Friday, September 14, 2012

A Family Experience From Melbourne

I have never been to anywhere outside India. So, if I end up winning then I would love to bring my family along to the “Cosmopolitan, elegant and chic” -  Melbourne. That would mean extra work and extra expense, but the benefits will be undoubtedly worth it.
Family trips help create amazing memories. Years and even decades after family vacations, children will still be able to tell funny stories about the time that they had while swimming in the sea, watching a Giraffe, or while camping in the hills. As a couple too, we love to remember stories of the romance on our trips, looking at the photographs.
Moreover, I firmly believe in introducing the concept of traveling to children when they are young, and they’ll grow up understanding that there is a huge world outside of their hometown. They’ll have firsthand experiences that will help them in their growing years and beyond, and then they will pass down their love of travel to their own children and grandchildren! 
Keeping this in mind I informed my family consisting of me, my husband, grand parents & 2 dear children, that I am planning a vacation. So each of us should prepare a list of things they want to do in their vacation. And then accordingly I will decide on the place, which has something to offer for everyone. (Although I had Melbourne on my mind. But I wanted to check that everyone wants to go there, which would require that what they want is there in the city)
Prepared by Family

So, after getting the list I clicked open the Melbourne website. I matched the things in the list with the various attractions and locales in the city. I was absolutely amazed to find that Melbourne had everything for every age group be it children, young or older people.
After Matching with Melbourne
Melbourne - The World's Most Liveable City, was founded in 1835 by settlers from Launceston in Van Diemen's Land and was named by Governor of New South Wales Sir Richard Bourke in 1837, in honor of the British Prime Minister of the day, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. Melbourne was officially declared a city by Queen Victoria in 1847. A city as old as this has a strong historical and cultural presence with a plethora of  ornate Victorian-era structures

The list of 11 experiences as a family we would love to bring back from Melbourne are  - 

  • Historical - Melbourne founded in 1835 by settlers from Launceston in Van Diemen's Land and was named by Governor of New South Wales Sir Richard Bourke in 1837, in honor of the British Prime Minister of the day, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. Melbourne was officially declared a city by Queen Victoria in 1847. A city as old as this has a strong historical and cultural presence with a plethora of  ornate Victorian-era structures, heritage sites and glorious examples of art. Melbourne Museum, Sovereign Hill, Old Melbourne Gaol Crime & Justice experiences will be on our list. My mother in law, father in law and children will all love these attractions. 
  • Cultural - With its many art galleries like National Gallery of Victoria with around 65000 artworks, film festivals, orchestras, choral and opera productions, vibrant live music scene, Melbourne is often called the cultural capital of Australia. Then Federation Square, located right across the road from Flinders St station in Central Melbourne is an entertainment and cultural centerThere are also many concerts and exhibitions throughout the year. In our visit we would love to visit some of these places to learn and understand the culture of the people of Melbourne. 
  • Sports - Melbourne is the unofficial sporting capital of Australia with the most famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the Rod Laver Arena where the Australian Open final is played and Flemington Racecourse for the famous Melbourne Cup horse race. 
  • Water Sports - With a rich underwater world of marine life, shipwrecks, kelp forests and colorful corals, water sports like Sailing, Snorkeling and Scuba diving will be a great experience to bring from exotic city of Melbourne. 
  • Shopping - The best experience a woman can have anywhere is shopping be lit local produce, fashionable clothes or souvenirs while travelling. Queen Victoria Market is a historical landmark where shoppers go in search of freshest produce , cheese, fresh bread, wine etc. In my list it is the top most place to go when in Melbourne. Other than that there are goodies galore to explore across the various lanes under the bright lights of the retail departmental stores. From fresh designer clothes, small trinkets to chic home items, Melbourne is just bursting with shopping destinations.
  • Food & Wine - Home to world's some of the most famous chefs and now the current destination of Master Chef Australia 2013, Melbourne is rich in hottest restaurants, aromatic cafes and exotic wines. We would love to explore the Lygon St lined with Italian restaurants, Little Bourke St in the CBD for Chinese and Ackland St in St Kilda is lined with restaurants offering all types of cuisines. Being a Coffee lover, my father in law will want to have freshly brewed coffee in the laid back coffee shops along with cellar door tastings at winery restaurants.
  • Nightlife - Melbourne has many nightclubs, pubs, bars and live music events, giving rhythm to the night life and adding romance, where you can dance from dusk to dawn. A fun experience for all the young generation.
  • Nature - One of the most popular things to do when travelling to any place is getting close to the Mother nature. Inhale the fresh air on the trip down the Great Ocean Road. The highlight of the Great Ocean Road is a collection of limestone stacks known as the 12 Apostles which are one of Australia's most iconic landmarks. Other than that Melbourne is home to some great parks and gardens to explore. Not to miss visiting the Melbourne Aquarium and Zoo for children to discover the rich wildlife and marine life. A great experience for the family to bring from the city which is the most livable city in the world as of 2012. 
  • Fun - We are looking for thrill seeking experience with the kids at the iconic Mr Moon gates adventure park or Luna Park which is the ultimate destination for fun in Melbourne, the buzzing atmosphere is packed with rides, attractions, parties and activities for the whole family to enjoy. Even the Galactic Circus, Australia's largest indoor interactive theme park is not to be missed with family. High in the air, a balloon flight is also on our list of experiences to bring which is a great way to discover the city treasures.
  • Relaxing - Lastly, at the end of the trip we would love to have some me time where we can get refreshed to return to face the world again. Home to natural mineral springs, geothermal waters and spas, Melbourne is just the right place to offer a great luxury and relaxing experience.

And other than these experiences, we would bring a great family fun filled Learning experience from Melbourne which we would remember all our lifetime.

There is always something new and exiting to discover in Melbourne. So, guys & gals, single or with family .............its your time to visit Melbourne NOW !!

Melbourne For Children
For Everyone

All pictures are via

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Love Marriage or Arranged Marriage ?

 A quintessential never ending debate of which is better.
Either ways Marriage is a gamble.
Case Love

Falling in love is a beautiful feeling that is worth experiencing once in a lifetime. And when you are in love, you will just know. All the time you will think of nothing else but your love. A little love in your system and Life will become beautiful. You will not stop smiling. You will become extra cautious in dressing. You will not be able to concentrate on work.

Then after love comes marriage, when you are sure that this is the person you want to spend your life with. Now the time comes to get approval from both sets of parents which is a tricky step in most cases. Even though now parents understand that time has changed and they cannot force their decisions specially when decisions are based on caste or ego. Still there are some cases in which parents do not come to agree easily which are the cases in which religion is different, or different culture where a foreign bride or groom is there. And now lately the same gender ones.

Different Language

Same Gender

Case Arranged

You are lucky if you get to meet your soulmate. But some are not so lucky. What if your girlfriend or boyfriend ditches you. At times people are so busy in thier life that they forget to fall in love. For those people, arranged marriage is only the chance to get a soulmate. And in India arranges marriages have a more success rate. Our parents are best examples. They never dated or fell in love then got married. Their love happened after marriage. Mine is also an arranged one where parents first met and then we met. At that time there was no love. But after marriage slowly we discovered each other and learned to live with each other. Actually parents approval is important in any marriage as marriage in India is a marriage between two families. Morever parents have more experience, so going with their consent is not at all wrong. Its just that one should also meet the person, talk and then decide so that decision is not a compromise but is made when you too like ther person and think that you can spend your life with him or her.

In any case love or arranged, actually life starts after marriage. Until unless you get to live with the person, things are different. Real test comes when you start living under the same roof. Two persons from different upbringing, mental makeup, personality traits, with two different identities come together so the clashes of personalities, ideas, values and dreams is bound to be there. So it is important to respect each other.
And .......

After few years all Marriages are about love, trust, adjustments, understanding, forgiving, giving space and merging the I of both the persons into a common WE.

This post is an entry to the contest on Indiblogger. 

Most of the pictures have been taken from Cartoonstock and Google.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Dove Your Hair A Research

It was Friday afternoon and there was so much going on around me and inside my mind. I had just had a fight with my boyfriend. I really don't understand my boyfriend sometimes. We're doing the long distance thing and it seems like it's causing us to fight a lot. I was not in a mood to do any work at office. But there was an email from my boss for a new project. I checked it and quickly went through the requirements of the project. Everything was same, like the previous projects - Situation overview, industry analysis, competitor analysis and SWOT analysis was required.

Life has become really boring, I thought. Then only at that moment I got a ping from Ruchi “Let’s take a break”. Ruchi was my best friend. I closed my mailbox and went to the cafeteria with her. There our whole gang of girls was there - Paridhi, Seema, Suchi, Niharika and Isha gossiping and giggling about something. We too joined them. After coffee, samosas and some gossips, topic changed to hair problems. Everyone started cribbing immediately about their hair problems.

Paridhi complained about her dull and lifeless hair. Whereas Ridhi had dandruff problem. Seema was worried about her hairfall and Isha was not happy with her fizzy hair. Niharika had just got her hair colored but her color was getting dull day by day.

I advised Paridhi to use Henna for getting shine in her hair. Ruchi advised Ridhi to use curd to reduce dandruff.  For Seema we concluded that proper diet could reduce her hairfall. But we could not get any solution for fizzy hair or how to have hair color longer. After having solutions for hair problems, another problem arose and that was all the hair care regime required time, which was the only thing we were lacking in our overburdened jobs. The discussion lasted around half an hour instead of the usual 15 minutes break. By that time, I was feeling good again. So we got back to our workstations.

I was going through the project requirements when suddenly an idea struck into my mind. “Let me research on hair problems”. The analyst in me started working overtime. I searched on Factiva and Google. Within few minutes, I got a lot of data and information which was an eye-opener for me.

On analyzing the data, I was amazed to find that 70% Indians have dandruff.  According to one recent hair care survey, split-ends and dryness were the two major hair concerns of the urban Indian woman. While 55% women were experiencing dry and rough hair after a wash and 22% were worried about split-ends. 49% felt that they end up damaging their hair in the process of making it look beautiful So it was not only me and my friends but most of the population was suffering from hair problems.

I decided to share it with my friends. Was about to ping them, when I thought why don’t I make a SWOT analysis of this whole issue.


In general Indian women hair strength is long length and beautiful black texture but they have to face all sorts of hair problems like – Hair fall, Dandruff, premature graying and split ends which come under Weakness.

Hot and humid climate, exposure to sun in summer and cold winds in winter are catalyst to major threat in terms of detrenching the moisture from hair and make it dull.
Other threats are include pollution and hard water of the metro cities. Hard water makes the hair fizzier. Worklife balance is emerging as major threat for hair for working women in India.  Maintaining worklife balance always led to compromise on ME time, hence no time or very little time to take care of their hair – (proper oiling and using henna, shikakai etc.)

Every women is different and so is her hair and so are her hair problems. Hence, not one solution can be best for everyone. Everyone needs different solution for her hair problems. Hence it’s important that we get a solution which is different for each one of us yet something which doesn’t require a lot of our time. On further research, I got to know that there is no brand in the market which provides different hair solution for everyone. There are anti dandruff, herbal or normal shampoos. Surprisingly, Dove had it all. It was the only brand with ¼ moisture milk which was mild in nature and had a hair care range for each of the specific hair problem. Dove seems to be the best opportunity in hair care world.

Factors that influence the scalp condition -


So, if your concern is dry and rough hair, you can nourish it with the Dove Nourishing Oil Care range. It is enhanced with Vita Oils that go deep inside the hair fiber and help lock in the nourishment of oil making your hair smooth, shiny and beautiful with every wash. For those of you who are worried about split-ends, the Dove Intense Repair range is your perfect pick. It contains advanced Fibre Actives that reconstructs hair from within, starts repairing hair and reduces damage by 99% from the first wash. Plus the Micro Moisture Serum goes to the root of the problem and repairs accumulated damage, which is the reason for hair breakage and spilt-ends.
 From the unilever report, I got to know that dove is the most preferred hair product in India. To my surprise the shampoo penetration in India was around 80%. I did not know a country that is so much poverty striven will have 80% shampoo penetration.
Key facts
• Over 1 million women consumers in India have used it and loved the products.
• Dove is the fastest growing shampoo brand in India in 2007-08
• Dove Haircare has its presence in North America, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East

Equipped with all this information, I called my gang and showed them all the facts. Paridhi, Ruchi, Ridhi, Isha, Niharika everyone was impressed.
We then decided on a plan of action. Niharika started using Color Repair Shampoo & conditioner to prevent hair color from fading; I started using Breakage Therapy shampoo, along with its conditioner, Serum and Hair mask to make my hair strong; All the other girls started using Daily Therapy shampoo & conditioner to restore softness and get manageable hair;


Along with this we decided on certain habits in our daily schedule -
• Eat healthy foods that aid the hair in staying strong and lustrous. Walnuts, almonds and Milk gives hair a smooth shine. Protein is also critical for keeping hair healthy, but many people don't get enough. Lean meat like fish, chicken, eggs, and soy products are good sources of protein;
• Use cooler water to wash and rinse your hair the last time
• To get more shine, volume, and bounce in your hair, use hair creams, olive oil, or (this really works!) mayo and an egg.
• Do a 'steam-towel-wrap' once in a while, if your cuticles are damaged, as this steaming opens out the pores and absorbs the oil.
• Have a trim every six to eight weeks
• Sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase--cotton pillowcases makes hair look dry; they suck out the moisture and can cause frizz.
• When using hairspray, make sure you wash out thoroughly as it will damage the cuticle in the hair; this is how split ends are caused.
• To get beautiful streaks at home, mix honey and alum, an aluminum compound sold in most drugstores.
• Wrap wet hair gently in a towel.
• Mix a little vinegar in warm water and rinse your hair with this solution. This will add bounce to dull and lifeless hair.

After 3 months -

My whole gang changed their habits and used dove hair care range for 3 months. For the first time, I saw the actual results of my research.
Yes, my hair had started looking healthier …. and that was the end of my hair problems. And that was the end of hair problems for Ruchi, Paridhi, Isha, Seema, Niharika.


The verdict -
No matter what your hair problem is, you can now leave it behind with Dove. And for those of you who want to learn more about your hair, find out with the Dove Hair-aware app. It helps you understand your hair better and also gives you the right solution to leave your hair problems behind forever!


This post is part of a contest My Beautiful Hair Story   on Indiblogger, sponsored by Dove.
Check this out: Dove Hair-Aware App

Most Memorable Gift of Love

"I wonder when you will ever grow. Do you even realize you are elder to him ?" Mom shouted with frustration. Yes it was me and my younger brother fighting again over something very trivial. Actually it is always this.

"Why should I when he is the one at fault? Can't I even defend myself and make my stand clear?" I yelled back at my mom.

God knows how many times this has happened over the past 13 years. Believe me, it is not that easy to be an elder when you have a brother who is 3 years younger to you.
I looked furiously at Nitiksh and went to watch TV but he came there as well. He always has a tendency to disrupt my TV viewing by changing the channel without permission, pounding me with pillows, or making disgusting noises.

Frustrated, I moved to my room and started reading comics. Nitiksh came again from behind and started pulling my ponytail. I shouted loudly and pushed him back. “One more time if you both will fight, I will lock you inside the bathroom” Mom threatened both of us.
I stood in front of the mirror and started opening my ponytail. I was very fond of my hair. I had long and black beautiful hair. Everyone in the class used to praise me for my hair. Last Sunday, in the fancy dress competition I won first prize in the role of Rupenzell.

I was potraying as model with my trophy in front of the mirrior, when Nitiksh came with his toy car and started moving it on my hair. The car wheel got fixed up in my hair and my few strands broke. I shouted at him with pain and said "I will throw your car  from balcony if you touch my hair one more time."
Nitiksh laughed at me and pulled my hair and ran away from there. I  really got frustrated and went after him. I took his car and went to the balcony. I threw his car from the balcony of our 8th floor flat. Seeing this Nitiksh started crying loudly. It was his favorite car.

He started crying and shouting. Hearing this Mom came and pacified him. She said "No worries, we will bring a new one for you." With wholesome of tears in his eyes, he said "I want this only. It was my favourite car." Mom scolded me "Why did you throw his car, now you are not going to watch TV for full one day." I explained to mom saying” Nitiksh was keep on troubling me and was pulling my hair. You know how much I love my hair and he doesn’t have any respect for my hair. So to teach a leasson to him, I threw his car”. Listening this, Nitiksh started crying more loudly. Mom took both of us inside and made us to sit in different room. At dinner time, Dad made us to say sorry to each other but we were not in a mood for a patch up. Nitiksh was too much hurt as his favorite car was turned into a pieces.

In the morning when I went to brush my teeth, I saw my ponytail is missing from my head. I shouted so loudly that even my neighbors would have heard it. Both Mom and Dad came to my room after hearing my shout.


Mom looked horrified seeing this and called Nitiksh . He was sleeping in his bed and mom made him wakeup.  She asked "did you cut didi’s hair?" He was half sleep said yes because she had thrown my favourite car. Thats why I cut her ponytale and threw it from the balcony. My Mom put her both hands on her face with frustration whereas dad was trying to console me.

I cried for whole morning and didn’t go the school. Both Mom and Dad has scolded Nitiskh like never before. Seeing my situation, nitiksh came to me with a sorry card  but I was very furious on him and tored his card. Dad also consoled me but I was too depressed. In the evening, mom took me to the hairdressers. The only thing the hairdresser could do was cut it even shorter to get it even. When I was finished, my hair was shorter than my ears!

I can never ever become Rupenzell again in fancy dress competition. I lost all my long tresses in just one night. I was feeling so pathetic about it.  I refused to go to school and have stopped talking with my brother. He even cried with me and said sorry also but I was not in a mood to forgive him.

For next 2 days, I didn’t go to school. I knew my entire classmates will tease me which will be unbearable for me. It was Sunday morning and as I got up I saw a gift beside my bed. I opened it and found dove nourshing oil care products. I took the bag to mom and asked “  Mom did you bring this for me?”. She answered no than I asked Dad “ Did you give this?”. Dad told “ No dear, Nitiksh brought it for you. He has used broken his piggybank and bought this gift for you”. I looked at nitiksh. He was holding his ears and said “ sorry didi….. I will never do this again.
I just cannt believe that Nitiksh has broken his piggbank for me. He was saving money to buy his favorite The Darth Vader fighting helmet from The Empire Strikes Back. He used all money to buy Dove products for me. I was moved.

“Yesterday, I saw Dove advertisement in TV and thought it will be good if you use it.” Nitiksh said in his excited voice.  He switched on TV and said “ Wait for a while, it will come , you will see how aunty get long hair in no time after using dove”.  I saw it and somehow I thought to use it.

Mom told me not to worry, as she will help me to use dove product. Mom drawn a chart for me on how to use each product.


Slowly and steadily, my hair started growing. We use to keep a check on my hair length. Soon it became our sunday game. Every Sunday,  I and nitiksh use to measure my length of  my hair with a measuring tape and note it down in a copy. As time passes, my hair started looking more beautiful and shiner compare to past. I was having a much bouncy and shiny hair. I was happy and that it was the end of my hair problem.

More than me, Nitiksh was happy to see the length of my hair. With is incident, our bonding became stronger.
Thanks Dove and nitiksh for returning my beautiful hair back.

This post is part of a contest My Beautiful Hair Story   on Indiblogger, sponsored by Dove.

Check this out: Dove Hair-Aware App   

Saturday, May 19, 2012

DIY Paint A Wall

Now when the summers are here, there are not many options to go out in the scorching heat. Kids are home too. So what to do.

Why not Paint a wall in any of your rooms?

Its fun and an inexpensive way to update a room with a great amount of impact. If you want to add a little drama or a quick makeover, but only have time for a weekend project, you must consider painting an accent wall.

Patricia's beautiful dining room wall. Its a difficult one

This is an easy design by Shoshana. You can try something like this. But its a bit tedious.

Grid lines, for a contemporary modern look. Its also easy and you can chose any of the colors. Just test on a small patch first.

I am going to try Sahana's idea.Its easy and have poster colors. Not much work required. I think I can complete it in a day. 


A lovely idea from Shoshana, for a little girls room.
Just be sure to experiment on a smaller surface first. Or skip the paint altogether and try out a wall covering.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Summer Quencher - Wood Apple Squash

Bel Ka Sharbat is an excellent cooler for stomach during summers


1 Wood Apple
4-5 Table spoon Sugar


Roastes cumin powder
Black Salt

  • Break open the bel and take out the pulp with the help of a spoon. 
  • Soak the pulp in water for 2-3 hrs and then sieve it to remove seeds. 
  • Add sugar and mix it properly.
  • Add black salt and cumin powder and mix well. 
  • Serve chilled in glasses.

Monday, May 7, 2012

DIY - How To Make Madhubani Paintings

From a long time I have been thinking about making a Madhubani Painting (to be precise almost 6 months). All because I am such a lazy bum. Finally, I have come out of my hibernation and completed the sketch on Sunday.

Probably, by next weekend my Madhubani Painting will be ready. As you can see the work is in progress :)

Work In Progress

Madhubani Paintings are also known as Mithila Paintings, is a traditional art form which traces its origin to the city of Sita Mithila, Bihar. There is a village with the name of Madhubani, where women used to make them on freshly plastered mud walls of thier huts. But now they are made on hand made paper, cloth, canvas and various other objects also.

It is said that this style of painting originated at the time of the Ramayana, when King Janak commissioned artists to make the paintings at the time of marriage of his daughter, Sita, to Lord Ram.

How To Make Madhubani Painting?
Now now I know you must be thinking Madhubani Paintings are so complicated. They are but its not at all difficult to make a Madhubani Painting.

You require-
- A design
- Pencil
- Colors (Poster colors for paper)
- Brushes
- Black outliner
- Good Quality Paper

Just sketch the design on paper. If you are not good at drawing, you can use Trace paper and carbon paper and just copy the design on paper or cloth.
Now all you have to do is fill the colors. After they dry, then only make the outlines.
If using paper let it dry for few hours. And if you are making the painting on a cloth, then iron the backside of the cloth. Ta da !! Your painting is ready, Just get it framed.