Category Archives: Reviews

In Costa Cruise to Male, Maldives…

…Costa Cruise would be leaving from Mumbai Shores in November 2017, you can plan your trip in this cruise to Maldives – the most beautiful island country tucked in between India and Sri Lanka. But before that before that, you should know why visiting Maldives should be on your travel wish-list. Besides having out of the world cruising experience with Costa Cruise, you can view Maldives for its enormous natural beauty, greenery and vibrant marine life.  It is on my wish-list too, lets see when my wish is granted!

So, let’s dive down to know what Maldives Marine life has to offer you as a tourist.

Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives

The Maldives officially the Republic of Maldives is a South Asian island country, located in the Indian Ocean, situated in the Arabian Sea. It lies southwest of India and Sri Lanka. The chain of twenty-six atolls stretches from Ihavandhippolhu Atoll in the north to the Addu City in the south. Comprising a territory spanning roughly 298 square kilometres (115 sq mi), the Maldives is one of the world’s most geographically dispersed countries, as well as the smallest Asian country by both land area and population, with a little over 393,500 inhabitants. Malé is the capital and most populated city, traditionally called the “King’s Island” for its central location.

Maldivian waters are home to several ecosystems, including a variety, 187 species, of vibrant coral reefs. This area of the Indian Ocean, alone, houses 1100 species of fish, 5 species of sea turtles, 21 species of whales and dolphins, 400 species of molluscs, and 83 species of echinoderms. The area is also populated by a number of crustacean species: 120 copepod, 15 amphipods, as well as more than 145 crab and 48 shrimp species.

Among the many marine families represented are Pufferfish, Fusiliers, Jackfish, Lionfish, Oriental Sweetlips, reef sharks, Groupers, Eels, Snappers, Bannerfish, Batfish, Humphead Wrasse, Spotted Eagle Rays, Scorpionfish, Lobsters, Nudibranchs, Angelfish, Butterflyfish, Squirrelfish, Soldierfish, Glassfish, Surgeonfish, Unicornfish, Triggerfish, Napoleon wrasses, and Barracudas.

These coral reefs are home to a variety of marine ecosystems that vary from planktonic organisms to whale sharks. Sponges have gained importance as five species have displayed anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.

In 1998, sea-temperature warming of as much as 5 °C (9.0 °F) due to a single El Niño phenomenon event caused coral bleaching, killing two-thirds of the nation’s coral reefs.

In an effort to induce the regrowth of the reefs, scientists placed electrified cones anywhere from 20–60 feet (6.1–18.3 m) below the surface to provide a substrate for larval coral attachment. In 2004, scientists witnessed corals regenerating. Corals began to eject pink-orange eggs and sperm. The growth of these electrified corals was five times faster than untreated corals.

Again, in 2016, the coral reefs of the Maldives experienced a severe bleaching incident. Over 95% of coral around the islands died, and, even after six months, 100% of young coral transplants had died. The surface water temperatures reached an all-time high in 2016, at 31 degrees Celsius in May.

Recent scientific studies suggest that the faunistic composition can vary greatly between neighbour atolls, especially in terms of benthic fauna. Differences in terms of fishing pressure (including poaching) could be the cause.

Source: Wikipedia

“Ultimate Saree” – the Benarasi Saree!

“Every mother has a dream to gift at least one Benarasi saree to her daughter in marriage,”Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi.

Indeed every mother dreams of dressing her daughter in Benarasi Saree, especially in North India and gift her some on her special occasion. I too think of doing so…gifting one on my daughter’s marriage, owing to its cult status – the gorgeous Benarasi Saree, like my mother who gifted me many on my marriage. I love Benarasi Sarees and like to wear on special occasions like marriages, engagements etc. Being from North India, my love for Benarasi sarees is unquestionable.

I recollect my eldest Bua (Father’s Sister – Mrs. Sarojini Chandra) having one beautiful, hand woven, heritage Benarasi Saree in deep Purple colour with Silver Motifs all over (jaal) and intricate border. Bua looked beautiful in that Saree. As a child, I could not tell her then, but today, I regret not asking her for that Saree, I know she would have happily given me and I would have been the proud owner of that heritage piece in silk!

Benarasi Saree is not just a saree, but a prized possession for any women who know its worth. In North India, brides wore Red & Gold Benarsi Saree for Jaimaal and Yellow & Gold for Saptpadi (Pheras) and Benarasi Lehengas for Sangeet etc. So it was Benarasi weave all through. These sarees’ special characteristics are Mughal inspired designs such as intricate intertwining floral and foliate motifs, kalga and bel, a string of upright leaves called jhallar at the outer, edge of border is a characteristic of these sarees. Other features are gold work, compact weaving, figures with small details, metallic visual effects, pallus, jal (a net like a pattern), and mina work.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee, one of the master weavers of India, makes the world of Indian Brides truly spectacular, by the very look of it, you can make out that she is “Sabyasachi Bride”. He has dressed innumerable brides in Benarasi Sarees and Lehenga Chunrees from across the communities, caste and creed. The thread of Benarasi Saree unites all Indian brides who want to dress in their Benarasi Lehenga, irrespective and what if, it is by master creator – Sabyasachi.

And this time as well, with his ‘Banarasi Bride’ collection, he’s done a fabulous job. Intricate designs of rich hues of Banarasi fabric teamed up with elegantly designed blouses made his collection just too good for the eyes to behold! The sea-green Banarasi bridal lehengas and sarees of his that were displayed at the Amazon India Fashion Week won quite a lot of admiration and applause.

Ralph Fitch (1583–91) describes Banaras as a thriving sector of the cotton textile industry. The earliest mention of the brocade and Zari textiles of Banaras is found in the 19th century. With the migration of silk weavers from Gujarat during the famine of 1603, it is likely that silk brocade weaving started in Banaras in the seventeenth century and developed in excellence during the 18th and 19th century. During the Mughal period, around 14th century, the weaving of brocades with intricate designs using gold and silver threads became the speciality of Banaras.

This way we see, Gujarat has Benaras connection!

Now we have the same intricate weave of Benaras brought to you by Surat based Triveni Ethnics, known for their gorgeous and vast collection of sarees. Incidentally, it is worth noting, Benarasi Saree’s pricing is prohibitive sometimes owing to various factors thus making affordability an issue. So if you want to have a collection of Benarasis in your wardrobe on a budget, take your pick from an awesome collection of Triveni’s – Shatika –  Banarsees made in Art Silk collection with beautiful traditional motifs, designs,  and styles in bright colours with Golden Zari borders.

Each saree is complemented with matching woven/brocaded blouse piece. The saree in zari brocade and in bright colours is a brilliant collection to choose from. You can order these online and get your Sarees delivered at your doorsteps.

Some elite ones preferred Zardozi over Benarasi but nothing beyond that. Times changed, so did the Bridal outfits, courtesy Bollywood brides who wore designer Lehengas, experimenting in different shades and trendy embroidery.

Lehengas became heavier by the day, heavier the lehenga, happier the bride.

So if you are planning to visit Banaras (read: Varanasi) , don’t forget to pick a beautiful Benarasi Saree.

 

Triveni Sarees, the Madhubani paintings Canvas!

If you have ever envied the look ethnic look of beautiful actresses Shabana Azmi or  Vidya Balan in their exquisite Handloom Sarees, big bindis, and heritage jewels…

 …Go for Triveni Sarees Madhubani collection to get the look! Now it’s your time to turn them green with envy!!

The latest offering from Triveni Stable is of Sarees based on beautiful Mithila imprints of Bihar, better known as – The Madhubani paintings.  Triveni’s exclusive collection in super soft blended cotton with delightful Madhubani designs is around to steal the limelight.

The effeminate saree collection is ideal for formal wear collection which is complemented with beautiful Art Silk borders and beautifully complementing blouse pieces. Sarees really look beautiful and flawless to adorn to get that classy look, which was possible only with steeply priced Handloom Sarees.

But this collection by Triveni is the answer to that which comes at highly affordable prices. Ladies, if you are going to be part of any Seminar, Conference, Workshop or any other official function, Madhubani Sarees are the best bet. These will surely give you the look of the likes of Shabana Azmi, Ila Arun or even Vidya Balan which you have always envied.

Madhubani – Mithila Painting (also called Madhubani art or Mithila painting) is practiced in the Mithila region of India and Nepal. Painting is done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks, using natural dyes and pigments, and is characterized by eye-catching geometrical patterns. There is ritual content for particular occasions, such as birth or marriage, and festivals, such as Holi, Surya Shakti, Kali Puja, Upanayana, Durga Puja.

Madhubani painting/Mithila painting was traditionally created by the women of the Brahman, Dusadh and Kayastha communities in Mithila region in India. It originated from Mithila region and Madhubani district of Bihar became the major export center of these paintings, hence, it is popularly called Mithila painting or Madhubani painting.  This painting as a form of wall art was practiced widely throughout the region; the more recent development of painting on paper and canvas mainly originated among the villages around Madhubani, and it is these latter developments led to the name Madhubani art being used alongside the name “Mithila Painting.

The painting was traditionally done on freshly plastered mud walls and floors of huts, but now they are also done on cloth, hand-made paper, and canvas. Madhubani paintings are made from the paste of powdered rice. Madhubani painting has remained confined to a compact geographical area and the skills have been passed on through centuries, the content and the style have largely remained the same. And that is the reason for Madhubani painting being accorded the coveted GI (Geographical Indication) status. Madhubani paintings also use two-dimensional imagery, and the colors used are derived from plants. Ochre and lampblack are also used for reddish brown and black respectively.

Madhubani paintings mostly depict the men & its association with nature and the scenes & deity from the ancient epics. Natural objects like the sun, the moon, and religious plants like tulsi are also widely painted, along with scenes from the royal court and social events like weddings. Generally, no space is left empty; the gaps are filled by paintings of flowers, animals, birds, and even geometric designs. Traditionally, the painting was one of the skills that were passed down from generation to generation in the families of the Mithila Region, mainly by women. It is still practiced and kept alive in the institutions spread across Mithila region. Kalakriti in Darbhanga, Vaidehi in Madhubani and Gram Vikas Parishad in Ranti are some of the major centers of Madhubani painting which has kept this ancient art form alive.

 

“The Real High” by Arré Outdoors with Arunachal Pradesh Tourism launched on a “High Evening”

Arré has launched Arré Outdoors, a new vertical, focused on travel, adventure, and more. Arré Outdoors, like Arré, is a multimedia, multi-genre platform with content ranging from videos to text to audio to doodles and more.

The first property from the Arré Outdoors stable is a first-of-its-kind travel-and-adventure reality series – The Real High, in partnership with Arunachal Pradesh Tourism, Nissan Terrano, Woodland and O’cean Active.

A vibrant & studded evening was organized at Taj Lands End on May 31, 2017 to unfurl the details of  “The Real High”  amidst the presence of  Shri P. D. Sona, Honourable Parliamentary Secretary Tourism, Government of Arunachal Pradesh.

Arré Outdoors is a call to city slickers to get out of their automated city lives and comfort zones and get real and raw in nature. Arré Outdoors will take viewers and readers in a series of interactive digital journeys to undiscovered places and experiences in their purest form, starting with Arunachal Pradesh.

The show is an eight-part series where leading youth icon Rannvijay Singha takes six ultra-urban city dwellers on an incredible journey to the forests of Arunachal Pradesh, to experience life without beds, baths, and phones. The participants are given a once-in-a-lifetime experience to rethink their life and choices and to discover “The Real High”

Shot in the breathtaking mountains, rivers, and forests of Arunachal Pradesh, the show is a visual delight blended with the fun experiences and wild adventures of the six participants along with Rannvijay, as they pitch their own tent, build their own raft, cook their own food, mingle with the locals, and experience life in a way unknown to any of them.

Anchoring the event in his own inimitable style, Rannvijay Singha said, “I’m super excited about the launch of ‘The Real High’. It will be interesting for viewers to see how the participants adapt to life outside the city and without taken-for-granted comforts, apart from the breathtaking sights of Arunachal Pradesh. We had a lot of fun shooting the show and I hope the audience enjoys it as much.”

Saikumar, Founder, Arré, said, “Travel is no longer just a passion point pursued by some but is increasingly becoming a way of life, as places and people get closer in the digital age. We travel the world in 80 minutes or even 80 seconds through pictures, 360-degree videos, interactive maps, and every other technology at our disposal. Arré Outdoors is a fresh take on travel through stories and formats that will take our viewers and readers to places and nudge them to get out of their homes and journey these experiences themselves, one trip at a time. ‘The Real High’ is our first property from the Arré Outdoors stable and we are very thrilled to be partnering with Arunachal Pradesh Tourism, Nissan Terrano, Woodland, and O’cean Active to create this special show for our viewers”.

Shri P. D. Sona, Honourable Parliamentary Secretary Tourism, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, commented, “We are very focused on making Arunachal Pradesh the adventure and exotic tourism hub of India. We expect the number of tourist arrivals to grow exponentially this year, through many projects that engage with the youth. We are very delighted to partner with Arré on such an interesting initiative and believe that such initiatives will aid awareness and encourage travelers to visit Arunachal Pradesh to experience its many unique attractions.”

In an exclusive to travel-knots.com, Mr. Sona shared, “Ministry of Tourism Government of India is supporting the Infrastructure Development in Arunachal Pradesh in a big way. But the bottle neck is PAP and we are writing to Govt. To ease out the norms of this PAP regime, once the PAP is lifted, we will have a huge flow of international tourists. Arunachal Pradesh tourism department is looking at filing these critical gaps. The Bhupen Hazarika bridge which was inaugurated recently, which is actually in Assam but with this bridge Arunachal Pradesh is going to benefit more. Earlier travel was really difficult but now with this all-weather bridge, it will take hardly 15-20 minutes to cross over.  As far as domestic tourists are concerned if you talk in terms of percentage, in relation to the total population it is more than 20%, now with the relaxed regime of PAP we are expecting a lot of foreign tourists.”

Watch the trailor of “The Real High” to get the feel of “The Real High” 

Episode 1 of the series will be out on arre.co.in, the Arré app, and its partner platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, SonyLIV, Yupp TV, Jio Cinema, and Ola Prime Play on June 10.

 

Reliance Mutual Fund Day, Unleashing Mutual Fund Revolution in India!

Who does not want to prosper in life? Some may admit, some may not but the underlying theme of everyone’s life is to make enough money to lead a comfortable working life, followed by even more comfortable retired life. But we Indians are so busy with our routine that we don’t take our investments seriously. We leave our investments in auto – pilot mode. Is this the right thing to do? Will it lead to prosperity? Certainly not!

So how do you shed this lethargy and ensure that your money works actively for you?

By investing in mutual funds!

How do mutual fund manager invest your money?  

Fund Managers consistently track the performance of about 3000-4000 companies, read & decipher the annual reports, churn market data, read secondary reports, even undertake factory visits and then they do a technical analysis to derive the conclusion which companies are going to do well in future. Accordingly, they invest in such companies. They manage these investments very actively.

With all these merits, with the topping of ease of investment why mutual funds penetration has been so low – only 3% clogging Rs. 5.5 Lakh crore. The need of the hour is to take these 97% investors in the fold who have not kept pace with the times and have remained passive investors.

But the million-dollar question still remains, how to create awareness amongst Indians to make their investments generate great returns without any hassle.

Sanctity of SEVENTH of every month

Why 7th of every month is important? Tells Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management Ltd. who celebrate 7th of every month as a reminder tool for investment as a part of their investor education initiative directed by SEBI for increasing the penetration of mutual fund categories. Indeed, Reliance is doing it in a unique way which is driving investors to these categories. Started in February 2017 on a pan India level, this Mission Prosperity has moved leaps and bounds, so much so that almost 700 people attend their event which starts from 24th of every month and culminates on 7th.

This year Reliance Mutual Fund introduced an industry redefining initiative where the aim is to create strong awareness, not just about their own brand and services but for the entire category. This is backed by 360-degree radio, TV, print and digital campaign – #MFDaysOn7th and which is an extension of mutual fund day by way of which you can help your friends work towards their financial goals this Mutual Fund Day by taking the #FundForAFriend quiz and find out what profile works best for them! This is very simple but would do wonders for your friend who is not savvy as far as his/ her investments are concerned.

Indeed, the red carpet to prosperity has been rolled out!

Indeed, the red carpet to prosperity has been rolled out!

Himalaya launches digital campaign #momsunplugged

The unscripted film delivers a refreshing take on what motherhood means and shows honest and candid conversations between moms

 

In 1930, a young visionary by the name of Mr. M. Manal foresaw the benefits of herbal remedies while riding through the forests of Burma. After diligently researching the science of the traditional field of Ayurveda, he decided to dedicate his life creating products that would improve millions of lives across the world. Today, with a history spanning more than eight decades of herbal research, Himalaya has positioned itself as a brand that cares about not only enrich people’s lives but also the environment. With their ‘head to heel’ range of products, Himalaya aims to provide a holistic solution to everyday ailments that affect our bodies.

Seeped in a legacy of researching nature, Himalaya has successfully been able to harness the science of Ayurveda through cutting-edge research to become a brand that is safe, gentle and trustworthy.

Now taking this legacy forward, and Turning the spotlight on mothers in a unique way, Himalaya FOR MOMS, India’s first natural mother care product range, launched their digital campaign, #momsunplugged. Captured in a series of unscripted films, the campaign features spontaneous and heartfelt conversations between real moms sharing their emotions, experiences of joy, fear, guilt, apprehensions, and efforts to create a new identity while exploring the world of motherhood.

“We launched Himalaya FOR MOMS to help mothers in their journey of motherhood. Through #momsunplugged, we wanted to feature them in their true sense. This is our first campaign that allows mothers to speak their hearts out in the most candid way. We hope to ignite these conversations among mothers to share their happiness, sadness, anxiety, and experiences that come with motherhood. We want mothers to believe that it is completely normal to feel anxious during this period. Unless we acknowledge their concerns, they will continue to feel stressed and imperfect”, said Mr. N.V Chakravarthi, General Manager Himalaya BabyCare.

“This is the first leg of the campaign that will be promoted on digital platforms. Our intention is to create a community for mothers to support each other by openly sharing their experiences and advice,” added Mr Chakravarthi.

This campaign will be accessible on various digital platforms including Himalaya BabyCare’s Facebook Page, Blog and YouTube.

#momsunplugged films can be watched on

http://himalayawellness.com/products/himalayaformoms/momsunplugged/index.html

Siddharth Bhavnani, Managing Partner, ShotReady says, “Our goal was to give moms a platform to have a conversation about motherhood. To address topics like guilt, expectations and things we wouldn’t normally discuss or hear about, unless in a closed circle. We asked real mothers to participate, it brings genuineness and honesty which we felt was the best approach to creating relatable content.”

In the video, Jharna, mother of twin boys, mentioned that while she completely loves and adores her sons now, initially she felt slightly overwhelmed about being a new mother. She felt a huge burden of responsibility on her shoulders and couldn’t believe that she was in charge of two human lives.

Sumita, a mother of two-year-old baby girl added, “I found that maternal instincts were initially dormant. It took time for it to evolve within me and I was unable to express it. But, over a period of time, you learn to trust your instinct and let the smaller things slide”

 

 

KNOW YOUR RELATIONSHIPS – Through Positive Intentions by Shilpi J Chawla

POETRY ON RELATIONSHIPS

The above title comes from the author of wonderful self help books, The Book of Intents and its sequel Love Your Life, with the power of intention and Dancing the Dance, a book about power and grace of the Woman.  Shilpi feels that life is inherently supplying us subtle messages, stillness is inevitable if you want to tap into them and yet in the midst of all that is palpable and real, there is something very unreal about living a life without intention.

The book in question is starkly different from other books of the author and many other authors for that matter, as it deals with most complex subject on the planet, Relationships. All of us are entangled in the web of relationships, irrespective of our age, gender, social status, financial status, place of stay, single, married, working, non working, self-employed…whatever! Not just one or two but into multiple relationships, some of which add lot of value to our existence, whereas others are not so pleasant and some, which can just be despised, but we can’t.   Being in a relationship is 24 hours 365 days business; hence lot of issues related to relationships impact our lives.

Know your relationships is an interesting take on Relationships which takes you a wave forward one day at a time, one emotion at a time,  one letter at a time. Beautifully interpreted through 26 Alphabets of English Language, each letter presents a different shade, hue and colour of relationship. She has re-written A, B, C, D of relationships especially for those adults who are struggling with relationship to reach X, Y, Z of life.  The adults have been taught A B C D of relationships, like a child has been taught ABCD just when he starts understanding relationships. The book talks to that child in us in an empowering way, encouraging them to look at relationships in their life through the first 26 letters of English Language.

Ever considered A= Allow rather than Apple? Or B=Bliss rather than Ball? Asks Shilpi. The answer is clear no as we have been living with clichés around us. The complex relationships of the world are integrated through ABCs in the book. Ideal for young parents who can learn ABCD of relationships from “Know Your Relationships” which can be beautifully transcended to their young children or whosoever touches them during life’s journey. After reading this book, I am sure all of you would be able to find a new meaning to your relationships through the journey of life ahead. While putting all emotions surrounding human heart in perspective, finally you feel positive about all relationships around you, howsoever bitter or unpleasant these have been.

Without reading the tips on How to use this Book, it will be difficult to comprehend the book, and without proper comprehension, you will not be able to transcend its essence to your life’s relationships. The book not only guides you through various relationships, but through two most important relationships which is with SELF and POWER ABOVE.  If you are honest and meaningful here, you will catch the essence of the book. You will feel a sense of spaciousness within, almost leading to expansion of your heart.  Indeed you need to read between the lines, in fact I read the book twice, once to read the verses and second time to absorb the essence. The book is beautifully rendered through verses where your spirit is blessing you through out, through various renditions for ABCDs…

It is always a pleasure & treasure Shilpi’s books who pours her heart out to prove her point that every relationship is poignant and a blessing to cherish. The book has lot of space which is soothing for the eyes and attractive illustrations on left hand side of each chapter, which shows that author is not only creative in her thinking  & writing, but also in its rendition too. The cover is creatively illustrated too, which spells out many relationships surrounding us. Opening of the book as many meaningful credentials by illustrious people, which speaks volumes about the book.

I would like share some pearls from the book here to give you the glimpse of what this Jewel holds for you:

  • May you only know bliss as your true identity
  • Stay grounded in your highs
  • Dust off the doubts
  • For, you are always home in your heart
  • You are a living miracle
  • You came from Nothingness, and that’s your ultimate destination
  • Give it rest when it needs

In the end, Shilpi has not forgotten to thank her readers, expressing:

Knowing that in me – is YOU!

 

 

 

#Colgate Magical Stories: Thrilling ride in space with Colgate!

Toothpaste matlab Colgate!

Colgate has been integral part of our growing up years when every day began with Colgate and concluded with Colgate and everything fell in between. Colgate has been a complete solution provider for Oral hygiene and I am sure, our generation only knew Colgate for toothpaste. It has been integral part of our morning chores – No wonder so many ladies trust Colgate for their children’s pearly whites – Colgate hai to bharosa hai!

 So when I came know about #ColgateMagical Stories by Colgate mailed to us by Blogadda, my mind just went back to my childhood when we use to indulge in such activities. Probably this is not the case with youngsters of today who have all the sophisticated gadgets to their disposal. I told Blogadda, that though I want to participate but I my child has outgrown to take part in this activity, to this Blogadda told me that you can do this activity with any children around you. This is how “My Story” began with #ColgateMagical Stories.

In a short span of time, I received packs in attractive packaging from Blogadda for which I had already chosen my cooperative and attractive colleague Reena Noronha, who is mother of two – Joshua (8) and Judith (5)intelligent, inquisitive, creative & naughty to the core! For third story, I chose my young & exuberant colleague Bhagyashree Kanade’s Cute & Curious daughter, Abha (7).

I shared, the details with about the #ColgateMagicalStories with Reena, who reluctantly agreed to take part in the activity, but as I was confident her children were very excited to take part in the activity. Reena took lot of trouble in handling the kids who helped them with cutting, pasting and explaining them. The scene resembling nothing short from the comic strip – Denise the Menace. Excellent Manager that Reena is, she could take best out of the kids.

Children are at their creative best when they are given something colourful to look (painting), interesting to cut & paste (Craft) and weave a story (Story Telling) around it. Colgate with Magical Stories had just caught the pulse of the children with this activity where a child’s all creative faculties are at play.  Joshua & Judith were super-excited to be involved in the activity where they could cut & paste and weave a story around it. First and foremost – Joshua gave attractive names to the characters & Judith was no less, she also came up with attractive names, taking burden of naming ceremony from Reena’s shoulders.

First Pack: 1646636 SL: Joshua Noronha Narrates:

 I like all things about space and want to be in a space station. I think the Boy in space –suit is me, but not me, I will call him Capt. Shijin who wants to live in Space station and work in Earth’s orbit. Shijin is very happy in his space suit which weighs 127 kgs with 13 layers of material. The cute looking girl is Shijin’s sister, DORA who wants to go with his brother. Brother and Sister both are happy that will be in space.

They tell their parents about the space, who get very scared but allow them. Excitedly, mom of Capt. Shijin and Purser Dora pack them with lot of stuff. Starting from Packs of Colgate to brush their teeth in the morning, eatables during the day and brush again in the night. Shijin also takes Chocolates and Cookies for her sister.  Always they had seen the Space Stations on TV and Movies, for the first time they were going there. They were very excited when Rocket zoomed with loud noise and placed them in station.  The ride was thrilling but scary, but Capt. Shijin and Dora loved it.  They were going be in the sky amidst stars.

Capt. Shijin asked Dora to write everything from space, so that they can tell them all about it in school, in return he gave Dora a chocolate. She was very very happy!

Second Pack: P1646636 AP : Ms.Judith Noronha Narrates:  

 I am Judy, I love to be in Space, as seen in movies. The girl on the Alien Planet is Me, Judy who is in her space suit and gun like thing. I love to hold guns, so I love holding this also. I am glad that space suits give Oxygen to breathe in outer space. I set out in cute train to reach the Satellite and I am very happy with the ride. I am more happy because I am carrying my Colgate with me so that I don’t miss brushing my teeth which makes my mom happy. On the way I see UFO which is very wonderful. I have not seen anything before like this.

As I am reaching space, I see Alien, who is very cute and looked and cuddly, I called him Jaadu, who was from some other planet. I told Jaadu, I want to visit your planet and want to know how aliens live, eat and sleep. Jaadu happily agreed to take along cute little Judy in his Rover, which easily moved around planet. Judy was very happy to visit another planet with Jaadu. When she returned from planet, Jaadu’s mom gave her many dresses, chocolates, cookies, comics, flowers…all things Judy loved.

Judy happily came back loaded with present which she happily shared with her brother Joshua. She told all stories to her friends in school who enjoyed it very much.

Third Pack: P1646636 : Ms. Abha Khedkar Narrates (7)

The cute little girl is Doreme as she resembles the famous cartoon character, Doreme who wants to go to Space, like me. I am making my friend Doreme ready for going to Space. I dress her up in Space Suit made for astronauts with Oxygen to breathe in outer space. I give her a gun also so that she is saved from attacks. As she starts her engine like space vehicle, Doreme shouts, UFO…

…UFO scares her and she takes out her gun to shoot. But it flies high and she missed her aim.

 

On her way, she sees an alien who has a gadget in hand. Doreme takes her gun out to shoot, but Alien shouts, “ I am your brother Doremon”. I will take you around in Space so that you enjoy your trip. I will call my other Alien friends who will love you and give you gifts.  Doreme did not believe him at once, but he came close, she liked him.  His eyes looked as if had two bulbs in them which were showing way in the dark. Doremon walks with heavy head and heavy feet. I smiled at him when he walked which made him angry. Doreme took out her gun to shoot but gun fire did not work on Doremon. He had thick shield on his body. Doreme said sorry to Doremon and brother sister moved for their space walk. When Doreme came back to earth, she had many gifts given by her brother and she loved them all. In return Doreme gave them packs of Magical Colgate toothpaste to all friends of Doremon who loved them a lot. How she wished she had brother like Doremon!

Colgate, Thanks you very much providing this opportunity of bringing out creativity in the children around me, who enjoyed the activity very much and their mothers Reena and Bhagyashree came to know about their story-telling skills. Their journey to the space was exciting through throw away pack of Colgate. Well Said: आम के आम गुठलियों के दाम

A big thank you to Blogadda team for hosting this activity for me.

“I’m blogging my #ColgateMagicalstories at BlogAdda in association with Colgate.

 

 

Open Eyed Meditations: Distillation of ancient wisdom for Modern Lives

TAG LINE: Practical Wisdom for Everyday Life

 

COME FROM: Author of the Bestselling Ramayana – The Game of Life Series

PUBLISHED BY: FINGERPRINT BELIEF

All of us supposedly know the term: Meditation but have we ever tried to explore the true rather deep meaning of the term? Not really! We are convinced all this is not for us, the lesser mortals of the land, but only for those who want to explore higher realms of life. We are happy the way we are. But are we? Not really, till I read: Open Eyed Meditations by famed author & motivational speaker Shubha Vilas.

51uwegmeqwl-_sx320_bo1204203200_

Other terms to understand with open eyes when all our faculties are at their functional best subject to so much distraction from all quarters. So for all of us lesser mortals, there is Shubha Vilas, author of best-seller Ramayana: The Game of Life Series, who very effectively takes us through the process of Meditation with Open Eyes! Hence the title: Open Eyed Meditations.

The book is another Gem from the author which is very practical and functional in its approach. The interpretations are so apt that in many chapters that we would be  compelled to think that: This is ME, The Thought is MINE, the struggle is MINE, the example is MINE, the success is MINE, the failure is MINE, the dilemma is MINE…it completely immersed ME. There is so many take-aways from this rare gem that your JEWEL BOX would be full, but not your heart. For many books, in the end I have taken sigh of relief, thank God, it’s over but for Open Eyed Meditation, the feeling was: Oh! Got Over!! Yeh Dil Maange More!!!

img20170216172529

The book has 64 chapters which run through 278 pages having attractive Cover Page and appropriate credentials on the Back Cover. Book is attractive to receive and engrossing to read. Every chapter is summarized in the end thus making each chapter more meaningful to the reader.  Many chapters just leave you mesmerized and you start self-questioning yourself: How would have I reacted in such a situation?  The answer is in the book.

I would like list few pearls of wisdom here:

  • Is decision making a feeling based art, or a logic-based Science?
  • Comparison is a systematic way of insulting your uniqueness and gifting yourself with misery.
  • Dealing with negativity does not need good aptitude but good attitude.
  • Your happiness quotient lies in how much joy you give others.
  • Our mind, like the lion in a zoo, needs to be confined within the boundaries of discipline.
  • Ravana exists not outside us but within. And he attacks in multiple ways
  • The bug of discontent has spread like an epidemic to destroy the healthy mind.
  • Greatness comes from dealing with imperfections
  • While ordinary people complain of life’s harshness, extraordinary people are busy dealing with them as lifetime opportunities.
  • Quantitative growth or qualitative growth, this marks the difference between good leaders and great ones.

In fact all of us must inculcate meditation to release stress from our daily lives, which is not happening though. But reading rather possessing this book would enable you to do meditation with open eyes where you can choose the chapter which suits your state of mind. The examples have been drawn from Epics Ramayana and Mahabharata which we have grown up reading, however I feel you will enjoy the book to the hilt if you know these epics and their characters well. The generation which has not been fed by these epics may not be able to draw inferences well. The book needs to be read not only with Open Eyes but with Open Minds, Hearts & Souls too, it will do wonders to your existence. You would be able to add so much more value to this invaluable life.

open-eyed-6

A beautiful journey through 64 chapters, the book is life a verse which you would like to recite in every stage of your life: Young, Old, Not-so-old, Career, Children, Marriage, Relationships, Solitude, Education, Interactions, Indecisions, Leaderships and Distractions…

…it effectively addresses your anxieties.

Ideally the book should be read at a stretch but it is difficult for its 278 pages and I read many pages twice to get the clear understanding of the ideology discussed. The book simply brings out the essence of deeper realms of life which we cannot explore with closed eyed meditations, what to say of open eyed meditation. The book is a self-help book which should be your prized possession for all your life.

Keep it and gift it to spread the AROMA!

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers.

 

 

Road Trip>>>To realize the true spirit of JAI HIND!

Road Trip from Dholero to Indo-Pak Border

dscf0110
I ( Bienu Verma Vaghela) with Husband Mukund Vaghela taking a break from the long drive.

The lure of road trip is insurmountable; many of us have aspired for one; many of us have taken one willingly or unwillingly; many of us are still dreaming about it; many of us had given up on road trip, like me, but that was not to be. Given the avid travelers that we are, we love adventures and whenever we have aspired for a peaceful trip, adventure rather misadventure has followed us.  Given the ‘Bollywood” buff that I am, I had seen road trips in movies and admittedly have been quite fascinated by them particularly the one in Dil Chahta Hai and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.

dscf0107
Me and my daughter Tanya took a break to enjoy the breeze just before the border

Road trip sounds exciting but are actually taxing and painful at the same time for people like me who love to travel by train and plane! In my weirdest dream I had not imagined that Road trip would become a reality for me, though it was thrust upon us by circumstances. Howsoever exciting it may sound: Road Trip, it gets excruciatingly painful, if not planned well. ‘Planning’ plays paramount role in venturing out for a road trip. First and foremost, roads should be in great condition to drive on, amenities to be bankable, service centers, petrol pumps, eating joints, toilets etc. enroute so that we have a pleasant drive and we happily reach our destination.

We planned to embark on one such road – trip in December 2012, when we visited scenic and serene Rann of Kutch and were camping at ‘Bhungas’ (Mud Houses) in Dholero Village near Rann. It was then we were told that Pakistan Border was few 100 Kms away and it made a great sight. I, in particular became very keen to visit the border as I wanted to visit that place, which nobody had visited in my khandan or even in my friends circle. I want to boast: I have been to India – Pakistan Border. Whole night I did not sleep in excitement but to my great disappointment, driver took to illness and did not turn up.

My husband, me and my daughter decided to venture out on our own and took upon driving on us to the border. Resort owner was kind enough and noticing our disappointment, he offered his one of his staff to accompany us. Now we were to embark into a new territory, new area, new car and new destination. My husband took onus of driving on him and person accompanying him sat next to him for guidance. With lot of apprehensions in heart, we started on our road trip on chilly, breezy, wintry morning from Dholero Village to India – Pakistan Border.  But not before checking the condition of the car we would be driving to border and bring us back. I was particularly more worried as our daughter was with us. But she was quite gung-ho about it. We stocked enough food & beverages in the car which was quite spacious and commodious to accommodate four of us comfortably.  Then we went to nearby garage to get the report of condition of car, breaks, clutch, accelerator and last but not the least tyres. The Car’s condition was good and above all, tyres were in excellent condition which took good amount of worry off our shoulders.  For worry-free road – trip, you can bank on most bankable CEAT Tyres, like we did.

Packed with sufficient fuel, we embarked on the journey.

To our delight, roads were in excellent condition with proper signage’s all over which made the drive very pleasant and provided quite an experience.  Moreover, bright sunny but breezy / windy day made the driving slightly more challenging.  The remarkable part of the way to border was that it had deep marshlands on both sides. We saw many cars stranded in the marshland which looked like mirage. To describe it better, there are vast marshlands on both sides of the road when you approach border. After this adventurous but exciting drive which changed three hands, we reached Indo-Pak border which was heavily guarded by BSF Personnel who asked us to keep our cameras and mobiles in the car and then step out. The sight was so exciting, I saluted the Jawans guarding the borders and for the first time I realized under which conditions they guard our borders so that we civilians sleep peacefully. All in all our maiden trip turned out to be quite a satisfying experience. Special Thanks to my husband Mukund, our companion for the drive and taking us through Mukesh and my daughter Tanya for making my dream realize.  Though we did not anticipate any trouble spots during the journey, and did not find any but yes checking at various check posts provided breaks to the drive. But these were important for country’s safety.

Special Thanks to Blogadda and CEAT tyres to make me relive the experience. Indeed I had to stress my mind to recollect the road trip which I undertook in completely unknown terrain – The Rann of Kutch to Indo-Pak border in Gujarat – JAI HIND.

Road Safety Norms:

ceat-tyres-win-series-family-63811_578x280

Everyday as soon as we open Newspaper, we get to read about atleast 2 road accidents particularly on Highways or long drive-ways people undertake. Most of these are owing to negligence about following the Road Safety trips. It is important not only for drivers but also for pedestrians so that no untoward accidents happen.

Everyone should learn the following road safety rules preferably from an early age:

  • Everyone going on the road (especially drivers) must be to the left and let other vehicles pass on the opposite direction to pass.
  • Drivers should be in slow speed while bending or turning on the roads.
  • Take extra precaution while going on the over-crowded roads and road junctions.
  • Bikers or people using two wheel vehicles must wear helmets of superior quality otherwise they should never go on the road without helmet.
  • Speeds of the vehicles should be within the speed limit and slow especially in the areas of school, hospital, colony, etc.
  • Every vehicle on the road should maintain the right distance among them to avoid collisions and accidents.
  • Everyone using road should be well aware of the road signs and must follow rules.
  • All the road safety rules and regulations must be in mind while traveling.

Following the above rules, you are not only ensuring your safety, but others too and following duties of a Good Citizen. And…and don’t forget to have Ceat Tyres in your dream machine!!

‘I’m chronicling my road trip adventure for CEAT Tyres in association with BlogAdda.’