Thursday, October 30, 2014

2014 - A Year That Changed Me Forever

I am posting on my blog after a long time. In last few months I started writing many posts but couldn't complete even one. I wanted to share many experiences but somehow I couldn't finish writing them and left many write ups in between. One of the biggest reasons as to why I wasn't able to write is my pondering over things. I observed people and circumstances. I observed how situations were evolving me! And in between whenever I tried to write something I just couldn't find it worth completing.
I got married in February and since then I am managing a different life that requires a balance amongst all aspects like relationships, money and career. Many good and not-so-good things happened and with the experiences I Learned-Unlearned-Relearned. Today when I look back I find myself as a different being. Probably after few more years, I would even be more changed than what I am today. I find 2014 as the most giving year of my life so far. My experiences and observations helped me grow richer and deeper as a human being this year.
Sharing what I learned or experienced on my blog makes me feel lighter and better. So here is what I have experienced in 2014:
Life is not worth without family however it is better to let go toxic relationships/relatives
We often take our family members for granted. However things change when they are away from us and we don't have a choice to go and meet them. Because we are busy making our lives. And it is not easy to go and meet them whenever we want.
I had this realization after marriage. Now I can't go home as much as I used to go earlier. Not because of my husband but besides job now I have a home to manage . And somehow I feel the sense of responsibility towards it.

During Rakshabandhan when my brother visited me first time after marriage, days spent with him are always memorable for me. I played a responsible and caring sister’s role and he was also very happy seeing me happy. Seriously life isn't worth without the ones who are happy in your happiness. And your family is the one who feel happy when you are happy.
Apart from family, you are lucky if you have friends to share your happiness with. Luckily I have one to share it all.

Though when you are happy and your life is going well, it is the best time to figure out the ones who envy you and your happiness. Once you identify those who envy you like anything, it is better to get rid of them. 
Few months back I got rid of an envious family who were my relatives and pretended to be my well-wishers till the time I confronted them.

Behavior of People around you is directly proportional to their understanding of your growth
People used to say this but I never understood it till the time I experienced it. Behavior of People around you is absolutely based on what they think you are.
Whether you think you are successful or not it hardly matters. People will treat you the way they think about your growth.
Honestly speaking I was growing like anything 3 years back, the time when nobody around me gave a damn about my career. And today I am so struck with my things. But the irony is three years back no one cared about me the way they do today because of their perception about my current life and growth.

Sooner or later, you are rewarded for your good work
This is the point of my career when I am getting rewarded for the struggle I did some time back.
When I was struggling I used to think if some day my efforts will be paid off or not. Today my efforts are getting paid off. I am glad.

(However what I am doing now to get rewarded few years later is altogether a different story. I will try to write another post covering how much I am struck currently with no focus and directions to move ahead.)

The difficulty level of the question “What Next” is directly proportional to your growth.
I think being ambitious is in my genes. I have not seen my father but I have heard lot of good stories about how ambitious he was. I have seen my uncle (my father’s brother) who leaves no stone unturned to be successful. He is the source of inspiration to many in our family including me.
I have this habit of asking myself “what next?” from the very beginning of my career.
In your struggling period you always have a zeal that keeps you motivated and you know what next. I always had a quick answer to ‘what next’ few years back. 
But when you achieve even something very little and people around make you realize about your achievement, it becomes really hard to come out of the hangover and remain focused on what next.

The only way to have an answer is to always think that I am starting today. And there is no milestone behind.

I wish to get my answer of what next very soon.

People need your shoulder in their bad times but they tend to forget you in their happy times
There will always be people who are close to you and you will not think twice in helping them or advising them in their bad times. However they might forget to share their reason of happiness that helped them get over the sadness with you. At times they might even forget that you supported them when they needed. But it is better to ignore. This is the least you can do for yourself and your peace of mind.

Final Thoughts:
In this post I tried to sum up my experiences and thoughts that were to be written in several different posts. Feel free to share your valuable thoughts and your learnings from life experiences in comments section. 


Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Rejuvenating Spa Session at VLCC Day Spa, Gurgaon

Being Ambitious has a cost to pay! For couple of months, I was noticing an increased stress level, back pain and behavioral changes.
Well after marriage, I am managing work and home together which becomes really hectic even when you have a supportive husband and an understanding Maid. Irrespective of everything, even on weekends I find myself with a long list of to-dos. Sigh!
I really had to do something about it. And thus after a long week, this weekend I decided to go and pamper myself with a nice and relaxing Spa Therapy. 

Why Spa Therapy?
Spa, the word itself is so relaxing and gives a rejuvenating feel to mind and body! Spa therapies not only help in reducing stress but also help in detoxifying your body leaving you feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
Gurgaon if not thousands, must be having at least 500 Spas offering Body Spa and other wellness therapies. Choosing the right one from a big bunch of service providers is definitely a tedious task.

Why choosing the right Spa was important for me?
a) Value for Money
Spending on a poor Spa service when great ones are available in the city is like not valuing  for the money. Thus a small research before taking a spa appointment in Gurgaon is crucial.
b) Value for Time
Being a working professional, I get only a weekend to spend quality time with husband and pamper myself with right kind of services. Choosing a not so good spa service and coming back with an average experience is like wasting my valuable 2-3 hours. 

After a little of research work, I decided to experience services from
VLCC Day Spa. I called them saying I am looking forward to experience their services. And instantly I got an appointment for the weekend.

So I went to experience the VLCC spa services last weekend with Pankaj. VLCC Day Spa is located in DLF Phase 4, Galleria Market in Gurgaon.

When we reached VLCC, I met Ritu (Manager) at VLCC along with the other staff members. The staff looked well qualified to attend clients along with a great experience of their work. After a small discussion with them, I decided to experience Balnese Therapy. While I was discussing about my therapy, I found Pankaj looking excited with the great ambience at VLCC. So I thought to gift him a Foot Reflexology Therapy instantly. J

My Experience of Balinese Therapy

‘Balinese Massage Therapy helps you in re-energizing while realigning your mind, body and spirit, told my therapist Racheal who is working in this profession for last 5 years.

VLCC Day Spa has three rooms, all of them having an attached steam shower. Rooms were really neat and well-maintained. My room had a very dim light and I clicked few pictures of the room before therapy started.

Balinese therapy using lemongrass, sandalwood and bitter orange oil through the healing hands of my well-trained therapist, giving a combined treatment of acupuncture, reflexology and stretching I felt so relaxed that I slumbered.
And after the massage, a hot steam bath was highly relaxing. I really really enjoyed the whole process.

Pankaj’s Experience of Foot Reflexology
As for Pankaj, how can one relax with any kind of therapy after ending with paying a good amount? :D
Well Pankaj never believed in all this before he actually experienced Foot Reflexology at VLCC. He literally enjoyed every bit of it to an extent that he has now decided to take the therapy at least once in a month.

About VLCC Professionals:
Something I found very nice and unique is the staff of salon. All the staff members were well-qualified, English speaking and very humble.
Manager Ritu at VLCC Day Spa told me that they hire well-certified professionals. Not only this, VLCC has a corporate trainer who takes sessions and certificate upgrades take place almost every three months. I realized quite an organized industry it is!

I also liked their foot reflexology room and pedicure station. 

VLCC Pedicure Station
Other Services at VLCC Day Spa & Salon
  1. VLCC has recently launched new Signature Candle Massage Therapy. It is a well-known  therapy for its magical healing and rejuvenation.
  2. VLCC has a very nice hair salon area with experienced professionals offering hair cuts, hair styling, coloring, keratin treatment etc.
  3. For Men, salon offers services like haircut, shave, streaking, color touch up etc.
  4. There are Anti-Ageing Treatments available too
In short I found the VLCC Day Spa a one-stop solution for all your grooming needs!




Plan your visit to VLCC Day Spa when you want to pamper yourself and look forward to perfect grooming. 

Here is the contact details and address for your ease.
VLCC Day Spa and Salon Gurgaon
R-1, 2nd Floor, above Sitaram Bhartiya Clinic,

Galleria Market, Phase-IV, DLF,

Gurgaon 122009

Contact # 0124-4068763, 0124-3224624, 3223676
For other branches of VLCC Day Spa and Salon in Delhi, please check http://www.vlccwellness.com/India/Locations/75/

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Boss who turned out to be Wife in the end - Airtel's New TV Commercial

In last couple of years, TV Ads have started being more logical and interesting. In fact these days I like watching Ads more than TV Programs. :)

Some of the TV Ads that I really enjoy watching are The Zoozoo’s Ad by Vodafone, Bande Acche Hain by ICICI Prudential Insurance, Re-Marriage Ad by Tanishq, Daag Acche Hain by Surf Excel etc.

And very recently I came across Airtel’s New TV Commercial (promoting mobile internet) in which Boss turns out to be Wife in the end. And then I noticed lot of buzz about the same on social media. 

Check out the Airtel ad in which a young woman asks her colleague to do overtime for completing an important task while she lefts for home in a luxury car driven by a chauffeur who in the end of the ad is found as his wife. (His Boss in the office who is his wife!)


Why outrage on the latest Ad by Airtel?

In this Ad, Airtel looks like supporting the concept that you (female) may be boss in the office, but better cook at home. Thus the outrage! (Though Airtel might not be doing it knowingly.)



Here are some Mixed Reactions on Twitter & Facebook:






My viewpoint on Airtel’s new TV Commercial

For me, the Ad has both the sides, positive and negative!

1.     Positive Point: 
Airtel New TV Ad simply shows a great understanding between working husband and wife. Husband’s ego doesn't clash when boss (who is his wife) asks to stay back and finish the task by staying late. This is definitely a positive message sent to Males through this Airtel Ad.

2.     Negative Point:
The ad shows how a woman who sits in corner office is perfectly managing work-life balance. But this is creating expectations from women again. An ad depicting a man managing the work-life balance could have given a better message to many chauvinistic males who are really enjoying the current Ad.

How about a little tweaked Ad in which a female boss is working with her subordinates while her husband reaches home early, cooks the dinner and shows the special dinner to her wife on video chat. I am sure such an ad have been be surely appreciated by progressive generations of India. 

Note:
My husband cooks for us at times and I totally love it. Xoxo

Pankaj posing while making yumlicious Pasta ;)




Book Review - The Deliberate Sinner by Bhaavna Arora

The debut novel by author Bhaavna Arora speaks about how Indian women struggle to maintain their strained relationships and whether one should carry on in an unhealthy relationship with no conjugal bliss or move out of it.

Received Signed Copy by Bhaavna Arora - Credits goes to Blogadda
With an easy-to-understand writing style and interesting plots been conceptualized in every chapter, the book will definitely be one of the hot sellers across the nation! 

Summary:
The story revolves around the protagonist, Rihana and her unfulfilling marriage with Veer. It starts with the chance meeting of Rihana with Veer on her trip to Thailand.
A few months after their marriage, emptiness started creeping into Rihana’s life due to his insensitiveness to her physical and emotional needs. Her life isn’t nearly as perfect as she thought in the beginning, and she starts figuring out whether it’s time to call it quits or stay back and work out their differences.  



There comes a twist in the story when Rihana finally decides to take a break from her marriage with Veer. Avinash an IPS Officer then enters in her life. They become good friends. Rihanna's life was going fine till Veer re-enters her life. How Rihanna goes through all this and managed her life is an interesting part of the book. Does she choose Avinash or Veer? Will she ever be able to live peacefully? These questions come in mind while reading the novel. Overall an interesting read.

About the author:
Bhaavna Arora is a modern Indian writer. With a doctorate degree in leadership, she intends to increase human well-being with her kind acts and at present, she is sponsoring an underprivileged boy’s education.


This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Those Beautiful Black Things I Always Dreamt of…

My wish for unusual yet beautiful black things made me write this post. Yes, the beautiful black things I always fantasized for.
Though Black is the most misunderstood color, usually people associate it with evil. But I always have a special corner for black in my heart. I chose black over any other color when it comes to dresses and accessories.
Black is the color of soil which gives life. Black is the color of night which brings dreams.
A woman dressed in black signifies elegance, sophistication and confidence.  A man dressed for ‘Black Tie Event’ looks so impressive.

Black is just black and it’s beautiful,
Black is classy, sexy and powerful.

#WhatTheBlack

My long awaiting desire to have a beautiful black horse
It was many years back when reading Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, autobiography of a horse connected me with a horse’s life and it made me realize that horse is not only an intelligent but one of the most sensible creatures on earth.
Surprisingly it gave birth to a strange desire of owning a gorgeous black horse.
I want to have horse not as a pet but as a compassionate friend, who will listen to all my rants, take me to a long ride and smart enough to understand my life and myways.

Source: Google

Rare Black Roses of Halfeti
Turkish Halfeti Black Roses are very rare. I once read about them on a Turkish blog. It described that the black roses were grown in a small Turkish village called Halfeti and soon turn into dark-magenta color. It was also written that those black roses are one of the endangered species on earth.
There are also certain negative things associated with it like bad news comes with black rose. But to me black rose symbolizes passion and I would love to touch and feel it before it turns dark magenta.

Source:Odditycentral.com
If only I had the Black, Long & Lustrous hair…
Every time I see Vidya Balan in a hair oil TV Commercial with thick, long and beautiful black hair I fantasize about growing my hair very long and thick. I changed the hair oil with as much confidence as she has while saying “garv se badlo”.
But nothing worked for me, no thickness and no much growth.  I wish it was that easy to have black, long and lustrous hair!

Source:Afaqs.com

Black Themed Music Room in my home
Yes, I so want a music room, black in color. I have always dreamt of a room painted black where I can rejuvenate myself by lying down on a black couch listening to music on my black Bose speakers.
That will be my corner of the house. 

(Though the picture below is not clearly depicting my imagination of the room but this was the most relevant picture I found online. )

One day I hope my dream comes true and I would post my black room's picture online!

Source:Pinterest 

Black Devil Cigarettes
Well, I am not a regular smoker. But I have heard that Black Devil Cigarettes are hard to find Dutch manufactured cigarettes, amongst the top cigarette brands in the world.
I would definitely love to have them and try for once.  ;)

Source:Mysmokingshop

So this was my list of beautiful black things that I wish to have some day! I would love to hear your unusual wish list too in the comments section. J

This post is a part of #WhatTheBlack activity at BlogAdda.com

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Why it is important for women to be financially independent

Image Source: Google

This article by Neha Agarwal is originally published on http://www.womensweb.in/2014/07/financial-independence-for-women/

It’s been four months to my marriage. After marriage I continued my job in the same company, living in the same city and my focus on career is still the same as earlier, thanks to my husband. So unlike majority of girls, my life didn’t change much after marriage.
It feels good to be surrounded by a loving husband and rely on him for my day to day needs. But at the same time I think it is extremely important to be financially independent and having the confidence to manage my own expenses when needed.
Here are my reasons of why I feel it’s important to be financially independent:
Financial Independence brings Self-Reliance
A lot of times (in my personal and professional life) I realize it’s a “man’s world” where women are not equally treated. And thus woman needs to be empowered and independent enough to confidently take her decision ensuring a life with high self-esteem. Financial Independence help woman to rely herself and support her decisions.
Financial Independence gives you the confidence to take control of your destiny
There are situations where humans have no control and things happen because of fate, luck and will of God. Destiny plays an important role. But there are certain situations when women suffer only because they don’t have the confidence to take control of destiny. And she lacks the confidence because she is not financially independent.
Well I can take charge of my life when I am empowered and self-sufficient to manage basic necessities myself.
Financially Independent Women contributes to country’s economy and GDP
Increase in female participation at work helps society. They pay taxes to Government, help in a better GDP by earning actively. They also contribute to charity and come up as givers to society.
Financial Independent Woman can support her parents
Your husband earns well and taking care of all your needs. It is Ok. But what if you want to support your parents in crisis? Well it’s only in Bollywood or highly exceptional cases when husbands happily support your family. In real lives with high inflation rates it becomes tough to manage all the expenses for a single earning person. And even if your husband supports them, your parents will not like to accept it. But if the daughter is financially independent, they may take the help.
Financially Independent Woman acts as a backup for her family
Your husband wanted to pursue his entrepreneurial dream. But he cannot because family depends on his income. What if you were also working and could support the family. He could have easily gone ahead to accomplish his dream.
This is just one example. But there are circumstances like recession, health issues when it becomes a plus if the woman is financially strong.
Financial Independence brings self-improvement and personal development
You start earning when you constantly work on your skills. And once you start earning you have resources and freedom to further improve yourself by joining different classes and exploring your creative side. Besides meeting new people also help a lot in personal improvement.
Final Words
It feels extremely good to be not dependent on anyone for my things, whether it is to buy an expensive bracelet or a DSLR of my choice to pursue my photography hobby. I am slowly contributing towards building a better and improved me. And my husband loves me more seeing me doing my bits and moving forward each day.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Engineering Students - Things to do in Summer Breaks

We did the hard work to get into Engineering, another four years hard work to get good grades, countless efforts that our parents put in our education, and in the end getting a job is the only thing we Engineers strive for.

And when we don’t get it on-campus, the day we graduate, we are counted under unemployed Indians!
Is it really worth it?

After one year of my post For the engineer, By the Engineer, this post once again is related to Engineering. 

Well it’s been 5 years of completing B.Tech. Some of my batch-mates are in big MNCs settled in other countries; others are working with SMEs in India. Some have their start-ups too. And some of them are not working because they chose not to.

Basically the phase after engineering when many of us in the batch were struggling for jobs is already over and all of us are now living a decent life busy with our jobs and family.

Now when I sit back and think of the days when getting a job in MNC with a good package was all we wanted, I smile. That was it for us (at least for me). And when I didn't get a good campus placement, only I know how much disheartened I was.

Five years down the line, here I am. A constant thinker and a passionate online marketing professional busy in her own wanderings and world.
And my batch-mates, they are also settled, living their lives, doing their jobs and busy in their world.
What I mean to say is, few years of struggle and everyone gets a job and if not instantly after few more years everyone has a decent package too.

However when I go back into memories, I realize I struggled after Engineering not only because of destiny but because I was ignorant. In 2009 or before, we didn't have the kind of easy access to information which is available today.

For example, if you are reading this article you are actually reading the mind of an Engineer who has gone through a phase and it is a better idea to learn from someone else’s experience rather wasting time in experiencing the same and then learn.

During my engineering summer breaks, what I used to do?

I used to come back to my home from hostel, enjoy good food, watch television and join few computer programming classes.
I never worked on engineering myself. I never gave myself some alone time to sit back and think on how could I improve myself. I never defined success for myself based on my interests and thoughts.

India doesn’t need programmers with engineering degrees. India now needs some real Engineers. Real Engineers are the ones who can foresee the real-world problems, imagine solutions and build them.

But they can do this once they realize the real purpose of life, what interests them, what they consider as success. And the best time to get this realization is in first/second year of Engineering. Unfortunately I realized this in second year of my job, was too late to realize.

Here are few things I suggest future engineers to do in their coming summer breaks that will help them in realizing few things, improving them & hence lead to a better Engineer in making:
      
      1)     Volunteer in an NGO
Contributing for social up gradations are life changing experiences. It leads to a journey towards inner-self. Volunteering for a cause teaches you commitment. It also makes you understand what society needs and how can you help on that. What can be the things that can lead to a better life of people?  And here the journey of innovation begins.

      2)     Go for an internship in an startup
India is witnessing an era of startups and entrepreneurial growth. There are a lots of innovative startups running on low budgets, in need of interns time to time.
Take a job in start-up during your summer breaks. Don’t do it for money but invest your time to understand their objectives and how they work.

      3)     Start a blog, learn to express and articulate
Blogging helps to improve the writing skills. It also helps you learn the art to articulate.
It enhance the vocabulary and also helps in enriching the knowledge of chosen topic in blogging.
Besides, blogging help you connect with a community and network with creative minds.

      4)     Spend time with family
Smart phones keep you connected online 24X7. You have no time for the real world. But still when you are at home, spend some quality time with your family. Spending time with your family help them understand you more. Sometimes your elders understand your aspirations and dreams better than you.

      5)     Develop reading habit
Reading helps you acquire knowledge. Reading also helps in relaxing your mind. And when the mind is relaxed, innovation begins.

Final Words
If you are in college, it is the best time to explore your inner-self and the world around. Don’t confuse the success (your definition) with a job in MNC. Experience as much as you can in the college life and come out as a real Engineer.

Image Courtesy: Aap Engineer Hain

Sunday, June 22, 2014

And presenting you my Besan Cheelas Recipe - My Experiment with Besan :)


Well, that's true. Very rarely, but it does happen at our home when I voluntarily feel like going to the kitchen and cook something.. And when it happens it's exciting.

I made Besan Cheelas during snacks time today. Husband wanted to eat something different so I tried my hands on making besan cheelas.

Recipe to make the besan Cheela:

Ingredients Required:
  • Besan/Granflour: 2 cup
  • 2-3 chopped onions
  • 2-3 green chopped chillies
  • ¼ small spoon coriander powder (dhaniya)
  • ¼ small spoon turmeric powder  (haldi)
  • Pinch of heeng (asafetida)
  • You can add little amount of red chilli powder too
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil
Method of making Besan Chilla:
  • Take a large bowl and put besan and all the other stuff (chopped onions, green chillies, coriander powder, turmeric powder, heeng, red chili powder, salt)


  • Add some water, stir it for 10 minutes. Make a smooth, a little thick batter. Lumps should not be formed. 

  •     Take a non-stick pan, put some oil, and let it be hot.
  •       Pour a big spoon of batter and spread it in round shape in the pan. I was not able to spread it using spatula. I took the pan in the hand using its handle and then moved it in a way that it spread in the round shape itself.

  •   Pour oil around its edges. Turnover the cheela when you feel the lower side has started turning brown
  •     Flip it to cook on the other side. Once both the sides are turned brown, remove it from the tawa and serve hot.
  •      You can serve it with green chutney and tomato sauce. I served it to hubby dear with tomato sauce and he really enjoyed eating it. 



    Look forward to your comments and add-ons in the comments section. :)
    Thanks,

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My 'Queen' Moment: A Visit to Mumbai alone


Couple of months back I watched ‘Queen’ featuring Kangana Ranaut. She played a girl from Rajouri who was dumped by her fiancĂ©e at the day of her wedding, decides to go alone for her honeymoon to Europe. I loved the movie, especially the last scene when Kangana walked through the arrival gate at Delhi airport back home. The kind of change in her body language and the level of confidence from beginning to the end was spectacle.



‘Queen’ was all about that feel or confidence you experience when you conquer your big fears of life.

Recently I also experienced a ‘Queen’ moment of my life. Something happened that helped me gain confidence and my fear is no more.

Here is the story of my ‘Queen’ moment:



I am born and brought up in a small town of U.P., did my schooling from a public school there. Then I moved to Dehradun for college. Later I came to NCR for job. Basically in all these years, I didn't travel much. All the cities where I relocated were near to my hometown and usually my mother accompanied me wherever I went that too either by bus or car.
So travelling alone to other cities especially the metro ones (apart from Delhi, I am here for last five years now) is not something I was very comfortable with. And when it comes to go by air, I become restless. My ears pain during takeoff, my heart literally sinks and I need to hold someone’s hand to make sure everything is fine. I always feared of travelling alone by air.
I know for my regular readers it’s a bit difficult to imagine me as someone who feared of something after all they know me as a self-dependent and confident girl from my blog posts. :)

But this fear was there.

Series of incidents last week

  1. Instructions to go to Mumbai on weekend to execute an activity in company event
  2. My first reaction was, “No, I won't go alone as I haven't ever been to Mumbai and this is a big responsibility”
  3. The kind instructor tried getting someone with me to accompany me there and help me in execution
  4. That someone mocked at me saying it’s just Mumbai and not Los Angeles. 
    And this was the turning point.
  5. The inner voice, a close friend and my husband helped me make the final decision. And I made the decision.
  6. I will travel alone, go to Mumbai and execute the activity.

And yes I did it. It was a great experience and learning.

Final Words:

Sometimes you just need the one push that forces you to stretch yourself and identify the strengths in you. And when you get that one push from life, be happy as this is going to help you in conquering your fears and coming out as a new and improved you.
By the way my one day trip to Mumbai was very nice and I explored the city little bit after the event finished. Glad I met new and wonderful people there, made nice friends too! It was a refreshing experience altogether.

Some pictures from the trip:

@ Candies, Pali Hills with wonderful people I met during the event. And I instantly decided to go out with them for lunch and roam around. 

Saw yet another sea after one in Kerala