Being the change I want to see

The past week has been very eventful on many fronts in my life. Despite the strong urge to write about it all as it happened, a few commitments kept me occupied to blog about them. But, like always, when I get in the drive of writing, I will make sure I don’t miss out on anything. Not even the posts I have been creating drafts for (mentally) for over an year. Yes, such topics exist, that I might have shied away from writing about in my blog but they keep reminding me to do so. Every day.

Let’s start with something exciting. I had mentioned here my concerns about my weight and the strong urge to do something about it. The good news is, I am into action from one full week and the credit for it goes to dear Princess Butter. I have been wanting to embark on a lifestyle change from the day realization dawned on me about the massive responsibility of my family resting on my shoulders alone. But, like always the realization alone didn’t give me the needed push to get in active mode.

Like I have mentioned on a number of occasions earlier, I have been pretty regular with exercising in one form or the other all my life, albeit the dull, irresponsible phase in the past few years. But those bouts of irregular inadequate exercising were doing me no good. No, I don’t let the weighing scale be my guide. Thank God for the mercy of having helped me conquer this fascination in the years gone by. Nevertheless, my wardrobe, as in how comfortable I am in my favorite dresses does make my mind worry about my well being.

I have given up gazing in the mirror almost 5 years ago, though I am slowly re-learning this art thanks to the rockstar in my life ~ Pari, the real alarm bell for me are the annual health check reports.

In the latest health check up, my Triglyceride levels showed a slight inkling to be on the higher side, yet again (they have always been within the normal range just on the higher side of the median value) my conscience screamed aloud. I knew it was high time I did something about it. This is the real reason, while my cousin’s wedding is just a way of giving me a deadline for getting visible results.

After my post (as I mentioned in the start) Princess Butter lovingly shot me an email with a diet plan. I have to confess, that I have not been able to get rid of the phrase ‘ I’m on a low carb diet because the beach season is here’ from one of her recent blog posts ringing in my mind, every time I think about her diet plan. While I (being a whale) am not aiming to get a beach body, but yes, this thought triggered me to take up her suggestions wholeheartedly and promptly.

The best bit was, the diet plan she suggested, was very practical, suited my personal liking and above all included minimal preparation. I think this has been the key that made me adopt it right from the moment I read it.

For the record, I have started following her suggested diet plan from the 22nd of April 2015. I am going to come back exactly six months from this day to take stock of my progress. Though the much-awaited wedding happening in June will push me to achieve noteworthy changes.

While I am not going to write an essay on what all I have been eating, I am surely going to share how my life has changed in the past one week.

Let me start by answering the most obvious question. No, there has been no weight loss (though I’d like to mention the 500 grams I lost in this week, maybe sweating to prepare a healthy snack every two hours) as yet.

I have started eating more of fresh fruits which I have been avoiding all my life. I know that last statement left many jaws dropped to the floor and eyes popping out to the computer screen. It’s sad, but the good news is, I am now seen eating lots of fresh fruits all day. The feeling hasn’t been stupefying but it sure has left me happy with my own self.

I have to confess, that cutting down on my carbohydrate intake majorly in the past one week (saying no to cookies, cakes, binging on chocolates and breads) has left me feeling happy from the inside. I am not a chocoholic or a person with a sweet tooth but it has taken me conscious effort to stay away from snacking on the easy treats in the pantry.

The happy feeling I mentioned, actually makes me feel light and lot more energetic than I usually do. This is in combination with the same amount of exercise as I had been doing earlier. Curtailing the sugars has definitely made my skin go clearer and look healthier. Though I am not very convinced about this, but since two people mentioned it (who are not aware about my changed lifestyle) I would like to believe this.

Another important thing that I discovered, is the truth behind green tea. I have to confess, despite my curiosity about it, I have not invested any time in doing research about the Green Tea on Internet. Though, after my last post on this topic many considerate readers sent in emails sharing their experience about the same. I have discovered a handful of green tea flavors that I am actually beginning to like in this duration.

The fact about it’s weight loss action is, since it is consumed without milk and sugar, it causes weight loss by cutting down calories consumed as milk and sugar in every cup of tea.

So far so good. But, the issue here is, I am not a heavy tea drinker. I drink tea on a once or maximum twice a week or fortnight basis. So drinking green tea daily is actually going to do me no good on the weight loss front. Nevertheless, while I am trying it out, I might let its metabolism boosting action or the said ‘calming effect’ do me some good while I replenish my stock and take a final call on this.

The last yet the most important point I wish to mention on this first week report is, this diet plan might change over time to accommodate my body needs, but I am going to stick to it for as long I can make it. I am aiming for a long term change in my lifestyle and not limiting it by the time left for my cousin’s wedding. While weight loss is a desired outcome, I am aiming to switch to a healthier lifestyle for my own and my family’s good.

Please be prepared to bear the brunt of regular follow up posts on this lifestyle change journey of mine.

Song on my mind: Dikhayi diye yoon ~ Bazaar 

From Where I See

  • Title – From WFrom where I seehere I See
  • Author – Ajay Yadav
  • Publisher – Lifi Publications Pvt. Ltd.
  • Genre – Fiction/ Religious
  • Pages – 401
  • Price – INR 300
  • ISBN – 978-93-82536-81-9

Synopsis –  Ajay meets his childhood friend Shruti on a social network site. He finds her to be struggling with intrapersonal, interpersonal, inter-social and inter-religious conflicts. Eventually the conflicts kill her. Even if the police solve the case, will it prevent hundreds of Shrutis from getting killed?

How long will we think of ‘who’ killed as more important than ‘what’ killed a person? Till we don’t address this issue and work on it, many Shrutis will keep on getting killed. We need to cure the disease, not just the symptoms.

This book is an effort by the author to find the root cause and probable remedies of conflicts, and tries to explore hundreds of pertinent questions like “Why does it become so easy to get volunteers to blow up themselves and others for the sake of religion? Does religion divide or unite? What precipitates extramarital affairs? Is the immature and wrong interpretation of female emancipation the reason for a 13 fold rise in divorce rates in the last 5 years?

It’s not only a book, it’s the path to revolution, a journey towards an utopian world. Accepting the truth is the toughest job in the world. If you feel that you are open minded, have the courage to accept the truth and a desire to change the world. Be a part of the change and take the first step to build a road to the ideal world.

Review – The book has an interesting cover that brings forth the two sides of the story,while it evokes deep thought and analysis, it also highlights the importance of the perspective.

The title of the book is well thought and very apt.

The book starts with murder investigation in progress but soon turns to flashback mode. The candid anecdotes of the life and difficulties faced by the people in rural areas have been narrated in a very interesting way. The story is fast paced with realism standing tall and strong, gifting the book a realistic warmth that envelopes the reader in this engrossing read.

The book impresses with a logical, open-minded, analytical approach on everything that makes up our life and mindsets. Be it the social,national, political, biological, historical, mythological or even the religious issues. I’d like to congratulate the author on successfully putting forth a new line of thought where the reader is evoked to dig deeper than the information that is dished out to us in many forms day in and day out.

It’s time for us to read, research and the analyse with an open mind everything big or small before following, accepting or adapting it in our life. The author succeeds in showing the reader the rational behind many societal beliefs while smartly introducing us to the flip sides of the popular beliefs. Having said that, I felt the political and religious topics could have been presented in a more interesting way by cutting down on the monologue and curtailing the elaborate details.

While the author has tried hard to accommodate all topics in a pragmatic form, I somehow felt the book got preachy mid-way making it go dull as the original plot seemed to have been lost in the deluge of information. The climax of the plot comes across as hurried. The promising start of the book gets diluted by the forced and abrupt ending.

The language of the book is rich but the narration could have been better to keep the reader engrossed despite the abundance of thought-provoking information. The issues touched upon are very relevant to the present times. But, there has to be a limit to the length of talk that can be given on a topic, over a cup of tea or over a dinner party for that matter. This in particular was a huge let down.

The book is an eye-opener on many fronts and inspires the reader to adopt an open-minded thinking. The book shares its treasure of research references at the end of the book.

I’d like to suggest everyone reading this book, to read it slowly, giving themselves enough time to chew the information provided, to make the best use of all the facts and knowledge shared in the book.

About the Author – Dr. Ajay Yadav is a consultant anesthetist, intensivist and pain specialist. His textbook of anesthesia is the most sold textbook for medical undergraduates in India, Southeast Asia and Africa. He is a rational, logical and analytical thinker and is fond of reading, travelling and long distance running.

Rating – 3.25/ 5

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

Tiger Mates

  • Title – Tiger Mates TM book cover
  • Author – Amrish Shah
  • Publisher – Partridge India
  • Genre – Romantic Thriller
  • Pages – 319
  • Price – INR 900
  • ISBN – 978-1-4828-3662-2

Synopsis – Neil is an athletic, ambitious, forest smuggler with a tainted past indirectly finances the Militant operation of the Red Militants by trading in precious stones for them. However in actual, he is a police informer stealthily working his way into the secret of the gang operatives. Nestled in the forests of Chhattisgarh, the Red Gang is spearheaded by ex‐university professor turned into a wicked mastermind.

The Architect of Terror Debraj alongwith his psychotic chief Kedar is planning a series of strikes that would culminate with the assignation of the state chief minister who wants to sincerely reform the crime infested badlands. The motive for anti‐social destruction is to create panic and insecurity to drive away domestic & international NGO’S.

In contrast to that, Shyla Gomes determined‐dexterous demanding, an NGO envoy of Indian origin based in South Africa arrives in Chhattisgarh. She covertly ventures in the midst of anarchy to prepare a ground report that will facilitate the NGO to fund the rehabilitation program for the affected tribal community who are living in hell.

However the truth is that she has just discovered that she is the daughter of a rapist who happens to be the very designer of evil‐ Debraj. The cruel reason why her mother died with mental trauma after giving birth to her. And she is out for justice, for redemption, for annihilation of evil.

Likewise Neil is vying for an opportunity to seek revenge. His brother a young cop was brutally killed in a blast of terror perpetuated by the most dreaded duo‐ Debraj and Kedar.

Review – The book has an interesting cover perfectly in sync with the title and captures the essence of the plot in a way that’s best understood around the climax. I loved the title of the book that has captured the symbolic essence of forests of Chhattisgarh and the Tigers (both the animal and humans with traits of a Tiger) hunting for prey, vengeance and pleasure.

The book starts with the wild chase of a police informer by the militants. The demons come alive right from the start, blending well, the past of the characters with their behavior today. I liked the gentle injection of details while maintaining an element of suspense. The fast pace set right from the start goes on to impress as the characters in the book are introduced. The characters have been given enough room to grow with a few leaps in time but taking due care to tie up all loopholes before the story reaches its climax.

“Life is full of accidents and discoveries. Like stray asteroids, the situations crop up accidentally and then we make choices only to discover who we really are.”

I liked the swift shift in scenes of the book while maintaining the flow with a lucid narration and picturesque description. However, right from the start the abundant grammatical mistakes hamper the smooth flow of the book. The worst part is that these errors aren’t limited to a particular section of the book, but are most abundant in the start.

I found the loopholes in editing too stark to dissuade me to put down the book too often. This was a major reason why it took me over a month to read the book.

I’d like to congratulate the author in delivering a very intriguing read that has a myriad hues of drama, thrill, suspense, action, philosophy and romance in right proportions. The plot comes across as a perfect script for movie that can give goosebumps to the audience with its approach and confluence of terror with purpose in a number of ways.

“Never run behind life…never let life lag behind you…hold life in the grip of your palms and ride along with it like a butterfly.”

While the plot successfully kept me on my tenterhooks till the last, I must admit the climax came across as rather hasty. The desire to give every piece of the puzzle a perfect ending somehow stole the magnanimity with which the characters of Debraj and Ananad had been developed. I would have liked to see Debraj’s end and encounter with Shyla have a more elaborate description than the brief and pretty abrupt one the book offers. Accepting ‘gentic memory’ as the sole support to help Shyla recognize Debraj comes across as far-fetched in the climax.

While the book can benefit tremendously with thorough editing, the plot is on the lines of making a sure shot blockbuster. I’d recommend this book to everyone who loves reading thriller novels with a gentle dose of romance and heaps of insight into life, in a very subtle yet effective way.

About the Author – Amrish Shah is an Indian Author, Screenwriter, Filmmaker. He has been credited as a writer and creative producer for the International film on Mother Teresa. Amrish is the screenwriter for Don2.

Rating – 3.5/ 5

In Preparation

I have been wanting to update this space everyday from the past 10 days, but sheer fatigue and the enormosity of topics I wish to write about, led to my failure from writing anything publish worthy.

Today, I was determined to break this loop of procrastination being busy and break the block clouding the blogger in me and I am seriously hoping I succeed in doing so.

In my earlier post I had mentioned about a family wedding in near future. That happens to be my cousin’s wedding happening this June. The whole family is excited about it and Pari’s elation is most palpable. While the preparations are underway at their own pace, the one worry nagging me constantly is, the desire to lose some weight.

While regular exercise has kept me fit and the baby weight is long gone, but in today’s era of petite frames, I can very well be considered on the heavier side. Okay, let’s not be too kind and pronounce myself ‘fat’. But with time ticking past like a time bomb and workload on my shoulders keeping me crazy, squeezing in extra time for an extended workout isn’t quite happening.

With Pari’s school on, evenings are very busy (details on that coming in a separate post). I tried extending my morning exercise session (that happens after sending Pari off to school) the heat has been putting me off, besides working out for a little longer, disturbs my work schedule making it tough for me to fit in all I need to in the hours Pari is at school.

In short, I have a big box full of excuses that are fanning my laziness in burning extra calories but are pinching my soul that wants me to look presentable at the wedding. I already eat cornflakes for breakfast, so that isn’t going to be working wonders in the way it is publicized on TV commercials. Replacing dinner with a bowl of cornflakes is too drastic if not dramatic for me, given the fact, I am not the bride-to-be.

At this point a few of my friends suggested ‘Green Tea’ to me.

At first I turned down the idea as soon as I heard it. I’d like to add here that I have never been able to stick to the lukewarm water with honey and lime drink plan because it causes severe acidity to me. This was why I wasn’t excited about drinking a cup of green tea either.

But, as desperation would have it, I finally succumbed to trying ‘Green Tea’ wondering, when nothing else is working, this just might. I was prepared to swallow it like a bitter pill and I was almost right in guessing its taste. Despite the fact that most of the people in my life swear by its goodness, I have to admit it, I don’t like it.

It’s the very first time in my life that I have taken to drinking tea in a form other than the masala chai (made with milk and sugar besides fresh condiments). I decided to try the various fancy flavurs of green tea and in the third week since I started I clearly know which all flavors I can’t stand. Before I pinpoint them, I am trying hard to get in the groove of liking this ritual, somehow.

While I am not hoping any miraculous results from green tea, I am sure looking for it’s calming effect to keep me focused in life.

Do you like green tea? Which is your favorite brand and flavor?

I am hoping to find a flavor that would be perceived as ‘acceptable’ by my taste buds for a long time collaboration. So far, I am liking Lipton and Twinings but Tetly seems to be way beyond my tolerance.

The green tea menace isn’t my only point of worry. The wedding has been planned to be on ‘Bollywood theme’. I have to admit, I am yet to accept this theme culture as far family weddings go. I am not very sure if I (at all) understand how should my preparations for the wedding be affected by the theme.

While lots of singing and dancing are anyhow part of all Indian weddings, how else could the theme possibly affect the preparations? I know the pointer is slowly hinting at the dressing up. On giving a deeper thought, I discovered that, if I have to even in my imagination, dress up like the stars in Bollywood do, drinking green tea is not a sacrifice but definitely an investment, given my current size.

The song on my mind: Tu pyar hai kisi aur ka ~ Dil hai ki maanta nahin

School Diary – VIII

Please read the previous chapters of Pari’s school diary before continuing for better understanding.

This Monday was determined to be special and a turning point in our lives, with Pari starting her kindergarten in a new school. The new school I had picked for Pari, had ticked off most boxes on my mental list of a good school and I believed I was in control for this new journey. But, no-matter how much you prepare yourself, life has a way of surprising you in ways you least expect it to.

The morning dawned with me and Pari waking up at almost the same time. I had briefed her about all she should expect, in the preceding days so she was pretty cool and prepared about everything. The new school starts an hour earlier than her previous school, but we being a (hyper) punctual family reached the new school reception area almost 30 minutes ahead of time. We had kept a safe margin for the traffic because the school is around 12 km from our home, still we were among the first to reach there.

Pari was pretty excited. I could read it in the spring in her step and the cheerful smile that was plastered on her face. It helped me immensely in calming down. At the reception, we happened to meet her school’s Headmistress and Pari wished her “Good morning Ma’am” loud and clear without waiting for anyone (including me) to prompt her to do so.

While the headmistress (whom Pari had met twice earlier & had loved the way she had gifted her a big bar of chocolate on those occasions) looked impressed and went to talk to her for a little longer, in my head I knew, Pari was ready to take on this school in her stride. I had never before seen her so charged up, liked that day.

Unlike most schools I have been to or known, Pari’s school administration had insisted on parents accompanying the kindergarten students, to help them adjust in the new environment and allowing an open yet brief interaction with the class-teacher. As a parent, I quite liked this approach because I could see a positive impact of this, both on the students as well as their worried parents. This can also be attributed to the fact, that in Pari’s school every class has a maximum of 15 students per section with strong emphasis on individual attention to every child.

Meeting the class teacher went on smooth and I quite liked her. Pari didn’t take long to find a chair in red (her current favorite color) to seat herself comfortably in the class. I can never forget the calm look on her face with which she happily waved bye to me and her grand-father. It was then, that the school photographer approached us for a family photo in Pari’s class on her first day in school. I actually loved this idea. In my heart I always wanted to take a picture of this special moment, but didn’t attempt it for the fear of upsetting the school discipline early morning.

All said and done my father and I marched out of the class towards school entrance. One thing I noted then was, I was very calm with a (never-known-before) feeling of peace enveloping me. However, my father was a little shaken with an unmistakable teary eyed look. It wasn’t him alone, I had seen many parents with tears in their eyes on our way out.

It was then, something in my head wondered, maybe I was not motherly enough to react emotionally on this important point of my child’s life. These thoughts plagued my mind all along our way back home but a little voice in my head kept arguing this line of thought, saying ‘being in control of one’s emotions’ isn’t a bad thing.

While we had dropped Pari at school, she was to return back home by the school bus. The number of the bus she was to take had been tagged on her school shirt and I had personally spoken to the bus driver and the helper explaining our bus stop where I’d be coming to pick and drop Pari.

Then followed a hectic day with lot of work waiting for me to be completed. Though I was busy all morning, at the back of my mind I was worried about Pari’s bus trip in the afternoon. The prime reason being, Pari has severe motion sickness. This was going to be her first ever bus travel without me. Besides, the school serves lunch to the students hardly half an hour before they leave for home by bus. Having eaten minutes before a long bus trip can play havoc for someone with motion-sickness. Words cannot do justice to my anxiety about it.

Some lessons in life are best learnt, facing life as it comes. Over-thinking doesn’t help a bit. My father and I reached the designated bus-stop well ahead of time. We waited impatiently for the school bus to arrive and when it finally did, the driver informed me that my daughter wasn’t on board.

My jaw dropped to the floor and a huge pang of anxiety churned my stomach. The helper nanny in the bus informed me that Pari was aboard another bus and also told me the location of the bus stop where we can pick her up explaining to me what had led to this. Needless to say my father and I darted to the new bus stop, pretty upset by the fact that the school administration hadn’t considered informing us about this change.

There were a couple of grocery shops in the area of the bus-stop. On enquiry with the vendors, they told us that the bus had left around 5 minutes back. Here, I’d like to mention that Pari’s school bus follows the rule of not dropping the child on the bus stop in the event of no-show by the parents to ensure child’s safety. I was well aware of this policy having talked at length with the bus coordinator at the time of admission.

Luckily, a few days before the session started, when I had met the staff and had a word with the bus coordinator, I had taken their phone numbers and saved them on my mobile. I at once called the school and explained the situation. I was assured about Pari’s safety and was requested to call up the bus driver.

The driver responded and the helper nanny in the bus told me that Pari was on board, panic struck and crying. But, she calmly told us there was no need to worry as they would be taking care of her. I was informed about their current location and we decided upon a meeting point on their way where could pick Pari.

The situation was very much in control, theoretically. In the meantime, my mother called up worried asking about what was taking us so long in bringing Pari back. When I told her what happened, she was broken and her voice cracked up. But, we had no time to talk for we needed to dart to the spot where we were meet the school bus.

My father and I reached the spot in next ten minutes. In the peak afternoon rush hour  with the sun shining bright overhead, a zillion school buses were in sight, except the one we were waiting for. I have no idea what had gone into me that day. I was very calm and composed. Though I was worried about the well-being of my child but still I was as normal as I usually am with no trace of agitation, frustration or anger.

After sometime the bus arrived. I will never forget the sight of that moment. Pari was seated comfortably in the front seat with the helper nanny by her side and my little girl was smiling. She was more than happy to see her grand-father and myself. She happily waved goodbye to the driver and the helper after our brief chat.

Pari’s smile convinced me she had been in caring hands. Most amazingly, the child had traveled over 25 km in the bus all by her own, on her first day in a new school and managed to enjoy the ride without any sign of motion sickness.

We soon returned home to find my mother standing on the road waiting for us to bring Pari home safely. She was in a bad shape having cried and been worrying crazy.

Later in the afternoon all the confusion regarding the bus number and bus stop was cleared by having a word with the school headmistress. Though she apologized profusely, the one thing that had been bugging me all day was why I was so calm and composed all through the chaos.

In retrospect when I see the events of that adventurous first day in school, I think, my determination to stay calm and peaceful guided my will-power to make it happen. I felt as if I have aged ten years in that one day and my child too has grown up to become a confident child I had never known before.

The song on my mind: Samjhaawan Unplugged ~ Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania

Padharo Mhare Desh

“Behind every attractive room there should be a very good reason.”~ Sister Parish

It’s been almost a year since we moved in our new home but we are still far away from being done with the interior decoration. It is fascinating how the amount of energy, ideas and time it takes to plan a house during construction is equal to what it takes to decorate the house tastefully.

While we have been gradually working on the ‘Rajasthani theme’ to decorate our home, the one area we are yet not happy with, is our drawing room. It’s not the dearth of handicrafts or color schemes but lack of consensus on the final look that has tempted us to try many arrangements over time.

With our family roots in Rajasthan, being inclined to its royal, colorful culture comes naturally to us. But when working on interior decoration of an area as prime as the drawing room, creating a subtle blend of culture with strokes from the modern palette can be quite challenging. Of all the places in the world, the pink city, Jaipur is our favorite. With fond family memories spanning over generations, it’s passionate, playful, pink color has found place on our walls, linen and more.

This has been our starting point in working on decorating our drawing room. There is no dearth of colors in Rajasthani handicrafts, but evolving a creative confluence of the same can be pretty tedious. The prime reason being, going overboard while shopping for handicrafts, creating a clutter than an artistic outcome, is pretty easy.

With a wedding in the family in the coming months and my parent’s milestone anniversary round the corner, I took up the task of tastefully decorating our drawing room.

In the past, we’ve requested our friends and family visiting Jaipur to bring along handicrafts based on our requirements. However, in matters of art and craft, one has to pick each product themselves to be fully satisfied. Despite, our love for Jaipur, visiting it often only for shopping isn’t a feasible option. But, luckily I struck gold.

How?

Check out the pictures before I spill the beans. Please click on the pictures to enlarge.

In colors of passion this majestic Diwan-set gifted our drawing room a vibrant touch blending well with the curtains.
In colors of passion this majestic Diwan-set gifted our drawing room a vibrant touch blending well with the curtains
Meet the colorful musician figurines and (L to R) H.H. Maharaja Sardar Singh ji of Jodhpur,  The regal architecture of Rajasthan and Maharani Sita Devi of Kapurthala.
Meet the colorful musician figurines and seated on the sofa are ( from L to R on cushions) H.H. Maharaja Sardar Singh ji of Jodhpur, the regal architecture of Rajasthan and Maharani Sita Devi.

While the varied styles, designs, patterns and color combinations have brought alive the rich cultural and traditional heritage, the intricately crafted figurines have added to the personality of our drawing room. From my three year old to the elderly, no one misses out on being enticed by their charm.

Maharaja Sir Bhupinder Singh (Left)  The beautiful hand-painted marble vase and Maharaja Sawai Sir Tukoji Rao II Holkar (Right)
Maharaja Sir Bhupinder Singh (Left cushion), the beautiful hand-painted marble vase and Maharaja Sawai Sir Tukoji Rao II Holkar (Right cushion).

The digital print cushion covers have been an instant hit. From their plush fabric to royal elegance, their presence has brought home a royalty with a hint of modern craftsmanship. They’ve amplified the rich feel of our small drawing room. But there’s more to it.

Recently, my elderly aunt (my father’s eldest sister) visited us. She was amazed by these cushion covers because she could recognize each of the Maharajas and the Maharani. She had many anecdotes to share about their lives, Rajasthan’s glorious history, chivalry and beauty that have added another dimension to our love for these handicrafts.

The tie and dye, block prints and batik have adorned our abode for generations. This time around we chose to be different. These assorted handicrafts have packed in the look of ‘Diwan-e-khaas’ to our drawing room in a budget that’s left me determined to shop more.

The cuddly monkey curtain holders are Pari's favorite, the strings of birds are symbolic of Rajasthani handicrafts and the Bani Thani of Kishangarh etched in Marbe.
The cuddly monkey curtain holders are Pari’s favorite, the strings of birds are symbolic of Rajasthani handicrafts and the Bani Thani of Kishangarh etched in Marble add charm to the corner of our drawing room.

The elegant Marble vase never fails to bring a smile to everyone who sees it. It is an exquisite marvel of painting on marble with splash of colors and intricately crafted peacock. Marble of Rajasthan is world famous. The marble of the Taj Mahal too came from Makrana in Rajasthan.

I have shopped for decor items and handicrafts online many times before. But on a couple of occasions, though purchase was easy, the products didn’t match the pictures shown and the quality wasn’t satisfactory. Besides, returns were such a hassle that I had come to dread shopping for home decor online.

However, Flipkart is different. I have been a regular Flipkart customer since 2010. From kitchen appliances to mobiles to tablets to bed sheets, the list of the items we’ve shopped from Flipkart is endless. This was why trusting the ‘Home Store‘ came easy to us.

Scrolling through Flipkart’s well-classified catalogue to find products is a breeze, more so on the mobile app. The biggest plus are the handicrafts arranged regionally, as per color scheme and the area of your home with helpful suggestions on every page. It took me less than five minutes to reach a vast, vibrant, colorful collection of Rajasthani handicrafts that I knew my home would love.

The bright 'Pink' adding tint of joy to our drawing room
The bright ‘Pink’ adding tint of joy to our drawing room

Not only the aesthetics and the mind-blowing discounts but the litmus test of online shopping, return of the products has been tried in this venture. The Diwan-set I had initially ordered with hues of dark orange, was not liked by my aunt, she suggested going for something bright. We quickly browsed through Flipkart’s exhaustive collection and requested a return of the product.

The commendable bit was, the return was organized in matter of minutes. I was constantly updated about when I should expect a pick-up and the refund was received within hours of the product’s return. This, I believe is a huge plus because there are occasions when we change our mind or need to seek a replacement because of any reason.

I am impressed with the express delivery, careful packaging (especially of the figurines and the marble vase) and the quality of all the products. My wish-list is on a surging rise since my first purchase. With a family wedding round the corner, we already have a long list of gift items to be shopped from the home store.

”Surround yourself with quality, not clutter. Buy it once, and buy it right.” ~ Marni Jameson

Our drawing room after a makeover with the exquisite collection of the Flipkart Home Store
Our drawing room after a makeover with the exquisite collection from the Flipkart Home Store

If you are thinking that the downpour of compliments that came my family’s way with the new setting of our drawing room were the only reason of my jubilation, let me add a cherry to this cake.

On shopping from the ‘Home Store’ I also bagged Make My Trip discount vouchers  that will give me a massive discount in my next travel (flights as well as the hotel stay). With Pari’s summer vacations round the corner, my family is already busy making plans for a royal getaway while I am loving welcoming the ‘Rangeelo Rajasthan’ in our home.

I highly recommend you to go and check out the Flipkart Home Store. I am sure; you’ll find classy products to compliment your lifestyle or a perfect gift for someone you love, in no time.

“If you buy stuff you love, regardless of the era or price, your home will be a true reflection of you.” ~ Sarah Norwood

* Padharo Mhare Desh in Rajasthani/ Marwari means ‘Welcome to our land’.

In Control

Tomorrow is an important day of my our life. Pari starts her journey in a new school, in a new class, with a lot of firsts going to be marked in history. But that is to happen tomorrow. This post is a quickie to record my crucial first.

Today, I am as calm as a summer sea. It is very unusual for a worrier like yours truly. Over the years of my existence, I have worried too much in anticipation of every big or small event of my life. This has on almost all occasions done more harm than good. I was tired of worrying endlessly to the extent, that finally I decided to do something serious about it.

I have finally taken a baby step in this direction.

I was well aware I’ll go nuts today, worrying and preparing for Pari’s big day. So this time I made all arrangements one day in advance. Bag packed, dress is ready and everything else is set since last night.

Action is the answer to the problem of over-thinking.

This very small step has kept me cool all day. I have been able to focus on work normally and I am looking forward to tomorrow positively. It is quite unlike me, but something I am absolutely loving. I am geared up to hit the sack early tonight. This is not going to be a one night affair and I am sure it will surely give a boost to my productivity, health and peace of mind too.

Being optimistic is good, but taking a decisive step to make things happen is the real point when tides of worry ebb.

With this happy feeling of accomplishment, I am all set to embark on an important chapter of my life.

Wish us good luck!

The song on mind: O mere dil ke chain ~ Mere Jeevansathi