India Enchanted

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India has been called the golden bird in history. In the past like it enamored the traders with its gold and richness, today its  expanding economy seems a lucrative market to investors world over.  Not only the Indian talent is being invited world over but also the country itself is becoming a magnet for foreigners. Our distinctive and varied culture attracts huge number of foreign tourists every year . No doubt we have a huge population, but the talent and education in India is well appreciated. Creative and strong headed people are proving their prowess on the global map.

If you have a passion for peace and commitment to practice non-violence, I am sure you know the honored man from India, the Father of the Nation, Mahatama Gandhi.  He has been a figure of inspiration for countries that have undergone suppression and more. He was the man who stood for each one and he preached the same to every one. While in Oslo I loved his poster hanging outside the Nobel Peace Prize Center, I equally felt proud to see his statue in Bali next to the World Peace Gong.  From London to America his memorials, paintings, sculptures, and statues are hosted world over.  Through his principles, globally people are more Indian than we think. 

World Peace Gong in Bali
World Peace Gong in Bali

Incredible India!

Did you know UK’s town Leicester in East Midlands celebrates Diwali grandly? It was the place where Indians were openly unwelcome years ago and today the people there celebrate grandest Diwali outside India. People from different communities enjoy the spirit of Diwali together. When I was in Oslo on one of the Diwali night and with limited resources, I celebrated it in my own unique Indian way.
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Lets have a Photo-Walk Through Kuala Lumpur

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Howdy Readers,

If you did not notice my last travel posts, I must tell you that you have been missing a series on MALAYSIA. I am writing posts after posts because I have so much to talk about my recent trip there. Oh yes!!! I won the MalaysiaJao blogging contest and my trip was hosted superbly by Malaysia Tourism.

CAPITAL of MALAYSIA is KUALA LUMPUR.

Lets photo-walk it through my lenses…

Kuala Lumpur’s history proudly talks about its ‘evolution from the Mud where two of its rivers met. The name Kuala Lumpur means ‘muddy confluence’ in Malay. The two rivers Klang and Gombak which flow through Kuala Lumpur led the clumsy village to its course of urban civilization. A leader of the chinese community, Yap ah Loy came to be known as the founder of KL. After several outbursts, Chinese and British interventions, racial riots and its own set of struggle, KL became the capital of the independent Federation of Malaya in 1957 and of Malaysia in 1963.

I was awed to learn about the wonderful transformation the capital city has undergone! The skyscrapers and the gleaming buildings shine like jewels in the night in Asia’s richest capitals. After it became a federal territory, the city has undergone phenomenal growth in terms of population and architecture. The mere tin-mining village in 1857 which was discovered by a group of 87 Chinese miners has come to be one of the sought-after travel destination.  Earlier when the Chinese, English and others came here in search of tin, today it is known world over because of its iconic buildings , the Petronas Towers and KL Tower.

I thoroughly enjoyed my three days of stay in KL. Apart from visiting the ‘Must-Visit’ places-  KL Tower, Batu Caves, National Monument, National Museum, Petronas Twin Towers , Merdeka Square, Chinatown, National Monument, Fascinating malls etc, I did not miss to capture many fascinating things about the city. They give us a peek into its taste for history, art and culture.

 

 

Kuala Lumpur

1. Petronas Twin Towers, National Monument, Batu Caves, The Revolving Restaurant in KL Tower

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Mango Cheeks, Metal Teeth

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While I read this one,  I lusted to be a child again.  I wished to relive my summer vacations and return to lavish ancestral house of my grandparents in Gorakhpur where I played around with my cousins under the scorching sun.    :)

Gone are those days!!!    :(

 

Mango, cheeks, Metal, teeth, Book Review, Aruna Nambiar, Westland

This #BOOKREVIEW has been originally published on Writersmelon.

 

With a unique title and catchy cover design, this one will take you on a breezy ride through one playful and warm summer vacation. A beautiful and thoughtful book it is and it comes with a great message!

Not many books manage to leave back a lingering sweetness but this one does. And while you read the book, you are sure to enjoy the quirky humor and the playful storyline against the backdrop of a small fictional town of Ambalakunnu at Kerala. The blurb says the story is of the era when Sridevi and Kapil Dev were at the peak of their glories, in the 80’s. Yes, it brings back memories of the times when we lived in a lesser technology-complicated world.

The annual vacations were so innocent, joyous and playful when they did not mean international trips, gadget freaking, luxury summer camps or project making.  They meant packing bags, boarding one train, following the usual route that took us to our ancestral grandparent’s place.  Nothing in the world could be exchanged for them and nothing can bring them back- Fun with cousins, bathing and sleeping at wish, lazy afternoons, grandfather’s stories, grandma’s pampering, running around the verandahs-gardens, playing with servants of the house, feeding the pets and befriending the locals. Gone are those carefree, charming days but long live the memories! Thanks to the author as she takes us through Geeta’s vacation story.
Read the complete Review of the book on WRITERSMELON
Happy Reading!!!

Crisis Angels have different human faces

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No, I never saw an ANGEL,
but it is irrelevant whether I saw one or not.
I feel their presence around me.
Paulo Coelho

My faith in the meaning of the words is unquestionable. From the time we are born, we are carefully handed over to two special people who never fear from their angelic deeds when it comes to preventing us from all harms. And gradually we find our own people in life who cross us on roads, in the trains, flights, offices, adverse situations and extend a helping hand. Through this post I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of them who have  saved me from the toughest times and brought a smile back on my face. I am thankful to God that I have been blessed with wonderful people around me.

Great deeds have long lives and one should never let them die. Once there was a man who pulled me back from the speeding car on the road and in my state of shock I didn’t even realize that I missed saying a thank you to him. In a crucial phase of life, I was too lucky to meet a friend who took absolute care of me when I was severely ill. And now there is a guy in my life who stands for me always and bails me out from peering questions of others.  So for me, my Crisis Angels have had many faces. But there is one person who deserves the biggest gratitude and he is my Dad.  From the smallest troubles to the biggest goof ups of life, I have never feared to confess to my Dad and he, being my super angel has heard me lovingly and pulled me unaffected from all. Unlike Mum who prefers to give her lectures first before soothing the wounds (ofcourse she loves me too),  Daddy prefers to hold hands till the hard times are gone. I see my biggest Crisis Angel in him.

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A Healthy Talk

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HEALTH IS WEALTH

I am sure each one of us has heard this time and again. My Dad would often reiterate it every time when I fell ill as a kid and even today he sounds the same when he hears me talk low. I believe this oldest cliché can never be called old and it holds key to a pot of gold. We all dread illness and those are the days when we wish for a magical wand to set things right for us. You may possess the world’s glorious things in your closet but until you are fit and healthy, it holds no good for you. When we are ill, do we ever think of money? No we don’t. This is what it means that Health is wealth because money can’t buy it. It took me more than twenty years to understand this but I want my next generation to realize it soon.

Health and Kids

Lets compare the two days, a day when the kids are running around the house all happy, chirpy and active with no ailments in the body and the other day when they come back home from school with a throbbing head and hurting stomach. No wonder we pray for former days always because we love the kids happy going.

It wasn’t easy for my mum to get me into spinach but she won me over with Popeye’s cartoons. She ensured that I ate fruits and vegetables in my meals. One sneeze meant a huge lecture on the importance of daily intake of nuts and Chyawanprash. Milk was a daily on the menu. I am sure all our parents have done this but now the onus lies on us that how we pass it on to our next generation. Nowadays more than us its the kids who are enticed with junk food. They prefer television and gadgets than cycling and playing in parks. Eventually they are getting more prone to obesity, weak eyes, unhygienic habits etc. The attack of virus and bacteria often attacks the learning and developmental abilities of the kids.

A healthy child makes a happy home

A child is the apple of eye of every family and no one wants them ill. For the parents, their whole life revolves around kids. Their smile makes our day, their hug warms us and their sweet voice keeps us going. When they fall ill, the house comes down to pin drop silence and its tough to see them in pain. I had never seen my brother so worried and sad till the day his kiddo was hospitalized for the first time. The prankster in him was quite, had sullen eyes and not a smile escaped his lips. Kids are absolutely our darling. We love them and we want the best for them, don’t we?

 A strong immunity is important for children so that they grow up strong.Thus, its absolutely important to prevent them from falling ill. Lets nurture healthy food habits in ourselves so that the kids follow our steps. Children imitate elders around them therefore they must be shown what we want them to imbibe. As grown ups we must encourage a good living. More we should embrace green, non-toxic, anti oxidant ingredients in our fancy cooking styles to attract them to home made food. Other food products that keep us healthy should be made part of our routine diet. Good eating habits go a long way in keeping the ailments away. A diet that helps to build a strong immunity is a necessity and it should be encouraged in our children. Whatever way possible they must be convinced to eat food items that help fight infections and diseases.

I write all of the above and equally value the beautiful love of my parents that made Mum or Dad run after me everyday to eat a spoon of Chyawanprash and a glass of milk without a miss.

This is my post for Happy Hour via Indiblogger and Dabur

Gift me a Dairy, with Love…

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Love for DIARY…  (my story)

My fascination for stationery dates back to the times when laptops were in the making and tablets, touchscreens were yet to be manufactured and my Dad proudly owned and loved his typewriter. It was my eighth birthday and Daddy gifted me my first dairy. By that time I was already in love with stationery items like books, notepads, pencils, sketch pens etc. , thus a bundle of crisp pages bound by a spiral with a peacock on the outer hard side looked enamoring. I had seen Daddy writing in his diary every night but had never wanted one for myself yet.

With not a minute to waste I had asked him, Is this Mine?

Yes, he said..

‘ What do I do with this Daddy?’  

He had put it gently, its time you put down your thoughts, do some cursive writing  and scribble your heart Beta.

By that time I had only used a School diary which was a medium for conversation between parents and teachers and also for noting down homework. Having an all new, thick diary made me giddy with happiness and I did not give up until I had shown it to my friends next day in school. That time I did not know that more than owning a diary, it was important to use it wisely. Gradually Daddy taught me to use the calendar to mark the important dates. He introduced the other uses as well and one thing that I adopted soon was the practice of regularly making  diary entries.  From spilling ink on myself to the broken toy to maggi noodles that I loved, I wrote everything in there. By the time my next birthday came, he was very happy with my work. And then it became a ritual, a dairy a year is the most precious gift that comes from him to me.

Yes!!! I love to scribble. When people love to shop for chocolates, dresses, gifts, I am charmed with stationery items.  And no less I admit I love the smell of neat, fresh paper.  I thoroughly enjoy collecting notebooks and diaries. 

The picture below shows some of the diaries that my DAD has gifted me over the years of growing up. I have an amazing collection and I love to flaunt it.  So next time when you are thinking of gifting me, as I have always said give me a book or something in paper where I can scribble my heart out.

My Mid Year Collection of Notebook and Diaries

Diary

 

Matrikas Paper Products have sent in more and I am all happy.

  The brand  matrikas  hails from SFA print (P) Ltd., and they have come up with refreshing range of products including Notebooks,Journals,Diaries and high quality book making services. Recently, I took a glance at their products and honestly couldn’t stay away from being a part of their “Scribble your heart away….” Campaign! 

I am thankful to them that they sent me a gift pack of three different kind of notebooks. How thoughtful of them to give the bloggers/ writers just what they love most. For me, Diary is an important keepsake forever.

 

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Chirpy, Colorful, Charming BIRDS of all sorts in KL Bird Park

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KL Birds , Flamingos, Hornbills, Waterhens, Parrots, Cockatoos, Storks, Pheasants, Mynahs Pigeons, Macaws. Ducks, KL Bird Park, Malaysia

 

Kuala Lumpur Bird Park (Malay: Taman Burung Kuala Lumpur)

 

If you are in Kuala Lumpur with or without children, the KL bird park is a must visit. From African Grey Parrot, Yellow-billed Stork, Silver Pheasant, Red Lory, Indian Blue Peafowl, Straw-headed Bulbul, Flamingos, Hornbills, Waterhens, Parrots, Cockatoos, Storks, Pheasants, Mynahs, Pigeons, Macaws. Ducks one gets to see them all and many more. I didn’t even know so many unique species of birds existed before visiting this place. It was an awesome learning experience. For me, it was a unique as well as a fulfilling experience. It made me nostalgic about the childhood days when my parents took me around in the zoo. It was similar to spotting animals. Here too some of the birds moved around in the open in their segmented and separated spaces while there were others which were caged. 

If you are a bird lover, you will find it a paradise and make the best of the day in the KL Bird Park. At the entrance, one buys a ticket and gets wrist-let.  It guarantees your journey inside where you can spot different varieties of birds from the smallest to the tallest. The colorful sight amidst the green spread is all the more heartening when the birds walk down close to you. The Park has been designed in a way that it is covered from the above and many birds move and fly around freely in the semi-natural environment.

 

Taman Burung Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, KL Bird Park, Bird Watching
Taman Burung Kuala Lumpur

“The World’s Largest Covered Bird Park” or “The World’s largest Free Flight Aviary”.

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Fraudster

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Thank God! Man wrote books and discovered a beautiful way of appeasing humankind.

Reading is bliss. Ya-ya I know I always say that and I can never get over this feeling. After every book, my faith in the world of words and imagination strengthens. Recently I wrapped up two very interesting books- ‘Mango Cheeks Metal Teeth’ by Aruna Nambiar and ‘Fraudster’ by R.V. Raman. Both the books were strikingly different in make and style and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the Rom-Com alternatively with the Corporate Thriller.

 

What keeps me on my toes?

Corporate thrillers have to be churned out skillfully to be able to capture the interest of readers till the end.  The storyline has to be strong, the plot has to be the king and the characters have to be well sketched. And to top it all, gritty suspense and racy action make it a winner any day. So when a new book of a similar genre hits the bookshelves, my expectations are no less than above. 

I chose FRAUDSTER because I loved its blurb and thrillers are my favorite. I must say this one kept me on my toes. Mr. R.V. Raman has delivered quite a promising debut novel.

 

Fraudster, book review, book, RV Raman

Title and Cover Page

FRAUDSTER, as the name stands is about one big financial fraud that entails account books of not one but many companies and banks. To cover up things, cold blooded murders, assaults, database hackings and email deletions follow.  The blurb starts it off well with terms like corruption, greed, crime, murder, treachery etc. The title of the book stands with the storyline however I wasn’t impressed with the cover page. It looked quite similar to others that I have read already.

 

About the Author
R V Raman is an Indian author and was the head of the KPMG’s Consulting Practice and a member of the Risky Advisory Services. During the course of his three-decade career, the author has successfully managed many banks, companies and stock exchanges in over four continents.  This is his first book.
I usually enjoy reading about the Author part.  This section is important because it breaks the ice between the author and the reader as well as hints upon as to where the story is coming from. The consulting jargon and the storyline based on ‘audit, fraud, bank’ in the story reiterate the fact that its Mr. Raman’s forte. And the best part I personally enjoyed it all because my husband is a manager with KPMG and his line of service is Risk Advisory too.  He often tells me stories of Telecom frauds and some day I would love to see him author a book around it.  :)

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I can #ENDviolence because #ItStartsWithMe

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Day of the Girl Child, UNICEF, #Baapwalibaat, #ItsStartsWithMe

 

10th October is celebrated as International Girl Child Day.  On this day, UNICEF is coming forward with a strong message and mass campaign to end violence against girl child by launching

“yeah hui naa baap wali baat” music video by Ryan Beifus

 

Here is the video after the launch

 

 

 

The post that I wrote before the event….

I have always been shocked about how a boy child is always loved and wanted over female child.  I condemn female foeticide. But the girl child woes are not just it, some shocking stats are as below:

 

21% of girls in India, 12 million, have been subjected to physical violence since age 15

-          4.5%  of girls aged 15 to 19, 2.6 million, have suffered some form of sexual violence.

-          13% of girls aged 15 to 19 married or in union suffered from sexual violence

 

Recently, a three years old girl child Jhanvi went missing in Delhi. She was kidnapped from India Gate when she was playing with her family friends. Except the parents and the close ones it did not panic anyone because such news are like everyday affairs.  Children are forced in to begging, they are hit, abducted and physically abused so often. We know it all but we keep silent. Also imagine for most of them who belong to the underprivileged class, the cruelties done to them do not even find a place in the newspapers.

After three days thankfully the three kid was rescued but in most of the cases children don’t return back home. Most of the times we read such articles as news because we aren’t directly affected but when it happens in the family, thunder strikes.  Coming back to Jhanvi’s story, I also read that when the young girl was crying in the market where she was spotted by a 21 yr old boy, there were many people in the buzzing market but none came forward to help her. How shocking is this? Thankfully there was one boy who thought of helping her and thus she was rescued.  I wonder how self obsessed we have become in our lives that we don’t even bother to reach out to a crying child. From this incident, I take a lesson myself that next time I see a child in need of help, I will not shy away from doing the needful.

However, severe violence exists in our society. Its shameful but it thrives. Young girls and boys are abused and physically tortured and the numbers are extremely high for females. I wonder what kind of people are those who have the heart to harm children.

Lets join UNICEF and be catalysts of change within society. For long we have been bystanders, onlookers.  We love passing the buck to others,  “You should…”, “The Government should…”, this time lets say  I can #ENDviolence because #ItStartsWithMe !!!

 

Yes, we can definitely do our part by ensuring that such acts do not take place in our surroundings and we do not shy away from bringing the culprit to law-book.  As parents too sometimes  act blind to save a family member or they feel it will impact their image in society, such parents need to change their perspective and act for their own children.

 

10th October

To fortify the importance of providing enabling environment for the Girl Child, UNICEF India is conducting the launch of a music video “Yea Hui Naa Baap walli Baat” by Ryan Beifus as part of #ItStartsWithMe campaign to celebrate International Girl Child Day.  The emotive music is composed to inspire men to stand up for the rights of girls, their right to an education, to protection against violence and their right to no early marriage.

 
Ryan Beifus was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and has worked in over 50 countries on human rights as composer and music video producer.

Bollywood and the Sports World has come forward to support UNICEF’s Campaign to #ENDviolence against children.

On the Day of the Girl Child, tomorrow is the launch of the Baap Waali Baat song on 10 October

Kareena Kapoor, Virendra Sehwag, Priyanka Chopra, Rahul Bose, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Farhan Akhtar and Saina Nehwal can be seen and heard standing by the theme.

Watch the video:

 

 

I  scribbled two lines with respect to the cause.

I may not be your daughter but treat me no different.
You may not be my father but do stand for me because I wish to respect you no different.

Happy Blogging!!!

The mixed cultural flavor of Jonker Walk in Melaka

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Jpeg
Melaka Town

 I have had a fascination for History since childhood and I am one of those who would love to chose a museum tour over beach walk any-day. Getting into dates and being charmed by intriguing history thrills me.  So when Malaysia Tourism took us to Melaka after the three days fun in Kuala Lumpur, I was more than happy.  And I would say Melaka is absolutely wonderful. I loved the small and big intricate historical charms of the city. 

Melaka is situated one and a half hour away from Kuala Lumpur by car.  The UNESCO World Heritage City of Melaka thrives on rich history that dates back to 600 years in the past.  Its unique and ancient buildings create a lot of interest for the eyes of the travelers.  Different shapes, sizes and architecture speak of tradition and culture of different communities that came here in the past.  Since Melaka was an important trading post, along the historic Straits of Malacca, it charmed traders from all over the world. The Portuguese, Dutch, British, Chinese came,  conquered, thrived and contributed to its customs and cultures. In its quaint and peaceful roads, one feels an excitement in experiencing the historical Melaka. 

Our guide, Jeevan told us more about Melaka. He said that Melaka was first discovered by Parameswara, a young Hindu Prince who later moved to Singapore.

 

Melaka, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Travel, History

 

Before my blogpost about the Museums, National Sultanate of Malacca, Dutch Square, Porta Santiago and many more places of interest in Melaka, I wanna write about the Jonker street/Walk that has an interesting influence of colonial rule period on Melaka. Now it has array of antique shops of artifacts and relics.

 Jalan Hang Jebat, also known as Jonker Street has colorful houses which date back to 17th century.  We also learnt that Jonker Street is popular for getting hand on big bargains and antique collections.  I was tempted to go for Souvenir shopping here. The tempting cuisines, the street food and souvenir shopping are the highlights of Jonker Street.

Jonker Walk was turned into a touristy cultural street on 19th June 2000. It was a great step by the Malaccan government as it helped the locals and tourists to know about the multi cultural facets of this place.

 

Jonker Walk, Jonker Street or Jalan Hang Jebat

Jonker Wall, Melaka, Malaysia, Travel, Shopping, Asia

 The grand gate at the start of the street welcomes one to a colorful and interesting walk. Three girls/bloggers (Ragini, Vaisakhi and I who went together to Malaysia) can never be more excited if left to explore a shopping arena. Of course girls love shopping but for a change I loved it because it wasn’t a mall neither a cluttered street but a artistic market. Unlike the other china towns that I have seen, this one had influence of European culture.  The narrow and wide streets, cute small and big shops and side cafes looked  very impressive. We were curious and in no time we started walking further.

Also, this Chinatown is renowned for its antique shops, clothing and craft outlets. More, pineapple tarts and durian puffs are famous here. Durian cendol is another delicacy not to be missed if you are here.


 

Jpeg

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6N/7D of awesomeness in Malaysia with Malaysia Tourism

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Petronas Twin Towers, Malaysia, Travel, FAM, Petronas
Kuala Lumpur City Centre at the Petronas

 

 

‘Malaysia is Truly Asia’ – We hear it quite often but I have returned back from Malaysia nearly convinced to its theme.

28th August to 3rd September–  The duration in which I experienced my first and beautiful trip to Malaysia. Yes! it turned out to be enriching, fascinating and truly refreshing one. The theme on Merdeka was fabulous and I felt honored to be a part of 57th Independence Day celebrations of Malaysia. Apart from the big day celebrations, each day of the trip was full of memorable experiences.

Merdeka, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Travel, FAM trip
Theme of FAM trip: Merdeka celebrations

My trip to Malaysia!!

It was a FAM trip that I had a won as a prize in the ‘MalaysiaJao 2014′ blogging contest.  The badge perched on the right side says it all. Gladly I would like to thank Blogadda and Malaysia Tourism who together made it happen. Its been a month to the rocking trip but since I was sick, I couldn’t write my pieces.  I have been lusting to pendown all that happened there, the beautiful pictures I clicked and the experiences I had.

 

Kuala Lumpur, FAM trip, Malaysia, Truly Aisa
Kuala Lumpur Gallery

What is a FAM trip?

I had never been on a FAM trip until this one happened.   What I only knew was that FAM was an acronym for familiarization.  The veteran bloggers did guide and shared their pleasant experiences but honestly I had never thought FAM trip could be so awesome.

Before the travel I had my set of apprehensions. I was nervous, not sure about many things. The itinerary was all to be taken care by someone else and the thought made me quirky. But now I know when its organized by the tourism of a country, its got to be the best. Malaysia Tourism rocked all the way. They pampered us to the core. (We were three bloggers who traveled from India for the Merdeka theme)

 

And the ride went this way…

DAY 0:  Ragini (fellow blogger) and I flew from New Delhi to Kuala Lumpur. We were super excited. By the time we arrived in Kaula Lumpur it was night. At the exit we were met by a guy holding the placard of my name. He introduced himself as Jeevan and told us that for the next 6 days he was our friend and guide. As we headed to our hotel, he ensured he told us many new things about Malaysia since we both were visiting it for the first time. Later, we were only left to have dinner and settle ourselves in our hotel rooms on the 21st floor. We stayed at Seri Pacific, Kuala Lumpur. It was a comfortable stay with great breakfast buffet.

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PhotoWalk: Ram Leela Fun and Food at the Red Fort Lawns

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Its Dusshera Time!!!

Jpeg

     I got nostalgic looking at the bow and arrow, the masks and the battle armor toys. As a kid, I wouldn’t return from the Ram Leela ground until my parents bought these for me. On Saturday, I was once again thrilled to be reminded of childhood antics. I couldn’t resist the temptation to buy one for myself at the Lal Quila Maidan (Red Fort Lawns).

In our busy lives, festivals always return to refresh and rejoice us. With the commencement of Navratris, its the beginning of festive season. Planning family time during holidays, returning to homeland to celebrate with family and enjoying delicacies associated with fests are the three things that happen during this time. Since I am a great foodie, what charms me most about festivals is food and exploring new places to eat always thrills me.

  I have been living in Delhi for last fifteen years but had never known about Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee. And its not just famous because the Ramlila ground has the tallest effigy of Ravan but also because of its display of mouth watering Delhi street food. When we reached there, we were met with colorful pandal which housed a huge Dusshera mela and more the food display boasted that of a big fat Indian wedding. The Saturday turned into a delicious one. Hubby and I had a great evening digging into some amazing Chaat papdri, Golgappas, Chilla, Matar-kulcha, Stuffed mango, Rola icecream and more. The Ice-creams, Kulfi were novelty items available there and simply irresistible.  I bet, as you walk down the pictures, you ought to get hungry!!!

 

Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee

  25th September- 4 October 2014

Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee, Dusshera, Ramleela
Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee

 

Red Fort, Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee, Dusshera, Chandni Chowk, Food, Festival, New Delhi
The beautiful and huge Pandal of Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee in Red Fort Lawns

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Bill Gates and Melinda Gates at INAP launch

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Top Post, Blog post, Indiblogger

 

 

wpid-p_20140925_221055.jpg

 

Last Thursday on 18th September 2014, it was an insightful experience to attend the launch of INAP, India New Born Action Plan programme. We all know the success story of India’s triumph over polio and learning from the past and following  the same lines it was the day designated to start the crusade against newborn deaths. Yes, it was called a great day because it marked the launch of a ambitious plan that aims to save newborn deaths and bring down the number of deaths per 1000 in single digit.

 

The honorable guests of the event were Bill Gates and Melinda Gates.  For this great cause, the chiefs of UNICEF,  WHO, USAID came together to extend their utmost support. The other guests of honor who shared the dais were Mr. Louis George Arsenault, UNICEF representative India, Ms. Nata Menabde, WR India, Mr. John Beed, Mission Director, USAID India along with our Health and Welfare Minister, Mr. Harsh Vardhan.

 

The disturbing numbers…

Preventable newborn deaths account for 44 percent of all deaths among children under the age of five globally.

Four out of five newborn deaths result from three treatable conditions.

In India, 0.76 million newborns die each year mainly due to preventable causes.

Urban NMR is no good, it is also half of Rural NMR. Delhi IMR is also quite high.

There is zero, actually no health structure in cities.

 

WHAT IS INAP?

The India Newborn Action Plan (INAP) is developed in response to to the Global Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP) which was launched at World Health Assembly in June 2014. The programme outlines a targeted strategy for accelerating the reduction of preventable newborn deaths and stillbirths in the country.  With this programme and effective interventions, it is a commitment to bring NMR (neonatal mortality rate) and SBR (Still born rate)  to single digits by 2020.

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Chapter 16: Duplicity

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I am part of team “Writers’ Express”

 Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18

 PREVIOUS CHAPTER

Cyrus did not return Jenny’s call.

There was slight disappointment on her face because he hadn’t called her to speak of any progress in Maya’s case. But just then she was quick to console herself that Cyrus was trying his best to hunt down Varun and soon some important lead would definitely help them nab the culprit.  The flashbacks of Maya’s body in pool of blood returned and next moment Jenny clenched her fist and teeth. Soon,  her body began to shiver too.  The killer had not just murdered Maya but her soul sister and it was great loss to her.

Jenny was a strong person and Maya too was no less. Rather it was their adventurous, art land sports love, thinking from the heart attitude which had bonded them together. There was one more thing other than photography which never bored them and that was music. Jenny played their favorite peppy numbers to lift her mood but it did not really help. She felt both restless and helpless. Thoughts of Maya or Cyrus played around in her mind. Since Maya was gone and Cyrus was busy with his freelance case, studies and follow up with police on Maya’s murder, Jenny decided to read his blog.

Eunomia’s Quill, Cyrus blog’s name was too interesting and Jennifer felt a curiosity to read it word to word. Crime and law were not her subjects of interest but with Maya’s shocking death she wanted to read and research things related to murders, mysteries and thrillers. She came across many jargons which were unknown to her.  The thoughts and views of Cyrus on some cases were eye opening for her. Soon Jenny was in awe of not only his writing skills but also his investigating ideas. Was Cyrus a law student or a psychologist who could read a criminal’s mind? Boss, this guy could script some real crime series which are sure to get terrific TRP ratings… Jenny thought to herself.

                                                                                      ———————————————————–

Next day Jenny woke up with the ringing of her mobile phone.

Oh! she realized she had been awake till wee hours in the night and now her head was throbbing hard because maybe she had tried to gulp down excessive doze of crime and law stories the night before.

She missed the call but soon bent down to check the number. It was more than one. First it was her Mum early in the morning which obviously had felt on deaf ears and after two hours  now it was Cyrus who had called her.

Jenny felt happy to return each of their calls.

Since Jenny was too impressed with Cyrus’s blog, she couldn’t keep this to herself. That day in a casual chat (facebook messenger) with Tara, she mentioned it the first thing. Jennifer disclosed to Tara about the blogs that Cyrus wrote and how fascinated she was with his writing style.  Tara was taken for surprise too. Jennifer and Tara had gotten quite friendly over time. Tara’s heart went out to Jennifer for her lose of her closest friend. She did her best to give Jennifer the moral support that she so needed. They had quickly opened up to each other, become friends on Facebook and now chatted with each other quite often.

READ NEXT CHAPTER HERE

“Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.

 

 

Jennifer new 1 copy

Cyrus

Love Lasts Forever…

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book, bookreview, love, lasts. forever, love lasts forever, vikrant khanna
You all know that , I am die hard romantic one , completely swear by SRK and his films and romance is a genre that always thrills me.  So when one of my closest friend @Prankyy decided to review this book , I was more than happy to host the column on my blog. This is what she has to say about one of the mushiest romantic novel that she has picked up off late.
LOVE LASTS FOREVER
Many a times we all dream live in our wonderlands. It is a world that is not just beautiful and perfect but also free from confusions , heartbreaks, anger and hate. Wow! That sounds like amazing corner of the world but then, no such perfect place exists in reality. Because we as human beings are not perfect , we are fallible , we fail , we create confusions , we express our anger in as many ways that we can and that eventually leads to heart breaks.

Love lasts forever By Vikrant Khanna - Is a story of that real world , a world that exists beyond the honey moon period, beyond the rosy promises of love and beyond all admirations of love.

 
Every love story goes through trials and relationships are tested to their core. This book depicts all those nuances of a relationship.
 
Two love stories set in two different generation , still have similar challenges . A unique setting of a ship which eventually gets hijacked adds a freshness to the storyline. Though the mush may get too much to handle beyond a point but in the end it is all worth it. The feeling of being in love , falling into it and falling out of it – all these have been described soulfully by the author.

Will the two men be able to conquer those challenges and re gain the love that they always thought lasts forever ?

 
Go find out.
 
A very relatable book , will make you think and re-think the way you approach love and relationships in your life.
 
— Reviewed by @Prankyy
This review is her personal view on the book and the review copy was sent to her from www.writersmelon.com.

Chapter 12: Duplicity

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Writersexpress, Celebrateblogging, Storywriting, Bloggers activity, groups blogg

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18

Read the previous chapter 11 here

 

After hearing the tale of Maya’s disappearance and then her brutal murder, Tara was done with her distrust for Cyrus. Jennifer had answered it all for her and now she felt guilty for being too harsh with Cyrus since his arrival.  At the end of the conversation, she had felt most of it was sorted, even the look on Shekhar’s face said that he was all satisfied. Cyrus looked smug with a sign of relief on his face. No doubt Jennifer’s story did make sense and when she remembered that Shailesh was an eye witness, she gave up her worrying thoughts.

It was all peaceful in the house and Tara happily walked in her kitchen. She began to chop some vegetable just then it flashed to her—

Was a stranger’s call enough to snub off the anxieties related to Roohi’s safety in presence of Cyrus?

 Just then Shekhar walked in and handed over the phone. It was Roohi on the other side. She was sounding all happy and chirpy which meant the stay at her friend’s place was turning out enjoyable. In all the fun, she did not miss asking about her Cyrus uncle and Tara for a change answered it to her satisfaction.

Everyone is doing good my baby, you make the most of your night out, have fun and I will come to pick you tomorrow…. said Tara before conveying the customary goodnight, sweet-dreams, take-care and bye.

After retiring to their bedroom, Shekhar and Tara discussed about Maya and expressed both sadness and shock.

Life is just so unpredictable. One never knows whats in store for us. I wonder if Maya ever thought that going for a boy would cost her life.expressed Tara

I know!!! And I fear the cruel world too.

What makes people so violent that they fear not in taking someone’s life thats so precious? … added Shekhar

Lets forget it all Shekhar and pray to God to keep us all together and happy. We have to be careful about Roohi and her friends always even when she grows up… the God fearing and doting mother in Tara said before dozing off to sleep.

Next day, it all went well.  Cyrus felt wanted in the house because Tara asked him for a second helping of sandwich during the breakfast. They all returned to their daily routines and when Roohi returned she brought back giggles and chirpiness in the house.

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Chapter 5: Duplicity

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Writersexpress, Celebrateblogging, Storywriting, Bloggers activity, groups blogg

Team : Writers’ Express
Read the Chapters of the story here

Chapter 1: Pawan Hegde

Chapter 2 : Partha Sadhukhan

 Chapter 3 : Sujata Tawde

Chapter 4: Shilpa Halwe

Chapter 6: Shazneen Pathak 

Chapter 7:  Anuradha

Chapter 8 : Anuradha

Round 1 ended after 8 chapters and now we are through the second round along with other teams.

 

 


 

The diamond danglers shone bright, the wedding trousseau looked stunning and decked up to the full, the bride looked happily intoxicated with joy. The grand hall buzzed with music, chit-chats and laughter. It was a wedding reception hosted by a rich Indian businessman at Le Meridien, Kochi. One man in white felt relieved by looking at his handsome son, who was all happy to lose his bachelorhood to his school time sweetheart. Aside from her exquisite engagement ring from the bridegroom Ravi, the bride Kanchana had ensured that she wore completely traditional look. Every accessory that she adorned looked just perfect for the moment.

From one corner of the hall, there was someone who was loving every bit of it through her DSLR.  She was the only one in the room who had the courage to put on a denim with a cool tee.  The tattoo of the sweet little bird was about her true calling. She wanted to keep  flying here and there. Nothing could make Jennifer happy but photography and Indian weddings were her favorite. She loved the grandness about the North Indian weddings. Jennifer dreamt of two ceremonies for her own wedding, one in the church in the elaborate white gown and the other like Kanchana’s.

Jennifer had thanked her friend and partner in crime ( photography passionate) Maya more than once for cracking this opportunity. She had got bored of the church weddings and was in need of something grand as this. Maya was blessed with persuasive PR skills and her talking had helped them bag this assignment. Not one but five professional photographers were covering the reception party. Five years back when she had started as an amateur, she has shot weddings for free, for friends of friends who couldn’t afford to hire a professional but now she was one among the elite.

Jennifer new 1 copy

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My experience of flying with Malaysian Airlines

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Hi Readers,
 
I am back from Malaysia with beautiful experiences to share with you all. My first international exposure that happened due to blogging was full of great fun, excitement and learning. Remember the Malaysian Familiarization trip that I had won in the first quarter of the year? Yes, so it happened in last week of August as I had opted for this month. I was invited over to be a part of the Merdeka (Independence Day) celebrations and now when I am back, I want to shout out loud and tell everyone that the trip was absolutely amazing.  Malaysia Tourism deserves many thanks because they made it rock beyond words. I thoroughly enjoyed my company with two travel bloggers Ragini and Vaishakhi. The 6 days trip turned out to be an experience that will be savored for a lifetime for sure.
I am gonna share every bit of it right from where it began…
 

Malaysia Airlines, Travel, Kuala Lumpur, Airlines, Flight

Are you flying with Malaysia Airlines?

In the last week of August when I was due to travel to Kuala Lumpur to be a part of the the Merdeka celebrations, every other friend, colleague and acquaintance did not miss the chance to ask – ‘Are you flying with Malaysia Airlines?’ 

I would smile in an affirmation. Each one tried to show concern. Honestly, I felt bothered. To all their queries and suggestions, I had only one thing to say and that was that the carrier had been plain unlucky this year otherwise it had always been the best in Malaysia. I did a reality check too when I questioned myself and others that how often do we check safety records of our own flights and trains when we book them? The answer is we all love to travel cheap and best. Convenient and cost effective is the mantra!!!

And now with my experience on-board MAS, I would say they are doing the best in their hard time.  They aren’t using the tragedies as an excuse to get away with just anything. The cost cuttings if any weren’t visible to me. On the day one, when I was flying from New Delhi, the plane was completely packed and thus this proved that the Indians trusted MA no less.

Inflight Food, Malaysia AirlinesThere were no hassles with the boarding pass, luggage drop in, etc. The announcements were right on time. The aircraft was neat and clean. The inflight entertainment was good. Since my seat was very last one, I missed some legroom space but otherwise things were good.  The food and drinks were served punctually. I would rate it as standard quality of catering. I absolutely enjoyed my non-veg meal. The cabin crew wore their friendly smiles throughout and they acted professional and obliging all along the journey.

 

  The journey to Kaula Lumpur was not at all tiring and I say so even when I took no nap on the way rather I read the in-flight magazine ‘Going Places’, chatted with my friend and fellow blogger and watched some animated movies (my favorite past time on board flights).

Malaysian Airlines, In flight, Boeing

2014 was themed as Visit Malaysia, Truly Asia by the country. The year is aimed to be all about tourism and hospitality. To take the idea forward and enhance travel experiences, Malaysian Airlines has incorporated two new offerings- ‘MH Gourmet’ and ‘On Air Celebration’.  First one enables flyers to enhance their normal economy meals to premium meals and with second passengers can pre-order a special celebratory cake to be served on board to commemorate birthdays, anniversaries, honeymoon or wedding. I also came to know  about Enrich, the frequent flyer programme of Malaysia Airlines.

By the end of the flight, I had developed a liking for their Kelantan kite symbol in red and blue all around. :)

Going Places
The In flight magazine ‘Going Places’

At the Kuala Lumpur Airport

The return flight was hassle free too. However, before I boarded the flight, there was a chance to explore the Platinum and Golden Lounge which was not meant to be missed especially when Malaysia Airlines’ Golden Lounge had won the Asia’s Leading Airline Lounge, 2011 by the World Travel Awards. It was easy to locate the lounge.

The food, drinks, seats, space were all comforting and luxurious.  There were magazines to keep oneself busy, the wifi was working very well and also the computer spaces were available for those who needed to access the internet. I hopped around checking facilities and making the best of my time. More than the words, my pictures will do the talking.

“Malaysian Hospitality”, Plaza Platinum Lounge, Malaysian airlines Read the rest of this entry »

Private India

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Private India, Ashwin Sanghi, James Patterson, book, bookreview

 

In the last few weeks and still going, one book that has created serious buzz among the Indian book lovers/critiques is PRIVATE INDIA. When Blogadda offered copies of the book, we all went grabbing happily. Two things that led to my excitement were, first the book-cover read- ‘It’s the season for murder in Mumbai’ (leading to a high thrill quotient ) and second  the creative piece was a result of labor and love of not one but two popular authors ASHWIN SANGHI and JAMES PATTERSON. 

A thriller usually calls for a quick bite but this one was savored by me in three weeks. Firstly, it was work, then travel and further bad health that prevented me from wrapping it up soon. Finally, the trail of murders and the twisty journey came to its end yesterday and here I come up with the book review.  :)

In one sentence:   A page turner that starts on a high note with exciting series of murders and suspense, however it ends as a disarrayed storyline with messed-up subplots.

Cover Page and the Blurb

An interesting blurb promises chills and thrills. The mention of world’s finest investigation agency, dying people, killer, gang lord, godman, race of time, innocent Mumbai citizens sets the pace perfectly. At the same time, the cover page fails to impress.  The architectural icons from Mumbai at the top and the ‘man running for his life’ in the below left corner do not complement the title well enough. 

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Mind Rocks Youth Summit 2014: Believe in strength of mind and follow your heart

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Last year when I attended Mind Rocks 2013 in New Delhi, a youth summit organized by India Today I was completely floored at the end of the day. In one single day I had got to see and hear from the best of best. The star brigade was absolutely impressive. For days, the inspiring take-away quotes from the event had lingered on in my mind.  Since then I have always been catching up with its live streaming when its held in other cities. However, now was the time for it to return to Delhi and I was anxious to cover the event live. Honestly, I would also confess that being invited to events of such grand stature are perks to bloggers and I love them. There is no doubt about it that the events organized by India Today group are one of the best.

If I was asked to describe Mind Rocks in one sentence, I would say it is a great programme that has been designed to help the youth realize their own potential after hearing from the youth icons in real. Inspiring talks provide great fuel to both mind and heart and the school-college children must attend such sessions. I wish things like this happened ten years back when I had joined college. When I hear the icons talk now, the realization that descends on me is that success is not about a day’s work and passion needs to be complemented with utmost perseverance.

Let me take you around the event that rocked this Saturday in New Delhi at Siri Fort Auditorium. The below stage was set afire by ideas, interactions, politics music, fashion, dance and performances.

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The guest list was power packed. To begin with India’s  power and coal minister, Mr. Piyush Goyal charged up the audience by assuring that the power crisis would have a solution soon. His outspoken nature and confident attitude was amazing. His image revamp advises to Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal were on the mark absolutely. His consulting background made him sound an intellectual politician. Taking forward the government’s thought process he urged the youth to join http://www.mygov.in to be a part of nation’s growth. Personally I liked this well-read, energetic and inspiring minister. Honestly, I am not very fond of politics but I am sure smart and promising ministers of such kinds will very soon get the nation’s youth take interest in politics.

image

 

Soon walked in the Ishqzaada boy Arjun Kapoor. He looked charming and handsome. It sounded unbelievable when he said that he was 140 kg a few years ago. And he said that now flaunting his six packs on a magazine cover page was no less than a proud moment for him. Keeping his talk full of enthusiasm and entertainment he talked out his new film ‘Finding Fanny’.

 

image

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UNICEF: Let’s unite for children

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“At 33, I wanna go back to school.”

“The girls in school in Rajasthan said they loved coming here every morning and were happy in their school. They also said they felt protected. I was happy to know that the school had a girls toilet too.”

“When I was young, I was not keen on school because I did not like going there. Being an average student, the teachers did not pamper me and thus school did not attract me. It is important to be heard and feel loved in school”

“There is nothing to do with bollywood here, I am associated with UNICEF because as a girl I connect and feel for the cause from my heart.”

All the above were said by Bollywood heartthrob and UNICEF celebrity advocate Kareena Kapoor at the launch of CFSS at India Habitat Center, New Delhi.

 

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Child-friendly Schools and Systems (CFSS), a new package (guidelines) was launched by UNICEF on 4th September 2014 in New Delhi by celebrity advocate Kareena Kapoor. On the eve of teacher’s day it was a well chosen day to commence a new effort for bringing a positive transformation in the school environment. This one not just talks about education in schools but about its quality. The proposal is beautiful because it aims to bring a dynamic change in the teaching pattern as well as school environment so that a child makes the most of its time when he or she is there. Its time the government schools build up a reputation.

 

image

The RTE Act was passed in 2009 and it has been a wonderful initiative which entitles children aged between 6-14 years to learning and education. The enrollments did increase but the quality of education taken in by children is still poor. Parents were not keen on sending their children to schools because they were not learning. Children do no like schools because they are not happy there, the learning environment is not cheerful. Thus, we take a lesson that education is not just about enrolling to schools but also getting groomed positively. The new concept of CFSS is about child-friendly schools and systems which has some successful stories as to how the focus of schools and teachers should be on the overall personality development of the children. A perceived average student is not always average but he has to be heard. The teachers have to be trained methodically and they should know how to encourage such students to perform better in other things.

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Here is the fun of having a Tablet!

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Book, Tablet, Dell, Venue 7
I love the combo… A thriller Book and my DELL VENUE 7

 

 

Tablet!

 

I aren’t talking about the colorful pills that are our saving grace in times of immunity fights but the device that has come to add power to the gizmo world. The discussions are on and people are debating where does it fall and what will it replace. But I have a whole new perspective to add, a tablet is born to provide convenience to our eyes and our arms. I say eyes because for reading and writing, tablet is absolutely comforting in comparison to our phones and in case of bulkiness its a relief over the laptop which cannot be carried everywhere. Moreover, a tablet is empowered to do most of the things that a phone and a laptop do for us. However, its not about having one and not the other, its the age of having all the devices.. watsay!!!

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Reading and Flaunting some Awesome BOOKS this month!

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Some LOVELY Books have arrive this Week..
Some LOVELY Books have arrived this Week..
A Song For The Dying by Stuart MacBride
A Song For The Dying by Stuart MacBride
Ashwin Sanghi, James Patterson, Thriller, Private India
Private India by ASHWIN SANGHI & JAMES PATTERSON
Jpeg
FASTER Than LIGHTNING USAIN BOLT
INVISIBLE by James Patterson
INVISIBLE by James Patterson

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Sweet Little Room for the Cute one

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2nd September is my niece’s first birthday and we are all very excited. She has been a bundle of joy for all these months. We love to kiss her, cuddle her, pamper her and more and now its time when she will move from the club set of months to an ‘Year old Gurl’. Wow!  We are all so anxious to see her crawl, walk and then run around but there is time to all of it. I am just rushing into things..

Her birthday is a big day for all for us. We have been planning a number of things for her, the birthday dress, the party theme, gifts, guests and lots more. Of course she is the apple of the eye of her parents but she isn’t less for me. She is adorable. I so love to play with her and watch her antics.

When everyone is planning to buy lavish gifts for her, I wish to do something different. I want to decorate her room in the most adorable fashion. Now that the little one is growing, there is so much that catches her fancy. She looks here and there all the time and is attracted to bright colors more than others. How about giving her a beautiful palette of colors and patterns all around her?

I want to decorate a beautiful thematic room for her and I have come to know about Make my Home, a decor website just at the right time.  I have delicately selected three items which symbolize Fun, Family and Femininity for my girl of one!

 

Smiley Clock , Baby Room,
Smiley Clock that inspires her to SMILE always.

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I was wowed by the Iron Lady, The Eiffel Tower

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Paris for me had always been about two beautiful things- ‘Eiffel Tower and Romantic City’.

I was introduced to it for the first time by my G.K. teacher in school when she had asked the class to do a project on 7 wonders of the world. I remember we asked her if she had been to any of these places and she had proudly said Taj Mahal in India and Eiffel Tower in France.  Gradually when I grew up and learnt more about the fascinating things to see around the world, I often heard about Eiffel Tower. This architectural icon has always had a global admiration and has stood the test of time.

In Sweden, when hubby said he wanted to take me to Paris, I couldn’t believe my ears. I double checked and soon realized he was serious. Of course I was jumping with joy, my happiness knew no bounds!!!!  Some very beautiful things in life happen when you have never schemed them. They drop in your lap as God’s blessing. My visit to Europe, Paris and many other places is one such thing.

In Paris, there is no escape from Eiffel Tower and I was totally excited about seeing it real. Eiffel was my first tryst with something really superlative tall and one that had been known as the tallest monument till 1930. For four decades it ruled as the tallest.

Even now when I have visited the top of Kingdom Centre (100 Floor building in Riyadh) and Burj Khalifa in Dubai, my fascination for Eiffel hasn’t reduced.

As Eiffel Tower turned 125 years old this year, I am dedicating this blogpost about my date with it.

Eiffel Tower, Iron Lady, Paris, Farnce, Travel, Europe
My First and Closest Encounter with Eiffel Tower
Paris has one of the world’s best rail network and connects the city end to end. There are two close metro stations to Eiffel Tower. In my 4 days stay in Paris, I dedicated two evenings to Eiffel  tower. The two metro stations closest to it are Champ de Mars / Tour Eiffel on line RER C and other closest metro station is Bir-Hakeim.  And then there is a 500 meter walk that separates you from the stunning iron clad lady.

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My heart goes to Oslo again and again

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Oslo, Norway
Vigeland Park
Oslo city, shopping centre, Norway, Travel
I spent a lot of Norwegian Kronas shopping around in here

The memories are still fresh. I was seriously unhappy as I couldn’t be with my hubby on our first anniversary. He was far away in Norway, the beautiful one, the land of Midnight sun and I was in India.

The Norwegian Embassy had put my visa application on hold (even though I had had a Schenegan stamp before). I was mad at everyone but I continued to pray. The people at the embassy invited me face to face to know my story. From their side the reason of hold was that  I had no marriage registration certificate to prove that I was actually going to join my hubby there. Since I had all other details, I requested them on this part. A lady heard me attentively in the small room at the embassy. It seemed she wanted to help me.

But I was surprised when she also said, Oslo isn’t like Zurich, it isn’t a tourist place, why do you want to go for 25 days. Its too long a period.

I replied back, ‘I want to be with my husband and by the way the Google shows Oslo is amazingly beautiful.’ Let me go and see myself.

She smiled.  I waited with fingers crossed.

Next thing that I had read about Oslo was…. ‘Its drains your wallet.’  Expensive it is !!!!

After three days, the passport returned to me with the approved stamp. The lonely anniversary was done away with, good times were ahead. Very next day I was on the flight, flying to Oslo by Finnair. The stopover at Finland came to be familiar and easy going since it was my second time there in five months.

Thereafter, the next twenty five days I lived in a dreamland…It was close to meditation.

The glorious landscapes of the Oslo Fjord,  sprawling northern forests, architectural fantasies, unique Frogner Park, Museums, Scream painting and Holmenkollen amazed me thoroughly.

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Book Review: Catching The Departed

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wpid-p_20140803_235533.jpg

 

I finished the book in 3 days snuggling with it everyday after office hours and house chores.  It is a brave man’s story.  The storyline is spaced out with thrilling twists and turns every now and then.  You would want to read it till the end to put the bits together. The first murder knocks right in the first two pages.

 

STORY from my eyes…

The cold blooded murder of the lawyer at Rewari, a hamlet close to New Delhi gripped me right at the outset. Next I took an immediate fondness for Andy Karan, an investigative journalist who is bold, courageous and absolutely sincere about his work. When Andy visits  Delhi-Haryana border and is brushed aside violently, one can sense that  the ploy around the place isn’t just a newspaper story but a dangerous play of minds. Soon it all comes tumbling out. The Army Intelligence Bureau, the terrorists, the magazine that he works for and the government all have been eying it. There is a foul play  in Tilkapur for sure!

Gulabo, the wife of the lawyer and the undercover officer Dewanchand come to be of help to Andy but soon the plot thickens as the miscreants go packing from Rewari. Yes, the big plan shifts its base to Mumbai and it becomes violently dangerous. By this time, Andy realizes his love for his boss Monica and thus wishes for a settled and safe life. For one moment he does decide to re-track from the case (working as a special agent since he is an ex army man) but something in him holds him back.

South Block, Rashtrapati Bhawan in Delhi and Murud Janjira in Mumbai were words picked from Tilakpur and when all put together meant something big and creepy.  The run of things and his patriotic feelings soon take Andy Karan to Mumbai where he is attacked at every nook and corner till he has a narrow escape with death and is declared dead in the eyes of the world.  The bad man happily rejoices and laughs at the culmination of the worst in his mind. He thinks he would have his way and there is no stopping.

Things becomes murkier at the enemy front. One by one, everyone is put to death…even Andy’s love life goes for a toss forever.  Andy gears up to unmask the miscreants but the enemy is unstoppable.  Read to know who wins and how.

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Beautiful Food traverses from Eyes to Mouth to Stomach

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                     Temptations… Tantalization… Tasty… Taste Buds..

Cake in Borosil Serving bowls

 

 

Kachoris, Jackfruit, Katahal

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Love Kills

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A hardcore romantic person like me absolutely agrees that ‘Love does Kill’ but then it isn’t my story yet. This one is a crime thriller written by ISMITA TANDON

I have read and stood by Ismita’s work right from her first offering ‘Love on the Rocks’.  I remember meeting her in the first book launch at IHC, New Delhi. In person she came out to be absolutely warm and friendly and so she has been forever.  Her first work was naive, unique and promising. When the second one ‘Jacob Hills’  happened,  she emerged as a writer to be taken seriously. Her uniqueness stands out in her work as she always provides unique voices to her characters in the story and glorifies them with caricatures. And amidst the thrillers that she writes, she never misses to touch upon many aspects of life between the lines.

Her third book and the most recent one from her creative bag is ‘Love Kills’. This one is the best from her till date. It elevates her to a new pedestal for sure.

Love Kills, Book review, Ismita Tandon

COVER PAGE and the BLURB

The sketch of the girl who has been murdered aptly qualifies as an eye-catching cover page. Dominance of red color makes for love, passion and murder.  I bet the taut blurb will get you going almost instantly. Lets move on…

GIST

It all happens in the place called Monele, in proximity to Ooty.  The protagonist, Johnny Will has a lethal combination of  a master’s degree in psychiatry and a high IQ.  He runs a de-addiction center called Thy Will. The rehab is in the being so that he can help the people get over their lust for alcohol. He desires to revive their senses to judge right and wrong. Johnny knows how alcohol can be dangerous, he had seen his alcoholic father die mysteriously.  He has a girlfriend Mira Kermani, who is a woman of not just games and sex. And more she is a character no less as she happens to be the daughter of the richest man in the town.  More than one in the hill station is not happy with the love birds. Johnny has a family too in the form of Aunt Adele Will and his cousin Zac.  They have been family but Johnny isn’t close to them. Are they happy with their share in the ancestral property or they want more…?

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#WhattheBlack Day 2+Day 3 thrill and the solution of the Mysterious case

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Day 2 of #WhattheBlack was hugely exciting… An interesting black colored newspaper was delivered at our doorstep with clues all over.  Black sheets of paper had prints in white…It was fun and intriguing to the core and nonetheless we all donned our Sherlock Homles hats looking for friends in the form of Watson on twiiter and facebooks.

There was news about black balls…

The White tissue papers having turned black…

The poultry farmers spotting black egg

Day 6 of test match was a black day…

 

Reading the newspaper came out to be exciting and fun. My guesses were based on the fact that everything that usually exists as white was turning black…

It had to be something that we had always seen as white…. Was it Milk? No it wasn’t possible until it was some black coffee or  a black drink…

 

#WHATTHEBLACK Day 2

 

What the Black Day 2

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The Skyscanning adventure of Uncle Scrooge McDuck and I (his nephew)

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Uncle Scrooge, Mc duck, Money
STINGY UNCLE SCROOGE

My brothers and I started living with Uncle Scrooge when Papa joined the Navy and Mumma went along with him. 

Our Uncle happens to be a very rich duck and extremely particular of the ways that he spends his money.  Though he is the richest member of The Billionaires Club of Duckburg, he often says that his money is “just petty cash” so that we wouldn’t assume that his money is for mere enjoyment and fun. There are many stories about Uncle McDuck that he loves diving, swimming, resting over the coins accumulated by him over the years and I can vouch for them.

 

Nephews
Huey (I) , Dewey, Louie

 

 

 

In the picture in the left, its me with my brothers. We leave no stone unturned in driving our dear Uncle mad. Before we go on our next mis-adventure I must introduce you to my brothers.  On the leftmost, I am Huey and I am fond of red.  My brothers Dewey can be seen sporting a blue dress and Louie is all about green.  On the other times, when we love to look identical, we go for black. 

 

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#WHATTHEBLACK: The Mystery begins @Day 1

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Blogadda has come up with a cute, little, mysterious activity thats called #WHATTHEBLACK and it is fondly trending on twitter.

On Day 1, when I reached home in the evening after a long day at work, a small rectangular box with a cute ribbon on the top was waiting for me to be unwrapped.  My Mother-in-law who had received the courier in the day was all curious to know what was it all about. When I explained her the blogging activity, it made her curious too.  She told me that the delivery boy had said it has an egg inside. Together we opened it to pack-unpack and add on to the mystery.

Yes!!! we did find a egg that wasn’t white or yellow but BLACK.. So the mystery remains, whats it thats turning everything black.. Help me decode folks.

When we broke the shell, popped out a brown chocolate.. so now the question is it about Black or Brown? Ofcourse its black because its called #WHATTHEBLACK? Mom in law is equally intrigued and she is also enjoying playing the guessing game with me.

 

PICTURES FROM THE FIRST DAY

 #WHATTHEBLACK

#WHATTHEBLACK

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Beautiful Bits of Goa captured with Dell Venue 7

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My readers are aware of the fact that I have a DELL VENUE 7 given by DELL to use and explore the features.  Since I have never owned a tablet before, this is my first one and it happens to be special.  I love using it for blogging purposes and never forget to tag it along when I go for blogging meets. This time we get to see how it can capture pictures when the phone and camera go sleeping…

The WEEKEND (26-27th July) thats just passed by was nothing less than a MAGICAL one.

 I was invited to a special blogging meet in Goa organized by +Blogadda and +TataMotors.  50 Top bloggers were flown in from different parts of the country to test drive the new car ‘TATA ZEST’.  The experience was splendid and not to mention the place chosen by them by far was the best to celebrate Blogging and Technology. Yes!!! It was GOA. I returned to GOA after 23 years so it was as good as new to me.  With just 30 hours at our disposal and a hectic schedule of ‘power packed exciting things to do’, there wasn’t much time to unite with Nature but we did squeeze in time to be near the waters when the sun changed colors and chose to dive deep in the waters.

As a blogger its a crime to let the moment pass without capturing it safely in the pixels. After all, everything must be flaunted later on the blog.  This time I traveled loaded with technology more than clothes.  I had a laptop, a phone, NIKON D3100 camera as well as my DELL VENUE 7 tablet. Due to constant activities happening in and around and camera working non stop, mobile gone dead already, by the time I reached the beach of the Zuri Resorts, the battery of my camera was exhausted. Thus what came to my rescue was my sweet, adorable Tablet and I must appreciate that it helped me savor the moments tastefully.

The below pictures were captured by my DELL VENUE 7

GOA

Goa, Blogging Meet, Dell Venue 7, Indigo Flight
From inside the Plane

 

Goa, Before the Landing
From the Top, the first look of Goa

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Nationwide Launch of Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight

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On the occasion of ORS day today, I chose to write this article today.

 

Yesterday on 28th July 2014, I attended ‘Nationwide Launch of Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight Programme’, an event that aimed to galvanize a social movement towards Health and it was themed around Diarhhoea. The event took place at Jacaranda, Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi. I am grateful to UNICEF for extending an invitation to me.

The event was flagged off by Honorable Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan.  Other key members were Secretary Shri Lov Verma, Director General Health Services-Dr. Jagdish Prasad, Dr. Rakesh Kumar, Prof. Mahuram Santosham,  Unicef Representative to India- Mr. Louis-Georges Arsenault  and WHO representative- Dr. Nata Menabde.

A national campaign has been launched to fight diarrhoea- the third deadliest illness for children.

Diarrhoea, Health, Under Five Children
Diarrhoea, Health, Under Five Children

I learnt some shocking numbers there. Out of 6.6 million children that die globally, 1.36 million children die in India. The number of deaths caused by diarrhoea every year is equally very alarming for the country. 29% deaths are caused due to diarrhoea. Over 2 lakh children under the age of five die due to it. Of the five countries that lose large number of their children due to diarrhoea, India leads before Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Ethiopia.  Basically its 564 diarrhoeal deaths taking place every day, almost like a jumbo jet crashing every day under our nose.

Everyone present in the room had the same thought that the need of the hour is to fight this killer disease on war footing. This Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight is being celebrated from 28th July to 8th August to create mass awareness about most effective and low cost diarrhoea treatment. In the two weeks, home visits will be done by ASHA workers to distribute ORS + Zinc packets. The best practice is to use a combination of Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) solution and Zinc tablets.

Honestly, I was aware of the ORS solution but I came to know about Zinc only yesterday.

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After the ZEST-FUL ride…

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If you have read my last post, you would already know that I am in Goa and what I am upto at this moment… yes I am all set to TALK about the CAR that I have just driven… in the green and brown lanes of GOA… And the credit for this experience goes to TATA MOTORS and Blogadda for organizing a blogging meet of 50 bloggers of India to give them a taste of their product. Yes! this proves that TATA is very sure and confident of their product. They have come out with 29 first in class.

 My piece of the Zestabulous, Zexiting and Zesty experience!!!

 

THE MODEL OF TATA ZEST
THE MODEL OF TATA ZEST

 

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My piece of the Zestabulous, Zexiting and Zesty experience!!!

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  3 Special Things that Happened this Weekend….

 

       I flew to GOA to attend a blogging meet (all expense paid trip)

       Met the fastest Indian, Narain Kartikayen

       Drove the car thats yet to hit the market… TATA ZEST     :) :) :)

 

 

WEEKEND IN GOA, DRIVING ZEST
WEEKEND IN GOA, DRIVING ZEST

 

 

Formula One Racer
Met Narain Kartikayen

 

 

 

TATA ZEST
TATA ZEST

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Manhattan Mango

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Had a great time with this one last week.

Who wouldn’t love to rejoice the nostalgic days of friendship when it’s relived through pacy, spicy and entertaining chapters? The characters and their idiosyncrasies are well etched and believable while the storyline brews fun at every page of the book. The writing style of the author stands witty, stylish and engaging. Madhuri Iyer aptly succeeds in connecting with her readers. I would say the chic-lit packs a punch because it is themed around much loved aspects of life- Fun, Freedom and Friendship.

 

The complete review is published at WRITERSMELON

Book review, Madhuri Iyer, Writersmelon

Happy Reading!!!

For Zest! Be Zest! Live Zest!

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FIVE THINGS THAT ZEST UP MY LIFE!!!

ZEST is not just a gesture,
It is strength of life,
Friends, Peers, Groups, Team acts,
Add to my positivity.
Enjoying at the Cricket stadium or rocking at the bloggers meet,
Be it at the Club or outside the road,
Friendship rocks for me,
And they who make it add ZEST in my life.

Friends, Fun, excitement, Zest

BOOKS are the real source of ZEST in my life,
I extract a joyful energy from reading them,
Not a day without them,
I wish I had the time to read all the wonderful books on the Earth,
And more I want a lavish library of my own,
Yes! I wouldn’t stop to dream and be there one day,
What fun it would be to have in there a book written by me,
ZEST is about aiming to achieve that which seems unattainable.

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Hi5 Black Beauties

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Indeed BLACK is beautiful!

My fascination for ‘Black’ and its prowess isn’t nascent rather it dates back to my childhood days when my Dad gifted me an awesome book called BLACK BEAUTY by Anna Sewell. The horse’s story set in the Victorian England, made an indelible impression on my heart. At the age of nine, I fell in love with a horse that was fictional.  Since then, horse riding classes became my favorite and the desire to own a feisty, handsome, well bred, black horse (similar to the one that was created out of author’s imagination) was never lost.

So the first and fascinating living thing that I desire is a BLACK horse.

Black Beauty, What the Black, Beautiful Black,
I wanna pet this Handsome, fiery Black Horse, inspired by ‘BLACK BEAUTY’

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JIFI is Here, Lets go banking on Twitter and Facebook!

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Yes, we live in the age where many of us just love to talk to the unknown millions in nanoseconds. We are impatient and we want it all fast and hassle free. We live in the Face book and Twitter age.

Its been making rounds now that if you aren’t tweeting, updating status, clicking pictures, reading feeds, following buzz, instagram-ing, sharing blogs, you are just as old and unpopular as the dinosaur.  Who had thought that we would read a statement like this and agree with it some day?  The truth is social media has dug its significant position in our lives and we love it more than we loathe it.

Several brands around different industries have hunted down ways to make the best use of social media. They have learnt the trends, adapted to the change and are doing the best to be in the competition. Financial sector is pulling up its socks too. I spent my Saturday exploring and enjoying a fully-integrated t, an initiative by KOTAK MAHINDRA.

Lets do a questionnaire around BANKING and SOCIAL MEDIA before I talk more on my experience.

  • Do you feel banking is boring and it isn’t customer friendly?
  • How excited will you be if your bank adopted social media and you could go banking with your friends?
  • Will you prefer using a social media channel over a phone call to solve a problem with your bank?
  • Do you mind sharing financial products and services updates through your bank’s face book and twitter accounts?
  • Do you wish to invite friends and followers to have a account in the same bank as yours?

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‘Journey to Zen Life begins’ says ASUS at the India Launch

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Finance Minister presented his budget on 10th July however, Asus gave us a reason to smile a day before, i.e. on 9th July when it launched its performance driven and pocket friendly Zen phones for the Indian consumers.

Asus Indiblogger Meet
Asus Indiblogger Meet

In search of the Incredible…

Yet again, it was an Indiblogger Meet, the get-togethers where we bloggers meet, greet and rejoice.  This time the sponsors/organizers were Asus and the theme was the much awaited India launch of ZenFone Series and Fonepad 7.  In the first half it was the press release and post lunch it was an exclusive bloggers meet.  The  CEO, Product Manager, Design Manager, Vice President of Asustek Computer- better known as Asus along with the Intel  Sales people were available for the D day.  They all rocked with enthusiasm. It was a big day for them, unveiling a new smartphone series before the great Indian market.

 

Asus, Zenphones, Mobile Launch, Pragati maidan
Asus India Launch at Pragati Maidan


I clicked the above picture at the entrance, outside the Halls 7D, 7E at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi where the event was planned.  The tagline ‘journey to Zen life’ looked appealing.  And the gate too was impressive. (below picture)

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World’s first online shop-able fashion week

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Fashion, Talent-hunt, Creativity, Launch Pad, Grooming, Mentor ship, Shopping…. All in one platter.

Wow!

Jabong, the fashion portal along with  Talenthouse India has come up with a totally unique concept of Online Fashion week (IOFW). If you belong to the esteemed list of designers, models, makeup artists, fashion photographers and hair stylists this one is just for you. Yes, its a talent hunt where fashion passionate will get a chance to showcase their creations and come in direct contact with fashion influencers.  In the times when the world is going net crazy and social media is crackling every moment, a complete online  fashion show for the first time comes like a cherry on the cake.

INDIA ONLINE FASHION WEEK   25th- 30th July, 2014

http://iofw.com/

 Jabong, Fashion, Online Fashion Week, Shop-Able

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Not Just an Ordinary Phone but the one with a Healing Camera.

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Superpower

The child on the road was in pain,

She cried,

Her mother was poor to pay for medicines,

I went near her and attracted the baby to my jazzy phone,

The child’s eyes gleamed,

I clicked a picture of her in my phone,

The people around thought I was nuts,

The magical power took its course,

In few minutes,  the child was all happy and healed.

Yes! My phone had a Super Power.

It could check for hidden illness,

And it had a healing camera too.

There is abundance of illness around us. The realization is always there but we are all so stuck up in our everyday mundane lives that we hardly stop to notice until a close one undergoes a suffering. How I wish there was no illness or I had a magical wand to absorb all pains!

Last week our family spent endless hours in hospital. It wasn’t me but my niece who was hospitalized for 7 days. Our ten months old, bundle of joy had suddenly taken ill and was admitted in PICU (pediatric intensive care unit).  It was really tough to see her go through the harsh medications. We all felt helpless and her parents were inconsolable. But now thanks to the doctor that she is back home hale and hearty however, the scary memories of the hospital are not gone from my mind. And my wish for a super-power has become more strong and dire.

Babies are so special. Our little one too is a beautiful sweetheart and we all love to hear her chuckling all day. But in the hospital she lay pale and exhausted under the impact of bacterial infection. Her smiles and laughter were gone. She was in great pain however we couldn’t do anything and the medication took its own sweet course to heal up the child. For the initial three days, her condition was not under control. We cried, we would look at her pictures and videos in the phone to console ourselves that things were fine and would soon be better. It was tough! That was the moment when the idea struck me wish the phone holding the picture could heal up the baby too and make her sit cheerfully upright. And that would be named, The Doctor Phone.

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O dear, Sultanate of Oman!

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When the blogging contest at Indiblogger read that you could have your wish and unique experiences in ‘Sultanate of Oman’ I was evoked with exoticism (the charm of the unfamiliar). Next thing I did I called up my friend Eva Bhargava who had visited Muscat (capital of Oman) last year. I could sense squeaky delight and nostalgic tinkle in her voice when she revisited her experiences. I was awed just at the mention of words like eye-arresting wadis, sands and desert, sapphire blue water, dhow cruise, waterfalls, lakes, mountains, caves, wildlife and lush green vegetation. The conversation was fulfilling and a great learning experience for me. I couldn’t thank her more for sharing lots of information and gorgeous pictures of her trip to Oman.

Oman trip
My friend Eva Bhargava in Muscat
Bhargava Family in Wahiba Sands
Bhargava Family

The idea of hearing about a place, virtually exploring it through experiences of others, reading about it and then lusting to see it in real makes me no less than a passionate traveler. Also, having been enamored by the opulence and rustic beauty of Middle East in my visits to Dubai and Riyadh, I hear this one is unique and different. Its king and religion practice tolerance and thus what impresses me is that Muscat has a Shiva temple, Krishna temple and Paul Catholic Church along with the majestic Grand Mosque (quite interesting indeed). Unlike Riyadh, women here drive cars and one third of civil servants are women.  (Applaud)

More, the pictures and video below do shout out loud that Oman is outrageously spectacular and stupendously beautiful!

Muscat Palace
Muscat Palace

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Shopping time for Madam Ji

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A young foreigner lady married an Indian man and came to India, lived here forever.  In young age, she loved wearing Western outfits – long skirts and dresses, buying shahtoosh shawls and indulging in shopping sprees. But later due to political changes in her surroundings she took to Indian-nized dressing.

So Madamji as she is fondly called has really been busy in controlling, overpowering a party from outside as she puts it, until it all crumbled last month. The clan has been ousted sadly with poor numbers. However, Madamji is not to be blamed entirely, she has been shouldering a great responsibility at the expense of her leisures. The little birdie tells me that now that the plundering and looting is all done and not much is left to do nowadays she has been getting bored. She has not been keeping well too. The doctors have advised her to be happy and leave the political woes. She decides to return to her old love of shopping.

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I Sincerely love Tasty and Beautiful Food

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 “There is no love sincerer than the love of food,”

George Bernard Shaw

 

A year in the country that was not mine,
I had missed both home-cooked and luxurious Indian cuisine.
Aaah!!! The tantalizing aroma and the savoring flavor,
My taste buds wished for morsel of food which had mumma’s spices and labor.
On the way back home, there were thoughts of many,
But what ruled my mind was Family, Friends and Food nothing-less-than yummy.

 

Happy, cheerful faces greeted me delectably, delightfully,
I was elated, dog-tired and hungry, yours truly.
The aroma from the dining table was mesmerizing, overpowering and apparent,
Real Indian food, assorted delicacies lay there in serving bowls crystal clear, pristine and transparent.
Tomatoes, olives, onions, cucumber, carrots made an interesting salad mixture,
Boiled corns shone bright and yellow through transparent vessel in lashings of buttery texture.

 

My favorite Kadhai Paneer adorned with cottage cheese and green peas,
And spicy Chicken Curry with the rising aroma looked like a feast to my eyes.
The tamarind, chili, mint chutney got my nose running even before it reached my lip,
Boiled eggs arranged atop fragrant fried rice called to be mopped with the last bit of curry on plate tip,
To put my storming hunger pangs at rest,
Mom had spread a neat and beautiful dinnerware which complemented her culinary skills at best.

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Friday PARTY and its Deck Up Plans

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Decor, Friday, Blogging contest, Winner, Fun

 

 

Party, Invitations, Fabfurnish, CupHey come again M!   (Noops couldn’t control her excitement, I could feel the vibes coming from kilometers away.)

What?

I heard something like Parttyyyy@House. I wanna freeze the deal now over the phone…. said Noops

Oh yes! Dear I did say that. Keep yourself free next Friday when you are in the capital and tell the ‘Hyper Gang’ too. I leave it on you to bring them all.

Really? Freaking fun it would be. We have been waiting for this invitation darling, I will spread the word sweets. None would want to miss this one. Its been ages since we have shared cuppas.

Yes, it had been due long time though 3 of us from the college gang lived in NCR yet the get-togethers had become forgotten. I felt heavy as I disconnected the call. But I was happy too, it would happen soon.

Marriage, new role, new people in the house, demanding job, writing and the rut of everyday life hardly gives us time to catch up with school and college friends. I miss them, the lovely souls for sure. The feeling never dies that they are a call away but meeting them personally hardly happens. So this time since Rays is coming to Delhi from Bangalore, I have planned a party at my house, the first one ever where I will be proudly donning the Host’s hat. I just can’t wait to see them. Gossips, laughs and the lengthy conversations would simply follow. There is plenty to be done and I am truly excited.

The word ‘Party’ tags along three additional P’s Preparation, Planning and Pleasures. The gang of five of us is to meet after years and the chit-chat over the table is bound to go on for hours. From the food-spread to stylish touch to the house to the flower arrangement there are many creative tunes playing in my mind. I wish I could implement it all with a magical spell.

I know its gonna be tedious but soon a smug smile returns on my face. This gives me the right reason to restyle the house that needs a makeover big time. There is a week to go and thus I can plan it all meticulously and buy some oh- la- la decorative furnishings. Giving a beautiful feel to the house and adding a dash of style is my idea of the evening.  I want to please my friends, make them comfortable, make them gorge to the full and of course surprise them that a tomboy like me has turned into a  glorious home maker.

So here I begin to collate my selective choices, wish-list and key things to consider before the D day.

WALLS

I want to cheer up the sad walls of my house with wall stickers which are in vogue. These floral or wordy themes look damn pretty and will definitely enhance the look of the room perfectly. A design chosen in complement with the color of the wall paint would be a great choice. I love them all, will pick two of them.

Wall, stickers, Themes, Floral decorations
Peppy and Vibrant Wall Decor

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Flaunting my DELL VENUE 7

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TABLET

In this showbiz world, who doesn’t love to flaunt. Till its harmless, I just don’t mind.

So until now it was juts new clothes, books, accessories but now the  smartphones, tablets, laptops have added a zing to the fashion world. The slimest phone you carry or the cutting edge technology thats on your gizmo is the new X-factor. What have you been downloading or sharing is the new  conversation of gen C. So, I must declare I am cool too. Certainly, it isn’t about vanity but joy and happiness that makes me want to talk about my newly acquired gadget. Yes, in my last post I did tell you the story of my old mobile phone and new tablet.  Smartphone or Tablet? Confused…

See above, isn’t it beautiful? I love its big screen where I can arrange all my favorite apps at one place.  It boasts of Android 4.2.2 operating system and I am having a time of life exploring it, playing around with it.  The play-store is one point to get everything on the floor. So now my days are quite busy and technologically rich too. Indeed, its full doze of entertainment on-the-go. Its been acting as my perfect travel companion occupying a small space in my handy bag.

 

Peep into my applications and games. A 16GB of inbuilt storage is enough as of now.

INSTAGRAM  is the new thing for me. I am yet exploring it but BUZZFEED is cool.

Applications on myTablet

                       WordPress notifications are just a tap away and I can blog, keep an update on the reader, comment just any where.

As a blogger, what do I need more? Its so convenient to make notes, list down ideas and come back to them later. QWERTY keypad definitely makes it all lot easier and comfortable.

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My Favorite clicks of The Dubai Mall

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I love writing about Dubai, the reason is since my trip there I have developed an affinity for the place. I felt it was clean, friendly, safe and buzzed with positive energy. Also, what I liked about it is its newness, the youthfulness in its looks and the luxury that it proudly offers. The Arabs have always been there and the deserts have had their own enigma but this city has not been satiated just with what it had. It has made its presence felt on the global map by bringing in all that it could from the countries round the world and has been reborn to shine brightly. In Dubai, right from the airport, the metro, the roads, malls in there, everything boasts of state-of-the-art technology.

Its just been six months that I had a 8 days lovely trip exploring its beauty and magnificence and now I wanna go back again. The Malls, Desert Safari, Jumeriah Beach, Burj Khalifa, Ski Dubai, Palms, Ibn Battuta are still afresh in my mind. If given a chance I would want to go there to write, find work or just explore more about it. Old parts of it, creek, fishing and the souks are some of the things that have a deep history and must be explored intricately in detail. In my first visit I couldn’t do much except read a few books about Dubai’s growth.

However, I also felt that Dubai is hugely expensive and is doing more and more to attract the rich.  I am sure the expats there are working hard and making the most of it. Its a place which has only 18% Emiratis and rest people from other countries as its citizens.  A positive implication of it is conglomeration of cultures

Dubai is on a spree of expanding and growing. I am sure when I visit it again, there would be many more accomplishments added to its cap.  Of course the EXPO 20 20 is the big thing thats coming up. For now, I just wanna relive the memories and the pictures that I carried back home.

If you wanna explore the real luxury of Dubai, start from The DUBAI MALL, the largest mall ( someone estimated it as 50 football pitches) in the city which gets a huge footfall in the year  falling in the league of Niagara Falls. It houses more than 1200 outlets and has lavishness inscribed to its name. Its easy to reach via Metro. Its just endless with stairs, escalators, lifts, passage, alleys, souks, shops, lanes etc. You have absolutely lots to do in there. All great brands can be explored at one place and when you see people shopping, it gives an idea about the fondness they have towards filling shopping bags. The Aquarium and the Ice skating add to its charm. And the best its the closest to the tallest building in the world. Yes, Burj Khalifa is just there connected to the mall. The Fountain Dance in the evening is a beauty and one of the things not to be missed in any case.  One can also plan a visit to the top of the Burj Khalifa and it happens via lowest floor in the mall.

And now its time to showcase my clicks that I did on my first visit to the Dubai Mall.

 

Dubai Mall, The first Click of the Lampshade which changed colors.
Dubai Mall, The first Click of the Huge Lampshade which changed colors.

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My love for Switzerland

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Zurich Airport

I can bet on this that every Indian girl who has seen Bollywood blockbuster Dilwala Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and has romanced, has definitely lusted to go to Zurich with the loved one.  In fact huge hugs to makers of the movie who made us Indians fall in love with Europe. And thus bollywood rocks at the highest point in Europe. Yes, it does on the top of Europe you have a bollywood restaurant which showcases huge posters of Sharukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Hritik Roshan and others.

Well when I had seen the movie, apart from drooling over King Khan, honestly, I had said a small prayer too and it happened pretty soon for me. It wasn’t even a honeymoon trip but just a travel that happened when I visited my husband in Sweden and he planned a surprise trip for me. I was super excited to be there.  So after exploring Paris, we headed to Zurich.

If you are visiting Europe, Switzerland deserves a place in the itinerary absolutely.  Though everyone has their own things to lust for when it comes to traveling, I can give you reasons too many not to give this one a miss. And believe me its gonna be a memory close to your heart forever. I fell in love with the first view itself. The blue lake,  perfectly cut fields, few houses amidst the lavish and real green environment. The country is blessed with true colors of nature.

From the flight window
The first view of Switzerland

Lets start the countdown to make it irresistible.

The castle shaped buildings, quaint cobblestone streets, rose gardens, lovely lakeside views of Zurich lake, the mountain journey to the snow, world’s steepest modern cogwheel train, Europe’s largest waterfall- Rhine Falls,  ice palace, mountain villages, the breath-taking high Alpine glacier world,  deep glacier crevasses, ultimate snow experience at Top of Europe , glacier chair-lifting at Titlis Glacier, Rotaair and more.

Zurich city in itself is spectacular with classical architecture and natural beauty to surround it.  On the first day we visited the National Museum to discover the history and culture. Later we strolled around Main Railway station, Bahnhofstrasse shopping avenue and Lake Zurich. It was difficult to stop oneself from clicking pictures and at the same time, all around it was magnificently beautiful.

Zurich city
Zurich city

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