Sunday, October 19, 2014

Health is indeed Wealth



There is an unparalleled joy in the company of a sibling. You grow up together, you scheme against each other and most importantly, have fun together. My brother is seven years younger to me. When he was born, I was on cloud nine. I always envied those friends who had their brothers and sisters for company. Now, I played with him and rocked him. Oh, it was the best time of my childhood. It was so much fun. Everybody was joyous but it only lasted a few months. When he was 3 months old, he developed an eye infection. Doctors thought it was normal and would go away with medication. I remember, no one was allowed to touch him. We didn't take him outside. We followed the hygiene and medicine routine, and it did went away.

But again after a few months, we noticed that whenever he was lying down and tilted his head in one direction, tears would flow non-stop. First we thought that he was weeping. But even when he was sleeping, it won't stop. We took him to doctor and there was a major problem with his tear ducts. It is pretty common and usually happens in newborns but at his age, it was rare. 1 out of 20 newborns suffers from it. Doctors told us that it would require a minor surgery and will clear the passage with the help of a needle. Inserting a needle in a baby's eye is such a painful thought, not only for my parents but for everyone. We prepared ourselves and thought it will be alright after the surgery. I was also hoping to play with him again and take him out in the park. Surgery went well, it was fine for a couple of days but again we noticed the same thing. His tears won't stop when he titled his head in one direction. It was such a painful period for my family. 

We again went to the doctor and he said my brother needed another minor surgery. He assured us that he would be fine after that. I remember going to the hospital with my mother. Even when I stayed at home, I waited for them eagerly. I never understood much of it but all I could feel was that everything was so sad in my home. When he was born, we had guests almost everyday. There used to sweets in the house and it was so good. But when he was sick, there was no happiness. With a double assurance from the doctor, again we went for the surgery, praying this would end his misery. Even now it's so hard to even think about it but during the next many months, we went for a total of seven minor surgeries. It was the most difficult time for my family. My parents were distressed, my brother was in pain and I was sad, there was no fun to have a little brother who can't play with you. After his seventh surgery, things started to improve. My parents was over cautious, why wouldn't they be, I now think. After a month or so, when they had him checked by two specialists, they allowed me to play with him. And finally, things started to change. Again, friends and family started visiting us, we went out in park, I played with him and he reciprocated; there was again happiness in the house. 

Then, my parents took that experience as a learning lesson and went great lengths in taking care of both of us. Regular doctor check-ups and a proper diet became their priority. As a child, I was happy when they allowed me to play with my brother but they became happy when they made sure both their children are healthy. Health is not only wealth but a great source of joy, we learnt


*This post is written for 'A healthy child makes a happy home' campaign sponsored by Dabur India. 

**Image Source - Here

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sorry… Again? Can he purge his sins? ~ Amit Singh

A small town boy who lives in a parallel world of goodness. He refrains from using the word 'breast', he conveniently addresses it as upper part of the body. He is so cautious in the presence of woman he loves, that he won't utter the word 'sex'; though she knocks at his door late at night and asks for cigarettes. This is our protagonist - Sid. Yes, he is a good boy with an ordinary life but he has done something which he terms as sin. Now, this book is about that one thing he has done wrong, and his ever-so-lost girlfriend, Mallika.

Mallika or Anushka is an enigma. She has a shaded past and a present, which looks very contrived. She is a lost soul and seems like holding so many things within herself that author has even written a chapter titled - Mysterious Girl for her. Between the two of them, the narration moves - sometimes it arouses your curiosity, sometimes it seems unrealistic and sometimes it's just plain. But one thing that keeps you hooked are beautiful parts of writing, which not only shows the author's ability to bring beauty to words but also charm. Read these -

"Memories not so old that warrant manifestation of their existence, yet not so recent as to manifest themselves in my pain, but they left behind indelible scar"

AND, my favorite -

"You should not continuously keep the spotlight on a particular incident otherwise its shadow will grow and one day it will become so large that it will eclipse your present."

In the opening pages of the book, author writes about his stay in Kolkata in such moving words that it almost seems like he is leaving his better half. And as you reach to the last pages you will find all the answers to the mystery and a happy ending, AND between that you can excuse the typing errors and low moments for a wonderful weekend read this book is.

Recommendation - Yes!

Happy reading,
Love,
Saru

P. S. - I so love chapter titles in this book.



Friday, January 3, 2014

We, the Change

Do you have any complaint against our system? I bet, you do! In fact, not one but many. If asked how is our country? ...Most of us will end up saying, '100 mein se 99 beimaan, fir bhi mera Bharat mahaan,' with satire and smile on our face. Are we taking pride in our misery or being simply helpless? Well, in my opinion we shouldn't feel either of it. We should just ACT.

With every third person in Indian city being a youth, we are marching towards being the youngest country in the world by 2020. Thus, change for us lies in the hands of those young souls. But, how would we propel Indian youth busy charting their own future to do something for their motherland? This is surely not the era of wearing khadi and shouting slogans. They spend most of their time completing assignments, writing an impressive resume, searching for jobs and unwinding with family and friends. So, we have to talk to them in the language they understand and more importantly on the medium they spend most of their time on.

If "charkha" was the symbol of our freedom, then modern day sleek gadget "mobile" will become the symbol of change. And here's how - by using mobile social media apps to spread awareness and infusing positive energy in Indian youth.

I truly believe in the influence of celebrities on young minds. Recently we have witnessed many videos propagating social messages going viral. Be it Nandita Das quelling the hype over fair skin or Kalki Koechlin's satirical take on rape.To encourage Youth of India to vote, we must pitch in Youth Icons and create an impactful video on how voting can change the society and share it through social media apps. It should reinforce the fact that we have the wherewithal to bring order in society. And that wherewithal lies in the Power of Voting. Celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar and Ranbir Kapoor have compelling influence on young minds and videos featuring them would infuse change in their minds when shared on social media apps. It should lead to the belief - We, the Change. After all, all that is ever changed is fuelled by passion, and streamed and executed by youth. Youth has the power to bring the ever needed breath of fresh air, the much needed change.

Few months back, I was irked with the number of 'Facebook Page Like' requests on my account. Even my timeline was flooded with pictures and status of Aam Aadmi Party. To be really honest, I thought it was just a craze or fad. Can one man change the dynamics of Nation's capital? I miserably failed to understand that it was not a single man but the power of social media, of Indian youth. To repeat what has happened in Delhi in the entire country, we must share the good work of AAP on social media apps. Nothing encourages people than true stories. Last week compensation of Rs 1 Crore was announced for a slain Delhi constable's family. I saw my cousin from a remote town in Himachal sharing it on Facebook saying - 'AAP ko vote karo aur shaheedo ko note do.' Though AAP is still in its infancy, but such anecdotes can drive anyone to the Polling Booths.

There are a million apps - from apps that help you to conceive a baby to the ones that help you live longer. However, social media apps influence people exponentially. What each of us can do is post a picture or status on our profiles when we vote. As they say, 'Action speaks louder than words.' It can influence people in our network to exercise their right and be a responsible citizen. Also, on apps like WeChat, we can invite our friends using group chats living in the same area to go voting with us. If we can hang out virtually, why don't we organize ourselves virtually to bring our country back on track. For a Nation which has lost faith in its leaders, we can't leave any stone unturned to restore it. Just Act - Exercise your right and vote.

Last year New York City introduced a social app for voting. Akin to Amazon, main purpose of this app is to bring voting and its process closer to people. As we are still far behind as a nation, we can only use what's available and put it to the best use. With the stunning example of Delhi and Indian General Elections ahead of us, we must use this tiny gadget to change the course of future. Use social media apps on your mobile to share, influence and encourage youth to vote and make "mobile" the symbol of change. As the President of US, Barrack Obama said, 'Yes, We Can!' Let's believe in ourselves and be a part of the new chapter of our country. Trust me, with the Power of Voting, We surely can...

*Image Source - Here

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Mommy Santa ~ Ho, Ho, Ho!


To My Unborn Child ~

Flipping the news channels,
Awing at the baby commercials,
Your Mommy plans someday.
What would she gift you on your 3rd birthday?

Inviting friends from your Play School,
Tricycle with cake of your favorite cartoon.
Morning Puja in the temple,
And evening party with balloons.
Imbibing Social Values at outset.
Social manners add to your growth chart...
You should never forget.

A Doll House or Lego,
Maybe, an iPad for your rocking generation.
Or choose the Best of Schools,
To build your foundation.
Hang on, when I was 6...
I missed reading story books at that age.
Gift of Reading would be perfect,
To nurture you at that stage.

You won't be born with a silver spoon,
But surely will have privileges many.
Trip to the nearest slum on turning 13,
To teach you value of each penny.
Life is a hard taskmaster, be a better student.
Gift of Wisdom to you, to be prudent.

Will take all rides in an amusement park,
Your Mom will shed all her inhibitions.
On your 18th birthday, I promise,
I Gift You to be Fearless and stand by your decisions.
For headstrong people, opportunities smile.
Unabashed march into future, My Darling Child.

For I'll be really old,
You will be young at 26.
What to gift you to match your uber-cool life?
Your old mother would be in a fix.
To protect you and your family from Financial unseens.
Subscription Gift of Forbes India magazine.

~ Would be, Mommy…


*This post is a part of the 1001 Gifts Activity by HDFC Life in association with BlogAdda

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cleaner, Safer and Better Delhi


*This post won runner-up prize in Delhi Manifesto Contest on BlogAdda.

Delhi gives you many reasons to love it - ancient Mughal architecture, its fast-pace, flourishing suburbs and the heart-warming welcome of Delhi walas. You can't but admire the right mix of this city - Lal Qila aging gracefully in the background as modern day marvel Delhi Metro runs through the narrow lanes of Old Delhi. You take pride in the preserved heritage and growth of Nation's capital but a closer brush with this city leaves you heart-broken and shameful at the same time.

When BlogAdda asked bloggers to draft Delhi Manifesto and bring the issues we feel should be resolved to the forefront, I thought of the first day I came to this city. If you enter Delhi via road from Haryana, piles of garbage welcomes you. Your first reaction is - Is this our Nation's capital? Probably, no one imagines this kind of first impression from the most important city of your country. For me, Delhi needs to create a cleaner impression for anyone who visits it. Authorities should not only focus on cleaning and maintaining the posh localities but also the places which are the entry points of city. Cleaner Delhi should be one of the main agendas of Delhi Manifesto.


Another problem which should be addressed is - Public Toilets. People urinating in public is a usual sight in India but when you drive on wide four lanes of Delhi, you can spot many defecating along dry Yamuna banks or on Railway lines. We need to have much more public toilets in Delhi. This would solve two problems, of cleanliness and hygiene. Since Delhi has one of the biggest number of migrant population in the country, this would surely help in many ways.

My another concern is something which I didn't focus on for a very long time but after reading 'Holy Cow by Sarah Macdonald,' I understood the gravity of it. Stray cows and dogs in Delhi not only create traffic woes but if you read deeper into this problem, you will realize how the abandoned animals eat plastic from garbage while searching for food and die of slow and very painful death. When I came to know about this fact, I was shocked, not for the cleanliness part but how we treat the most sacred animal of India. For life long, we worship Cow and then when she is a burden, we leave her hungry and to die on open roads.

If we address three of the above mentioned problems in Delhi, we can avert one of the deadliest diseases 'Dengue' that hits the city every year.


Delhi has the most unbearable summers. Temperature in North India soars during summer but crowd and large number of industries make Delhi break all limits. We can't do much about it but what we can do is at least provide clean and safe drinking water to citizens, especially in summers. All those who can afford don't drink water supplied by Government but a large population which can't afford to have two square meals a day, suffer from many water borne diseases. Safe drinking water must be one of the top-most agendas of Delhi Government.

In recent times, Delhi has been lamented as the unsafest city for women. Safety of women is undoubtedly the biggest agenda. I know the Government is doing a lot to make women safe but my next concern is children. Nothing puts me off than watching rickshaws, autos and buses packed with more than double its capacity and taking children to school. What kind of safety is this? There should be strict laws regarding vehicles carrying school children, with special emphasis on vehicle's capacity and number of children it can carry.


If we look closely and put our own cities through the litmus test of these problems, we will find all cities face all these problems to some degree or another. We need all these changes not only in Delhi but everywhere in our country. And cleaning and making Nation's Capital better would serve as a perfect role model for rest of the nation to follow.

Let's voice our concerns and work towards a cleaner, safer and better Delhi.

This is My Delhi Manifesto in association with BlogAdda.com.

*Image Source - Google

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ambi Pur Mini Vent Clip ~ Good Things Come in Small Packages

Our car is much more than a means of transport. We spend our busy days rushing to office or our leisure family vacations traveling in it. We choose our vehicle to great care, pamper it and take pride in it. A month back, I got Ambi Pur Mini Car Vent Clip from Indiblogger and it became an accessory of our car.

Ambi Pur Mini Vent Clip  - Lavender Comfort

What I instantly liked about it was its size. It is Compact. You can place it on any side and it doesn't intrude into your space. I remember earlier we had these bulky car fragrance bottles that looked quite out of place in the car. But Ambi Pur mini car vent looks sleek and its design fits well with other car accessories. With grey and black exterior, it looks modern and the color of your fragrance makes sure to add splash, without being boring.

Mini Vent Clip - Sleek N Compact

Now, I am one of those few people who juggle with new products. It's difficult for me to install things but the Vent Clip is Simple to Use/Install. All you have to do is open the clip on the back of it and fit it in the AC vent, much like how we girls use back clips and hair pins. This actually made me fall in love with it even before switching it on. Compact and easy-to-use products are always on my hit list. 

Clip and Level Adjuster at the back of Mini Vent

I chose 'Lavender Comfort' from their range of fragrances while applying for the sample and I like it. It's subtle and fresh but what's great is that you can Adjust the Level and have the desired level of scent in your car. This is the feature my family loved the most. My parents can't stand strong fragrances,  so we turn it down when they are traveling with us. And sometimes when we have some strong odors, we turn it on high. Though, keeping it on low is good as it gives a lingering aroma and the fragrance lasts longer than 30 days. 

The Adjust feature has many benefits -
  • First, keeping it on low, you can make it last longer. This suits the liking of everyone in the family. For those who like strong fragrances, turn it high. For sensitive souls, keep it low and enjoy the subtle aroma.
  • Ambi Pur vent clip when turned on high, freshens your car instantly. It helps in breaking bad odors. When the car is parked for many days, it freshens it in no time and makes the journey #FRESHNHAPPY. Also on road trips, it will keep the interiors smelling fresh and nice.
Also, the quantity is just right - with 2 ml you can try all the fragrances from their range rather than staying with one for months together. You can change the ambience of your car every couple of months, unlike earlier when we had larger quantities and had to stick with the same fragrance for nearly a year. There is New Zealand Springs, Sky Breeze, Light Citrus and Thai Dragon Fruit apart from the one I chose and I'm thinking of trying each after Lavender Comfort finishes.

I feel Ambi Pur should bring a combo pack of 2 or 3 and bring down the price a bit. This way we can buy few months' supply, get a discount and have a variety in a single purchase. Not many rush to the store to buy a fragrance and most of the times, we run out of it. Combo pack will ensure that our car doesn't feel neglected and is always ready with a dose of freshness. Since it's compact we can store the extra in the dashboard and clip the new vent whenever the existing finishes.

After using 'Lavender Comfort Ambi Pur Mini Vent Clip,' the car smells fresh, clean and even the drive to the local market has become a luxury ride. Even in a big car you need a perfect feel and the mini vent clip adds a new dimension to the experience of driving, making it FRESH and HAPPY. After using it in your car, you all will agree that Good Things do come in Small Packages. 

Do check Ambi Pur 'Breath Fresh Think Fresh' Anthem and see how a good fragrance not only makes us #FRESHNHAPPY but also it evokes FRESHTHINKING 


* This post is written as a part of #FRESHNHAPPY Experience with Ambi Pur Mini Vent Clip hosted on Indiblogger.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Your Wish is My Command

As a kid my brother used to pretend talk on the portable video game. I used to joke with him about talking and seeing each other on phone. It was one of our biggest fantasies. And, here we are in 2013 talking to each other on Facetime everyday. Technology has changed the meaning of impossible. What you can think of, is possible and will happen in the next few years, like flying cars or trip to Mars.

When eBay asked bloggers on how 'The Future of Shopping' will be in 2030? I did race up my imagination and mixed it with few things I wish online shopping has. For me the most convenient and path breaking feature would be 'Voice Command'I want online shopping to be Hands-Free. I don't want to sit and search for products. I want to plug in my headphones, listen to the options given by the website and shop while I do my household chores, walk or simultaneously work in another tab. 


Let's say I want to buy a perfume. I will plug in my headphones, click on the website and login to my account. Of course, the login would be voice driven and it'll operate only on my voice. Then I say the word 'Perfume' and it gives me various questions:

  • Men/Women
  • Price Range
  • Name the brand; etc...

And then the website system speaks out the various options and I tell it to either say 'Stop', if I like the option OR 'Next' if I don't like it. It will list out the features and will also suggest the best selling or suggested products based on my purchase history. For those who are wondering about products which we have to see and want to have a look before buying, I guess at least we can save time by narrowing few options and saving it.

Also, this feature will be very time saving for buying items which you are sure of - Like your monthly household supplies or the product you want to buy. All you'll do after logging into your account is speak out - >>  1 Kg Packet of Surf detergent and 1 Sony headphones Model No. 131 ->> Add to Cart  ->> Checkout. How cool would be that! ...And fun too.

Whatever limitations my non-technical mind can't think, will be taken care of by the techies who design amazing features. They will spot the problems and come up with a path-breaking and revolutionary technology. Shoppers will only have to speak out and the system would respond - Your wish is my command!

Another feature which I want is 'Family and Friends Network' even in my online shopping account. It would be of great help on birthdays, anniversaries and festivals. However, it should be on the individual to decide how much information he/she wants to disclose to people in their network. There will be many benefits of the network:

  • Suggest products which people in our network buy often based on their purchase history. It will help us to choose gifts for them.
  • Having a service of Gift Registry. On special occasions, we can share the list of items with people in our network.
  • This can be of more help as our friends and family can share their Reviews directly with usThis way we can get the first hand experiences of people whose opinion matter in our lives. For example, if you narrow down a product, it will give us the option of speaking out the reviews of that product by our friends.

This feature can be implemented very easily and we don't have to wait many years for it. If that happens, I'm sure I will use Gift Registry service pretty often. The only problem would be to find occasions.

With Voice Command, we will move many steps forward in making shopping a never before experience. And coupled with an extension of social networking to our shopping account, it will bring people closer. Shopping online would become an interactive and virtual hangout, voice driven of course.

Check out and install new eBay India Google Chrome Extension and get updates on products on your Google Chrome Bar.