The Book-Keeper

Books mean different things to different people. To some it’s about intellect, to others it means to have bestsellers on their bed-side, more for the sake of being able to talk about it the next day, for some it is even a mean to find ‘inner peace’, boost self confidence et al. It is equally amazing and intriguing that a ‘Book’ could have its own unique meaning for each one of us.

To me it is all and only about comfort that comes from the subject of the book, be it history, chick-lit, mythology, fiction, psychology, classics and of course for the child in me ‘fables, Enid Blyton, R.K Naryanan and Uncle Pai’s Amar Chitra Katha collection J

A mixed bag of books

If in Bangalore do visit Higgin Bothams on MG Road, they have the most impressive children’s book section

.Uncle Pai's collection

 

January 25, 2014 at 10:34 pm 1 comment

Exploring Life :)

If I press the rewind button to go back in the past, one thing that would certainly still be a surprise unravelling with time will be about these opportunities coming my way to explore life…New City, Old Friends, New House yet again to make a Home. 

Each place as its own way to charm you, this one does it with its greenery, with apartments that are bigger than two put together from my previous one. Balconies to add some more colour and vibrancy to the place called home. The Sky is unpredictably moody and cries in happiness, perhaps when it’s sad or just to have some fun!

The little niece sings and says, “If you are happy and you know it clap your hands” and that’s what you will find me doing!

On a sweet note, I tasted the best ladoos and exploring more of the food scene every day.

 Till next post, ‘Chill Maddi’!

December 9, 2013 at 11:12 pm 3 comments

Shopping for Home-Grown Brands

Weekends are for shopping!  Ask any homemaker {single, double, nuclear or joint family}, the needs and wants may differ, but the agenda is common to all; ‘stock-up’ the kitchen, fill-up the shelves, re-fill the refrigerator.

Last Sunday, while the purpose of my escapade to the market remained the same, the way to accomplish it was different and turned out to be an experience I would like to repeat each time. I decided to pick up products that are of an Indian make.

Think to yourself for a minute, how tough can it be to ensure that whatever goes into your shopping basket, be it a pack of detergent, a carton of oats or a bar of chocolate is of an Indian brand? In short, the idea is to ‘Buy Indian’!


Branche_FMCG_Retail_400px

Sounds laughably easy? I thought so too! But it isn’t so.  But it isn’t because before picking-up any product you have to cross check and be sure it’s not just made in India but a Home Grown Brand.  Basically it means leave behind your habit of grabbing and loading products in the cart.

For instance, I am a big Kellogg fan and always purchase a mix of museli, chocos, fruit loops, et al. Now can you think of any Indian brand which offers the same variety? There is one plain, inexpensive brand of cornflakes by Mohan Meakins which many of us grew-up eating until international brands took over the market and this humble packet was pushed to the corner. However, milk, curd and dairy products are easiest on the list to strike off thanks to the White Revolution in India and the fact that we are the largest milk producing (and consuming) nation in the world. For biscuits, sweets, small bites and snacks, home grown brands like Parle-G, Britannia, etc. offer enough options to spoil you silly.

Shopping list is yours, goods in the basket are for your consumption, what you pick is ultimately your choice; do you want to willingly make a compromise? Perhaps, No. Is it worth a try, of course it is!

Why should you attempt an effort like this, which would complicate the whole shopping affair?

  • It will help you focus more on the product, its purpose than the brands you choose
  • You consciously stop paying price incurred by the brand on its marketing expenses
  • Support our economy and small Indian producers
  • Gandhi on our currency so be Gandhian in the way we buy
  • It is FUN! Break away from your heavily influenced shopper’s mindset

Try this the next time you step out with your shopping bag and you will see the picture of the Mahatma on your money notes smile back at you!

PS: Now I have the freedom to choose accompaniments that go in my bowl of cornflakes, a bit of chocolate sauce, nuts, dried/ fresh fruits or a little drizzle of Roohafza, it’s both desi & delicious.

October 21, 2013 at 1:11 pm 3 comments

Arian needs your help!

Mucopolysaccharidoses II… don’t know the meaning of this word and finding it hard to pronounce? Imagine the plight of 11 year old Arian Chowdhury who is suffering from this extremely rare genetic disorder also called the Hunter’s Syndrome. Fortunately, treatment is unavailable; unfortunately it’s beyond his parents to afford it.

Hunter’s Syndrome is caused by mutation that leads to deposition of biomolecules in cells and as cells get progressively clogged, organs begin to fail, causing death. There around 2000 people reportedly afflicted with Hunter Syndrome in different part of the world of these approximately 500 are in the United States, 30 in Canada, 2 in New Zealand, few in various countries and  Arian here in India. It is an awfully painful and life threatening condition for which the only available treatment is Enzyme Replacement Therapy.

While this therapy can prove to be highly beneficial for Hunter Syndrome patients it is extremely expensive and one of the costliest drugs ever developed. This medicine is the only hope for Arian now. Developed by Shire Human Genetic Therapies Ltd, the drug is not yet available in India however with prior permission from Drug Controller General of India it can be imported as it is a life-saving drug.

The cost of the drug is the only factor that has not yet made it possible for Arian to receive the treatment as a weekly dose costs over 2 lakhs. Considering that the therapy is to be administered on a regular and on a long term basis, the expense is estimated to run into several lakhs, probably close to a Crore annually.

 Arian is not seeking financial aid, only a minute of your time to sign-up & support his plea addressed to the Union Health Minster of India.

To join  his fight for survival and right to quality life and treatment, click & register http://change.org/arian

Arian

Want to take this beyond signing-up the plea?  Please contact his father Sib Sankar Chowdhury @ +91 9831361116. You can also drop in a line to me in case you need more details about his medical history and case details

September 13, 2013 at 11:47 am 1 comment

Basking in the Blog’s Glory!

Some of you may have read it already, and for others here is a copy of the article that was recently published in Hindustan Times, HT City about the blog! Basically this once upon a time anonymous blog now has a face which happens to be mine.

Fishing for ideas in Kerala. Trip courtesy Vasundhra Sarovar Premiere

Fishing for ideas in Kerala. Trip courtesy Vasundhra Sarovar Premiere

My love for Delhi is no secret and there’s more than one reason that keeps it alive {despite the badly behaved men, rich- spoilt brats and beggars} . Colleagues here in Bombay fondly talk about the city’s food, greenery, chilly winters and warm afternoons. How about telling me what makes the city tick-click & happening for you.

PS: Going to be in Delhi again this weekend and looking forward to another fun-filled trip and some interesting experiences that I could perhaps share with you all.

September 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm 4 comments

Chalo Dilli

One year is a long time to not visit a city where you have family and home but to give it a feel of emotion and drama I admit it wouldn’t have been easy to leave the city again. Oh yes, I was excited to be in the city that describes my blog and its raison d’etre. So what if it didn’t have Bombay’s pleasant, refreshingly cool breeze. {Note to self; the post is about Delhi so no reference to Bombay}

I believe and tell me if you don’t agree that train journeys may be long but never boring and is a perfect way to see the beautiful countryside.

A click from the train window

Enroute to Delhi

Enroute to Delhi

 

After a long 21 hour journey in the slowest train between Mumbai-Delhi, Sampark Kranti Express, (efforts count), Delhi welcomed me with its muggy weather, no complaint because my first halt was discovering a ‘Green Mine’ in the heart of the city… It is a nursery adjacent to the Humayun’s tomb. What’s the big deal about a nursery? It’s so huge that you have to drive through it! Breathtakingly beautiful with lush green plants, blooming flowers, a historical architecture in the backdrop and peacocks walking past you….  It can happen only in Delhi.  Maintained by the the Municipal Corporation of Delhi the land is a part of the Aga Khan Foundation. If you haven’t made a trip already and plan to add some Hariyali to the house or just wish to breathe in pure air, do go.

The plan was simple ‘when visiting a city for a holiday do everything touristy’, catch-up with friends at Khan Market, shopping for artifacts at the state emporiums, visit to Delhi-6,  khana at Karims and Raj Kachori at Haldirams, Pineapple shake at Keventer, and metro yatra. While I don’t intend to write about the wrongs in Delhi in this post but the roads are in a deplorable state and most parts have been dug up. Back to the nice things; let me tell you about the two new finds. ‘Claridges ka paan’, drive to the lane behind the hotel and you will see a paan ki dukaan. 25 rupees for a nice tasty rich with katha and scents meetha paan is a must have. Happen to be in Daryaganj, don’t count this as an open invite to my place instead walk to the market, just a little ahead of the HDFC bank on the corner is a thela which has the one of the most delicious chaat you can get.

A trip to the national capital is not complete without a discussion on the state of affairs and politics and the conversations are not about BJP, UPA or RahulG but NaMo. My take, well that calls for another post.

August 21, 2013 at 10:53 pm Leave a comment

Love & Lessons from Dad

He doesn’t know how to be strict but his silence is the language of discipline
Clasps the hand not to hold me back but to give the leap of faith
He is about an unspoken understanding, unconditional love and support!

Being selfless, sensitive, helpful, punctual are not choices but principles for life.

Put forth a point of view, if you believe strongly then stand- by it but avoid an argument
If others are in a race to push &  move ahead, step by to ensure they don’t stumble on you.

With him tempo of the voice can’t be faked
He can read the mind and saves me from expressing in words
I need an excuse to call him and he requires no reason to check on me!

DATo dads, mine and yours because they are special!

June 19, 2013 at 9:19 pm 1 comment

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