Wednesday, September 30, 2015

For the #WIN15 - The Event, An Experience & MY Achievement

In my almost 7 odd years of blogging (though not so regular) there has not been an awesome-r moment to witness my own contribution to a book being launched in front of a whole audience of veteran and renowned bloggers at WIN 15 (Write. Inspire. Network) 2015 an annual event by entered its second year and I was going to be a part of one of the the biggest events in the blogosphere - A book launch by bloggers!
I just could not miss this for the world!

So on 20th September 2015 - Blogadda's WIN15 happened, and let me take you through the event in pictures:

Yummy breakfast at the venue JW Sahar, Airport, Mumbai
Tagged and Ready for the conference.
Care for a fortune cookie? 

That's my fortune for the day! Nice touch BlogAdda!

The BlogAdda WIN15 Stage at JW Mariott Sahar, Mumbai
The poster of the Teams winning the Game of Blogs right outside the conference room.
My team is Team Tete-A-Ten.
A closeup of my Team and my Teammates.

The Master of Ceremonies and Master of Energy of the day
building up the momentum with his dramatic entry to the stage.

A lot of interesting sessions and with various topics at WIN15.
Sessions started with Lakshmi Pratury, Host & Curator of INK Conference on the aspects of storytelling. Next up Rezwan Islam talking about the influence of blogging and social media in current affairs of Bangladesh, followed by Ajay Jain; who wooed the audience with his charisma and travel mantra. Sure had me almost hook, line and sinker to take up Jordan as my next destination. He explained how a day in his life goes. Anaggh Desai (the God ) and Aditya Magal (the fake jhunjhunwalla on twitter) had a tete-a-tete that had all of us rollicking in laughter. Prashant Challapalli, Shrutijith K and Calamur delved more into the media aspects of social media and blogging.

After many sessions, the eminent speakers congregate for a photo op and receive their mementos.
Say Cheese!
 And then we break for lunch - 100% Pure Vegetarian!

The Indian fare I sampled - Dal was the bomb!

Vegetarian Sushi - A first for me!

Dessert Platter

Post a filling lunch, the workshop on Food Blogging
by Archana Doshi of Archana's Kitchen

The session with Suchitra Krishnamoorthy and Natasha Badhwar

The Pièce De Résistance of the evening, the book launch.

The GameOfBlogs book launch was the highlight of my evening. It was no lesser than an academy award ceremony for me as I stepped on stage for the unveiling of the book. I was rubbing shoulders with Writer Natasha Badhawar, Actor-Singer Suchitra Krishnnamoorthy, the representative of LeadStart Publishing and the CEO of BlogAdda, Nirav Sanghvi plus the writers of the other teams and it was oh so surreal!
We were handed a copy each and were asked to sign it. My first ever book signing!
A few words were exchanged with the audience and then I had it in my hand: My very First Book

All that transpired on that day was awesome to say the least. I learnt a lot of tips and tricks, met many like minded bloggers, savoured some good food and enjoyed the event.
Looking forward to the next WIN!

My win-win-win+ solution with TATASky+Transfer

As a mom to a energetic toddler who absorbs information like a sponge, I need to be on standby all the time to "entertain" her. Kids now-a-days know what they want and when they want it. And they always seem to want it NOW! Like NOW means NOW!

And then go do their routine tantrum of crying out loud, yelling and turning that happy face into a angry pout. Not just toddlers, it's all these munchkins till the age of 10. Surprisingly, they even say they're "bored" while a humongous pile of toys lie idle. In short, the Doreamons and the Pokemons can act as a potential toddler tantrum detonator to any mom!

My tot who never glanced at the TV screen in the first year of her life has suddenly found her fancy to Disney's creation -Mickey Mouse and his so called imaginary clubhouse.

So I've resorted to downloading the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode and Sophia the First episode videos via the YouTube app on my phone. So there, win-win situation? NOPE, say my inflated mobile data bills!

That's right. Downloading those episodes in the offline mode will still cost me a bomb in data charges.

Then early September while surfing for the HotDog song on my phone, an ad by TataSky caught my eye. Already a TataSky+ subscriber, I was actually wondering if there was any free recharge up for grabs (wink).
Not quite. But what I discovered, could potentially be a win-win-win situation for me and my kiddo and my data bills.

#TATASky+Transfer Credit: TATASky
TATASky+Transfer is the innovative and first-in-its-kind brainchild of the folks at TataSky DTH to bridge the gap between watching entertaining TV recorded content on mobile. So the concept is, if you get the #TATASky+Transfer box home, you'll be able to download the entire series of episodes of Jake and the Neverland Pirates as they are aired and stream it LIVE on your tablet or mobile phone through the TataSky App - importantly -wait for it -It does not need an internet connection!

How does TATASky+ Transfer transfer the data to you mobile/ tablet? - was also my first question.
Through your home WiFi! Simple.

Even if you're away from home, you can order the STB at your command to record the special one hour special episode of Kumkum Bhagya that you secretly want to see that you curiously want to glance and then watch it on the go.

With 500GB storage on the TATASkyHD STB, movies on the go on your device is a cakewalk!

Now I can go ahead and recreate that yummy Sicilian pasta recipe shared by Chef Ranveer Brar on Living Foodz using the transferred video as a guide and avoid shuttling to-and-fro from kitchen to living room.
I can keep ogling at Harvey Spector of Suits whilst binge watching Big Bang Theory and guffawing on Sheldon's wisecracks.

Oh, this TATASky+Transfer box is going to be a keeper for sure!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Merawala Sea Breeze?

Do you remember the Asian Paintsadvertisement a couple of years back?

That hugely popular ad showed how a married couple traversed through the desert to lay hands on a Rajasthani man's powder blue colour pagdi, only because the wife loved its rich colour. When the befuddled man refused to part with it, the couple took their chance to snag it when he had gone for a dip in the river. To which the lady exclaims "Merawala Blue", leaving the Rajasthani man sporting the husband's chic beret.

Yet, I could not correctly visualize my vivid colours in the contrast of my now beige and boring wall.
I wish there was a tool to virtually guide me to take the decision of a colour splash on my beige boredom. I was searching for merawala colour guide!

I had the very same crazy moment when we were renovating my home. I love colours that stand out but do not overpower the overall look and feel of a room. So while renovating we had a plethora of options to choose from! From which colour floor tiles should match the shower curtain to which pillow cushions should complement the display wall in the living room - I was seeing colours!

Bed Bath and More have come up with this unique concept of viewing how your home will look like after it has be painted. So you can visualize how your virtually painted home will look like even before a drop of paint touches the wall.

This ingenious tool is called the PaintFinder.

  1. Go to #PaintFinder tool on the Bed Bath and More website.
  2. Click on your choice of shade of paint from the drop-downIt will show you various shade options available.
  3. Now click on any shade in the palette. (I clicked Sea Breeze)
  4. Choose any virtual room. You can also see the same colour for all the other rooms in the display.
  5. Preview a large snapshot of the room.
  6. Shortlist upto 3 shades and order your shade card. And you're done!
Bed Bath and More have an introductory offer running to get your colour shade card delivered to your doorstep for FREE!
Bed Bath and More Paint Finder
How my Bathroom will look in the PaintFinder
Bed Bath and More Paint Finder
Preview how your room would appear in the PaintFinder tool.
Bed Bath and More Paint Finder
The handy Paint calculator 

The PaintFinder sports a handy paint calculator, Key in the metrics in the calculator to evaluate how much cost it would run up to paint your home.

So goodbye cold wars from disagreements on paint colours and shades. And Hello to the PaintFinder from Bed Bath and More to visualize and colour your imagination into your home.

“I am participating in the #PaintFinder activity in Association with BlogAdda &; Bed Bath & More

Thursday, September 24, 2015

One piece of #SachchiAdvice for LIFE

Generally, people are not really great givers. But when it comes to giving advice, people love to give it. More so, people give advice better than following it.

I have been on the receiving end of many such sermons and pieces of wisdom from time to time in my life. Be it from my parents, peers, friends, distant relatives, close relatives, acquaintances; I have even received advice from remote strangers that I barely know.

Yet, there is a common thread between all of the genuine advises I've received; is that they care about you. And that's why they give advice.

Of all the pieces of advice we receive, there is always one or more nugget of wisdom that makes a permanent imprint on our soul. One powerful phrase; that one one small kernel of avuncular wisdom that we're set to carry forward with us in the rest of our life.

And here, let me share my piece of advice:
It was the time when I was completing my degree. I was staying away from home, loving the independence, yet within the reach of my parents. One result day, I was shell-shocked to receive a setback or what engineers call - an ATKT. (Allowed to Keep Term; a second chance given when one fails a subject in engineering)
My entire world had collapsed. It was a huge deal for me, as I had NEVER failed, well, before that day. Even so, I had sworn to myself at the beginning of the course, that I shall give my hundred percent and will not blemish my academic record. But, it had just happened, without any warning. What's more, is that I had less than a month to clear the re-exam along with the other upcoming exams.

That day I returned home- in no mood to enjoy my freedom and independence- earnest to yearn that much needed comfort and solace of my loved ones. I was sad, in no mood to interact. It was almost bedtime, when my dad sensed me out of my usual self- all tired and weary from work - asked me to sit down and have a talk with him, He told me to spill what was in my heart. 
I blinked back tears, all composure lost and said "I have failed, Dad." I hung my head low, unable to meet him in the eye. To me my dad is my academic hero - always among the first of the class and took matters of academics very seriously. And was strict.

A moment had passed.

"So what?" he said. Bewildered, I immediately looked up at him straight in the eye of his ludicrous comment. "It's okay, Gauri" he smiled and said, "This too shall pass"

I looked at him with intrigue of not being admonished, but being met with understanding and yearned to know the explanation of those four words. Sensing my curiosity, my dad went on to tell me a story of a King and his Kingdom. Here's the story in a nutshell:

There was a King who was in search of a single answer to all situations and called the wise men of his kingdom to seek the answer. A wizened old man wrote the answer on a piece of paper, but asked the King to only read it when he is in extreme danger and not otherwise.
After this event, the King's kingdom was attacked by his enemies so brutally that he had fled by the skin of his teeth. Cornered and alone,  in that moment the King remembered the old man and read his answer - "This too shall pass" - was all that was written. 
This made the King realize that sorrow or danger is only but for a moment and it will pass.

He returned to his Kingdom and later gathered his men again and this time he annihilated the enemy.. Basking in the glory of victory in his kingdom, he suddenly thought he was the greatest king ever. Then his attention drew back to the old man's answer. He reflected again "This too shall pass" was the answer he sought. Even happiness and life's riches are short lived and is not permanent.

The King had finally found life's answer.

"THIS TOO SHALL PASS" - This piece of advice that made a huge difference in my life. That day was a complete turnover for me. Of course I cleared the re-exam, rejoiced in the celebrations of completing my course and went on with life. Yet I remember this piece of golden wisdom that my dear father had given me, in every difficulty I faced and will face; and in every victory I enjoy and will enjoy.

I could now recall how he must have drawn strength and gone through with life when he faced difficulties and sought the drive to go on. And it is now my turn to move ahead.

This was my piece of #SacchiAdvice. But this advice is not to be kept with oneself. Like Grandma's wisdom, it needs to be passed on from one generation to the next. 

“I am participating in the #SachchiAdvice Contest by MaxLife in Association with BlogAdda.”

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