Sunday, 25 October 2015

No bigger joy than making someone smile

Sangeeta joined us as our domestic help last year. A widow and a single mother, her whole life revolves around her 6 year old daughter, Gauri. Like a typical Indian mother, she sacrifices her comforts to give the best possible to her daughter. However, with poverty and soaring prices playing spoilsport, all she can manage is her daughter's school fee and basic necessities.

Gauri often accompanied her mother to our house as she loves to play with my 4 month old baby. A very bright kid, she is every mother's pride.

However, a child is a child. Few days back, when Gauri came to our house, she wasn't her usual bubbly self. Instead, she wore a rather sad look in her face. I asked her mother if all was well. A worried Sangeeta told me Gauri's birthday was approaching and like any other kid, Gauri too, wanted to have her own birthday party. "Tell me Memsaab, I can barely manage 3 square meals, how will I fulfill this tough wish?"

Somehow that evening I just couldn't get Gauri's sad face away from my mind. Every child has a right to happiness, and I really wanted to do something special for her.

The next day, I asked Sangeeta to invite Gauri's friends to my house on her birthday. "But memsaab, aap kaise..." Sangeeta hesitatingly said and I immediately told her to stop being so curious if she wants to see a big smile on her daughter's face.

Now, it was my time to get going and organising Gauri's little birthday party!

Since, my objective was to make Gauri feel special and bring a smile on her face, I ordered this smiley cake for her

Also ordered this pretty frock for the birthday girl!

I decided to prepare McCain smileys for the kids since I was sure the kids would love the taste and the Smiley would immediately bring a smile on their faces! McCain smileys are delicious mashed potatoes, seasoned and shaped into happy faces. The smileys also offer the following advantages -

Goodness of Potato
Cholesterol and trans fat free
Ready in three minutes
Goodness of potato
Pre cooked in pure vegetable oil

Since I was preparing for kids, nutritional aspect could not be ignored.

Energy209.27 Kcal
Total Fat8.31 g
Saturated Fatty Acids3.93 g
Monounsaturated Fatty Acids2.15 g
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids2.23 g
Trans Fatty Acids0 g
Protein4.72 g
Total Carbohydrate28.90 g
Sugar0.32 g
Cholesterol0 mg

approximate values*

All I had to do was to preheat oil and deep fry the smileys for about 3 minutes and bingo! We were all set for the party!

On the designated day, Sangeeta brought Gauri and 3 of her friends to our house. The girls were initially hesitant however, were soon enjoying the yummy food and music! 

As I gifted the frock to Gauri, she was all smiles while her mother, had tears of happiness!

While we all do things that makes us happy, doing something to bring a smile on someone's face is a joy much more fulfilling! 

Thanks to McCain, I could manage to make a 6 year old feel so special and bring that million dollar smile on her face!

Smiles double when we share
Happiness doubles when we care
One should also think of the others, once in a while
There's no bigger joy than making someone smile!

About McCain
McCain Foods (India) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of McCain Foods Limited in Canada. Since 1998, McCain has been engaged in agriculture R&D and in development of frozen food market in India and subcontinent countries. McCain products are used by leading fast food chains, hotels, restaurants, catering companies and are popular for in-home consumption.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The joy of togetherness

While technology has enabled us to connect easily with each other, the same technology takes us away from our loved ones. The human touch is replaced by the tap on our smart phones. During my childhood, when mobile technology had not come into our lives, real togetherness flowed in our lives. The day began with the younger members of the family taking blessings from elders while evenings saw the whole family enjoying TV together. People greeted each other when they went out and children enjoyed games together. People shared moments of joy and sadness and even though resources were limited, the joy of togetherness overpowered the limited resources.

Life has undergone a sea change since then.

Mornings begin, not by greeting each other but by checking our mails and social media accounts on our smart phones. Breakfast table sees us glued to our smartphones in our self created silos. Once people used to ask each other's well being when they faces each other in office. However, now, office elevator too sees us hiding behind our smartphone screens, avoiding the effort of a friendly conversation. What if someone calls to us, we have headphones that ensure we only listen what WE want! Being in touch with old friends now is limited to Facebook likes and checking their timeline updates. While earlier, evenings saw the whole family crowded in front of the television, now every member of the family is glued to his/her smartphone or TV in his/her respective room. Kids too prefer connecting with their buddies on social media even if that friend stays nearby.

And then, we say we are connected!

Is this life of living in silos fulfilling? No, for this is evident by the rising cases of stress induced diseases. Obesity among kids is on the rise. Doctors blame a sedentary lifestyle for all this. We have learnt how to stay connected but have lost the real connection with the real world. People look for online buddies while a prospective good friend is sitting next to them. I remember as a kid when we used to go on our annual vacations, kids in trains used to have made few nice friends like that. However now you will see almost all kids toying around with their parents' smartphones.

What is real togetherness then?

Real togetherness is doing away with virtual connections and opting to spend quality time together instead. Research says doing activities we like together is therapeutic and increases our happiness quotient like nothing us. Spending quality time with friends and family also ensures we have people to share joys and also to get moral support in times of sadness.

Watch this excellent video which shows how real togetherness brings real joy that no virtual means cannot.

Visit and discover the joy of real togetherness!

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Fun, friends & freedom from Frizz!

On a Monday morning, this is the feeling of most girls admiring their freshly shampooed hair in front of the mirror -

"Mirror mirror on the wall,
Who has the best hair of them all"

However, by the time the calendar hits Friday, the same girl stands in front of the mirror in frustration, cribbing at the havoc played by pollution, stress and sweat -

"Mirror mirror on the wall,
Can someone manage this frizz after all"

I am one of these girls. The week begins with me admiring my smooth hair and Friday evenings see me tying my hair to save a bad hair day.

Add to this, pregnancy. As far as hair are concerned, pregnancy is the best phase of a woman's life, when hair decide to stay and give us moral support. However, soon after delivery the hair start bidding adieu. 

Soon after my son was born, I faced the problem of Frizzy hair and tremendous hair fall. While a quick Google search gave me many elaborate home remedies waiting to be tried, managing the baby hardly gave me anytime to try even one.

Few days ago, when I received an invite for the Dabur Vatika #FrizzFreeHair meet, I was all excited to find a solution to my hair problems. This was also my first IB meet after moving to Mumbai and I was superrr excited to meet team indi and make some new blogger friends! Another reason for excitement was that this also gave me to increase my saree count for my 100sareepact! The dress code was green and the only thing green I was looking good in post delivery was a lovely green saree!

Thanks to my baby's cranky mood and Mumbai traffic, I ended up reaching the venue late and missed the band's performance I was so eager to witness. As i entered the hall, i saw many people in black suits and got a bit puzzled if this was the right event. However, I later came to know they were students of NMIMS who were here to learn about product launch. Vineet welcomed me with a warm smile at the entrance asking me to quickly register as the event was already on!

As my eyes searched for a vacant seat, Priyanka waived at me and I took a sigh of relief! 

We were all excited to know about the product we were here for - Dabur Vatika non sticky Jasmine oil, that promised to make our hair Frizzy to fantastic!

Soon team Dabur took over the centre stage and introduced us to the brand and product. Most of us were surprised to know that Dabur hair oil has been nourishing the hair of millions of women for the past 75 years!

The info session began covered everything from the definition of Frizz to how Dabur Non Sticky Jasmine oil with its Silicone Oils helps fight Frizz. Soon the product was unveiled and everybody got so excited to get the perfect pose with the oil!

The session was followed by a round of hair care tips where many women shared their tried and tested recipe for hair care!

An indi meet is incomplete without the game and so the game of the day was - Rock, paper, Scizzor...Amidst a lot of fun, laughter and confusion, the game finally saw its winners while the losers had their hair messed up! 

But why to fear messy hair when the event is for a hair oil? We were pampered with a relaxing champi and a cool hairstyle at the Champi counter!

The meet also introduced me to these lovely ladies, better known as my BFFs -

Along with Sujata Tawde and Manisha

Finally it was time to gorge on the sumptuous food. The ladies enjoyed the food amidst chatter and headed home.

The excitement was not yet over. As I opened my goody bag, my eyes widened in excitement to spot a wonderful Philips Hair Straightener! I knew that Dabur meant what they said when they mentioned "Hum Samajhtey Hain Aapke Balon ko!"