Friday, 31 January 2014

Shopping from MyGreenKart.com and finding the pride of India (????)~ Khadi products


While online in fb, i saw a profile picture of someone whom i know with what i presume was his brand new backpack, an avid trekker, he recently bought a WWF backback that had me turn the same shade as the pack itself... an ugly shade of green. >__<''  within a few clicks of  my detective skills i found a couple of websites that sells WWF products one of which was mymgreenkart.com

However upon finding the same backpack, i decided that indeed it's didnt look That nice. After all there was more better options at Decathlon with better deals. As i checked out the site, i came to realize that most of the products are Green options with limited usage of chemicals and preservatives comestic and beauty products, and food are certified organic. It was all nice and good but nothing earth shattering caught my eye till  a WWF grocery bag was noticed. Made from100% cotton and proceeds going towards wildlife conservation. That was exactly as seen in the WWF online shop but at a much reduced price!!

By the end of the day, my order was finalized and shipped out. x_X and tsoon i received the courier. :DD a total of  of 6 items at just a bargain price of Rs. 800/- net, including Cash on Delivery charges of Rs.50. ^_^'' considering it's a small company and based from Delhi, it's pretty decent.


Well what did i purchased??



WWF Bag, perfect for carrying all the grocery. Made from 100% cotton it is strong and light a perfect bag to whip out at the market and carry the household items. I liked it soo much i bought 3 of these, to give as gifts for my besties.
Plus it comes with it's own mini pouch to fold and carry. ^___^''

the remaining three items which i purchased was lip blam, sunscreen lotion and a face scrub.

made with beeswax for it's antibacterial properties and shea butter to make those puckers supple and kissable... ^_* it's in peach and the aroma is fruity and subtle,  just the right note to bring a smile to your face.


 Next up was the Sunscreen lotion with SPF 30. Slightly below the recommended SPF35 but since i tend to be in the sun for a total of 30min max on a regular basis, it would out fine for me as it protected from both the harmful UVA & UVB rays and shield the skin from environmental pollution. .
 

As with it's with shea butter to make the skin super soft and nourished looking. In fact Shea butter tends to really make the skin glow. Artificial fragrances are not added but it does have a lovely smell, probably due to the various yummy ingredients like almond, green apple, carrot-seed, papaya, liquorice, aloe vera and sheabutter.  How many sunscreen lotion can boast such an ingredient use??


See the picture below. A below and after pic of applying sunscreen lotion. Not only does the skin look brighter and fairer but also it seem more smooth as well with just 1application.

btw, the bottle is actual clear the white background is the lotion itself and indeed it is filled to the brim.

Last item  is a rose & papaya face scrub. Again it's a Khadi brand with natural ingredients based on Ayurveda principals. The base is rose water, with papaya extract which has tons of Vitamin A, AHAs  and papain a compound that helps remove dead skin! Together with tiny apricot beads, it's sure to not only exfoliate the delicate facial skin but also moisture the skin due to almond & jojoba oil.


i actually used 2 tiny scoops of the scrub. The best scooper for cosmetic creams is the Mcdonld sugar stirrer that you get with hot beverages. With it you can hygienically take out just the right amount of lotions/cream out of containers.

2 scoop is usually enough for face & neck area

So how was it?

Here's me before.  Tried it after a long day at work on top of my make up. One is supposed to cleanse first but... aiyo...not so bothered la...before scrub. can see the uneven skin tone  and open pores

then i started applying it. Of course i would not help but take a cute selfie... :D

Using round cicular motion with wet hands, scrubbed for 5 mins especially around my nose as i have blackheads and forehead which is the most oily place in my face. Then using lukewarm water, i rinsed off, as i did so... the first thing i noticed was that usually after a scrub the skin feels tight and slightly raw due to the abrasive beads but this particular scrub did not make my skin tight instead it felt clean, clear and most surprisingly soft. Must be due to the alovera and other oils used.  It also brighten my skin.
  I LOVE IT!!


So what is this Khadi brand??  In their own words:

you can purchased Khadi product at many sites including mygreenkart and khadinatural




Have Fun!! 
:D




Monday, 27 January 2014

Eaux de vie

One of the perks of being in Food & Beverage are the tastings and training that one is not only entitled too but highly encouraged. This afternoon, i fell in love with a drink i have never tasted before. The King of Cogac- Remy Martin.


It's unfortunately not the legendary Louis XIII that is aged for over 100 years with over 1200 blends and a firework of aromas numbering over 250 numbers but the more humble VSOP.
 


 Still as we sat listening to the story behind Remy Martin...whiffs of aromas passed through the room. Since it was my very first time tasting a congac, the hints on how to appreciate a tipple of congac was very helpful and forthcoming.  The intensity of the aromas means that even while holding a glass of Remy martin in your hand means that you are enveloped in the experience. A single drop on the lips was an eye opener.  Rich, smoky and fruity citrus aromas. A few cubes of ice will mellow down the smoking flavor yet one could still smell the rich warm fruits and sweet white nectar filled flowers like lily of the valley and even a faint hint of jasmine .

I finished the cognac (yes, i'm drinking at work!!) with one of the best way, topped with ginger ale though i suspect Tonic will be super as well.  

cocktail









Think i have to agree on my colleague on this. A kitty to be set aside for purchase of Remy Martin. At approximately 7500rs per bottle, it sure is Not cheap but then it's also a drink not to be drunk in haste..




Saturday, 25 January 2014

Tip of the day


Tips of the day based on my experiences.


1. If you love chillies... especially naga chilles/Bhut Jolokia  (like me) then do not like dal bhat tarkari (dal-subzi-chawal) the right way, using your hand.
if do happen to eat with your hand... be sure not to attempt to wear your contact lens after your delicious meal. For no amount of soap & water will remove the sting.




Proven Right.





Friday, 24 January 2014

L.O.C

 ***LAME POST ALERT***


coming from an army background, i always assume that L.O.C meant line of control, till a few morning ago during a meeting, while i was busy mentally plotting out my life plans for the next two years,



only to be suddenly pulled out of my reverie by the term L.O.C.  and i got this image in my mind

and this




In my head the immediate connection was of the Kargil War and THE Line of Control between India & Pakistan only to have my bubble burst by thinking. 
L.O.C here in the office??? Was there something fishy going on behind a facade of a respectable business organisation?????
 

With a shake of my head and paying attention to what others were saying, i found out L.O.C is simply line of credit. DUHHH.... How dumb. Of. Me.








p.s: Ever had Kashmir Walnuts?? They are so soo GOOOOOOODDDD. No kidding. One time, a cuzzie was stationed there and he got for us like 2 kgs of walnuts.. so Darn GOOD. I cannot emphazie just how good it taste. In fact i like it so much that all other walnuts are so Meh, and i wanna go to Srinagar just for the freking Walnuts, and yeah to buy tons of premium grade saffron and yeah... taste the fish curry which is also suppose to be YUM. hmm....


oh yeah. Kashmir is definitely on my bucket list





Flash SAles

did you check out the papers???

There is a flash sales going on for domestic flights! :D i have a tendency of checking out make my trip for ticket prices on average of twice weekly so i came to know on 20th about it even before the PR went into overdrive. And my tickets are booked!! :D :D  will be going to Delhi and maybe a couple of more places that i have not been to before. Lolo.. maybe chennai & mumbai and definitely to the beaches at the western front.

have you booked your tickets yet??

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Roaming around

A couple of weeks ago, i finally rode the metro here in Bangalore!! :D haha, i know lah very slow but i never had the need to before and as such i didnt even know that the metro goes all the way to Indiranagar (-___-)'' 

Me and Geet were just roaming around in and around Brigade/MG Rd whiling our time away as we had like 4-5hrs before we met up with the girls to head over to Geoffry's. So decided to take the metro to go to Trinity station as we had no intention of walking all the way there. A mistake we had made walking from Trinity Station to MG Station. O_O with only a limited destination possible, the wait and traffic is lesser..still we had enough time to selfie! lolol


After alighting we headed over to the Oberoi for a cuppa coffee. Oh wah... love the old style hospitality..no wonder the rich are so haughty. They are so used to people fawning over them. Anyways we took a seat out at the Polo Club, overlooking the lovely lawn.


We ordered the Oberoi blend of tea consisting of Assam and Darjeeling which was perfect. Meanwhile  cappuccino could have been better. It didnt help the staff that i ordered for a vegan cappuccino made from soymilk making it difficult to form the froth. However beside the lack of foam, the taste of coffee was medico..should i say perhaps made of instant coffee powder? I love a mean americano made with a double shot of illy espresso and hot piping water. I was not able to get the flavor and aroma of freshly grounded of the coffee beans. Sad. They provided these delightful bowls of peanuts & cheese crackers to munch on but i wanted something a little sweet and ordered for the tiramisu. A big mistake. Too  used to indulging in Tiramisu that is sweet, moist and airy from Bene with it's three type of liqor that i found the Tiramisu at Oberoi very disappointing. The Sarvoiarodi biscuits were dry, the cream lacked the esssential flavor of the espresso and there was just a hint of liqour in the masqarpone cheese which was flat and not fresh. It was not stale, just not fresh. 





The service could have been impeccable, had the staffs maintained better decorum. Maybe it was because we were dressed down to bare casuals with flats and more dust than powder on our faces. As i took a seat and waited, i saw the staffs sniggering while looking in my direction. Honestly, i did not know i was so awful looking as to given those snide glances. Thank gracious the staff assisting us polite and helpful. If the ambiance been any less luxurious or the initial hospitality cold, it would have been just another over priced snobby restaurant. Which makes me want to come back again, just to confirm my opinion about this place.

Or not.

Still seating on the fence on this....hmm..








Sunday, 19 January 2014

Sunday joys

one of the joys of Sunday morning (or whenever is your day off) is besides sleeping in... enjoying a good old drama serial on the telly with caramel popcorn and hot chocolate :D :D


i am current so in love with watching the Korean drama Empress Ki, starring Ha Ji-Won.
 

i love how a lot of her roles involve strong female characters. Since it's an on going drama i have no choice but to watch patiently while grinding my teeth for the english subtitles to be release. Meanwhile i am re watching King 2 heart, starring .... guess who... Ha Ji-won!!

The King 2 Hearts-poster.jpg 



i'm gonna enjoy my day!! :D

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Hope 2014.

Recently i went to a blogger meet and there each one of was asked to introduced ourselves and speak about 1 word that would be the word for us in 2014.
 of course i was totally caught unaware that we had to do so until i noticed all the other before speaking on it, and instead of preparing myself on a speech i was fervently praying i would not have to speak out. #feeling shy. Turns out this time Indiblogger had decided that everyone deserves a chance to speak out.... o_O and i had to take the microphone and do the dreaded thing. I sprouted some nonsense feeling my entire face go red...with my word being err.... "faith" i think.. LOLOL
i took off the banner that was opposite me. It was the word that appealed to me most.

The Indiblogger meet was in conjunction with Milaap a #HopeProject initiative as part of #Indichange. Milaap in an organization that i knew about, in fact it was a organization whose website i had browsed through in my search for doing some good deeds. So what is Milaap?? It is micro-financing through crowd-funding with a philanthropy bend. Is your curiosity piqued too?? Allow me to break it into 3 parts for you:

Micro-financing in the most basic sense means financial transactions of a small nature, and is ususally catered to people who traditionally might not be able to get loans from established banks or financial organization. Micro-fiancing serves the need of the specrtram of society that require loans but does not have collateral to guarantee the loan amount. These are the people from low income groups, eg, fruit seller selling on the pavement, the rag picker, the little education/jobless mass who desires to improve their lot in life but need a little assistance.

Crowdfunding is an easy enough concept to understand as well. As per wiki, it "is the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money." What is so great about crowd-funding is that each individual is a change-maker, an essential clog in the system towards raising the money for the cause that they believe in, giving them the freedom of not only selecting and promoting the idea/group but also gives them ownership of the success of another initiative as an investor. Alot like penny investing but as a collective effort.

Philanthropy. As per the Oxford dictionary the definition of philanthropy is"the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes". It is something inside of you. That willingness and desire to help others without any benefit to you other than 1.the good feeling you get, 2.Karma. :D Think of all the donations of small change that you might have made. the 100rs for the various orphanages, the 50rs towards the church kitty or donation box at the temple or even that 10rs to that old man with no limbs on the train platform. you have given just a bit but collectively you might have donated over rs10,000 or rs.100,000 depending on your age and donation amount with complete assurance that the money is not going to be returned to you by the recipients.

Now what Milaap offers in the 3-in-1 package of Micro-financing, crowd-funding with  philanthropy and but the money instead will be returned back over a duration (there is always that small risk that it may not be... o_O but since their repayment rate is 100% be optimistic). Read the following taken off their site.


 

Well that sums up the work of Milaap in an easy to understand pictorial manner. Since there are numerous people who wish to take a loan what cause would have most impact?? A student wishing to take a course in Java, a bunch of housewife wanting to expand their piggery or how about helping a Devadasis leave behind their cultural profession and live a respectable life?? Well this was what the meet all about. A special Milaap - Asset India - Indichange project of raising awareness and helping Devadasis. To curb traffing of women into an industry where females- young and old are explotied.

Devadasi. Ever heard of this before?? I have. Unfortunately it was through this video.
 
Sick?? Yea, that was what i felt when i first saw this video some years back. This documentary (is it even a documentary??) video tends to sensationalize a lot of over the top stuffs like the brothel madam, the transgender prostitute but the fact of the matter is. This is what the World know of Indian sex workers. That they are rudly referred to as "religious hookers" or more kindly as "servant of Gods".  
Servant of God...?? how?? Because it supposedly started off with ladies who danced at rituals for the Gods in the temple and chose to dedicate their entire lifespan to worshiping the deity. These were no simple dancers, they were professional experts in various classical dance like the Bharatanatya, Odissi as well other classical artistic Indian arts, enjoying high status in society as dance and music were an essential part of worship. A living "Apsara" or celestial nymph. Married to the Goddess Yellamma or other deity, she could not marry a mortal man yet could have a benefactor who frees her from domesticity, giving her the freedom to hone her skills in artistic endeavors and serve the Goddess.
These living temple dancers were frequently invited in the courts of the erwest of Kings and danced not in the name of rituals and prayers but for entertainment for the King and his cronies amusement and carnal greed. From King's court, it became a fashion for wealthy zamindars (landlords) to emulated the practice of keeping a devadasi or two. The trend peculated down to the masses helped along with the arrival of the British Raj who not only outlawed the Devadasi practice but also inadvertently helped spread it as the once cherished temple dancers with rich patons were not only forced out into the streets but began walking the pavements, desperate to earn their living the only way they knew. A common Prostitute, married to the the Goddness Yellamma the red and white beads that they were as visible identifying marker. The only traditional alternative means of livelihood for them was a begging bowl that was given to them at the time of their dedication ceremony.
 http://sjsa.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/devadasi04.jpg
The practice is still strongly followed and flourishes under the carpet, post the outlaw, mostly in South India.  But the religious significance is just a facade. "Rituals and dedication ceremonies continue, very often in secret, and young girls continue to be violated on the basis of tradition, economic need and the misuse of the caste hierarchy."1

Given a choice, there is very few devadasi who would actually like to continue this way of life. Being a prostitute comes with not only serious health hazards but also social stigma that affect them and their offspring. The economic condition which made them a devadasi may not improved at all, as pimps, brothels madams and goons force them to shell out their share. Even if the devadasi leaves the profession the social stigma prevents them and their children from getting any other job, even small manual work out in fields or sweeping the roads.
Deep rooted cultural traditional of dedicating at least 1 daughter from each generation means that girls as young as 11yrs/ 12 yrs who have just started their puberty are made to become a devadasi, and their virginity action off to the highest bidder. Then there is also the crazy idea accepted by the rural community that whims of Mother Nature such as rains being late, or too much thunderstorm are because the Gods are angry with them and punishing them, and the only way to appease the deity would be dedicating the girls as their servants (of God). Having matted hair or even dandruff marks out a girl for to be devadasi as well.
In Karnataka alone, there are 48,000 devadasi. 48,000 families with 2-3 generation depending on the livelihood of their devadasi mother/sister/daughter.  Blind belief, traditions, financial reasons are all factors that encouraged people to exploit these rural ladies, most of which have little or zero formal education. There are numerous organization including the government helping them but there is a long way to go before devadasi system is truly abolished in reality. Milaap is not giving out handouts. There are giving a helping hand of a loan to those truly willing,wanting to improve their lot in life. Milaap give them cash that they expect to be returned back, giving them the vote of confidence and dignity that yes, Milaap believes in them to make their small business idea a success. And there have been many success stories.

Mahananda owns a thriving tailor shop with 4 seamstress under her. Her shop is located near her home and with the money she is earning, she can now afford to send her children to school and at the same time ensure that they have healthy food to eat. This was not always the case. There was a time when she was young child running around barefoot playing the dust with joy and happiness as only children are capable of. Her only parent, her mother became sick. Instead of helping his blood and kin, her maternal uncle advised her mother to dedicate Mahananda to the Goddness Yellamma. Doing so would appease the Goddess and improve her health and at the same time bring in some income to help out with the family expenses, forgetting to mention his own profits. In a covert ceremony, Mahananda was dedicated to the Goddess, a simple necklace of red & white bead tied by an elder Devadasi, given a begging bowl and forever marked out as a servant of God. To worship Yellamma, to never marry a man, to beg on the streets with her arms reached out for alms or to become a sex worker. Her virginity was sold off like a can of tuna to the highest bidder, and her first sexual encounter was of being stripped off and raped by a men more than twice her age. She was just 12 years old then. While other prostitute might work during the night, she had no option, she was a devadasi working 24/7. She works when a patron decides he want to couple in the small 1 room hut that she calls home, sending her children outside to wait while she's with him. Days turn to night, day after day, then months and years.. her belly swollen up with seeds from customers. Her daughters  destined to a Devadasi. Just like their mother- Mahananada, and their grandmother. Till Milaap came. And gave her a loan to buy a simple sewing machine. With that single sewing machine, Mahananda has come across a long way. Now she is not only a successful independent entrepreneur but also a role model to others in her community.

 Milaap is not a one man army giving out handouts. It is simply a  facilitator, connecting lenders such as you and me, those willing to lend (it could be any amount) upwards from Rs.500/- So if ever in your heart, you have ever wanted to help out the less fortunate but perhaps had no idea how to start off, visit Milaap #Hopeproject. 

This year in the first month of 2014. Give some hope to those that need it.  After all, you are simply lending the money. Better to lend it for a good cause then using it to buy extra bottle of beer or waste it on movie ticket. Wait!! You can still buy that bottle of beer or watch the movie, only a little delayed.




I am a change maker, ARE YOU??













Ps: Mahananada is even a model!!







Pps: Did you know that the practice of keeping a Devadasi was once very common in South India??  Or that a Tanjore Temple had up to 400 Decadasi in their roll pay each receiving her rations and a small patch of land from the royal family.  Or that the famous Jagannath Temple in Puri has the oldest working Devadasis?



Monday, 13 January 2014

New Yorker


i once read or saw a movie/sitcom of how one knows one has become a true blood New Yorker is when upon seeing a cockroach one does not scream or screech but rather smack it down and thereby killing it. When it means that if nothing is available then use to one's bare hand.

 

Well yesterday, i felt a tickle in my leg. Engrossed in watching a Korean drama serial i simply brush it off, only to see a baby cockroach running up my knee. Instinctively i swatted it with my bare hand, threw out the squashed cockroach, paused the serial and clean my knee and plam using a wet wipe that was next to my table and continued watching the serial.

i think i am destined for Big Apple. 
 

Now if only i could get the darn visa.




ps: Johnson & johnson baby wipes are awesome!! not as much as Biore's but still pretty darn good!

 



 Pps: of course i later went and washed my hands. Duh!!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Grover's Vineyard Trip

Mid December just before the madness of Christmas & New Year hit us, the department organized a trip to Grover's Vineyard for some education on wines or as the staff appropriately recognized  it as a wine drinking session and everyone was happy to come along.

Since i had been planning to go for a trip to Grover i was only to happy to reschedule my responsibilities and save up to 2000rs. :D Grover Vineyard is located at Raghunathpura in the vicinity of Nandi Hills. Relatively higher altitude  and a rich viticulture makes it one of the better suited region of  growing wine grapes within India Thank God it was also a perfect day for a day trip, clear blue skies with relatively low temperatures of around 28-30'C and low humidity. Manged to "captured the tranquility and simple beauty of the land the picturesque rolling hills planted with vineyards meeting the azure sky in the horizon."

Usually the such day trips start on raucous note this was one of the quietest bus load of people i had travelled with. Most fell asleep within 30 mins into the journey even though the vineyard is barely 45kms away from the city side.

After an hour or two i glimpsed the inviting vineyard from inside the bus

pretty soon met the coordinator Sajith as we gathered around him for some basic background on vines. He is passionate about wines without being overbearing about it. One of the few people whom i met.

then it was off to go into the rows of vines as he explained in more detail the anatomy of a vines and growing techniques.

unfortunate at mid December it was way post the harvest and processing season but we saw some Sauvignon Blanc in the early stages. Cute baby grapes, ready for harvest in late March perhaps?? (so if you wish to come here, come in late February  till early April.

Cute baby grapes but
 

i was warned about the differences between table grapes and wine grapes but considering that wine have more sugar content of the two, i did not expect it to be so sour. yes, really i tried a raw (cute baby) grape. Never mind my silly optimism, we took off for a walk around the gorgeous vineyard.

it was a beautiful day! perfect for spending some time with friends

 post the walking in between row after row of vines it was time to see the precessing process. Since it was the off season, there was nothing much to see and i was happy to skip to the tasting. :D

 clear gleaming glasses set with plates of crackers and cheese sticks were set on the refurnished wine barrels that are given a second lease of wine as furniture. since more than 5 hours had past us by since breakfast, everyone could have shown some restraint but... -_____x  some instincts are just too blase to overcome even as our guide tried to teach us the finer point on enjoying a glass of various types of wine from Chenin Blanc and Shiraz ... 

we had a few bored students while some were more interested

well cheers to that!! For a few are actually paying attention to it.

finally it was time for Lunch! it was a simple meal of  Briyani, raita and julab jamun. Nothing exciting but filling.

post Lunch it was time to sit out in the lawn and enjoy the day by sipping on wines all available for purchase at discounted rates in a tiny shop..


The trip is not a must see or do but if you do enjoy a glass or two of wines and would like to know the finer details of appreciating it, the trip is highly recommended. You will leave with a sense of better knowledge of a day well spent and hands heavy with bottles of wine that are up to 25% cheaper than the MRP prices. It's a great way to spend some time in the outskirts of the city away from all the hustle and bustle with friends or family. While the kids may not be able to enter certain parts like bottling area, they have a great place for them to play in the lawns.

Mail Grover Vineyard for more information or if you reside outside Bangalore, visit Wine Tour India website for vineyard tours available throughout India. Try to come in your own transportation as distances between vineyard and processing plant is 1km away and you will not find public transportation.


You may not enjoy it so much, if  your hidden motive is to get drunk as each tastings are barely 20ml each. Unless you rarely drink. Lunch is plain and wines are not included. But feel free to purchase a bottle to two to enjoy wine with your food. ^_^ Dont get disheartened if you cant smell melons and cherries in your wine, it takes time to develop a nose.