Thursday, December 31, 2015

“Cheers!” is ever green

What we used to do on the New Year eve, when we were kids?

Take sketch pens, white papers,  draw Micky mouse, Mini or other Disney characters like Donald duck or Daisy holding flower bouquet and write “Happy New Year” as beautifully as possible and wish our near and dear ones for all prosperity……

Next stage, buy the Archies or Hallmark greeting cards, be busy in choosing which ones to send to whom, pack them carefully, lovingly and post them at least the second or third week of December….and wait for the postman to receive few too….

What’s next?.... Probably, send the online Cards…or order flower bouquet to reach your loved ones on 31st Dec 12 midnight, or 1st Jan morning. Equally, wish everyone on the wall – ofcourse, ‘Facebook wall’.

Now, another way got added….Whatapps….yes! Float whatapps messages to your groups, or message one on one….

But, just think… all these phases…..which one is common???  The word – “Cheers!” Don’t you agree? Probably, initial stages, we used to see others saying "Cheers!", gradually, we started saying "Cheers!" :)

New Year time is a time for get together….And “Cheers!” always used to rule, now also rules and will surely rule in all these kind of cheerful time…..I am sure, you understood which “Cheers!” I am talking about….. ;)

Happy New Year!!! Cheers!!! J

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

responsible tourism

Hardly possible, but what’s the harm in dreaming!!! If my luck opens and my Boss offers me open tickets for vacation and says, “Madhu! Take few days off…enjoy with your family….”  Where would I love to go, if it really happens? ;) 

Honestly, I would think about the places where I can relax, soothe my eyes and mind, and also get to know something new, though “Nature”….yes, amidst nature, I would prefer always. Of course, nobody would love to go to a place which is dirty, no natural beauty, and among people with lots of complexity.

I believe, as tourists, we have some responsibilities and as hosts, the local people of that place too have some duties.

Photo Courtesy: Bidip Gogoi , Location: Assam

So, as responsible tourists, what are our responsibilities?

Get inspired by Swachh Bharat concept. Treat the place as our second home, does not matter how many days we are there. Keep the place clean, set an example if needed. Many secret lovers love to express their love in script on the walls of the historical monuments, on beautiful trees, litter on the roads, throw away polythene, food items anywhere. We should be extra careful to discourage or stop these acts. Search for a recycling bin or carry a potli or bag to keep your waste while you are on the road. Use your own refillable water bottle, if possible.

Keep Conscience up. Many people’s life depends on the tourism in these places. So, try to bargain and shop stuff without exploiting the poverty of sellers. Try to avoid buying any product which is made from an endangered plant or animal, which may indirectly help to lower the demand for illegal trade. 

Reduce pollution by using local transportation. Plan properly. Make itinerary beforehand. Research and note the nearby places of your destination and all possibility of commuting. Use local bus, train or hire a bike or bicycle which not only helps mingling with local people, but also be cheaper mode of transportation.

Respect and get a feel of local culture. We should respect the local culture, their customs and traditions of the place. Different places and people have their own style of living, dressing, food-habits, looks etc. We don’t have any right to make fun of it, or exploit it and also we should not dress and act inappropriately. Instead, try to enjoy with them, I am sure the local people will also be very happy to serve you, help you.

Besides, we should obey and follow the local rules and regulations in order to maintain modesty and decorum. We should not take photographs or shoot videos at the strictly prohibited places. 

Photo Courtesy: Bidip Gogoi , Location: Assam
As the hosts, the local people of the place also have some responsibilities.

Atithi Devo Bhava”: a guest is equivalent to God. Many people earn their living on tourism. Tourists help in the development of the place. The local people should create a safe and secure environment for the tourists.

Should not fleece the tourists. Many local sellers charge double the cost of the stuff, which are only available in that place. In holy places, the pundits charge money without any reason, which ultimately make bad name of the place. Taxiwala or Autowala also try to cheat the tourists in different way. So, it’s the responsibility of the local people to understand their duties and responsibilities towards the tourists.

People should be welcoming. If the tourists want to know about the local culture, nearby places or any other information, they should welcome and help them without any hesitation. It reflects the image of the place and people.

Be extra careful to keep the place clean. A proper planning of the local people is also important to keep the place clean, like keeping recycling bin in particular places, arranging drinking water in various places etc. 

These are just few points, but let's be responsible traveller and responsible host too and encourage Responsible Tourism. 

*I am blogging for #ResponsibleTourism activity by Outlook Traveller in association with BlogAdda

Sunday, December 6, 2015

ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser review

I have some idea or perception about ASUS products, as I have attended couple of blogger launch of the products.
Next mobile phone I was planning to buy was sure shot of ASUS. Was not sure which model, ofcourse! When I received a lovely handset called – ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser to review, excitement made me busy using it in my leisure time.
It came to the market in August, 2015.Here is my review after using for couple of weeks....
Look and Feel….
It’s simply trendy at the first glance! It is beautifully crafted with ultra thin edges.

With 5.5-inch display size, it somewhat falls in phablet territory. The phone is slightly large for one who loves to keep the phone in the pocket most of the time, but good for those who love to read books or mails, play games or watch videos on the mobile.
The HD screen isn’t as sharp as some others in this price range, but it is still clear and looks good. The 5.5-inch HD (720x1280p) IPS display offers vibrant colours, good brightness levels and wide viewing angles.
The phone comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection to safeguard against scratches. Touch response is also pretty good.
The phone’s volume control buttons are on the rear and the power/screen lock is at the top. This is an uncommon combination as most of the phones launched in the recent past come with side buttons for power/screen lock and volume control for easy access. But the double tap-to-wake feature solves this problem. Besides, that’s okey I believe as it all depends on the habit.

Just below the display, there are three capacitive touch buttons for navigation and a metallic strip. The navigation keys on the Zenfone 2 Laser are not backlit, but these are clear enough.
The phone sports a removable back panel that features a matte finish and is slightly rounded.

Performance is good enough for a phone of this class with good battery life. The 3000mAh battery easily lasts for a day, even with 4G on. You will be able to play most of the games and multi-task without a problem. In fact, Zenfone 2 Laser has strong connectivity, getting a signal in areas where many other phones don’t.
The phone runs Android 5.0.2 Lollipop with Asus' new ZenUI skin that also supports themes.
The Asus ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) is powered by 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor and it comes with 2GB of RAM. The phone packs 16GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 128GB via a microSD card.
The phone offers Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS connectivity options. It does not support NFC but offers FM radio.
There's also a Kids Mode in case you have kids who always have their eyes set on your phone. It lets you choose selected apps and password protect the rest of the phone.
Call quality and signal reception of the phone is good.  I used 4G data where I was able to get a good signal with 25Mbps+ speeds.


Do you have pimples or rashes or any other spot on your face? Then, don’t worry, take a selfie by this phone and you will be amazed. It’s 5MP front camera takes such nice selfies that automatically make you look really good with beautification effects.

The most special functionality of this device is - laser Auto Focus. The phone sports a 13MP rear camera with laser Auto Focus for 0.3 second focus time and dual-LED flash. It's one of the few phones, infact the only budget phone to come with laser autofocus for faster focus. The rear camera of this phone features a five-prism Largan lens and Toshiba sensors, and is accompanied by a dual-tone, dual-LED flash.
The camera which has f2.0 aperture, takes good quality pictures in daylight with optimum level of detail and balanced contrast and colours. However, in low-light conditions, the pictures are not as excellent or details as in the daylight, though the dual-LED flash helps in filling light.
Different mode options of taking picture will surely reduce ‘the urge of clicking by a DSLR camera’. Here are few pictures, I clicked in different mode:



Price :
Zenfone 2 Laser comes in two series: ZE550KL and ZE500KL, which again have two different variants based on their configuration.
In ZE550KL series, the Rs. 9,999 variant comes with 5.5-inch display, 2GB RAM, and 16GB internal storage whereas the Rs. 13,999 variant has 3GB of RAM and rest of the specs are same as of Rs. 9,999 variant.

And both the variants of ZE500KL series features a 5-inch display, 2GB RAM, Quad-core processor, but the 8GB internal storage variant is priced for Rs. 9,799 and 16GB storage option is priced for Rs. 9,999.

If the camera matters to you a lot, then the Zenfone 2 Laser is an excellent choice. There is a little scope of improvement in volume when you put the call on speaker.
The Asus Zenfone 2 Laser is one of the best smartphones available under Rs 10,000. It packs in good hardware specifications, a great camera with laser auto-focus, good battery backup and well-off software features.
I am not just saying for the sake of it, but I am saying all these by using this!

Monday, November 30, 2015

What I used to do to keep my child’s skin soft

How amazing feeling it is to rub your cheek against your baby’s tiny hands! Isn’t it celestial? But how painful to think ….that it wouldn’t be that soft forever!

My son had red spots on his face while he was born. Hmmm….not spots exactly! I think better matching word will be ‘red rashes’, as if his skin got rubbed by some rough stuff. Some said that these were good signs.He had a red tika-style spot on his forehead…so one aunty said, “He was a royal pandit in his previous life.”

Gradually, all these rashes diminished, infact vanished….But time to time, he kept getting hurt by his own nails, may be sometimes by me too…..  Yes! Sooo soft the skin of a baby is….You feel really divine touching the tiny hands….kissing the little toes….cuddling the chubby cheeks….

It’s really irresistible sometimes to keep yourself away from touching some babies!!!! Even before I became Mom, I hardly could resist myself holding, cuddling the babies…Many a times I could see irritated moms who did not like me holding their babies……

But when I turned to a Mom, I realized how it feels when someone come directly from outside and hold your baby, or kiss your baby on cheeks. You cann’t say anything straightly, but you try to bring the child back trickily.

I was and I am really concern about my son’s skin….And Thank God! I could manage his extremely delicate and sensitive skin till now… So, what I used to do to keep my child’s skin soft?

1. Bathe everyday if possible :
I used to bathe my baby everyday. Even during the extreme winter days of Delhi, I never used to skip. First, I used to message him softly with Olive or Mastard oil. After the massage, I used to put him in bath tub for a while in warm water, then, wrap him in a hooded towel and once he was dry, apply baby lotion immediately to seal in moisture and prevent dry skin. Babies need atleast two to three baths a week in warm water to stay clean. To prevent Baby from getting cold while you bathe him, pour cupfuls of water over his little shoulders first.

2. Give sunlight, but indirectly:
I also used to put him in clean cloth after bath and keep him under the sun for a while, not directly, but quite indirectly, may be just in the shadow of a light cloth. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that you should keep babies under 6 months out of direct sunlight—use an umbrella or keep your baby under the stroller canopy. When we take him out during the autumn or winter, we should cover sensitive areas completely (head, nose, throat, ears, hands, etc.) with a hat, scarf, mittens etc.

3. Use products with baby-friendly ingredients. 
I never used Scented baby products in the early months as these can irritate your baby's delicate skin. Pediatrician Alan Greene, M.D., says to choose baby products that are free of harsh or dangerous chemicals. Try to avoid these ingredients: talc, lanolin, and fragrance. They can all potentially irritate the baby's skin. Remember to check the area behind your baby’s ears on a regular basis. This area is often overlooked, but it’s prone to rashes and dryness. For your baby’s lips and exposed sensitive areas, use a moisturizing stick.

4.  Wash baby’s cloth carefully:
I used to wash baby's clothing before it is worn. I used only baby laundry detergents that were fragrance- and dye-free. We should wash baby clothes, bedding, and blankets separately from the family's laundry.

5. Use proper Diapers to avoid Rashes:

We should use soft diapers which can give driest comfort to the baby. I used Pampers, so luckily I saved my son from diaper rashes. Besides, we should change the newborn's diapers every two hours (longer for older babies), change a poopie diaper immediately, clean your baby's bottom thoroughly, use a good diaper cream if your baby needs it (petroleum ointment or white zinc oxide).

Pampers brings you the softest ever Pampers Premium Care Pants. Its cotton-like softness is #SoftestForBabySkin and allows it to breathe, thus keeping baby’s skin soft and healthy, and your baby happy.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

A man who is madeofgreat

Thanks Tata Motors ( ) to compel me to think on this question! 

“Do you know someone who is truly #madeofgreat?”

Isn't it a question which surely makes your mind work for few mins at least??? I too took few isolated moments to take few names.

I am inspired by many people in my life….like my Dad, Mom, Maths teacher - Deva Sir, my ex-boss & mentor Rajiv Mishra, some lovely friends and colleagues, somewhat my hubby dear and many more…..  

But today, I want to talk about my Dad-in-Law, who I feel is truly #madeofgreat!!!!

Royal Bengal Tiger”! We call him RBT in short, to refer him among our friends!

A man of substance, now a retired Defence Civilian, RBT’s voice has the capability to quake the whole neighborhood, in two ways ofcourse, by his strong command, or by his vedic chants, Robindra Sangeet or poem recitation. He is a real multi-talented guy: a good singer, wonderful orator, excellent actor, marvelous cook, awe-inspiring artist, fantastic organizer and above all, tremendously helpful personality. Yes! RBT is the most wanted persona in every occasion in the neighbourhood, which consists of at least 300 families. Be it chilled midnight or during his busy hour in the office, he would cross any stumbling block to help anyone.

RBT with my son during Anna-Prasana

Many drunkards were beaten by him while making chaos in the society. Because of his fearlessness and strong persona, he has been always asked to take a lead position in any group activities.

My in-law’s hamlet, called Narangi Jorabat is a beautiful place which is quite green and serene, and also a bit away from the hum drum of the Guwahati City. You need to cross the beautiful Narangi Army Campus to reach this place. Ponds with white and pink lotus flowers, smooth but curvy roads, auspicious Mandirs, tall gulmohar trees, miraculous brooks, and a half cover by two green hills, all are trying hard to doll up this space. The beauty of the place is amplified by a stunning water fall (Zharna) and greenery around it.

My hubby used depict the beauty of the place so much, that probably that was one of the reasons why I married him, specially, to see the beautiful water fall!! :) 

Almost eight years back when I went to my hubby’s home for the first time, I really wanted to visit that Zharna. My husband was most of the time outside his home, being a hosteller, after school. So, when he wanted me to take to the Zharna because of my vehement request, RBT also wanted to accompany us. Initially, I thought what kind of father-in-law he was, who wanted to be a Kabab Me Haddi to a new couple. But, reaching the place, I understood his motive behind.

With rolling of time, the Zharna became a pleasant place for all drunkards, criminals who wanted to do some masti there. The place was really spectacular, but I could see few guys playing cards, some were even with bare bodies, some were just lying on some rocks with some red and white bottles.  Interestingly, looking at RBT from distance, there was a sudden commotion among them. All guys got up from there in hurry, from whatever position they were in, and vanished from there immediately…I could not understand what was happening, but later, I realized the power of RBT’s presence!!!

Another incident which jaw-stucked me when my hubby introduced me to a lady as his sister during our marriage reception. I was shocked, as I knew that my hubby had only one sibling, and that is his elder brother. Question arose in my mind if my Dad-in-law had another wify!!!

The story was, the lady fled from her own village many years back because of the torture of her step mother. She was around 25 years old that time, and was neither educated nor had money in her pocket. She even did not know where she was going, what she was heading. Somehow, she reached RBT’s vicinity, walking all the way for the whole the day. It was already dusk. RBT saw some guys looking, and trying to tease her. She was looking very tired, hungry and confused. RBT went ahead and asked her the problem, and ultimately took her home. My Mom-in-law also supported him. Listening to her story, in front of the village people, RBT accepted her as a daughter and took her responsibility, though that time probably RBT was 10 years elder to her. After couple of months, when he got a good match for her, RBT organized her marriage. So, in that way, my hubby has a sister too.

I have hardly seen as active person as RBT. He crosses all the lines people have drawn for man and woman for work. Many times it happened, that after long journey, I and other members of the house became too tired to cook or clean the house. He would not wait for anyone. He would actively and quickly do all the work and the food was ready on the table.

During the special occasions, RBT prepares delicious, mouth-watering sweets. I really got astounded when he gifted my son a Kantha Stiched Katha (a quilt), which he wove with cotton tatter to beat the Delhi winter, when my child was just few months old.

My Son is still wearing the Kantha stitched Quilt woven by my Dad-in-Law  

A man of routine, he does not follow Ramdev, but I believe he knows most of his yogas. Early riser, RBT’s first work in the morning is to make red tea with tulsi or pudina leaves, and then take out the by-cycle to visit his farm which is 2 km away from the house, everyday.

Well blended with all these qualities, I would have to say that my sweet Dad-in-Law, RBT is a real hero – truly #madeofgreat!!           

What’s important in life is Action! We are judged, ultimately by actions. In the end, action makes or breaks our reputation. 

Post is for

Extremely happy to know Lionel Messi to be the Brand Ambassador of Tata Motors!!! I would love to know your thoughts on this association.  Do comment below this post --

"What do you think of Tata Motor's association with Lionel Messi?" 

The most interesting answer stands a chance to win an Amazon Voucher worth Rs. 750 from Tata Motors. The contest closes on 24 Nov, midnight and the winning entry will be announced on 26th Nov.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Backpain??? It's not easy!!!

Does not matter how much lazy or busy you are, you need to work at home. I too do. Believe? Then, Good. Don’t believe? I will give a proof!

I am fine now!!! :)
Post Durga Puja Weekend! Four days off including Saturday and Sunday! A celebration time….isn’t it? We few friends planned to do so many stuff….option opened for long drive,  one day outing, two days outing, out for brunch or for lunch….!!! 

We all planned to gather at my place for dinner the first day, to take a final decision what to do during next three days. In the morning, I started cleaning my kitchen for killing two birds with one stone….one, guest would come in the evening, and Diwali was on advent. I tried to clean every corner…..But what! A pinching pain suddenly attacked in my back…..Second time in my life…I felt my age!!! Yes, second time. Because, first I felt when I saw few grey hairs on my head!! :(

We happily planned for a full day outing a day after!!!

Next day morning!!!! What!!! I could not even get up from my bed by myself!!! Horrible!!! Can backpain be sooo painful?

We had to cancel our outing…..had to be bed ridden for few days, stopped lifting heavy stuff and above all, had to resist the temptation of lifting my son to my lap.

Now, I can feel how my granny, my dad, and many of my friends used to feel for being bedridden for months because of backpain! Earlier I thought backpain is simply a pain…’s so common…..but now I really realised how uncomfortable and depressing it can be!!!!

Whatever…..during these days, I just came to know that most of my friends, colleagues, seniors have the same problem. And. though back pain can affect people of any age, it is significantly more common among adults aged between 35 and 55 years.

I researched the factors, received uncountable advices from friends and family members, heard lots of home remedy stories etc. during these days. So, I thought of putting all these together in a place for my future reference…

The following factors are linked to a higher risk of developing low back pain:

·         A mentally stressful job
·         Pregnancy - pregnant women are much more likely to get back pain
·         An inactive lifestyle
·         Age - older adults are more susceptible than young adults or children
·         Anxiety
·         Depression
·         Gender - back pain is more common among females than males
·         Obesity or overweight
·         Smoking
·         Tiring or overdoing physical exercise or work

Besides, backpain can also be the result of some everyday activity or poor posture.

·         Bending awkwardly
·         Pushing something
·         Pulling something
·         Carrying something
·         Lifting something
·         Standing for long periods
·         Bending down for long periods
·         Twisting
·         Coughing
·         Sneezing
·         Muscle tension
·         Over-stretching
·         Sitting in a bent position for long periods

Home Remedies:

Ice first, heat later. As a pain reliever, ice works really great, even more than the hot water bag. Lay an ice pack wrapped in a towel on the painful area for up to 20 minutes, several times a day.

Herbal Oil. Massaging your back with an herbal oil can help your muscles relax and relieve pain. Herbal oil may be such as eucalyptus oil, almond oil, olive oil or coconut oil. Heat the oil until warm and massage it gently over the aching area.

Garlic is another ingredient that helps treat a backache. Simply eating two to three cloves of garlic every morning on empty stomach is always good. Massage your back with garlic oil can be really useful in case of backpain.

To make garlic oil, heat some coconut oil, mustard oil or sesame oil on low heat and then add 8 to 10 cloves of garlic to it. Fry the garlic until it is brown. Strain the oil and let it cool to room temperature. Massage your back gently with the oil. Leave it on for some time and then take a bath in warm water.

Drink milk regularly as it’s a rich source of calcium. You can add some honey to sweeten it.

Keep moving.  Continue doing your daily activities. Once your backpain recedes, regular aerobic exercises like swimming, bicycling, and walking can be helpful. Just don't overdo it. There's no need to run a marathon when your back is sore.

Wear low heels. Exchange your four-inch pumps for flats or low heels (less than 1 inch). High heels may create a more unstable posture, and increase pressure on your lower spine.

Perfect your posture. Look for the posture that places the least stress on your back. To do it, stand straight with your weight evenly balanced on both feet. Tilt your pelvis forward, then back, exaggerating the movement. Then settle into the position that feels most comfortable. Now “work your way up” your back, focusing on one area at a time. First concentrate on the area near your waist, then your chest area, and finally your neck and shoulders. Try to feel which position is least stressful and most comfortable. This is the position to maintain when you’re standing, walking, and beginning or ending any exercise.

Rise and shine. Each morning before you get out of bed, lie on your back and slowly stretch your arms overhead. Gently pull your knees to your chest, one at a time. To rise, roll to the edge of your bed, turn on your side, put your knees over the edge, and use one arm to push yourself up as you let your feet swing to the floor. Once you’re on your feet, put your hands on your buttocks and lean back very slowly to stretch out your spine.

I had a big time of my life!!! Don’t want it to repeat!!

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