Sunday, December 29, 2013

Just arrived!

So  I have been away from the blog for the longest time now. But not without reason. Yours truly has been blessed with an adorable little brat, a baby girl recently.

The past 3 weeks have been nothing short of a blurry roller coaster ride. No matter how mang people tell you that once the little one arrives, a good night's sleep is going to be a luxury, you still get the full hang of every word uttered by the experienced only once you go through it yourself. It is pretty much like delivering a child. No matter how much you read about it or how many videos you watch, the pain, agony and ecstasy related with child birth is unique and understood only when experienced. 

This blog may turn into a mommy blog for sometime, so you gotta bear the susu potty stories for a little while ;-) Do pretend to enjoy them :-P

Thursday, October 24, 2013

On the way to....

There are times when you stop writing for a while because there is no inspiration. People come back and ask if everything's fine. You shrug and say "Writer's block, you see". And they understand and wait for your next post.

And then there are times when you have so much inspiration in your life that no amount of words and phrases can conjure up even an iota of the feeling and experience you are going through. It's been some time and people have stopped asking me why I don't write here more often. I don't mind any longer. And I don't miss this space as I have missed it in the past.

H and I are are expecting our first baby. And no, I am not talking about a car, a pup or a kitten aor a long lost wish. We are expecting a real baby! :P Go on and congratulate us :-D

It's been a hell of a ride so far and I have had an amazing experience. Just a month to go before the little one makes a grand entry. And don't even ask me how excited we both are.

H has always been the sweetheart and I never thought he could get any better. But he has stumped me. With his never ending patience, perseverance, and most importantly his love and care in this very emotionally and physically challenging journey for all of us.

Feeling loved. And blessed. And super excited.

I think I will be back here once I think I can get a hold on my super charged hormones and feelings.
Until then, take care guys.

 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

India Today Mind Rocks Youth Summit 2013 - Part 2

This is part 2 of the detailed coverage of the India Today's MindRocks Youth Summit 2013. To read part 1, click here.

Right after a sumptuous lunch of dal makhni and naan, MindRocks made sure they had us up on our feet, as the next guests were reality show dance stars Salman (Dance India Dance and Jhalak Dikhla Ja fame) and Lauren (Jhalak Dikhla Ja). Needless to say, the audience went berserk for the handsome Salman and very beautiful Lauren. There was hardly any talk as the audience just didn't let the two of them sit. The crowd was in a frenzy and the guests just danced and danced and danced.

Handsome Salman and the very pretty Lauren with RJ Lucky!

These girls almost dived from the balcony !!

Lauren doing one of her impromptu jigs!

Numerous jigs and lifts later, it was time to bid these good looking dancers good bye and say hello to our next guest. Now this was somebody who needs no introduction. Sadi dilli ka ladka, with many a centuries under his very young bat and the only player who Sachin Tendulkar thinks can fill his shoes - Virat Kohli. Now this guy is not only great professionally, but also a rockstar off field with his good looks and charming personality.

I cant even begin to tell you the audiences' reaction when this guy walked on the stage and waved. For a full 10 minutes, there was just a wild cheer and noise and Virat was thoroughly amused. He had to beg the audiences' to calm down a little, so he could speak ;-) No wonder cricketers are considered Gods in our country.

Virat spoke about his passion for cricket since the age of 8, how he suddenly grew up overnight when his father passed away and he admitted that the sudden success does get into one's head at some point of time. But it was important to stay focused or you'd lose it all.
The audiences' asked him questions about his marriage and Bollywood plans. He also blushed when someone asked him about his girlfriend, although he did say he was single. Cute :-)

An amused Virat on seeing the audiences' reaction!

tete-a-tete!

Virat saying his Thank yous and good bye !!

The beautiful Aditi Rao Hydri spoke about love and relationships. She also played a few fun games with the audience members asking real life couples to dance to showcase their chemistry or making them write love letters on a postcard.



She also unveiled one of the India Today cover pages with Virat.


Last, but not the least, we had a rendezvous with the man with the most talented gene pool in Bollywood - actor, director, producer, singer Farhan Akhtar.
Even though our throats were quite sore from all the shouting we had done for Virat, we couldn't not let Farhan know how much we all adored him. His wit, talent and intelligence are such an integral part of Bollywood.

Farhan shared stories from his childhood on how he would watch a movie every morning before going to school, or how he was a college dropout but that was one of the worse decisions of his life.
Farhan talking about his childhood escapades!

Farhan crooning a number on his guitar!
And, when we thought we were actually tired of all the celeb talking and shouting, the MindRocks team informed us of the grand finale that was going to happen. The show ended on a high and a very energetic and punjabi hip hop note - a concert by Hard Kaur.

In a nation crazy for it's stars and cricketers, this was nothing less than a treat for the youth. All day long, we heard such inspiring and real stories about these celebs and got to  meet them. I couldn't sleep that night, as the experience was too much to let go of in an evening.

If you never have, you MUST make it a point to attend the MindRocks Youth Summit next year. Trust me, you won't regret this one day spent among the high and mighty and learning some pearls of wisdom from them.
You can watch some of the session videos on the India Today website here.

I have a lot more pics and videos of the session that I cannot upload here sue to space and loading issues, but you can mail me for the same.

Monday, September 23, 2013

India Today Mind Rocks Youth Summit 2013 - Part 1

When a media giant like India Today organizes a youth summit, you expect it to be mind blowing. But when it turns out to be scintillating, power packed and incredible, you know you made the right decision to attend the full day event.


The anchors of the show!

MindRocks started on a pretty high note with the performance of the band "antarishk" and the tempo just got better from there.

The very handsome and modest Leander Paes
The first guest to grace the occasion was ace tennis star Leander Paes. He talked about how he was conceived during the Moscow Olympics (it was shut down for 4 days due to a terrorism alert), how his growing up years were and what it still takes to go back on the field every time with the hunger to win even after playing and being at the top of the game for 23 years. Inspiring to say the least. He fielded questions from the audience about his "break up" from the legendary Lee-Hesh jodi. A couple of lucky people from the audience also got signed tennis balls "served" by him.












Hard Kaur with RJ Aparshakti Khurana of Oye 104.8 FM!
The next celebrity in waiting to dazzle us with her music and words was the Brit-Indian rapper Hard Kaur. Did you know her parents named her Tarandeep Kaur Dhillon? Her attitude was pretty much like what she pulls off on the stage - reckless and carefree. She shared how it wasn't easy for an Indian girl to make it big in a space of hard core hip-hop rappers and how it was sheer will and belief that made her a success.




Hard Kaur doing a jig for the audiences!

Dhruv Shinghi 
Successful entrepreneur Dhruv Shinghi, CEO, yatra.com shared how the idea of starting Yatra was actually conceived during a drinks session with friends on the day he was fired from his job! He also shared his long list of failures before he finally found his calling. Many a budding entrepreneurs in the audience had questions for him








The mother of all sessions waited for us next. The topic of discussion was "Crime, Not Age" and on the panel were Dr. Kiran Bedi, Actor-model Gul Panag, and Nishtha Gautam, Observer Researcher Foundation. Dr. Kiran Bedi educated the audience on the nitty gritties of the Juvenile Justice act, and how it was being misused by "juveniles" to get away with heinous acts. Gul Panag, looking pretty as a picture, had some pretty strong views on women abuse, juvenile justice and gender discrimination

Deep in thoughts: Gul Panag

Some of the audience raised some pretty valid points about how women are always made to second fiddle even when parents say things like "ye to mere bete jaisi hai" or when businesses are named "GopalChand & Sons". Its high time the betiyaan are accorded their rightful place in the family and businesses are divided equally between the sons and daughters.

Nirbhaya's parents
The highlight of this session were a couple sitting in the front row. So simple, you wouldn't give them a second look until someone told you they were Nirbhaya's or the Dec 16 gangrape victim Jytoi Singh Pandey's parents. They were quite composed, as opposed to the audience, majority of who had tears in their eyes. They thanked the people for supporting them through the worst time in their lives, and urged them to keep up the battle to bring about a reform in the existing Juvenile Justice Act.



Nirbhaya's parents with the panel in discussion
After this heavy duty session, it was time to take it a little easy. There was the famous author of the Shiva trilogy Amish Tripathi sharing how it was the story teller inside him that got a "creatively challenged" person like him to pen down 3 complete books, one after the other. Apart from the perseverance he had for following his passion, he advised the young junta to keep their jobs before plunging into their hobby headlong because, after all, if you are not the Tatas or Birlas or Ambanis, you got no rich daddy to pay your bills...right?

Amish Tripathi fielding audiences' questions

Sheer luck..I also got H's copy of Immortals of Meluha signed by Amish as a gift for him.:D A day of several firsts!

This session, that happened just before lunch, had more jhatkas than the 440 volts. There was Deepender Singh Huda (member, Congress), Mr. Sanjeev Kaul (member, BJP) and Arvind Kejriwal (member, AAP). The topic of discussion was, of course, the upcoming elections, Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi. Mr. Kejriwal, one to never mince his words, had quite a few endearing words to say to his contemporaries which they neither had the gall to deny and were left royally squirming in their seats.

Rahul Kanwal, introducing the panel members for discussion!

Putting his best foot forward!


To be continued....

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sponsored Video : Help a child reach 5!

Has your kid ever had diarrhea? I am sure all of us have fought that disease with a simple anti-biotic and haven’t given it much thought. But do you know that over 6 lakh children, under the age of five, die every year because of this disease that you and I don’t even think twice about? Gondappa has lost many a children to this disease, and today he is happy because for the first time, a child of his has reached the age of five. Incredible, isn't it?

Do hear what Bollywood actress Kajol has to say about this:





Statistics say that 15 children die from diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia every 15 seconds. Even though we understand that these statistics can be reversed with inculcating simple habits like washing hands before and after having meals and a visit to the bathroom. But what sounds normal or simple to us indeed needs a campaign to be taken to the villages of our country. One village at a time, the first one being Thesgora, Madhya Pradesh, with one of the highest rates of diarrhea.


An ecstatic Gondaapa!
This campaign is spearheaded by the HUL giant Lifebuoy, synonymous with hand wash soaps since the longest time. This program aims at teaching school children, new mothers and the community the importance and practice of hand washing at key occasions. With this intervention, they aim to help more children reach the age of five and also to contribute to the Millennium Development Goal (MDG - 4).





The donation campaign was launched with the release of a film of actress Kajol talking about the importance of hand washing to prevent these deaths of children under 5. She is also urging people to come forward with donations for the cause and share Lifebuoy's award winning "Help a child reach 5" video. For every donation made, Lifebuoy will match the donation amount for its hand washing programs. It will also donate 1 rupee every time the "Help a child reach 5" video is shared.

You can also make the donations online here and the proceeds will go to Population Services International , a leading health organization implementing hand washing programs.

Lets do our bit for the society by forwarding this simple message, making small donation or even just a video share!

 For more information, you can also check out the following websites:
Watch Lifebuoy’s Help a Child Reach 5 video here
For more information, visit Facebook.com/Lifebuoy
Check out Lifebuoy ‘s website


[This post has been sponsored by Lifebuoy, but all thoughts are my own] 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Where Beauty meets Intellect. Are you coming?

Do you know a place where you can watch TV actors like Mahi Vij, Jay Bhanushali, Bollywood faces like Ranveer Singh and Farhan Akhtar, model Gul Panag, rapper Hard Kaur and other such host of celebrities under one roof? Well, you can not only see them per se, you can also hear them talk about issues related to the youth of today and also interact with them. Have I got you excited enough to reveal the secret?

The list of speakers!

Well, all this and more will be happening at the India Today's Mind Rocks Youth Summit to be held on September 21, 2013 at the Siri Fort auditorium in New Delhi.


As the name suggests, this day long conference aims at stimulating young minds through ideas, music and art. There will be stalwarts from all walks of life sharing their success mantras, while also addressing some key youth issues plaguing the society today. You can listen to them, interact with them and agree to agree or disagree with them. Does it sound like "all work and no play?" Don't worry. There is also going to be lots if entertainment with activities like
  • Live Rock Band session
  •  Digital RFID; Photo Booth; Like-man; Gesture Music Game Kiosk etc. powered by TagLabs
  • The ‘Real Youth Icon’ an initiative to recognize and reward the ‘Unsung Heroes’ in our society in association with UNICEF India
  • ‘SingAlong’ - Online KARAOKE Contest and their winners singing Live at the event in association with Singchana (indiatodaymindrocks.com/SingAlong)
 I intended to go for this summit last year, but somehow the plan didn't materialize. However, I am going to be there this year. If you are planning to visit at this happening do in the capital city, here is how you can do it. You can click here to register yourself.

You can also check out the Mind Rocks website for some other cool contests happening and register to participate.

Leaving you with some pictures from the MindRocks Delhi 2012 summit to.have a dekko to decide for yourselves if you wish to join us or not this year.

"Test cricket is the real thing": Kapil Dev and Mohd. Ahzar

"I have no Godfather in Bollywood" : Priyanka Chopra

Beautiful ladies Sonam Kapoor,and  Huma Quereshi discussing the "Raaz of relationships" with Koel Purie and Vir Das!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A pony sized surprise!

"Congratulations. It's a horse", says the doctor.

sourced via Google
They both look at each other. Exasperated. How could it be? How could they have possibly borne a horse? He went around in his head thinking of all her relatives who had any connections with the species of the stallion kind. She was tying yo join the dots. Probably that's the reason why the baby used to kicked so much. They caught each other looking at each other and smiled uncomfortably.

The nurse said it was time for the baby to feed.

"How the hell are the doctors treating this as some kind of normal or daily occurrence?" shrieked the wife in helplessness as she heard the nurse walking out.
The husband shrugged his shoulders and wiped his brow.

She heard the door click. Now was the moment of truth they had been waiting for 9 months. To see their horse errr....baby!

As soon as the nurse came close to her, the alarm screeched beside her.
She woke up and checked on the husband sleeping beside her.

She wrote down No.20 and began to write in her diary marked "Crazy Pregnancy Dreams"!.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I can read your mind!


Well, that's what Lior Suchard said. And he definitely can. This is what we found out recently at this show aptly titled as "Limitless" because that's precisely what Lior's powers felt like. Now I wasn't really sure what this show was going to be about or how deeply impressed I was going to be at the end of it. You'd think why would I then spend my money on buying tickets for a show of which I didn't even know was about. Now that's where the perks of being a blogger come into picture. Yours truly was invited to witness this incredible show that's going to leave any of us dumb founded. The show Limitless by Lior Suchard at the Kingdom of Dreams, Gurgaon.
I tried to read a little about the likes of Lior Suchard, ala who a mentalist is and what they exactly do. Apparently they can read your minds, tell you the most intimate secrets of your life you are sure you have never shared with anyone, and guess everything that you think they can't. Watching the show feels so much ironical because you just can't believe that another human being can actually read your mind as if everything was just scrawled across your forehead. You can't believe it and yet you are stunned at the incredibility of it all.


"Reserved" !! :-)
H and I were seated in the front, the section reserved for Media. The show started off very well, with coordinated lighting and fancy music, the kinds you see and hear on foreign live shows. We were sure quite excited to be a part of such a show. And then the Lior-isms started. He started with randomly picking up people from the audience and telling them the exact number they were thinking. If that's not strange enough for you, fasten your seat belts. The flight to fantasy had just begun. Sample this. He randomly asked who remembered the name of their first love. Many people did. He called up one girl on the stage, interacted with her for a little while and then gave us all the name of the guy that girl had had a crush on in her 10th standard. No mean feat.


The highlight of the evening was that H and I were also the ones to be up on the stage with The Mentalist for one of his gigs. We were right there on the stage, trying to be poker faced and all, hiding a coin in one of our hands, and every single time, he would guess it correctly. He had a lot of tricks up his sleeve and we were just gawking and aping and incredulously shaking our heads most of the time. Sometimes we even forgot to clap, so stunned we were. The evening finished on a high note and all of us moved out of the auditorium trying to make some logic to explain what we had just witnessed? Was that even possible?

Lior explaining the coin trick to H!

And that's both of us with Lior on the stage!
The benefits of being a blogger didn't end at the Platinum seats reserved for us at the show. We also got the opportunity to meet Lior Suchard, up, close and personal after the event. All of us had so many questions and he answered most graciously. But he refused to teach us any of his tricks when I asked him about it ;-) He says mind reading is a highly evolved science that involves a lot of practice and intuition. We came back starry eyed, with a book authored by Lior to understand the power of positive thoughts, and to know a little bit more about mind reading.

Also, since I was visiting the Kingdom of Dreams for the first time, leaving you all with some of the pics of the beautiful "Culture gully".

Beautiful handicrafts and authentic jewellery!

The state pavilions!




The Mumbai pavilion!

Some beautifully painted walls!


Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the most beautiful of them all?

A night view of one of the sculptures!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Love is Vodka – A Shot Ain’t Enough - Book Review

Love is Vodka
Title : Love is Vodka – A Shot Ain’t Enough
Author : Amit Shankar
Publisher : Vitasta Publishing Pvt Ltd
ISBN : 978-81-925354-4-9
Number of Pages : 203
Price [INR] : 195
Genre: Fiction

Being a love child; Moon is anything but a conventional teen. With a leading TV news anchor as her mother, an aspiring entrepreneur as her boy friend, the word LOVE baffles her. The whole idea of having one partner and love being eternal intrigues her.


Life turns upside down when she falls for her mother’s boyfriend. Destiny further complicates things by blessing her with a mega modelling assignment and turning her famous overnight. A war between her head & heart exposes her to various hues of love.

Will she decipher the true meaning of love? Embark on an exhilarating rendezvous with Moon and discover love like never before.


The book revolves around a teenager and love-child Moon, who has had a not-so normal upbringing because of her mother's Payal Malik's rebellious thinking. Payal Malik is a hot shot journalist who has spent all her life in the field of journalism, fighting out the cut throat competition and finally emerging at the top. She is now the editor of a leading national news channel. Her father is French and although Moon has never met her, she keeps in contact with him through emails and chats.

Moon's problems are typically what all teenagers go through during this phase. She has a boyfriend who she thinks she is in love with, but cannot understand her attraction towards other men at the same time. She knows she is beautiful, and yet she longs for people's approval by posting her pictures on Facebook and waiting for more "likes" and "comments". Her behavior typically stems from the fact that even though the mother has provided much more than for all her needs during her growing up years like a palatial bungalow, a chauffeur driver car and the spoils, she has raised her with an iron hand. Moon longs for her mother's sensitive side, and without realizing keeps searching for it in the form of love from men.

Life gets out of control when she falls in love, and eventually moves in with her mother's "friend". She is all of 19, he is 45. Their chemistry sure is crackling in the beginning, but of course it has it's fireworks because Moon is an excited teenager who wants to do all the wacky and weird stuff whereas he, being the director of an ad company has been there, and done that. And probably cannot take risks at this point in his career.

And so, Moon keeps getting in and out of relationships with nobody but her confused mind to blame.During the second half of the book, after the fiasco with the mother's boyfriend, she comes back to her mother's place, only to leave it again for an Anna Hazare like political revolution. She realizes she wants to do something worthwhile for the country. At the same time, she s also confused as to why Gautam (the guy who is spear heading the revolution) doesn't care a hoot about her beauty, even when she is ready to give all of herself to him.

The book looks promising in the beginning, as the author sketches Moon's character quite aptly for a pampered silly teen-aged girl. but somewhere along the way, he loses plot. The book just seems all over the place. Too many things are happening but none for a reason. The book completely loses its steam towards the end and then I just waited for the last page. I thought everything would converge to amount to something. But to say the least, I was disappointed.

My rating 2.5/5

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