Monday, December 17, 2018

The beauty within



Beauty is interpreted in many forms. The idea of beauty planted in heads of young girls often comes from TV or films and age old mentality of the society. For many women, fair skin is beautiful. For others beauty means size zero and looking young. It would not be wrong to say beauty is skin deep. Whats surprising is that these thoughts are deep rooted in the 'literate' section of the society. I refrain from using 'educated' in place of 'literate' because often the two are confused. We are taught to read and write in schools, graduate and earn our degrees. That simply does not make us educated because we fail to imbibe the values and life lessons in the educational institutes. Or else why would we indulge in the evil beliefs of the society? My best friend's mother too has the same mindset. Many a time she expressed worry of her daughter's dark complexion and that she would have a difficult time finding a groom. She was also concerned about her education status because a highly educated girl faces a tough time finding an equally educated groom. I would not be surprised to hear the same story from many other women, especially rural places. 


But a woman shook my belief and it was astonishing to see that come from someone who is not literate and was born to a poor family. She is my domestic-help Sharda who comes to work everyday with the same energy and wears a broad smile on her face like an accessory. She works in ten households of my residential colony to support her husband financially and give a good life to her children. 
Sharda's story of battling the odds moved many to tears. Born in a tiny village in Nepal, Sharda along with her four other sisters were married at young age and they traveled to Delhi with their husbands respectively. Her rickshaw puller husband got into the habit of drinking and his medical illness halved his earnings. Her son got into bad company and quit school. It was then when she fought back and decided to work as a house help, much against the wishes of her husband. Her earnings stabilized the financial conditions and she planned to do something which usually women from her society don't- She got her handicapped daughter Meena enrolled in a school. Criticized by many, including her husband, Sharda was determined to get Meena educated despite her disability and change her life. Meena was born with a crippled leg and missing fingers in right hand.  
My respect for Sharda grew by many folds when I came to know how she braved the odds for her disabled daughter who would otherwise be treated as liability in our society. Husband and I offered to help her financially and would often try passing on little things to make her life a little comfortable. A dignified Sharda would always refuse our help saying she cannot accept favours, because she is earning and accepting help would only defeat her motive of providing a respectful life to her girl. 

The only time she asked for help was when her elder daughter Meena graduated and was  looking for a job. I called Meena to my place for a short meeting. Watching her converse in flawless English was unexpected and quite impressive. Her confidence amazed me. When she told me that she tutors school kids and supports her family so that Sharda could retire, my eyes welled up. The next day I gave a box of cosmetics and skin care products to Sharda for Meena. As always she refused saying "These things will dishearten her didi. If she knows there are cosmetics to mask her flaws, I would be a liar in her eyes".  

Her statement left me stunned.  What a woman of substance she is!  
My husband and I recommended Meena for jobs that matched her skills. The day she landed with a job, Sharda came to thank us with a box of sweets. It was the happiest and biggest feat of my life. I felt so happy for her who brought up Meena like a normal child and did not let her disability hinder her success.She did not abandon her at birth and always told her how beautiful she was. Meena is a mentally strong girl who never pitied herself and never considered the problems her limitations.  

Sharda did not stop working and Meena is earning well, making everyone proud of her. Like mother, like daughter. For me, Sharda and Meena are two exceptional women with true beauty within themselves.

I believe every woman has TRUE BEAUTY within her in all the roles she plays. For over 18 years across 650 plus salons across the country, Naturals has been helping the Beautiful Indian Woman get more Beautiful.
Today Naturals Salutes the Beautiful Indian Woman.
Presenting Naturals TRUE BEAUTY… http://bit.ly/naturalsOF 






Pic credit: pixabay







Thursday, November 15, 2018

Start healthy with morning detox



In the wake of rising pollution and health hazards, we all are trying to protect ourselves from the drastic effects.  My focus has always been on healthy living and changing lifestyle. Post festivals and with the onset of winters, when our immunity is worst affected, here are easy ways to detox and build immunity against diseases. Read through my 7-day infused water consumption that I do each morning-   

Day 1- Zesty Mint and Lemon Water





Make three-four thin slices of a lemon and soak in a jug of water with 9-10 mint leaves. Let it sit overnight. Strain and drink the infused water in the morning. Make sure you de-seed the lemon slices lest the water should turn bitter.

Known as the ultimate summer refresher, mint and lemon together are a great detox. Rich in antioxidants, lemon helps to cleanse and alkalize body and mint stimulates digestion. Use the lemon slices in your dishes later. Chew mint leaves to kill bad breath or improve digestion. The same mint leaves can be used for second infusion the following night. Too much of this water might lead to frequent urination, headache and fatigue. Also, overuse of mint is harmful to gastro-oesophagal patients.


Day 2- Calming Tulsi Infusion


Pic credit:Fit Quint


Pluck a handful of tulsi or holy basil. Wash them thoroughly and soak in water. Strain and consume early morning on empty stomach. You can use the leaves later in brewing tea or simply chew them.

Tusli is extremely beneficial in relieving cough and cold, inflammation, bronchitis, anxiety, upset stomach and insomnia, besides many other benefits.  Do check for allergies or medical conditions like diabetes, pregnancy or thyroid before intake of tulsi leaves.


Day 3- Make it work with Methi

Soak a tablespoon of methi or fenugreek seeds in a glass of water. Strain and consume on empty stomach every morning. Use the soaked seeds in your salad, poha, upma or vegetable tadka (tempering). You can also consume a spoonful with some honey. The greenish-yellow infused water tastes slightly bitter.

Methi promotes good kidney function, weight loss, shiny hair, digestion, aids in controlling insulin and regulates menstrual problems However excess of everything is bad. Do not over-consume. Doing so may have side effects.


Day 4- A Punch with Ginger




Wash, peel and slice a few pieces of ginger and put in a water jug. Put the jug in the fridge letting it sit overnight. Strain the water, heat it till lukewarm (not hot), squeeze half a lemon in it and consume empty stomach in the morning. You can use the ginger pieces in tea or tempering dishes. The colour of the infused water would look a little dirty/light brown and the taste has a tinge of spice. Rest, it would feel like consuming plain water.

Laden with anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, ginger balances blood sugar, cholesterol, weight and hydrates body. Ginger also cures cough and sore throat. However, since ginger causes burning sensation in mouth, gas and heartburn, do not over consume ginger.

Day 5- Win it with Ajwain Infusion 



Just soak two spoons of carom seeds in a cup of water. Stir and strain to have it on empty stomach. Alternatively, you can also boil, strain and cool the water pre-consumption. The taste would be a little pungent and the colour orangish-yellow.

Ajwain or carom seeds are a storehouse of benefits from digestion to relieving toothache. They also relieve acidity, cold and cough, treat pain due to kidney disorders and promote weight loss. Over-consumption may cause heartburn, dizziness, stomach ulcer and nausea. Hence do not over consume ajwain.

Day 6- The Under-Rated Fennel Seeds Water



Soak fennel seeds (saunf) in water overnight. Heat the water with seeds for a minute or two. (Do not boil). Strain and consume it on empty stomach. You can also have this twice a day. The light yellow infused water cools your stomach and tastes refreshing.

Fennel seeds are known for improving digestion, irregular periods, boosts immunity, improves digestion and flushes out toxins from the body. The time especially post festivals is when your digestion goes for a toss. Fennel seeds water combats acidity, bloating, stomach cramps and improves kidney function. Avoid excess of it as it may lead to allergic reactions and may not suit those prone to blood clotting.

Day 7- Detox tea from Organic India





I have been a regular consumer of Organic India Green Tea. During festival shopping, I came across their store at one of the malls in NCR and thought of trying something new. Tulsi Ginger Turmeric Tea instantly got my attention. Ginger and turmeric are good to cure throat infection, cold, improve immunity and allergies. Similarly, Tulsi Cleanse Tea is a great detox, immunity booster and supports liver & kidney function. Warm Tulsi Ginger Turmeric and Tulsi Cleanse tea are my go-to detox infusions these days.
Dip the tea bags in warm water for about a minute or two and sip while it is warm.

These stress relieving, caffeine-free tea can be consumed at any time of the day. P.S- These are not green tea.

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Biotique Bio Wheat Germ Youthful Nourishing Night Cream





Hello beautiful people. I am back with another product review, of another night cream from Biotique. So far its products have never disappointed me. Having tried the Biotique Neem Purifying Face Wash and Spot Correcting Anti Acne Pack, I randomly picked up the Bio Wheat Germ Youthful Nourishing Night Cream since I was hunting for one.



What does the brand claims 
This rich-feeling, firming cream is blended with pure Wheat Germ, Sunflower and Almond oils, vitamins A, B, C, D, E and extracts of Carrot and Galangal to moisturize and strengthen skin for a more vital, resilient, younger appearance.

Wheat Germ is one of the most sensitive oils in the botanical world, a natural antioxidant with vitamins A, D, more vitamin E than any other natural oil, plus lecithin. Its pampering properties also protect skin from dryness and environmental stress.



The magic of ingredients:

Having read a lot about the benefits of wheat germ, almond, and sunflower oil, I was inclined to try this nourishing cream. With its anti aging properties, wheatgerm also brightens complexion and reduces wrinkles. Almond oil helps to retain moisture and promotes flawless skin. Antioxidant rich sunflower oil effectively moisturizes, prevents skin damage and pre-mature aging.



My experience with the cream:
The cream with off white color has a smooth texture. The fragrance is soothing and does not irritate (Thank God!) It moisturizes and nourishes leaving skin soft and hydrated. You would actually feel your skin bouncing with good health after the first application. The cream comes in a plastic container with a green lid and label that claims Ayurvedic Recipe with 100% botanical extracts.  The 50 g cream is priced at Rs 230 (May be even lesser online).





Over a period of time, your skin would start feeling good and hydrated. This does not claim to remove scars or oily texture but nourishes skin well. Though it may not work on dark spots or fine lines, a daily massage can keep tour skin healthy. I mix a little cream on my palm with two drops of Avon Miracle Glow Facial Oil and massage at night. My skin feels soft and supple in the morning!

Read here about the best day cream experience of mine from Lotus.

What I liked
- Has a mild fragrance
-Skin feels nourished and healthy after first use
-Very little is required to apply on skin
-Gets absorbed onto skin when massaged gently
-The  plastic jar packaging is light weight, compact and easy to carry even in your travel kit.
-Reasonably priced
-Would work as magic in winters for dry/chapped skin as well as cracked heels.

What I did not like
-I did not like the plastic jar. Somehow I feel plastic does not keep the product fresh and it reacts with chemicals in some or the other way. Additionally, plastic is also not good for the environment either.
-The cream is not lightweight. Skin feels weighed down.
-This cream would not suit people with oily, combination or acne prone skin. This is meant for dry to normal skin only.
-Not recommended for humid weather

My overall rating - 3 on 5
A repeat purchase? I don't think so.

   

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

MeToo - Isnt the onus on us?



In the wake of the #metoo movement and the shocking incidents of digging out past sexual harassment cases, I felt the urge to share something. All ladies have had their "me too" incidents. The reason why girls don't speak about it is that they were never encouraged to, since childhood. Voicing their opinion or naming the culprit was never a part of the Indian culture. It might bring shame to the girl's family. Correct me if I am wrong?



A man who might have made sexual advancement towards you and did what he was not supposed to, got away with the crime because he knew about the loopholes of the "cultured" society we live in. Young girls are the easiest target for sexual predators. Reasons- One, the fear of not speaking up or the tender age when sexual abuse is beyond her understanding; and two, families/schools hush up the cases fearing defamation and three- law is a perhaps a joke. (Readhttps://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/startling-details-of-dehradun-school-covering-up-girls-rape/articleshow/65864937.cms )

The offender is not be blamed, but the crippled mindset of our very own society.

Our country has Khajuraho temple with statues of Kamasutra on display, but shies away from imparting sex education, at home or school alike. People use free internet to feed on porn, but wont use the same internet for sex education. (Workplaces are no different when a girl under pressure chooses to remain silent on such disturbing incidents. They choose to avoid such people, gatherings or switch jobs. And the cost of speaking up or resisting a sexual attack? Defamation of family, her job or even life.


Courtesy- https://www.army.mil

I thank my stars for protecting me from such creeps atleast in my corporate journey. The owner of a company (my first job) was always full of encouragement for ladies. He was totally against sexual harassment and trained us to be vocal about it. I still remember his words asking the female sales staff to be bold enough to walk away or slap a client if he asks for sexual favors in return for business. For him a woman's safety and self respect were more important than client business. Bosses like these are hard to find, especially in field of sales.

Here is another incident that made an impact on me. I remember, it was one warm afternoon, before lunch. I was in a conversation with my reporting manager (female) with my back towards the door and he (a senior colleague ex Army personnel)  had just entered office after a meeting. While passing by, he tickled me on my waist. It was barely for few seconds but I turned numb. The sudden movement of his fingers pinching my waist was least expected. Perhaps it was a jovial, fun gesture I thought, because he was smiling and he went to his workstation like usual. It wan't sexual harassment but clearly unwelcome and shocking. In a state of shock, I sunk onto my chair, feeling disgusted and angry. Since this happened in front of my reporting manager, she immediately reported to boss (the owner). Boss summoned the gentleman and blasted at him to everyone's surprise. Later he individually counselled me and encouraged me to stand up for my own dignity. "If something feels wrong, fight back, because there wont be a good human being everywhere to protect me", he said. My respect grew for him by many folds that day and since then I have been bold enough to fight sexual harassment. I refused to be touched inappropriately and ended up kicking or hitting guys on several occasions. I refused to be ogled at and ended up looking straight into the eyes of the ogler and asking him to back off. I refused to be sexually exploited and ended up fighting men in crowded buses, public places or parties.


Narrating one of these incidents to my mom once, she got scared of me behaving “boldly” and advised me not to react or speak on such instances. It was not mom speaking, but a person brainwashed by the society who feared for her daughter’s safety. After all our culture does not allow women to speak up or report while guys get all the liberty. That is exactly why a sex criminal walks off fearlessly whereas the victim lives in constant fear with her self-respect, career and life at stake. 

The struggle continues for many till date. Why wait for another "MeToo" to start? Ladies, you need to be the change yourself. Unlearn what was taught to you, because its high time. Speak up, fight back, report but do not let men use you. 


P.S- This post was selected for IndiBlogger's Featured Posts (Special Independence Week Edition), and was displayed on the homepage of IndiBlogger.

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Monday, September 24, 2018

Lotus Herbals Nutranite Skin Renewal Nutritive Night Cream




Lotus Herbals has a great product portfolio and is quite convincing when it comes to the product benefits. As I was super impressed with Lotus Herbals Day Cream's performance, I was looking for an anti aging, nourishing night cream and ended up buying Nutranite Skin Renewal Nutritive Night Cream.



What the brand says:

This is a luxurious nutrient-rich night cream that helps renew the skin while you sleep. It repairs the damages caused by dehydration and exposures during the day to give a supple and renewed skin. It boots skin's resiliency, strengthens natural defenses while restoring firmness and smoothing imperfections.

The 50 g pack comes in a sturdy glass jar.

Why should you go for a night cream?

We often wonder if night creams are useful at all. Little we realize that your skin that has gone through so much wear & tear during the day (UV rays, pollution, stress) and needs a repair formula at night. Night creams hydrate, moisturize and replenish renewed skins replacing the dead and worn out cells. 

Active ingredients: 





The benefits that Lotus claims: 
  • Consists of natural oxidants that make the cream highly antiseptic and astringent
  • Repairs skin cells by removing dirt and impurities
  • Helps in strengthening the skin's natural defense
  • Consists of nutrients that restores skin's firmness and resilience
  • Adds a gorgeous golden glow


Good things I experienced:  



  • The texture is quite silky
  • The density of the cream feels rich and smooth
  • A very little is required to apply on face and neck 
  • Moisturizes very well

Cons that I found  - I felt cheated. OOPS! 
  • The sales rep sold this Lotus Herbals night cream to me calling it anti aging cream, which is not one. (I read the same in reviews later). This is just a nutritive night cream that vitalizes, hydrates and adds glow to your skin. It does not tighten skin nor works on fine fines.
  • Secondly, this is too heavy as a night cream. The cream leaves my skin oily and sticky. It might suit those with dry skin type, but definitely not the combination or oily skin type. I am scared of using it as it may cause acne or breakouts. The cream is lying unused in my closet. (Sigh!)
  • Though the fragrance is mild, it is not pleasing. To me it smells of too much chemicals.
  • The jar is not travel friendly.
Price- MRP: Rs 455. You can get it a discounted price online. 

My rating- 2.5 on 5. Lotus Herbals can do a better job I am sure. This disappointed me.  

(If you are looking for nourishing creams, why spend so much on Lotus Herbals? If you are looking for anti aging benefits with night repair formula , there are way better products in the market in the same price.)

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Saturday, September 15, 2018

Heritage Transport Museum- The first of its kind in India





History and heritage have always been of my prime interest since childhood. Delhi gave me loads of opportunities to discover the rich heritage of Indian History through the magnificent monuments and preserved artifacts. This time it was Heritage Transport Museum where I  witnessed the grandeur of mediums of transport that has evolved across centuries. Being one of its kind and the only transport museum of India, you cannot give it a miss. Bring this on your do-do list in NCR and tick it off your bucket list like I did.



A brief history- The brainchild of Mr. Tarun Thakral, Heritage Transport Museum was opened to public in 2013 highlighting how transport changed its course in different era and how it influenced our life. You can read more about the same on its website.

The three acre space has four levels, with each housing an extra ordinary variety of transport mediums, paintings, collectibles and audio-visuals. The audio guided tour throws light on the history and usage of the displayed items. Here is a visual tour of the museum for you in brief.



The Basement has vintage cars, artifacts from roadside shops, fuel and gas station, display of transport used in Bollywood movies and more..



Fiery red beauties

Remember this from Dil To Pagal Hai?


Yesteryear's fuel station- A remake 

A rusty old van found near Ramgarh, picked in as is condition



The ground floor houses  initial history of transport, luxurious train, Horse/camel carts, carriages, tucks, buses, artwork by artists, souvenir shop, small pantry.

Wheels- From where it all started 




                   This terracotta toy, named a bird card was found during the Indus Valley Civilization. This proves that people were                                                  aware of the use of wheels and drew inspiration from the real world.






Set up of railway station from the past

Jodhpur Salon, the predecessor of Palace on Wheels



First Floor
- This houses bikes, scooters, legacy of Hero bikes, cycles, auto and interesting "jugaad" of few states.






Jugaad from Gujarat

"Jugaad" from Haryana


The second floor exhibits a small aircraft, marine transport, a library, the legacy of Maruti, Ambassador, works of artists, childhood nostalgia, toys.


Twinning with Ambassador. Well almost :)

Peek a boo


A smiley tribute to Maruti

The outer premises has traffic signals, truck bonnets and bus from the British time on display.











Note-

Timings- 10 am to 7 pm. Closed on Monday.
Entrance fees- Rs 400 adults, Rs 200 for children. Free for kid below 3 years
How to reach- While driving from Gurgaon, cross Kherki Daula toll, stay on the flyover. Take left on Torau Road. Keep moving straight. The museum will be on left.




The entire experience is enhanced by audio guide (The gadgets would be provided to you at the entrance)
Wheelchair friendly- Yes (With slope ramps and elevator)

Pantry- Grab a bite if hungry. Otherwise expensive. (No other restaurant or eating joint nearby). Advisable to carry food with you and keep in your car. 

Souvenir shop-  From stationery and books to mugs, wallets and coasters, the shop has a great variety but is too pricey. (I did not find it worth)

This is great place for history enthusiasts, car and bike lovers, artists, photographers, kids, elders Basically for all age group. No body would be disappointed here. The 400 INR that you spend here are totally worth it.

P.S: My visit to the museum was in September 2018.
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