Sunday, October 19, 2014

For the love of family

Have you been around a family where each person seems to be mirroring each other’s stress and actually fuelling it on?

Have you been in the company of parents on trips where they constantly obsess over what their children eat, do or say?

Have you been a parent who has gone through sleepless nights because of a sick or ailing child?

Have you been a child who has seen his or her parents struggle through your childhood?

Well, don’t get hassled by so many questions. Chances are that your answer to at least one of them is a ‘yes’ and so I can tell you the point I am trying to raise here. Essentially I am trying to get to the conclusion that a family means inter-dependence, it means getting affected by each other – each other’s moods, emotions and most importantly by each other’s health. And the last one especially applies in the case of parents and children. 

We all know that nothing else is as important as raising a child. This is an act that comes with enough stress, worries, anxieties and challenges of its own – but it is an act that affords satisfaction and happiness like no other. Our Children are our pride and joy. We love them and care for them and we let their warmth and energy fill our hearts and our homes.

Obviously it’s very important for us that our children always stay healthy and happy. When this precious source of energy falls sick, its effects are felt throughout the house and it sometimes feels like the house itself has fallen ill. And this brings me back to my initial point of how everybody’s health and happiness is interlinked in a family. My personal experience in this matter comes from my neighbor’s children. Living opposite each for so many years, we have almost becomes family now and I am very close to the kids. Each time one of the kids is unwell, I can immediately see the intense worry that the parents go through, how one of them takes off from work, leaves everything to be with the kid, and the other one is constantly worried even at work, I have noticed how their personal joy and satisfaction relies on their kids’ health and happiness. They wish that they kids stay naturally healthy and not dependent on endless medicines and chemicals.

While adults can take care of themselves, it is children that need the maximum attention. Sometimes being unaware and sometimes just being too small, they depend on their parents to feed them well, take care of their needs and give them the required nutrition. While in the earlier times, parents had to think hard about supplying this additional supplemental nutrition, trying to get ingredients from different places, these days a lot of reputed companies offer ready-to-eat food items that take care of many such nutritional requirements of children. Dabur Chyawanprash is one such food.

Dabur Chyawanprash, a time-tested, age-old formulation has a number of herbs like Amla, known to be one of the best antioxidants, Giloy (Guduchi), known to have immuno-modulatory properties, and more than 40 other natural ingredients. So if you are not sure of how to secure these 40 natural ingredients, worry not – you have something available near you!

Note: All images are free and from pixabay. This is a promotional post for indiblogger and Dabur Chyawanprash.

Monday, August 04, 2014

From Skeptic to intrigued... to loyalist?

There isn’t a day that I don’t read a news in the paper about changes or new products in banking. So I take all the hype with a pinch of salt normally.


Yeah, recently when Indiblogger asked us to sample the new Kotak Jifi account and write about it, I was my usual skeptic self. I did a lot of research, read the website and spoke with my friends. In this report I read, Jifi transcends digital banking by seamlessly incorporating social networking platforms such as Twitter and Facebook with mainstream banking.

I do believe that today's generation is moving towards digital-ization. Shopping, information-searching, house-hunting, holiday planning, job changes, reference and bill payments --- everything is happening online, because it is convenient, hassle-free and just the way things are going to be done in the future so you better get used to it now. So, I am actually thankful that one bank has finally woken up to this change and necesity by launching an innovative product. But, does it work? Is it as good as it sounds? Does it help me and my friends on my my social networking lists? Is it really going to help me manage my money, save money or even make more money? I decided to check it out, if for nothing else, then for finding faults in it! But I was not quite prepared to be happily surprised once I did !

Firstly I was quite bowled over the simple and efficient home page:

The first thing I noticed was that this account seems to be great for youngsters, who are active on social networking platforms, because they get to easily align all their various social presences into this bank account, and even make some loyalty / reward points oit of it! This ia great, fun and hassle-free proposition for tech-savvy Gen Y that prefers to stay online at all times.
Then I was equally intrigued by the way this video presented the account, the simple steps involved and everything else that one needed to know:

Simply put: Now one could enjoy all the benefits of a regular account, without worrying about tracking and maintaining monthly balances. Jifi is a non-interest bearing account, however it does not have any minimum balance requirements. What's more, it pays high interest on balances over Rs.25,000 by automatically creating term deposits with your spare cash.

Added to that, Jifi customers will have access to all conventional bank offerings as well, which include pan-India branch and ATM network, ‘platinum’ debit card, all-India toll-free number, net card and net banking access, etc. The trasactions and information will be safe too, and even in case of hacking only the reward points can be seen by somebody.
So despite being a die-hard skeptic, I have decided to give a fair chance and trial to Kotak Jifi account, if for nothing else then for these awesome features:
  • Log in through Facebook and get all your friends added too
  • Accessible any time any where
  • Plenty of loyalty rewards all simply tracked through social channels
  • Automated ActivMoney: The ActivMoney facility helps you convert idle funds above Rs.25,000 in your Jifi account by moving it to a term deposit(TD)
  • Exlusive services at select cities
  • Nominal charges
  • Platinum Debit Card
  • Referring a friend makes you win reward points
  • Get paid in points when you like on comment on Facebook!
 According to me, there are below features that today's youth look for in a bank account:
  • Speed
  • Accessibility
  • Social media integration
  • Reliablility and safety
  • Constant innovation
  • Better services
  • Unique and higher rewards

The new Kotak Jifi account meets all these requirements with a loud YES. You can not only open it in a jiffy, but also run it seamlessly acrosssocial platforms in a jiffy. In fact if you use the services of many other socially powered apps like Makemytrip, you will soon realie that Jifi will help you enhance your experience and rewards there too! Why don't you try it too and share your experience with me - let's share notes in this new world of socially powered banking! :)
Follow Jifi on Twitter and Facebook!


Sunday, August 03, 2014

The fun has just begun

On December 3, 2001, the Segway was unveiled to the public. Dean Kamen’s new invention, the now-infamous self-balancing motorized scooter, was surrounded by buzz twelve months before its release. After the built-up hype, the Segway was expected to sell 10,000 machines a week, instead of the actual 24,000 sold in the first year.

That's the power of marketing.

Fascinated? Here's another one:

On January 27, 2010, the iPad was revealed to the world. The revolutionary tablet computer was also released amidst a flurry of anticipatory buzz. Within 80 days, Apple sold three million iPads, and once again changed the way people use technology.

In the world of marketing, a great launch a half a job done. With marketers vying for market space, each of them has to do out-do the other, faster, smarter and more efficiently. “Go-To-Market” captures the thought of introducing a specific product into a specific market context. Though I'm not directly related to marketing, some of it really interests, especially as a consumer, and to an extent as a blogger too. Recently I was part of something very ground-breaking.

The sheer exhilaration of being part of something so interesting has been great. Being involved in a community of great bloggers, witnessing the hysteria around the various Sherlock Holmes style clues, discovering the power of communication through social media and motivating each other to keep guessing – this has been a memorable experience for me on many levels. I have made some new friends, and come to respect BlogAdda even more too!  

 If you’re a social media freak like me, then you have been following the massive campaign #WhatTheBlack and you know what I’m talking about. And if you have caught the bug of the massive frenzy around #WhatTheBlack, then you have most likely unraveled the puzzle of “What The Black” fuss is all about!

The marketing was done in a very unique nail-biting way. We got clues everyday that led to an eventual puzzle being unraveled. The clues were a black egg filled with delicious dark chocolate, an evening newspaper in black containing news pieces about how the black mania had taken over one and all, and finally a tissue paper with a paper cup painted black. Yes, there are many common threads running through them, other than the color.

They all are commonly used in the morning. 

They are all essential items. 

They are all deceptively simple.

So what else is used in the morning? What else is essential and basic to our living, despite being simple? Here’s another clue: you probably use it twice a day and so mechanically that it has become the most normal part of your existence.

It’s a toothbrush.

And not just any toothbrush.

You can read all the many benefits of using the new Colgate Slim Soft charcoal on the WhatTheBlack website and I am sure that the marketing hype and innovating launch aside, just the features will be enough to convince you to try it out. 

In fact the Colgate website has a lot of resources that you can make use of: including tips on oral hygiene, information on gum diseases and special offers; other than information on the new Colgate SlimsSoft Charcoal, which I can’t just wait to try! :)

The fun has ended, or has it just begun? :)

Product information:

Colgate® Slim Soft Charcoal is a deep cleaning yet gentle toothbrush. Featuring 17x slimmer tip bristles* with charcoal, it enters and sweeps away food particles from narrow gaps between teeth and along the gum line.

*vs. ordinary end rounded bristles

Product features:

  • Super slim with 0.01 mm tapered charcoal bristles
  • High density bristles
  • Slim head and easy to manoeuvre flexible neck for better reach 
How it works:

The new Colgate® Slim Soft has 17x slimmer tip bristles than ordinary toothbrushes to remove plaque effectively. The easy to manoeuvre flexible compact head reaches 6x deeper for deep, gentle cleaning in hard-to-reach places between teeth and along the gum line.

(Information sources:, Images source:

Monday, July 28, 2014

The different fragrances of my life

What's an evocative journey for you? 

Is it something that engages all your senses?

Is it one that makes you return to the photographic images again and again? Recount its stories to your friends endlessly? 

When Indiblogger and Godrej Aer asked us here to talk about my evocative travel experience to help them create the first crowd-inspired fragrances, I decided to just scan my mind for the fragrances I remembered from various places and not go into the details of the trip logistics - because what was evocative for me was the sights and smells and that's what I remember even days after th trip has ended... :)

Mystic mountains

I have been to many mountain ranges because I love the feeling of being protected by those tall natural structures around me! My most memorable trip to the mountains has to be to the majestic Himalayas, where we drove to Manali taking a spiral path up the gorgeous hills. Being constantly aware of the danger added to the thrill of this journey. Being out there, admiring nature's beauty hidden in those rocks and mountains, greeting simple mountain people on the way whenever we stopped for a break, eating homely food and taking in the sights and smells - all of it is forever etched in my mind. Here are some of vivid recollection of fragrances that I remember from my hill journeys:

  • The fresh smell of mountain streams that originate from so many places. I associate this stream water with freshness and pureness so this fresh aquatic smell always arouses a sense of trust in me.
  • The earthy smell of the rocks. This smell of earth, gravel and ground takes me back to my childhood where I had the luxury of playing in the open unlike the unfortunate children of today who are stuck in high-rise apartments and video games
  • The freshly washed leaves of the hill trees. They always smell of mist and dew, being high up there in the altitude their smell is not like city trees - tired and pollute, rather they smell free, leafy and wholesome.
Magical beaches

I am a beach bum. Though I don't know how to swim, I can sit for hours on a beach with a book and a martini! My best trip to a hill was predictably to Goa. I love the madness of North Goa and the calmness of South Goa. On this particular trip that I lovingly remember, we spent days in South Goa, just listening to the waves, looking at children playing, eating sea food, drinking beer and taking in the luscious aromas all around us! My senses are constantly invited by a range of fragrances around me...

  • The salty scent of surf. The sea waves coming close to you and going far away have this amazing salty smell that you can smell from far away. I'm so surprised that none of the perfumes or room fresheners I have used has ever captures this wonderful salty smell of the surf!
  • The smell of pebbles and shells on the sea. It is infused with the smell of sea and yet retains its own distinct smell, each time you try to bend and collect them you can take in the aroma of playful shells
  • The smell of sand becoming gradually wet as sand comes in closer and closer with high tide. If you have build castles in the sand by the sea, you would know the wonderful aroma of the sand and how the dry and the wet sand are totally distinct smelling because the way the sea water adds its touches to them
My city, my home

I live in a city. No matter how much I detest the crowd, pollution and selfishness that comes with a city, it is my current reality. There are tonnes of smells that I am assaulted with daily, and some of them have become an essential part of my existence as they are what I associate with 'home'! Here's what I mean:

  • The fresh breakfast smell of Bangalore. If you're walking on the roads, you will smell the best of breakfast items coming from most cafes, like masala dosa, steaming idlis, poori, upma - all mixed with the richness of filter coffee. Without these familiar smells my mornings never feel complete.
  • After the lovely Bangalore monsoons, the tress look clean and the ground smells awesome - earthy, washed and inviting! I'm yet to meet a person who doesn't love the smell of freshly washed mud/ sand!
  • The market smells arrest your senses. I can clearly tell you what a unique smell feels like - though it doesn't have a single unique ingredient! It is the smell of freshly died fabric mixed with the smell of freshly opened leather of shoes mixed with the smell of pizzas being baked somewhere - this is the market right next to my house with mostly clothing and shoe stores along with some cafes :)
So, here was my world of smells for you, fragrances that take me back to the place where I first smelt them - every single time! Fragrances that never lose their hold on my memories because of how I associate them to unique facets of mountains, beaches of my home in a city :)

Do share your fragrant memories with me :)

(Some images are from pixabay)