Happiness is an attitude we act upon. We either make ourselves miserable, or happier and stronger. The amount of work is the same.
All my life I have been known for my optimistic approach to life and a warm smile. Not anymore. There are days in a row when I haven’t smiled even once. I’d like to clarify, here, by smiling I mean a happy smile and not a courteous one. I shower the latter pretty promptly many times a day.
The dried up smiles sure have been watermarked by tears that flow promptly these days. I dearly miss my lost smiles. No-matter how hard I try, smiling these days takes a conscious effort and I am sure, the effort shows.
When my (apparently) happy life started falling apart like a pack of cards, I had imagined the future to be difficult. I knew times would be trying. But, among every other chaos, deep within my heart, I had felt that with the love of my dear ones, I’ll surely sail through these rough waters.
Time ticked past. Like a journey in train, life, people, memories zipped past me as I struggled, stumbled yet moved on. But, today, while taking stock of my life, I realized, I am still sore deep inside. My cheeks are still water marked and my heart is still aching with raw pain.
It’s rightly said, people who are closest to you always hurt you the most. Something similar has been going on in my life. I am so miserable that I struggle to spend the 24 hour, everyday gifts me. I am growing bitter and brittle with each second. The negativity in my system is flowing above the danger level and my sanity is the long lost item.
* All details and more are coming up in my next post that will be password protected. If you do not receive the password within 6 hours of my publishing it, please drop me an email and I’ll be happy to share the password if you are a regular reader of my blog.
The song on my mind : Mere dukh ki koi dawa na karo ~ Chitra Singh & Jagjit Singh
I have had a totally messed up year, where I had no clue what was happening, what lay ahead and how time went past.
The only thing I could feel was being caught in mid-waters of a sea of negativity, pain and hurt. Struggling to swim across,but failing miserably. No, I haven’t yet managed to reach the shore but I have started to see land, though far away.
I initially thought of listing the top issues in my life. I was taken back by the sheer number of the issues I am trying to tackle at any given point of time. So the idea was dumped with the same speed it rose.
One fine day a couple of months ago, when I had a spare minute I decided to put everything aside and give myself a second look.
I was aghast to note that I had suddenly (cause I had not taken any note of it in the past two years) started looking old, sick, depressed, unkempt and overall sad. I was taken aback by my image because everyday when I visit Pari’s school to drop and pick her, I have seen other mothers look way younger, prettier and happier than I ever do.
Not impressed by the findings, I decided to get working on reclaiming myself, wiping off the dust of neglect from myself. It was a tedious task given the depressed state I have been in lately, but i am glad I made a conscious effort to stir up my life.
The work has just started and I am slowly adding tasks to my to-do list of reclaiming myself but the results have been quite encouraging.
A simple change in my lifestyle like sleeping just an hour more than what I have sleeping for years now (4-5 hours daily) has taken care of my dark circles. All disappeared in 15 days flat. Sleeping better has done wonders to my skin, that feels humanly soft as compared to a rag that it had started feeling in the past year or so.
A switch of my face cream has made me look my age again in two months. No, it’s not the miracle of the cream (that’s why I am not mentioning which one it is). It’s the little extra care I have started taking to keep my face clean and regularly moisturize it that has brought about the change.
My health is one of the most neglected areas of my life lately and today I took my first baby step to change it. It sounds ridiculous, that an adrenaline junkie like me who loves the adrenaline rush after a workout, more than most things in life hasn’t had the time / motivation/ mood to workout in the past one year.
It felt like eternity, but finally I worked out today.
It has been a humongous task re-building life, my identity, my self-esteem from scratch after the massive blows life has been giving me repeatedly. But, today, I feel a tiny surge of peace fill me as I write that I have been trying hard to get my life on track and slowly results are beginning to show.
It’s a train of thoughts that’ll need to be continued for a long series of posts to capture all that has been going on in my life that I have missed on recording in this blog. But, I will pick up the loose ends and tie them up in due course of time.
Despite being depressed from a very long time, love for life is the only thing that has kept me trying hard to come back stronger. I am not giving up. Never. And yes, I will be back to rant more.
The song on my mind : Tum ho pass mere ~ Rockstar
The thought of ‘banking’ sends cold sweat on my forehead. I loathe the idea of finding time to visit the bank and having to stand in long queues.
That made me switch to internet banking, but remembering complex passwords that I fail to remember continued my banking nightmares.
For people like me, who are forever active on Twitter and Facebook and prefer ‘banking’ our time on social media, Kotak Mahindra Bank has come up with a new age digital current account that offers unparalleled convenience. Jifi.
Easy and anytime access, hassle-free transactions and more that is what Jifi is all about. The best bit : Banking on Jifi is social, letting you bank using Twitter and Facebook.
Let’s dig deeper to explore the gold mine of FUN and HASSLE – FREE banking with Kotak Jifi – The 21st Century Digital account.
1. You can invite yourself to open a Jifi bank account through Facebook
Yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds. No stepping out in the rain or staying on hold for hours on phone to have your bank account opened. Simply invite yourself through the Facebook or Email option available on the homepage, to get started. Within a few days, you will receive an exclusive invitation to open your Jifi account. You fill up an online form, get a call from their executive and all other steps will be taken care of in the comfort of your home.
2. Jifi encourages me to use Twitter unlike my parents
My addiction for Twitter is finally going to be put to good use. Twitter allows me to do Social Banking through Jifi. That’s right. After opening a Jifi account I need to have my Twitter account connected to the Jifi account dashboard. Once authenticated I can tweet to get my bank account details from anywhere, anytime. A tweet is all it takes to get an instant and secure update on your account balance, transaction history, cheque book request, Net Banking PIN request and many more account activities saving me stress, time and fuel to have to visit the local branch.
Simple hashtags like #JifiBal can be used for balance enquiry and #JifiStatus to know the status of your application status. With due care taken to keep all information safe in case of Twitter account being hacked.
3. Worry-free banking with balance-free account
Jifi allows me to keep a zero balance bank account for as long as we desire with absolutely no hassle of a minimum balance at any point.
It’s a steal deal as it steals my worry having no money left in my account in the EOSS season and month endings.
4. Facebook shares let you earn
Yes, you read that right. Jifi allows you to earn referral points using Facebook. With every successful referral, the points earned gradually accumulate in your account that can be used on a number of e-commerce website listed on the Jifi dashboard. The awesomeness doesn’t stop at that. Apart from inviting friends, social activities are also rewarded, which includes liking and commenting on Kotak Jifi and Kotak Bank Facebook pages.
Simple Maths : Once you have referred your friends to the Jifi network, you earn 250 points once their Jifi account gets activated. So with 250 points per referral and with a maximum 25 referrals per year, you can earn 6,250 points just with referrals, isn’t that great! Each point is worth Rs.1
Read on for this is just the tip of the iceberg of A W E S O M E N E S S
5. Spend money to earn in return
Make an online transaction of above Rs.500 or pay a bill online to earn 25 points on your Jifi account.
Each transaction point is worth Rs.1. All your accumulated transaction points can be redeemed for exciting gift vouchers of equivalent cash value.
6. Transfer your points like you transfer money
I can now get the gift voucher I’ve been eyeing for months to buy a gift or fulfill a dream.
Simply by requesting a friend for points or transfer them to a friend in need. Jifi is the only loyalty program that lets you transfer your points.
7. Redeem to shop and dine at locations you dream
With Jifi you can redeem reward points instantly, at your favourite shopping or dining destinations. Isn’t that a total treat of an offer?
The deal just got easier with the Kotak Offers App.
This easily downloadable app enables you to view and search for attractive deals, mapping deals as per vicinity and various offers available on your Jifi or any other Kotak Mahindra Bank card.
8. Jifi travels with you
The Kotak Banking App (KBA) enables you to instantly connect to your bank account from anywhere, anytime. Besides, you can always use Twitter to get your banking done with Jifi. There have been times when last-minute travel plans keep us from paying the utility bills or credit card payments, but not any longer.
9. While I have fun Jifi Money Watch keeps track of my expenses
Now you can get a 360 degree view of your personal finance with Kotak MoneyWatch. It allows you to view and analyse all your finances online with ease. With all financial instruments under one roof it automatically connects all your online statements, calculates income tax and much more.
10. In the world of ‘Gold Standards’ Jifi is the Platinum one
With the goodness of ‘Social Banking’ your Jifi account offers you a Platinum Debit Card ~ designed to offer platinum benefits served in your taste. Among other perks, with the privileged Platinum Chip Debit Card you can withdraw a maximum of Rs.50,000 at an ATM, daily and splurge on shopping with a daily limit of 2 lakh rupees.
In the world of 10/10 performances, Jifi is here to raise the bar with not just 10 but 11 outstanding features.
11. Automatic Term Deposit saving over Rs 25,000 to serve in our ‘interest’
Jifi is a zero-interest current account with no minimum balance conditions, and can be opened with an initial payment of Rs 5,000. All balances over Rs 25,000 automatically move into term deposits at applicable interest rates. This saves us the bother of having to visit the bank or to remember to save/invest our money for better returns.
Do you think Jifi is a revolution in the world of banking ?
Pat your back, for you aren’t alone. These awards show that the world agrees with you.
The bottom line is, Jifi works hard to make me more money while safeguarding my finances in my best interest. It has tapped on the pulse of the Internet generation that survives using social networking.
I believe Jifi is all set to soar high with Twitter taking care of my banking needs, just the way I love.
Too excited to remember all the awesome points? Watch the recap video:
Today was the day when the mystery behind #WhatTheBlack was going to be solved. As expected, the product hunt ended with the launch of Colgate Slim Soft Charcoal Toothbrush.
I was over-joyed to see that all the brain-storming and debating done in the course of last week did bear fruit and my prediction of what the product shall be, stood 100% correct.
Since I am done with the happy dance, squeals of joy and personally thanking everyone who helped me solve this ‘creative’ puzzle I think it’s time to take a closer look at the product that was launched today.
What exactly is dental plaque?
With slimmer bristles than an ordinary toothbrush that are soft in texture, the SlimSoft toothbrushes from Colgate have been doing a wonderful job. I have personally experienced easier brushing with a narrower head and slimmer bristles helping me clean distant areas (my wisdom teeth) of the mouth easily.
This new product claims to have infused ‘Charcoal’ in bristles that will inhibit the growth of bacteria in dental plaque.
Sounds impressive enough?
I sure think so. It’s time to put to test this #WhatTheBlack toothbrush and make the most of its ‘Black’ power to keep decay at bay and have a healthy white smile.
P.S. – All the images used in the article have been taken from the Internet.
After breaking my head for three days, non-stop guessing #WhatTheBlack was going on, today the clue #3 brought a remarkable revelation.
Please read the story so far of my quest of #WhatTheBlack is going on before reading further.
Today as per the schedule, Clue #3 arrived at the doorstep of the selected participants. The clue was a black paper cup and a black tissue. When I saw the pictures of the same (As I have yet not received my parcels and have been told it seems to be lost in transit) my joy had no bound, because it was exactly what I had predicted.
Since the final clue in the maze fit perfectly, the mystery of #WhatTheBlack has apparently been solved. The clear picture that has risen is as under.
It is a product used in morning, that fits the Oral Care regimen bill (as per my hypothesis here) and most likely it is a Black Toothbrush.
Continuing playing Sherlock Holmes, I decided to seek help from Google.
This is what I found :
Yes, my prediction of #WhatTheBlack is the Colgate Slim Soft Charcoal Toothbrush.
While I excitedly wait for the product to reveal itself tomorrow (2nd of August 2014) let’s analyse what the three clues probably hinted that would sum up to the product launch of a toothbrush with black bristles.
Clue #1 – A black egg filled with chocolate ~ that’s Etiology (causative factor) of dental decay.
Clue #2 – A black newspaper ~ hints at the Epidemiology (occurrence) of dental decay. It would imply that cavities can happen to anyone and make up for one of the most rampant and prevalent diseases known to mankind. A burning issue that needs our attention.
Clue #3 – A black paper cup and a black tissue ~ it’s often used in the Dentist’s office and could also hint at the Treatment stage that is the presence of dental decay looking for treatment.
The final product (yet to be revealed) is a black Oral Care product (Toothbrush or Toothpaste or both) that makes up the Preventive measure to change the way the world brushes, with a slimmer head and bristles.
What are your thoughts? Do you think I have put the pieces of the puzzle correctly?
*P.S.- All inferences have been drawn seeing the clue images shared by other participants, as I haven’t yet received any pieces of the puzzle as yet.
Blogadda recently announced the #WhatTheBlack campaign.
As a part of the campaign, few shortlisted bloggers were to receive interesting clues (one clue everyday for three days) to help them guess the mystery behind #WhatTheBlack and on the fourth day the real product around which the suspense has been spun would be revealed.
Needless to say, I was excited, intrigued and curious enough to apply for the activity. I was shortlisted and thus began my journey of waiting for the 30th of July to arrive when the first clue was to arrive at my doorstep.
While I waited with bated breath checking whether the doorbell was working fine, ensuring there wasn’t anyone knocking at the main door umpteen times, my family pronounced me half-mad by 2pm.
It’s rightly said, ‘The watched pot boils last’ and that’s exactly what happened. Pictures of the first clue and tweets about it, started flooding my Twitter timeline, but my parcel was nowhere within my reach. Due to an error somewhere, two days since the campaign began I am yet to receive any clues.
In the past two days, besides crazily waiting for the clues to arrive I have been brainstorming with my family on what could be the real product around which #WhatTheBlack mystery has been spun.
Since my family has had enough head banging with me, I decided to target my dear blog readers next.
Let’s get cracking the mystery before it unfolds exactly a day from now.
Clues revealed thus far:
Clue #1 : A black egg filled with chocolate.
Clue #2: A black newspaper filled with news about things turning black, black things being discovered in every walk of life. The black egg forms the headlines.
Clue #3: Yet to be revealed tomorrow (on 1st of August 2014)
What I think is going on at #WhatTheBlack?
Since a large number of bloggers were shortlisted for the campaign, my initial thoughts of it revolving around a black mobile phone went for a toss on logical grounds. It is definitely to involve a product that can be used by a wide variety of masses of different age groups given the group of people selected.
Since it can’t be a gadget, I had shortlisted : Dark chocolate, Shampoo, Deodorant, Kitchenware, Hair Oil , Face cream and Shoe Polish as the possible black products, due for a launch.
After Clue #1:
When I saw pictures of the first clue, that was a black egg filled with chocolate (very similar to the Easter eggs) I decided to try to find the clue beyond what was obvious; i.e. dark chocolate.
Besides, an egg denotes breakfast, it represents morning time. It also marks the origin or launch of a new product as also of the new life.
After Clue #2:
The second clue is a black newspaper. The obvious thought that struck me in line with the hypotheses I had drawn thus far was, the ‘Morning theme’ has been continued.
The newspaper has the black egg story as the headlines, that could either be a way to hint that the focus shouldn’t be lost from the direct co-relation of the clues rather than treating them as individual entities.
So with 2/3 clues out, what do you think the Clue #3 is going to be?
What’s your guess for the final product for which this campaign is designed?
There is no denying that it is a brilliant marketing campaign tailor-made to use the potential of blogging and active use of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to arouse curiosity and create buzz about the product launch.
Given the creativity with which the clues have been designed, I think, the connection hints to a product being used in morning. The product should be something that can be used by the general public irrespective of their eating habits or lifestyle (as no questions about them were asked to us before sending the clues or samples).
On this note, I checked out the following items from my list:
Shoe Polish : No relation to chocolate or newspaper as such
Breakfast Cereal : Has co-relation to morning but can’t be black (though chocolaty is possible but that isn’t NEW).
Shaving cream: Well, along with boys girls like me have been shortlisted in plenty to try & review the product so doesn’t make sense.
Dark Chocolate: The first clue wouldn’t have been a chocolate had it been the case.
Face cream : Possible but these days creams too are gender specific and how would you link it to chocolate? Though NOT ruling it out completely.
Shampoo / Hair Oil : it ranked quite high in my initial list and can be connected to bathing in morning. Yes, black suits it too. But, what connection it has to chocolate filled egg?
Deo : Possible but what co-relation it would have with chocolate?
I was going crazy thinking of possibilities while waiting for the clues to arrive, just when in the middle of a family discussion came my E U R E K A moment.
The EUREKA Moment:
The one morning ritual I had completely forgotten was brushing teeth. How about a black Toothbrush or even a black Toothpaste?
When toothpaste these days can have Nimbu and Namak why can’t they be coloured black? Quite possible actually.
A black toothpaste? A toothpaste that’s black but makes teeth dazzling white.
Sounds possible and if it were to happen, it would surely hit the headlines. But somewhere deep it doesn’t sound like a very ‘right’ idea.
How about a black toothbrush? Very much possible.
How would I co-relate a ‘Black Toothbrush’ to a chocolate filled egg and a black newspaper??
My logic (impending disclosure of Clue #3) : A black toothbrush fits the black colour bill. Secondly it is used to fight the decay caused by chocolates and is an essential part of the morning ritual. Though a black toothpaste is equally possible but I still support a black toothbrush more.
Besides, chocolates constitute the main etiologic factor behind tooth decay, cavities, which are again black. Bad breath can also be associated to black that’s drowning the whole world (represented by the newspaper) in black-dom in the morning.
My prediction for Clue #3:
If I am thinking on the right lines, the third clue has to be a product used in morning. My guess is a black coffee mug or coffee powder or perhaps tea (as it is black) to signify the morning ritual. Besides an empty coffee mug could denote a cavity too.
While I am still waiting for my set of clues to arrive to get a first hand look, feel and understanding please do share with me your thoughts on #WhatTheBlack is going on??
P.S.- I’ll be sharing pictures of the clues and the product and further details as soon as I get to lay my hands on them.