Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Rediscovering The Spark



Raj and Payal had a love marriage. Their marriage was relatively successful as their relationship transitioned from a boyfriend – girlfriend to a husband and wife. Things were going smoothly Raj played the role of a dutiful husband , the man of the house ,the bread earner and Payal played the role of the dutiful wife to the hilt. They both devoted themselves to their realms and roles so much that their marriage worked like a well-oiled machine. A machine that was well oiled with each part knowing its role and moving in tandem with the other part without any friction.
                Friction between Raj and Payal was not present and yet there was something missing . What was it was it the spark of love? They were so engrossed in playing their respective roles that they never could actually pinpoint what it was. Though Payal did complain that Raj did not have any time for her but Raj always tried to make up for lack of time by showering her with expensive gifts.
Then one day Payal received  a postcard inviting them for their Alumni reunion . Immediately she was reminded of her college days. How she and Raj spent time together in classrooms, college canteen and the cinema hall. They enjoyed each others company immensely. Walking hand in hand and going for long walks was their favourite pastime.
Now things seemed to have changed. They were together but still so far apart. She looked at herself in the mirror and was shocked to find herself looking so different. Perhaps the new responsibilities had taken their  toll on her . She looked a worn out version of her previous self. This set the alarm bells ringing. The reunion was about ten days away .What could she do to regain her old self?
She opened the glass dressing table cabinet and her fell on the bottle of Parachute Advansed body lotion. She knew that she had found the answer to her problems.  She picked up the bottle and started using it daily.
By day four there was a visible difference in how she looked and the way her skin felt. It felt soft and fresh. On the seventh day her skin felt nourished and she felt completely transformed.

She was happy that the magic had worked because when Raj came back from work he looked at her ,caught her hand and asked her to accompany him for a walk like they did in their college days.
Raj & Payal  had rediscovered their missing spark thanks to the Parachute Advansed Body lotion.

 Everyone can get a nourished & softer skin  http://www.pblskin.com/

#BringBackTheTouch


My Dream home

My home is my castle that gives shelter to my dreams .
The Palace , the perfect place for the entire family to unwind. It is the stage where the saga of emotions unfold . The accessories which go into embellishing the rooms of the house add to the personality and provide a distinct character to each and every room and every nook and corner of the house.
Infact the tiles used are a reflection of our personality . They speak volumes about our nature and style. So the tile element has to be chosen with great care so that it fits into the d├ęcor of the specific room.
Each and every room in my home is very important for me and an integral part of my daily life.. This is where I be myself ,live my life and share moments with my loved ones so I want all rooms to be different from each other reflecting the different moods and timings of the day.  This is the reason that I have selected the following tiles keeping in view  the likes and dislikes of my family members.I want my visitors and guests to be wonder struck by the different shades of flooring and walls and I want them to be the focal point of my home.
The perfect setting not only provides a glow to the room but also gives us immense happiness.

My living room is where I spend most of my time so I want its floors to be chic and shining .

So I would like the flooring to be tiled with
STON-KER Floor tiles
DETROIT MOKA 45x90 cm
Grout
COLORSTUK MOKA














My study is the place where I enjoy a game of chess so this black and white tiles would set just the right mood for an intense game of chess.

STON-KER Floor tiles
MANHATTAN BLANCO 59,6x59,6 cm
Grout
COLORSTUK BLANCO
MANHATTAN NEGRO 59,6x59,6 cm
Grout
COLORSTUK ANTRACITA


My exercise and meditation room is just the place for me to find some inner calm and remain grounded and close to nature. The wooden flooring look would be ideal for this room



My dining room should always look bright and sparkling so I have opted for the porcelain look to make it shine from morning to night .


 My Bedroom is the place to unwind after a hard day at work. Here I connect with myself and mother nature so I have selected a natural wood floor finish.

It gives an airy fresh feel to my bedroom.


I want my bathroom to be airy and filled with natural light. I want an earthy feel for this room . This look is given very well by the Hampton brown floor tiles



For a natural feel I will prefer to use Hampton brown wall tiles in combination with pro part graphite . This combination will lighten up room.
 Large round mirrors on the wall would give a classy look.
To contrast the flooring I would like to put a white bath tub so I have chosen Modul Tortula.

In accordance with this white theme I want Lounge blanco basin mixture.


I want the Derbi series tiles ~ monoporosa rectificado rectified wall tiles · relieves reliefs. For the walls of my rooms as they will give a soft and rich look.




I want a very elegant look for my kitchen so I have opted for Zar blanco tiles.




All photographs have been taken from http://www.porcelanosa.com/gb/

http://www.24kliving.com/


 

Monday, 17 November 2014

A click for the Bubli in everyone of us #ToiletForBabli

Every time a Babli in a far off village uses a piece of  open land as her toilet .We are at risk of contracting a disease.  Just imagine the millions of Bubli’s and her family members out there who are defecating and Urinating in open lands and farmlands. This multiplies the risk of disease many fold. Both to those who are actively following this practice and as well as those who are in far off places.
The immediate risk is to those who do not have access to proper toilets as they are exposed to insects ,animals , bacteria’s and wild foliage. However there is also a greater risk for the women. As they face added risk of security hazards .
This is a major problem in the rural areas. Where there are no proper toilet facilities as a consequence people resort to using the open spaces.
Defecation in open leaves the faeces rotting in the open, giving a foul smell.Due to rains or presence of water bodies like open wells,rivers and streams. This can contaminate the water bodies and can result in water borne diseases It also is the breeding ground of germs and flies are often found breeding and flying around it. They then sit on open foods and contaminate it with disease causing organisms. When Babli consumes this contaminated food she is more likely ro fall ill. Dysentery is one of the  common diseases that happens and spreads due to poor hygiene and lack of  toilets contribute a great deal in its spread and turn it into an epidemic.
The situation in the cities is no different. The toilets are far and wide and are often not working or not cleaned. The numbers of toilets per hundred humans is dismally low for a populous  country like us.
What this means is that there is a Babli in every one of us. As some point or the other we have all faced a situation when we were looking for a toilet and it was nowhere to be found.
However this is all set to change thanks to Domex and its #ToiletForBabli campaign. Domex the flagship product of HUL is running the Domex Toilet Academy (DTA) programme.This academy makes toilets accessible and affordable for the general populous of our country and is also taking the initiative to promoting the benefits of clean toilets and good hygiene. There efforts have already started bearing fruits and they are actively building toilets in villages of Maharashtra and Orissa. 

With an aim of building 24000 toilets by the year 2015 we can all be part of this wonderful campaign. With every click on domex.in Domex company will provide Rs5 towards the programme.
So lets start clicking to contribute and spread the word about the #ToiletForBabli campaign.   “click” on the “Contribute Tab” on www.domex.in and Domex will contribute Rs.5 on your behalf to eradicate open defecation, thereby helping kids like Babli live a dignified life.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Swiss Indian connection ,more Indian then I thought



On a vacation to Switzerland I armed myself with word translations in French , German and Italian with the backdrop of knowledge that these are the main languages spoken in the country.
Landing in Zurich, I took the train to Berne and then took the connecting one to Interlaken where I was supposed to stay. Getting down at the Interlaken west station I walked out following  the map.  I passed a girl sitting at the bus stand just outside the station , wanting to be doubly sure that I was heading in the right direction  I asked her in my limited german the way to the  COOP  was as it was the landmark for the hotel. Hearing this the girl looked at me and smiled ,stood up folded her hands and asked  “Aap India se hain?” (Are you from India) With utter disbelief and typical jaw dropping expression I just nodded in affirmative. Talking to her I came to know that she was an ardent bollywood fan . She even inquired if I had met any of her favourite bollywood actors in person. This pleasant encounter was a proof of the ever pervading influence of bollywood and Indianess in a far off land .
 Next   evening there was a fireworks display outside Casino Kursal  I was enjoying  the fireworks and so was a Dutch family with  their kid who were on a holiday. They  wanted me to take a family picture of theirs against the backdrop of the fireworks. They introduced themselves and  upon learning I am from India the father commented , Is this not like Diwali? I asked what ? You burn crackers and have fireworks like this at Diwali time. I asked him  how he knew that. Ever since school time I was fascinated with India and have always wanted to go there . This was another chance encounter that helped me see my own country in a new light.
Two days later I went for dinner to  an Indian restaurant in Zurich it was filled with people from various nationalities. As  I entered the restaurant with my Mom who was in an Indian attire of  the Saree, we felt all eyes fixed on us as we entered through the glass door. Were they invasive ? No they were not. We only felt genuine appreciation in their eyes. Then the girl called cuckoo, who served us politely asked if we were from India ? We said yes. She told us that the guests at the restaurant were all feeling delighted to have an Indian family amongst them. Her saying this was confirmation of  what we felt looking at the faces of the guests whom we passed by on the way to our table. That experience made us so proud to be Indians.
Another interesting incident happened at another restaurant at dinner time the next day. A group of guests were seated two tables away from us . Then one of the guest from that table walked up to our table spoke a line in Hindi “Switzerland mein aapka swagat hai” You are welcome in Switzerland . We said thank you.Then he just walked away .A few moments later returned and asked “Aap chutti manane aayein hai ?” (You have come for a holiday?) We said Haan i.e Yes in Hindi. Then he disappeared again . This time my eyes followed him and discovered him reading something from a small notebook. We were curious about his behaviour. Then he reappeared and spoke another line in Hindi . This time before he could disappear again I requested him to sit and how he knew Hindi. To which he let his secret out. He pulled out the same notebook and showed it to us . He told us he had joined hindi classes and seeing that we are from India ,thought it to be a great opportunity to practice with a native language speaker.
Soon it was time for us to bid farewell the beautiful country of Switzerland. At the Zurich airport the immigration officer asked me “How was our stay and how did we find Switzerland?”
To which I replied Oh it is one of the most beautiful country I have been to . It is like Paradise.
With a surprised look he asked. Is it even more beautiful then Kashmir? As I have heard that the only place as beautiful as paradise on this earth is Kashmir .I was instantly reminded of the famous couplet by famous Persian poets couplet about Kashmir

Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast,
Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast.   
Meaning
If there is a paradise on earth,
 It is this, it is this, it is this

Hearing a foreigner refer to an ancient Indian Persian poet’s couplet about Kashmir floored me completely. I boarded the flight with the realization that Indianness is a culture,a state of mind and being that is spread across the globe and not confined by boundaries.



 

The Ganges from South Africa to India



We Indians are very fortunate to have a rich history and heritage so well woven in the day to day fabric of our lives that more often then not we take it for granted. It is only when someone else ,a foreigner mentions about the rich heritage that we realize the magnanimity of our own culture & heritage.
On my last trip to South Africa. I was at the Johannesburg airport waiting to catch a flight back home. The airport was very crowed that day due to ongoing Soccer matches .My ticket was un confirmed and looking at the airport brimming with passengers the chances of  getting a confirmed ticket looked bleak.
I approached the ticket counter for the Nth number of time and got the stock reply that I would get a confirmation only in case of cancellations or last minute No Shows.  As the time of departure got closer my worst nightmares began to scare me as the chances of my getting a confirmed ticket were diminishing like they were being sucked into quicksand.
As a last act of desperation I approached a higher official who was already surrounded by a large group of passengers, some pleading & others almost fighting to get a seat on the same flight that I wanted to take. When my chance came I prepared myself for the worst. My voice chocked as I tried to speak and before I could do so He looked at my face and Asked “From India?”
I nodded my Head in Answer.
With a wistful look in eyes He asked me How far was the River Ganges From my Home?
I told him that it was about 150 Km’s from my home.
To which He said “ Oh it’s quite far but not as far as I am from it.”
As there were no seats in my chosen class of travel He upgraded it .Putting a stamp of confirmation on my ticket He said” I wish I could go and see the Ganges once “  He looked at his co worker and said “Do you know he comes from the land of the Ganges”. For a moment I saw in their eyes reverence for the Holy River  as they nodded their heads. Then he regained his composure and said I wish you a safe flight and do come back again.
A total stranger who had never been to India but only heard about the Ganges, his connection with it came like an eye opener for me. A common chord had struck between us. Making Me realize that it was nothing but the spirit of Indianness that  had spread far and wide and cast a spell over people from different Nationalities and ethnicity. It was this spirit of Indianness that came as a saving grace and soon I was on a flight back to India. This incident left a great imprint on my mind and heart.


 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Its Diwali Lets Head Back Home in time for celebrations





Diwali for me has been the most important festival ever since my childhood . It has had something magical to it . Life throws our share of challenges to us and my life has been no different.However the seven to ten days  that we celebrated diwali used to be  the most special and cherished . For it was the time of the year when the whole family got together and just the feeling of being with the family always created a spirit of festivity like no other.
Living in Delhi and having spent most of my Diwali festivals here I can recollect how about a few days prior to the festival we could feel a little nip in the air . It indicated the onset of the winter season and also gave us the message that Diwali is here. However the first sign for me  used to be just about on or after the festival of Dushera that the aroma of the peanuts being  roasted on a coal fired stove mixed with the  cool breeze announced he coming of the festival season. You may argue and even rightly so that the festival season begins with the navratras .
However for me it meant the coming home of my maternal uncle and getting to spend time with him and get undivided love and pampering of the entire family. It was around or after Dushera that the much awaited inland letter would arrive to inform us of the date of arrival of my maternal uncle (my mama). The day we got the letter ,it used to be  officially the unofficial countdown of the festival season. It meant rushing to the tailor to get new clothes stitched. For it was the festival when we children got new clothes and had plenty of opportunity to look trendy and chick. This was also the time when my maternal grand father used to prepare the list of items that would be given as Diwali gifts It included sarees for my mother, my grandmother and my aunt. Sweets for the entire hous hold and for those who worked for the household like the maid and her family ,the colony guard ,the sabzi wala (the vegetable vendor). Being young I always got a trunk full of  crackers as a Diwali gift from my uncle.
How ever as I grew up I realized that my family actively contributed to make the festival more cheerful and enjoyable for the less privileged. Now my focus has also shifted to being socially more responsible and try to celebrate a pollution free diwali . The trunk full of crackers have been replaced by a single box of phuljhadi. New clothes are still bought but the purchase is more need based and the focus is more on buying warm clothes and blankets that we can give to an orphanage .However what has not changed is the love and bonds of out family. We still get together and celebrate.hangout together and enjoy. When these days of celebration pass we bid farewell to our outbound relatives with heavy hearts. The  silver lining is the marking of next years diwali dates so that we can block these dates and get back together for a fun filled festival season and yes I start looking forward to the next years dusherra as well awaiting the arrival for that letter announcing the date of arrival of my mama .Even in this age of SMS & Mobile phone it is truly magical and brings us the news  that diwali is round the corner .
https://www.gharwalidiwali.com/.
PepsiCo #GharWaliDiwali film

Its Diwali Lets Head Back Home in time for celebrations

Its Diwali Lets Head Back Home in time for celebrations


Diwali for me has been the most important festival ever since my childhood . It has had something magical to it . Life throws our share of challenges to us and my life has been no different.However the seven to ten days  that we celebrated diwali used to be  the most special and cherished . For it was the time of the year when the whole family got together and just the feeling of being with the family always created a spirit of festivity like no other.
Living in Delhi and having spent most of my Diwali festivals here I can recollect how about a few days prior to the festival we could feel a little nip in the air . It indicated the onset of the winter season and also gave us the message that Diwali is here. However the first sign for me  used to be just about on or after the festival of Dushera that the aroma of the peanuts being  roasted on a coal fired stove mixed with the  cool breeze announced he coming of the festival season. You may argue and even rightly so that the festival season begins with the navratras .
However for me it meant the coming home of my maternal uncle and getting to spend time with him and get undivided love and pampering of the entire family. It was around or after Dushera that the much awaited inland letter would arrive to inform us of the date of arrival of my maternal uncle (my mama). The day we got the letter ,it used to be  officially the unofficial countdown of the festival season. It meant rushing to the tailor to get new clothes stitched. For it was the festival when we children got new clothes and had plenty of opportunity to look trendy and chick. This was also the time when my maternal grand father used to prepare the list of items that would be given as Diwali gifts It included sarees for my mother, my grandmother and my aunt. Sweets for the entire hous hold and for those who worked for the household like the maid and her family ,the colony guard ,the sabzi wala (the vegetable vendor). Being young I always got a trunk full of  crackers as a Diwali gift from my uncle.
How ever as I grew up I realized that my family actively contributed to make the festival more cheerful and enjoyable for the less privileged. Now my focus has also shifted to being socially more responsible and try to celebrate a pollution free diwali . The trunk full of crackers have been replaced by a single box of phuljhadi. New clothes are still bought but the purchase is more need based and the focus is more on buying warm clothes and blankets that we can give to an orphanage .However what has not changed is the love and bonds of out family. We still get together and celebrate.hangout together and enjoy. When these days of celebration pass we bid farewell to our outbound relatives with heavy hearts. The  silver lining is the marking of next years diwali dates so that we can block these dates and get back together for a fun filled festival season and yes I start looking forward to the next years dusherra as well awaiting the arrival for that letter announcing the date of arrival of my mama .Even in this age of SMS & Mobile phone it is truly magical and brings us the news  that diwali is round the corner .