Wednesday, December 25, 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

*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.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Domino's New Tagline - Eons later, your pizza will be delivered to you.

What do you expect when you order a pizza? A good pizza which you want to enjoy in front of your TV. Well, I wanted just that but sadly, that didn't happen. Thanks to Domino's.

I ordered a pizza yesterday noon from Domino's Essex Street, Hackensack and I got the confirmation mail at 2:17 PM Eastern Time (see image below). 

Order placed at 2:17 PM

Then I waited till 3:00 PM and checked Domino's online tracker, which was showing that my Pizza was ready and Erik was double checking it for quality at 2:29 PM. Fair enough, I thought I'll be receiving my Pizza anytime now. To tell you, drive from local Domino's store to my house is just 10-15 minutes. Anyways I waited patiently and my husband called them, their reply was - Just 10-15 minutes away.

Till 3:27 PM, online tracker was showing Pizza was doubled checked for quality at 2:29 PM

My husband called again at 3:35 PM to cancel the order and reply was - It's out for delivery and you will get it in 10-15 minutes. By that time, I had no urge to have Pizza and it was way past my lunch time. You all will agree that I was very patient. I thought, may be there is some serious problem at the store, after all they are humans too. And, as my pizza was out for delivery at 3:34 PM, I will be getting it in minutes now, albeit, 1 hour 30 minutes late.

At 4:01 PM, online tracker was showing Pizza is out for delivery at 3:34 PM

Even after the Pizza being out for delivery at 3:34, I received it at 4:08 PM. The drive which takes 10-15 minutes took nearly 40 minutes. I asked the delivery man, why the delivery is nearly 2 hours late and his reply was - 'There is only one man for delivery and I can't help it.' He was polite but not sorry. I paid him what was due. So, now you will understand why I said, Eons later. Which store takes 2 hours to deliver one pizza, that too, in the middle of the weekday when there are not much orders? No prize for guessing - Domino's!

We had issues with this store earlier as well, the delivery man started shouting on my husband. We wrote to Domino's and they apologized. I am really fond of their Pan Pizza but I am sorry, I don't have anymore patience to wait as long as 2 hours for a pizza, that too without any apology for being late. The person to whom my husband talked was neither sorry, nor polite.

Instead of spending money on advertising the product, Domino's should consider hiring enough people to manage the store and train them to do their job efficiently. As far as I am concerned, I am done with Domino's. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Racketeer - John Grisham

When you read the words, 'It's Payback Time' on the cover of book, you know it's all about revenge but you have to read 26 chapters before there is a mention of it. For the first 25 chapters, you read it like a story with no twist, no turns, no thrill. You feel like reading a saga, which goes on and on. Honestly, nothing excites you and some might ask, 'where is the thrill?' It's like you watch a 2 hour movie and for 1 hour 30 minutes, the hero sleeps, works and eats; No, he doesn't even have a date with  the heroine. 

Even after that, there are no twists but you realize something is cooking and that something is pretty HUGE. A  corrupt Federal Judge is murdered along with his secretary and a lawyer is serving 10 years for a crime he didn't commit. Malcom Bannister, the lawyer, is the man seeking revenge. He is  patient, he is intelligent and he uses FBI to settle scores. How cool is that!

The last few chapters unfolds the big scheme and how it is implemented. I like this book, easy on narration and characters are likable. Read it on a lazy weekend and you won't regret it.

Recommendation - YES

Happy Reading, 

P.S. Don't forget to read the Author's Note, it's one of best I have ever read.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Of Memories, Love and More...

You shouldn't have to have money to have luxury fragrance ~ Lady Gaga. When I read this quote in a magazine few years back, I was not sure what it meant. It took me many lonely days to realize its significance. Being alone in an alien land, you certainly know what you are missing. Rain doesn't smell good here. Even summer is not that sweaty. Everything is just perfect, which reminds me of the lines I wrote a couple of years back - 

'It's perfect here, too perfect for me.
Like dead flowers, adorned as potpourri.'

When I saw the 'Smelly Air to Smiley Air' contest by Ambi Pur on Indiblogger, the first thought that came to my mind was a song - Smelly Cat from Friends. But after that, memories came rushing in...
  1. Of mothballs and woolens - I loved when my mother used to take out or put back woolens on the arrival or end of winter. I happily volunteered to pack/unpack. It felt clean to me. I used to dug my face in the sweater and hold it long enough to get the fragrance transferred on my body. It felt so childish but it felt really good.

  2. Of paranthas in the morning - It was those days when we had only exhaust fans in the kitchen. After  cooking two parathas, the house used to be filled with the smell aroma of desi ghee and spices. As a kid, it was a signal for me to come out of my room and savor at least two butter laden parathas. Good-old-less-fancy days when we never thought of calories. I still miss both; the fragrance and my mother's cooking. To tell you, my timing was always impeccable - coming out of the room like a rat chasing the bread crumbs.

  3. Of wet soil in summer evenings - During summer vacations, my after nap activity was to re-fill the water cooler and water the plants. I love playing with water and took at least double the time for a 45 minute activity. The best part was the fragrance of wet soil. With folding chairs and table fan in the backyard, my summer evenings were amazing. I think my love for poetry started from there. And yes, very recently I came to know the word of this fragrance - it's called Petrichor.

  4. Of petrol from Dad's Chetak - Hamara Bajaj was our source of amusement for various reasons. One, if we were going on Scooter, it meant we would go to Purana Bazaar in Ambala with narrow lanes and a  treat of chaat and golgappas. And second, the moment Dad opened the tank's lid to check the petrol level, I sticked my nose in his business, I mean literally. I thought it was weird and I had some addiction but later I realized many like it and did so in the childhood. Well, I do it even now.

  5. Of smelly socks - Well, this tops the list of things I hated. After school, when my brother took off his shoes, what followed next was nose-twisting from my side and teasing from his. It smelled so bad that I demanded that he should rather wash his socks not face and hands after coming from school. It was a task to open the washing machine, in which we stored dirty clothes after he put in his socks. Boy! His feet stinks too.

  6. Of sticky gum bottle - Near end of all vacations brought a mix of feelings. I loved going to school but the fear of not completing the 'Holidays Homework' was tremendous. I disliked doing project work, completing files and charts. I hated the glue available in those days, we called it 'Gum.' It used to be sticky and the smell unbearable for me.

Ah! This brought back many happy memories. Senses does have unbelievable effect in your lives. Mothballs still reminds me of old iron trunks and petrol reminds me of Chetak. Some may find my choices weird. They would prefer to replace the word smell for fragrance or vice-versa. But, why change anything, just stock some room refresher in your home and ta-da, you are sorted. Find the sea of aromas at

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers - Patrick Lencioni

Book Review, Lesson
Why do we read books? Most of us read it for fun and this book gives you fun and much more. When I picked this book from Library, I thought it is a Management Book. I was right, it is a Management book which is much more entertaining than a fiction. The book is divided into 4 parts, three parts are written as fiction and 4th part has practical implementation and examples justifying the theory.

According to this book there are three reasons why a job is miserable - Immeasurement (yes, Immeasurement is the word author used), Irrelevance and Anonymity. I don't want to explain the factors but all I can say is it helps everyone; be it a teacher, a janitor or a CEO. All you need do is a will to make your life enjoyable

I am trying to implement the learning in my life. I have already started charting things which I need to measure and how many people are affected by my actions. Do read this book to add more meaning to your life.

Recommendation - YES

Happy Reading,


Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Mushroom Man - Sophie Powell

Without doubt, this book has the easiest narration. Even a 12 year old can read it. It took me back to my growing up days when I fantasized about fairies and angels but sadly there is nothing beyond that. Lily, the girl around whom the novel revolves goes missing and is found 2 days later by her teenage cousins.  That's it! 

Lily is a test tube baby, her mother knows her husband is sleeping with 23 year old maid and she dislikes almost everyone. Chirpy triplet cousins, older cousin who makes love with his girlfriend almost everywhere, Lily's aunt who is, I don't know what! Wait, the maid who is sleeping for money, goes through such a drastic change that she leaves Tiffany diamond earrings when she finally leaves, really?

I hoped to read some layering in characters and plot but nothing. So much so, I have nothing more to write about this novel. 

Recommendation - No

Happy Reading, 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sacred Sins - Nora Roberts

Every kind of story has a format. In love stories, a boy meets girl, there is a problem and love eventually wins. Now, the process and characters makes it interesting. In mystery novels, you have murders, a killer on the loose and 2 or 3 suspects. But, in this mystery novel I narrowed the killer in first few pages. So, there was only one thrill for me - to check whether I was right or wrong!

Characters are so predictable and what's worse, there is no honesty to them, barring the dead brother of the hero. When hero-herione kiss, it's not passionate. When they fight, there is no intensity. There is no sparkling chemistry between them.

When the final twist came, I knew I guessed the killer right! So, there was no need to read the rest of the pages but I did, as I respect Nora Roberts a lot.

Recommendation - NO, scan the newspaper for thrill instead.

Happy Reading, 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Mixed Blessing - Helen Van Slyke

I don't like love stories but this one is a kind of love story that transcends love. Set in 1970s when being a black was still a taboo, it narrates the story of Toni who is a mulatto. Black, Mulatto; seriously I hated these words in the book but then I wondered what people went through in those days. 

It's an out and out women book with strong female characters. I like the book as there were so many lessons in it. One of many lessons, I shared on Facebook. Read it here.

Recommendation - Not a guy book, females would like it.


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Lost Prairie, Perished Dreams (Footnote)

I always wonder what everyone wants and the answer comes down to one word - happiness. In pursuit of happiness, we work hard, we compete, we head for greener pastures. We do almost everything but enjoy it. After reaching the destination, we realize dreams were lost in the journey. Sad but true, sigh!

Enjoy what you have before dreaming ahead!


*Read the poem here

Monday, April 15, 2013

The 500 - Matthew Quirk

Girls love bad boys and bad boys love bad things but what happens when a bad boy with a criminal record vows to do good; 'The 500' is about twist of characters and much more. Set in Washington DC, this book transports you to a world where crime is committed to pocket influential people. The hero, Mike slogs to make some place in 'Good World' but finds things are murkier behind the curtains.

To save himself, he lands in a swamp and plot thickens. Breaking a lock, tracking his boss and coning someone to get things right follows next. Basically he is Neal Caffery with an enormous dose of blood and bullets. What I found most entertaining was splash of humor in desperate situations, for instance, when Mike goes to a hotel where pimps, drug dealers and prostitutes is a common sight, he tells you how bad it is but ends in saying, 'Hey! Free HBO'

Read this book for action, humor and details but mostly for the victory of good over bad.

My tweet to the author of this book

20th Century Fox has bought the rights of this book, so in case you don't want to read, you can watch the movie later.

Recommendation - YES

Happy Reading, 

Tress-Symphony (Footnote)

We all have seen TRESemme products in many salons. I got this pack two weeks back as a part of 'TRESemme Ramp Ready Hair' drive on Indiblogger. Thank you guys!

You can read my contest entry here.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Braided Memories ~ Pages from my Diary (Footnote)

I have been using Dove Hair Products for many years now and the results have been marvelous. I got this Dove Shampoo and Conditioner last week. Thanks Indiblogger and Dove.

You can read the contest entry here

Sunday, March 10, 2013

67% Discounted (Footnote)

In the time of universal deceit, telling a truth is a revolutionary act - George Orwell

But the more important question is do we believe anything others say? No, we don't. A simple statement is put to so much of a thought for various reasons. Here are some I found, share yours...

Cut 25% - World is so corrupt that we kill a fact on the face of it. We hardly believe what other's say.
Cut 15% - We kill someone's trust, someone kills ours and we end up questioning the purity of each other.
Cut 10% - Almost everything from coffee to puja items are branded, commercialisation has killed almost everything. Try finding truth in the statement, 'I love You.'
Cut 15% - And for this credit goes purely to us, this is our personal and psychological side.
2% is the surcharge.

*Read the poem here.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Food, Drape and Home (Footnote)

For almost every blogger writing is pious. And for many it is one of the basic needs, just like food, clothing and shelter. When our mind is in a state of nothingness, it serves as food. When feel alone in difficult situations, it shelters us. And when we are alone, we get warmth my penning our thoughts.

What do you think, is writing something basic to you OR something divine? Do share :)


*Read the poem here.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Art, it is - II (Footnote)

I am highly indebted to all my blogger friends who read, appreciate and provide constant encouragement. However, no one is perfect and to improve ourselves we need valuable inputs from others. I wish to improve and hence look forward to honest feedback. 

If you ask me, I would say, these lines are hard hitting for all of us,

"Walking down this aisle I peek taking a pause,
 Shall I take a bow for fake applause?"

I hope few years down the lane, we all will be more evolved, not only as writers but as bloggers as well.


*Read the poem here.

A body to die for - Kate White

Image Source - Google

If there is one life I wish to live that would certainly be of Bailey's. She is the protagonist who has super cool life, contacts of all necessary and solves murder mysteries. You would love to read her, how she feels, her wit which she outpours with little or no remorse.

Though the book gets dull at some moments but the ending of each chapter gets you hooked. Not the best murder mysteries I have read but certainly a super read.

Recommendation - YES

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Coming Out - Danielle Steel

Image Source - Google

There is not even a single moment where you'll love, sorry, like this book. There is no plot, characters are not defined, events occur at author's whims and fancies. I cursed myself for picking it up. Don't even touch it, boring to the core.

Recommendation - NO