and occasional eateries, toilets posed a huge issue. When we stopped at one eatery, we realized that the toilet was merely a hole dug up in the ground with a wild fence covered by an old sari. Also, it was really filthy. The boys somehow managed but we girls had come face to face with a nightmare. We found it shameful and offensive to make a circle covering the bare asses of the one whose turn was, waiting for ours. Anyways, with much embarrassment to everyone around, we too managed. At that point, many of us, I clearly remember, had discussed about the lives of thousands of women who have to face this humiliation every day till the end of their lives. Well, bowels, unlike a computer, can’t be programmed and nature’s call can come anytime; worse, when you are having loose motions or such an issue, the matters can take a shameful turn for sure. Even  at railway platforms in the wee hours, one can easily spot women of all ages, sitting because they are forced to do the same, as if a penalty of not having a toilet in their houses.

We Indians are such hypocrites that at one hand we force our women to stay veiled or wrapped in a ‘chunni’ all the time and on the other, do not give a damn about the embarrassment they face every day while defecating in the open. There are still, a whopping 597 million people who do not have a toilet at home. According to BBC, ‘Some 11,000 women would have escaped rape last year if they had toilets in their homes in India’. It is hard even to imagine that 30 women per day were raped only because of open defecation and lack of proper sanitation. A similar data by ‘Sulabh international’ sanitation NGO also accentuates the same finding that in rural India, open defecation is the major culprit behind most rapes.

Another disturbing fact is that lack of sanitation affects women education very adversely. According to a report, more than 30% of rural teenage girls (12-18 years) leave school forever only due to lack of toilets there. The news and sights of open defecation, rapes and lack of sanitation effects tourism too and India, if we have to make a brand out of it, needs a tourism boost and hence sanitation has rather become an emergency for economic development.

Thank fully, there are many such organizations that are working towards making Indian open-defecation free and one of them is ‘Domex’ that aims to build 24,000 toilets by 2015 in rural India. This flagship sanitation brand from ‘Hindustan Unilever Limited’ has started a unique initiative called ‘Toilet for Babli’ where ‘Babli’ represents all the young rural girls forced to defecate in the open due to lack of toilets at home. You too can support and change many lives simply by supporting You Click Domex Contributes’ by clicking ‘contribute’ tab on their website www.domex.in and supporting the online campaign ‘Toilet for Babli’. For every click, Domex will contribute Rs 5 towards making our Indian villages open-defecation free.

So, like clean water, food and sleep, we require sanitation too in order to stay clean, hence stay healthy and contribute towards making India stronger and cleaner.

You can bring about the change in the lives of millions of kids, thereby showing your support for the Domex Initiative. All you need to do is “click” on the “Contribute Tab” on www.domex.in and Domex will contribute Rs.5 on your behalf to eradicate open defecation, thereby helping kids like Babli live a dignified life.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Two Cinquains

Eternal, Constant
Progresses, Rewards, Punishes
Loose Sand in Fist

Majestic, Moody
Roars, Mauls, Rules
Law of the Jungle

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

MatrikaS Diaries- A Review

“Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences” 
Sylvia Plath

I cannot agree more with this quote by the famous writer Sylvia Plath who is, sadly, no more with us now but her words will live forever. Such is the power of creation. Even today, when you open a book by Socrates, you can converse with the greatest scholar of all times. Words become immortal once given a form and meaning, and with them lives forever, a part of the author’s soul. Therefore, to write is to leave a bunch of your feelings on paper and giving ideas a body of words and sentences so they may exist even when you cease to.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” 
Maya Angelou

I love writing and even till date, the best way to experience that feeling is by scribbling in a diary. It has been many years I have maintained this habit (not regularly). However, even now when I take up reading my old diaries, say the one I wrote in my first year of college, all those fun filled moments long gone, come alive! Moreover, typing can never give that relief that pen-paper writing provides.

One such company that makes wonderful notebooks and diaries is ‘MatrikaS Paper Products’. It is a concern of ‘SFA Print private Limited’, established by its 47 year old mother concern ‘Srinivas Group’ that is based in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu. Let us check out their products given to me for review.


This has a lovely cover with interesting cartoon-like engraving. The elastic helps to keep it tightly shut. The pages are smooth and lines are evenly placed, not too wide neither too narrow! At the back, there is a pocket to store important papers, photographs or whatever you need to. The appeal of this diary is a bit classy and size is very handy. The cover will keep it sturdy for years for sure!

“The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” 
Albert Camus


This is my fav in the entire lot because it is recycled and spiraled! I have a liking for spiral diaries, for it is really easy to fold and turn them as per convenience compared to the bound ones. The cover has a nice image indicating the value of recycling and the papers are smooth. The size is very pocket friendly and this can be carried very easily. This has a back pocket too. So, I am saving this for travels.

Writing makes an exact man
Francis Bacon

6 SUB-A4-A (Toss & Turn)

This is one of the best designed notebooks I have ever seen. The cover has a game printed, rather engraved over it so one can actually play ‘Snakes & Ladders’ using a dice! What a creative idea! The cover is really hard and glossy and hence it is ideal for college going students. The size and spacing also make it perfect for academics. A colored separator divides the notebook into 6 parts.

“The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.” 
William H. Gass


This is available in other options too like Mahatma Gandhi journal, Mother Teresa journal, and of some other eminent personalities. I opted for the Chanakya one. The notebook is a bit thin but the pages are damn smooth! The cover has a very silky feeling about it, the image looks surfaced out and one can feel the smooth counters of the same. Chanakya’s quotes are given on every page. A monthly planner is also included in the beginning.

So, in a nutshell, MatrikaS diaries are sturdy, high quality, beautiful, recycled as well as dateless and hence can be used in any year, anytime in the future. By all standards, this brand is a good buy and I do not think buyers will regret!

To explore their range, avail good discounts and offers, click here
For company info, visit their website or/and FB Page

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Bits & Pieces 3

Great Expectations

The seven years old child of an acquaintance bears the brunt of his over-ambitious mother’s unending aspirations. He already attends three or four classes including swimming, music, self-defense and craft apart from school and tuitions. The lady proudly flaunts his abilities in front of every other guest esp. relatives and often forces him to sing-that-song or show-that-stroke, making a museum of sorts out of the weary child. Moreover, she chides him when he isn’t in the top three or four in academics. I think this is a bit too much. Also, the most important thing she has failed to notice (unlike all others) is that, her child never smiles and always keeps a poker-face. To me, he seems more like a tired, confused and sleep-deprived scientist, lost in his own thoughts and equations. To make the matters worse, she is not on very amiable terms with her ever-busy husband. Hence, the entire time and energy is unfortunately directed towards her only child, along with the load of her great expectations. 

Sanitary Shift

I have been noticing a trend of late. Remember those sanitary napkin ads where burly mothers would come and murmur to the audience how this or that brand saved them from embarrassment. Now, for last five years or so, preteen and teen girls have replaced those middle aged aunties. The protagonist is always a perky school or college going girl who uses the brand, mostly because she likes it and goes for that movie date wearing stark white trousers, smiling cheerfully with her boyfriend. Moreover, these ads have become very graphic too with capacity displayed by literally pouring the blue liquids into the product. Although this accentuates a research that girls are hitting the puberty fast but sometimes I think that some of these ads could have been a bit more subtle and classy. Too much showing of sanitary products (and their details) gives a yucky feeling, especially if you happen to watch them during meals and/or with elders.  

Blame Game

Someone told me about an incident that happened in her neighborhood. A young mother was indecently handled by the hot-bloodied son of an affluent builder, in the community park. The lady, coming from no less a background complained about this to the boy’s father who, instead, blamed her for inciting his son’s youthful feelings. He accused her of spending all her spare time in the park on the pretext of her toddler and attracting boys by giving them ‘wrong signals’. A verbal spat followed and for a few days, the lady stopped coming to that colony park but the father-son duo remained as shameless as ever. Now, this requires attention. No amount of wealth, class and education are enough to change certain deep rooted perceptions. In our society, if a girl is manhandled, she is looked down upon for titillating the ‘young hearts’ and calling for all the trouble. This attitudinal shift is the most important thing and such teachings come primarily from the family itself. Unfortunately, it seems this shift will take forever to arrive. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Spooky Limericks!

A bold constable patrolled alone one night
Upon a man sitting on a grave, fell his sight
‘Why here? He asked in whim
“Actually it’s too hot within!!”
The constable, all pale, just ran and ran in fright!

Once a boy longed to visit the high hillside
“Never, it’s haunted” his mother did chide
Still he went, and saw a man too lost
Boy asked “does here roam a ghost?”
Said he “How would I know? A decade back I died!

A 'limerick' is a style of poetry, with five lines and a strict rhyme scheme AABBA. These poems generally have a humorous intent. The first, second and fifth lines are usually longer than the third and fourth. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Three Cinquains

Beautiful, Graceful
Wanders, Shines, Allures
Rules All the Hearts

Fiery, Golden
Blazes, Dazzles, Scorches
The Insignia of Power

Fresh, Bouncy
Charms, Advances, Lashes
Charts Its Own Course