Showing posts with label Indiblogger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indiblogger. Show all posts

Friday, June 3, 2016

Are your ready-to-go in a Datsun redi-GO?

I’ve owned a two-wheeler (scooter) for long now. Though I use it less often than before, a two-wheeler has limitations over a four-wheeler. Limitations include: seating only two passengers, inconvenience riding in the monsoons, luggage space constraints, to name a few. One of the main reasons why my loved ones constantly caution me when I ride a bike is for the safety.

A two-wheeler may not provide the safety to the driver from a head-on collision or an accident. Not to sound pessimistic here, but having lived in a metropolis where for road rage incidents and road accidents are on the rise, women are recommended to purchase a hatchback meant for the city to drive safe. 

The other reason is for traffic. It cannot be stressed enough how the levels of traffic in a locale of a city plays a crucial role in the decision making process of taking the car for a spin or not.

And whilst contemplating the many options available in four-wheelers, particularly cars, I chanced upon this brand new car that symbolises Fun. Freedom. Confidence. The ultimate Urban Cross - Datsun redi-GO - the capability of a crossover with the convenience of a hatchback.
Datsun India has launched India’s first-ever urban cross car to cater to the current generation who are ‘always on the go’. Using the best of Japanese technology, Datsun has designed redi-GO car with a host of features; three of the following appeal to me the most to take this car for a spin:

1. Best-in-class Ground Clearance:
A much needed feature when you’re wading driving through water-logged streets full of puddles the size of Moon carters. With 185 mm ground clearance, smoothly sail over the craters like a moon rover.

2. Small Turning Radius:
If I have not stressed on the craziness of Mumbai’s traffic, let me highlight it more. There is barely any space for manoeuvring a car in neck-deep traffic. Moreover, this feature will be gold for parking in a tight spot. Datsun redi-GO promises to make a full turn-around with just a 4.7-metre turning radius.

3. Superior Air-Conditioning:
This may be seen as a trivial point to many, but with humidity levels that touch close to 90%, Mumbai certainly becomes hot during the peak summer months – April and May. Datsun redi-GO has air-conditioning that is optimized for the Indian weather conditions – which can be totally unpredictable.

Testing The Datsun redi-GO

The ultimate test of the Datsun redi-GO would undoubtedly be at the bustling metropolis of Mumbai. And that too in the upcoming monsoon season. Any Mumbaikar driving a car in Mumbai would know how traffic-clogged streets can become in the monsoon. I wish to test driving this car out in Andheri suburbs of Mumbai with a sole intention to check whether it is ideal for traffic city drive. I want to know whether a novice driver like me can safely reach home after being met with puddles, cacophony of the traffic-clogged streets with no or little room for manoeuvring.  

For a city-slicker like me, if the Datsun redi-Go promises to get me out of the peak rush hour traffic with smooth manoeuvring abilities; get me in and out of a tight parking spot and help me be safe and secure at all times, it will certainly help me beat the urban driving blues.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Turn your good morning into a Gold Morning

'An early bird catches the worm'.
'Early to bed, early to rise
Makes the man
Healthy, wealthy and wise'

What's interesting about these two proverbs is that they both advocate the fruitful benefits of rising early every day. Though I am not a staunch advocate of this principle, I am a believer that waking early does get things done and is beneficial in the long run.

There are many who get up early and go to the gym to elevate their body fitness levels. In addition to them, there are even those who do yoga or go for a walk or meditate are firm advocates of the proverb 'In a healthy body nestles a healthy mind'.

However, I feel the most important thing that I wake up to every morning is the thought.
Yes, one thought can make your day or break it.

So I strive to keep my thoughts positive and free from any frustration as that one thought can snowball into a dozen more unpleasant thoughts that can ruin one's day.
And who likes to ruin their day? Nobody does.

That is my simple mantra on turning my good mornings into gold mornings.
And with that clean, positive thought is the need to add a touch of gold to our daily morning ritual - oral care.

#Colgate360GoldMornings is the bling you need to charge your day, along with that positive thought.

So while getting the best in 360 degree oral care from the new Colgate 360 Charcoal Gold Toothbrush, from the best oral care experts in the world - Colgate Palmolive - add the Midas' touch to your morning ritual.

As they rightly say, well begun is half done! :)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

#SpreadtheVibe by serving kind helpings

In a day and age where nursing homes and old age homes have become the unwritten norm to voluntarily or involuntarily send one's aging parents to, there are still quite many senior citizens who are comfortable living on their own, with meagre means and demands.

But undeniably, they are either in a pitiless state, ignored or are dependent on other's mercy for the simplest of chores, be it making a telephone call. But what's more important is that they need one's companionship more than any materialistic demands.

Mark D'Souza serving kind helpings to one of his seniors.
And that's exactly the void Mark DSouza hoped to fill.

I read about his deeds of kindness in Mumbai Mirror's Heroes where he was one of the nominees to be considered as one of the winners. He might not have won, but his deeds are so selfless and touching that he is the not hero, but superhero to me.

This man is not just another elderly man. In fact, he says "When you grow old yourself, only then can you understand the difficulties that come with it"
After his parents passed away, Mark wanted to do something for senior citizens like him. And so backed by his wife (who gave him her savings of Rs 5000 to get started) he started cooking full day meals for elders who can't cook or fend for themselves for sustenance.
He cooks and serves simple meals to the elderly, with less oil and spices that is served with a generous dollop of love - one that not only feeds the stomach, but feeds the soul. And he does this at no charge whatsoever!

All by himself, he does not have any strong backing but does it purely out of his own choice and the goodness of his heart. He was simply spurred by the thought of helping those who cannot help themselves. The same philanthropic thought that occurs to us upon reading or hearing a situation of distress, was the same thought that provoked Mark to take action and reach out to those needing aid.

He is called Guardian Angel by all of the 30 odd seniors he serves food daily, come hell or high water. And what does Mark receive in return, the smiles of their content faces knowing that they will be sleeping on a full stomach.

What inspires me about Mark's story, is that he may not one who is affluent by wealth or powerful by stature, but his simple and thoughtful act of kindness to those helpless, unrelated to him and with no ulterior or underlying motive is truly heroic. There may be many who would throw wads of cash to self run NGOs and wear t-shirts that signify 'blatant show-off' of so-called philanthropy, but there is nothing more heart rendering than an act of kindness that is selfless and soul touching.

This is one such positive story that tells us that the world is not so bad after all. It has angels like Mark. Such and more positive stories of change are showcased on Youth Ki Awaaz.

And so inspired by this story and this chance given to me by IndiBlogger and Youth ki Awaaz's #SpreadTheVibe campaign, I appeal to my readers to share such wonderful superhero stories with me that will be published periodically on my blog: Survival of the Optimist under #100StoriesOfOptimism

#100StoriesofOptimism Project is my pet project endeavor to showcase stories that promote hope and optimism when there are many people who think the outlook of this world is very bleak.
Through 100 stories, I am to touch many lives and inspire them, just how Mark inspired me, to instill the faith that there is good in this world after all!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Hurr Hurr Hurr!!! - The BNLF Fever

It has been two months since BNLF and I can't stop reminiscing those two days. (Pardon the waaaaaaay delayed post, just couldn't finish it. But hey better late than never no?)

Blog Now Live Forever being the anthem and the spirit of the meet hosted by the pioneering of Indian Bloggers' Community - and the very energetic and charged bloggers from far and wide.
The two day meet - 31st October and 1st November 2015 - held at The Lalit hotel in Mumbai, was nothing short of a revelation.

October 31, 2015
Standing in queue waiting to enter flight BNLF.

Within minutes amidst the buzz of conversations online and offline among bloggers, BNLF hashtag had started to trend on Twitter! Kickstart to the morning.

The IndiBand Blunder In the Code set the stage on fire while belting out some solid all time hits to rouse each of the 600+ bloggers at the venue.

Enter Mrs Funnybong - Purba Ray
The show began with Purba Ray taking the stage introduced by her close blogger buddy Vinita Bahl aka BlogwatiG. Draped in a sari, she started out by talking on how she should've stuck to wearing leather pants. The hilarity ensued when she spoke on the beef debacle by commenting 'Why should gaais (cows) have all the fun?'

To be very frank I had not heard of her name nor her blog before knowing that she'll be delivering the keynote at the BNLF. But I truly found her to be as a-musing as her blog.

Next up was Arnab Ray - the great bong
Again I was not aware that Arnab Ray was the chief architect behind the Mithun Madness even though I follow his +greatbong tweets on twitter. Pardon my ignorance!

Arnab delivered his keynote on the aspect of creative writing and shared his journey from owning a undiscovered blog to one of the most read blogsposts on the internet. Also having written multiple books. All thanks to his Prabhuji.

This was followed by a quick tea break.

Next up was Christoph Trappe for his keynote on the importance of Authentic Storytelling for bloggers and businesses.

His keynote was a precursor to his training the next day on Authentic Storytelling. What I especially liked apart from his keynote, was him acknowledging almost every tweet about him or addressed to him. Very few top influencers do that.

Anshul Tiwari was next up on-stage and I heaved a sigh of relief that I had witnessed him at Indiblogger & BigRock's WordUp meet back in 2014 and was known to me. I was yet again thoroughly mesmerized by his talk where his movement Youth Ki Awaaz was a living example on the power of blogging. Public Opinion is indeed the next superpower - his talk resonated with the audiences views. Anshul also shared a surprising fact that YKA did not do advertising, but yet is sustaining throughout the years.

Lunch followed with passable desserts (the food blogger in me could not resist from commenting on the food).
But the true dessert was Kanan Gill :)
Again I felt like I've been living under a rock all this while since I had no idea who he was, only did the welcome screams grow louder (and asking my neighbour) is when I realized that he's a popular YouTube star.
So this funny guy who was out to deliver his keynote on content in videos ended up with his journey on how he ended up making really really funny videos by discovering his passion. He illustrated his journey through a series of his actual diary entries! His talk was a laugh riot!

Jeff Bullas, the leading content marketer from down under.

The session by Preeti Shenoy on her journey from a blogger to a best-selling author was perhaps a dream come true for most bloggers who want to become a rockstar author.

The last and definitely not the least session was of Bruce "The Air Raid Siren" Dickinson. The much much awaited session for Iron Maiden fans. Now, frankly I'm not a Maiden fan - I've heard a couple of songs and all - and nor do I follow his pursuits. So my enthusiasm was understandably dim.

But post his session, I realised that the man is pure genius. Simple and effective strategy: 0 + 0 = 1 
That was his magic, behind being an entrepreneur, to a pilot and a brewer. All in one!

Bruce Dickinson with his 'Smartphone' - Keeping it simple.

Explaining how the idea of a beer came about.

November 1, 2015

Day 2 of the BNLF ushered in a new learning experience for me. We had two in-depth training workshops by Christoph Trappe and then by Jeff Bullas.

 Chirstoph started with his breakout training on Six Steps to Stop Traditional Marketing and Start Authentic Blogging.
Christoph Trappe at his Authentic Blogging workshop
 After which was lunch. We were also treated to a MasterClass on Gourmet Italian cuisine. Check out the post here.

And after that was Jeff Bullas' training on 7 steps to Blogging Mastery.

Jeff Bullas at his training session
  On attending both sessions, we were promised to be certified from the newly to-be-launched IndiBlogger's Blogging Academy - WeBlog Academy!
The IB core team that made #BNLF happen

After all of that, 2 months on I can still recall the finer aspects of BNLF. It was indeed an enriching experience and hope to put in the inputs into my blogging and overall life goals.

Thank you IndiBlogger!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

What do kids want? | The Flipkart Lil' Stars Launch

We know what men want, thanks to all those websites. We know what women want; there's a movie dedicated to it. What about kids? Do we know what kids want? Nope, not even parents.

Especially if one has to shop for them. Having to find a toy for my almost two year old daughter is becoming increasingly difficult as the day passes. Thanks to all of the cousins, neighbours, the newspaper print ads, the advertisements on TV, the vibrantly decorated window displays of the stores in the mall I am even more confused what and when to shop for my daughter. Had she be going to school by now, her school friends and classmates would've been added to the mix. Moreover, the more digitally savvy kids these days are the more are the demands. These are the source of all the There will be more and more such sources of influencers, and these influencers will sway your child's mindset and in turn your purchasing decision.

In my opinion, here is a list of the key trends/factors that influence parents like me while shopping for kids:

Convenience - Shopping online saves you from the traffic, the endless rickshaw flagging, the parking woes, the sale rush and the limited payment options. Just sit back, relax with a mug of tea, click, click, scroll, add to cart, add address, payment, and wait for delivery.

Try and Buy /Return Policy - Some e-commerce retailers let you try the merchandise on the time of delivery and only pay for it, if it meets the requirements. Even if it happens that you did not like the fit/ colour or the product was not up to the mark, you can return it within the stipulated time frame.

Pre-ordering: Sometimes getting your hands on the latest merchandise before the rest adds to the glee of shopping. This feature is not seen on offline stores.

Discounts: Sorting products in any category according to their level of discounts or price is great for those on a budget yet want to shop online.

Reviews: Product reviews really really help in making the purchasing decision a more informed one. Especially, reviews which are by certified buyers help you sift the wheat from the chaff.

Gift Vouchers: Thanks to the paucity of time and resources, more and more employers like to gift e-GVs (Electronic Gift Vouchers) to their employees for various occasions.

Granted with double income backed parents with less time on their hands to shop offline, online retailers happily indulging their child(ren) with the latest in apparel, toys, books and more.

Interestingly, India's leading e-commerce brand had published an article on the 5 e-commerce trends to watch out for in 2015. As we come to the end of 2015, we can see the success of most of the predicted trends especially Mobile Commerce flourishing with the likes of Flipkart's Big App Shopping days. Which is currently running from December 21-23, 2015 exclusively on Flipkart's app.


Flipkart in association with IndiBlogger hosted a meet for bloggers to announce and launch the Flipkart Lil' Stars - with a keen focus on cracking what the kids want.

And trust Flipkart to know running a kid's store is no child's play! Take a look at this FlipTrends 2015 info-graphic that depicts the top selling brands, top searched kid's products and the top selling toys on Flipkart.

Top toy brands on Flipkart

What's more according to Technopack's report:
Mechanical puzzles such as the Shengshou Mirror Cube and Rubik's Cube were among the top five toys sold in 2015 on the online platform. Helicopters and remote-control driven cars are other favourites. Categories related to children and young mothers are the fastest-growing categories in India at present, according to Arvind Singhal, chairman of Technopak.
So on 19th of December, I was one of the bloggers invited to witness the launch of Flipkart Lil' Stars at popular resto-pub Blue Frog, Lower Parel. Revisiting this place after a year, brought back fun memories of the last IndiMeet held.

The meet started with veteran blogger Kalpana Behara taking the stage to talk about her journey as a blogger and how on becoming a mother changed her blogging style. She also spoke about how a blogger struggles at times to write.

After which we had representatives from leading kids brands Disney, Mattel, Chhota Bheem and Flipkart join for an open discussion on what influences parents' decision while shopping online for their kids. And the same points as mentioned above cropped up in the discussion.

Next up the IndiBand 'Blunder in the Code' enthralled us with unplugged version of some hit songs.

After that, we were engaged to a fun session of Ad-Mad, where we had to create an advertisement presentation on showcasing Flipkart's new kids section by featuring certain products.

Here, my team opened up their bag of tricks and presented a skit named #FlipkartSanta. With
'Age of Innocence' as the theme, we represented the various stages of a kid's childhood and the product associated with every age.

So the meet was fun with my fellow blogger friends Shaivi Sharma, Priyanka Purkayastha, Ekta Khetan, Jhilmil D Saha, Amreen Shaikh, Geeta Sridhar and Sujata Tawde. As always, it was great to meet them again.

And as a token of remembrance of the meet, we got to keep the plush toy of Chhota Bheem from his upcoming movie - Chhota Bheem and the Himalyan Adventure, due release on January 8, 2015.

With this I wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas! 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Amchi Mumbai - My favourite city

I have visited and stayed at many places across the length and breadth of India. And of course I have my favourites in every zone of India. Yet there is one such city that stands out amongst all, the one place you call home.

Mumbai (erstwhile known as Bombay)
Amchi Mumbai (means Our Mumbai)

Let me describe my city on the basis of three attributes: Drive, Design and Connect.


It holds a special place in my heart since it is where I was born and brought up.

More dreams are realised and extinguished in Mumbai than any other city in the world

More so, it is a place that thousands from various parts of the country throng to, with a dream in their eyes and hope. After all, it is said to be the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India. A hope that the city will absorb them like one of its own. If you look around the city, you will see the inhabitants are not only the originally inhabited Marathi folk, but there are people settled from all over India.


In my opinion, the mere basic instinct of survival of the fittest is what drives the inhabitants of this mayanagari. This instinct is either in the DNA of the citizens or has to be cultivated into one’s DNA. And by this instinct, Mumbai can either make you or break you.


From the Gothic architectural craftsmanship of the British era in the Gateway of India, Asiatic Library… to the modern marvels of the Sealink or the Reclamation, Mumbai has a distinct design for all.
For instance, this island city that originally constituted of seven islands, has now been redesigned to a bustling metropolis that stretches from Churchgate to Virar. An aerial view of the city and you can see that this city has the structure to accommodate the teeming, crammed hutments but thriving local business of the largest slum in Asia: Dharavi – to the spacious inhabitants of one of the busiest railway stations in India – Dadar. And one can still easily navigate their way through the arteries and the veins of this mahanagari through local train, BEST bus, kaali-peeli taxi, autorickshaw and of late, the Metro.

The design does not limit to the infrastructure or heritage of Mumbai, it is prevalent in the food as well. Be it affordable local fast food like vada pav for a poor labourer's sustenance or the Indianised chinese food fare in a suburban mall, the city has designed its elements to satiate the hunger pangs of each of its inhabitant. Even at 3 am your sudden craving for pav bhaji can be doused.


Bombay was renamed to Mumbai after the Goddess Mumbaidevi fairly recently in 1996. And the Bombay-ite became a Mumbai-kar. Regardless of its name, the soul of any city lies in the people.


It is natural for every visitor coming to the city for the first to get lost. But it is unnatural for them to not receive any help. Ask the dabbawallahs - the tiffin connection of the city's hunger. Their's is a symbiotic relationship like any other Mumbaikar - they depend on the city for sustenance as the sustenance depends on their time of arrival. 

The widespread connect across languages, classes, sects, and nationality even is displayed in the times when Mumbai was in distress. Be it the dreadful 26th July downpour and eventual floods that paralysed the city network, but not its spirit. Not even the November 2008 terror attacks on prime locations in the city squash its never-say-die attitude. And neither did the dreadful terror train bomb blasts dent humanity. After each and every incident this city has faced, it has bounced back like a phoenix rising from the ashes.


Through these key attributes, I feel amchi Mumbai is indeed #madeofgreat.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

No Toilet Humour please

It was a normal routine morning and I was tuned into Disney Junior Channel with my kiddo whilst having breakfast. In the commercial break, Disney played a three minute filler animated series called ‘Nina Needs to Go’.
Nina Needs to Go
PC - Disney

As the name suggests, it was about a girl called Nina who ultimately needs to use the loo when in different scenarios and how she manages to relieve herself. I was mildly surprised of the content of the filler cartoon, which was uncanny to the rest of the content on the channel. It  turns out it is aimed at preschoolers to develop and get accustomed to toilet manners.

But in fact, it dawned upon me on how this is an important issue and how it needs to be rightly addressed. Nina was addressing the need of the hour – clean, hygienic, easily available sanitation and access to water. In India, where toilets are not easily accessible, and even if they are accessible, they are either unclean, lack a continuous water supply or lack safety, especially for women.

If you are under the misconception that toilets are only inaccessible in the rural areas, next time, ask your house-help about the long queues they have to stand outside a common toilet with a bucket of water to go for their daily ablutions. Even those who live in a chawl system type house more than one of these issues – unclean toilets, irregular water supply, and lack of safety for women (no source of light / no latch on the toilet doors), and disposal of waste. Especially for women, during the time of menstruation, there is more often the need to use a clean toilet.

Unclean toilets are said to be precursors to infections and diseases spread by unclean surroundings. And those diseases when spread rampantly can ultimately result in affecting the overall nutrition, especially for women and children.

And that is why #wecantwait to get clean toilets as a basic need.

World Toilet Day It's no Joke

To combat this, there are some actions being taken:

The United Nations declared November 19th of every year as ‘World Toilet Day’ in a bid to draw attention to the alarming fact that more than quarter of the world’s population cannot access sanitary facilities!

World Toilet day is about the 2.4 billion people who lack access to improved sanitation. It is about the nearly 1 billion people who have to defecate in the open.

“Equality, Dignity and the Link Between Gender-Based Violence and Sanitation” is the theme for this year’s World Toilet Day, which seeks to put a spotlight on the threat of sexual violence that women and girls face due to the loss of privacy as well as the inequalities that are present in usability. Toilets generally remain inadequate for populations with special needs, such as the disabled and elderly, and women and girls requiring facilities to manage menstrual hygiene.

This initiative has been activelyt In fact this very day, last year, Hindustan Unilever’s Domex launched a campaign to drive this thought and to everyone’s attention on the importance of accessible sanitation through Toilet For Babli. They highlighted many stories, induced by social sharing on the plight of village women and how then combatted building a toilet near their home. In fact, I read up on one such story of a bride refusing to go to her husband’s place, on finding out about the lack of a toilet around his home. To which, to woo the lady of his life, the man eventually built a toilet for her and all was good.

So take a moment to feel lucky to be among those who have toilets installed inside or near their homes rather than having the need to walk a mile outside of their home in the wilderness just to answer nature’s call. After all, it is no dirty joke.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

#madeofgreat - Steve Jobs

If you were to ask me what greatness is and what constitutes a person to be anointed to be #madeofgreat I would say, it is their never-say-die attitude in the face of adversity.

These greats are made of sterner stuff than most of us. One of them is Steve Jobs.
What made Steve Jobs great?
Was it because he was a bright mind?
or was it because he built Apple - the iconic brand that all look up to?

Let me share why I feel Steve Jobs was #madeofgreat.
Though I had never met the man in person, yet the stories about the events in his life are so impactful. Some people leave an indelible mark on you that you weep silent tears when you hear the news about their untimely passing.

The Start to Greatness: 

Early in life, Steve took a major risk by dropping out college to build Apple Computers Inc with his friend Steve Wozniak in 1976. He was just 21 then.
Though computers did exist then, Apple Computers revolutionized the way computers interacted with the users by making it more user-friendly. Some fine details like fonts, typefaces and styling that Steve introduced into the Operating System changed the way people used computers. And so Apple churned out products and the investors were happy to invest into the company.

Post the meteoric success of Apple in the following 3 years, the company was met with fierce competition from IBM. In addition, Apple products met critique of not being IBM-Compatible. Under the pressure of IBM breathing down Apple's neck, a disgruntled CEO of Apple (Mike Sculley) believed Steve Jobs to be hurting Apple and made him feel insignificant in the company that he built.

In 1985, Steve Jobs was made to leave from the same company he built from scratch.

Simply, he was kicked out of his own compay.

In the face of this adversity and challenge, Steve started NeXT a software and hardware enterprise and subsequently purchased George Lucas' animation studio- which later became Pixar. It was because of his foresight of realizing the potential of Pixar, he invested $50 million of his own money into the company.
I am sure many would've laughed at the decision of a recently kicked-out founder investing heaps of his own money into another entrepreneurial plunge that may back-fire.
But it was Steve's gamble that paid off. And Pixar generated truck loads of money by belting out wildly popular hits like Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles.

Steve is revered to be one of the greatest inventors and creators of modern technology. I don't doubt that for one bit. He made no compromises in designing the iPad or the iPhone as sleek and user friendly at a time we just couldn't think of a phone that could fit into the palm of our hand.

His achievements have sown the seeds for belief that an entrepreneurial journey can be rewarding regardless of the hurdles that one faces. He has left a technological legacy that many will cherish for decades and more.

What drives you from within is what makes you great!

The most powerful part of his life that made a lasting impression on my mind was him regaining the confidence to build another company from scratch after being kicked out of his own venture. I felt it was remarkable how he did not let the setback affect his belief system in the darkness of adversity, but re-instated his confidence and determination to move ahead to build another great company and keep making marvels.
Steve's life incident is a worthy lesson to me as I draw strength from the way he moved on without cribbing, without any hesitation in taking risks, keeping the passion to excel alive and most importantly NOT GIVING UP.

It was Steve Jobs' self-belief, perseverance and never-say-die attitude in the toughest of times that defined him to be #madeofgreat.

Like a man who embodies qualities like excellence, perfection and never-say-die attitude to be attributed as #madeofgreat, a brand like TATA Motors is displaying these qualities since decades in the motoring world. TATA Motors is an epitome of a brand belonging to the India's globally renowned group TATA, that has now partnered with another renowned brand - football phenomenon Lionel Messi to be their global ambassador.

What do you think of Tata Motor's Association with Lionel Messi?
The best answer will win an Amazon Voucher worth Rs. 750!

Note: Contest closes on November 26, 11.59 PM.
So comment with your answer soon!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Adding Smiles - How I turned a frown upside down!

As a Mom, I am very particular of the food my daughter eats. And I refrain her from snacking on food that is served in restaurants as the hygiene, nutritive value, freshness and oil used is questionable. Also, with the gamut of stomach-related illnesses around the corner, my level of protection in her food choices has quadrupled.

And thus I have made it a habit to make nutritious home food more delicious for my little one and the rest of my family.
On afternoon, just the other day, my nephew brought home burger and fries from a local restaurant. Looking at her cousin snacking on the greasy burger, my little one pestered me to give her the same. I refused, and tried to distract her, but alas! but kids will be kids and she threw a fit. Somehow I managed to calm her down to her nap.

It was then I recalled the website of McCain India I had visited earlier, that an idea popped to my mind. I rushed out to get a McCain Smiles pack, some egg-less mayonnaise, a head of lettuce, burger buns and cheese slices. I was going to make a yummy vegetarian potato McSmiley Burger.

Following are the step by step instructions:

McCain Smiles
McCain Smiles
McCain Smiles are mashed potato goodness into the shape of smiles. 

Open the McCain Smiles pack, prepare them by following the instructions on the pack. I deep fried them. You can cook them in the convection oven as well.
When I opened the pack, I assumed the frozen pack needs to be defrosted, but to my surprise, the pack specifically mentioned does not required to be defrosted. That saves time.

The McCain Smiles getting ready in no time.
As I popped the smiles in the kadai with heated oil, I was glad that they did not splutter the oil out. I waited till they were evenly golden brown on both sides. And then the smiles were ready within 3 minutes!

McCain Smiles fried
Look at them smiling!
I whipped up an easy peasy burger spread:

For the Burger Mayonnaise:
Take 1-2 tbsp of egg-less mayonnaise
Add a 1sp of olive oil to it.
Add a pinch of pepper & salt each.
Add 1 tsp of tomato sauce.
You can add finely chopped coriander.

Assembling the McSmiley Burger
Assembling the McSmiley Burger:

Now I cut the burger bun in half.
Buttered both sides of the bun. You can even toast them.
To one side I added few torn leaves of lettuce,
Over the lettuce I spread the burger mayonnaise I made.
On that, add cucumber slices, tomato slices and onion ringlets.

On top of this arrangement add the smiles.
Then add a slice of cheese.
Top it with some more burger spread or lettuce if you wish and add the other half of the bun on top.
And voila!

McSmiley Burger
The McSmiley Burger
And with this yummy smiley snack on the plate, my little one's frown turned upside down! All smiles as she bit into my McCain tasty and magical creation. And in my daughter's smile reflected my big smile as I basked in the glory of my creation, thanks to McCain!
More so, my nephew came up to me and demanded this colourful version of his favorite snack. And I was glad to be adding more smiles to snack time.

Before you dismiss it as an unhealthy snack, take a look at it's nutritional content, with more details <here for a pack of 100g McCain Smiles.

Well known for the art of snacking, McCain has brought a wide variety of snacks for the Indian Platter. Their website has many creative recipes to suit the Indian palate and many dips to just snack away. 


Watch this video for another recipe using the McCain Smiles.

About Brand McCain: 

McCain Foods (India) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of McCain Foods Limited in Canada. Since 1998, McCain has been engaged in agriculture R & D and in development of frozen food market in India and subcontinent countries. Not only are McCain products used by leading fast food chains, hotels, restaurants, catering companies but are also very popular for in-home consumption.

Do try my recipe and let me know how you added a smile with this snack!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Real promise towards Real Togetherness

I saw this excellent comic by Bizarro and it cracked me up. Will it not be any truer?

Another shared message through WhatsApp comments that today's generation is smart only through their phones. Not only the teenagers (now known as the 'Millennials') but Gen Y too are very much social in the confines of our smart phones, iPads, Tablets, smartwatches and headsets! 
It got me thinking:

We rarely move out of the confines of our homes albeit only for work.
We may just WhatsApp/ comment on their wall and wish the person instead of calling them.
We seldom meet anyone in person, not even on their birthday, even if it’s a national holiday.
We don't have our loved one's phone numbers by heart.

Our lives are more online than offline.
We depend on Google for general information, Facebook for recalling friends, Twitter for #news and YouTube for how-tos.

Don't get me wrong, I am as social online as it can get. After all I'm blogging 'online'. But I feel we need to realize that there is no real connection is' through wires, plastic and microchips. 

Fact is, we do know this, maybe realize this and acknowledge it. Even participate in campaigns that talk about being in the real world. (can you notice the irony?)

Let me share something. Before I gave birth to my daughter, I made a promise to myself, that I would make her experience the real togetherness with nature that I had experienced when I was a small girl. Away from the gadget menace, I promised that I would help her understand nature by reading to her bright coloured picture books on nature, take her to local botanical gardens, go to sanctuaries/ national parks and watch animals in all their magnificence, grow a plant and look after it as our own, take a trip to a farmhouse and learn about domesticated animals and more. That is togetherness in my mind.
I want her to experience all of this what now-a-days children do not experience - the real togetherness with nature. This is how I intend to teach my little one about nature and to be together with nature.

Now as a mom to a growing toddler who absorbs information like a sponge, I have this growing fear that down the line, if addicted to technology, she will brush me off for smarter technology quicker than the next software update on Android.
So I’ve taken slow steps towards how I can keep the childhood alive in me and enrich her childhood years. I want to keep our real togetherness alive. 
I want to embrace technology when it is needed the most, but not replace our bond with nature.

Similarly, Kissan is keeping the spirit of togetherness alive with their own destination – Kissanpur. I can still recall the packet of tomato seeds in the newspaper Kissan had shared to help us nourish our wonderful little tomato plant.
Check out Kissan's wonderful new TVC for us to relish the oneness with nature and then head to Kissanpur to discover real togetherness.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

My #FrizzFreeHair Dabur Vatika Women's IndiBlogger Meet Experience

Happy Navratras to all my readers. Just yesterday when I was picking a green coloured outfit to wear as Navratri colour dressing, I remembered last Saturday when I was also rummaging my wardrobe for a green outfit for another event - an IndiMeet. And this IndiMeet was all about hair.

Let me tell you, I have had a tough experience with my hair. It just doesn't be the way I want to.
Frizzy, dry and flyaway, I have unmanageable hair, to put it lightly.

So to find solution(s) to one of my hair problems, I was invited to The #FrizzFreeHair Vatika Women's IndiBlogger Meet on October 10, 2015. It was a women bloggers only meet at B J hall, NMIMS Campus, Vile Parle, Mumbai.

The good folk at IndiBlogger hinted us to wear something green for the meet. And so on a rather hot Saturday afternoon, I reached simply dressed in my green tunic and jeans at 11.30 am (so as to not miss any of the action) and seated myself at one of the tables and waited for the meet to begin. As the venue filled with more women bloggers, I looked around to witness a sea of ladies dressed impeccably in green outfits with fancy hairdos. (To which I realized I was under-dressed)

The event opened to a rocking performance - just like the last one I experienced -  by the IndiBand, Blunder in the Code. The band played to a enthusiastic crowd of women bloggers who didn't shy from letting their hair down to head bang (well not really, they didn't want to ruin their hairdos) and the eager-to-experience-a-brand-launch management students of NMIMS.

Good folks from the Dabur Vatika Product Team talked about the hair, hair oils, how they narrowed down to a concoction by trying to get into women's heads hair, the science behind frizzy hair, the lineage and popularity of Dabur's Hair Oil products (Fun fact: Did you know Dabur's Hair oil goes way back to 1940s?) and all about the goodness of the new Dabur Vatika Jasmine Non-Sticky Hair Oil.

Whoa! Dabur Hail oil goes waaaaaay back to 75 years! #didnotknowthat @Oilopedia #FrizzFreeHair
— Gauri (@missalpao) October 10, 2015

Next up, was the unveiling of the brand - Dabur Vatika Jasmine Non-Sticky Hair Oil onstage, in a grand manner.

We proud to launch Dabur Vatika Jasmine Non Sticky Coconut Hair Oil. #FrizzFreeHair
— Dabur Hair Oils (@Oilopedia) October 10, 2015

After all that information and download, we played this ingenious IndiGame that I named it as: "How to lose your BFF in 30 seconds?" So for this game, we were asked to pair up in twos at our tables and play rock, paper, scissors.
Simple? Well, here's the catch.
The winner has to mess up the loser's hair!
(Genius game for Dabur Vatika's goal here. Frizzy hair? No problem! they tweeted during the game.)

Yours truly on the extreme left, busy tweeting away, not bothered about the cameraman.

After almost every female in the house had her hair ruffled a bit, towards the end of the meet, we were asked to share our combat mechanism to prevent frizzyness. And now I was receiving an education on hair.
I can still recall the tips, (but may or may not have attributed to the right woman blogger who shared it). And to share this helpful tips to my readers, especially ladies, I have illustrated the tips I gained:

These are most of them that I could remember. Another golden nugget by a lady was to keep smiling, stay stress from to have enviable, frizz free tresses. 
We were invited to pamper our tresses at Dabur's Champi station right outside the event hall too. How comforting!

The Champi Station

And then we had lunch. Sweet endings to a fun meet:

Yummy desserts - Shahi Ras Malai and Cheesecake bites with Blueberry jam

And after a lovely event, education and lingering enthusiasm, I was heading home, not only rich with my blogger BBFs but also an awesome goodie bag from Dabur Vatika & IndiBlogger which included the new Dabur Vatika Jasmine Non-Sticky Hair Oil and Dabur Vatika Coconut Hair Oil.

Shalini of @baketitude, Me and Priyanka @prankyy. Clicked by Shaivi @shaivisharma
All smiles with Sujata @sujatatawde, Manisha @manisha_topale, Nimi Arora

Awesome treasure trove of a goodie bag.
My jaw dropped when I saw something on my wishlist was now in my hands - A Philips Hairstyling Iron.

As I write this blog, I have jasmine scented #FrizzFree hair thanks to Dabur Vatika and fond memories to cherish with my new blogger buddies thanks to IndiBlogger.
Until the next meet!

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