Vive la vida en grande

grand-hotel-kolkata
Image courtesy – The Oberoi Grand

It was a hot summer morning in Kolkata. I was married just two weeks ago and it was time for me to leave for Chennai – my workplace with my newly wedded wife. It was a lot of excitement and suspense ahead of us. Both of us were thrilled to share a new life away from our parents. For me it was a lot of added responsibility in a not so known city.

That day we got up at 5:30 am. We had to be ready for departure by at least 7 am to reach airport by 8. We had more than 7 luggage with us. I have booked our tickets six months in advance in January so we just needed to land up at Kolkata Airport.

Our flight was at 10 am. Main concern for us was the number of bags we were carrying and we didn’t want any delay.

After struggling with the small mountain of luggage and the nearly not functioning two trolleys at Kolkata airport, we finally reached the Air Sahara counter by 8:30.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the counter empty except one single staff. Lucky me, I thought. When I approached the counter with a print out of my air ticket in hand and showed that to her, she was looked at me as if I were a ghost. Well, it is worth mention here that my wife was very beautiful at that time and as a newly-wed she was wearing some gold jewelry too. In short, she was looking ravishing and I couldn’t tolerate another woman ogling at her.

Soon my misconception about that weird look has gone as she clarified that Air Sahara had suspended their Chennai operation six months ago.

Now it was my turn to give her that weird look back.

Surely enough my wife was even more nervous and I knew that her jewelry had added to her concern. The Air Sahara staff informed us calmly that we needed to go back home. I started fighting with them as we were not informed about the suspension of their operation and demanded they did book us in an alternate flight.

The staff claimed that they had informed every person and clearly I was not informed. So they asked me from where we came and I told them that we came from a village. Well, I had to tell them a lie as otherwise they would have sent us back to our home in Kolkata. I thought they would then be forced to give us another flight quickly, which they did but it was only in the evening that day.

We were not sure how to spend the 10 hours, one male staff of the airline approached us. He helped us to keep our luggage in their office and leave with him. They were giving us an accommodation for the time.

Soon, we were seated in a luxury sedan and heading towards The Oberoi Grand. We were soon heading for a royal treat.

There were very less formalities at the reception and soon we were in a honeymoon suit. Both of us were very amazed with this unexpected treat. ..and Our honeymoon started.

In the room, we first made a few phone calls to our family members informing them that landed up in The Grand and they were happy at the unexpected turn of events, too.

Soon we were very hungry as both of us took breakfast very early that day. So we didn’t want to waste much time before we headed towards the restaurant.

As soon as we arrived there all eyes were on us. People easily understood that we were a newly wedded couple. Some people wished us and some others just smiled from a distance. It was a celebrity like feeling.

We were given two different choices of menu that included alcohol menu. We were not very sure if there was any restriction in food, so we wanted to restrict our choice. After a lot of dilly-dallying and maneuvering through tongue twister names, we decided to order two fancy named pizzas. We could not utter the name, just pointed at them while ordering. We were almost dying in hunger so ordered two pizzas first with a thought that we will order something else later.

My heart almost came out of my mouth when one pizza was delivered. It was a real shocker. It was jumbo pizza that we had not seen before. Our hunger was almost dead by then. Canceling the order was not possible so we had get the other one packed for night.

One pizza was so heavy for two of us that after finishing that we had to order a mocktail to help digest the food. The amazing taste of food, amazing warmth of the people around and the overall ambience were making us feel like a royal couple. We both were feeling very romantic.

Needless to say that after our lunch we didn’t want to go around the hotel. There was some invisible force that sucked us into our room and onto the bed. The royal experience also included our first royal sex in the honey moon room of The Grand.

I still wish if our love express could sustain longer but we were given a time to report at the lounge to be taken back to the airport. So we had no choice but to restrict ourselves.

Our waiting at the hotel lobby was made special by the warm greetings of the hotel staff and we wished the experience did not end there. But our car arrived soon.

This time it was even a higher end luxury car. I don’t remember the make now but I was not able to believe in my eyes when the chauffer opened the door and smiled at us.

As we were leaving the grandeur palace, someone whispered in my ears – “Vive la vida en grande”. I looked around, it seemed that The Grand was waiving at us and whispering those words. Vive la vida en grande – “Live a Grand life”.

Inside we were romantic again.

***

“I am blogging about my luxury stay experience for an activity at BlogAdda in association with MakeMyTrip

Advertisements

Magic of warmth

child-and-father

Tears rolled down his cheeks as he wept silently.

He realized, his daddy no longer loved him. His daddy was angry. His papa’s rolling big eyes, stubborn tough face showed him the terror. Little Piku knew he had done something that he always wanted to do and his parents have always restricted him to do. He was only two years old and only sometime ago he started running around. In his view their two bed room flat was not big enough. There were restriction too. There was one room that had been always restricted to him.

Little Piku never understood why that room was prohibited for him. He was allowed to peek inside the door while his parents worked inside. Whenever he tried to enter, either of his parents had prevented him or took him outside.

Running around, jumping on the chair or banging his tricycle against the wall were all allowed. Even relentless jumping on the bed and disturbing parents’ sleep in the morning was also allowed but not entering this room. He had climbed onto his small cupboard, he threw away mobile phones to his neighbor’s house, he pounced on his father’s laptop and taken out a key and was never rebuked so hard.

Piku never understood why access to that one room was prohibited for him. One day when his mother was sleeping in the afternoon, he got up early and tried to venture into this room. But his mama had kept the door closed. The latch was too tight for him to open. He tried hard but failed. Piku only wished he was stronger.

His parents called him a naughty boy so everyone else called him a naughty boy too. They never understood that boys were supposed to be like that – ever active, ever filled with energy, enthusiasm, joy. He also mastered some tricks to melt his angry parents. Just a tight hug, a light peck or a sweet sounding mama or papa would have been enough.

But nothing worked that day.

His papa was very angry with him and Piku really didn’t do much.

That day his papa forgot to close the door of that room tightly. Little Piku got a chance to sneak into the room when his papa was taking bath. Inside the room was a very different world. He silently pulled a small stool inside and tried climbing up when something fell down with a thud spilling his milk and breaking a glass.

His father was quick to come out of the bathroom and ran towards this room.

Yes, as a father I had to scold Piku hard that day because he had not only entered our kitchen but spilled the hot milk and could have met with a serious accident that we always feared.

When I came out after cleaning the kitchen, I saw him sitting silently on our bed. Face down, tears still rolling down his cheeks. He was really upset as I had never scolded him so hard before.

I went to him and gently took me on my lap. He started crying loudly on my shoulder while clinging onto my neck. The magic of warmth of his tender touch melted away all my anger.

***

The photo that captured me

My Pic

A picture says a thousand words.

But to make a picture speak thousand words we need an expert lens behind.

That is how photographer Supranav Dash has captured a warrior here and tells a story that touches many lives.

But why is this picture so special?

What does a half dressed, tired, half asleep man in a neatly organized, well ventilated but hardly furnished flat signify? Why is there a tiger above the man? Why is the tiger coming out of the photo frame? Why is there a flower vase in one corner and why is hardly any furniture seen in the house?

This photo captured through a professional lens signifies the life and story of a warrior. A tiger reborn out of his consistent fight with a determination to bring about a social change. The tiger in the man comes out of the set prejudices of being within a frame and thus coming out to show his presence. The tiger is looking above signifying the progress and vision of change that it has in its eyes. The flower vase signifies peace and all that is beautiful in life. The warrior is tired and may be half asleep in this frame but his beautiful dream is all about a positive social change.

The well ventilated and well-lit house depicts a bright future envisioned by the warrior. The neat interior of the house depicts the clean lifestyle with bare minimum necessities. This sacrifice of luxury items is an important trait of any warrior who wants to bring about change.

This picture also shows no trace of any other family member in the house. Depicting the man may be living alone there. In fact, that is how his life story goes about. Once a family man with a kid he now lives alone after divorce and separation from his wife. His wife took away the furniture and other luxury items from home and now he is living alone. But this solitary life did not bring loneliness in his life. He performs all his daily household work and also takes care of his professional life.  Other than this normal life of a simple Indian man he also works for the welfare of other Indian men and boys. He consistently thinks about different ways to fight against the gender hatred created in the society in the name of feminism.

This picture not only tells us a story about Indian divorces but this also shows that not all solitary lives need to be in deep depression. This is not a mere picture. It is a story that gives us a hope, a hope that can change many lives.

That is why this photo touched my heart, inspired thousands including me other than the fact that photographer Supranav Dash had in fact captured me in this photo.

wowbadge

***

OYOroomsreview

Recently OYO rooms (twitter – @OYOrooms) has given me a chance to review their premium property at Majestic, Bangalore.

image

image

image

image

And hence this selfie –

image

The challenge was to explore the city and complete a lot of tasks given by them. Since the property is centrally located it was very easy to explore the city. However, taking a selfie was difficult for each task as the image was not clear.

Getting there – I took a public transport to reach, normal BMTC bus.

image

Check in– A warm reception was awaiting me at the property. I met strangers and heard their life stories.

image

I met this guy from Assam, who was fortunately a Bengali and we spoke at length about his story –

image

OYO welcome – As soon as I reached there I received a warm welcome from OYO team –

image

OYO Room – Big cozy room. At least 500 sq. feet if not more.

image

image

Tasting OYO food – Since it was a review of the property, I couldn’t but taste the food there.

image

Exploring the city – The task said any Bollywood movie poster. But in Bangalore I felt of modifying the task to a local movie poster as that seemed more apt for a city like Bangalore –

image

Walking around the streets I found an artful building Academy of Fine Arts Bangalore. Couldn’t miss to take a selfie there –

image

There was an art exhibition and Mela going on and that added to my happiness as it did to these kids

As I was waking around the streets of Bangalore, after a sumptuous lunch I felt the need of cooling myself in a different way. Bumped off this pan shop that sells Rs. 70000 worth of pans on weekends.

image

image

While searching for good street food, I met this person and explored his kitchen too. You know Bengali food is awesome, and they must have some secret in their kitchen –

image

I met this man in uniform –

image

Found a kids party, so didn’t have problem in getting along for some fun

… And continued exploring the city until I hit a dead end –

image

It was the time of sunset. So, wanted to take a selfie. Well, later I had to change my strategy as my face was covering what I wanted to take –

image

Well, you know taking a sunset selfie in Bangalore in May is probably the craziest thing we can think of.

I had to keep something for future as well and I was wondering if there are other OYO rooms in the city to explore. So downloaded their app for exploring their rooms in future and also getting awesome discounts.

image

And continued exploring the city before I hit the bed, in cozy and soft OYO bed –

image

Positives of OYO Premium Rooms, Majestic –

1. Economic compared to there actual cost. Real value for money. Grab the offers and enjoy. Download their APP and get 50% discount.

2. Centrally located. Easy to commute to all important places.

3. Warm hospitality. I felt the staff to be very courteous to me (I have taken feedback from its staff, and other guests staying there).

4. Food quantity – I ate chicken biriyani and the quantity served was good and there was enough chicken pieces in it. Good spread available.

5. Great ambience – Calm place.

6. Good sleep quality

Overall my rating of the property is 4 out of 5.

Needs Improvement

  1. The wi-fi connection in the premises needs a lot of improvement. Even though there are many wi-fi connection available but none works. Since outside mobile internet does not work one needs to depend on wi-fi which needs a lot of improvement.
  2. Food quality- The food quality of the main restaurant is not good. I tasted Biriiyani and it was not good. The complementary breakfast was also not that good.

The irresistible Asus Zenphone 2

There are many reasons I want Asus Zenohone 2 smartphone immediately but the top 5 reasons are mentioned below –

1. The 4 GB RAM –Asus Zenfone 2 comes with huge 4GB RAM  that makes the phone super fast and helps me in completing all my tasks much before time. This also helps me in gaming, watching movies,  video streaming and browsing much faster compared to other normal devices. Another awesome application of this huge RAM capacity is in my blogging. Now I can publish my blogs even faster. Well there is another reason why this super fast phone is my favorite, it helps me submitting my entries to indiblogger HH much faster.

2. Fastest charging facility – The second reason for me to wait for this device is its unique technology that helps me in recharging it much faster compared to any other device I have. This technology helps me in boosting up the battery power by 60 % in no more than 39 minutes. So now I can watch endless videos, endless blogs, movies, chat endlessly, talk to my friends and family for hours without having to worry about running out of battery. I wish I had this feature inbuilt in my other devices too.

3. The camera that helps me seeing more details in every photograph that I take – Asus Zenfone 2 has inbuilt pixel master camera that captures stunning high resolution photos with zero shutter lag. This helps in capturing moving objects, sports photos and capturing images on the go. So now when I go out on vacation on my bike or when I travel with my friends for long distances in our cars I can capture all stunning images in our route without any problem.

4. Low light mode camera – The industry leading feature of low light mode camera helps me in capturing bright and high resolution images even in low light conditions. This in a way means that now I can travel anywhere at any point in time and shoot pictures with any lighting conditions. That means no matter whether I am driving back from my office at late night or driving to city outskirts in early morning, I can take amazing quality pictures without worrying about the light conditions much. This technology helps me in capturing 400 % brighter photos in low light conditions. This in a way keeps my blogging and photography unmatched in comparison to other bloggers.

5. The stunning curvilinear look – The luxurious ultra thin ergonomic arc design makes this phone evan more desirable to me. the 72 % screen to body ratio and 1920 x 1080 full HD IPS display maximises the viewing experience. An incredible 403 ppi pixel density bordered by an ultra narrow bezel gives Zenphone 2 this maximized viewing experience. These are only a few of many reasons I want an Asus Zenphone 2 in my posession without any delay.

How I want to start with new Moto E

New Moto E is a smartphone that is loaded with many features from the high end Moto devices. Launching some its awesome apps are also super easy besides it being a super user friendly mobile. If I ever get this phone I would like to gift the same to my parents who are currently using a normal low cost variety local made mobile phone.

When it comes to smart phones I am not a new user. I am using smartphone for more than five years now. Even though I don’t use all features of a smartphone but I find them really useful. My parents on the other hand find it difficult to use phones. They find it difficult even to click photos and save them and retrieve them in time without others help. Gifting a phone like Moto E to them will open a new world to them.

If I have to gift this phone to my parents who are technologically challenged I need to give them basic training with the device as well. These are the features that my parents would love to use –

  1. Switching from rare camera to front camera by nudging the phone – This feature will help them take selfies and send them to distant relatives especially to their grandchildren. When they are visiting any family ceremony they can take easy snaps and share them with relatives at distant places. Moto E gives the opportunity to share clicked photos in three simple touch that enables any first time smart phone user to use the phone with ease.
  2. Easy navigation and safe driving – I found the easy navigation feature useful for my parents as well. Now they can drive to any destination and will not have to type the destination name in Google maps and spend a lot of time typing correctly. Inspite of that they can simply say “navigate to this place”….and the job will be done. Google map will open and the way will be shown. A great feature for any first time smart phone user, especially for those who are technically challenged.
  3. Ease of sending emails – staying away from home and staying separate from children can bring additional challenges to any elderly person. Email is a very cost effective way of communication for these people like my parents. But if they have to login and type out a mail they can’t do that. One reason is the time they would take to type will be so high that they would find it better call that person. Instead of typing it out, Moto E gives the users an option to speak out the email they want to send and the email is sent automatically by the phone. This is an awesome feature that will definitely help a first time user like any of my parents.
  4. Viewing notifications without unlocking the phone – My parents will love this feature. Many a times they are so busy that they can’t get engaged with their phone. This option will give them opportunity to check only important messages in detail. They can ignore any message that is not important. The time spent on checking each message is reduced this way will help them.
  5. Click anywhere to take snap – Normally in camera phones we have a specific button to click for taking snaps. Moto E comes with a feature that enables users to click anywhere to take a snap. This makes taking selfies and other pics super easy for anyone. They don’t need to concentrate on the camera button while taking snaps.

These are only a few features that will help my parents to use a smartphone. But with this I need to get started as well. Because the reason of giving this phone to my parents will be to enable them use it to their advantage and to our advantage as well. I will load this phone with apps for citizens safety so that they can notify us in simply one touch options. I will teach them how to use some mobile banking options so that they don’t need to go to banks every time they wanted to do a transaction. In today’s world technology is bringing so many features to us.

Effective use of these technologies will not only enable the technologically challenged people, but also can keep a lot of pains away from tech savvy younger generation like us. We can at least be assured that my parents are safe at a distant location as they are using a smartphone that can alert me when they are in need. A lot of my pain thus goes away and my life becomes tension free.

This gift of a smart phone will not only be a start for them, but a start for me as well.

To know more about the phone please login to their website.

Here is a video that talks more about the product –

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YJJu46Gnc8]

***

My Platinum Day of Love

It was just another day for me!

My lonely life was getting all boring day by day. Ever since my bitter divorce I have been living alone. No tension at least of getting any false dowry or rape case from anyone.

I got up little late that day, got ready for office and hurried up to the office. Had some important meeting with my boss. Ever since she had come to Bangalore I could not meet her. It was the first day of our meeting and I didn’t want to be late.

I was asked to wait as she was busy with some other call. I logged in and started checking my mails in the meanwhile. There was a mail from our HR reminding me that it was my birthday. Nowadays, only these official mails and social networking reminders tell me about all the important days in my life. I have a very bad memory of remembering birthdays, even of my own. It was no more a special day for me.

The day was long and hectic for me. My manager congratulated me in our meeting and asked if I had any special plans for my birthday. Ever since I have decided to live alone, I did not make sweet memories for me because of the fear that those memories would haunt me in future. My first marriage had given me enough pain to even consider sharing my bed with anyone else in future. That is why I never proposed Shweta, my 14 years steady friend. Our friends used to talk about our relation but I did not want another messy relationship in the name of marriage. She had also not said anything.

It was a long day for me. I came back home around 12pm that night. At least two hours late than my usual time. No one except my HR and my manager wished me that day. It was not heartbreaking at all, as my birthday was never a special day for me. Ranjit, who I trusted most among my friends and who also used to stay in my flat whenever he had a fight with his wife, also forgot my birthday. Shweta was not in town, she went to Singapore nine months ago. No wonder why she didn’t wish me either. But I don’t blame anyone, I myself do not remember my birthdays.

I was exhausted, had my dinner outside so that I could directly go to bed. Next day I had another important client meeting. I was thinking of next day’s agenda while opening the door. I opened the door and there was surprise all around. Someone had changed the decor of the flat with a magic wand. I could not believe in my eyes.

The entire floor of living room was decorated with floral petals. A distinct path of rose petals was made from the door, through the living room to my bed room. As if someone has laid a red carpet for me. Decorative Diyas and scented candles showed me the way through the floral carpet and took me to the bed room. A sweet smell of lavender filled the air of my bed room. It was my favourite.

I forgot to switch on any light. The ambiance was mesmerizing. I was not sure how to react. I went inside the bedroom. On my bed, there was a floral heart. The floral carpet was drawn till my study table on the other side of the room.

Unlike normal days, the table was empty except some expensive scented candles, a sqaure white box and a paper beneath that.

I picked up the paper, that said –

“I have been waiting for last five years for you to tell me those words. But you have always been too shy…Buddhu why don’t you understand – ‘I love you’.” 

It was Shweta’s hand writing. I did not know how to react. I was completely taken aback by the unexpected development of events that night. My hand started trembling in mixed feelings.

Suddenly a warm and tender hand touched my shoulder. It was she. She was there in my flat waiting for me to come back, waiting with a big surprise, bigger than I could ever think of. Probably she had taken my flat keys from Ranjit. I hugged her tight and broke down into inconsolable tears. I kept on crying for minutes. I don’t know why at that time I was  remembering the cruelty of my first wife that stopped me from getting close to any woman, I always remembered the cruelty of our legal system that stopped me approaching any woman, I just did not know how to react.

My tears told her – “yes, I loved her all these years but never told her because I did not want to taste the bitterness of our legal system that considers me as a criminal even without any fault”. My tears told her that – “yes, I always wanted to be loved, I always wanted to play with my child but I was not sure how events would unfold for me. One woman whom I have trusted earlier had broken my trust badly, put me behind bars on false complaints for no reason, I loved her too. But her powerful father had bribed witnesses to put me behind the bars and that took away my confidence from all women. How could I trust any woman after that?”

I don’t know how long I cried that day, all my pain that was piling up all these years, the pain of missing a beautiful child who loved playing with me before going to bed every day, the pain of missing the fun of travelling to exotic locations with my family, the pain of missing the tantrums of a child – all rushed out at one moment. I had no words to explain how I felt that day. I kept on crying…

She held me tight. She was aware of my pain. Probably that is the reason she didn’t say anything all these years.

‘I Love You’ – She whispered in my ears and repeated ‘I love you sona’..

I could not reciprocate easily. My emotions were running high and became highly disorganized with those words. I started crying again, but this time in joy and ecstasy.  She hugged me tight, kissed me all over and looked straight at my eyes. These were the eyes that I have seen for last fourteen years but it was for the first time those eyes told me something different. I whispered back – ‘I love you too’..

She lifted the small gift wrap from the table and given it in my hand. –‘This is for you…. Open it’.

I opened that box and there were two beautiful diamond studded platinum rings inside. Those rings told me the truth of our relationship. A combination of Platinum and Diamonds which was perfect material to seal our most precious day, seal the most precious moments that will be everlasting like the metal itself. The precious white tone of the metal symbolized unblemished love and feelings between two of us, shining metallic tone symbolized the lackluster future of our relationship.

The ambiance created by floral petals, scented candles, lavender smell added to the heavenly feeling. We put those rings to each other’s fingers, held our hands together and looked deep into each other’s eyes. The silence in ambiance was so heartwarming that it filled my heart with optimism for my future life. I knew I got my companion for rest of my life.

***

10 points to remember while travelling with kids

This post will ensure that your kid and you both are happy while traveling. These points helped me in keeping my kid happt while traveling and I am sure this will help you as well.

Are you travelling with your kid for the first time? Remember that your kid can add magic to your travel or ruin it completely. Hence it is very important to take best care of them. Remember these points while you plan your travel –

  1. Take their medicines

Don’t forget to take all their medicines. This is the first check point any parent should have. If they are allergic to any medicine note that down. If he is using diapers, please carry sufficient quantities of those. Carrying diapers may not be that essential if you are travelling to a city, but for hilly areas these are a must have items with you. Calculate the number of diapers they would need and carry some extra.

Along with their medicines don’t forget to take their potty if they have a habit of using that. If you ignore this they can get really irritated in the whole travel and your travel will be spoilt. Keep them in diapers while you travel locally and if you think they have nature’s call while you are out, make them feel at ease and use diapers.

  1. Study weather before-hand and take sufficient protective clothes for children

Thanks to internet today doing a research on the weather condition of the place you are travelling is very easy. There are so many sites for that.  Even travel sites give excellent section on weather condition. Carry sufficient clothes for your children especially when they are below five years of age.

  1. Book appropriate room in advance

Many people think booking a couple room is good enough when travelling with a child. A child normally needs extra space, so make sure you book a sufficiently large room with at least a queen king size bed. If you are at the hotel room the child would want to play. You bed may be his playground. If you have more than one child travelling with you and when they are 10 years or older, it is better to book a separate room for them.

  1. Select the right travel destination

From my experience I have seen that it is better to avoid hilly areas with children below five years. Since hilly areas have less oxygen child suffers from breathlessness. Also even when they can walk they get tired very often because of the hilly terrain and you may have to carry them on your lap or shoulders. It becomes painful for the parents as well.

There is another reason to avoid hilly areas. In these areas we get a tendency to get stomach problem since the food is not cooked well and there is water problem. Hence it is better to avoid these places when your children are below five years of age.

  1. Do the right research before going there

Not every destination is suitable for your kids. Children like entertainment parks, zoos, animals, birds etc. They may not like museums, nature, temples or ocean. Choose your destination well, book the right hotel to have enough amusement facility for them and then see if they have their choice of entertainment available before selecting any place, hotel.

  1. Make your travel hassle free

If you do not financial constraint it is better to book in flight as journey time is less. But if you need to travel by train then book a train where you have at least one night journey covered if the journey is of more than 12 hours duration.

Once you reach your destination try to book a cab at least for hotel transfer since you will have more luggage. For sight seeing if you can’t book a cab then book luxury tourist bus where children below 5 years is free.

  1. Plan for their food in advance

If they are on baby food, take their food from your home. Don’t assume that you can buy the same in your travel destination. Children have specific preference to baby food and that may not be available everywhere.

When going out for sight-seeing please stuff their food for one whole day before going out. Most of the tourist places have banned plastic items. So remember to carry their food in proper container. You will be allowed to carry their water. Carry small flask for hot water and their water separately.

  1. Taking toys along

If the kid is a toddler, you may have to carry their toys that they love. Don’t forget this as many a times when they don’t eat or cry while you are out, these toys can really pacify them. Never forget their favourite toys.

  1. Tag your child

One important point to remember is to tag your child when you are out. This needs to be done for any kid 6 years or below. You can have their name and your numbers, address and languages they can speak very well written in their pockets. Even if you are sure that he will always be on your lap, don’t forget this step.

  1. Give them good massage everyday

Even if your kid is a toddler and travel only on your lap, don’t forget to give them a good whole body massage once you return to your hotel room every night. Children get tired of travelling too. Once their normal lifestyle is hampered they will get irritated and one irritated child can spoil your entire travel. It is better to keep them happy, entertained and rejuvenated to have a happy and memorable travel.

***

Awesome quotes from Ramayana

Not every book review is easy. “Ramayana – The Game of Life shattered dreams” was also not easy for me. I was blown over by the mindboggling quotes from Ramayana and I felt like doing this book review in a different way. In this first part of review I am just mentioning those awesome quotes that I have collected from the book. These quotes show deep understanding of life and provides us much needed philosophical guidance to live a better life –

PART 1 – Life quotes

How long can one go on with smiling faces and crying hearts! Either till the smile of the face goes to the heart or the cry of the heart reaches the face.

Life is a combination of hope and despair! The one that dominates you carves your personality!

Every protector needs protection! Being constantly reminded of such a fact, keeps the protector humble. Everyone in this world has a role to play and a role to depend on. The absence of a role to play causes despair, and the absence of a role to depend on causes hauteur.

Calamity in friendship is the absence of a person during sad times; calamity in governance is the absence of courage in emergencies; calamity in culture is absence of determination during temptations; calamity in agriculture is absence of rain during cultivation; calamity in parenting is the absence of time during development.

Unity without loyalty to a common goal is like cement without water to seal bricks.

A full hardy person seems enthusiastic to the ignorant but he seems ignorant to the wise.

The fine delineation between over confidence and self-confidence is determined by the reaction to good advice. When the water of good advice is poured an overconfident person’s already filled jug rejects it, whereas a self confident person’s sponge absorbs it.

Confidence is contagious, so is fear.

If service is like flower and genuine service attitude is like fragrance, then gratitude is like bee that hovers over it. Relationships thrive when genuine service is acknowledged by active gratitude.

Being a genius is not so much about knowing everything as much as knowing what one does not know and seek guidance.

Change Management is about gracefully changing the way we perceive change!

Decision making in the kingdom of Ayodhya followed a circular system where the king was also a point on the circle and not at the center. At the center was the welfare of the state. The king was not a lawmaker but a law keeper.

Empty flattery soothes the mind, whereas copious appreciation touches the heart.

Flattery engages only the tongue, while appreciation employs the eyes to observe, the ears to listen, the intelligence to analyze, the tongue to speak and the heart to feel.

When eaten the flattery fruit intoxicates and weakens, whereas the appreciation fruit gives strength and encouragement.

The blessings of the strong is to facilitate the weak, the blessing of the weak is to strengthen the strong. Blessing is an intangible currency that helps one buy the ingredients of success.

The joy of giving is higher than the joy of occasion of giving. But the joy of benevolence can be only perceived when the giver gives with gratitude.

The simplest joys of nature cannot be replaced by complex creations of man.

Only the inexperienced say that father is only a father. He is a protective father only initially, then he is s disciplining commander, then an encouraging teacher, then a transparent friend, then a respectable mentor, and then a dependent elder. Holding on to a past role is like holding on to a moving car.

For a good leader, anger and desire are his loyal servants; he displays them when required. The day these servants peep out without instruction from the master; that day marks the beginning of the end of the leadership.

An insecure person needs constant validation and wants to be worshiped every moment in his life to feel secure.

Gossip is like a cacophony of crows where every crow seems to be saying the most important thing but has neither the time nor the inclination to hear out what other crows have to say. People involve in gossip to feel important.

A good leader is like an ordinary wire that remains safe even after transporting electricity and does not try to hold on to it. A good leader

Trying to enlighten fools is like trying to soften a bamboo by pouring milk over it.

The burning desire to have something is called ambition. A healthy ambition turns into a disease of greed when innocent desires turn into conscience-depleting obsessions.

The distance between two men drowning in a quicksand does not matter as the distance between a drowning man and a man on the stable land.

The essence of any learning lies in its comprehension and its application of that lesson.

In the past, even objects were respected and named. These days, even people are disrespected and numbered.

A hollow puppet, though irritated tolerates the hand stuffed into it. A hollow bell is shaken vigorously from the outside and beaten intensely from inside. A hollow bubble is fearful of the weakest hand that touches it.

When a hollow man experiences the confidence of another, he feels like a stuffed puppet, the shaken bell and a vulnerable bubble.

What you desire is what you see.

The mightiest roar of a lion is a tiniest squeak in the midst of a thunderstorm. Every negative situation in life has seed of positivity.

When glass shatters, it explodes. When pride shatters, it implodes.

Personal joy derived by gifting pain to others is charity that creates a wooden heart.

Praise is the temperature at which every human melts.

God’s intelligence is to make a fool feel that he is intelligent.

Nature’s way of humbling one is known as ego therapy. Its not a soft massage but a strong message.

Confidence is the key to all doors but overconfidence is the lock to all doors.

Confidence leads to inspiration but overconfidence leads to perspiration.

Teaching self reliance – my mother’s way

I have come across a commercial of HDFC life.

This ad shows the contribution of positive role models in our lives. The role models who teach us how to live for future actually show us a way to win our daily battle of life. These role models may be from our personal life or from our social life.

When I saw this ad I remembered the positive role model from my family who taught me some basic lessons in life that has enabled me to live alone after so many years. She is no one else but my mom who taught me some basic lessons during my school days.

She believed that anyone needs to have some basic skills to live. So she taught me to cook rotis and some other Bengali staple food that will help me cook my own food when I live alone. I didn’t understand the importance of these skills but I was happy to help my mother at that tender age. My mother taught me to make other Bengali delicacies like Pithe.

Pithe is a Bengali delicacy that modern Bengali families can not cook in their homes and they are deprived of the taste for their life. Only some families that have their food from outside restaurants enjoy this delicacy nowadays. This dish needs some extensive preparation and for one days dinner a preparation of the entire day is needed. Because of this extensive preparation needs no modern family prepares these at home. I am one of those few fortunate people who can prepare this at home with the help of another person. I do not venture to prepare this alone because there is no fun in enjoying one’s food alone.

My cooking skills helped me in my personal life to a great extent.

When I was in Hyderabad far away from my home town Kolkata I have undergone divorce. Suddenly I became alone in my life. But I had the habit of cooking some food even after marriage as I used to believe in helping my wife in household chores. I did understand that women need help from their husbands in household chores. That also helped me to be in touch with my cooking skills learnt long back in childhood.

Since I was working in shifts it was easy for me to cook my meal during my stay at home and I was saved the pain of eating outside food and thus falling sick. This was really a great saving for my wallet too. My mother stopped worrying about me because she knew I was enabled to cook my food and eat a healthy diet.

At times when I used to think of eating some exclusive Bengali delicacies I have always resorted to internet and my mother. Even today I call up my mother when I want to cook anything special. She helps me over phone. I really don’t care where I land up in my life. I always have some skill to help me feed myself. Today, I am not afraid to travel to other countries as I know that even if I can’t eat their food, I will always be able to cook my own food and feed myself.

I really want to say, I love you mom for teaching me the basic cooking skills. It really helps. And I feel all boys should learn this in their childhood so that they stop depending on outside food at a later part in their lives.

***