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Sunday, 31 May 2015

100 happy days - day 3

People think I am one of those intellectual types. Hence I do not watch TV. But the fact is I watch TV and love it too. Yes I do watch intellectual stuff on History, CNBC Awaaz, Zee Business etc. But I do watch songs as well. I like watching youth programmes on MTV and V as well. 
Even in today's age the value of the government run channel Doordarshan can not be ignored. Indeed it produces content which other channels may not dare to touch for various reasons. Yes technically it may not be at par with other commercial channels. But it indeed produces some great intellectual stuff like Aaj Savere which I love.

If I go to calculate my TV watching time it may not be more than an hour and a half on any given day. I don't watch movies on television. I prefer to watch them on big screen. But living in small towns I hardly visit theatres these days. 

Television helps to reduce the tension between the family members. It acts as a diversion and cools the family members during turbulent times. Though too much of television may stop communication between the family.

To keep the long story short watching TV has brought me happiness today. It is excellent medium of entertainment and education. (Mind you I have taken year long breaks from TV and I am of the firm opinion that it does more harm than good) So happy viewing.

100 happy days - day 2

Who doesn't like to receive gifts? No matter how much money you have in your vallets receiving a gift is always special. Not because of the article gifted but because of the love and affection shown. Now there is no dearth of gifts which are given with oblique motives and in return. I am not speaking about those gifts here.

Moreover gifting some thing to some one is more pleasurable than receiving gifts. It makes your heart full of love and gratitude towards the person to whom you are handing over the gift. It gives you immense happiness. That happiness also passes on with the gift to the recipient. He is happy to know that his presence matters to the other person.

There are many people, some even strangers who have helped me at various points of time. That too inspite of the numerous problems in their own personal lives. They are and will always remain special for me. Today I gifted these lunch boxes to my dear ones. Unfortunately the shopkeeper did not have the gift packing facility and I was left with very little time to pack it. But still I gained immense happiness by gifting them. 

Do not use Mobikwik

I usually recharge my mobile directly through the service provider's site. But on that fateful day (11/05/2015) thanks to the search results of google and the advertisements in it, I stumbled upon the Mobikwik website.

I tried to recharge my mobile but my recharge was unsuccessful. Mobikwik deducted money from account and stored it in its wallet. I tried recharging both my mobiles but utterly failed. My money stood with Mobikwik. I lodged a complaint with them. I received a reply stating that they were in an upgradation process and I should try recharging again. 

Since then till date I have been trying to recharge both my mobiles. But Mobikwik says that both my numbers are invalid. Both my numbers are working. Now an upgradation process cannot go for more than 18 days. 

Plus I am unable to log in to the Mobikwik website though I can log in to their online app. Whenever I try to log in to their website I am being told that my password is incorrect. When I click on the forgot password button, my email id is asked for and a link is sent to me to reset my password. But when I click on the said link it says the link is no longer valid. I even reported the same to Mobikwik. I received a reply saying that I should click on the forgot password link. Now I had already done that. But the link sent to me for resetting the password was not working. In other words my issue of website was not resolved by Mobikwik. Yet Mobikwik claimed to have resolved my issue

So the overall experience of Mobikwik has been very bad. I will not recommend it to anyone. Mobikwik either recharge my mobile or give my money back. I don't want to keep it in your custody. What is the use if I have the money in Mobikwik vallet but I am unable to use it as and when I want? Also train your employees to understand the customer queries and answer the specific issue raised by him.

Friday, 29 May 2015

100 happy days Day 1

I am a lover of nature. All of us are part of the nature, aren't we? Trees, birds, animals, mountains everything makes me happy. Yes I have a little aversion to sea, rivers and water bodies. But if ever I visit them, I am thankful to them for I get to spot a variety of birds near them. To experience the joy of nature you are not required to go to any forest or the Himalayas. Mother nature is always around you.

There are adulsa, neem, baniyan, peepal and gulmohur trees around my house. Though it is very hot here these trees make the mornings magical for me. In the early morning when the air is cool and there are no sounds except for the chirping of the birds they give me a feel that I am at a hill station. They along with their inhabitants, birds and squirrels, make me happy. 

I liked this picture because of the tinge of blue between the leaves. It makes the mundane tree look magical.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Cheated by SBI

I am a salaried employee with a transferable job. I have a savings account with State Bank of India Chalisgaon Branch. I have few fixed deposit receipts linked to the said account. 
I was due to be transferred in the month of June 2015. I am yet to receive payments under various heads from my office. Hence my office told me not to get my savings account transferred as my dues will be deposited in the same account with the same IFSC number as the same was fed in the system.

I had foreseen this contigency. In November 2014 I had asked the manager of Chalisgaon branch Mr. Katulwar if my fixed deposit receipts could be linked to another account. I had also told him I would be transferred in the month of June 2015. He asked me not to worry and he would link my fixed deposits to a new account at the time of my transfer. I trusted him blindly. I guess that was my biggest mistake.

Again in April 2015 I reminded him of my fixed deposit receipt. He referred the same to one Junior Officer by name Mr. Sandesh Kad. He told me that it was not possible to link the receipts to another account. When I asked him as to what was the remedy available, he told me to opt for internet banking.

Accordingly I applied for internet banking and ATM in early April 2015. As I did not receive the ATM or internet banking id I enquired with the bank manager Mr. Katulwar a day before. He told me it usually takes a month. I told him that it has been more than one and half months.

I am leaving Chalisgaon on 1st June 2015. Today when I again asked Mr. Katulwar about the same and persisted him if he could track my ATM and net banking, he asked another woman employee.

To my great shock I was being told that my request for ATM and net banking was not generated at all. I was told that Mr. Sandesh Kad was absent for more than one and half months. He had withheld all the papers with him. No one knew where he had kept the papers. Mr. Katulwar also told me that he was unable to contact with Mr. Kad. He told me that my requests for ATM and net banking were lying with Mr. Kad.

Finally I came to conclusion that I will close my Fixed Deposits prematurely. Mr. Katulwar asked me not to do so as that would result in penal charges. He assured me that no matter where I was he would help me as and when my deposits will mature. But I no longer trust him. He has lost my trust. When I asked what if you get transferred to some other branch, he told no matter where he would be he would do the needful.

Now the question who is responsible for this? Mr. Katulwar who without any knowledge of the procedure assured me that the receipts would be linked to another account or Mr. Kad who disappeared both mysteriously (the manager is unable to contact him for more than one and half months) and irresponsibly. Who will make good the loses which I will incur as a result of premature closure?

State Bank of India I will never bank with you again. You have liars and irresponsible employees.

Made in India - Book Review

I have a thing for cook books since childhood. I simply love reading them and fancying to eat the mouthwatering recipes which they contain. I even try my hand at a few of them. Needless to say that I possess many cook books.

But Kunal Vijaykar's Made in India is very different from the cook books which I have read till date. What I liked about the book is its simplicity. The recipes which the book contains are easy to prepare and less time consuming. The cover page of the book says that it contains 60 mouthwatering recipes from desi kitchens and bylanes. No wonders even the humble leftover Phodnichi Poli finds a mention in the book. Kunal must be credited for giving glamour to our age-old recipes. He presents panchamrit (yes the very same used in puja and given away as tirth in teaspoons) in an avatar of beverage which is quite tempting.

Every recipe is accompanied by a tidbit relating to the same. So we get interesting and never heard information like the south Indian Sambar is named after the King Sambhaji and Macaroni was christened by Marco Polo. He also writes about Goan Hindu vegetarian cuisine. For most of us Goan food means only sea food and the intoxicating feni. It is for these interesting narrations that I loved the book.

The book covers vegetarian, egg, chicken, fish, mutton, beef, dessert, chutney recipes. I am a pucca vegetarian. But still the way Kunal has described Goan egg drop curry compelled me to ponder over as to how I could make its vegetarian variation.

Though the book claims to contain the recipes from India, it is actually a book about coastal recipes with an exception of few recipes. Kunal is highly biased toward the recipes of the East Indian communities. Even he hails from the Pathare Prabhu clan who were the original residents of the islands of Mumbai.

Most of the recipes are accompanied by pictures. However some pictures have nothing to do with the recipes. For example next to Phodnichi Chapati comes picture of Kunal dining at a restaurant in Gujarat. Recipes at page no. 31 and 52 abruptly break into paragraphs for no reason. Also on page 105 yogurt is written as yoghurt at more than one place. This is totally unacceptable when the blurb says that Kunal is a seasoned food writer. The book needed a good proof reading job. Also the binding of the book is poor. The pages started coming out as I progressed with the reading of the book.

Inspite of all the flaws this book is highly recommended as it has indeed documented many native recipes which may have been lost in our transition to the modern world. 

Sunday, 10 May 2015

I learn to ride bicycle

It is said that a mother is the first teacher of the child. Indeed as a child whenever we have any problem we first rush to our mother. For us she is an expert. She has a solution for everything. She is an expert when it comes to comforting.  When she caresses your hair, you forget all your problems and feel all is going to be well.

There was a time when all the boys who were elder to me rode bicycles. Even I wanted to ride one. But I did not know how to ride. Those were the days when bicycles did not came with the extra side wheels for new learners. I expressed my desire to learn bicycle and my mother supported the idea completely. My grandmother said I was too young to learn it. But my mother was determined to teach me how to ride one.

The very same day we went to a shop that rented bicycle. I still vividly remember he charged twenty-five paisa for one hour. We rented a bicycle and headed to the nearest ground. My mother asked me to sit on the seat and pedal. I was apprehensive. But still I tried.

I lost balance and fell on the ground. I had bruises on my elbows and knees. I began to cry. “Don't cry my child. No one learns bicycle without falling.” My mother told me.

Again we continued. But still I was losing balance. All the while my mother was running behind me tightly holding the seat. When we returned home, my mother applied turmeric on my wounds. I slept embracing her tightly. Her presence was so comforting, so soothing.

The next day I said did not wish to learn bicycle. But my mother said that once determined to learn bicycle, I could not change my mind. Again we rented the bicycle and went to the ground. I pedalled. This time I was able to pedal for a few minutes until I lost my balance. But compared to my earlier performance there was definitely an improvement. There was a sense of achievement on my face. Happiness on my mother's face was palpable.

In the coming days I began to pedal for longer time. My mother, dressed in a saree, literally ran behind me holding the carrier. No wonders very soon I learnt how to ride a bicycle.

Thereafter I continued to take my mother's expert counsel on all the matters. Whether it was studies, financial, emotional issues, relationship problems, she was always there for me. Her advice always is carry on, never ever give up. You will reach your goal. You will emerge as a winner. Thank you mom for all the love which you have showered upon me. If it hadn't been for your love and guidance I would not have been the person which I am today. Indeed your blessings are always there with me to protect me and your teachings to guide me. Thank you mom. Thank you for everything. You are the world's best mom.

Your romantic fantansies will come true

Traditionally men went out to work while women looked after the household. Raising the children, cooking, washing the dishes, clothes, cleaning was all considered a woman's job. Though this mindset has changed over a period of time, still there are certain sections of the society which feel that it is the lady of the house who should do these chores, while the man after returning from his office is entitled to slump on the couch and surf the television channels for endless hours.

In reality while men work for only 10 am to 6 pm, women are on duty for twenty four hours. One study revealed that if the chores done by women (household, matrimonial obligations, raising children) are quantified into money, women earn much more than their male counterparts. Undoubtedly homemaking has to be respected.

But we should not merely stop at respecting the homemakers. We should go a mile ahead and lend our helping hand in sharing the load of household. Small things make a big difference. So in the morning let us start with folding our own bedsheets. In order to make the morning cuppa of tea or coffee one does not have to be masterchief. I know many men ( and even few women) who take pride in saying that they do not even know how to boil water. This is not a thing to be proud of. It is a thing to be ashamed of. Making tea or coffee hardly takes few minutes.

Just hand over a cup of tea in the morning to your female family member. See the happiness on their faces irrespective of the fact as to how your tea tastes. The very feeling that somebody is willing to share the household work lifts the spirits of the womenfolk.

Then of course everybody can wash his or her own dishes and cups. It will take few seconds, but it will relieve the burden on the lady of the house. Making omlettes and sandwiches is also very easy and can be easily done even by men.

Sharing the load will bring loads of happiness into the lives of all the family members. Women will be in a happy mood. Their joy and happiness will reflect in all the chores that they do. The mood and atmosphere of the house will be happy. If your partner is happy she will even keep you happy. As a result if you share the load there are greater chances that all your romantic fantasies will come true. 

“I am writing for the #ShareTheLoad activity at in association with Ariel.” 

India has got talent

Indians have always been crazy about cricket and bollywood. Now IPL is a cross breed of cricket and bollywood. No wonders everyone is going crazy about it. Now there is one more reason to be happy. It is offering everyone the ticket to fame. Ads made my men and women from all walks of life are put up for voting. The one with the most votes will be telecasted during the IPL. Let me tell you about the ads for which I voted.

The ad shararat is indeed lovable. It picks up the everyday drama from our drawing rooms into a well shot ad. Shararat is all about kissa qursi ka. That reminds me of my uncle who had a single bed in his drawing room. He would sleep and watch the TV. Whenever he would get up say for drinking water or visiting the loo his wife would occupy the bed. My uncle had to wait for the right time to reclaim his prized possession.

The advertisement thus appeals to all. Every person will be able to relate to the same. It has been shot well. The actors fit their parts very well. Their chemistry works very well
for the fight of the couch. The reason the ad works is because of its simplicity and relatability.

Advertisement is all about conveying lot of things in a few seconds. If that is the parameter of a good ad, then the ad served is undoubtedly one of the best advertisements ever made. The camera runs across the table which has various delicacies spread out. There is sweet. There is piping hot food. There is paratha with butter accompanying it. There are samosas and idli sambhar too. So the table is filled like a stadium filled with spectators to witness a cricket match. The voice over that accompanies compliments the dishes which come into the frame very well. Every word of the voice over has a connection with the dish which shows on the screen. This is an ad which is both written well and shot well. Both writing and shooting have gelled very well to bring out the best. The excitement in the voice of the artist who did the voice over is palpable. The reason why the ad works is its novelity and creativity. No wonders I have voted for this ad as well. Given the quality of the advertisements it is hard to believe that they have been made by common men and women. Indeed India has got talent.

“I’m voting for the best ads in the #CrashThePepsiIPL activity in association with BlogAdda from 8th May to 14th May. Are you?” 

Crash the IPL

Crash the Pepsi IPL is indeed an innovative idea where Pepsi has given an opportunity to ordinary countrymen to make it big. Moreover the advertisement with the most votes will feature in the IPL. What more could have been asked for. The sheer creativity which the advertisements made by common men and women display left me in awe. So I decided to vote for these ads. Let me tell you about the two ads which I liked.

Pyar tujhe karta hoon par pepsi pe marta hoon is one of the ads from the gallery which I really liked. The advertisement shows an elderly couple who are watching the TV. They have grown old together. They have spent their entire lives together. No wonder they have got perfect understanding. They really love each other. Their love has matured over a period of time. But when it comes to Pepsi, they are unwilling to share the same with one another. While the old man is unwilling to share a small bottle, the old woman has already stocked a big bottle for herself. Yes, this is how human life is. We are a mix of both good and bad. While we pretend to be generous, there are few things which we are very possessive about and do not want to part with.

The advertisement is very easy to relate. I know many elderly couples who live on their own. Their children are staying in other cities. Hence the elderly couple keep on finding silly reasons to fight with one another. It is this silly fights which adds little spice to their lives and most importantly kills their time which at times haunts them.

What I liked about the another advertisement, Living it, is the creative use of pepsi containers. It is sheer creativity that rules this advertisement. There is no story, no punchlines. There is no humour, no emotions. Just right use of the product, that too in a creative manner makes this advertisement stand out. It also shows that nothing is of no use. Everything can be put to use with a little creativity. Do it yourself and you have turned a heap of waste into a beautiful chalendier, stumps and what more. It reduces the pollution and garbages of waste that we see everywhere. Hence I felt the deeplying meaning in this advertisement too. Moreover the ad is asthetically appealing too. It is very well shot and captures the mundane lives of ordinary men and women, gives them a magical touch and makes them appear glamourous. 
“I’m voting for the best ads in the #CrashThePepsiIPL activity in association with BlogAdda from 8th May to 14th May. Are you?” 

Chillies and clay moulds

Dear Mom,
Wishing you a very happy mother's day! Thanks for being my mother and moulding me into the person that I am today.

That day is so clear. I was six or seven years old. I had been to the market along with you. We purchased many vegetables including my favourite carrot. You held two bags in your hands. I was holding a small cotton bag in my hands. It contained 250 gms of my favourite carrots. Dangling the bag in my hands we were on our way to home. That was when you recollected that we had forgotten to buy green chillies.

Again we went into the market to buy green chillies. The vegetable vendor weighed hundred grams of green chillies. You asked me to take the chillies into my bag. I reluctantly stretched my arms out with the bag open in my hands. The vendor poured the chillies from the scales into my bag. While you were paying him I picked up few more chillies on the sly and was about to put them into my bag.

That was when you held my hand tightly. You asked me to keep back the chillies on the heap from where I had picked it. I felt highly insulted. You did not speak to me on the way back to home. Neither did I. Even at that age I was fuming. Adults do not realize it but even children feel the insult.

Once we reached home you told me that what I had done was wrong. It was incorrect to pick up few chillies when the vendor was busy taking the money. You told me that honesty was the greatest virtue. You told me that though you had forgiven me on that occasion,  I will not be spared if I repeated the mistake.

On another occasion I had been to play with my friend Amod. He had magic clay. I always wanted to have a set of magic clay for me. But you did not buy one for me. Amod and I played for a long time. We prepared various animals from the clay using the moulds which came along with the set. I indeed enjoyed making those animals. The clay was so colourful. I still remember I had moulded a deer and a lion.

I told Amod how I enjoyed making the objects out of the clay. My friend graciously shared some clay and moulds with me. Happily I came home along with those prized possessions of mine. I displayed them to you.

To my utter dismay you asked me to return the same. “But I did not steal them. Amod offered it to me.” I tried to plead my case though quite unsuccessfully. “I believe your words my child. But still it is wrong to accept articles belonging to others.” You said and asked me to return the clay and the moulds to Amod. I went to his house crying and returned those objects.

These incidents are etched in my memory forever. Even after so many years they are so clear and vivid. At those points of time I had felt insulted, humiliated and sad. But those were the lessons of value education which you had inculcated in me. Indeed mother is the first teacher of a child. It is her teachings which go a long way in shaping the personality of the child. Thank you for inculcating these values in me. 

Thank you once again and thank you for all that you have given to me


I am writing a letter about how a mother teaches honesty to her child with the Max Life Insurance i-genius #YoursHonestly activity in association with BlogAdda.” 

Capturing Wildlife Moments in India - Book Review

It is not easy to go into the wild. As everybody cannot go into the wild wildlife is brought for everyone through an illustrated book named Capturing Wildlife Moments in India. It contains 120 photographs showing the rich heritage and range of wildlife and its habitats in India. It enlists over 30 locations visited for taking pictures. It enlists Wildlife Hotspots and also suggests of interesting places to stay. The book also enumerates the camera techniques used for clicking the pictures.

It is indeed saddening to know that less than five percent of India's area is designated as protected for animals and birds. According to the author his endeavour as a photographer is to encourage people to care for threatened species before it is too late. 

The pictures of wildlife must have been taken with lot of effort. The author has also included some pictures of trees and tribals as well. But what is interesting than the pictures is the information which accompanies them. So the author tells us that the elephants follow the matriarchal system. Honey intoxicates the Himalayan black bear. The Malabar Pied Hornbill male traps the female in her nest by walling up the nest. It narrates a heart touching story of how a male tiger raised his two cubs after the death of their mother. Interbreeding with domestic buffaloes has made the wild buffaloes endangered. Langurs are friends of deers and are the first to identify the predators and inform their friends. It is such nuggets of information that make the book unique and interesting. They clear overshadow the photographs. 
The author also classifies the wildlife into vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered, near threatened categories. That means that the attractive animal posing for the camera may not survive for coming years and even become extinct. This feeling makes you restless and achieves the goal of the author to make the masses aware of the wildlife conservation.
The author's subjects of photography cover a wide range including lesser heard organisms like mudkipper and the omnipresent sparrow whose existence too is threatened. After a certain point the book becomes repetitive with the same tigers, elephants, crocodiles and storks. I wish the author would have avoided this repetition. However inspite of it given the dearth of Indian books in this segment, the book is highly recommended. This is a book you will not repent buying. 

"This post is a part of the book review program of at Saevus Wildlife India in association with The Hemchand Mahindra Foundation for the book Capturing Wildlife Moments in India 

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Ek Nayi League

Ek Nayi league? What is this new league all about is the question that is doing round these days. Everybody is superexcited to see the Kapil Dev speak about Nayi League. Well if it is Kapil it has to do with cricket, isn't it. But he has been telling everyone that if you play with your heart you are bound to lose. So what is this league all about?

Well my intial impression was that this going to be a game show. But what kind of show you can have in which if you play by heart you are bound to lose? So I thought it must be relating to women, girl child, female empowerment. But again what is if you play with your heart you are going to lose?

I know only one league where if you play by heart you are bound to lose. That is our great stock market. They say you should never get attached to the stocks you own. You should never get emotional about the companies in which you have holdings. So going by what Kapil has been saying to the celebrities, Ek Nayi League must be a game show relating to the stock market or in the broader sense financial management. This is the palce for sure where if you play with all your heart you are bound to lose.

But again if you fall in love and love your beloved with all your heart you too are definitely bound to lose. The thing which you lose is your own heart. So I feel that may be Ek Nayi League is about something relating to the heart. Heart means emotions. A new league may be comprising of people who are emotional. Who value human sentiments and values more than money and for whom losing honourably is much more important than winning deviously. For whom the humans and their emotions matter more than anything else in the world. Yes we need to increase emotional content in our present day generation which values money more than anything else. Who considers that being practical is more important than investing your time and most importantly emotions in anyone. May be ek nayi leauge is about making these young men and women more sensitive towards their brethren who are not as fortunate as others.

To conclude Ek Nayi League is definitely a TV game show. Perhaps Ek Nayi League is a reality show. May be Ek Nayi Leauge is some thing relating to financial literacy, which is unfortunately not very common even amongst those who earn handsomely. May be it is relating to increasing the emotional content amongst the masses. But I feel it is a tv show for sure.