Friday, April 29, 2011

Food Review - Park Plaza hotel, Noida

My latest food review published on Rediff describes the fabulous buffet lunch at Park Plaza hotel in Noida.

Read the article here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Open your heart

If you love someone, tell them. Now. Don’t hold it in your heart. It may be obvious to the other person, or it may not. You may think that it is implied. But there isn’t a single person in this world who doesn’t want to be told that they are loved. Don’t ration. Say it everyday.

Life slips by without us noticing it. Before you know it, days, months, an year has slipped by. Love is the concrete that holds us together, gives us reason to live. But the concrete has to be cured from time to time. Cure it by telling the person what he/she means to you.

Let the little things go. Life can be very demanding. And complex. There may be so many variables that we get confused on what really are the important things in life. Remind yourself of them. Close your eyes and think of the people whose lives will never be the same if you are not around. Hold them close, don’t let them go. The rest – work, other people, society…its all peripheral. In the end, they don’t even matter.

Do it now. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Sometimes one just needs to hear it. You don’t know what those words can mend or heal…or nourish.  

Published in DNA

I'm very happy today! Ecstatic actually. My blog post on the "Impact of Social Media" today got published in one of Mumbai's largest newspapers - DNA.

To read the excerpt, click HERE

Sunday, April 24, 2011

To live or to exist...

Don't just smile, laugh out loud.

Sing in the shower.


Go alone to your fav restaurant and splurge on a meal for 2, pack the rest for your midnight snack.

Read your favourite book, over and over again.

Swim in the rain.

Marry someone who loves you with all they have. Till you find that, don't settle. And when you do, don't let it go.

Travel alone atleast once.

Let the little things go.

Value your siblings. They love you despite knowing all your flaws.

Keep in touch with your closest friends. They are rare.

Take time out once a week for 'me' time. Get a massage, a pedicure....anything. Indulge.

Remember the good things...and forget the bad.

Be kind to animals.

Don't take your frustration out on waiters and servers. They're just doing their job.

Find a hobby, and follow it through. If you get bored, find another one.

When in doubt, buy both :)!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Impact of Social Media

A marketing professional myself, I have often posed the question to agencies on how one can measure the impact of social media. Companies worldwide have jumped on the social media bandwagon because not being there was more detrimental to their image than being there was beneficial. Many agencies have come up with parameters to judge the effectiveness of social media like brand recall, prospect involvement index, click thrus etc. Yet, conversions are not one of social media's selling point.   

A week or so back, Facebook was flooded with a viral of a little 6 year old boy who went missing from Mumbai. I along with many of my contacts spread the message but frankly I doubted in my heart whether something as elitist as Facebook would help find a little kidnapped boy in the interiors of India. Yet, 10 days after he went missing, he was found in UP and his kidnappers identified and held in custody. This, my friends, is the best usage of Social Media I have ever seen. Conversion at its best! Thank god Mark came up with the idea of Facebook when he did if it can help us curb such attrocities in the world. Below is the story:

Six year old Karnit Shah’s parents were overjoyed, when their son was found after he went missing for more than 10 days. Karnit went missing from Mumbai, in the state of Maharashtra and was later traced in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India by the police. So far four people have been taken in to custody for kidnapping Karnit. Devang Mehta, Karnit’s uncle had turned into citizen journalist to find the missing boy. Mehta took the help of the social media and the police to reach out to people so that the word could be spread. The main accused in the abduction case is recognized as Sohan Singh, who has a cake shop in Mumbai in Kandivali area, which is close to Karnit’s residence. A team of police officials has already left for Lucknow to get back Karnit home. The six year old boy went missing on 6th April, when he was playing along with his friends in the building compound. A photograph was uploaded on Facebook on 9th April, by Devang Mehta, which said that he was wearing an orange t-shirt and a blue three-forth pants. After Karnit went missing, the child’s parents did not receive any ransom calls. The message on Facebook was immediately spread, which helped find Karnit.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dilli meri jaan

After a short sabbatical, the writer in me is back. Having lived in Delhi for most of my life, I am a Delhiite through and through. I can imagine living in many cities in India but I cant imagine calling any other place home! Delhi is a favourite amongst everyone to bash. The crime rate is so high...its polluted....and brash...and aggressive...argues the cynic. I choose not to refute any of those points. To rise to these would be petty. The truth is that I have lived in Ahmedabad and Mumbai, both supposed to be safe havens for girls. And I have faced the worst cases of eve teasing in these places. Still, I don't wish to brand these cities as unsafe. The truth is that every place has its own character and demands a certain behaviour. If it is not a good idea to travel in public transport wearing revealing clothes, its best to avoid that. This doesnt mean living in fear. It means living sensibly and knowing what is appropriate where. Save your mini skirts for the upscale clubs and keep your rage off the roads.

Red Fort

Delhi allows one to live life kingsize! Live in nice big houses, drive on nice big roads, have the yummiest food ever, glimpse history when the heart chooses to. I take Delhi with all its faults.... and embrace it for all that it offers.

The tallest brick minaret in the world

My latest article on Rediff for people moving to Delhi. Read it here

Lodhi Gardens

Friday, April 8, 2011

On and on and on….

It’s difficult to explain how completely draining it can be taking care of an infant. So tiny the lil thing is, so helpless that you can not even hold something against it. But its like a clock…the hand just goes round and round…there is no pause, no stop. No respite, no break. Constant demands, round the clock.

It’s been 16 days I have left the 4 walls of this house. Weekdays, weekends are just names given to days. They have no meaning for me anymore. It’s the same routine…day after day. No more than 40 minutes at a stretch have I got to myself in all this time. And this is when I have so much support at home. Yes, yes I know I should be grateful for all the help…and I truly am. The Husband taking his turns even after a long day at work…my mom is god sent…as is my sister who has put her life on hold and dad. But just coz it could have been tougher it doesn’t make it easier. Because everyone can take a break….get out….smell the air…live. Everyone but me.

One would think it is so easy being a stay at home mom. So what if you can’t sleep at night? You have all day where you can rest! I wish I could offer a glimpse of my day…where if I bathe for more than 10 minutes, I feel guilty that there may be something I am required for. One doesn’t even feel like letting on how caught up you are…partly because the world expects you to be (its part of the job description, don’t you know??)…and partly because you feel you may be betraying this little person whom you brought into this world and promised to care for.

It feels strange to be so overwhelmed sometimes. Because it doesn’t change how I feel about you. I still love you unconditionally. But there is no me left anymore…and I miss me.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The World Cup comes home …and how!

Annnddddd we won!!! As the nation rejoices, here are a few reasons why I thought yesterday was a photo finish:

1) The Gambhir and Virat partnership. Those runs were well required at the stage where they played.
2) The stability of MS Dhoni. In my eyes, Dhoni is the hero of the match and of the series. His speech at the end said it best and silenced all those critics who were questioning his scores this tournament. People – its not his inability to hit why he didn’t. It was him playing the role of a responsible captain, ensuring they reached where they did – the finals. His stepping in higher in the order in the final match and providing the stability that he did at the same time as scoring the required high score proved once and for all that the man with the golden touch is not just plain lucky.
3) The absolutely fantastic way to end the match. How anti climatic would it have been to have taken singles and ended the world cup final that ways. The final 6 that Dhoni hit was to make a statement…and make a statement it did!!
4) The sudden patriotism that emerged overnight. So we all knew that cricket is religion in India. But never in my 28 years of existence have I seen celebrations like I saw yesterday. The country came out on the roads as if we had won the world war!! The firecrackers rivalled those that were burst on Diwali this year!!
5) The respect given to Sachin. Fantastic maturity shown by the team in dedicating this win to the man who played diligently and exceptionally for 21 years! Virat Kohli summed it up perfectly when he said “I would dedicate this victory to the nation and Sachin Tendulkar. He has carried the burden of the entire nation for 21 years. It was our time to carry him on our shoulders after the match.”
6) The humility of MS Dhoni. In all the fanfare, holding Sachin on the shoulders during the lap and the speeches serenading Sachin, there was a man quietly standing and celebrating in a corner. MS Dhoni, the captain responsible for this historic win showed great maturity by not clamouring for the limelight and letting the legend have his moment of glory. It was almost a task to find Dhoni standing in a corner in the photo ops or while taking the lap. You’re the man MSD!!
7) 2 Generations apart. Our first world cup was won in 1983 just an year after I was born. And it took one entire generation…for Nyda to be born for us to win the 2nd World Cup after 28 years!!!

All this from a self confessed cricket unenthusiast (if there is such a word) !! The World Cup made a convert even of me Smile

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